Three Key LSAT Prep Must-Haves
There is tons of LSAT prep material on the market. Countless books, strategy guides, and blog posts cover exactly what you need to prepare for the test. In our minds, however, there are only a few things we consider invaluable toward your prep. In this post, we cover the three key LSAT prep must-haves you need to do well on the test!
Three Key LSAT Prep Must-Haves
1. Official LSAC PrepTests
Let’s present a hypothetical situation. If, in an undergraduate class, you had the opportunity to preview a final given previously in one of your classes, you’d do it, right? You’d be crazy not to! Why wouldn’t you want to get the inside scoop on how your professor writes and structures the material? This information would give you valuable insight on where to focus your studies. You could also evaluate your strengths and weaknesses before the test. Then, you could tailor your preparation to really hit these areas to make sure you were fully prepared.
For the LSAT, you have this opportunity! The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) releases almost all of the LSATs after scores are released. (The exception is the February LSAT, which is undisclosed). These are the most powerful tool at your disposal when studying for the LSAT. If you acquire none of our other LSAT prep must-haves, make sure you get previously released tests. LSAC recently bound the ten most recent PrepTests (72-81) into one volume. This book, available for under $30 on Amazon, should be the bedrock of your review moving forward. If you want to see why we recommend newer PrepTests, read this post!
The second of our LSAT prep must-haves is some sort of timer. This doesn’t necessarily need to be stopwatch. Every smart phone has the function already built-in. Regardless of how you decide to time yourself, you need to do it. Why? We’ve written about this ad nauseam in previous posts. However, it’s worth stating again: completing the LSAT in the time provided is almost as difficult as the material on the test! Given an indefinite amount of time, most people could score decently well. However, on test day, you will only have 35 minutes to complete somewhere between 23 and 27 questions, depending on section. That’s much less time than you think, especially if you get caught up in any one question!
We cannot stress enough how important it is to implement timing yourself into your prep. Ideally, you should do it from when you first start studying. However, it is never to late to work it into your preparation. Properly pacing yourself through the exam is pivotal to scoring well.
3. Study Schedule
Another of our LSAT prep must-haves is a study schedule. Developing an LSAT schedule is one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for the test. Your LSAT study schedule provides invaluable assistance in many ways. First, it allows you to pace yourself for the test. If you map out what you need to cover, and assign it to specific days and weeks, you can be sure you’ll get through it all. We find that students who set goals and deadlines for what to cover in their schedules do better on the test. Conversely, those who don’t inevitably fall behind.
Secondly, a schedule helps hold you accountable. In our experience, students who take a cavalier approach to developing a schedule almost never cover the material necessary in full. It’s so easy to succumb to a “I’ll just do it tomorrow” mentality if you haven’t mapped out your studying. You are much more likely to hold yourself accountable if you know that, by not studying today, you’ll have to put in a double shift tomorrow to keep on track.
Finally, a study schedule can give you a sense of progress when you struggle. When you struggle with a particular concept, it’s useful to look back at your schedule and see how much progress you’ve made. It helps to know that, even if you don’t get it now, you’ve been there many times before, and managed to work through your struggles!
Nick, our LSAT tutor, wrote this post. Nick scored in one of the top percentiles on the LSAT and enjoys helping students achieve their dream scores and get into their dream schools! If you are looking for any other LSAT advice, LSAT timing tips, or LSAT tutoring, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you!
Ashley Heidemann is the owner and founder of JD Advising. Ms. Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011 after graduating as the #1 student in her law school class of over 200 students in 2011. She, as well as a team of others, offer bar exam courses, seminars, and private tutoring for bar exam students nationwide. This includes services for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and Michigan bar exam. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions.