A lot of people giving prep advice, particularly people selling it, are a little over-concerned with making LSAT prep students feel good about what they are doing to prepare to take the test. We here at LSI are more concerned that you get the best score you can.

This means doing what you should do, even if you might break down in tears and throw your LSAT prep books across the room a few times during your LSAT prep.

In this post, we take our gloves off and hit you with five harsh truths about what you are doing wrong to study for the LSAT.

  HARSH TRUTH # 1:    You Aren’t Prepping Hard Enough 

I’d estimate that over 80% of the people I’ve spoken to over the years weren’t doing enough prep to max out their score on the LSAT.

Taking the LSAT is a skill. THE ONLY WAY TO GET BETTER AT A SKILL IS THROUGH INTENSE PRACTICE. Unless you are already getting a 180 on every single practice test, you can benefit immensely from intense practice.

I have heard people say things like, “The LSAT is only 3 hours long, so I didn’t see the point in ever studying any longer than that any given day” or, “Your brain works best when you only prep for an hour, so I only study an hour each day. Quality is what counts.” This is all 100% pure, unadulterated nonsense.

Proper intense prep is something closer to three hours plus on three days of the week and five hours plus at least two days of the week. See our study schedules for full recommendations.

Bear in mind this doesn’t mean you should study intensely each minute of the hours you devote to prep in a given day. Take plenty of little breaks throughout or space out the prep considerably over the course of a day. If prep feels like you are torturing yourself all the time, you are doing it wrong.

That said, it will take mental focus and commitment to make the required effort — LSAT prep isn’t easy. In my time observing LSAT prep students, the ones who were really serious and intense about it grossly outperformed the slackers on the real test and made way bigger improvements along the way.

When you do LSAT prep you are literally trying to foster new connections in the brain. Do it like everyone else who is serious about getting better at a skill. Chess masters train intensely. Great tennis players train intensely. Great LSAT takers should train intensely as well.

To this end, make sure you look at the daily LSAT schedules we’ve set up. They won’t be easy, but that’s a good thing. If you aren’t up to the kind of self-motivated work involved in LSAT prep (and more so in law school), it’s best to know now.

Premium Day-by-Day LSAT Schedules!

If you are looking for a more detailed schedule, we’ve just released a brand new day-by-day LSAT Prep Schedules for highly-motivated students. These premium LSAT study schedules are available in the following lengths: 10-week, 12-week (3-month), 14-week, & 16 week (4-month). Select the study schedule best-suited to your needs:

These intense schedules for motivated self-studiers uses the Powerscore Bibles to make use of all the best study materials currently available.

Click Here To Get The Daily LSAT Schedules

Following a rigorous schedule is a relatively small investment for potentially massive returns. 3 or 4 points either way on the LSAT can mean the difference between a large scholarship at your dream school or just getting in. It might be a long time before you earn this much money with that little work, so take the opportunity and get down to business.

  HARSH TRUTH # 2:    You May Have Wasted Time & Money   On Terrible LSAT Prep Materials

If you are new to the LSAT prep world, you can be excused for not knowing this, but some LSAT prep companies have a much better reputation than others.

Kaplan, Princeton Review, Barron’s, and McGraw-Hill are all companies that really have no business teaching the LSAT. They are just throwing a lot of advertising dollars around and trading on their reputation for helping high school students prep for the ACT/SAT to make a quick buck. Kaplan isn’t as bad as the rest of them, but they are still second-rate. It’s a bit like Nike making skateboards. This just isn’t their niche.

If you are thinking of going with these companies, don’t do it.don't do it No one is paying me to saying this. Look around the internet and you’ll see that other disinterested experts agree with me.

When I started my LSAT prep I went out and bought everything that was at my local bookstore. Only later, when I wasn’t seeing the improvements that I was hoping to make, did I begin to do some serious research. I found that Powerscore’s Logic Games Bible was the top choice of most top-scorers. When my copy came in the mail and I cracked it open, I quickly realized that it was hand’s down better than the other books that I had been using.

Even though I had already learned the Kaplan system, I made the decision to begin using PowerScore’s techniques instead. Only then did I begin to see real improvements in my LSAT score. Make the switch to better instructional materials and you will see real benefits. Even if you are halfway or more through your LSAT studies, it isn’t too late to go over to a decent prep company. With logic games especially, it is of paramount importance that you have a good system. Diagramming logic games correctly helps you go faster, plain and simple.

Go with books from a company that started in the LSAT world. Powerscore, Manhattan LSAT, Blueprint, Fox Test Prep – all of these companies carry good reputations for helping people get top scores on the LSAT. Of course you also need a ton of actual, official LSAT Practice Tests.

  HARSH TRUTH # 3:    Don’t Expect an LSAT Prep Course   To Save You From Under-Preparing 

I think a lot of people sign up for an LSAT prep course and just go on autopilot from there, lazily doing only some of the assignments and thinking that they are getting everything they need. This despite the fact that every good LSAT prep course tells you outright THAT YOU HAVE TO DO PLENTY OF PRACTICE ON YOUR OWN.

Even the best LSAT courses are designed to complement to self-study. They tend to run two months and stop well before the LSAT to allow you time to do plenty of full simulated practice tests before the actual date of the test.

Incredibly, I saw lot’s of prep students who would complete the course then basically do nothing up until the test. What are you doing???I Feel Like I'm Taking Crazt Pills! Your brain is going to totally atrophy in that last month!!!

Obviously this is closely related to harsh truth #1 (you aren’t prepping hard enough), but I want to focus here on length of prep. One month of prep is certainly not enough time to study for the LSAT. Two months of prep is cutting it damn close, and doing two months right probably requires too much work such that you run the risk of burn out.

