18 FEB / 2015 0

Law School Application Timeline – How to Prepare for Law School During Your First Years in College: Grades, Extra-curriculars, and More

The following article is a guest post from Christina Taber-Kewene, Director, Law Admissions at Admit.me and the admissions consulting company, Admit Advantage

Enter Christina . . .

We often talk to young undergrads who want to know our secret formula for success – should they join 15 clubs in college?  Major in Philosophy to demonstrate logical thinking and writing skills?  Take that prestigious internship on Capitol Hill?  Study abroad to learn a second language?  The right response to all these questions is: What do you want to do?


Because law schools, unlike medical schools, don’t require any specific undergraduate courses to qualify for entrance, you have a lot of leeway in your undergraduate studies.  Many students think they need to major in Political Science, Philosophy, or other supposedly law-related areas, and they are wrong.  Feel free to major, double major, major and two minors (we know how those interests vary) in whatever you are most interested.

Photo by imagerymajestic

Photo by imagerymajestic

The one caveat is that grades do matter for admission.  So be careful to challenge yourself while still remaining sensitive to your overall GPA.  Should you take “fluff” classes to boost your GPA?  Absolutely not.  But don’t be completely haphazard in your course selections.  Bombing Organic Chemistry three times just because you (the English major) wanted to see if you could figure it out for fun will do you no favors.

The exception to this advice is for those students who plan to specialize in certain areas as lawyers.  Patent lawyers, for example, also possess at least an undergraduate degree in a relevant scientific field, if not a graduate degree, and study to join the patent bar. 

And, of course, many others come to law having already practiced in a different field or obtained advanced degrees in another area, and this influences their choices as a lawyer.  A JD/MD typically will have a very different path from a JD who majored in Cultural Anthropology.

Finally, remember to begin cultivating relationships with professors now.  You will need two academic recommendations for your law school applications, and having a strong relationship with several professors beginning in your first years will be a great boon when it comes time to apply.


Build a life that matters to you outside the classroom.  If you are the type of person who enjoys playing in the school orchestra, running for student government, playing lacrosse, AND trying out for the spring drama production, then go for it!  But if you are a serious musician focused on honing your musical craft to the exclusion of other activities, then that is just as useful.  What schools care about is that you commit yourself to your activities and grow in them.

Photo by Stuart Miles

Photo by Stuart Miles

Leadership – that much-sought-after attribute on school applications– can mean many things in this context. You can show that you rose through the ranks of student government over the course of four years, or that, after barely making the women’s rugby team as a freshman, you emerged as co-captain your senior year despite a lack of innate physical prowess.  Just remember that schools see right through resume padding, so do what you like, but go deep more than you go broad.


You want to show a law school admissions committee that you have a strong work ethic and have challenged yourself throughout your college years.  This can look very different for different people. 

One student may have supported herself through school with two part-time jobs during the academic year and more than full-time work during the breaks.  Another student may have taken on no paid work but have garnered prestigious internships in the breaks.  Both candidates are attractive for different reasons to schools. 

So if you have the economic means to take on those interesting unpaid internships, then do it!  But if you don’t, work hard, earn the money you need, and know that this too is very attractive to schools.  Whatever you do, don’t sit idle.  If you can’t find an internship or opportunity you want, then create one.

Photo by Stuart Miles

Photo by Stuart Miles

A word on paralegal work, which many students seek out before applying to law school.  This can be very good experience for deciding whether you want to be a lawyer.  But lots (and lots!) of applicants come to law school with this background.  It will not provide you with a better chance for admission in and of itself.  Again, take on this work because it is the experience you want, not because it is going to be an advantage in law school admissions.


In sum, the classes you take and experiences you gain in college matter a lot for your personal development.  Always choose substance over form and pursue what interests you most.  Your passion and engagement will shine through to an admissions committee.  Grades matter, scores matter, but your overall package matters most of all.  And if you are serious about applying to law school, seek out activities and work that will give you a sense for what working as a lawyer is like.  As you get further into your college career, you will seek out the pre-law advisor at your school and start preparing for the LSAT.  But in your first years, focus on figuring out who you are and who you want to be.

