3 reasons your LSAT score isn't what you hoped

EDITOR's NOTE: This article was submitted by Allyson, an author and LSAT expert at Magoosh Test Prep.

Not getting the LSAT score you hoped for is disappointing. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. You just need to study again — more efficiently, more effectively — and you will see your score increase. Let’s take a look at three reasons your LSAT score wasn’t what you had hoped it would be so you can improve your score.

1.   You didn’t stick to an LSAT study schedule.

To get the score you want on the LSAT, you have to have an LSAT study plan in place. Most LSAT test takers should plan to follow a Three Month LSAT Study Schedule. Three months may seem like a long time to study for the LSAT, but most LSAT students see the greatest improvement in their scores with this amount of study time.  Since you probably studied for the LSAT before you took it, you may be thinking, “surely, I could get away with studying less than three months.” Wrong. If you didn’t get the LSAT score you wanted the first time, I’d recommend following the three month LSAT study plan.

And remember: you have to stick with the LSAT study plan. Give yourself time to learn the basics of each of the three sections of the LSAT, and then budget time to work on mastering these concepts through lots of practice. Practice is so crucial, I’ve included it below as the second reason you didn’t get the LSAT score you were hoping to get.

2.   Not enough timed practice.

Another reason your LSAT score may not be what you thought it would be is that you didn’t complete enough timed LSAT practice. This is a common mistake when studying for the LSAT. You likely spent a lot of time completing practice problems, but you didn’t time yourself while practicing. Then, on the day of the test you found you weren’t able to finish all, or any, sections on the LSAT. Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen again!

Knowing not only what to study, but how to study for the LSAT is crucial to getting the score you want. By learning How to Study for the LSAT, including completing timed practice, you can ensure that all of your study time will be well spent and effective.  A crucial part of studying for the LSAT is timed practice. You need to learn how to complete problems for each of the LSAT sections in the time you are given, and you need to know when you’ve spent too much time on a problem so you can move on. The key is to get as many points as you can, so you never want to get bogged down on any particular problem.

To make sure you raise your score on your next LSAT, commit to incorporating lots of timed practice into your LSAT studying. Start by completing one timed section of the LSAT at a time and work your way up to completing two or three timed sections in a row. As you’re completing these timed sections, complete each problem or question in the time you are allotted.

For example, each Logic Game should only take you about 8 minutes to complete. Keep an eye on your watch and make sure you keep yourself moving through the problems at the right pace. This will feel challenging at first, but over time, you’ll be flying through those LSAT problems in no time!

3. You didn’t complete enough LSAT practice tests.

A critical part of preparing for the LSAT is to complete full-length practice LSATs. Many students forget this step or don’t want to do it simply because the LSAT is so long. If you’re asking yourself just how long is the LSAT, the short answer is just under 4 hours. Finding the uninterrupted time to take a four hour long practice test isn’t going to be easy. But, it’s crucial for you to get the LSAT score that you want.

By taking full-length practice tests, you can mentally and physically prepare for a grueling four hour exam. While it’s great that you did well on one Logical Reasoning section, it doesn’t mean much if you can’t do it after an hour of Reading Comprehension and Logic Games.  Part of the key to success on the LSAT is endurance. You have to train your brain to do answer LSAT questions efficiently and correctly for an extended period of time. And the best way to do that? You guessed it: lots of LSAT practice tests.

There are two key places to find LSAT practice tests to take. First, you can find practice tests in most LSAT prep books. There are a lot of LSAT books out there, so be sure to choose one of the best LSAT prep books. These books will have not only a lot of practice tests for you to complete, but helpful explanations for you to review. Second, you can use LSAC’s free online practice test as part of your studying. So, find some four hour blocks on your calendar and get to practicing!

Takeaway

While it can be discouraging not to get the LSAT score you wanted, you should keep your head high and try again. By following the strategies outlined above and committing to additional LSAT practice, you’re sure to see your LSAT score increase. Good luck.

Allyson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and her JD from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been teaching and tutoring the LSAT since 2007, and loves helping students achieve their goals. She currently practices law in Austin, Texas. When she’s not helping students conquer the LSAT, she enjoys traveling, camping, and listening to live music.

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