LSAT Prep Books & Self-Study – How I got a 177 on the LSAT

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Joshua, How did you get a 177 on the LSAT? It would be helpful to know for my preparation efforts how you achieved your score increase and how quickly your score increased. My first diagnostic was 155 and I’ve studied for four weeks. I take my next timed practice test this weekend, but I’m not expecting a large increase. Any information you can offer would be much appreciated — and most likely life-changing. Thanks for giving me hope.

 

 


joshua_craven

Joshua Craven
UChicago Law School
J.D., Class of 2012

First of all, I’m glad you are feeling hopeful and inspired. That is a fantastic attitude to have when you are prepping for the LSAT.

A high LSAT score is, indeed, quite life-changing. An LSAT score above 175 can get you into a top 5 law school—on the largest scholarship they offer. It certainly did for me. But I did work hard to get there.

My first diagnostic score was similar to (actually below) yours. I scored in the 152-153 range on my initial diagnostic LSAT. With about 3 months of LSAT prep, I was able to score a 177 on the actual exam.

It is possible to increase your LSAT score by 20 points or more, but it is going to take some hard work. I was able to do it, but the large increase in my LSAT score did not happen overnight. It took me weeks of prep to increase my LSAT score from a 153 into the 165+ range. Once I was consistently scoring in the 165+ range, it took me a solid 4 weeks of 40-hour-per-week LSAT prep to increase my LSAT score into the 175+ range.

As far as what I did to increase my LSAT score: although it is difficult to summarize within a few paragraphs, I will do my best.

LSAT SELF-STUDY vs. LSAT PREP COURSE

I chose to self-study rather than taking an LSAT course. I made the decision to teach myself the LSAT for a few reasons.

First, when I was in undergrad, I generally found that I was able to learn the required material by reading the textbook rather than listening to lectures. Perhaps that is just my learning style, but I was always able to absorb the material better when I read it myself rather than listening to a professor lecture about it for hours.

Second, I had the discipline to make an LSAT study schedule for myself and stick to it. At an early stage in my LSAT prep, I was able to recognize how important my LSAT preparation efforts would be, and how important it was for me to adhere to a strict schedule.

If you learn better by listening to lectures, or if you find it difficult to maintain the self-discipline required to adhere to a strict self-study schedule, then you may find an LSAT prep course to be a helpful supplement to your LSAT prep study.

GET THE BEST LSAT PREP BOOKS

The key to prepping for the LSAT, in my opinion, is selecting the right materials to study with. If you try to study with the wrong set of books, then you may see a modest increase in your score, but you will probably spend most of your time simply spinning your wheels.

When this post was first published, you could get all 9 of the LSAT prep books that helped me improve my LSAT score by 25 points for a total of about $240. For current pricing, click here to view all 9 books in an Amazon shopping cart.

These books should be pretty much all you need to prepare for the LSAT. If you don’t have at least a majority of these LSAT prep books, then it will be very tough to see a significant increase in your LSAT score.

So here are the top 9 books that I think you MUST HAVE to prep for the LSAT

Buy anything on that list and you wont be wasting your money… those books helped me earn a 25 point increase in my LSAT score, and were the key to my 177.

TAKE PLENTY OF REAL, TIMED LSAT PREPTESTS

Start with the LSAT Superprep to familiarize yourself with the general ins and outs of the LSAT. Then use the Powerscore bibles (LGB / LRB / RCB) to get the basics of each section down. Work through one section at a time (since Logical Reasoning accounts for a full 50% of your score, that’s generally where I’d recommend starting).

Once you have worked through the Bible, start using the real LSAT preptests from the list above to drill yourself and keep refining your skills as well as your timing. Start with older LSAT preptests from the “10 Actual Official” books, saving more recent exams to use as full, timed LSAT practice tests closer to exam day.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW I GOT A 177

I cannot stress the importance of getting feedback throughout your LSAT prep efforts. Keep working and keep asking questions. There is much to learn, and those of us who have taken the LSAT and scored in the top 99.9 percentile have tons of advice to offer. This website is here to help.

Take advantage of the free resources offered here, and ask questions in the comments so that I can help guide you along your path to LSAT greatness. If you’re looking for a little extra help, join me in the LSAT mastermind study group.

Additional Reading:

Logic Games

Logical Reasoning

Reading Comprehension

General

About Author

68 Comments

    • Jefferson Townsend on

      Hey Josh,

      Last time I checked, 177 doesn’t quite land you in the 99.9%, more like 99.8%.

      Like 200 Kids pull down a 177 every year. Shouldn’t we be trying to learn from someone who really cracked the test?

      Also, you mentioned getting the largest scholarships at each of the top 5 law schools, but the top three don’t even offer merit scholarships (and no way a 175 is the reason you get a Hamilton offer). Your comment is very miseading.

      Jeff

  1. What would be an example of a study schedule i should follow? Do you recommend spending at least a month on logical reasoning, than another month on logic games and so forth ?

