23 OCT / 2014 0

LSAT Freedom Inbox – October 23, 2014

As we’ve mentioned before, here at LSAT Freedom, we get a lot of email.  Students, potential students, former students, and even random visitors to our website have questions.  They send us questions by email (at info@LSATFreedom.com or support@LSATFreedom.com), and we take the time to answer them.  These questions and our answers are often informative and very helpful to others.  So we post these questions and answers from time to time in a blog article titled “LSAT Freedom Inbox.”

In this post, we give you a peek at our email inbox.  We reproduce three questions we receive by email and provide answers to those questions.  In some instances, we have modified the questions and answers, in part, to appeal to our readers’ more general concerns on this blog.  Some of these questions and answers will be short; others will be long.  Either way, the information is helpful to YOU, our readers.  Just to be clear: these are real questions from real readers.

LSAT Freedom Inbox – October 23, 2014

Q: I just got my score.  It’s a 154.  I am not sure whether I should retake the LSAT.  Do you have any advice you can give me on that?Retake the LSAT

-Tatiana

LSAT Freedom: We certainly can!  When LSAT scores are released, many people often wonder whether they should retake the LSAT.  If you didn’t hit your target score or don’t think the score you received reflects your potential, whether or not to retake the LSAT is a question worth considering.  Like any other decision, whether to retake the LSAT has its positives and negatives.  It’s not an easy decision, and it requires assessing several factors.  Fortunately,  in the past, we compiled two lists of the factors you should consider, and that can help you decide.  Here are 4 reasons why you should retake the LSAT, and here are 5 reasons why you should NOT retake the LSAT.  It’s always helpful to look at both sides of an issue.  Hopefully, these lists will guide you towards the right choice!

Q: What should I be doing with LSAT reading comprehension?  Should I try and memorize as much information as I can from the passage and then answer the questions?  

-Ronnie

LSAT Freedom: Great question, and one that often comes up with an often-forgotten section on the LSAT.  On the LSAT Reading Comprehension section, you should not try and memorize the passage.  In just a span of a few minutes, that is impossible to do.  Rather, when reading, you should focus on underlining key information.  This underlining creates markers or guideposts you can use later on to find relevant information when you answer the questions.  Here is a quick explanation of how to approach LSAT Reading Comprehension passages.  As far as what to underline, here is a list of the items of information you should make a note of when reading these passages.

Q: Hi, I registered for the February 2015 LSAT.  How far in advance should I begin studying?  I work part-time, and I am also in school.

-Daryl

LSAT Freedom: Daryl, you’re in luck.  We recently threw up a quick video in which we answered that very question.  In short, determine the number of hours needed, and then allocate those hours across your day-to-day schedule.  Hope this helps!  

Got a question you want answered?  Email us at info@LSATFreedom.com!  Your question and the answer may show up on our blog!

21 OCT / 2014 0

How Many Law Schools Should I Apply To?

Deciding to apply to law school is one thing.  Identifying how many law schools you should apply to is another. If you want to be sure that you will be able to pursue your law degree, you have to be ready to apply to several law schools to guarantee a spot in at least one institution.

So, How Many?

Determining the number of law schools you should apply to depends on several factors, including the actual schools you want to go to, the college you attended, your academic record and accomplishments, your LSAT score and GPA, and your geographic preference.

According to a survey conducted by lawschoolnumbers.com, an average applicant applies to six law schools.  It is of course up to you to figure out if you want to apply to more or less than the average as you see fit.  For example, if you have a very competitive GPA or LSAT result, you should  apply to at least four excellent law schools and a good mix of fit and safety schools.  A good metric for safety schools is that you are near the 75th percentile for GPA and LSAT for accepted students in the previous year.  This will give you a fall back option if something goes wrong with your other choices.  Generally speaking, you should try to have a balance of approximately 20% safety schools, 20% reach schools, and 60% fit schools on your list.

A lower GPA and LSAT score generally means that you should apply to more law schools to increase your chances of getting admitted somewhere.  While eight to 10 schools should be enough, extending the list to 12 or more schools will do you no harm (except for the modest application fees).  After all, the longer your list is, the higher your chances are of becoming a law student.  Be realistic, as well.  You can always try to transfer to a more competitive school once you get in.  Nonetheless, our advice would be to not have this plan going in unless you were comfortable graduating from the school to which you are matriculating.

Getting into a Good Law School

A comprehensive and strategically crafted curriculum vitae, outstanding academic accomplishments, impressive personal statement, and above-average LSAT score and GPA are the crucial factors in admission to top law schools. If you have all of these, together with strong personal qualities, leadership skills, and distinctive talents that are all reflected well in your application, you should have be a competitive applicant at some of the very best law schools.

Pursuing a law degree doesn’t stop at getting into a good law school.  It involves preparing yourself for the challenges ahead.  If you have questions, or need further assistance in improving your law school application, schedule a call with an InGenius Prep law school admissions expert.

This post was written by an admissions expert at InGenius Prep.

16 OCT / 2014 0

What is the LSAT? – An Overview

Topics: Miscellaneous

As one LSAT administration ends and another approaches, the students who are often forgotten in the shuffle are those who are just experiencing the LSAT for the first time.  We have provided an introduction before on the LSAT and what it contains.  However, sometimes, LSAT beginners need a straightforward visual introduction to the exam.

In the video below, LSAT Freedom co-founder Rob Tauler provides a general introduction and overview of the LSAT.  He explains what “LSAT” stands for, how it factors into law schools’ admissions decisions, what the LSAT contains (including its different sections), how many questions, and the substantive components of the exam.

What is the LSAT?

 

14 OCT / 2014 0

The LSAT Rush

Topics: LSAT Prep, LSAT Tips

“A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool will from his friends.”  So says Daniel Brühl, who played Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush, which was released over a year ago but is now getting some play on HBO.  It’s that theme that runs throughout Rush, a story about two bitter Formula One rivals (Lauda and James Hunt, played by Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth) and their roller coaster battle for the 1976 Formula One title.  They mock each other.  Insult one another’s marriages.  Talk trash to each other after races.  Rat each other out.  In other words, great theater.LSAT Rush  

During another scene, after an event that sidelined one of the film’s main characters (sorry, can’t spoil the plot for you; it’s too good), the character who wasn’t sidelined tells the other, “So in many ways, I feel responsible for what happened.”  The sidelined character replies, “You were.”  There is a long pause, as if both characters were reflecting on what could have been.  Then, the sidelined character says, “But trust me . . . watching you win those races while I was fighting for my life, you were equally responsible for getting me back in the car.”  And so a bitter rivalry morphs into something else.  Something far superior.

The theme of this great movie — one of the best sports movies in the past decade — is that your enemies and your greatest challenges bring the best out of you.  It’s a tough message to wrap your head around.

We often hate our enemies.  We abhor our challenges.  We want to run in the opposite direction.  We want to get them over with.  Put another way: We want nothing to do with them.  

The LSAT presents the same conundrum for those who take it.  They often hate it.  They can’t understand it.  They spend hours studying and preparing for it.  But they just . . . can’t . . . crack it.  It causes a ton of anxiety.  It’s a challenge like no other, and many students often wish they could just wiggle out of it somehow.

That’s where Rush comes in.  Rather than be your greatest nemesis, the LSAT can be your best opportunity.  Like it or not, it has the potential to bring the best out of you.  It forces you to apply yourself.  It makes you dig deep and learn concepts you’ve never encountered.  Much deeper than you’ve ever reached.  You can potentially learn more from the LSAT and from your experience in preparing for it than you could from many other things.  If you’re smart, you will embrace this experience, learn from it, and use it to your advantage.  

Make no mistake: The LSAT will probably cause you your greatest frustrations and downright infuriate you.  However, if you embrace the LSAT in the manner described above, it will also be equally responsible for helping you attain your greatest achievement.  

Don’t hate the LSAT.  Use it as your personal rush.  Your LSAT rush.  Use it to find your very best.   

