by Zack Baldwin
Once you decide you are going to take the LSAT, the next thing you should do is make a study plan for yourself. Our free LSAT course includes a few different study plans based on the length of time you’ll be studying. But, many students choose to create their own. Whether you choose to create your own within our course, or forgo the course and self-study, you’ll want to use a blank calendar (if you are working through our LSAT course, you can find a blank calendar provided in the Empty Study Plan) and write in an assignment for yourself to do every day to manage your resources and plan your improvement.
Below, we’ve listed some key tips for building a study plan that will increase your LSAT Score:
Take lots of LSAT Official PrepTests
LSAC provides lots of Official PrepTests in 10-test volumes available for between $15 and $25 on amazon.com. While these aren’t necessarily cheap by themselves, they are – compared with other such books for other standardized tests, such as the GRE, GMAT, MCAT, and SAT – an amazing deal. Each volume contains ten actual tests – tests that real people took to get their LSAT Score!
Plan to take a full length PrepTest once per week at the same time of day as your actual exam. This is one of the most important aspects of improving on the LSAT – it is a long test, and by taking regular PrepTests, you are building stamina.
Review PrepTests the day after you take them
Give yourself a little bit of space before you review your PrepTest, and always review your PrepTests. A good rule for LSAT preparation is that test review should take about as long as the test itself. While the test is high stress and intense, the review should be low-intensity and relaxed. Take your time, but be thorough.
One day a week should be devoted to PrepTests, and one day a week should be devoted to reviewing your PrepTest. If you do nothing else to prepare for the LSAT, be sure to do at least these two things.
Give yourself a day off
Spend one day a week not thinking about the LSAT! The LSAT is a skills-test and it’s a bit more like mastering a sport or a fine art than it is like acing a geography or vocabulary test. You can’t cram for the LSAT, just like you can’t cram for your football game or your dance recital. Improvement is incremental. Just like when you are working out or learning an instrument, you want to give yourself a day a week to decompress and not think about the test. Assign that day when you are making your study schedule – one day off, six days on.
Meet with a tutor, study buddy, or study group
It can be hard to improve any skill when you only ever practice alone. Getting feedback from peers or teachers can be a key step in raising your score – just as in the examples above, a coach can help you hone your technique, and an outside perspective can spot errors and patterns that you might not have recognized yourself. Meet with a friend who is taking the LSAT on the same date and keep each other motivated. Or hire a tutor to help you get those last few points to reach your target score. If you’re interested in a private LSAT tutor, you can learn more about our tutoring packages here.
Every other day, take and review a practice section
As we already said, progress is incremental. Except for your day off, you should be doing LSAT material every day. On days you aren’t testing or reviewing your test, do a timed section from one of the LSAC Official PrepTests books and review it just as you would a PrepTest. The LSAT is like a language – you gain fluency through immersion. Spend 1-2 hours a night on regular practice to build familiarity, speed, and accuracy.
Once you’ve got a good study plan in place, you are ready to start preparing for the exam!