Prepping for the LSAT can be an intense headache for college seniors and anyone else who is applying to law school. Finding the time to study, shelling out hundreds of dollars for courses and books, and of course trying to keep your nerves in check on test day is overwhelming, even for those taking the test the second time around. To keep you from feeling to jittery during the weeks before the LSAT, we've packed as many quality resources to help you study, stay focused and reach your law school goals.
Take a look at our top 10 study tips that range from taking prep courses to practicing time management.
- Take a prep course: Whether it's an online course or a class you take through your university, you'll learn all the tricks of the test here.
- Take a practice test: Take practice tests or mini tests to familiarize yourself with the format, time constraints and basic material.
- Do as best you can the first time around: To take the pressure off, some students may tell themselves that if they bomb the first test, they can always take it again. LSAT scores are averaged, however, so do your best the first time around.
- Divide up the test: The LSAT is divided up into sections, so train your brain to focus on one subject area for a longer period of time by studying the same way.
- Practice your stamina: If you like to take lots of breaks when you study, practice sitting for a long period of time doing nothing but concentrating on your work. This routine will help you focus better on the day of the test.
- Get a mentor or tutor: Find an LSAT tutor or ask one of your professors to help you practice. Talking with someone who's already been in your situation and passed the test will make you feel more pumped and also more prepared.
- Time yourself: This LSAT test prep site explains why the LSAT is timed in the first place and how achieving your average and optimal test taking time will help you get a better score.
- Balance your focus: While it's important to set goals for yourself in relation to the score you'd like to get on your LSAT, don't stress yourself out and focus only on the law schools you'd kill to get into. Remember to focus on each and every question, and not just the bigger picture.
- Don't over study or overanalyze: Giving yourself too much time to study may make you feel burnt out or cause you to overanalyze questions. Four to six weeks is usually the amount of time that is needed to study.
- Don't wait until the last minute: Even if you got great grades in school, give yourself time to study for the LSAT. You may be surprised at some of the things you need to brush up on.
Day of the Exam
On the day of the exam, make sure your energy is up and you're focused despite any unexpected or external disruptions.
- Eat breakfast: Since elementary school, you've been told that eating breakfast on test day improves your focus and stamina.
- Give yourself plenty of time to get there: Your testing location may be in a part of town you're not familiar with, or you might encounter extra traffic by driving at a time you're not used to. Leave a little early so that you won't get locked out of the exam.
- Understand that you're in charge of your testing environment: Know that you can ask for a table by yourself to avoid distractions from other test takers.
- Bring a supply kit: Don't forget pencils, highlighters, something to drink, a jacket and anything else that will make you feel comfortable while you take the exam.
- Feel free to write on your test booklet.: Underline keywords, cross out answers you know are wrong, and scribble on your test booklet to help you work through problems.
- Guess: Test prep sites and guides encourage test takers to guess when they don't know the right answer.
- Don't leave bubbles blank: If you've completely run out of time, bubble in the remaining answers anyway: it's better than leaving them blank.
- Take advantage of break time: Stretch, use the restroom, have a snack and take a deep breath before going back to finish.
- Bring a watch: In case there isn't a clock in your testing room, bring a watch to help you keep track of time. Just make sure you turn off any alarms.
- Don't let external forces distract you: Save your energy and focus for the test, not any unexpected circumstances, like taking the test in a different room, being surprised to see your ex-girlfriend at the test or realizing you forgot your favorite highlighter.
Visit these links to print out and complete and LSAT practice tests.
- LSAT Prep Materials: Access sample questions, explanations, and LSATs from the previous year here.
- LSAT Practice Tests: Peterson's charges $19.95 for 90-day access to two full-length practice tests.
- LSAT Critical Reasoning Section: This 25-question practice test resembles the real critical reasoning section on the LSAT.
- Free Proctored LSAT Practice Test: Kaplan directs students to locations in their area that administer free proctored LSAT practice tests.
- Comparative Reading Sample Questions: This practice test has two reading passages and several questions for each. Answers and explanations are listed on a separate page.
- Sample LSAT Practice Tests: Order three practice tests with answers and explanations from this site for a small fee.
- 4Tests: This online practice test site features an LSAT prep that includes 19 analytical reasoning questions and 23 logical reasoning questions from Barrons.
- The LSAT Prep Course: Print out a bubble sheet and LSAT questions to take this practice test.
- Logic Games 5 Question Challenge: Practice logic games here.
- LSAT Exams 2.0: Get study guides, practice tests and old LSAT exams here.
Test Prep Sites
These test prep sites have many resources for helping you register, find LSAT courses and more.
- Kaplan LSAT Prep: Access practice tests and learn about software, classroom programs, online tests, summer intensive programs and more from Kaplan.