Christina Taber-Kewene is Director, Law Admissions at Admit.me and the admissions consulting company, Admit Advantage. Create a free profile on Admit.me to connect with other applicants and get a free evaluation of your law school application.

27 JAN / 2015 0

4 Reasons Speed Reading Won’t Help on LSAT Reading Comprehension

We’ve encountered students who have wondered whether speed reading, or in general learning to read faster, will help them perform better on the LSAT Reading Comprehension section.  This question often comes from foreign students who have difficulty with English: they generally wonder if their difficulties on LSAT Reading Comprehension stem from their inability to read the language faster.

LSAT Reading Comprehension

Speed reading or just reading faster, however, will not help you on LSAT Reading Comprehension.  Here are four reasons for this inescapable truth:

4 Reasons Speed Reading Won’t Help on LSAT Reading Comprehension

1) Speed reading is more like skimming

Chances are you weren’t a speed reader before you started preparing for the LSAT.  If you began learning how to speed read as a matter of coincidence, or for the specific purpose of reading LSAT Reading Comprehension passages, you will still be a beginner.  Assuming you’re a rookie, speed reading will likely become more like skimming when you apply it on the LSAT.  This is especially true in a pressure-packed situation such as LSAT test day. 

If you are skimming LSAT Reading Comprehension passages, you are bound to miss important details.  For example, try speed reading these publications, and see if you can grasp important facts contained in them.  Missing these details will either force you to spend too much time on a given question (as you dive back into the passage to find the information you need), or cause you to answer one or more questions incorrectly (because you missed an important detail or fact).

2) You will not comprehend important aspects of an LSAT Reading Comprehension passage

There are crucial items of information in LSAT Reading Comprehension passages that you not only need to locate, but comprehend as well.  If you are skimming a passage, however, you will miss this critical information altogether, let alone comprehend it.

LSAT Reading Comprehension

For example, one crucial item in any LSAT Reading Comprehension passage is the main idea.  Almost every set of questions that corresponds to a passage will include a question asking you to identify the author’s main idea.  This information can usually be found in a sentence or two in the passage where the author chimes in and provides his or her own opinion about the content of the passage.  This is information you should recognize and underline as you are reading the passage.

If you are skimming a passage, however, you will miss this critical piece of information.  Recognizing and comprehending when an author offers commentary, whether that commentary is or relates to the main idea of the passage, and how that information relates to the rest of the passage requires that you read the text at a normal rate of speed.  Speed reading (or what it may become: skimming) will short-change this process.

3) It will prevent you from setting up guideposts in the passage

The key to doing well on LSAT Reading Comprehension is not to speed read at all.  Rather, you need to read the passage carefully and set up guideposts or markers along the way. 

The questions will usually focus on one or more important pieces of information.  These items include, among other things, the main idea (see above), important people, important concepts, and groups or people with opinions.  Other sections of the passage will prompt you or prepare you for important pieces of important, such as time frames, specific clauses (like “but,” “because,” “as a result,” etc.), and opinion-related words (like “argue,” “propose,” “support,” etc.). 

As you read a passage, you must underline the pieces of information above.  Then, when you answer questions, you can refer back to the passage as necessary and use the underlined information as guideposts to find the information you need.

Speed reading makes it impossible to apply this methodical approach.  Although the urge to read fast will be overpowering, the more effective (and counter-intuitive) method for doing well on LSAT Reading Comprehension is to read carefully and set up these markers or guideposts for your benefit when you answer the questions.  (You should also follow these general LSAT Reading Comprehension tips.)

4) You will sound like a pretentious jerk

If you go around claiming you can speed read, and you can burn through an LSAT Reading Comprehension passage in half a minute, you won’t make any friends.  Rather, you will just seem smarter and only might be more interesting.  And you’ll also sound like an irritating, pretentious jerk. 

This is a general rule you should follow regarding any skill or accomplishment: Don’t brag about it.  Especially when it comes to an exam like the LSAT, where things aren’t always what they seem.  Even if you can speed read a passage and comprehend it and answer 6-7 questions about it correctly, no one wants to know that because it reminds them of the shortcomings they may be experiencing with this exam. 

