Brushing Up on the LSAT

Pre-Law students at SHSU have extensive resources to help them prepare for law school.  Apart from knowledgeable professors, simulated law classes, a Legal Studies minor, full-time pre-law advisors, and a Moot Court team, the LEAP Center also brings in Kaplan Testing each fall and spring to offer a Mock LSAT.

This spring’s test was offered on April 1st.  With 43 students signed up to take the test, the class was full.  That’s a lot of people to show up for five hours on a Saturday.

Pre-Law, Legal Studies, SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Kaplan, Mock LSAT SHSU

The test is enormously beneficial to students, and the LEAP Center recommends that pre-law students take the Mock test their freshmen year.  While no score on the mock LSAT determines a student’s future, students will need more time to study if their mock score is low.  Knowing that the additional study time is needed is a necessary part of preparing for the real thing.

Also, knowing the mean LSAT of TX Schools is also helpful, giving students a goal for which to shoot.

UT: 165
UH/Baylor/SMU: 160
TAMU: 156
St.Marys/STCL: 150
TSU/UNT: <148

A student who scores a 140 on the Mock LSAT has some studying to do, and that might be difficult if the student is a junior, with little time to prepare for the test.  Students who score lower than a 140 will need to think thoroughly about a plan for improving their score in the time they have before they take the real test.

Pre-Law, Legal Studies, SHSU, LEAP Center, Center for Law Engagement And Politics, Kaplan, Mock LSAT SHSU

And when should you take the real test?  A typical recommendation is to take the exam a year before you plan to enroll in law school.  If you are graduating in the Fall of 2019 and plan to enroll in law school that fall, you should have the exam completed by the end of 2018.

You can find more information about LEAP’s law-related activities (and other activities) here.

Mock LSAT: Prepping for the Real Thing

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.

Mock LSAT, Kaplan, SHSU, LEAP Center

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.

Mock LSAT, SHSU, Kaplan, LEAP Center

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.

On the Road to Success: LEAP Offers Mock LSAT

As it does every semester, the LEAP Center again collaborated with Kaplan testing to offer a free Mock LSAT, an opportunity for students to assess their performance on one of the keys to being admitted to law school.

The LSAT is a different test than the SAT or ACT because it tests different skills than what students were exposed to in high school and, to some extent, college.  It takes intelligence, grit, and a lot of practice for students to do sufficiently well to get into the school of their choice.

The LEAP Mock LSAT is traditionally offered from 9:30-2:00pm on a Saturday and this semester was no exception.  A bit before 9:30am, students began filing into the classroom, and we listened to Randy, our prep course instructor.  He was enthusiastic and charismatic, and he captured our attention as we learned how the Mock LSAT is structured.  The sections include: Logical Reasoning (2 such sections), Analytical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension.  The actual LSAT also has a writing section and an experimental section. Each section allows 35 minutes for completion.  And with that intro, we began.

If anyone were to look into that room at that moment, they would have seen 20+ students with their heads bent down, faces scrunched in extreme concentration.  As it turns out, Professor Yawn did exactly that…


Some were scribbling furiously, while others were staring intently at their paper. All of us were intensely focused, ready to take charge of this challenge. At the second to last section, we were able to take a 15 minute break, where we were provided chocolate chip cookies to give us some much needed energy. Once the 15 minutes were up, we were all energized and I was ready to start the exam again to finish the last section.

Finally, at around 2 p.m. we finished the last section. Randy then started to explain how to complete various questions from some of the toughest sections. He explained it in such a way that I could not believe I did not understand it the first time around.

It was time for the results. We all walked to the computer lab where we were able to receive the scores we got. Emotions varied with each score but everyone was happy that they had taken this test as it had bee worth it. Overall, I enjoyed the experience. Even though it was my second time taking it, the Mock LSAT still makes me nervous but by having the opportunity to take it before the real deal helps me feel more prepared. This experience has boosted my self-confidence and helped me make new goals for myself.

Law-School Preparation: Kaplan and the LEAP Center offer SHSU students Mock LSAT


Each semester, the LEAP Center partners with Kaplan Testing to offer SHSU students a Mock LSAT–a real LSAT test that provides students with an evaluation of their current performance on the test.  This semester, some 50 students took the practice test.


There were a couple of unusual factors about this semester’s exam.  First, Ryan Brim, a 15 year old, took the test, and he performed quite well.  In fact, he scored in the top half of the group.  Second, Jamey Portina, an SHSU freshman, scored a 175, probably the highest score ever recorded from an SHSU student.

The LEAP Center and Kaplan will offer another practice test in early February, followed by an LSAT Prep course on campus this spring.  The classes will take place on Tue and Thu, with the first class being Tue, March 17.  Students will attend two meetings a week through Thu, April 16.   This provides seven core learning classes of four hours each and three practice tests.  By offering such courses on SHSU’s campus, the LEAP Center hopes to provide students with the resources needed to improve their scores, build a network of aspiring lawyers, and promote education about the legal field.

Students who would like to sign up for the course should go to Kaplan’s website.  SHSU students will receive a discount.  Students interested in the discount or additional details may contact Kaplan’s Regional Manager Kayla Briel: