As you prepare for the LSAT, it’s important to realize what you do know and what you don’t know. Establish a touchstone before you begin your study preparation: Take an LSAT prep pre-test before you look over study aids, review content or spend time memorizing facts. Don’t dismiss a pre-test as a waste of time. A pre-test gives you a plan of attack for LSAT study by indicating your areas of strength and weakness. If you are tempted to review your study materials before taking the pre-test to improve your score, resist!
Don’t think of the pre-test as a ‘test’. The word ‘test’ conjures up fear of failure, a desire for a high grade, and a sense of competition. The LSAT prep pre-test is simply a self-assessment that reveals what you already know and what you don’t know. Skim the material you already know well. Focus your review on the material you have difficulty grasping. Avoid ‘cramming’ many facts, dates and extraneous bits of information. A better strategy is learning how to test well.
LSAC offers one free practice test on its Web site, or you can select from numerous commercially available LSAT pre-tests one that emulates both the structure and the content of the official LSAT. Ensure your selection includes an answer key that explains the answer thoroughly. Time yourself and try to keep your responses within 35 minutes per section. After you complete your pre-test and review the correct answers, you will know your areas of strength and weakness.
Set the LSAT pre-test aside and continue testing yourself in the areas where your performance is weakest. As you work thorough the sections, you will notice a variety of problem types. Take note of them. Familiarizing yourself with each problem type will help you in the long run. As you test yourself, set an alarm to beep when 30 minutes and 35 minutes have passed to help you gauge your time. With practice, you will gain confidence when approaching problematic areas, and will become sensitized to the passage of time.