Studying for the LSAT is your job
- Oct 11, 2011
Today I want to discuss a key issue head-on that keeps many, many students from being successful on the LSAT. Over the summer, I’ve seen far more students than I would have liked see less success than they otherwise might have by not making the time commitment necessary for the LSAT.
I won’t belabor the point because most of our readers already know how important the LSAT is to law school admissions. The LSAT is worth roughly as much as your entire undergrad GPA. That means that it’s worth 4 times a year of study, 8 timees a semester of grades, 32 times a course (assuming 4 courses per semester), and 128 times as important as a paper (assuming 3 papers per course). Your mileage may vary, but any way you cut it this exam is critical.
Yet, even after we explain this to students, I keep seeing students under-prepare. There’s always a reason — a paper due, a work assignment, etc. Let’s be real — some people who study for the LSAT are just lazy (and probably won’t go on to a successful law school experience), but many more just leave the LSAT for last in their planning.
I think the reason why this is is that the LSAT has the longest feedback mechanism. While you get in trouble today for missing work or failing to turn in a paper, you don’t really get dinged for under-preparing until scores come back, and you don’t really feel the disadvantages of a lower LSAT score until your admissions and financial aid decisions come back.
The way to combat this, even for busy students, is to treat LSAT prep like a job. It should be blocked out on your calendar in big chunks, just like a shift at work or a college course. Then, you need to commit to treating it that way. Just like a shift at work, if you’re deathly ill you can call in sick. But you can’t call in sick because of great social opportunities, school work, or extra-curricular meetings.
There’s no way around it — students who prepare for the LSAT like it’s their job consistently get higher point gains, get into better schools, and get bigger aid packages. Make sure you’re one of them.
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