Keep your successes to yourself.  People will like you more.

Or you can just ditch the speed-reading (or reserve it for some other non-LSAT related reading activity), and approach LSAT Reading Comprehension the way we recommend.

15 JAN / 2015 0

9 LSAT Excuses And How You Can Overcome Them

Topics: LSAT Prep, LSAT Tips

As students become familiar with the LSAT and begin studying for it, they become more aware of what the exam requires of them, and, in the process, they often develop a series of so-called “LSAT excuses” that they use to explain away issues or difficulties they are having with the exam. 

Nothing impacts any activity more detrimentally than a negative perspective or attitude.  They create artificial walls behind which people can hide when it’s convenient.  On an exam of this magnitude, such an attitude can exact an even more devastating blow. 

 Download A FREE Guide That Reveals The Five Most Common Logical Principles Tested On The LSAT!

When students encounter these LSAT excuses, they need to find ways to combat them, overcome them, and ultimately eliminate them from discussion.  Sure, it’s easy for an instructor (or anyone) to respond to these excuses by saying they simply need to stop.  However, that kind of response is often inadequate and unproductive. 

LSAT Excuses

Photo by Stuart Miles

There should be more substantive responses to these LSAT excuses – advice that helps a student address and overcome an excuse in a positive and productive way.  Below are LSAT Freedom’s responses to the many LSAT excuses we’ve encountered in our experiences with students. 

9 LSAT Excuses

1) “I don’t do well on standardized tests.”

This LSAT excuse is probably the most common excuse bandied about by LSAT test-takers.  They believe they performed poorly on the SAT or ACT, and now they believe they are performing poorly on practice LSATs.  Instead of attributing the low practice score to a weakness on the exam or some other difficulty or obstacle, they immediately chalk it up to the grand conspiracy of standardized tests and the illusion that there exists a class of unfortunate souls who will never be able to perform well on these tests. 

As Lord Business famously declared . . . “What a bunch of hippie, dippie baloney!”

LSAT Excuses

There is no such thing as this daunting wall of “standardized tests” that a certain group of dummies can’t overcome.  It is such nonsense.  Do you know how we know that?  Do you really want to know??

Because these standardized tests actually test you on substance.  The LSAT, for example, tests you on your understanding of logic and specific logical concepts.  If you learn and understand those concepts, you will be able to recognize them on the LSAT and answer questions correctly. Doing well (or not) on the exam has nothing to do with whether or not you belong in some privileged class of people that performs well on standardized exams.  Instead, it has more to do with whether you know the stuff you’re being tested on. 

It has nothing to do with the test.  Saddle up, and learn the logic, and . . . surprise! . . . you will begin to perform well on standardized tests.

2) “It’s an IQ test, and I’m not that smart.”

Understanding how conditional reasoning works, learning the difference between correlation and cause-and-effect, and discovering how the negative proof fallacy rears its ugly head in everyday conversation does not prove you are smart.  Nor does finishing four Logic Games in 25 minutes. 

LSAT Excuses


The same principle applies to the exams you took in high school and college: Getting an A or a B on an exam doesn’t prove you are smarter than anyone else.  Nor does the fact someone else got an A or a B on an exam prove he or she is smarter than you.  Doing well on an exam simply demonstrates that a person has the knowledge necessary to answer questions on that exam that tests the recall and application of that knowledge.  It does not demonstrate intelligence.

If you dedicate the time to learn the logic on the LSAT and then practice consistently for a specific period of time, you will develop the knowledge necessary to perform well on the exam.  It has nothing to do with intelligence.

(Well . . . maybe it demonstrates intelligence in some other way: You had the smarts to prepare for the exam while others didn’t . . .)

3) “You can’t study for the LSAT.”

Yes, you can.  We understand where people are coming from on this one: It’s not an exam that resembles those exams you took in high school or college where you were required to memorize a bunch of useless information, and then you were tested on your ability to be able to regurgitate that information onto a piece of paper. 

However, as we’ve emphasized before, you can prepare for the LSAT, and you can do so in two ways: 

First, as explained above, you need to learn the logic that the exam tests.

