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Last updateWed, 11 Sep 2019 12pm

Politics

LSAT Prep Classes: What Advantages Do They Offer?

As a prequisite for all law school applications, the LSAT is important in evaluating a student’s ability to place in the best legal program possible.

Many people believe that the LSAT is a test on the law; this is not the case. The LSAT is an exam that primarily tests one’s skills in logical thinking and critical analysis.

With “Logic games,” logical reasoning, and reading comprehension, the test focuses on three main sections in addition to a writing sample and an experimental section, and is scored from 130 (lowest) to 180 (perfect). As the test draws closer, many students have a myriad of questions regarding how anyone should prepare for the LSAT. Generally, there is no specific time one should begin preparation. Many students begin their training at different times before test-day.

The most popular test dates are in June and October, according to Dr. Gregroy Bordelon, lecturer of the political science department and the pre-law advisor for students at the University. Bordelon explains there are several reasons he pushes for students to take the LSAT in June.

“First, the June test will allow a reportable score to come back before the fall semester of the student’s senior year starts and that way, the student has more time to realistically research law schools, look at historical LSAT scores of those schools prior admitting classes, speak often with their pre-law advisor, and really do their homework on whether law is for them.”

Bordelon continued, “The June test puts students in the most attractive position with a highly selective process known as early admit decisions where some of the more elite schools open up a few seats for potential candidates before regular admissions decisions begin.”

“If the student would have to take the LSAT over [which, if they prepare the way they should the first time around, hopefully not!], they could in October without getting too deep into the admissions cycle to lose a competitive status,” said Bordelon.

He goes on to explain that achieving success on the LSAT is differently than other exams.

“Success on the LSAT comes from being able to spot the question types and managing the question prompts and answer selections – all under timed conditions.  These skills are what students need a regimented preparation period for,” said Bordelon.

The most popular form of LSAT preparation comes in the form of classroom instruction. With well-known companies like Kaplan, it is easy to gain the assistance of professionals who have, scored highly on the LSAT. Many believe the courses to be advantageous due to planned time the class provides. It forces students to contribute their time instead of procrastinating or neglecting their studies.

Senior political science student Lexi Todd, who is set to attend St. John’s University School of Law fall of 2014, attributes her success on the LSAT to the Kaplan course.

Todd said, “Kaplan’s prep course was extremely helpful in preparing for the LSAT. I took an eight-week course that met twice a week for three hours over the summer. The actual classroom experience was a major plus because it forced me to set aside time to study. The course ran up to about a month before the October test.”

Todd continued, “During that month, I continued to prep on my own with all of the practice material Kaplan had provided. Kaplan also has each student take multiple full-length and timed LSATs throughout the course to measure students’ progression. From start to finish, my score improved 12 points.”

The only visible drawback of the Kaplan course can be witnessed in its price. Running at $1,400 for the standard classroom course, a student may be more inclined to save money and prep independently. High price or not, it is important to note that Kaplan provides students with a guarantee and will provide free additional training to students unsatisfied with their initial score.

Although the Kaplan course is seen as a beneficial program by many, some students have faired successfully without the instruction of professionals.

Senior political science student, Frank D’Amore, contributed his success on the LSAT to his frequent reading.

“I put in a total of about ten hours of prep for the LSAT. When I did prep, I looked at LSAT questions and their answers and attempted to understand the reasoning in a way that made sense to me. I do not believe [the] Kaplan [course] would have been beneficial to me because they teach ways in which to understand the LSAT by their terms,” said D’Amore.

D’Amore continued, “However, I do think I could have benefitted from their lessons on logic games. That was my weakest section, and it is a bit more difficult to understand independent of instruction. I have always read, and I believe that was why the logical reasoning and reading comprehension came so naturally to me. You dissect those problems like you dissect any piece of literature,” said D’Amore.

Although Kaplan provides students with testing materials, it is easy to see that past tests and questions are easily available to students and can aid greatly in independent study.

With drawbacks on both fronts, there is no clear answer to the most beneficial method of LSAT prep. Individual preference dictates what will be most helpful for students to obtain the highest score possible. To gain a better understanding of what your preferences are and where to start, students should contact Bordelon or Dr. Enoch Nappen, who are the pre-law advisors at the University.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu