LSAT Testing Condition – How to Prepare!

November 12, 2012

It should be no secret that how well you perform on LSAT test day is going to seriously depend on how well you prepared in the months leading up the LSAT. Unlike your Writ 300 essay or your Calculus midterm, the LSAT can’t simply be mastered in a sleepless night. Even the biggest procrastinators need to learn to buckle down and set up a consistent, long-term study schedule.

Once you’ve been studying for several weeks and have a solid grasp of the major concepts that the LSAT tests, it’s important that you begin to work through practice problems under actual testing conditions.  This doesn’t mean that you need to hire a proctor to stare at you inside a college classroom for four hours, but you do need to get comfortable testing under time constraints.

Even the most competent LSAT students, those who ace every practice problem that comes their way, can be shaken up the first instance that a timer sits alongside them. Though there is obviously nothing officially binding about a timer that you set yourself, it can change everything. You’ll be alarmed to see how fast the concepts and strategies you’ve been taught fly out your head. You’ll find yourself rushing through Reading Comprehension passages and jumping into Logic Games before making crucial deductions which you would typically spot. Keeping your cool under the gun is a skill that must be practiced, even for the brightest and most composed LSAT students.

Practicing under proper testing conditions also means that you should be consistent with the substances you consume. Don’t depend on coffee to get you through every practice test if you don’t plan on drinking coffee come test day. Similarly, don’t try popping an Adderall on the morning of the LSAT if you don’t already take it consistently. Stimulants and test-day nerves are not a good combination, students who make this mistake typically report feeling overcome by a tornado of anxiety, rather than a laser-beam of focus. Finally, don’t be surprised when your LSAT score comes back lower than expected if you decided to skip breakfast on test day.

You’ve probably heard countless sob stories of students who underperform on test day. Don’t let that happen to you. If you take your practice tests under official testing conditions, and don’t try to pull out any new stops on test day, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how “normal” the actual test feels.

 

David Jackson is an instructor and blogger for Blueprint LSAT Preparation. For more information on the LSAT and law school admissions, visit Blueprint’s free LSAT help.


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October Deadlines!

September 10, 2012

Labor Day has come and gone. For most people this marks the unofficial end of summer. For law school applicants it means that the October LSAT is coming up very soon. October 6, to be exact.

If you intend to take the October LSAT and you haven’t registered yet, get thee to LSAC’s website posthaste. You’ve missed the regular registration deadline, but the late registration deadline is September 14. It’ll cost you an extra $69 on top of the regular $160, but that extra cost is well worth it if it lets you be done with the LSAT.

If you’ve been preparing for the October LSAT, by this point you should have covered most of the concepts and question types on the test. Wrap this up soon so you can spend a few weeks putting it all together and focusing on your pacing. Full sections and full prep tests should account for an increasing proportion of your LSAT practice over the next month.

You may be having doubts about the October LSAT. It all still seems so hard, you say. You wonder whether you’re going to be able to get it together in time. You ask: Would it make more sense, perhaps, to wait for the December LSAT?

The answer depends on what kind of work you’ve been doing. If you’ve barely cracked your books, if you’ve been hoping the LSAT knowledge would osmote to you through the drinks you’ve been setting down on said books as they sit forlornly on your desk, then yes, December is a better bet. Get an earlier start on your LSAT studying this time.

On the other hand, if you’ve been working hard but you’re not yet satisfied with your LSAT score, don’t despair. Often, big score improvements come from putting everything together at the end. Especially if you’ve already registered for the LSAT, there’s no sense in giving up now.

If you’re on the fence about whether to postpone, keep the following two dates in mind. These are your ways out. You have until 11:59 ET on September 16 to change your LSAT test date online. This will cost you $80. If you’re pretty sure by this point that you won’t be ready for October, take advantage and change your date. If you’re still not sure either way, don’t fret. You can withdraw your LSAT registration up until 11:59 ET on October 5, the day before the LSAT. If you take this option, you’ll lose your entire LSAT registration fee, but there will be no indication on your score report that you were ever registered for the October LSAT. You’ll get off clean.

Aaron Cohn is an instructor and blogger for Blueprint LSAT Preparation. For more information on the LSAT and law school admissions, visit Blueprint’s free LSAT help.


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Don’t Burnout!

