Should I Take an LSAT Prep Class?

Tiffany Sanders, J.D. LSAT Test Prep Leave a Comment

yes-noIn a nutshell…yes.

Of course there are exceptions, but generally speaking, an LSAT prep class will help (if you take it seriously), and your LSAT score is a very important piece of your law school application. At most schools, your LSAT score carries more weight than the GPA it took you our years to attain, so it only makes sense to invest in your score.

I have to admit that when I was in college and applying to law school, I thought LSAT prep classes (and all standardized test preparation classes) were a joke. I’d always been a strong standardized test taker and so I thought (and perhaps wanted to think) that testing was a “you’ve got it or you don’t” proposition. It worked out for me: I scored in the 96th percentile with no preparation at all except for the practice test in the registration booklet. I thought that proved my point, but years later when I got involved in the standardized testing industry, I learned three things about LSAT prep:

  • Many of the things I did intuitively weren’t intuitive to most test-takers;
  • Those test-taking strategies that a few of us were born with could be taught–to just about anyone who was willing to put in the effort; and
  • Even starting at the 96th percentile, I had valuable things to learn.

If you’re thinking right now “I’ve just never been good at standardized tests,” stop and shake off that mentality. You can be, once you understand how to break down a test like the LSAT. 

If you’re thinking, “I scored a 30 on the ACT without any prep–I don’t need an LSAT prep class,” take a practice test. Take it under timed conditions, all in one sitting, and see how you score. Look at the schools you’re interested in and consider where you fall on their admissions spectrum. If you scored a 176 on an actual released LSAT exam and you can do it again in a few weeks with a different actual released LSAT (the more recent the better–the test is slowly evolving), then I’ll agree that you don’t need a class. If you scored in the 90th percentile, I’ll tell you from experience that you can improve–and from statistics that at some schools, the difference between the 90th and 95th percentiles is vast.

Image courtesy *_Abhi_*

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