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How the LSAT Works

Preparing for the LSAT

With so much weight placed on LSAT scores, it's important to take the time to prepare yourself for the exam before you register. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) recommends studying for the exam using resources found on the organization's Web site. You'll find practice tests, study guides and a complete overview of the test so you'll know what to expect.

Of course, there are also countless private resources available to help you prepare for the LSAT. Private and group tutoring sessions can be found online and in the classroom. Study guides and test prep books are also available and can help you get used to the material that you'll be tested on. These resources suggest test-taking tips that may help calm anxious applicants.

Because much of the LSAT is based on logic and reasoning skills, many study guides are aimed at improving critical thinking skills. You can do this by working on logic puzzles, which can be found in books similar to crossword or sudoku puzzles. You may also wish to take a logics class to brush up on your analytical and reasoning skills.

One of the best ways to prepare for the LSAT is by taking official practice tests issued by the LSAC. The company always offers at least one test posted on its Web site. This test is an official LSAT from a previous year and is completely free to download. Applicants can choose to purchase additional practice tests from previous years on the LSAC Web site. Each time the LSAT is administered, the test is given a unique identifying number. Test No. 1 is from June 1991, and each subsequent test is numbered in order. This will help you to distinguish different practice tests from one another and figure out which ones you've already completed.

When taking an LSAT practice test, it's a good idea to follow the time restrictions used in the actual exam. Give yourself 35 minutes for each section, and try to complete the entire exam in one sitting. This way, you'll be used to focusing on the test for a full three and a half hours, and you'll be less likely to become fatigued during the actual LSAT.

What if you don't have the time to study, or you feel confident that you can do well without studying? At the very least, LSAC recommends looking over a sample test so you'll understand the format and the type of questions you'll be up against [source: LSAC]. This in itself may spur some test-takers to buckle down and study. For others, it will simply offer insight into the test format, which can help settle nerves before the big day.