July 30, 2012

The October LSAT is still 12 weeks away, and some of you are sprawled in a beach chair with a beer listening to Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Needless to say, you’re not worried. What about the rest of us – those who actually have a taste in music? We should be locked up in a library studying eight hours a day, right?

Well, not exactly.

The latter is a surefire recipe for LSAT burnout and should be avoided like the Plague…or something less cliché.

There are a few reasons to closely monitor your study schedule leading up to the October LSAT. Perhaps the most obvious but overlooked factor is stress. Stress is now thought to not only distract from learning, but to directly hinder it as well. The LSAT is hard enough – don’t complicate it with added anxiety from over-studying.

Additionally, this whole process is really in preparation for a performance – your performance on LSAT test day. Marathoners don’t run 50 miles the day before the race; rather, they train slowly and steadily over time. Treat your LSAT prep time in a similarly measured and goal-oriented way.

Fortunately there are a few easy ways to avoid the dreaded LSAT burnout. Set a study schedule with a rigorous (but not traumatic) amount of hours, and adhere to it. Don’t be tempted to overexert yourself early. Also, take some time off. Exercise. See a movie. Frolic in the fields. Whatever your hobby, make sure to balance study time with other, preferably healthy, activities.

Phillip Belleau is an instructor and blogger for Blueprint LSAT Preparation. For more information on the LSAT and law school admissions, visit Blueprint’s free LSAT help.


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Big step in becoming a lawyer? Take the LSAT!

May 8, 2012

In an effort to bring you the best information, from time to time we will feature guest bloggers.  Today we are proud to present our first guest blogger, Aaron Cohn, from Blueprint LSAT Preparation!

Today marks the deadline to register early for the June LSAT. Late registration doesn’t close for another 10 days, but after today registering will cost you an extra $69 on top of the $160 fee to take the test.

If your LSAT preparations for the June LSAT are in full swing but for some reason you’re not yet registered, dilly-dally no more: Go to lsac.org and sign up. Be forewarned that the remaining selection of test centers may leave something to be desired. If, on the other hand, you had some vague intention to take the June LSAT but you haven’t done much of anything about it yet, you now have to decide whether to follow through with June or push it back to October. I’ll tackle both options below.

If you’ve been studying for the June LSAT, you should be close to finishing up with the basics of everything on the test. Within the next two weeks you should be solid on the details of your technique for each game type, reading comp passage, and logical reasoning question type. Between now and the test, your attention will turn more and more to pacing; once you know what you’re doing, you can learn to do it faster. But if you ever find yourself feeling lost on a particular question type, it’s much better to slow it down, refine your process, and then speed it back up than to try to fix it at game pace. As you get your pace up, you can start to work more full diagnostic tests into your studying routine. Review each test carefully to assess your strengths and weaknesses.

The June LSAT is 34 days away. If you haven’t begun studying, it’s decision time. Success on the LSAT requires a grasp of the underlying logic as well as a detailed knowledge of how to approach each question on the test. Having only a month to study greatly limits your potential score improvement. The LSAT tests reasoning skills. It’s not an exam you can cram for.

If you haven’t done much studying yet, I’d suggest that you consider taking the October LSAT so that you have the entire summer to study. (Note that this requires actual studying. Drinking and cavorting in the sun doesn’t count.) If you’re on the fence about the LSAT, try taking a free LSAT diagnostic test. If you’re far from where you’d like to be, consider waiting to take the October LSAT. If you’re closer, the June LSAT isn’t as bad an idea, but consider that by putting in some work between now and October you can exceed your expectations. A stellar performance on the LSAT will let you set your sights on higher-ranked law schools and can net you some decent scholarship money.

Aaron Cohn is an instructor and blogger for Blueprint LSAT Preparation. For more information on the LSAT and law school admissions, visit Blueprint’s free LSAT help.


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Oregon State and Willamette Law partner up on 3+3 program

March 1, 2012 Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

From the Admissions Blog:

College students can earn undergraduate and law degrees in only six years, under a new ‘three plus three’ program announced Wednesday between Oregon State University and Willamette University College of Law. Under the program, participants will spend three years at OSU in Corvallis, then three years at Willamette’s Salem law school. The program potentially cuts one year out of the time normally needed to earn a law degree.

For more information, visit Willamette College of Law (WUCL) web site.

OSU/Willamette U 3+3 law program

Oregon State and Willamette Law partner up on 3+3 program


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