Monday, October 12, 2009

LSAT Experience (For those who took or are about to take the LSAT)

In my first blog post I promise to write about my LSAT test day experience, and while I was studying for the LSAT I would have loved to hear a first hand account... so here it goes.

When I first began contemplating the idea of law school I didn't have the faintest idea what the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) was. I had to learn all about LSAC (Law School Admission Council and the CRS (Credential Referral Service), but enough with the acronyms. I learned that the LSAT is a hellacious test that forces your mind to process huge amounts of data in a very short period of time. I found that I could easily get all of the answers correct if I had an hour for each of the five sections, but you only get 35 minutes a piece. I bought the Powerscore bibles ( and the the three published LSAC books of Preptests and went to work.

I started in June by reading through and taking notes on the bibles. About mid July I began going through timed individual sections of the preptests, and by the end of August I began taking tests. Now campus is basically deserted during the summer, so I would go on campus at 8:00 in the morning (to simulate the actual testing time) and connect my laptop to a projector in the business school. Using the LSAT Proctor dvd, I would take the tests. This was a godsend for me because it allowed me to actually focus on the test rather than my wrist watch. I kept this up throughout September and was actually relieved come test day that the grind was over. I did almost thirty complete timed tests...

Now the test was on a Saturday, so on Friday my Dad took the day off from work and we went hiking up at Sunrise (Mt. Rainier). We hiked the Burroughs trail, which I highly recommend. Aside from the sheer beauty of the scenery and the pleasure of breathing fresh mountain air, the hike served as a nice getaway from it all to get a little perspective on life. I would highly recommend some sort of getaway the day before the test. DO NOT STUDY! You need as much mental stamina as you can get on test day, and studying the day before can only hurt you. Get your mind right for christ's sake!

The night before I got my one gallon zip lock bag full of testing materials put together. I set two alarms, put in some ear plugs (greek row is noisy during the summer), and struggled through a night of restless sleep. I woke up early the next morning and had my normal breakfast. Do not make yourselves a huge breakfast! Your nerves will get the better of you, and you may end up regretting that four egg ham and cheese omelet. Now, LSAC suggests that you leave a half hour early to make sure you get there on time. For some reason I interpreted this as 'leave a half hour before I am supposed to arrive'. So although I arrived at 8:15 for an 8:30 test, I was one of the last people to get into the check in line.

Now I took my test at Kane Hall at UW, which has huge auditoriums for our notorious 400 person freshman lectures. We had to turn out our pockets and reveal the contents of our zip lock bag before entering the testing room, which I didn't get into until after 9:00. At the check in desk they made me sign my ticket, and then I went up to my seat. After everyone was seated the staff came around and fingerprinted us before reading the testing instructions and handing out the test. We filled out our personal information on our answer sheets and began potentially the most important test of our lives, or so it feels like.

Some interesting notes: At break there was a mad dash of hundreds of test takers for a single bathroom with two stalls. I had to go to another building, which was a bit unexpected...

There weren't really any big disturbances during the test, although people sporadically had to leave for a bathroom break. Train your bladders and hold off on that second cup of coffee!

I hope that helps, and please feel free to contact me with any questions!


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