Getting a perfect LSAT score, to be fair, is incredibly rare. According to data released by LSAC, only about 0.1% of all test takers earn a perfect 180 on the LSAT. It’s no easy feat to put yourself in that select group, so what are some of the things you can do to set yourself up for 180 success?
1. Commit your time to preparing.
Be honest with yourself about how much time you’re realistically willing to commit to studying for the LSAT. If you’re not able to give at least 10-15 hours per week to the test, while a great score is still possible, a perfect one will likely not be. Scoring a 180 requires serious diligence and compromise. You’ll need to carve out the time from your schedule and stick with it. That means prioritizing the LSAT over other obligations and putting some commitments on the backburner. Let your family and friends know about your goal to earn a perfect LSAT score so they’re aware that you won’t be as available in the coming months.
2. Understand the sections and their question types.
To earn a 180, you will need to master the basics behind the sections and their question types. What’s more, you should be familiar with the following types of games:
While a student who’s aiming for a decent (but not perfect) score can afford to master only the most common game types, someone who’s aiming for a 180 will need to master them all. Print out clean copies of the games and do them each day. Then redo them. And then redo them again.
For logical reasoning, you should spend the time to understand each LR question from every prep test released. That’s right – every prep test. Again, when you’re looking for a perfect score, you’ll need to be prepared for anything that LSAC may throw at you on test day. The best way to prepare yourself is to look at past questions. Be able to identify question types like point of contention, assumption, principle, and evaluate the argument questions as soon as you see them.
For reading comprehension, look out for main idea questions versus specific questions versus overall position or argument questions. Try supplementing your study efforts by reading dense texts like The Economist or Scientific American. Reading comprehension can be difficult to improve in, since so much of it is based on the foundational reading skills you’ve developed over your lifetime. Even so, getting reading practice with text-heavy materials can help you process information more efficiently and effectively.
3. Take real full-length, timed practice tests.
Never underestimate the value of taking real timed practice tests. They’re the best way to hone your pacing skills and get familiar with the questions you’ll see on test day. Focus on more recent tests over older tests, since the LSAT has changed in format over the years.
Take practice tests under test-day conditions. That means in a quiet (but not totally silent) environment. Don’t use your phone as your timer, since you won’t have your phone on test day. Stop when time is up. Make sure you’re using your answer sheet to fill out answers, rather than your test booklet. Using your test booklet will “pad” your timing, since it’s faster to circle test booklet answers than it is to fill out bubbles.
4. Be serious about reviewing your answers.
If you ran out of time on a section, or you got any questions incorrect on your practice test, review that section and those incorrect questions at least three times. You should know exactly where your timing went wrong and identify exactly what the issue was that caused you to choose the wrong answer. Redo the questions until you can do them correctly under timed conditions.
5. Take a prep course.
A prep course (like Magoosh’s online course, which now includes Official LSAT Prep Plus materials!) can take your score from mediocre to good, from good to great, and from great to outstanding. It’s challenging to make that kind of progress on your own, without the guidance and instruction of experienced teachers and test prep experts. And when you’re looking for nothing short of outstanding, you don’t want to leave your test prep to chance. Get the materials, tools, and support you’ll need to perform your best.