- The LSAT Center: Get tips on reading comprehension, logic games and the critical reasoning section of the LSAT from this site, which also offers a money-back guarantee if your score does not increase after taking this course.
- The Princeton Review LSAT Test Preparation: Learn about private tutoring, small group tutoring, online courses, LSAT for international students and more here.
- PowerScore Test Preparation: This site has online LSAT prep courses, as well as information about enrolling in courses offered throughout the U.S. and Canada.
- West.net: The site for the Countdown to the LSAT book and program features free online tests and advice for those getting ready for the LSAT.
- LSAT Test Prep on Yahoo!: The Yahoo! Education site has practice questions and logic games, as well as articles and tips for acing the writing sample, registering for the test and more.
- TestMasters: This company offers respected test prep courses around the country, so check their website for locations, schedules, syllabi, tutoring information and more.
- Blueprint Test Preparation: Get 100 hours of live instruction, personal sets of LSAT questions, and access to instructors who scored at least a 170 on their LSATs when you enroll with this program.
- Outside LSAT: This system is "LSAT prep redefined." Students who sign up for Outside LSAT get a personal touch through prep courses.
- Get Prepped: This LSAT test prep site has information about tutoring, weekend classes, resources online and more.
Watch these YouTube videos from students who did well on the LSAT to get study tips and unlock all of the little tricks and twists of the test.
- LSAT Prep Tips and Advice: How I got a 171: Penny shares tips and encouragement for students who are confused and nervous about the LSAT.
- LSAT Prep Advice: Great LSAT Preparation Tips and Tricks: Get advice for mastering logic games and reasoning questions when you watch this video.
- Prep Materials for the LSAT: Katie shares her expertise on studying for the LSAT. She improved 14 points on her second test.
- LSAT Games, Elimination Technique: GetPrepped.com's video shares a sneaky little trick for saving time and getting the right answers on LSAT games.
- LSAT Prep Advice: Time Saving Tips for Bubbling in Answers: Learn how to save time by becoming faster and more strategic when bubbling in answers.
- LSAT Preparation: Recommended Purchases: Make sense of all the LSAT books and software programs when you watch this video.
- LawSchoolUSA: This articulate LSAT expert shares tips for how she studied for the test
- LSAT Prep Advice - Studying for the LSAT on a Budget: Jamie gives students on a budget ideas for studying and practicing for the LSAT without having to shell out hundreds of dollars on classes, exams and tutoring.
- How to Get Into the Law School of Your Choice: The CEO of Reed Law Group, an organization that help students get into law school, gives free tips and advice in this video.
- LSAT Game 1 Questions: This video uses the June 2007 LSAT to give students practice on the games section.
Podcasts, Feeds and iTunes Lectures
Get some extra studying in when you walk to class by listening to these test prep guides on your iPod or online.
- The Princeton Review LSAT Podcasts: Subscribe on iTunes or get feeds for the vocab minute review and LSAT logic practice.
- LSAT Instant Analysis Podcast: Access test day analysis podcasts for tests from December 2005 to June 2008.
- The LSAT Podcast: Get tips on mastering logic games here.
- The Lawyer's Podcast: This podcast from Prestige Learning "reveals how LSAT strategies from our live courses actually relate to the practice of law."
Social Media and the LSAT Community
Head to the forums to get real-life answers and advice to your LSAT questions.
- LSATHELP.org: Access a MySpace page, law school forum and free LSAT online through this website.
- LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum: Threads on this forum include "great advice on how to get 160+ on the LSAT" AND "October 2008 retake support group."
- TestMagic LSAT: These up-to-date threads connect test takers who want to share advice, study guides and support.
- LSAT Message Board: Get free advice on taking the LSAT and applying to law school here.
- LSAC Law School Forums Facebook Page: Check out this page on Facebook to learn about meeting with law school recruitment reps.
- Choosing an LSAT Prep Course: This blogger, LawSchoolExpert, shares her experiences with other law school hopefuls.
From figuring out why you need to take an LSAT prep course in the first place to learning the basics of the LSAT format, these helpful guides will straighten you out.
- The LSAT Essay: This guide goes over sample essay questions and tips for writing a great LSAT essay.
- Why Do I Need LSAT Prep Tests?: This About.com article also provides links to LSAT prep tests and information about test prep.
- Using LSAT Practice Tests to Achieve High Scores on the LSAT: Learn why taking LSAT practice tests is important to your score.
- LSAT Preparation Books: When you start shopping for LSAT prep books, consider these reviews before spending your money.
- About the LSAT Exam and LSAT Test: Learn how LSAT scoring works, get a feel for the test's format, and view examples of the different types of questions you'll see on the LSAT.
