The Law School Admissions Test is a test like no other. There are four sections and one experimental section. The sections are Reading Comprehension (Reading), Logic Games (Games), and Logical Reasoning (Arguments). The argument section is tested twice.
While the LSAT certainly tests critically thinking, it also tests speed and performance under pressure. Being able to answer most of the questions accurately one thing; but being able to answer correctly within the allotted time limit is a whole different ball game.
The LSAT is not a memorization test; it is an aptitude test. Surely the best way to improve is to practice. At Ibis Prep we give each student a customized study calendar with built in practice test dates and tutoring sessions. It is impossible to improve an LSAT score overnight, instead, it takes diligence, regimentation, and accountability.
The most difficult section to improve is reading. This is because reading skills have been developed since early education, and the way the LSAT tests reading comprehension is not much different that students are used to seeing on the SAT, ACT, and other exams. The best way to improve is to practice going faster by doing timed passages. Remember that every paragraph has a purpose and the author usually gives clues to how he/she feels about the subject. Look for these words and quickly summarize each paragraph as you read. If you encounter an unfamiliar word, use context clues to guess what the word might mean and then move confidently forward with the definition. The goal is to simplify the passage. Lastly, the passages are intentionally boring. However, boredom is a state of mind and you have to convince yourself that you are generally interested in the topic. Read the passage quickly and for a basic understanding as if it were a new article on your favorite topic.
The arguments section is the most important because it comprises half of the exam. It is also the most similar to the type of thinking required in law school and in practice. There are many different types of arguments and the primary goal is diagnosing your strengths and weaknesses. If there is a certain type of argument you are getting consistently wrong (parallel reasoning, anyone?), then it is crucial to identify this weakness and practice these types of problems. As with anything, the goal is to make your strengths stronger and turn your weakness into strengths. As with every section on the LSAT, timing is a major issue and practice is the ultimate remedy. The arguments section successfully requires you to think like a lawyer.
The games section is the most notorious, but it is also the section where students can see the most improvement. The reason is because the problems are not particularly hard, they are just unfamiliar. Developing a strategy for games and consistently practicing that strategy is the guaranteed recipe for success. The games section is akin to jigsaw or Soduku puzzles. It does not require a genius to master; only someone committed to mastery. Games are the best because the answers are objective. Once you become a master you can take satisfaction in knowing that your answers are always correct because they are mathematical. In fact, they become FUN!
Improving your score on the LSAT is not easy but it is certainly achievable. At Ibis Prep we have helped students improve their scores by over 20 points. However, there is no magic formula, except for self-study, 1 on 1 tutoring, and scheduled practice exams. Reach out to Ibis today to schedule a free consultation and design your own custom LSAT study calendar!