Top 5 Study Tips for the LSAT
The Law School Admissions Test, more commonly known as the LSAT, is a test that all law school applicants must take. You have never taken a test like this before. It is nothing like the ACT or SAT. So where do you begin when trying to prepare for this important test?
Everyone has to figure out what works best for them, but here are our top 5 study tips.
1. Begin by Taking a Full-Length Timed Practice Test
While this can be really stressful and intimidating, it is critical to start your studying by taking a full-length TIMED practice test. Just take a deep breath and do it. It’s daunting, but the payoff is huge. Once you have scored your timed practice test, you will have your “baseline score.” This tells you where you are at right now. It will also tell you which of the 3 types of questions you did better or worse on, so you can target your studying and practice where you need it most.
2. Make Time (Almost) Everyday to Study for Short Periods of Time
Studying for the LSAT is stressful and time-consuming. There are many different strategies with different timelines, but ultimately, you have to be very honest with yourself and figure out a study plan that works best for you to get you to the score you want.
Ideally, you want to begin preparing and studying at least four to six months before your registered test date. You may have to spend up to 300 hours studying.
But break it down. Start with just 2 – 3 hours the first two weeks in 30 – 45 minute increments a couple of days a week. The idea is to start with small bites. Then increase your studying by 30 – 60 minutes each week as you need, adding more days each week to your study plan. It is far more effective to study for 30 – 60 minutes a day throughout the week, instead of spending 8 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays (UGH!).
We strongly recommend that you actually SCHEDULE time to study. Put this in the calendar on your laptop. Program reminders into your phone. (And by the way, Applawz has a feature that helps you to do this.)
3. Take Advantage of Khan Academy and LawHub, and Then Supplement These with Additional Resources
Finding reliable materials to help you study can be a challenging part of taking the LSAT. You want to make sure that you are using the study resources and practice techniques that are the most useful for you.
The best place to start is Khan Academy LSAT Prep. These materials are endorsed by the LSAC and are the perfect place to start because they are FREE!! The next place to go is LawHub, which is included in your LSAC account. There are tons of free materials in LawHub, but you can also purchase an upgraded package for an additional cost.
However, the vast majority of people studying for the LSAT find that these resources are not enough to get them the score they want. So now you are facing the wild and woolly world of commercial LSAT prep resources and businesses. There are lots and lots of LSAT prep courses and tutors out there at a wide range of price points. Ultimately, you have to figure out what works for you.
One option that many successful applicants use is LSAT prep books. These books typically contain several full-length practice tests, along with tips and extensive advice about each of the 3 types of questions. There are TONS of books out there that can help you with general strategies for taking the test, in addition to containing lots and lots of practice questions. We suggest getting 2 or 3 books. Our Top 3 Books To Help You Ace the LSAT breaks down everything you need to know about the most popular books.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice…
The old saying “practice, practice, practice” has validity to it and is one of the most essential parts of studying for any exam.
In addition to focusing your studying and practicing on specific questions and question types, take a full-length timed practice test every 3 to 4 weeks. You will be able to see how your score is improving and which sections of the test are still giving you problems, and you can adjust your study time and content as needed. The LSAT is approximately 3 hours long, so it is important to get your mind “in shape” to sit and focus on difficult material for that amount of time. By using full-length timed practice tests, you will be able to master getting through the test.
Despite the importance of preparing for the LSAT, it is equally as important to give yourself time to relax. If you are not allowing your body and brain ample amounts of time to recharge and absorb the material you have studied, studying almost becomes pointless and you can get burned out really fast. Make sure you are giving yourself time to eat, sleep, and regroup when studying for the LSAT.