Ann Levine, Law School Admissions Test Expert

Ann LevinePreparing to take the Law School Admissions Test, or LSAT, can be one of the most daunting tasks one faces before applying to law school. We exchanged emails with Ann K. Levine, Esq., a law school admissions expert who was gracious enough to give us some insight into LSAT preparation.

Having graduated magna cum laude from law school and then serving as director of admissions for two ABA law schools, Ann founded Law School Expert in 2004 and since then has helped thousands of students gain admission to top law schools across the country. Ann’s Law School Expert blog is one of the web’s most popular blogs on law school admission, having been read by more than 90,000 prospective law school students in 2008. Ann also is the author of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.

The LSAT, Ann says, is a vital application component, as it is the only objective criteria a law school admissions officer has when evaluating and comparing applicants. The importance of a good LSAT score justifies “the time and expense applicants should plan to invest in reaching the best score for their aptitude.”
Ann says that taking the test without consistent preparation is the biggest mistake an LSAT candidate can make.

That said, Ann recommends test candidates spend two to three months preparing for the exam, as it allows enough time for people to become consistent within three to five points in their practice test scores.

How one prepares depends on each individual. “If you generally do fine with standardized tests and just need some guidance and discipline, and you have the time to attend classes regularly, a standard eight-week commercial prep course is probably a good option,” Ann says.

Ann notes that there are online options that LSAT takers may find less expensive or more accommodating to their schedule, such as Knewton Test Prep and, as well as tutoring services through Inspirica, Advantage Testing and Ann says that tutoring can be great as a supplement to both classes and self-study programs, as they can target specific areas of study in which students need improvement.

The LSAT is offered every year during June, September, December and February. Ann recommends the June LSAT because scores are returned early enough for students to register for the September exam if they are unhappy with their scores. A retake in September allows students to apply early and take advantage of rolling admission opportunities.

The night before the LSAT, Ann suggests candidates stop studying and clear their minds. “Remove the fear of ‘score stigma’ and just go in with the mindset of proving what you can do,” she says.

Finally, Ann notes that the LSAT is “a totally different beast than the Bar” and preparation is very different. While the LSAT measures aptitude, the Bar exam focuses on memorization and issue spotting. For the Bar, she recommends standard preparation courses such as Barbri and PMBR. “If you’ve made it through law school, you’ll be fine taking these courses and exercising self-discipline.”

Are you preparing for a legal exam? Take a look at’s LSAT Test Directory and Lawyer’s Exams Directory. For more information on the LSAT, read our LSAT Test Guide.


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