Second, you need to practice and apply these principles by taking past LSAT exams. 

Studying and preparing for the LSAT isn’t rocket science.  It doesn’t require some inherent ability to do well on this particular kind of exam.  It merely requires good, old-fashioned focus and hard work. 

4) “It’s a logic exam. You either know logic, or you don’t.”

That’s not the way logic works.  Guess what?  No one knows logic going into this little LSAT game.  The people who know it on the way out took the time to learn it.  This excuse is no different than #3 above.  You can learn the logic, just like you can prepare and study for the LSAT in general.  You just have to do it.

5) “You won’t use anything from the LSAT when you’re a lawyer.”

This is a huge myth.  The logical principles you will learn and apply on the LSAT, the arguments you need to evaluate on the Logical Reasoning section, and the reading and understanding you need to demonstrate on the Reading Comprehension section all have value in the legal field. 

As a lawyer who litigates cases, you will be reading cases, understanding the arguments and holdings of those cases, drafting your own arguments, and analyzing and challenging an opposing attorney’s arguments.  Frequently, the arguments you see – even those by a judge – will have logical flaws.  Your ability to identify, isolate, and address those flaws will impact your success as a lawyer. 

As a transactional or corporate lawyer, you will be preparing and reading contracts and similar documents.  You need to understand what specific language means and how it will impact your client.

Don’t dismiss the LSAT because someone told you it has no application in real life.  It certainly does, and your law practice and career will benefit from doing well on the exam.

6) “I’m too slow, and the LSAT is timed.”/”If I had more time, I would do better.”

This is a common excuse.  We’ve heard from so many students who have told us that, “if only I could have more time, I’d finish all four Logic Games in 35 minutes.”  Or this one: “When I do them without worrying about the time, I get them all right!”

LSAT Excuses

The 180 Watch

That’s just silly.  It’s like saying, “If only I was as tall as Lebron James, I could dunk.”

Most of you are not as tall as Lebron James. 

And none of you will have more than 35 minutes to complete a section on the LSAT. 

Instead of dwelling on these limitations, however, focus on how you can use them to your advantage

On the LSAT – believe it or not – a limited amount of time can help you. 

Let us introduce you to Parkinson’s Law.  You don’t need to know where that comes from, or who came up with it.  You just need to know this basic principle:

A task will swell in importance in direct proportion to the time allotted to it. 


Said another way: Work will increase so as to fill the time available for it to be completed.  We tend to fill the time we have.  For example, if you have two hours to write a research paper, you’ll use two hours.  If you have four hours, you’ll spend four hours.  If you have 24 hours, you will spend every waking second you have, and the project will become an unmanageable monster. 

Photo by Stuart Miles

The lesson: If you have less time within which to complete a task, you will be more focused and work more efficiently.  You will dispense with unnecessary details and distractions.

On the LSAT, 35 minutes is a blessing in disguise.  On the Logic Games section, that corresponds to a little over 8 ½ minutes per Logic Game.  When you are practicing, find ways to focus your effort and work more efficiently.  Eliminate wasteful thoughts from your head.  Don’t day dream.  Focus on setting up the Logic Game properly so as to reduce maneuvers later on with individual questions.  If you find the correct answer on a question, move on.  And so on and so forth . . .

Don’t think of time on the LSAT as a detriment.  It’s an advantage and a helpful tool for you to unleash your uber-efficient test-taking ability.  A sufficient amount of practice will enable you to harness this ability and apply it effectively.

7) “I get really nervous.”/”I have a lot of anxiety.”

Nerves are the result of lack of preparation and experience.  The best way to overcome a bad case of the nerves is to practice as much as you can under timed conditions.  The more you practice, the more familiar you will become with the exam and how to deal with its many twists and turns.  You may not be able to wipe it all away, but a sufficient amount of practice with actual LSAT exams will go a long way towards reducing the anxiety you may experience on the exam.

8) “I don’t have time to study for the LSAT. I have [a job/a family/school work/a date/to take a nap].”

Everyone is busy.  Everyone has commitments and obligations.  So this excuse just doesn’t work.  If you want to get into a good law school, you need to restructure your life a bit so you can prepare for the LSAT and do well on it.  If you can’t carve out time in your schedule to prepare for the LSAT, you will not get the score you want, get into the law school you want to get into, or obtain the job you desire.

The best way to make the time to study for the exam is to create an LSAT study schedule, and then hit it consistently.  This will create a productive habit of preparing for the exam at a specific time and for a set period of time.

The bottom line: If you want to do well on the LSAT, you need to make the time for it.

9) “I’m so afraid I’m going to fail.”/“I’m scared of failure.”

You’re afraid of failure?  What are you going to do?  What’s the alternative?  Not taking the LSAT?  Not going to law school?  Not becoming a lawyer?  If that’s what you want, that’s fine.  However, if you want to become a lawyer, not taking the LSAT or not doing well on it because you’re afraid of failure isn’t the answer.

Samuel Beckett once said, “Ever tried.  Ever failed.  No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.”

You wouldn’t believe what you can accomplish if you just tried and – in many instances – tried to achieve what some might consider the “impossible.”

The worst thing that can happen isn’t crashing and burning.  It’s the inaction or the boredom that might result from not pursuing and achieving your goal simply because you’re afraid of some abstract “failure.”

Failure should never be an excuse.

Nor should any of the other LSAT excuses above!

They are just that: excuses.  They are self-defeating statements that prevent you from performing the actions necessary to score high on the LSAT.  They represent attempts to justify inaction.  The advice above should help you eliminate these LSAT excuses from your vocabulary and focus on preparing for the exam.

7 JAN / 2015 0

How to Determine If You Need An LSAT Addendum

When students apply to law school, they might find themselves wondering if they need a law school addendum or LSAT addendum

An LSAT addendum is a one-page addition to a law school application that explains extra issues a student might have but does not want to address in a personal statement or diversity statement.  If these issues are serious enough, a student might want to explain them in an addendum. 

The addendum briefly identifies the issue and lets the law school know what occurred.  In some instances, a student can use an addendum to transform a negative issue into a positive benefit. When these issues relate to a student’s LSAT score, many refer to it as an “LSAT addendum.”  Whatever the case, a student should be very careful and strategic when determining if such an LSAT addendum is necessary.

 Download A FREE Guide That Reveals The Five Most Common Logical Principles Tested On The LSAT!

So when do you need an LSAT addendum, i.e., an addendum that explains some issue regarding your LSAT score?  The following guidelines should assist in helping you determine when you DO need a law school/LSAT addendum and when you do NOT need one.

LSAT Addendum

5 Instances When You DO Need An LSAT Addendum

1) Accommodation problem on LSAT test day

If you have received certain accommodations throughout your life or throughout school, you needed those accommodations during when you took the LSAT, someone at the test center (stupidly) denied you those accommodations, and you LSAT score suffered as a result, you should explain that issue in an LSAT addendum.  This would be a classic example of a situation where an addendum is necessary. Law schools would likely view an explanation of these circumstances as helpful.

However, use common sense.  You should prepare an LSAT addendum only when there is a discrepancy between your LSAT score and your GPA.  For example, if your score is low (like in the 140s), but your GPA is high (like a 3.8 or 3.9), you should prepare an addendum.  If, on the other hand, your score was in the upper half or third of test-takers, perhaps an addendum might be overkill.  For example, an LSAT addendum stating that, if you had received those accommodations, your score would not have been an embarrassing 174 and could have been a perfect 180 will likely fall on deaf ears.  So, again, use common sense.

2) A freak occurrence on LSAT test day

If a freak occurrence – such as a family illness or death, a mistake in bubbling answers, the heat breaking in the exam room, or a dinosaur biting off your leg in the middle of the exam – occurs on test day, and that event significantly impacts your LSAT score, an addendum will be helpful in explaining to a law school that your score likely would have been different but for that event.

