Every semester, the LEAP Center offers a Mock LSAT, a chance for pre-law students to practice the most important test of their careers. The Mock test is an actual exam used by the LSAT in previous years, it is professionally scored by Kaplan, and students receive their scores the day they take it. The only difference from the real thing is that this one doesn’t count.
For many of the test-takers, that’s a good thing. The scores on the Mock LSAT tend to be low, primarily because we have a lot of people who are freshmen, sophomores, or otherwise unprepared for the test. But that’s a good thing, too. The LEAP Center encourages students to try the Mock LSAT as soon as possible, allowing them to see where they are in the preparation stage, and to have a better idea about how much time they will need to be ready for the real thing. Our advice is to prepare for the LSAT correctly, and to take it once.
Here is the LEAP Center’s suggested timeline:
- As early as possible, freshman year if possible: Take Mock LSAT
- Spring or Summer of Junior Year: Take LSAT Prep, if needed
- Summer of Junior Year/Fall of Senior Year: Take LSAT
The LSAT Prep course isn’t a panacea, and not all students will need to take it. But unless a student has the score they want to get into the school they are hoping for, or unless a student can study 12-16 hours a week without the discipline of meeting times and deadlines, then the LSAT prep is a reasonable option.
But an LSAT prep test isn’t likely to get a student from a 140 to a 160 (it’s been done, but it isn’t likely). But it might get a student from a 145 to a 152, and that’s the difference between going to Texas Southern University to going to Texas Tech, and that’s a big difference in terms of life and career opportunities.
For students with a score below a 140, particularly those who are a junior or senior, a year might not be sufficient to get the score you need. For those in this situation, a gap year should be considered, while a long-term plan for LSAT-prep is undertaken. For those who are scoring in the 160s, a good law school is already within reach, and it’s just a matter of how high you can climb.
But whatever the goals the student has, taking the Mock LSAT early on in his/her school career is to the student’s advantage.
The LEAP Center will likely offer another Mock LSAT in February 2017.