Say it with me: “I will study for the LSAT at LEAST two and a half months or more. I. Will. Prep. For. Two. And. A. Half. Months. Or. More.

In my experience, I’ve found that a 3 month  or 4 month LSAT Study Schedule seems to be ideal for most students. I don’t know why this seems to be the magic number exactly, but it works for most people. On the other hand, if you have significant outside commitments like a full-time job or demanding college course load, you might want to spend 5 months or even 6 months studying for the LSAT

As LSAC themselves note, performance on the exam correlates strongly with length of prep, so don’t put off LSAT prep until there’s not enough time.

  HARSH TRUTH # 4:    You Can’t Expect To Hit Your PT average   On The Day of the Real LSAT   If You Don’t Simulate Exam Conditions 

I was guilty of this some of the time during my LSAT prep, but really, don’t make it a habit. If you’re doing simulated tests with only 4 sections and taking little breaks between sections to get up and stretch and get water, you aren’t really doing the test the way it will be on test day. Obey the LSAT Dog

At least half the time that you do full simulated LSAT preptests, make sure you do it just the way it will be on test day: add a fifth section from an older test to simulate an experimental section. Do 3 timed sections without stopping, bam, bam, bam. Then take a break. After that do two more timed sections without a break. Stop. You just did a simulated correctly.

If you don’t do this on a regular basis, don’t expect to hit your practice test average on test day. You won’t have built up the proper stamina to think at full speed for the entire five sections. That said, it’s perfectly okay to often do just 4 sections with breaks in between.

My theory of test prep is that you have to get good at things under ideal conditions before you make it harder on yourself.

  HARSH TRUTH # 5:    You Can’t Do Your Best On The LSAT   If You Don’t Stop Partying All The Time 

I saved perhaps the harshest truth for last…

I’m sorry if this makes you cry, but you just aren’t going to hit your top score on the LSAT if you are knocking your brain around by blacking out every Friday night. I don’t understand all of the science, but all signals indicate that drinking is just terrible for the learning mind. If you are going to run at full speed, you have to cut out binge drinking for at least two months before the LSAT.

I know this is especially painful because many of you are in your senior year of college and are trying to have fun with friends. Frankly this is one of the reasons why I advocate taking a year off instead of going straight through to law school. If you’re a social butterfly & you want to enjoy your senior year of college to it’s fullest, you may want to seriously consider studying for the test later, when you won’t be missing out as much. nicholson

That said, it’s okay to go out and have a couple of drinks from time to time. What I’m really advocating is that you cut out the heavy drinking. Both of us totally abstained from drinking during LSAT prep and we are convinced that we have never been smarter in our lives than when we walked into the LSAT on test day.

Don’t worry. The world will still be waiting for you when you get back from the LSAT. I had a huge martini as soon as I left the testing center, and it was the most satisfying drink I’ve ever had.

We’re Here to Help

LSAT Mastermind GroupFor those shooting to do the very best possible on the LSAT, we invite you to work with us. We run the LSAT Mastermind Group, a small group of motivated students who can help each other and rely on Josh and I for support. We are in the process of inviting a small number of highly-motivated students aiming for the top, so join now if you are interested. Once you are in, you are in for life, with access to hundreds of lessons and weekly small group tutoring/coaching with Josh and myself.



Now that I’ve played LSAT bad cop for a while, let me point you toward some more soothing advice: how to relax and manage stress before the LSAT. While we aren’t your therapist, you may find it comforting that we are here to answer your LSAT and law school related questions. If you need some real expert advice from someone who will give it to you straight up, ask us anything in the comments or on twitter @onlawschool. Good luck!


  1. I am looking to take a prep class to supplement my self-study. However, the class goes right up until the week before the LSAT and I wanted to ask if you know anything good or about the program? It’s called Campus Prep and runs at $278 for 6 weeks.

  2. Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

    Hi Amy, Evan here. I’ve never heard of Campus Prep, which is a little bit of a bad sign. Typically you want to be wary of programs done through your undergrad school’s pre-law program. That program is extremely cheap and like elsewhere in life, it’s likely that you are getting what you pay for. From a quick scan of their about us page I’m thinking it looks unlikely that someone who even took the LSAT is teaching the class.

    You need to be taught by an LSAT specialist, someone who has mastered the LSAT themselves. This generally means someone who scored in the 99th percentile (around a 172 or better).

    Nowadays, online video instruction allows you to get a competent teacher cheaper than you used to be able to. Self study is the cheapest, and is arguably as effective or more effective than a class provided you can self-motivate.

    The other thing is that, like I said in my post, 6 weeks is just not enough time to prep properly for the LSAT. That the course is set up this way is another big tip off that its not a high quality course.

    Feel free to disregard my advice, but at your peril. I recommend that you explore other options.

  3. as a student whose mother tongue is not english, LSAT is indeed hard. i have been preparing for a while but still got low scores when i try to do one PT. thanks for reminding me that everyone needs hard work.

  4. Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

    No problem Connie. That is quite the task you have undertaken. I’m impressed. Keep at it!

  5. Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

    Evan here. As you may have gleaned from my recent post on fixing law school costs (http://lawschooli.com/fixing-the-cost-of-law-school-by-slashing-generous-student-loans/) I am an avid Campos reader, and I agree with him on a lot of points.

    What Campos likes to ignore, because he is something of a sensationalist, is the fact that many many people do still have terrific outcomes from going to law school. The problem is that most people are a poor judge ex ante of whether they are likely to be in the category that does well or the one that fares poorly.

