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Friday, October 23, 2020

Academics & Research

Law students prepare for crucial exam


The UH Law Center O’Quinn Library is home to where many students study to prepare for the LSAT exam. | Wikimedia Commons

Students have been studying up to 15 hours per week in preparation for the Law School Admissions Test, a critical step of their law school application, administered at locations nationwide on Saturday.

The LSAT is a standardized test administered by the Law School Admissions Council four times a year. It is required by all American Bar Association approved law schools as part of students’ admissions criteria, according to the LSAC website.

It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use in assessing applicants.

The LSAT contains five 35-minute sections with 22-27 questions each and one 35-minute writing section. It is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for law school.

“To me the hardest part is the time,” political science senior Melanie Girald said. “There are ways to cut down on time; you just have to find the right strategy and become comfortable with it.”

Some students such as Girald opt to take the exam more than one time in order to improve their score the second time around.

She took a prep course at first, but now she is studying on her own and with a friend.

“We’re going to be timing one another, and it’s easy because if you have any issues or questions, you can clear it up with that person who might understand something that you don’t,” Girald said.

Girald said she suggests to not take the exam lightly. There isn’t anything that can take the place of that score.

Political science senior Natasha Belisle began studying on her own over the summer for the test, but then began a prep course in late August.

“It was really frustrating and confusing (to) study on my own,” Belisle said. “Nothing that you take in undergrad will be able to help you prepare for this exam.”

Belisle began studying three hours per week but in the two weeks before the test she studied about three hours per day.

Students thinking about taking it should plan ahead of time, Belisle said. Many students plan to take it for the first time in October or December, but it may not give them enough time to retake it if necessary.

Students taking the LSAT this week will receive their scores back in three weeks. Belisle like most students plans on taking it easy Friday and then celebrating afterward.

Sociology senior Keiisha Pillai scored in the 95th percentile and said she doesn’t plan on taking it again.

“Dream big. There’s no shame in shooting for the highest,” Pillai said. “Whatever happens, know it’s going to be OK and that despite everything, it doesn’t define you.”


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