LSAT Addendum 

Keep in mind, however, that when preparing an LSAT addendum (or any addendum for that matter), you should refrain from becoming emotional or argumentative.  (This is a helpful tip for when you practice law as well.)  The purpose of an addendum is to disclose information or to persuade the law school admissions committee that it should overlook an anomaly or deficiency with respect to your LSAT score.  Exaggerating the situation or making a desperate emotional plea will turn them off very quickly.  Focus on the facts of your situation, and present them in a dispassionate, measured way.

3) Medical issue on test day

In much the same way a freak occurrence on test day might require an LSAT addendum, so, too, would a medical issue you experienced that impacted your exam performance.  If you were in a car accident and were in deep discomfort or heavily-medicated on exam day, an LSAT addendum should be prepared that addresses those difficulties.  Similarly, if you got mono, broke an arm or leg, or otherwise experienced some medical issue that physically and/or psychologically impacted your ability to take and do well on the LSAT, you should explain that in an LSAT addendum.

4) Two LSAT scores that are many points apart

If you took the LSAT more than once, and you did significantly better the second time, you  may want to persuade the law school to consider the higher LSAT score and disregard the lower score.  Sometimes, you figure out a brand new method for studying, or you make a major breakthrough leading up to the exam, and your score jumps significantly as a result.  If this occurs, it might be helpful to prepare an LSAT addendum and explain to the law school what happened and – most important – why that high score is appropriate for you.  The last thing you want a law school to think is that your high LSAT score was an anomaly. 

5) History of performing poorly on standardized exams

Some people just don’t do well on standardized exams.  That is not uncommon.  If you’re one of them, you should advise the law schools to which you’re applying of this fact in an LSAT addendum.  However, your addendum should not just casually mention this issue.  You should demonstrate it.  In life, it’s always better to show someone something rather than tell it.  Providing documentation of your poor performance history would be much more persuasive than leaving such proof out of your LSAT addendum. 

So, if possible, include score reports from your ACT or SAT days.  Also, if possible, include some information about how your peers performed on the same exams, and then provide information regarding how, despite those test scores, your grades were better than your peers’ academic performance. 

5 Instances When You Do NOT Need An LSAT Addendum

Not every event or situation requires an LSAT addendum, and you should shy away from submitting one in certain circumstances, even despite an intense desire to do so.  Here are five instances when you do not need an LSAT addendum and should not submit one.

1) Two or more LSAT scores that are within several points of each other

If you took the LSAT multiple times and received two or more LSAT scores that are close to one another, you do not need to explain anything to the law school in an LSAT addendum.  Rather, your range of scores, on its own, will demonstrate to the law school that your scores are within the appropriate range for your skills and abilities with respect to the LSAT.  In other words, the law school will not view any one of those scores as an anomaly.  If you decide to prepare an LSAT addendum, you might risk highlighting negative traits about your character or self-esteem, such as a lack of confidence, heightened nerves, or hesitation.  Don’t waste your effort here.  Be confident and proud of your LSAT score or scores, and move on.

LSAT Addendum

2) Canceled LSAT test date

Alerting the law school admissions committee to the fact that you canceled a test date or did not show up for whatever reason will likely highlight negative traits that you may not have.  For example, an admissions committee might think you were indecisive and changed your mind at the last second.  Even worse, committee members might view the canceled date as an example of your unpreparedness for the LSAT.  In addition, they could think you were nervous and back out of high-pressure situations.  It makes no sense to give the law school any opportunity to view you in a negative light.  Again, don’t worry about a canceled test date, and move on with your life.

3) You performed better on practice LSATs than you did on test day

Look, we get it.  But no one cares.  Seriously.  What a law school admissions committee wants to know is how you performed on test day – you know, in the same high-pressure environment other LSAT takers experienced.  The fact that you scored five or six points higher on a practice test the week before means nothing because you did not take that test in a test day environment with other students.  Law schools need to measure you on an even playing field with other students.  Practice LSAT scores prevent them from doing that.  Don’t use an LSAT addendum to highlight your practice scores for this purpose.