    Our position is that in the current market, you should pursue law school only under the following conditions, which generally ensure that law school is a ‘safe’ bet:

    1. You get in to a T6. T6 schools are still worth the price even at full tuition (though obviously you should go to the one that gives you the most money). Everyone I know at UChicago was able to secure legal employment without overwhelming difficultly and they now are doing well by most measures, except for the ones who are unhappy because of the long hours.

    2. You go to a lower T14 with pretty substantial scholarship money. These schools are a little risky now if you incur full debt to attend. I still think almost everyone is going to have good outcomes coming from these schools, but life will be a lot easier if you don’t have over 150K in debt.

    3. You go to a lower school in the T50 with very substantial money. My belief is that most of these schools are not going to be giving you enough value unless you are getting over half tuition to attend (or your parents are paying the remainder, see next point). Even half tuition leaves you with what looks like a lot to pay back given that you might struggle to obtain a high paying job. You also must be absolutely satisfied with the possibility of working in the region where the school is located.

    4. Your parents are paying for your degree. If you emerge with no debt, law school is still a pretty great idea from any school in the T100. As you can see in the article, Campos is critical of the idea that a JD has real value if you choose to work outside the law, even suggesting it can be a hindrance. He has never that I’ve seen presented any good evidence that it harms you to get a JD. A JD still confers respectability, opens a lot of networking doors, and provides a great education.

    5. You can’t even fathom being anything other than a lawyer, and that is all you want to do in life. For a tiny subset of the population, this is how they are going to feel no matter what anyone says. This subset is still well advised to make intelligent decisions about cost when attending.

    Naturally, in all these scenarios you still have to weigh law school against other opportunities that you will have to forgo if you go to law school. Don’t go just because. If you would be happier doing something else, do that. I agree with Campos point that you should have a clear idea what you want to do if you enter the law. If you don’t have a clear idea, I would be concerned whether you are really weighing law school against other options correctly. Also, I fully agree with his point that “should not consider even applying without getting the granular information they need to analyze what is happening to graduates.” This information should be required before one can even access an application, but as it stands students have to do this research on their own.

    I know the picture I’m providing here is a bit dim, but that is part of why we advocate fiercely that people take the LSAT as seriously as possible. We want anyone receiving advice from this site to end up falling in to categories 1-3 (4 is always a bonus too 🙂 ) if they decide to attend law school.

    Keep in touch and let us know if there is anything we can help you with!


    • Evan,
      Thank you so much, this has been extremely helpful. I have been studying to take the October LSAT, I’m working full time and I have been training as I am a student-athlete. This gave me a lot of insight and I am seriously going to contemplate taking a year off and really dedicating myself to LSAT study for next year. Thanks again, this site is awesome and beyond helpful!

  6. Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

    No problem Amy, we’re glad you find it helpful! Definitely think through all this stuff heavily. It sounds like you’ve got quite a bit on your plate at the moment.

    Just a heads up if and when you do go to law school: UChicago absolutely loves to admit student-athletes (other schools do as well obviously, but I know the admissions dean has directly expressed a wish to get more of them to the school).

  7. First of all, thanks for this great site, in just a few minutes it has taught me a lot. But my question is, I am a 40 year old who put Law School dreams away years ago, and I want to go back now and do it. In your experience, is it a crazy idea for someone my age to do this? Do you have any special advice for an older LSAT or Law School hopeful like me? Thanks in advance!

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Pat, there were only a few 35+ students at our school (UChicago) but they all did great when it came time to get jobs. My friend Jeremy was on law review and was wined and dined by firms, so don’t think you would have any disadvantage over younger students.

      My advice though is to really make sure you go to school under circumstances likely to lead to a lucrative job and if you are absolutely sure you want to be a lawyer (my guess is you are better able to answer the question “do you want to be a lawyer?” better than most fresh graduates).

  8. Joshua,

    Have you heard great things about Testmasters prep company, which was created by Robin Singh? I’m taking the class right now, but I find the amount of homework to be quite overwhelming. Should I continue to take the class and use their strategies or should I continue to take the class and use the Bibles from Powerscore and use the questions from Testmasters to practice? Please help. I’m very confused and stressed.

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      You are fine sticking with testmasters. They have a great rep and teach similar methods, so know need to worry. We just don’t recommend them for self-study because they don’t have comprehensive books apart from the course. Continue to take the class and use their strategies. Ask your teacher about any extra prep you might do if you feel you need it.

  9. Hello guys,

    I have taken the LSAT 2 official times about 2 years. On my PTs, I kept scoring mid 150s with some mid 160s but a lack of consistency. Well anyway, it’s 2 weeks before October and I’m scoring a little under 160. I’m torn between hoping for the best or preparing for december instead while applying late. I have a low GPA so I need a high LSAT. Do you have any advice or even a 2 month schedule for pushing my studies for December? I got a tutor this time too but we focused less on time and in the past i’ve psyched myself out with overtesting.

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Be careful, LSAC says:

      Normally, you may not take the LSAT more than three times in any two-year period. This policy applies even if you cancel your score or it is not otherwise reported. LSAC reserves the right to withdraw your registration, rescind your admission ticket, or take any other steps necessary to enforce this policy. (http://www.lsac.org/jd/help/faqs-lsat)

      You might not be able to take in December if you cancel now. Figure this out and then make your decision. I would ask your tutor, who will know your situation better, what they think. If you have underprepared up til now then taking in Oct. is probably not the greatest idea. You should only take the LSAT after you have prepared correctly.

