By Grace T., LSAT Test Preparation Instructor, Prepped & Polished, LLC
The LSAT requires not only mastery of the exam’s content, but also the ability to anticipate and address those little details that can make or break your test day experience. Here are tips that will prepare you for both!
Top 5 Substantive LSAT Tips
1. Mark an answer for every question! Unlike the SAT, the LSAT has no guessing penalty.
2. Do not be afraid to postpone your test until you are completely ready. While every test taker is different, most people do not feel adequately prepared with fewer than 2.5 to 3 months of preparation.
3. Know your weaknesses and skip questions strategically. Do not let the test dictate the order in which you answer questions. Be aware of which types of logic games and reading comprehension passages you are most comfortable, and quickly scan through all four in each of those sections before simply starting with that which is given first. As for logical reasoning, keep in mind that the questions generally progress from easiest to most difficult, but also be mindful of your personal strong suits. Don’t just complete a parallel flaw question if it is at the beginning of a section, but is something that you know you routinely struggle with – you will save yourself time and stress by taking control of the test.
4. Spend time making deductions after making logic game sketches. While you may feel pressed for time and that you are better off diving into the questions, in the long run you will save a lot of time by gaining an understanding the system on which the puzzle is based. You may even find that a question or two are freebees for having made such deductions.
5. Do not fear logic games! If you have taken a diagnostic test and had no intuitive idea of how to approach them, you are not doomed! Most students find this section to be the most challenging at first, but also the easiest to improve upon, largely because it has the fewest question types. Once you gain familiarity with logic games, you will see that the same kinds of puzzles repeat themselves, just cloaked in different language.
And 5 Quick Tips
1. Choose your test site carefully! There are resources online that detail factors such as desk space, noise level, competency of proctors, lighting, etc.
2. Buy and practice with a watch with a rotating bezel! Since you are not allowed to bring digital watches to the test, this is your best bet for easily keeping track of how much time has elapsed during each section.
3. Do not drink too much coffee before the test starts. There is no break for over two hours after you enter the testing room, and they are strict about not letting you leave once you have entered the room but prior to the commencement of testing.
4. Don’t get thrown by test takers around you sketching out logic games while you’re in the midst of reading comprehension or logical reasoning; different tests intentionally order their sections differently.
5. Do not markedly alter your appearance (at least from the shoulders up) between when the passport-style picture that you must affix to your LSAT admission ticket is taken and test day! This is actually one of many LSAC’s official policies. No altering your facial hair, no new facial tattoos, no dying your hair…you get the idea.
Grace graduated from Dartmouth College and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude. She is an expert in the areas of LSAT (scored in 97th percentile) and SAT prep, and is eager to pass along her test prep tips gleaned from many years of standardized testing!
Have you taken or are you getting ready for the LSAT? Which tip is your favorite?
Post your tips/comments below.