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LSAT Tips and Strategies to Help You Ace the Exam

May 2, 2024
4 in read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 4/5/24

The LSAT is one of the most important components of any law school application. To ensure you ace this component and stand out as an applicant, read on to find out the best LSAT tips and strategies!

Mastering the LSAT will take dedication, time, and the correct resources. While learning the fundamentals involved in each LSAT section is relatively simple, applying these fundamentals to a range of questions within a short period is where the difficulty lies.

There is no perfect formula to answer these questions. But knowing tried and true LSAT test strategies can help you save time on the LSAT, reach your answers easier, and score higher overall!

LSAT Tips for Before the Exam

Here are some tips to consider before you write your exam:

Don’t Cram in More Studying the Night Before

While you may feel like you need all the time you can get to ace the LSAT, cramming in practice questions the night before your test can have the opposite effect. Try your best to get a good night’s sleep to be well-rested for your test and ensure your brain is working at optimal levels. 

If you can’t seem to fall asleep the night before because of your nerves, consider doing an activity that calms you instead of using these extra hours to study. For instance, you may want to read a good book, watch your favorite comfort movies, or cook your favorite comfort meal. 

You’ll already be stressing out plenty on test day, so do your best to minimize your stress the night before.

Prepare Your Testing Space

Part of the beauty of being able to write your LSAT in the comforts of your own home is you can make your testing area a safe space! To make this a familiar and safe space, consider completing your LSAT prep in the same room, with the same materials. 

Get rid of any distractions in your room, turn up or down the AC to a comfortable level, and pretend you’re simply writing another practice test, just as you would have already done multiple times within the same space!

Ensure there are also no prohibited items in your room before test day.

Check Your Testing Equipment

To avoid any extra stress or delays on test day, ensure all of your testing equipment works beforehand. Double-check that your computer, webcam, mic, and internet are all working properly.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

Try to stick to your normal routine on the day of your exam. Don’t skip breakfast! You want to be in the most clear-headed space while writing your exam. Food is brain fuel and will give you the energy to complete the four-hour test to your best abilities!

If you skip breakfast, you may also get hungry during the four-hour testing period which can distract you or make you uncomfortable, which will ultimately mess with your psyche and could cause you to perform poorer on the LSAT.

Look At the Bigger Picture

While your LSAT score is an essential part of your law school applications, doing poorly on it is not the end of the world. Do not attach your worth to this score; it doesn’t determine your potential to become an excellent attorney. 

Do not let a score that’s lower than anticipated discourage you! Use it to modify your studies so you can increase your score when you retake the exam.

There are many paths to reach your ultimate goal of attending law school; some just involve more twists and turns! But you will get there if you continue trekking and pushing forward.

Practice is the most important part of LSAT prep. Give our LSAT pop quiz a try to help you get started on your practice!

LSAT Test-Taking Strategies

Now, here are the 10 best tips for the LSAT:

Practice, Practice, Practice…and Then Practice Some More

While this isn’t necessarily an LSAT test strategy per se, the number one LSAT tip we can give you is to ensure you prioritize practicing real LSAT test sections and tests during your LSAT prep. 

The more questions you practice and master, the more prepared you’ll be for the test, and the less likely you’ll be caught off guard by difficult questions.

It’s also helpful to practice your writing skills to prepare well for the LSAT writing sample portion of the exam. Ensure you have a good grasp of grammar and spelling and know how to form a strong argument! 

Read With Purpose

For logical reasoning and reading comprehension questions, you should go through all of the questions for each passage to see what you should be looking out for so you don’t have to reread the passages. This will save you time and energy because you’ll know exactly what to focus on. 

Be You

You’ll come across various diagramming and annotating strategies throughout your LSAT prep. Find what works for you and stick with it! Don’t feel obligated to copy specific testing strategies just because they work for others. Sometimes, self-study is more helpful than anything else. After all, you know yourself best. 

Try different reading or diagramming strategies during your prep to see what feels the most natural to you. 

If none of them feel natural, make up your own! Do whatever makes it easier for you to solve each question quickly and effectively. 

Focus on Content, Not Context

Speaking of how to best read passages, ensure you focus on the content of an argument versus the context. By this we mean not to get bogged down by unimportant background information that sets the scene of the passage; only focus on the conclusion, evidence, and attitude of the author(s). 

Choose Questions Strategically

When you start each section, don’t just answer the questions in the order they appear in. Figure out which ones will be the least time-consuming and start there.

Hash out all of the easy questions and save the harder ones for last to ensure you have more time to dedicate to them and can score as many points as possible. 