  10. Hi Evan and Joshua-

    I’m so glad that I found this website, because I’ve been studying lsat all by myself for the past month and a half. And your articles and even the comments people post are very motivating! 🙂

    I was originally registered for the Oct test thinking just a month of prep will do the work. Little did I know this test is a monster! Now I’m hitting 165 range, but with my low gpa I hope to hit around 173 to break into T14.

    So I’m commenting here to seek an advice on my study plan or any tip that could be useful to break 170 wall.

    I’ll be finishing up taking older pts (number 1 through 30) by the end of this week, and for the remaining 6 weeks, I’ll be taking 2 pts a day with one dummy section from the older pts. So by the test day, I would have all 70 pts twice under my belt.

    Any thoughts on my study plan? My weakness is timing and concentration. Is raising possibly 10 points in roughly 40 days… possible?

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      WR, thanks for the feedback! It’s possible to get a score boost like that though there are never any guarantees. Actually, I think Josh made a similar leap in his last month. Your plan is a good schedule to try it with. The only thing is I worry if you are doing two PTs a day that you wouldn’t be taking the time to review your PTs correctly. I think it’s better if you use the same time per day, do 1.5 tests or there abouts, and use the reviewing strategy here:

      Any material you don’t get to could be used should a retake become necessary, but do make sure you take the most recent preptests as the test approaches.

      On the flip-side, you are putting yourself under a lot of pressure. It would probably be easier on you to you delay until Feb and take it then, even if that means going to law school a year later. Keep in touch and let us know how it’s going. Good luck!

  11. Evan?
    Hey, thanks for your prompt reply! No…. the word “February” is forbidden in my mind right now. I want to get it over with this test fast. I’d rather drive myself crazy for the next 40 day than having to study for this longer. Wish me luck! I’ll update!

    • Yeah that was me. Good luck! One thing: don’t be afraid to bail out if it’s not going well enough. It’s easy to get LSAT tunnel vision.

  12. I’m a single mom (34) of two boys, 8 and 11. I’m thinking of going to law school. Is this even doable? I’ve got my Masters and I’m an AD at a college…but I’m kind of wanting more. More challenge. It’s been a couple years since I’ve been in school, but have always wanted to go to law school. All of the reports for law school graduates are horrible, but I still have been interested off and on the last few years. Would it even be worth it to use your 3 month planning and take the test in Feb and try to get in a school for next fall?

    • Christine,

      Without knowing the ins and outs of your situation, it’s impossible for me to judge if law school is a good idea for you. That said, I can tell you that I think law school is not a good choice right now for the majority of those considering it. In general, you don’t want to go unless you either A. are going to a top school or B. are going somewhere else with a huge scholarship that makes it affordable. We talk more about this here: http://lawschooli.com/why-do-you-want-to-be-a-lawyer/

      A great LSAT score is essential for both A and B, so just keep that in mind. You can’t really know if you can make it work until you take the LSAT. It seems to me most people have already made up their minds to go to law school before they take the LSAT. Once they start the process, they get law school tunnel vision and end up going whether or not they do well on the LSAT. This is all wrong.

      The better approach is to take the LSAT and then decide based on your score if law school is a good idea under your circumstances. Before you take the LSAT, decide if it’s worth the huge commitment of time and effort to take the test knowing there’s a chance it will be time wasted.

      Yes, it’s a lot to put yourself through. That’s a good thing. People should only do this if they are serious about it. That said, being serious does not mean you should feel committed to going no matter what.

      If you take in Feb, we recommend that you apply the following cycle. There is too high a risk that you aren’t getting the best scholarship offers if you apply late in spring. We discuss this more here: http://lawschooli.com/should-i-take-the-february-2014-lsat-if-i-am-applying-to-law-school-for-fall-2014/

  13. Hi guys,

    Great site, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it as I prepare for my LSAT studies. One question I have is in regard to mixing test prep. materials. I plan to take a Blueprint course that begins in April for the June 2014 exam. However, naturally I’d like to begin prepping before that course. Several of my friends have used the Power Score Bibles and recommended them to me.

    1) Would it be imprudent to begin studying with the Powerscore Bibles for 3-4 months, only to later begin using the Blueprint materials? I know many people say that mixing materials is fine so long as one chooses the strategies that are most effective for them and stick with them.

    2) Is there such thing as studying “too much”? I ask because I’m debating when to begin my preparation for the June exam, and wasn’t sure if there’s such as thing as “burning out” from preparation. Currently I’m vacillating between beginning now (November) and January.

    Many thanks again for your insights.
    – Joe

    • Hi Joe

      Mixing and matching is fine as long as you are consistent. The BluePrint and Powerscore logic games techniques are very similar so you could easily pick one or the other’s technique where it appeals to you.

      Burn out is possible, but not too high a risk if you are managing your prep well. Make sure to check out our study schedule. Alternating heavy and light study days helps a lot.

      The only other considerations:

      You do need to have days of intense LSAT study. Say you spaced out your prep so you only did an hour each day. That wouldn’t be ideal. Make sure you schedule at least a day or two a week where you are doing an intense 3-5 hours of study. You need this to build stamina and make breakthroughs.

      Also, with a longer than 4 month study plan you have to make sure you don’t run out of material. Once you are through the bibles, the rest of your prep is basically doing questions from past prep tests. There are only 70 of these tests. You don’t want to run out a month before the exam. Save the 20 or so most recent tests for the last month of prep. You can space out your use of the rest throughout your study plan.

      I would start in January or even Feb. Starting now is more likely a disadvantage than an advantage. If you are still in school, take a basic logic course now. That will help prime you for study in earnest later.

