If you want to get into law school and ultimately become a lawyer, the first hurdle you will need to overcome is the law school admission test, otherwise known as the LSAT.
This exam is used to determine your suitability to study at all sorts of accredited institutions, with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) overseeing its development and implementation year after year.
Here is a look at the main things you should know about the LSAT before you go in, to give yourself the best chance of success when the big day arrives.
There are costs involved
Whether or not you actually achieve a passing mark in the exam, you will need to pay $165 to register upfront, along with up to $160 in extra fees applicable under current LSAC rules.
Being aware of all the LSAT info and cost implications is important because it will help you to appreciate just how important and pivotal the test will be. It is not something you should really take on a whim, but rather something you should prepare for thoroughly to avoid having to pay out for repeat attempts if you do not pass the first time around.
It is a timed test of two halves
Like many exams, you have a limited amount of time to complete the LSAT and there are actually two distinct parts, which in turn can be broken down into smaller segments.
The first is made up of five sections, each of which you will have 35 minutes to complete, with various skills scrutinized one by one. As well as being tested on your basic comprehension skills, you will also be put through your paces on analytical reasoning and logical reasoning.
The second section is just 35 minutes long and focuses on your writing, letting you take one of two positions on a problem presented to you and letting you argue the case behind your choice. This is all about exploring your prospects when it comes to wrangling an argument in your favor, regardless of the factors involved.
Because of the way the exam is structured, you need to be rigorous in your time keeping and make sure that you move on from segments at the right moments, rather than getting bogged down and thus leaving yourself with less time to focus on the later parts of the test.
Preparation is key
As hinted at earlier, unless you put in plenty of hard work ahead of the law school exam, your chances of passing with flying colors will be minimal.
Thankfully there are plenty of resources available online and you should endeavor to put yourself through practice exams. Practicing is beneficial for several reasons, chief amongst which being its ability to understand what kinds of questions you will face and also to allow you to overcome that gnawing dread that can arise in exam conditions when you are faced with a blank page and required to start writing.
If you want to go a step further, you can take a preparatory course that caters to people looking to take the LSAT. This will add extra upfront costs to the application process, but could save you splashing out on re-sits further down the line.
Balance studying with your social life
Before you forge ahead with your efforts to ace the LSAT, the final point to remember is that you should not allow your studies to take over your entire life, at the expense of your mental health and your personal relationships.
Being well prepared is a good thing, but overdoing it can leave you burnt out and in just as much trouble as someone who has not prepared at all. Instead a balanced approach will set you on the path to success.