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5 Tips for lsat practice tests

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

I found that many students didn’t see progress on the LSAT initially because they were utilizing practice tests inefficiently. Practice tests are a very valuable tool, but if used unwisely they can end up in wasted time and frustration. Do them too much and you risk getting burned out without learning anything. Do them too little and you end up feeling unprepared on the actual LSAT. Here are a few tips to help ensure you are studying for the LSAT efficiently.

Tip #1: Take plenty of full length exams under strict timed conditions. While I understand it can be daunting and time consuming to take an LSAT practice test, these are single handedly the best way to gauge where you are at and get a general idea of what you would score on test day. I believe there is a time and place for doing untimed practice or doing individual sections, but that needs to be paired with full LSAT exams so that you can familiarize yourself with the endurance and pacing aspect of the exam.

Tip #2: Always review practice tests. The LSAT is skill based, not knowledge based. For most skills, you have the benefit of immediate feedback. For example, if you are trying to improve at throwing darts and you miss, you immediately understand if you threw too far to the left or right. If you are trying to get better at basketball you can immediately tell why you missed a shot.

When it comes to the LSAT, things are different. We do not receive that immediate feedback and we only see a question was incorrect. For this reason it is very important that we look into questions that we missed to understand what mistake was made. If we don’t do this, it would be like trying to get better at throwing darts blindfolded. Not only will you not improve, but you may even reinforce the mistakes you previously made and repeat them in future LSAT tests.

Tip #3: Approach Practice Tests in Phases

Rather than randomly selecting exams, you should be very strategic with how you schedule them. Keep in mind that the number of LSAT practice tests are limited, especially if you have already taken some. You should plan out your practice tests in phases.

In the first phase of your prep, take a few untimed practice tests, reviewing every answer as you go along. This is a great way to get familiar with the different LSAT sections while also picking up on your weaknesses that you need to focus on. During this phase, you are taking all the time you need to answer the questions. The tests could take very long to complete and that's totally okay!

In the second phase you should not spend much time on practice tests, and should be focused on improving specific concepts. This is when you are utilizing a book or LSAT prep company to better understand the question strategies, especially for those you struggle with. Tests at this point should just be a tool to build up endurance and get more familiar with the timing of the sections. You should only take 1-2 LSAT practice tests per month during this phase.

The third and final phase ideally should only begin when you have scored within your target range, and should ideally begin roughly 3 or more weeks before the official LSAT date. In this phase, you should be increasing the number of timed LSAT practice tests to help you develop more consistency in your scores. The general recommendation is 2-3 practice tests per week under strict timed conditions, with thorough review. You should not move onto the next exam until you have thoroughly reviewed the previous one.

Pro Tip #4: Plan out the order of your practice tests

I often get asked "Which LSAT practice tests should I take?" or "In which order should I take practice tests?". Overtime, the LSAT changes up certain aspects of the test so that it is not too predictable. So if you simply take practice tests in the order they were administered, you might not have be able to catch up with the new trends in the more recent exams until you are only a few weeks out from the LSAT. For this reason, it makes more sense to sprinkle some of the most recent practice tests throughout the different phases of your studies so that you are not caught off guard. However, make sure to still reserve some of the recent ones for the final phase of your LSAT prep as well.

Pro Tip #5: Give Yourself Enough Time

Many students try to rush improving on this exam. While there are strategies to speed up the process, there is no way to tell how quickly you will improve, as everyone is different. I understand the LSAT isn’t the most exciting thing for most people, but that does not negate its importance. Remember that gaining a high LSAT score will be a crucial factor for what law school you end up attending and how much scholarship you obtain, which will in turn have a significant impact on your career. If you set a goal for yourself give it your all and do not cut any corners.

Stay Motivated!


Sincerely,

Impetus LSAT


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