Don’t be LAST to take the LSAT: Start Early!
Calling all my future lawyers: are you interested in law school? If so, this article dives into preparing for the inevitable and dreaded Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as an undergraduate. As a rising junior in college, I have decided to study for a test most people wait to study for until their senior year or after. Why wait? Starting early allows you to plan out your studying and take your LSAT before your senior year.
Some people think the best time to take the LSAT is post-college because they will be better equipped to take the test; however, I can attest to the fact that this is a faulty assumption. If your plan is to jump right from undergraduate to graduate school, then studying for the LSAT after your college graduation creates an extremely crunched and stressful study period. Studying for this test takes approximately three months full of migraines and extra-large cups of coffee. Instead of relaxing, traveling, or spending time with friends and family during the summer before law school, you will be cooped up in your room trying to understand logic games.
On the other hand, if you plan out your studying schedule early, you open up the door to numerous test date availability, study abroad opportunities for later summers, and a much less stressful study routine. Studying for and taking the test early does not put you at a deficit as the LSAT is a learnable test that does not truly relate to the courses you take in college. So begin studying early so that you have a firm understanding of the material.
Law school applications typically open between the end of August to the start of October. The caveat is most law schools have rolling admissions, meaning reviews and decisions are made as applications come in, not after the application deadline. Waiting can be detrimental to your acceptance. Law school classes have an extremely exclusive and specific number of spots. If admission offices fill those spots before your application comes in, then you must wait until the next year to apply. Similarly, applying later in the admission period is much more competitive as you are vying for limited remaining seats.
In order to combat the admission process, you can take the LSAT early. I suggest taking your LSAT the summer before your junior or senior year of college. This way, you can get your score back well before the application period opens, and it also gives you time to retake the test if you are unsatisfied with your score.
I am not a great standardized test taker. Seriously, they present one of my biggest obstacles in my education and pursing graduate school as well. However, by strategically planning out my studying for the LSAT and taking it early, I am more confident in my abilities to take on this standardized and required test. More than that, I am able to put myself in the best position possible to get into the school of my dreams. I hope that you will be able to do so as well by implementing the strategy of studying early and planning out when to take your LSAT.
Pearson Students: What are your tips for acing standardized tests?