How to Score 180 on LSAT
Can You Score a 180 on the LSAT?
When I read articles titled "How to Score 180 in LSAT," I find that they are written by some freak of nature that is unusually gifted, and that is why he or she was able to score 180 on the LSAT. In other words, their advice will mostly be inapplicable to you (assuming you are a normal human being who doesn't have the freakish ability to conquer the LSAT without tons of training and practice).
They usually say something like take a few practice tests and you will do fine. I am sorry to come clean on this, but for 99.99% of all people on this planet, and for 99% of LSAT takers, that strategy does not work.
The LSAT is intentionally a very tough test. The writers of the LSAT intentionally try to mislead you, and they write their questions to throw off even the best test takers. The LSAT incorporates difficult logic, very abstract ideas, and difficult language that test takers must sift through in very little time.
So the question you are asking is "Can I score 180 on the LSAT??" My response is, "YES YOU CAN!"
But for someone (most of us) to think that taking a few practice tests will help, is not the correct strategy. For 99% of us it will take a lot of focused and smart work and preparation.
What Should I do to Score 180 on the LSAT?
The LSAT is a VERY predictable test. It asks the same questions over and over and over again. Understanding the types of questions on the LSAT is key.
There are also common correct answer types and common incorrect answer types. You need to be very familiar with all the LSAT question types and patterns that LSAT writers use in the LSAT.
Along with this, you need to practice, practice, practice. Not just practice taking tests, but practice that helps you to recognize the question types, answer types, and patterns. Your practice should focus on your weaknesses so you can turn then into strengths, in other words everyone's strategy will be different. You need to recognize what works for you, and then come up with a plan.
You might need to practice understanding abstract ideas and language. One way to practice reading and extrapolating broad themes is to simply read the opinion section. In order for an exercise like this to work, you must actively read, you must practice identifying the topic of the article, the purpose of the article, its main idea, and the opinion of the author. This might help you practice you reading comprehension and active reading skills, both skills necessary to beat the LSAT.
You may need to practice your timing. What makes the LSAT so difficult is the time limit. The LSAT is a timed test, each section is 35 minutes, and you have to answer between 23 and 28 questions in that time.
For example, In the reading comprehension section, you have to read four passages and answer 27 or 28 questions. This can be very tough, especially since the test writers are very good at tricking you into picking the wrong choice.
You may also need to practice endurance. The total time of the LSAT is four to five hours long, and by the end of the LSAT you can be pretty tired. To practice this, the best strategy is likely to take an entire exam, but remember that endurance might not be the most important thing to practice. Also, when you do take an entire exam, I recommend that you review every correct answer and incorrect answer, to be sure that you are in fact mastering the questions.
Understanding the LSAT Question Types
The LSAT has three different sections: reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and logic games.Within each of these sections there are different types of questions.
You need to be familiar with the types of questions, how to approach them, and what correct answer choices look like. If you approach every question on the LSAT with an understanding of how to find the answer, you will save gobbles of time.
Its helpful to spend time only practicing the question types. Practice them over, and over, and over again. Be sure to review the correct answer choices so you know what you did wring.
The Kaplan LSAT course is a great course to take because they have every released LSAT and answers to every question. By reading their answers, you will find that you start to hear the answers in your head before you even read the answer choices, which helps tremendously when taking the LSAT under time constraints.
LSAT Timing Practice
Be sure to practice timing. Timing on the LSAT is key. Almost anyone could get a very high LSAT score if they had all the time in world to figure it out. But you will not. You may want to first practice answering individual LSAT questions and time each question.
Try to get them in the allotted time. For example, practice assumption questions by timing the question. After you answer it review the answer. You should be able to answer most questions in 1 minute and 20 seconds. In the logic games sections, practice doing a game in 8 and 45 seconds. In reading comprehension, try to complete reading passages in the allotted time.
I would again recommend the Kaplan course for this. Kaplan breaks down all the question types and makes it very easy to practice this. Over time, I found that some questions I was able to complete faster than others, so I would set goals for specific types of questions to try to get faster at each.
