They say the hardest part is sometimes just starting, right? Well, we thought it was time to look at how to start studying for the LSAT and (more importantly) how to get the best results with the least amount of effort.
First of all, as we always say, the key to good results is to start by working on your study technique. It doesn’t matter how much time you spend sitting at a desk if you’re inefficient and wasting your time so the sooner you get this right, the better.
To make the most from your studying don’t focus on the time you invest. Focus on the quality of your study session over the quantity you do. This is one of the key things we focus on and we absolutely think you can get twice the results in half the time. Make sure you grab the free audiobook Unlimited Memory by a chess grandmaster which will absolutely transform your results overnight if you apply the techniques.
Advice from an LSAT Topper
I took the LSAT less than a year ago and scored in the 97th percentile–i. e. better than 97% of all test takers in the past three years the test has been administered. Here’s my advice for how to prepare for the test:
1. Make a gameplan. The LSAT is hard. Flipping idly through a few LSAT study guides is not enough to earn you a high score, nor is memorizing all the tips and tricks that top LSAT scorers deploy when they actually take the test. In order to do well on the LSAT, you need to first understand the test. Then you need to determine your strengths and weaknesses by taking some full-length practice tests. Finally, you need to make a detailed gameplan that answers the following: given where I am right now, and taking into account how much time I have between now and my test date, how am I going to improve to X score? (Hint: your gameplan should involve taking many more practice tests.)
Another way of putting this is that in order to do well on the LSAT, you have to study how you should study.
To start this process, I recommend heading over to www. top-law-schools. com and reading all the LSAT prep advice on the site (don’t delve into the forums just yet). Top Law Schools (TLS) is an extraordinary resource for all things legal–from LSAT prep to law school advice to career tips. Most of the site’s LSAT prep advice is aimed at top performers–those who want to score in the top, say, 5% of all LSAT test takers. But I believe the site is as useful for someone who wants to go from a 150 to a 160 as from a 170 to a 180. In fact, for the same amount of effort, the 150_ scorers are likely to improve by more points than the 160_ scorers, who will themselves improve more than the 17_ scorers.
2. Use Powerscore. The first thing I did after deciding to take the LSAT was buy a Princeton Review study guide. The Princeton Review is a respectable test prep company, and, besides, the test prep materials created by different companies will be more or less the same, right? WRONG! The Princeton Review guide was awful, which became clear after I purchased and read the Logical Reasoning and Logic Games Bibles from Powerscore (I didn’t buy the Reading Comprehension Bible because practice tests had revealed that section was my strong suit; improving RC wasn’t key to my gameplan).
Part of Powerscore’s superiority is due to the fact that the Bibles use real LSAT questions to illustrate concepts and as practice exercises, while other companies devise their own questions in a quixotic attempt to mimic the real deal. But there’s more to it than this. As I said at the beginning of this response, the LSAT is hard. As such, it takes real talent to walk readers through the intricacies of the test in a way that is both clear and authoritative. Dave Killoran, the primary author of the Powerscore series, is the master of this talent. Take my word for it and use Powerscore.
3. But also use 7Sage for the logic games. In a cool marketing gambit, 7sage has uploaded detailed walkthrough videos of how to solve every logic game from nearly every LSAT test since 1991 on their website (www.7sage. com). Watch and learn. I think that the 7sage approach for setting up logic games is a significant innovation on the (already quite effective) Powerscore method. For many games, 7sage’s approach is more “visual” than Powerscore’s. This allows you (the test taker) to represent a greater amount of information on the page, and ultimately to complete each game faster and more accurately. Seriously, I loved these videos when I was studying for the LSAT. Check them out.
4. Know what’s at stake. I think that a lot of people under-prepare for the LSAT because they don’t understand how much is at stake when it comes to their performance on the exam. Obviously, your LSAT score is a big factor in getting accepted to law school. Small point fluctuations can and do make a big difference. Etc.
But you should know that the stakes are high even if you don’t intend to apply to a top-tier/very selective law school. Because MONEY. Law school costs just an absurd amount of it, and many law students today are mortgaging their futures by taking out tremendous loans in order to obtain their JD (or LLM). This risk will pay off in some cases, but in many it will not–and you really, really don’t want to be the graduate with six figures of compounding law school debt and crappy job prospects. (And for the record, neither do I!)
What’s crazy is that relatively small point swings on the LSAT–say, going from a 165 to a 170–can result in MASSIVE differences in financial aid offers. Going from a 165 to a 170 might mean an extra month of hard studying. But it might also mean a difference of over $100,000 in scholarship funding (really), opening up a much brighter post-law school reality.
This is from this answer on Quora.
Now, that said, there are some wildly generic studying advice we could give you as well which is almost guaranteed to help if you’re not already doing it. We have hundreds of studying videos and guides which you can use studying for the LSAT and they will make a difference, but just be aware that you have to account for the specifics as well.
Plan to Study for Several Months
Acquiring and developing the skills required to maximize your LSAT score is a long and laborious process, so start early. It takes a while to figure out how to reliably diagnose why an argument is flawed, to determine what an assumption required by an argument is, to draw a transitive deduction, to make a set of deductions from the rules laid out in a logic game, or to characterize an author’s attitude on a passage. You are training yourself to think in a new way. And rewiring your brain takes some time. For most, it will take between two to four months to study for the exam.
Of course, once you’ve allocated the requisite study time, you’ll need to make the most of it. Studying for several months is necessary to improve your score on the LSAT, but it’s not sufficient (by the way, get used to the difference between necessity and sufficiency this distinction is tested a lot on the LSAT). So how should you get the most out of this study time?
There are certain concepts that are central to your success on the LSAT. On Logical Reasoning, the first of these concepts is that logical relationships can be drawn or symbolized. Doing so allows you to better understand arguments and make deductions from them. Another core concept is identifying the component parts of an argument evidence, conclusions, and assumptions and determining why an argument is flawed. On Logic Games, one fundamental skill is visually represented common rules. On Reading Comprehension, it’s recognizing the author’s point of view.
You should start your LSAT journey by studying these concepts. It’s crucial to make sure that you understand the conceptual underpinnings of a question before trying to answer that question. Otherwise, doing that practice question won’t be in service of building the skills you’ll need on test day.
But once you are familiar with a concept, you should then repeatedly practice questions that involve that concept. But make sure you remember to employ the correct approach to each question, passage, and game. You need to make sure you’re engaging with the logical concepts to improve your facility with them. You shouldn’t go on autopilot and mindlessly try to answer each question. Even if you’re getting those questions correct, it may not help you on test day.
This advice from this article.
I don’t believe in wishing you luck, since it’s going to play a very small role in your LSAT score at the end of the day. But I do wish you the best in your LSAT studies.