4) Your second LSAT score was higher than your first LSAT score because you were unprepared the first time

If you explain that you did poorly the first time around on the LSAT because you were unprepared, that will prompt law school admissions committees to ask themselves several probative questions about you that you really don’t want them to ask.  Questions like: Why didn’t this person think being prepared the first time around wasn’t important?  Would this person be unprepared for law school?  Would this person be unprepared for an interview?  Does this person think life gives you second chances?  If you were unprepared, you shouldn’t tell a law school that was the reason for your poor performance.  Unless you have a better reason, skip the LSAT addendum.

LSAT Addendum

An LSAT addendum should be focused on explaining compelling facts

The key things to remember when preparing an LSAT addendum (or any law school addendum) are to remain focused on the facts you are explaining, and to make sure those facts are compelling.  You should have a really good reason for including an LSAT addendum with your law school application.  In addition, emotion should play no role in your explanation.  Make your LSAT addendum short, fact-based, and dispassionate, and move on.

16 DEC / 2014 0

21 Ways NOT To Get A Good LSAT Score

Topics: LSAT Tips

In the past, we have written about ways to get a good LSAT score, and even ways to get a 180 on the LSAT.  However, people often do not focus on the things they should NOT do if they want to get a good LSAT score.  Test-takers learn many different LSAT tips and strategies from many different sources.  It is often difficult to sift through all of them and, ultimately, decide what works best . . . and what to avoid.

Here, we list and briefly identify the 21 things you should NOT do if you want to get a good LSAT score.

 Download A FREE Guide That Reveals The Five Most Common Logical Principles Tested On The LSAT

21 Ways NOT To Get A Good LSAT Score

1) Do nothing

This should be readily apparent.  If you do nothing to prepare for the LSAT, chances are you will not do well (unless you’re a genius).  So . . . do something . . . anything, alright?

2) Don’t take an LSAT prep course

Taking an LSAT prep course that teaches you the logic on the LSAT and emphasizes practicing with actual LSAT exams is the best way to prepare for the exam and get a good LSAT score.  (Here is a free LSAT logic guide and free logic course to get you started.)  The best way not to get a good LSAT score?  Subscribe to the mentality that commercial LSAT courses are just out to take your money, and that you could do well on the exam through self-study.  We aren’t saying it can’t be done.  But the odds of getting a good LSAT score would be against you. 

3) Spend every waking second studying for the LSAT

Spending 10 hours per day, seven days per week for six months may help you cover every LSAT ever administered.  But it will also burn you out.  Devote just a few hours a day to studying, and do so for two to three months.  Getting a good LSAT score is a marathon, not a sprint.  Don’t over-do it. 

4) Use every single study aid you can get your hands on

Many LSAT study aids on the market will guarantee you that elusive good LSAT score.  By trying to read them all, and memorizing every piece of advice ever given on the LSAT, your head will likely explode.  You will also find that some advice will conflict with other advice, and that conundrum will confuse you.  Instead of taking an all-of-the-above approach, choose a select few, and stick to them.

5) Learn the logic, but don’t practice

We’ve emphasized before that, to get a good LSAT score, you need to learn the logic that the LSAT tests.  However, being able to identify the various logical principles on the LSAT is one thing.  The ability to recognize these principles as they appear on the exam, in context, is another thing entirely.  To succeed in doing that, you must practice as much as possible with actual LSAT exams.  If you do not take the time to practice, you will not be able to recognize the logic on the exam, nor will you become familiar with the question types and how these logical principles manifest themselves on the exam.  This is usually a recipe for . . . you guessed it . . . a low LSAT score.   

6) Practice, but skip the logic

An alternative to the approach above is jumping straight into practice.  The benefit of this approach is that you become familiar with the exam very quickly.  You may even score well after a few tries.  However, this approach lacks the substantive foundation necessary to understand what you’re actually doing.  Why did you get certain questions wrong?  How do you diagram those logic games?  What is conditional reasoning anyway?  Practicing without understanding these concepts is like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel.     

7) Practice with made-up LSAT questions

The best way to become familiar with the logic on the LSAT and the exam in general is to practice using actual LSAT exams and actual LSAT questions.  Want to know how not to become familiar with the exam or prevent yourself from achieving that good LSAT score?  Practice with made-up questions!  Some LSAT prep courses or tutors may use made-up questions or examples to teach you the exam.  The problem with that approach is that it undermines the very goal of becoming familiar with the LSAT.  You will not understand how the test writers prepare LSAT questions, and you will not be able to anticipate what the next exam will look like.  It’s like going into the exam with blinders on. 

