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Pre-Law

preparing for the lsat.

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is given four times a year (usually June, October, December, and February), by the LSAC (Law School Admissions Council). Registration for the LSAT is accomplished via LSAC. Results of the LSAT are reported through LSAC’s service, and most applicants use this website to assemble their application information, including LSAT scores, transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Applicants can choose which schools receive this information. It may be necessary to send additional forms to particular schools, separately. Students should carefully read the admissions requirements for each school to which they wish to apply.

The LSAT has four main sections: one Reading Comprehension, two Logical Reasoning, and one Analytical Reasoning. Each LSAT also includes an essay portion, and a sample section used by LSAT to develop new questions. This sample section is not included in the scoring, but test-takers will not know in advance which section is the sample. Thus, each LSAT will include six separate sections: 5 multiple choice sections and one essay. Each section takes 35 minutes, so the test itself is three and a half hours even without breaks. Students should prepare for a long morning and bring a snack or drink for break time, if permitted.

The five main sections of the test are scored by the number of correct answers, without any extra penalty for incorrect answers. In other words, it is to the test-taker’s advantage to answer every question. If answer choices can be narrowed down, odds of answering correctly will improve.

The best way to prepare for the LSAT, in the opinion of the College advisors, is to take sample tests as often as possible. A complete practice test is available online from LSAC, and sets of actual past LSAT exams may be purchased from LSAC. It is best to use a timer while taking these sample tests, because time pressure is an important factor. Score results and identify weak areas to help focus further study. Many commercial test-prep books are available in the UNO library and from local bookstores. Companies and universities in the local area also offer commercial test preparation courses for a fee.

Most students find that a basic logic or critical reasoning course is extremely helpful preparation for the Logical Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning portions of the exam. A quick review of the difference between valid and invalid arguments, and the main types of fallacies, can also be helpful. This information can be found many university websites (search for critical reasoning, fallacies, argument validity, and related keywords). Other courses that emphasize quantitative and analytical reasoning can provide helpful training in general. Courses that emphasize careful reading and analysis of texts are helpful preparation for the Reading Comprehension section.