      Good luck!


  14. Hey I’ve been studying the LSAT for a while now. Initially, things seemed to be going well. Then I hit a wall. i estimate that I hit about 48% of what I could really do on the LSAT. The problem is I mess up consistently on details when it comes to reading, whether that reading is logical reasoning or reading comp. Consistently, if I mess up, 98% of the time, it is based on simply not reading through on the details. Even when I read slower, I don’t inundate those details into my mind, so I pick a question choice that isn’t apparent, and I get it wrong, only to be so disappointed that I didn’t actually pick the right answer after re-reading, or seeing an explanation (which usually tells me that I didn’t read the passage thoroughly enough). What can I do to improve my situation? I feel that I am more than capable in doing well on the LSAT, but this handicap of not reading thoroughly is hurting me consistently and it has become a real thorn in my side. Do you have any ideas what I can do. Please help. Thank you,

    Jens Jimenez

  15. I just graduated from college and I will be working at a big law firm in about 2 weeks. I am told its a 9-5:30pm type of job but that at times I will have to work long hours since its a big law firm. I want to apply to law schools this fall so I can start fall 2015. I took Testmasters last summer and I felt it was very fast paced, advanced and not for me. I am looking into taking blue print course plus its private tutoring of 20hrs at a sum of $3600. Another options is simply blueprint private tutoring 30 hrs at $3000. My last diagnostic last summer was a 140 and I want to get a 165, plus my gpa is a 3.1. My goal is to get into a top 20 law school. I am concerned about balancing my work schedule with lsat (law school apps) and I am concerned about pulling up about 20 points on the lsat in order to get into a top law school. I’m not looking into quitting the job because I got the position because of law school apps/ it looks good on my resume. I know there are a lot of points to cover here, but I hope you can touch on all of them. Thank you very much!

  16. Hi!

    I am having second thoughts about law school, although it’s been a dream of mine. For various reasons my GPA dropped below a 3.0 my last year or so of undergrad, and I’m nervous that even if I do good on the LSAT that i wont get into a decent law school. I was thinking if I got my masters in something first I would have a better chance… What are your thoughts?

  17. Hi!
    I have a question about prepping, I’m taking the Sep LSAT and only have 5 weeks left of prep and I’m scoring the same I did when I first started. I understand the test much better and I get it much more correct when I study, but when I take a full test on time I get the same score (I’m scoring in the lower 140s). I have taken a Kaplan course and I have tutoring from Kaplan. I don’t really know what to do since I do understand the material but when timed I don’t do any better. I spend around 15 hour per week studying when working and starting my senior year in college. I know my tutor has told me that the score will come later, but after 5 weeks of intense prep I see no improvement and I’m hoping for a score in the late 160s. What are your suggestions for the last 4 weeks remaining? I will be on school at the same time so I won’t have more than 15 hours or so a week. I should also add that English is my second language and therefore I’m struggling with the language as well.

    Thanks so much!

    • Ellen, I think if you want to get out of the 140s, you’ll likely have to postpone and take the test in December. Well your tutor is right that your score should begin improving, I think a 160’s score would be a very unlikely outcome. I’m not saying you are assured of that score if you postpone until December, but your odds are much better. ESL students typically benefit from more time with the material.

  18. Hey guys,

    I am starting to prep for the December LSAT on Monday, September 15th. LSAT Prep should conclude with my last week ending test week. Do either of you feel that it is too short of time to effectively prep? It is exactly 12-weeks. I am considering buying the 12 week schedule you guys put together as structure is important to me. I will be self prepping.

    • Hi Michael,

      A 12 week LSAT prep schedule is certainly doable for many people. I prepared in that amount of time, as did Josh. However, it’s really a minimum. A lot of people find they need more time. Certainly start preparing and commit to a schedule. In a couple months you can assess whether you are within reach of your goals by Dec. or whether more time is needed.



  19. I have reached an age, 44, where the benefits of spending 4 years attending law school is financially irresponsible for I am disabled receiving a fixed monthly income, and have a 15% chance of outliving cancer in the next 5 years. I have an MBA, and am finishing a master’s in taxation. I enjoy research and writing, but feel that a paralegal makes more sense. My mental obstacle is whether or not I will be well equipped to support an attorney, particularly in business, tax, trusts, and estate practice. Should I follow the JD, the paralegal courses, or work at Starbucks. I like the challenge of attaining admittance into, and graduation from law school. Realistically, time is against me, yet the personal goal of becoming an attorney is satisfaction for my ego. As you have been so kind in counseling others specific to LSAT preparation, and judging the merits of attaining a JD as a worthwhile goal. Maybe this should be a question best left to my psychiatrist, but I respect your unfettered advice. I welcome your thoughts.

  20. Hi!

    I am kind of freaking out. So, I prepared hard core the first two months, I work full time, so I studies after work from 5-9 and sometimes 10. Then on the weekends I tried studying 8 hours a day. Needless to say, I burned out. I haven’t picked up the books in a month and my test is this Saturday.

    I read all of the Logic Games Bible and Logical Reasoning Bible, and I am still scoring horribly. Under 150. Being a lawyer is what I have always wanted to do, and now I feel my dreams are unattainable. A part of me wants to take the test this weekend, because well I paid for it and also to have an experience under my belt and then another part of me is afraid that I will do so poorly that I wasted 1/3 of my chances. Then I think, well, if I take it this weekend even if I do bad, I will have an experience and will be better prepared for December. Is this logical? What should I do? I live in Louisville, KY and Uofl is in the lower top 100 law schools in the nation. I do not really want to go to Uofl’s law school, I want to go somewhere else if I can help it, but with what I am scoring, even if I got accepted somewhere, I wouldn’t get any scholarships. I don’t want to make the mistake I made in high school, I have always regretted not trying hard or studying hard for the ACT, because if I did I would most likely have been debt free. Now that I am older and learned from my mistakes, I don’t want to try my hardest to get into a good law school with decent scholarship money. I don’t know. I am so confused right now, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

      • There is really no point in taking if you are not going to get a score you can live with. A score under a 150 won’t get you into any law school that makes financial sense to attend, so I strongly recommend you try at a later date if you want to attend law school. Withdraw and it doesn’t count as one of the 3 tries you are allowed in a 2 year period.

        Sign up for the test when you are sure you can devote the required time to study in an organized manner, following a sensible schedule. You can try one of our study schedules: http://lawschooli.com/shop/lsat-study-schedules/12-week/ or set your own. Remember that just going through the Bibles once is not going to be near enough. You have to practice a ton of real LSAT questions as well, and build up to doing quite a few practice tests.

        I hope this doesn’t come of as harsh, but if you can’t do this the right way, you are better off avoiding the law school path. It just gets harder from here. Still, if you tried hard for the first 2 months, you should be able to reset and do this right.

  21. Retake-Indecision on

    Dear Evan/Josh,

    I am considering retaking the LSAT. I scored 170 on the February LSAT. Around two weeks ago, I took two timed practice tests and scored 170 and 169.

    My question to you: How long would it take to improve to a 173, in your estimation? I’ve flattered myself into thinking that a month’s worth of prep right before the December LSAT would suffice, but I am wary of overconfidence. Given your experience teaching and studying the LSAT, I figured you would have a better grasp on the time required to improve on a 97th percentile score.

    Thanks for the work you do on this site!

  22. Dear Josh and Evan,

    For starters, this article was a great insight and really opened my eyes to what to anticipate. On the other hand, it really made me nervous beyond belief that I will not be ready to take the LSAT in 3.5 weeks. I needed to decide whether or not I wanted to pursue law school or get my paralegal license based on how my internship this summer went and decided to go for law school about 3.5 weeks ago.

    After reading this article, I was wondering if you had any advice for me regarding preparing myself more for the upcoming exam as well as what I should really focus on regarding my time constraint. Unfortunately, I have been studying for it using Barron’s prep book and have only gotten through the logical reasoning.

    Any and all help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks for making this site!

    • 3 and a half weeks is not enough! Without question, I would withdraw and plan for a later date. The Barron’s book isn’t well-respected. Even though I think they have improved it somewhat, I would use the resources we suggest here.

  23. Thank you for the info. Do you you have an updated list of materials or is the nine you mentioned still valid? Also I am planning on applying to the early deadlines next Fall, so when would you recommend taking the LSAT and should I leave time for a retake? Thank you.

  24. Hello there. I am going to a nationally accredited, but not well known school in Florida. I have a 4.0 GPA but due to my school being called “Technical” it is said that my GPA will not matter. They say I will not even be considered. I am extremely dedicated and I am concentrating on getting the highest possible score on the LSAT. Any ideas on this? My school does not have a pre-law adviser so most of the research and questions I have to answer or find the answers to. What is your advice?

  25. Hi, great article. I am 29 years old and considering both law school and grad school programs. I graduated from Arizona State with a bachelor’s in Justice Studies five years ago. My undergrad GPA was 3.1. I took a full simulated practice LSAT under exact test conditions in a class room a couple of years ago. I honestly took the test on a lark because it was free and I wanted to see how I would do, having never even looked at an LSAT sample question before. I scored 164, and my score was mainly brought down by the games section, which everyone says is the section that sees the most improvement with studying and test prep. So, I have two questions: 1) Given my base diagnostic score and the fact that my only weakness was games, is it reasonable to expect that I could at least raise my score into the 170s range? 2) If I could raise my score to that range, or even get over, say, 173 (I know that’s a reach, but I tend to do very well on standardized tests), would that score help me get into a higher tier school, even though my GPA was lackluster? My work experience over the years is unimpressive on paper and probably won’t count for much on an application, although some of the unpaid volunteer work I do in courtrooms may be noteworthy. I really only want to go to law school if I can get into an excellent program. If I do as well as I hope to on the LSAT, do I have a reasonable shot?

  26. LaKesha Kenner on

    I want to work in the fiel of law but not actually be an attorney!!!! Crazy I know, I am thinking about getting my Masters in Law administration and they (University of Colorado) have a duel program that will allow you to get your JD,making the LSAT required. I’m planning to take the LSAT later this year but have no idea where to start can your guys help please?? I have a low GPA so I need to get a really good score to be admitted

  27. Hi Josh and Evan, I have bought all of the books you have recommended off of Amazon and also purchased your 4 month study schedule associated with the books. I am planning on taking the LSAT this year in October. I understand intensive studying is needed prior to the test and you think the 4 month studying schedule is the best one to participate in. Since I have time between now and June when I start on the actual schedule, what would you think would be most beneficial for me to do to prepare for the LSAT? I have more questions but I think they would be better suited for after you respond. Thanks!

  28. Hello! I’m so glad I’ve found you guys! Here’s my story… I’m finishing up my third year in biomedical engineering with dreams of going to med school, but nearly none of the med schools even consider international applicants. This is when I decided to put away my doctor dreams and began looking into graduate programs. In recent years, it became clear to me that doing business and law in the biomedical field would be increasingly profitable and in need of severe legal representation.
    So I wanted to ask you, how bad is it for international applicants out there in the law school world? My GPA is about a 3.7 and I haven’t taken the LSAT yet but you’ve definitely motivated me to get started asap!

    • I just purchased the lawschooli twelve week study program along with the study materials. I am slightly confused in that the schedule is advertised as being daily while it only appears to give you weekly assignments. Am I missing something? Also, you need to update this article as it does not say the schedule requires Mike Kim’s the LSAT Trainer. I had purchased all materials and then purchased the schedule and only then found out I was going to have to drop another $35. This was frustrating because it also meant setting my schedule back as I waited for the book to arrive. All things considered, I am excited to see where you’re apparently rigorous schedule takes me! Again, could you explain the discrepancy between its apparently being weekly while it is advertised as daily? Also, could you explain how I am to fill out the chart? Thanks for your help!


    • I just purchased the lawschooli twelve week study program along with the study materials. I am slightly confused in that the schedule is advertised as being daily while it only appears to give you weekly assignments. Am I missing something? Also, you need to update this article as it does not say the schedule requires Mike Kim’s the LSAT Trainer. I had purchased all materials and then purchased the schedule and only then found out I was going to have to drop another $35. This was frustrating because it also meant setting my schedule back as I waited for the book to arrive. All things considered, I am excited to see where you’re apparently rigorous schedule takes me! Again, could you explain the discrepancy between its apparently being weekly while it is advertised as daily? Also, could you explain how I am to fill out the chart? Thanks for your help!

      • Thanks for your help! I think I’ll stick with the original schedule however as so far I am a fan of the LSAT trainer and my summer is free enough that I can pretty easily fit in the added book.

      • As far as daily vs weekly…

        Because we want the schedule to be flexible enough for everyone to use it, we’ve broken down the assignments and have left it up to you to determine which day of the week you’d like to do them. Some people are busy on Monday & Wednesday. Others need to take the weekends off. Others want to work 7 days a week. By providing the assignments that needs to be completed each week, and allowing you to decide how you’d like to allocate those assignments throughout the week, you’ll have a schedule that works best for you (which means you’ll be much more likely to stick to it!)

        The assignments in the schedule take a varying amount of time, but as you work along you’ll quickly get a feel for how
        long each of these assignments is going to take. Follow the assignments in the order that they are laid out each week. It
        may help at the beginning of the week to try to slot them into the times you have available to study.

        In general, we tried to make the schedule conducive to alternating more intense study days with somewhat easier ones.
        Doing this helps you avoid burnout. However, when you study, try to study for at least an hour and focus only on the
        LSAT. Block email, Snapchat, Instagram, and everything else out while you study. Studies show that switching your
        attention interferes with the ability to focus and learn.

        If you have things remaining at the end of the week, do not panic. The schedule is designed to give you easier weeks to
        catch up on material.

      • I was glad to see your “study for at least an hour” as I have put in 12 hours between yesterday and today (in order to catch up as I am down to 11 weeks rather than the scheduled 12) and knew there was no way I could put in 6 hours a day for the next 11 weeks! I suppose myou original complaint was that I had no clue how long the assignments would take, however you were right and I have since gotten a feel for it. Thanks for your help!

  29. Hey Evan and Josh,

    I’mlooking for a little reassurance (but only if I deserve it). I’m taking the June LSAT in 8 weeks. I am a year out of school and working full-time in finance, so 40 hours a week isn’t exactly enough to fit my job description. I must admit that I did slack off for quite sometime, reaching my hand into a barrel of excuses until I felt the stress creep in. So, with that out of the bag, I’ve been planning to take the test since early February, but didn’t begin seriously studying until the end of March.

    I am currently taking a course through the Princeton Review, which I read in another article on this site as not being one of the best. This is ok for me–I honestly feel it’s worth the investment in the sense that it keeps me on target, ensures that I am doing several sets of homework problems weekly, and provides me with several proctored practice tests.

    Basically, I want to review my study schedule and see if either of you have any advice/suggestions, especially since I’m cutting it a bit close. I have taken a diagnostic exam (three weeks ago) and scored 151. I would like to aim for 165, which is a significant jump, but I would be most comfortable in the early 160s. My class meets once a week for three hours, requiring about three hours of outside homework. As this is not nearly enough time, I am also self-studying by reading the Powerscore Bibles and have managed to complete one of the Bibles in around 6 days. I plan to continue reading at that rate, making my way through all three and mixing in plenty of drills. I also plan to practice test every single weekend that I am not already testing with the Princeton Review. In total, I find that I am making an effort to study around 3 hours on week nights and twice that on weekends.

    My current school of choice is in the top 35 (is that decent, relatively speaking?) and my undergrad GPA is among the 75% for the particular law school. Of course I would love to score a 170 to have a broader choice of schools, but wouldn’t everyone? In summary, I’m asking if it’s realistic to expect a jump higher than, say, ten points/if my study schedule seems adequate instead of my choice to go with Princeton/if I’m crazy for trying to fit the rest of my prep into less than a full eight weeks. I feel as if the answer to that last question is “yes.” SOS!

    Thanks guys! Sorry for the million questions!

  30. Hi Evan and Joshua! I started my prep five months out with a 172 diagnostic score. After 2 1/2 months, I got my personal best on a simulated test – a 178. Acknowledging that I still have a lot of work to do to make that kind of score consistent, what should I do in the week or so after a great practice test? Also, should I change the way I structure my studying from here on out so as to promote consistency without burnout or overthinking?

