Preparing for the LSAT? Tips and Strategies
When I googled “Preparing for the LSAT” this morning, I found a lot of bad information and a little bit of good information (which I promise to share with you here).
Taking the LSAT Multiple Times:
While I agree that taking the LSAT without adequate preparation is not a good idea, I disagree that it will “destroy your chances for admission to a good law school.” The article incorrectly states that schools will average mulitiple LSAT scores. As of June 2006, ABA policy states that schools will report only the highest of mulitiple LSAT scores and almost all law schools have switched to this format. Law Schools will see all of your scores within the last 3 or 5 years (depending on school policy) but the one that truly “counts” is the highest. You may choose to explain a low score anyway, but in most cases it will not be averaged with the higher score.
Why Do Law Schools Rely on LSAT Scores? What does the LSAT Prove?
Also, the Myths article is wrong about what the LSAT proves. It states that the LSAT is used just to have some objective criteria and doesn’t provide evidence of anything concrete, but this is wrong. Each school’s admission index formula is based on statistical evidence of who succeeds at that law school and who passes the bar exam on the first try. There have been many, many studies done on what the LSAT does and does not prove.
The LSAC and individual law schools spend a lot of money commisioning these studies. One study at the University of Dayton said:
“Both law school grade-point average (LGPA) and Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score were the strongest predictors of bar examination passage for all groups studied.”
Similar research results can be found at LSAC.org
I’m not defending overwhelming emotional weight that is placed on a numerical score, but it is not totally baseless either.
Oh My Gosh, Is Everyone But Me Getting a 170 on the LSAT???
I usually discourage law school applicants from listening to other law school applicants – it’s the blind leading the blind and you don’t know whose opinion you can trust. There also seems to be an overwhelming (vocal) contingent out there from the “I have a 170 LSAT score and so should you” club. All this does is demoralize 99% of LSAT takers (and also 99% of law students and future lawyers!!). However, if you can look past this, there are some worthwhile LSAT Tips by a future law student.
And here’s a blogger whose LSAT strategies are not ideal, but at least he doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Here’s someone who did take him/herself seriously (back in 2005) with regard to LSAT prep and specific question-answering strategies.
And of course, I always think Austin at the CALI PreLaw Blog has a good perspective on these things, so please check out his postings on the subject of LSAT Tips.
Good luck on the September LSAT and don’t wait for your score to get started on your applications!