My Experience Taking the LSAT
Like many of you who are reading this, I want to go to law school, which means I have to take the LSAT. To give a little bit of background, I’m applying to go to law school for Fall 2021, and I took the LSAT for the first time this past August. Due to COVID and social distancing, the LSAT I took was the LSAT-Flex, which is administered online and only consists of three sections, rather than 5. Just a few months before writing the LSAT, I had no idea what was even going to be on the test. So, I took the summer semester to study (almost) every day and in the end, I wound up with a decent score. However, like many LSAT test-takers, I’m planning on taking the LSAT again. I’m hoping to learn from my experience from taking the test in August to improve my score for November and hopefully my experience can help some of you reading this as well.
As I mentioned, back in May, I had no idea what the LSAT was even about; all I knew was it was something people studied for and studied for a lot. When starting my studying journey, I found a lot of the LSAT review courses to be super expensive and looking at the abundance of options was overwhelming. Then I found Khan Academy, which is completely free, and I decided to use this platform because it was easy to use and I saw both my abilities and my practice test score improving consistently just through using it. The LSAC also provides a couple of free practice tests, which I would highly recommend, especially for anyone taking the LSAT-Flex during COVID because they use the same platform as the real test. This definitely helped me feel more conformable on test day.
But, if you do want to pay for a more in-depth LSAT course, the CSA has discount codes for The Princeton Review. The main advantage of these resources is they have so many more practice tests and questions available, and some have a physical instructor who is able to teach you how to answer certain question types. Looking back, I do wish that maybe I had invested in one of the more expensive courses, like the ones that guarantee you a certain score. I personally don’t think they’re necessary as I was able to improve significantly without them, but I wish my score was a little higher, and I think extra resources could have helped.
I think the biggest thing I can learn from my experience, is not to stress on test day. I’m not usually the person who gets super nervous right before an exam, but I think the added pressure of knowing that this test dictates what law schools I can get into, really impacted my performance. I’m hoping that the second time around I’ll know what to expect and I’ll be able to manage my nerves a little better. With the exam being online and having an invigilator watching you the whole time, the new experience was a bit overwhelming and I found this specifically impacted my time-management on the exam. I was so worried about all the rules and restrictions associated with the LSAT being administered online, that I wasn’t focusing all my attention on the exam. Usually, I’ll finish a logical reasoning section with 3-4 minutes to spare but I found myself barely finishing that section. The best thing to do, I think, is to remind yourself that you’ve prepared and practiced a ton. The exam is just like any other practice test, and they’re even written by the same people. Also, this exam isn’t the only thing determining whether you get into law school - all the hard work you’ve put in over the past few years in university, volunteering, and gaining life experience matter too!
Overall, my first LSAT experience was good, but not great and I’m excited to have the opportunity to take it again in a few weeks. I’ve been spending this time practicing and not stressing, so I’m hoping for the best the second time around.