  31. I’ve heard that the LSAT is the most important admissions factor, but I’m not sure exactly how much to rely on it. I have a low GPA (below a 3.0 – ouch, I know) but solid (fairly academic) extracurricular things, and I’m hoping to score in the upper 170s. In your experience with law school applicants, would a person with a profile similar to mine have a shot at top schools?

    I’m also wondering how to manage your recommended practice schedule. Did either of you take the test during undergrad? If you did, any tips for scheduling study time? I’m testing in October and will be studying diligently, but I’m not sure I can consistently do 20+ hrs/wk with a summer job and especially classes in the fall.

  32. Hi Fellas.

    Love the website and this article is great! I just finished reading “Getting Started on the LSAT” and it answered a number of questions for you in regard to how I want to prepare to take the exam in October. What I am still trying to decide though is the question of prep course vs. self-study? It turns out that a good buddy of mine recommended BluePrint, so I was happy to see that on your recommended prep courses, but their only classes are 2 hours away from me. Powerscore has a local class, but they don’t start until Aug 6 and after reading this article I plan to start studying in July. Do you have any recommendations on how to supplement during that time? I saw that you have a 12-week study plan, so maybe I could purchase that and just get rolling. What are your thoughts? I also, have already purchased “The LSAT Trainer” by Mike Kim. Thanks in advance for the feedback.

  33. Pingback: Taking a class versus self studying | lawschool2015

  34. Hi there,

    I’m very interested in your method and I’m looking to take the LSAT this upcoming June. I have noticed that all of the comments are from 2013 and I’m just wondering how current your information is on the prep methods you have discussed in all of your articles? Thanks so much in advance.

  35. I know this is very late to the article, but to answer questions about The LSAT Trainer – it’s the only book I used, and I am a HUGE fan of it. I did a quick rush 4 week cram study for the test, and I got a 170. Mike Kim does a great job of explaining concepts while keeping it entertaining. His Logic Games sections in particular were especially outstanding – again, I crammed it all into 4 weeks, and for the last two weeks I literally did not miss a single Games question out of the dozen or so tests I did (including the actual LSAT itself). You will not regret buying that book.

  36. Hi,
    I’m a freshman in college and I honestly have no idea what direction I’m headed in as far as law school. I got a perfect score on the reading comprehension portion of the SAT in high school so I assumed I’d do well on the LSAT. I took a proctored practice test the other day (I think it was the 2008 October exam) and scored a 162. I was a bit disappointed but I really was fatigued by the end and did most poorly on the reading section which I thought I’d do best on. I have yet to study for the LSAT but I really would like to attend a T6 school. I’m at a 3.81 and a conservative estimate would be a 3.75 by the time I graduate. Also, my university offers a plan where I can get my masters degree in one year after obtaining my bachelors, should I take advantage of this opportunity and delay my application or should I apply during my senior year or should I do both? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

  37. Daniel Ramirez on

    What is your thoughts about Blue Print LSAT course? If I retake the LSAT Blue Print offers an online program or should I go with lawschooli? My concern is that I already am familiar with the Blue Print methods and my scores right now are around the low 160s.

  38. Madalyn Brooks on

    Does it matter tremendously if I use 2016 guides to study for a 2017 LSAT?? I am considering purchasing all of the books and doing a 6 month prep for the February 2017 LSAT – so does it matter a lot that the study materials are 2016 edition?

  39. Hello! This is an awesome site, thanks so much for the information.
    I just finished a Kaplan course and after hearing they aren’t the best I’m a little concerned. My diagnosis was 161 and I’m still scoring around there after 5-6 weeks of mediocre practice. I’m aiming for 175+ (as high as possible!) and originally planned to take the the September test but may wait until December if I’m not doing well enough. Should I keep going with Kaplan and work harder or just throw it out and order the power score materials? I’m also wondering how long it’ll take to improve my score about 15+ points already having basic familiar with the test. On average I miss 5-7questions in lr, 5-7 in lg, 5-7 in rc. Is it possible to do that by the September test or should I push it back until December?
    Thank you so much!

  40. Gabriela Denis on

    Found this to be super helpful as I was going to go on autopilot mode with a Kaplan course starting next week. Would you recommend the self-paced lsat prep course? Worth it or not? Preparing for the September exam


  41. Hi,
    I appreciate the information you have shared on the LSAT and what a person needs to have their mind on if they want to do well in the profession. I’m retired and looking at going back to school because I enjoy the challenge. Being around people who will challenge me to research answers is something I have done all my life. What attracts me to law is the chance of getting to practice in the courtroom. I don’t know the first thing about how to get there but I like being prepared. I have hired attorneys in my lifetime that I have had to keep on track when we were trying to accomplish winning a lawsuit. Hopefully I can be better than that. So if you can afford school, where do you want to go? If you have all the time in the world to study, would you consider spending 6 months prep or a year? What would you use to measure your state or readiness ?

  42. I just wrapped up Testmasters, have been studying about 8 hours a day and have taken roughly 10 practice exams with the virtual proctor and still no where near what I need with a 3.5 GPA as a double major in science. I used to believe that it was possible to improve after continuous practice and review (especially having taken some of the upper division science courses) but that seems only to be related to science and math – NOT THE LSAT.

    I guess going to law school is meant for people who study 4 years in Poli Science, History or Philosophy. SUCKS!

  43. Thank you for this! I just purchased the 6 month study schedule and these points are so accurate. I’ve always felt I’m not the strongest test taker and I plan on completely dedicating myself to prep. I took a course (which was great) but didn’t apply myself as much after class or with the homework. I was getting high 160’s on practice tests but when it counted I scored lower on the December LSAT. I am going to bite the bullet and follow the prep schedule and go for the June test. Thanks again, guys!

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