Draw It Out

For analytical reasoning questions, you should always diagram each scenario to make it easier to solve and visualize. For each question that involves a new condition, redraw your original diagram with the new condition in it to keep organized.

You may also want to draw out certain aspects of LR or RC questions, such as conditionals. Drawing conditionals can help you create links that you may not otherwise see!

Read Each Answer Choice

Of course, you’ll want to answer questions as quickly as possible. But you should take the time to read each answer choice before choosing one. The clever LSAT test makers often put appealing yet incorrect answer choices right before the correct ones. 

You may think you have the correct choice, but by going through all of them, you can confirm it’s right.

Use Previous Answers

For the analytical reasoning section, in particular, solved questions can provide answers or inferences for other questions. 

For instance, orientation questions, which always appear first in any scenario, require you to find a full, valid potential game set that doesn’t violate any rules. This tested hypothetical may help you answer other questions that ask where a certain player could be or what order a set could be in. 

Prioritize Efficiency, Not Speed

Unless you’re eligible for LSAT accommodations, you’ll be given a very limited amount of time to answer each question. Still, you want to be thorough and use the correct strategies to find the right answer. 

While some of these strategies may add a few more seconds to your solving time, it’ll be worth it in the end because you’ll get more answers correct!

Never Leave Questions Blank

Although you should leave the harder questions till the end, it’s very likely that you won’t have time to answer all of them. This is completely fine! But you should never leave a question blank. Even if you guess, there’s still a chance of you getting it right and earning more points for it!

Common Mistakes

No one is perfect - many students fall into common traps when preparing for and taking the LSAT! Here are some common errors to watch out for in your LSAT prep. 

Not Giving Yourself Enough Time to Prepare

The LSAT is a very challenging exam that will require lots of time to prepare for. Many students fall under the impression that they can spend a few weeks studying and do well on the exam. But the truth is, you need an extensive study schedule and lots of time to prepare if you want a high score! 

You should aim for about three months (or more!) of study time. Plan to spend anywhere from 12-25 hours per week preparing for the LSAT. 

Prioritizing Planning Over Practicing

It’s important to have strong methods and plans in place for tackling the exam. But the most important thing you can do to get ready for the LSAT is practice

The LSAT tests your skills and your ability to think logically more than it tests your memorization. So, you’ll need to practice as much as possible to build up those skills. 

Inadequate Review Time

LSAT practice doesn’t end with taking practice tests! Yes, you can build skills by taking tests, but it’s crucial to spend time after each one to review the questions you got wrong and consider why they were incorrect. Try to analyze your thinking and find the flaws in your reasoning so that you can avoid your mistakes next time. 

Often, it’s more important to work on your weaknesses than to focus on your strengths. So, you’ll need to set aside time to identify and build up areas for improvement. 

Not sure if you’re ready to take the LSAT? Try taking our readiness quiz to get a better idea of how much preparation you still need to do. 

FAQs: Tips for the LSAT

For any remaining questions about the top LSAT tips, read on to find your answers.

1. Can You Improve 20 Points on the LSAT?

Absolutely! However, it’ll require time, diligence, dedication, a comprehensive study schedule, and potentially external help from experts like Juris’ 99th percentile tutors who know exactly how to increase your score!

2. What Is the Hardest Section of the LSAT to Improve?

The reading comprehension section is regarded as the hardest to improve on because it’s difficult to learn how to read and interpret text better. 

3. Is There a Downside to Taking the LSAT Multiple Times?

The only downside to taking the LSAT multiple times is that you’ll need to modify your studying methods each time. You will undergo test stress again and be under even more pressure to perform well since admissions committees will see all of your scores. 

But these are minimal downsides considering retaking the LSAT can help you get to your target score, which will ultimately increase your chances of getting into your dream law school!

4. Is It Better to Guess or Skip on the LSAT?

Always guess and never skip on the LSAT! By guessing you’re giving yourself a chance to still score some points, whereas leaving a question blank gives you zero chance of scoring extra points.

5. What Is the Easiest Section of the LSAT to Improve?

The analytical reasoning section is generally the easiest to improve on because it is very teachable. A lot of AR games follow a few patterns, so it’s just about learning how to approach these different patterns to find the right answer. 

6. How Can I Improve My Reading Comprehension Score?

Figure out a way to annotate passages that works for you, read each question before the passage to know what to look out for, and read each answer choice before making your final decision.

7. How to Get a Perfect Score on the LSAT Exam? 

Although getting a perfect score on the LSAT, it’s not impossible with proper preparations in place. You’ll need determination, dedication, thorough practice, and a solid study schedule. 

Final Thoughts

With these LSAT tips in mind, you should be able to tackle the LSAT more easily and maximize your chances of reaching your target score!

Good luck!

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