During the test not every logical reasoning question will take 1 minute and 20 seconds. The most important thing about this type of timing practice is that you start to feel when you have spent too much time on a question, and you can recognize that a question may take a long time. This will help you not to get stuck on a hard LSAT question that will eat up all your time.
Most test takers can complete most of the LSAT questions in good time but spend 3 or 4 minutes on one tough LSAT question placed in the middle, and they will miss out on easy LSAT questions at the end.
You also need to practice taking sections. Time yourself to see what pace you need to have to complete all the questions in 35 minutes.
Taking Entire LSAT Tests
It is good to sit down to take entire tests to be sure that you have the stamina to complete the end of the test as strong as the beginning or middle. The biggest mistake that students make when preparing to take the LSAT is that they take test, after test, after test. This is very easy to do because it is instant gratification, you sit down, take the test, then see what you would get on the LSAT.
This was really tough for me because I was so driven by the LSAT score that I wanted to take tests just to see my score increase. I spent a lot of time preparing, and one week I took probably ten tests and each test I got worse and worse. I realized that those where not helping me at all without doing the other things I have mentioned in this article.
It is better to break down to questions and practice that, practice taking sections for timing, and then take an entire test maybe once or twice a week.
Of course, everyone is different, and everyone will have different approaches that work best for them, but for most students taking test after test will not help improve their LSAT score.
Kaplan LSAT Prep Books
Should I take a LSAT prep course??
Yes!!! You should take an LSAT preparation course. Using books is good, but a course can really help you understand the LSAT questions.
Everyone learns different, and you will know what is best for you. I used LSAT books from Princeton Review and Kaplan. Then I took a Kaplan LSAT Prep Course, which I would recommend.
I first took the classroom course, which was not that good for me. It was nice to have a teacher, but the course was kind of slow at times, and I felt I could have been more productive on my own. Other students loved it and needed a real teacher to explain and clarify.
The great thing about the Kaplan course is their online resources. After I took the classroom Kaplan, which was like $1200, I took the on demand online class (for me it was free), but it only costs like $400. I wish I would have done that to start with.
Both LSAT courses give you a ton of materials which include a book with only reading comprehension questions, a book with only logic games, a book with only logical reasoning questions, and a book with only entire tests. You also get LSAT lesson books and access to every LSAT released. They teach you all the things you should know about the LSAT and it is worth every penny.
There are other LSAT courses that may be just as good or even better, but do your research and be sure that it provides you with the training and materials that will help you success on the LSAT.
Will I get a 180??
That depends on you. To start, you should take an official LSAT as a practice test to figure how far away from it you are. I hate to admit this but the very first LSAT practice test I took I scored a whopping 123! There was a free test offered on campus so I went and took it, it was one year before I actually took the test. When the lady pulled my score out I saw her look at it and her eyes got big. I could tell she was thinking something like, "this guy is definitely not going to law school." I was totally dejected. I was usually a great test taker, I thought, "what happened?" But I did not let it get me down, it motivated me even more.
I prepared for the LSAT probably over 600 hours. Most of the students that I know who did very well on the LSAT, including those who scored a 180, did not put in nearly as many hours as I did into preparation. Most of them just took a practice test and showed up. Their brains are naturally wired to succeed on the LSAT, most people's, however, are not.
The last month before I took the LSAT, I spend 70 hours a week preparing for the LSAT. Many people will not be able to do that, and most people will not need to do that, but without that kind of prep, 99% of us will not be able to score that high on the LSAT.
Be sure to take time to relax and try to remember that there is no pressure if you have prepared well. You do not want to get burned out. The last day before the LSAT, I realized that what's done was done, I that could do no more at that point, so I went to a movie, then went home and watched a few more movies. I was so refreshed after that and I felt so good when I took the LSAT the next morning.
So take it from me, you can score a 180 (or at least score the score that you need to get into the school that you hope to attend). But remember everything I wrote is from my experience, I am not a teacher, and I have not had extensive experience working with other students, this is only from my experience. In other words this article is biased, so take it all with a grain of salt and do what works best for you! Good Luck!
More by this Author
Selling a car on craigslist can be a tough thing to do. This article tries to give some tips to help you ensure that you sell your car in your time frame, at your price, and safely. Learn tips to help you sell a car on...