Authored By: Dave Evangelisti
How to Study for the LSAT

Studying for the LSAT can become very overwhelming. The exam is high-stakes and students have a ton riding on it. Learn how to study for the LSAT with our complete guide below.

When preparing for the LSAT, it is generally recommended that you spend between 200 and 300 total hours of study time. While this may seem overwhelming, following our LSAT tips will help make the LSAT studying process smoother.

As with any standardized exam, studying will take time and effort. Time is the most important thing you can give yourself when preparing for the LSAT. If you are cramming to get all of your LSAT studying in 1 week before the exam, you may not do as well as you would like.

Summary: Learn the best ways to study for the LSAT by using our LSAT tips and strategies. If you want more help, consider using one of our top rated LSAT prep courses to help study.

How to Prepare for the LSAT

Prepping for the LSAT involves a lot of different components, with time being one of the most important things you can have on your side. Review some things our team recommends when studying for the LSAT.

1. Sign-Up for the LSAT

The first thing you should do is register for the LSAT. This is a surprisingly important step as this directly effects the amount of time you will have to study for the LSAT.

Pick a LSAT test date that gives you enough time to study. Remember, it is generally recommended that you spend between 200 to 300 hours of time studying for the LSAT. If you are able to spend 20 hours per week, this will put you at 240 total hours after 3 months time.

Some students may require more or less time, depending on how many hours they can dedicate to prepping for the LSAT each week.

Keep in mind that your desired law school may have a cutoff date for submitting scores, so check with your individual school for that information.

2. Choose How You Will Study for the LSAT

Choosing how to study for the LSAT is an important decision for students. There are 4 main options that students choose when preparing for the LSAT:

  1. Self-Studying
  2. Prep Course
  3. Tutoring
  4. Combination of These

Self-Studying

The option you choose will depend on you and your specific needs. Some students may have the discipline to self-study using LSAT prep books and other resources they can find. You may find yourself spending extra time gathering the proper resources to use to study for the LSAT, but you will definitely save some money.

If you are choosing to self-study, consider signing up for LSAT Prep Plus from LSAC – this costs $99 and gives you access to 70+ official practice tests.

Prep Courses

Many students will purchase a prep course. There are many different options out there. Most options will include some combination of practice tests, practice questions, lecture videos, lecture slides, textbooks, and more.

If you want to be guided through your LSAT studies, we recommend using a prep course. Many courses included detailed LSAT study schedules and will guide you through their course day by day. This is great for students who have trouble staying on track and keeping pace.

Since there are so many options out there, our team reviewed the best LSAT prep courses for you and provided you with screenshots of the actual courses.

Tutoring

This LSAT study option is a step-up from prep courses. This would include working with an expert in a 1-on-1 or small group setting. This option is going to be the most expensive but will likely produce great results.

Working with an expert in a 1-on-1 or small group setting will ensure you are getting personalized prep recommendations and the individual attention you need. This option is great for students who want the most personalized LSAT study method.

We reviewed the best LSAT tutors to help students learn more about some of their different options.

Combination of the Above

Many students may combine the above options to meet their LSAT study needs. Some students may choose to self-study but find they are having trouble staying on track, so will purchase a prep course.

Some students may purchase a prep course but find they are having trouble studying for the logic games portion of the exam, so they decide to purchase a small block of tutor hours.

There is not a one-size fits all solution. You need to choose what you think will work best for you and your individual needs.

3. Set a LSAT Study Schedule

One of the best ways to study for the LSAT includes setting a study schedule and sticking to it. As we have stated above, time is the most important thing you can give yourself.

First, determine how many hours per week you can dedicate to your LSAT studies. Make sure the number of hours per week adds up to roughly 200-300 total hours by the time you need to take your exam.

Once you have the number of hours per week you can dedicate to studying, allocate those hours to specific days (and times) of the week.

For example, lets say you decide you can spend 20 hours per week. You decide you do not want to study on Saturdays or Sundays. This leaves you with 4 hours of studying for the 5 days of the week.

If possible, take this a step further and plan out the specific hours of the day you will spend studying. If you can get in a routine, it will make studying for the LSAT easier and less overwhelming. You can use an online calendar or planner to help keep track of everything digitally.

If you decide to take the LSAT prep course route when prepping for the LSAT, your course will most likely include a detailed study schedule and track everything for you.

4. Take a Diagnostic Exam

Setting a benchmark before you start studying is very beneficial. Not only will this help you identify where you are starting from, it will also help you identify areas that you struggle with the most.

Many students fail to take a practice exam before they begin their studies. They may take a practice exam after they study and be discouraged with their score – however, since they never took a diagnostic exam, they have no idea if they have improved or not.

