As someone who’s been dreaming of going to law school ever since childhood, you likely know that the LSAT is a crucial admission requirement to your dream program. If so, you likely also know that the LSAT is a challenging exam, and it requires hours of study and preparation to scoring the marks you want.
Many people choose to study with groups or take preparation courses in a group setting. However, these options may not be for you if you find group settings distracting, have a busy schedule, or cannot afford the costs. If you are preparing for the test without external help, you will want to make sure that you have the right plan in place.
Understand the Test
Before you can prepare for the test, you must understand it. Without a group setting in which you can talk through the structure with multiple people, you’ll need to make sure you have a solid grasp on the different sections and what skills they are assessing. The LSAT includes five sections:
- Logical Reasoning– This section consists of two subsections with 24-26 multiple-choice questions. You will have 36 minutes to complete each subsection. They will test your ability to understand and analyze arguments, apply logic to abstract ideas, and find information within a text.
- Analytic Reasoning– This section features four logic games, each paired with four-to-seven multiple-choice questions. You will have 35 minutes to analyze outcomes and decisions, apply logic to complex situations, and reach conclusions based on data.
- Reading Comprehension– This section requires you to read a passage and answer 27 multiple-choice questions within 35 minutes. You will be tested on your ability to draw conclusions based on information, discern the main ideas of a text, and comprehend detailed, scholarly writing.
The test also includes two unscored sections, which take 35 minutes each: a writing sample and a variable section that can be a version of any of the previous sections.
The LSAT takes approximately two hours in total and does not include any breaks; you won’t be allowed to leave your seat during this time. Security cameras are installed in exam rooms, and you will not be allowed to bring any bags with you into the testing room.
Make a Schedule
You should spend at least 200-300 hours preparing for the LSAT. Ideally, you should start studying around two to three months in advance. On this schedule, you’ll be dedicating about 20-25 hours per week to improve your chances at an excellent score. Here are some tips you can follow to create your LSAT study schedule:
- Set Your Goal– The first thing you should do is determine the score you require depending on your target program. Then, set a realistic goal for the time you can commit to studying each day and week.
- Get Your Material Together– Whether you’ll be using online test prep, mock exams from a practice book, flashcards, or a combination of multiple resources, be sure that you have all your material in order and can find everything you need easily during each study session.
- Practice With Mock Tests– There are plenty of free practice tests and mock tests out there that will help you hone your skills. Many study books include multiple tests.
- Review and Evaluate– While everyone studies at a different pace, you should review your studying frequently to make sure you’re covering each section in an appropriate amount of time.
Make the most of tech for your studies. Look for LSAT prep online, and you will find plenty of free courses that will help you study and provide in-depth feedback and reviews without the group setting of a class. Be sure your online prep is paced appropriately and matches your level of expertise—if you’re just beginning your studies, don’t end up drowning in advanced prep material.
Learn From Your Mistakes
The only way to improve is to learn from mistakes and find ways to get better. There are plenty of tips to help you improve, but practice will always be the most crucial step. When you continue to practice, you will know where you often trip up, and you’ll be able to direct more attention to those areas. Moreover, if you attempt to solve practice tests or mock tests, you will get feedback on wrong answers to help you learn.
Study With Dedication
The key to improving your chances at a great LSAT score while studying alone is to ensure that you’re setting aside sufficient time for studying and that you never lose focus. While having the suitable materials in hand can go a long way, set realistic goals that you can attain every day without fail. Take practice tests and continue studying diligently to reach the scores you need to start your law career off right.