9 things to consider before taking the LSAT

1)    You can take the LSAT in another country

One little known tip is that students can actually take the LSAT in another country.  The LSAT is offered in: Canada, Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South America, and Mexico. Yes, you read that right- you can take the LSAT and then go travel around the Great Barrier Reef.  But why, might you ask, can you take the LSAT in another country?  You may live in another country and want to take the LSAT test or you may be a student doing a study abroad program and choose to take the LSAT.  If you are doing a study abroad program and you are serious about taking the LSAT and attending law school, dedicate the time and energy required for studying for the exam.  This definitely can be hard to do when you are in another country but it is an option.  And the registration fee is the same as if you were to take the exam in the United States.    

2)    You can take free practice LSAT tests from many prep providers

LSAT Preparation providers often offer free practice LSAT tests to students where students can get a feel for the tutor provider’s class.  Students can either attend an in-person class for a practice test or go online and take a free practice test from some of the larger providers.  The test will then be graded and you will receive feedback on your performance.  This will give you a great idea on whether you feel like this would be a good tutor for you.  Not all providers will have this option but pick your top two or three providers and make sure to inquire if they have a free practice test.  If they do - attend a couple of free practice tests so you can narrow down your choices of tutor providers!

3)    If you are a self-starter think about taking an online course

More and more students are turning to online program options for online law schools and online courses in general.  LSAT companies are also following the waves of online options and giving students more accessible options when it comes to online preparation providers.  Companies such as Next Step Test Prep and PowerScore Test Prep provide online course options.  This is a great option for students and many students prefer to study for the LSAT in the privacy of their own home.  Just remember that online courses are great if you are disciplined.  Make sure to set aside adequate study time and limit distractions when taking online course

4)    Online courses are cheaper than in class options

With the increased prevalence of the internet, students are opting for study materials in a way that works for them.  Online course options don’t require the necessary overhead that in person classes have.  With that lack of overhead (building rent, etc.) online classes are often cheaper than in person classes.  Online tutoring for the LSAT can even go so low as $75 an hour while an in person class can charge around sometimes $900 for a course.    

5)    Make sure to also consider the benefits of an in person class

There are still a lot of benefits when it comes to taking an in-person prep class.  The most important thing in choosing online versus in-person is to know thyself.  In-person classes work great for those people who like structure, like to be around others, and need some study buddies.  If you find that you like waking up and going somewhere to study then you want to sign for up for an in person LSAT prep class. 

6)    The LSAC has a fee waiver

To take the LSAT a student has to pay $175 for registration.  However, the LSAC established the fee waiver program in 1968 to try to allow people who have an inability to pay for the LSAT to take the test without having to pay the registration fee.  The LSAC does point out that these costs are only a fraction of the cost of a legal education and that only those with extreme need should apply. To be considered for an LSAT fee waiver a potential student must:  be a US, Canadian, or Australian citizen; be a US national; be a permanent resident alien of the United States with an Alien Registration Receipt Card (I–151 or I–551); have been granted deferred action under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); or have applied for deferred action under DACA.If you think that you may qualify for a fee waiver visit the LSAC at: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/fee-waivers

7)    Get it right the first time

Students sometimes think – hey, I can take the LSAT again so it doesn’t matter if I screw up the first one up right?  Wrong.  You should aim to get the highest LSAT score right on your first (and hopefully only) try.  The reason that you want to take the LSAT one time is first, because it’s expensive (who wants to spend another $175 for no reason?), second because a minority of schools average the scores, and third it is extremely exhausting to study for the test.    You want to know if you are applying to a school that averages your test scores because it may not make that much of a difference for you to take the test again if they do.  For instance: if you get a 150 and then a 160 then the average will be a 155.  This provides a huge difference because a 160 may land you a better scholarship at a lower ranking school or provide you attendance into the school you really wanted to get into.  A 155 may not get you as much money or not get you into some schools that you would have otherwise wanted.  What if you had just taken the LSAT only once and studied for the test really hard the first time.  You would saved yourself $175 dollars and the time studying for the exam.  Save yourself the money, time for studying, and hassle.  Try to take the LSAT only once.    

8)    The LSAT provides accommodations

If you observe the Saturday Sabbath the LSAC provides accommodations for taking the test on different days.  This is an alternative for each testing period.    For those students who wish to apply to law school only in Puerto Rico, the LSAC offers the LSAT in Spanish as an alternative.However, the LSAT offered in Spanish is offered only on limited dates.  If you are choosing to take the LSAT test in Spanish make sure you register early.  For instance, the next LSAT offered in Spanish is offered on November 21, 2015 and is offered in Puerto Rico only. Visit: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines/2015-2016/us-canada-dec

9)    LLM students do not necessarily have to take the LSAT and have great resources!

LLM programs are offered by US and Canadian law schools for international students who want to gain global credentials.  A degree in law is the first requirement and JDs can also consider this advanced degree.  So for potential foreign LLM students you do not necessarily have to take the LSAT if you already have your first degree in law (please make sure to check with the LSAC for specific details).  In addition, if you are a potential LLM student there are a lot of services specifically geared to LLMs. There are Bar Programs such as the LLM Bar Exam program (for later on in your legal career) and forums for LLM students.  For instance, there will be an LLM Law School forum in New York City on October 17, 2015 in New York where students will have the opportunity to personally talk with representatives from ABA law schools.  Ask the school that you are considering what kinds of programs they have specifically geared for LLM students. 

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If you would like to attend the upcoming LLM conference in New York City you may visit the LSAC at: http://www.lsac.org/llm/choosing-a-law-school/meet-llm-reps Visit us at www.findmylawtutor.com for Help with LSAT Practice Problems and Tutoring, Law School Admissions and Assistance, and Bar Exam Preparation. Our website matches LSAT, Law School, and Bar Tutors with students and legal study materials– Providing Law Students with Help with Legal Exams.This information is for reference only.  Make sure to check with your potential providers and the LSAC for all information provided!  Good Luck!   

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