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How to Study for the LSAT: Tips for Test Success

How to study for the LSAT: A smiling student in the library

The LSAT is the premier law school admission test. While an LSAT score is mandatory for admission to law school, there isn’t a dedicated study guide for anyone seeking to prepare for the test. This means that anyone studying for the LSAT needs to be motivated and driven to create their own plan for acing the LSAT exam, whether that means signing up for online tutoring or studying on your own.

Gathering the right information early on can ensure you have plenty of time to study. If you’re wondering how to study for the LSAT, here’s what you need to know to create a study schedule that works for you.

Plan Your LSAT Prep

Anyone planning to take the LSAT should start studying at least three months ahead of the actual test. This will ensure there’s enough time to become familiar with the test and its questions without becoming overwhelmed by new information. So what’s the secret to efficient LSAT preparation?

It starts with taking a full-length practice exam. Test takers who experience the testing process before they create a schedule can gain a nuanced understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. In turn, you can create an LSAT study schedule that optimizes your time, so you don't end up wasting too much time on material you already know.

Create an LSAT Study Schedule

You can use the information gleaned from the practice test to create your own LSAT study schedule. Law students who create a detailed plan for studying for the LSAT are much more prepared than their peers who don’t. Here are a few tips on creating a personalized study schedule that plays to your strengths.

Identify Productive Times

When are you most productive throughout the day? Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, it’s important to schedule your studying for the time when you’re most alert. This will ensure that you’re able to focus and retain important information. If you’re not sure about the answer, try studying at a few different points throughout the day and notice when you feel most energized.

Dedicate a Space

Once you’ve carved out a time slot for when to study, it’s a good idea to create a dedicated space for review. This could be anything from the library to your kitchen table — the only requirement is that the space helps you concentrate. Consider what elements, including noise, ergonomics, and technology, can help you focus best when working in this environment.

Determine Length of Study

How to study for the LSAT: three students in a study group

Your study schedule will vary depending on how much time there is before your exam. For example, someone who is taking the test in 12 weeks should study around eight hours per week. Future law students who have less time will need to study more hours per week.

Once you have a goal for how many hours you’d like to study per week, you can break down your time into sections. Reserve certain days for practice problems, flashcards, pacing strategies, logical reasoning lessons, and more.

Keep It Fresh and Personal

Reading over the same text and typing it up verbatim isn’t going to help you retain important information. Instead, make a point to rewrite responses by hand in your own words. Then, try to mix up the order of topics that you study.

If you normally start with logical reasoning and then move on to reading comprehension, try starting with reading first, practicing the essay in between, and ending with reasoning the next day. Such strategies will personalize your learning and challenge your brain to move beyond memorization into critical thinking.

LSAT Study Topics

The real LSAT contains four, scored multiple-choice sections: two sections of logical reasoning, one of analytical reasoning, and one of reading comprehension. There’s also a written portion where students create an argument on an assigned topic — though this portion isn’t included in the overall score.

To achieve LSAT success, test takers will need to review all portions of the exam and familiarize themselves with the question formats. The first option for review is to sign up for an online LSAT course, which can guide you through the knowledge you need at a steady pace. The other option is to create your own schedule with the following resources.

Logical Reasoning

How to study for the LSAT: a student reviews piles of paperwork

Logical reasoning is one of the core components of the LSAT exam. This includes logical reasoning questions in multiple-choice format, as well as logic games, inference questions, and analytical reasoning. So how do you study for the LSAT logical reasoning test? The following study guides and prep books can help.

Kaplan LSAT Logical Reasoning Strategies & Tactics

This important guide helps students move through the LSAT logical reasoning section with grace. Including realistic practice questions, detailed answer explanations, and effective studying strategies, the Kaplan LSAT Logical Reasoning Strategies & Tactics prep book will help students raise their score on a critical portion of the exam.

PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning Bible

With the PowerScore LSAT Logical Reasoning study guide, students will gain insight into the construction and features of each question. By teaching students to recognize the most common problems presented on the LSAT, this book improves problem-solving skills for test day.

The Fox LSAT Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia: Disrespecting the LSAT

Take LSAT practice tests with the Fox Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia, and you’ll learn how to approach the exam with confidence. This test prep book aids students in parsing through the jargon and complex language of the test to understand the real questions — and deduce the correct answers.

Reading Comprehension

How to study for the LSAT: a judge's gavel on top of a law book

The reading comprehension section of the LSAT exam is just as important as the logical reasoning portion, though the types of questions differ. Specifically, this portion tests a person’s ability to read, analyze, synthesize, and apply important information. It’s also designed to test a student’s ability to understand complex subject matter, as this is often the real-world experience of lawyers on the job.

If you’re wondering where to find practice exams for reading comprehension, start with the following three guides.

Manhattan Prep LSAT Reading Comprehension Guide

The Manhattan Prep LSAT Reading Comprehension Guide differs from other books because it contains official LSAT exam questions that have appeared on past tests. The book is also compiled by previous LSAT test takers who have received high scores on the exam. Anyone who’s worried about their performance on the LSAT reading section will benefit from this test prep book.

Atlas LSAT Reading Comprehension Strategy Guide

The Atlas LSAT Reading Comprehension Strategy Guide will help you read and learn like a law student. Anyone who uses this book will benefit from the extensive drills and practice tests. Why? These tests equip students to develop the skills they need to read and analyze LSAT test questions, including the ability to identify challenging areas and move through tricky problems.

PowerScore LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible

Are you in need of a comprehensive book that will help you ace the reading comprehension section? The PowerScore LSAT Reading Comprehension Bible is exactly that. By helping test takers look at the structure of passages to anticipate and answer questions, this book takes an effective, real-world approach to the reading comprehension section.

How to Study for the LSAT

Studying for the LSAT can feel overwhelming — especially if it’s your first time looking into the test requirements. However, familiarizing yourself with the test is the best way to prepare for the exam and all of its components.

Working with a dedicated tutor is also a great way to ensure you’re working through the material at a sufficient pace. Plus, it will give you someone to ask questions to and discuss answers with when you need extra support. By setting up a study schedule and turning to the best prep books and practice exams, you’ll enter test day feeling confident.

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