Pre-law students nationwide culminated months of preparation and anxiety last Saturday, October 1, when they took the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), which is required by nearly every law school in the U.S. and Canada. Around 100 U of C undergrads typically sit for the October test—one of four yearly administrations of the test.
Consisting of five 35-minute multiple-choice sections and graded on a 120 to 180 point scale, the LSAT aims to test reading comprehension and logical and analytical reasoning. Louis Tremante, the pre-law advisor for the College, said the average score for U of C undergraduates is generally 10 points above the national average of 151.
“[The LSAT] is important,” Tremante said. “It’s an indicator of your first-year grades in law school and it’s a fairly accurate predictor.” He added that the test “is not an absolute predictor,” and that grade point average, personal statements, recommendations, and leadership shown in college are also important factors.
Students can choose from among a multitude of preparatory courses and practice books to help prepare. Tremante recommends that students spend one to two quarters preparing for the test and take only three academic classes during the time of their preparation. “But don’t assume you need to take a [preparatory] course,” Tremante said, advising students to try some practice exams first.
One fourth-year student who used practice books and took a prep course said she felt comfortable on Saturday. “[These preparation methods] can give you a confidence-booster,” said the student, who did not want her name printed. “Not everybody felt this way, but I thought [the test] was fun. I focused, and nothing catastrophic happened.”
With test results available later this month, students can only wait and hope for the best. “I’m not tying myself up in knots, but it’s hard to totally forget about it,” she said. “And I think I speak for most of the senior class when I say we’re busy.”