Practicing LSAT Writing
The best way to practice LSAT Writing is through LSAC’s LawHub, which offers a single real prompt with the same interface you’ll use on test day. After you take that, you can pick an LSAT Writing prompt from a PrepTest or go through the prompts in this class (which come from PrepTests 79 through 86). I recommend that you paste the prompts into a word processor, set a timer for thirty-five minutes, and start writing. Try not to read the prompt as you copy them. When you’re done, you can take a look at how I answered the same prompt under test conditions.
Don’t Cheat and Don’t Start Over
If you’re taking a practice exam, you might be tempted to pause your timer, write past the thirty-five-minute mark, or otherwise cheat. Don’t do that! If you don’t follow the rules when you practice, you’re not really practicing! Cheating here means cheating yourself out of a valuable lesson.
One more thing: if you find yourself dismayed by your progress on the practice essay—if you realize that you took too long to outline, that you’re not going to finish, that your argument makes no sense—don’t start over. Recovering from a rocky start is one of the most important skills you can practice. You might flounder at the beginning of the real exam, so you should teach yourself how to push through.
Making a Practice Schedule
I recommend taking at least three LSAT Writing exams: one to see what happens, the next to try a new technique, and the third to cement your approach. (You can, of course, take more than three practice tests, and might well benefit from it.)
1. The See-What-Happens Test
Don’t overthink your first practice LSAT: just, you know, see what happens. The key to improving is reviewing your essay when the timer runs out.
Is your argument simple and strong? Did you incorporate most of the facts? Did you rush the ending? Did you have time for any revision? If not, is your essay full of typos? If so, did your revision improve the essay, or did you introduce new errors?
If you found yourself running out of time, you might try spending less time on your outline or simplifying your argument structure. If you finished with time to spare but didn’t incorporate most of the facts, you might try spending more time on the outline. Adjust your approach and try again.
2. The Try-a-New-Technique Test
Review the lessons of your first practice test right before you take your second one: you want them fresh in your mind.
Take another test. When you’re done, you should evaluate as before. Remember that taking a practice test does not itself lead to improvement. The reflection that follows is what lets you learn, adjust, and improve.
If you’re still not satisfied with your essay, you should adjust your technique and repeat this step.
3. The Cement-Your-Technique Test
After you’ve taken at least one writing exam with a satisfactory result, you should try to repeat your success. Writing an LSAT essay will never feel as procedural as solving a Logic Game, but it will begin to feel more routine, and you will get better at it.
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