9 OCT / 2014 0

5 Things to Read to Prepare for LSAT Reading Comprehension

Students often ask us how they can best prepare for the LSAT Reading Comprehension section.  Although this should seem intuitive, it isn’t for some reason: One of the best ways to prepare for the LSAT Reading Comprehension section is to read.  If you’re preparing for the LSAT, and you have a healthy amount of time before the big exam, spend some time reading in addition to your general LSAT preparation.LSAT Reading Comprehension

What should you read?  Well, you shouldn’t spend your time reading comic books.  It’s safe to conclude that such content will not help you develop the skills you’ll need to do well on LSAT Reading Comprehension.  Instead, you should focus on reading the same kind of content and subjects that appear on the LSAT, including content that is written in the same style that appears on the LSAT.  In other words, the more dense and boring the subject matter, the more likely you are reading something that will help familiarize yourself with what appears in LSAT Reading Comprehension passages.

The following is a list of five things you can read to prepare for LSAT Reading Comprehension.

5 Things to Read to Prepare for LSAT Reading Comprehension

1) The Economist

There is nothing like a healthy dose of The Economist to get you ready for LSAT Reading Comprehension.  The magazine claims it “is not a chronicle of economics,” but instead aims “to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress.”  What does that mean?  Who knows?!  On the bright side, you are now finally experiencing the same kind of dumbfounded-ness you’ll experience when dealing with an LSAT Reading Comprehension passage.  The Economist covers science, technology, politics, business, and . . . economics.  LSAT Reading Comprehension usually covers one or more of these subjects.

2)  The Wall Street Journal

With its particular emphasis on business and economic news and its packed, dense, and sophisticated writing style, The Wall Street Journal should be sitting next to your corn flakes every morning.  Ideally, you should alternate between several mouthfuls of your favorite crunchy cereal and digesting an article or two from this award-winning newspaper.  Get comfortable with the language and composition in this newspaper on a daily basis, and you’ll unknowingly be getting comfortable with the next LSAT Reading Comprehension passage around the corner.  The Wall Street Journal.  It’s the breakfast of champions.

3) Scientific American

Often dubbed “SciAm” (only for the cool people), Scientific American is a monthly American popular science magazine that presents specific information regarding science news and related topics.  Science is a typical subject that appears in LSAT Reading Comprehension passages.  Considering that famous scientists regularly contribute to SciAm (such as Albert Einstein . . . when he was around), this is a must-read and should occupy a special place in your LSAT preparation portfolio.

4) The New York Times, particularly its book review section and its science section

Nicknamed “The Gray Lady,” The New York Times has won 114 Pulitzer Prizes.  Don’t you want to be associated with such greatness?  Of course you do, and that last LSAT Reading Comprehension passage that kicked your a– beckons that you subscribe to this newspaper and place it right in between The Wall Street Journal and your morning orange juice.  In particular, The Gray Lady’s book reviews are fantastic prep reading for the LSAT since many LSAT Reading Comprehension passages often reflect and mirror those reviews.  Don’t get left behind.  Pick up the latest issue of The Gray Lady today!

5) Academic Journals

You may need to go to the — gasp! — library for this little adventure.  Or you could access many of these journals online.  Whatever the case, many LSAT Reading Comprehension passages are excerpts from incredibly boring articles in academic journals like the African Journal of Food Science, the International Journal of Livestock Production, and — wait for it — the Journal of Yeast and Fungal Research.  OK, we are exaggerating a bit here.  But you get the drift.  The dry, sophisticated articles that appear in these types of journals just scream “LSAT Reading Comprehension.”  Take some time in your LSAT preparation and read a few of these.

For LSAT Reading Comprehension, Read One of These Publications Every Day

Throughout your LSAT preparation, your goal should be, at a minimum, to read one of the publications listed above every day.  Make it a habit.  At first, it will certainly be a bore.  However, your ability to understand, digest, and comprehend the information in these publications will increase as you read more and more of this stuff.  You will also develop the ability to draw inferences from the information you read.  After some time, your ability to do well on LSAT Reading Comprehension will improve exponentially because you will have familiarized yourself — through your reading of the items above — with the same kind of dense content that appears on that section.

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