- Overview of the LSAT: Get answers to questions like "how long is the LSAT?" and "when should I take the LSAT?" in this guide.
- LSAT Help: Wikiversity: Get help with logic games, logical reasoning and reading comprehension, as well as tips for time management and guessing here.
- EssageEdge.com Law School Help: Take an LSAT Diagnostic to see what areas you need to imporve on, and learn how to deal with test taking, and get information on writing your personal essay, financial aid and applying to law school.
- 7 Tips for the LSAT: Tips in this guide include "never leave bubbles empty" and "your college background will provide some help," giving test takers an extra boost of confidence.
- LSAT Test: The Study Guide Zone explains in detail the nature of the test and each section of the test, including sample questions.
Tools and Accessories to Help
Stock up on these timers, books and other tools to help you study.
- Silent Timer: Silent Timers like these will keep you on track while you study and during the test.
- LSAT Practice Tools: The Princeton Reviews' set of practice tools includes online practice tests, LSAT reports and more.
- StudentDoc.com LSAT Test Prep: Bookmark this collection of courses, Kaplan products and practice tests.
- LSAT Test Help: Access practice tests, a study guide and flashcards for the LSAT here.
- LSAT Proctor: This website has software packages, timers, DVDs, tips and more.
- LSAT Study Aids: Find the most popular study aids for the LSAT on AOL shopping.
On these sites, you'll find information about applying to law school, prepping for the LSAT and more.
- LSAC: Learn about law degrees, manage LSAT registration and accounts, check your LSAT score and more on this site.
- CLEO: The Council on Legal Education Opportunity has information about studying for the LSAT and helping students from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds prepare for law school.
- American Bar Association: Legal Education and Student Resources: Learn about law school accreditation, foreign study programs, career information and more from the ABA.
- The Association of American Law Schools: Visit this site for information about the AALS.
Keeping Your Focus
From picking the optimum study environment to blocking out distractions, these tips will help you keep your focus during study time and during the test.
- Understand your goals: Set realistic goals to keep you motivated while you study and take the test.
- Set up a regular study schedule: If you block out a specific amount of time to study each day or week, you'll be less likely to get distracted or be interrupted during those hours.
- Find a study environment that works for you: Some need absolute quiet while others prefer to listen to music or even study with a group. Find out what works for you.
- Keep your energy up: Eat healthy snacks, stay hydrated and get enough sleep the days before the test so that you can concentrate more.
- Exercise: Exercising can help you relieve stress and muscle tension, making it easier for you to focus on what's really important.
- Tell your friends you're busy: If you're having a hard time avoiding parties and happy hour, let your friends know you're going to be studying during certain hours by putting up an away message, Twitter message or just by shutting your door.
- Reward yourself for studying: If you spent the entire weekend studying instead of partying, reward yourself with a day off that week or buy that pair of shoes you'd been wanting.
- Figure out which part of the day you're most focused: If you know that it takes you at least two hours to wake up and feel energized every morning, don't waste time staring blankly at your practice test until laster in the day, when you know you're much more productive.
- Get a support system: Engage your family and friends in your LSAT prep by asking them to cheer you on and hold you accountable for studying.
- Maintain a balance: Don't burn yourself out by studying for a month straight without taking a break. By test time, you'll be so exhausted and tired of the LSAT, your focus and positive energy will suffer.
Registering and Evaluating Your Scores
For extra tips on registering, evaluating your scores and figuring out how and when to get your scores, turn to this list.
- 5 Weeks After the Exam: This guide from West.net has tips for evaluating whether or not you'll want to retake the test.
- LSAT Scoring: Understand how the LSAT is scored when you read this guide.
- Getting Started: The LSAC reveals this guideline for students interested in taking the steps to apply for law school.
- LSAT Test Dates and Deadlines: Get information about dates and deadlines for tests given in the U.S., Europe, Africa, Australia and more.
- For Law School Applicants, LSAT Scores Impact Financial Aid, Early Applcation Boosts Chances, Work Experience is Valuable: Read Kaplan's press release to discover what the different parts of your law school application mean.
- About Your LSAT Score: The LSAC's page on scoring covers getting your score, your score report, how to understand your score and more.
- The LSAT: What's in a Score?: Understand how LSAT scoring works and how to honestly evaluate your score.
- What to Do If All Your Law School Applications are Rejected: This guide offers advice and encouragement for students who didn't get into any law schools they wanted.
- Should You Cancel Your LSAT Score?: Anyone who is thinking about canceling their LSAT score needs to read this guide first.
- 2009 Raw Data Law School Rankings: Check out the lowest LSAT scores accepted at law schools like Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, University of Chicago, NYU, Fordham and others.