Two LSAT Prep Tips Every Student Should Apply Now: LSAT Tip #3


In this post, I want to explain the importance of two critical LSAT prep tips every student should apply immediately: (1) knowing where you stand with your LSAT performance and (2) identifying a target for your final score on test day.

Analyzing an LSAT score or your LSAT performance in a vacuum is not productive.  In general, you will not understand whether you are “doing well” or “doing poorly.”  Specifically, you will not understand if you have certain strengths or weaknesses on the exam, and whether and how you can improve your weaknesses.

In life, the metrics that matter are those that measure your progress towards a well-defined goal.  Is your goal a 165 on the LSAT?  A 170?  Is it completing all four Logic Games within the required time?  Is it getting every question that addresses a missing assumption correct?

If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it.  As the great business thinker, Peter Drucker, once said, “what gets measured, gets managed.”

It is imperative that you apply this principle to your LSAT preparation.  Its application will help you improve your performance.  You can apply it in two ways.

  • Know Where You Stand

First, you must know where you stand with your LSAT performance.  Before you do anything – take an LSAT prep course, pick up an LSAT prep book . . . anything – you should take a practice LSAT cold.  And make sure it’s under timed conditions.

You may think this is counterintuitive for a couple of reasons.  First, if you’re just starting to acclimate yourself to the law school admissions process, you probably have never seen or experienced the LSAT before.  So you may think it wouldn’t help you to take an exam without a shred of preparation.  Second, some people may even advise against taking a cold exam because a bad score might discourage you.

This is nonsense.  The best thing you can do at the outset is know what you’re up against.  If you are already thinking the LSAT will be a difficult experience for you, then you need to confront that reality as soon as possible.  On the other hand, you might even surprise yourself.  Perhaps you will perform better than you think.

Regardless, knowing where you stand with the LSAT will enable you to develop a strategy for preparing for the exam.  If you perform poorly, it will help you determine what you need to focus on to achieve a higher score.  If you perform better than you expected, then – thankfully for you – you will know you are in good shape.  You can then focus on any specific areas you may want to improve, or you can devote time to other aspects of the law school admissions process.

  • Know Where You Want To Go

Second, after taking a practice LSAT and knowing where you stand with your performance, you can then determine where you want to go.  Depending on your practice score, you should identify the LSAT score you want to achieve, and commit to it.

This second process may seem unnecessary at first blush.  However, it is a critical step in your LSAT preparation for several reasons.

First, knowing the LSAT score you want to achieve will help you understand how many points you need to add to your current score.  Do you need to go from a 145 to a 155?  Is your target a 160, which will require a 15-point improvement?  You need to know the gap you will have to close to achieve your target score.

(A note on choosing a target score: When identifying one, never set your sights too low.  Aim for the stars, and let the adrenaline fuel you.  You will be surprised how many people will shoot for a mediocre score.  Don’t let that be you.  When fewer people shoot for a higher score, there is, by definition, less competition for that score range.  Use that to your advantage.)

Second, knowing the score gap you need to close will help you determine where you can get those points.  If you need 10 points to achieve your target score, can you pick up an additional five points by finishing that fourth Logic Game?  Could you then focus on picking up another 2-3 points by addressing your weakness with inference questions on LSAT Reading Comprehension?  You need to understand how far your journey will be so you can prepare for it.

Third, understanding where your additional points will come from will help you wade through the endless stream of preparation advice, LSAT tips, and LSAT courses that you encounter and focus on what is right for you.  If, for example, you experienced difficulty with setting up an LSAT Logic Game and, as a result, scored poorly in that section, you will know that addressing that weakness – and improving your performance on LSAT Logic Games – will help you improve your LSAT score overall.  In contrast, if you performed well on, and are in good shape with, LSAT Reading Comprehension, you can devote more time to the other two sections and focus your effort on improving your performance there.

What Gets Measured, Gets Managed

Without applying these management principles to your LSAT preparation, your studying may lose its focus, and you could meander from one area of instruction to another without any meaningful guidance.  Remember: There are no gimmicks or shortcuts with the LSAT.  Instead, measuring your initial LSAT performance and then measuring your progress towards a clearly-defined target score will streamline your preparation by helping you focus on the areas that will most directly impact your performance.

This article was written by Robert M. Fojo from LSAT Freedom.  Robert writes about tips and strategies for doing well on the LSAT.  To get helpful ideas for improving your LSAT score, join LSAT Freedom’s free newsletter.


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