How to Prepare for the LSAT
By Josh Lamel
This past semester has been crazy for me. All of you out there
who have said, "I haven't seen you in a while," passing me on the
Hill every day, I hear you loud and clear. You see, I want to go to
law school, a good one too.
I began my investigation into law schools last spring and got
material from over thirty schools. To get into law school, one has
to take the LSATs, which is by far the most stressful experience I
have ever been through.
The LSATs contain five sections: two logic, one analytical, one
reading comprehension and an essay. They last almost four hours, but
require weeks of preparation. You see, LSAT scores are worth 50-75
percent of your total evaluation. One test composed of 101 multiple
choice questions and an essay counts up to three times as much as
every test, every final, every paper, every goddamn thing that one
does at Colgate. Think about how stressed you were for that midterm
last week, and imagine that stress combined with the rest of your
Colgate career, and you have only gotten to half of what I felt
leading to that fateful day on October 5.
The amazing thing about the test is that if you get below 75
percentile of all the people taking the test, you can kiss any hopes
of getting into even a middle-of-the-road law school good-bye. Below
60 percentile, and you've wasted all the time and money spent
preparing. It is amazing to think that 60 percent of all those who
have done well enough to consider going to law school watch their
dreams fade away because of 101 questions.
How tough is the process? Well, scoring in the 95th percentile on
the test is a score of 164 out of a possible 180. A 164 is
considered a good score. At the 17th ranked law school according to
U.S. News and World Report, it is only the average score of
Let's say that you got only three more questions wrong on the
test. That would give you a 161 and drop you down to a school ranked
in the mid thirties. In terms of average starting salaries from the
graduates of those schools, this is a difference of $20,000! Three
questions worth $20,000. The real world is really a game show.
Through the stress of the LSATs, I still have been doing my
school work. The first semester senior year grades are often used as
a deciding factor between candidates whose portfolios are otherwise
equal. They show where a candidate currently is academically, which
a cumulative G.P.A. does not do.
So the process continues for me, as I now have to do my
applications. Thirteen days from now, I will get my LSAT scores back
and begin to get an idea of where I am going next year. To all those
going through this hell of a process like I am, good luck. Just
think, it only gets worse from here. Next year is nicknamed "mental
boot camp." To those of you who are thinking of doing it in the
future, as bad as it is, I will probably look back on the past
couple months as a rewarding experience that has helped me grow as a
And for all of those who have been asking me where I've been, you
now know where. I just can't wait for next spring, where I can sit
back, put my name on a bar stool instead of a green chair in the
library, and smile.
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