The LSAT is a rite of passage for any college student applying to a law school, but what does it actually test? It won’t determine if you’ll be an effective lawyer—that will come with time and practice—but it can show your odds at succeeding at your chosen school. The LSAT tests the skills you’ll need to succeed in law school, including reading and analyzing passages, finding relationships between different texts and case studies, and evaluating the strength and logic of arguments.
A lot of information is covered on the LSAT, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed while studying the material. Instead of relying on a traditional study plan, there are some unconventional ways that you can hone the skills you’ll need to tackle the LSAT. After researching LSAT registration and dates information and solidifying your plans, why not try one of these four nontraditional ways to prepare for the LSAT?
Read the Op-Eds
One of the most important jobs of any attorney in a trial setting is persuasively arguing for their client. That’s why reading opinion and editorial pieces in newspapers and news websites can help an aspiring attorney hone their skills before taking the LSAT. These pieces are designed to defend a political or social position and convince the reader to reject the other side.
Reading and analyzing these pieces can give you valuable experience in identifying the core argument and themes, verifying the core claims they’re making, and identifying common logical errors passionate advocates make.
Listen to Podcasts
If you need a break from reading after a long day of studying, you can continue to boost your reading comprehension skills while giving your eyes a rest. Listening to relevant podcasts introduces you to concepts that may be covered on the LSAT, and like op-eds, they usually make an argument you can analyze. The best part is, you can listen to podcasts while driving or working out, keeping your hands and eyes free as you absorb knowledge.
There is no shortage of informative podcasts out there, but a student studying for the LSAT may want to focus on a few well-suited ones. Stuff You Should Know specializes in discussing natural and human affairs, with many episodes touching on legal topics. This American Life has a focus on current events and ongoing legal battles. More Perfect looks at both famous and less-known Supreme Court cases and is ideal for in-depth legal analysis.
Read Dense Literature
Reading more may be the last thing an LSAT student poring over a study guide wants to think about, but sitting down with a complex novel can be a secret weapon in your corner when you take the test. When you read a book filled with characters and plot twists, you’re committing the events to your memory. The more you read and focus on the fictional world you’re visiting, the more your mind gets used to absorbing and keeping track of the information.
To get the most out of your novel, it’s best to follow the same practices you use when studying. Find a distraction-free environment and turn off your phone so you can fully concentrate on your book without being abruptly pulled out of your reading.
While many textbooks offer a grounding in the logic the LSAT uses, studies have shown that many students get the most benefit from unconventional sources. Reading books on classic philosophy or studying math texts that require you to think through extended problems can give your mind more flexibility that will help on test day. The LSAT is known for throwing curveballs, and studying various material types can give you a leg-up.
There are around 100 multiple-choice questions on the LSAT, and to get a high score, you’ll need to avoid spending too much time on one item. Training your mind for different logical challenges through diverse reading and interactive logic puzzles can help your mind stay limber as you face an unpredictable test.
Challenge Your Mind for a Low-Stress Test Day
Studying law texts and taking practice tests to gauge your knowledge is a critical part of preparing for the LSAT, but a more varied approach may be the key to high performance. Breaking up study sessions with other reading, podcasts, and puzzles can prevent burnout and expand your mind.
While every LSAT edition is different and there’s no way to guarantee you’ll study the right questions, coming into the test with a flexible mind and a diversity of knowledge is the best way to give yourself a leg up on your fellow applicants.