8) Don’t review incorrect answers on your practice exams

An effective way to identify your weaknesses on the LSAT is to identify and understand which questions you are answering incorrectly.  That way, you can work on improving those weaknesses, which, in turn, will help you improve your LSAT score.  If, on the other hand, you don’t care about those pesky weaknesses (or a good LSAT score), then don’t bother! 

9) Study in a group

Group study is not the most efficient means of studying for the LSAT.  Learning the logic on the LSAT principally requires drilling and practice.  Group study will largely prevent you from spending time on drilling or engaging in the repetitive training required to master LSAT logic.

10) Master the skill of speed reading for use on the Reading Comprehension section

You’re not supposed to speed read or skim through the Reading Comprehension passages.  If you do, you’ll miss critical information . . . and answer questions incorrectly. 

11) Don’t bother to figure out where you stand . . . ever

Speaking of blinders, one of the most effective ways to remain in the dark about this test is never to figure out how you’re doing with your score.  Wisdom dictates that, at the beginning of your LSAT prep, you should take a practice test cold, just to see where you stand and for assessing how high a hill you need to climb.  Further, as you get into the practice-intensive portion of your LSAT prep, you should measure your performance to see how you’re doing.  Not doing either of these things leaves you in the dark, without a clue, and farther than you’d like from a good LSAT score. 

12) Get drunk or high the night before the big exam

Why?  Why would you do that?

13) Wake up the morning of the exam and eat five candy bars (or eat a lot of sugar in the days leading up to the exam)

Want to know what a lot of sugar does to your brain?  Bad stuff . . . like poor memory formation.         

14) Wait until test day to figure out how to get to your test center location

Good LSAT Score

Imagine waking up the morning of the LSAT and discovering that you have 20 minutes to make what is normally a 35 minute trip.  Or realizing, on that Monday afternoon test administration, that the parking situation at your test center isn’t optimal.  These are sure-fire ways to lose valuable time and sacrifice critical points on the exam.

15) When the exam begins, skip the directions

The LSAT tests you on how well you follow difficult and silly directions.  If you don’t pay attention, you will, again, miss critical information.

16) Day dream during the exam

If you can’t go 3 1/2 hours without day dreaming about the girl next door, the musical you watched last night on Lifetime, or the identity of the Reverse-Flash, you’re going to have a difficult time getting through – and answering every question on – the LSAT (let alone coming close to a good LSAT score). 

17) Make assumptions about the information in a question

Everything you need to answer a question will be on the page or pages in front of you.  You should use only the information that the question provides.  Thus, if you want to completely torch yourself on this test, assume some additional information (that has no connection to the LSAT) based on the information in front of you.  Or you could omit some other part of the question or assume some part of it is not important.   

18) Rely on outside knowledge to answer Reading Comprehension questions

All Reading Comprehension questions can and should be answered using only the information in the passage.  Therefore, an effective way to blow a question is to answer it using your own knowledge (you know, because – lucky you! – this passage is about computer science, and you’re like a total super-duper expert in that computer stuff).  

19) Allow the LSAT to frustrate you

The LSAT is designed to mess with your head.  So, if you let some insane Logic Game or silly Logical Reasoning question get you angry, the LSAT wins.  And you lose. 

20) Skip or don’t answer questions

The LSAT doesn’t penalize you for guessing.  By skipping a question, you lose that 20% chance of getting that question right.  You have nothing to lose by guessing.  So, if you want to completely deprive yourself of the slimmest of chances of getting a question right, skip it.  

21) Don’t keep track of time

Who needs time, right?  (Or a good LSAT watch.)  Spend 20 minutes on that first Logic Game.  Let that second Reading Comprehension passage consume 15 minutes of your life.  Focus, after all, should be prioritized . . . over a good LSAT score.

And that’s a wrap!  If you want to get a good LSAT score, don’t do any of the above.  Or try to avoid as much of the above as possible.

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