Odds are their score has improved since they began studying, but they do not know this since they never got a benchmark. Getting a benchmark score can do wonders for you confidence as you continue to learn and improve.

Consider taking a LSAT practice test that we offer to see some sample questions.

5. Check Progress with LSAT Practice Tests

One of the most important things to do when studying for the LSAT is to check your progress as you study. You can schedule in practice exams when you are making your LSAT schedule.

As you continue taking practice tests, you will be able to further narrow down which specific subjects you need to spend time studying for. This will help you study more efficiently and save time in the long run.

There is no “set” number of practice exams you should take before the real exam. It is recommended that you take as many practice exams as it takes for you to feel comfortable heading into the actual test. For some students this may be 3 practice exams, for other students it may be 6 practice exams – everyone is different.

LSAT Study Tips

Now that we went over how to prepare for the LSAT, let’s take a look at some LSAT study tips to help you succeed on your exam.

1. Analyze Your Weak Areas

As you progress through your studies, take some time to reflect on areas that you struggle the most with. It is important to be honest with yourself when reflecting on these areas. It will only help you in the long run.

Once you have narrowed down those areas you struggle most with, find a way to work them in to your LSAT studies. It can be very tempting to avoid them and hope you magically get better in those areas. Odds are that will not happen.

2. Don’t be Afraid to Alter Your Schedule

As you progress though your studies, you may need to alter or adjust your study schedule. There are 2 main factors that will call for a readjustment to your schedule:

  1. Need to spend more time studying before your test date – you may have fallen behind on your studying and need to allocate more hours per day or an extra day per week studying. No shame in this. Make the adjustment and move on.
  2. Need to spend more time studying certain areas – you may have found that you really struggle with logic games and need to allocate more study hours to that. Adjust your study schedule to reflect this.

3. Study with a Group

Studying with a friend or group is a great way to stay motivated. Having a group or friend who expects you to study will force you to study when you do not want too. This will also help you stay on track and follow your study schedule.

A friend or group that is also studying for the LSAT can also assist with any questions you may have about certain topics. They may be really good with a subject that you struggle with, and vice-versa.

One of the best ways to learn something is by being able to teach it – if your friend is struggling with a topic, and you can teach them it, you probably have a good grasp of that subject.

4. Enjoy the Process

Studying for the LSAT is a stressful process. However, it does not need to be completed in a week (hopefully). It will take time to learn the material and concepts.

Try to enjoy the process and think of all the benefits that will arise from scoring well on the LSAT. Remember that all of this studying is only temporary, and you will reap the benefits for years to come.

How to Study for the LSAT on Your Own

Studying for the LSAT can definitely be done on your own. With that being said, there will definitely need to be some planning and logistics to figure out. We have put together a 1-month LSAT study guide to help give you a general idea of what to expect.

This study guide below is meant to give students a general idea of how to craft their own schedule. Students who only have 1 month of studying should plan on spending around 7 hours per day which will put them at 196 total hours of study time.

The study guide is broken into 4 different weeks. Each bullet point can be viewed as 1 day of studying.

LSAT Study Guide Breakdown

Week 1

  • Diagnostic Test – Take a practice test without any studying or prep materials. See how you do. This will give you a good baseline
  • Reading Comprehension – Review everything there is to know about the LSAT reading comprehension portion.
    • Identifying main idea and details
    • Drawing inferences
    • Making extrapolations
  • Logical Reasoning – Review everything there is to know about the LSAT logical reasoning portion.
    • Analyze arguments
    • Evaluate arguments
    • Assess validity
    • Review the different question types on this portion
  • Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games) – Review everything there is to know about the LSAT analytical reasoning section.
    • Matching skills
    • Sequencing skills
    • Review skills for answering these questions – If/then statements, game strategy, compound statements, and sequencing questions.
  • Practice Test – Take another practice test (full-length exam under simulated testing conditions) and see how you do. Your score should have improved a bit!

Week 2

  • Logical Reasoning and Logic Games – Start the week off with taking an in-depth look at questions and strategies for these two sections.
    • Flaw questions
    • Inference questions
    • Paradox questions
  • Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension – Take an in-depth review of more logical reasoning and reading comprehension strategies for these two sections.
    • Statement questions
    • Reasoning questions
    • Parallel reasoning questions
  • Logical Reasoning and Logic Games – Focus on studying the logic behind these two sections.
    • Conditional logic
    • Causal logic
    • Quantitative logic
  • Dealers Choice – Review questions, strategies, and topics in a section of your choice. You should focus on a section you are not comfortable in.
    • Review questions
    • Review strategies you will be tested on
    • Understand why certain questions you previously tested on were incorrect.
  • Practice Test – Take another practice test and see how you do. You should be steadily increasing your scores as your progress through your studying.
    • See which sections you did not do so well on. You may need to focus on those subjects more in the final 2 weeks.

Week 3

  • Review Key Concepts – Look at your old practice tests and find the sections you struggled on the most. Focus on those sections.
    • Answer questions in logical reasoning, analytical reasoning (logic games), or reading comprehension.
    • Make sure you take your time and completely answer all questions. Understand why the ones your missed are wrong.
    • Make some flashcards to really drilldown important concepts.
  • Answer Practice Questions – This is similar to taking a practice exam except this can be done section by section. It does not have to be done all at once.
    • Logical reasoning section #1
    • Logical reasoning section #2
    • Analytical reasoning (logic games)
    • Reading comprehension
    • After completing these questions, look and see which ones you got wrong. Take the time to really understand why. It may help to add all questions you missed to some sort of journal or excel spreadsheet. This can help you review harder questions all in one place.
  • More Practice Questions – Similar to the above bullet point. Take more practice questions. It sounds cliché, but these will really help improve your score.
    • Logical reasoning section #1
    • Logical reasoning section #2
    • Analytical reasoning (logic games)
    • Reading comprehension
    • After completing these questions, look and see which ones you got wrong. Take the time to really understand why. It may help to add all questions you missed to some sort of journal or excel spreadsheet. This can help you review harder questions all in one place.
  • Dealers Choice - Review questions, strategies, and topics in a section of your choice. You should focus on a section you are not comfortable in.
    • Review questions
    • Review strategies you will be tested on
    • Understand why certain questions you previously tested on were incorrect.
  • Practice Test – This should be a full-length, timed, practice exam. Do your best to simulate testing conditions.
    • Try to take the test at the exact time of your actual exam. Get your body used to taking a test at that time. Experiment with your pre-test routine. Find something you think you would like to eat beforehand.

Week 4

  • Timed Practice – Take a timed practice exam in each section.
    • Logical reasoning
    • Analytical reasoning (logic games)
    • Reading comprehension
    • These do not need to be completed in one sitting. Take time after each section to review your results.
  • Review – Focus on things you are not comfortable with. This could be a specific section, specific question types, or just working on your timing when answering questions.
  • Review – Review things you are not comfortable with again. You could also use this day/time to review questions you previously missed the last couple of weeks.
    • If you have a missed questions log, this is a great time to review those.
  • Final Review – Do a run through on all concepts, question types, and strategies.
    • This should not take as long as it sounds. You should be comfortable with mostly everything at this point.
    • This day is to keep your mind fresh and help you remember little things you may have forgotten.
  • Test Day – Hopefully you timed your studying so your test falls at the end of this study guide. Trust your studying. You got this.
    • Have a good pre-test routine.
    • Eat a good meal beforehand.
    • Do any last-minute review you would like.
    • Relax!

Self-Studying vs Guided Studying

Students taking the LSAT can either prepare by self-studying or can participate in some sort of guided studying. Either option is do-able.

Students wishing to take the self-study route can begin with the LSAT study guide above, compile their study resources, and go from there.

While students can definitely study without any external paid resources, they may be better off if they use some guided resources.

Guided resources will help students save time while studying, ensure they study everything they need to know, and many courses (especially online LSAT prep courses) offer some sort of score guarantee.

How to Study for the LSAT FAQs

How long does it take to prepare for the LSAT?

It is generally recommended that you spend between 200 and 300 total hours of studying for the LSAT. This will take everyone a different amount of time.

Some individuals may be able to dedicate 7 hours per day, 7 days per week. For students like that, they will be able to complete their studies quicker.

2 to 3 months is a good timeline that many students use. There is no shame in using more time to study for this exam if needed.

Is 1 year enough to study for LSAT?

1 year is plenty of time to study for the LSAT. For some students, 1 year may be too long of a time period as they will forget the things they studied when they first started.

A typical study time period for the LSAT is 2 to 3 months. With this time period, you can expect to spend between 3-5 hours per day studying, with off-days sprinkled in.

Is it hard to study for the LSAT?

Studying for the LSAT can be challenging. The most difficult aspect of the LSAT is that it is unlike other standardized exams. The types of questions and information you will need to know is quite different from other exams.

You will need to think logically and critically about many of the questions. There may seem like multiple correct answers for some of the questions you will be asked.

With that being said, if you put the time and effort into your studies, and have a good study plan, you should do fine on the actual exam.

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