  2. Daniel E. Mills on

    I would like to know how I go about registering to take the LSAT, as to I have finished my Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice/Paralegal. I am interested in this program, all programs involved, and preparation to take the LSAT as well.
    Just wanting basic feedback on all areas to taking the LSAT, as well as having great aspirations of applying to LAW School afterwards.

  3. I am an incoming junior in college and I want to start prepping for the June 2014 LSAT. What type of schedule do you suggest I follow?

  4. Struggling for that 170 on

    Hi Josh and Evan,

    I am registered for the October LSAT. I am averaging at 165, however, I am desperately hoping in these last weeks to hit and reach a 170 on test day, having done so only once. I am trying to stick to a 40 hour a week schedule, taking tests 3-4 times a week. My problems are not specific; basically any of the “difficult” questions will get me. I would appreciate ANY advice you have for a struggling LSATer who has hit the wall of hopelessness. THANK YOU.

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Well, first, you sound just a little bit stressed out. Focusing on the prep is great, but maybe try some sports and meditation too. Make sure that when you aren’t simulating a test you take lots of little breaks in your study.

      To deal with those difficult problems, try mixing in a little untimed prep back into your schedule and also remember to properly review each and every question you find hard. We’ve got some tips on that here: http://lawschooli.com/reviewing-an-lsat-practice-test/

      Beyond that, you want to just keep doing what you are doing. A lot of people make big strides in the last month so there is still time for things to click.

  5. Great post.

    I graduated with a Master’s degree on May and so far getting a job on my field has been impossible.

    I was between Law School and PHD. Finally decided to go for law school.

    I love your study plan idea, however, I have a question:

    How do you study 40 hrs a week when you work 80, as it is my case?

    Do you think 4 daily hours would do some magic?

    Thank you!

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Diana,

      It’s definitely tough to self-study when you have an intense job. My recommendation is that you look at our study schedule: http://lawschooli.com/lsat-study-schedule/ and do that within a ~5 month time frame.

      In that case, I’d guess most days you would probably be doing about 2 hours of prep and 3-4 hours a couple days a week. Make sure that you do occasionally mix in intense days with more study (maybe one day a weekend) Also, when you get to the tail end of your LSAT prep you must schedule in the time it takes to do full simulated tests.

  6. I have been studying for the Oct. LSAT since early July. My diagnostic score was about 154. I am currently scoring anywhere between 163 and 165 (with one exception, the June 2001 LSAT, on which I scored 171) consistently but am hopeful that I can reach 170 before test day!

    RC is definitely my strongest section. I typically miss 1 or 2 questions in this section on each preptest. On LR I will miss anywhere from 2-6 questions. I am very inconsistent on this section. Sometimes it’s a breeze, and other times I fumble my way through it.

    FInally, games probably gives me the most trouble. I’ve tried to focus my attention on this section and have managed to keep improving with repetition, however, I have only recently begun taking recent LSATs and have found that this section has evolved considerably over time.
    How can I defeat games and be more consistent on LR? What are your suggestions for my final month of studying?
    Looking forward to hearing from the LSAT king himself!

    Lauren

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Hi Lauren,

      Evan here. Sorry, Josh is on his honeymoon so I have comment duty even though I’m in China for the month :)

      First off, good job on getting your scores to that point. Definitely another self-study success story in the making.

      For LR my recommendation is to make sure you are reviewing the questions the right way, i.e. you aren’t looking at the answer until you can describe to yourself why you picked your final answer and why the other answer choices are inferior. Still do them on the first pass under timed conditions, but do this thorough review before you look at the answers.

      With logic games, I think the really important thing to do is just keep hammering them and hope it clicks. I wish there was more to it but it sounds like you have the fundamentals down. Lots of practice is what will move you over the finish line. The best thing to do is have days where you basically do games until your eyes bleed. Maybe twice a week do at least five hours of games even if it means you have to hit some older ones (for me, I knew I did games hard enough if I was still seeing variables flying around in my head when I laid down to go to sleep). The ‘click’ should happen sooner or later for you if you keep giving it extra attention.

  7. So it took me a long time to finally decide to take the LSATS as I believed Law School was going to be a long and extremely costly shot. After further discussion, I came to the conclusion that I would lose more by not applying than I would by taking the test and seeing where that leads me.

    Simply put, my question is are all 10 books recommended here to get a good score for the LSATS or are the top 5 books good enough?

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Yes, you really need nearly all of them. The idea is that you need the bibles to teach you the techniques. After that, you should do nearly every published prep question as practice. That is what this list enables you to do. Leave any available practice out of your prep and you run the risk that you haven’t hit your potential. The cost of LSAT prep, particularly self-study, is a tiny investment when you consider the potential payouts (thousands of dollars in scholarships, better job opportunities, etc.)

  8. Hi. I have been studying for the LSAT for some months now, and I am still struggling on RC. I miss about 5 questions on each section. I am trying to set a goal of missing zero; however, I am content with missing one or two, since I am strong in the LG and LR areas. Any feedback or opinion on how I can decrease the number of missed questions on RC?

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Tanika,

      Evan here. RC is really tough. Gains in that section tend to come only through familiarity earned by lots of practice. Are you taking it in October? I might go back over old tests and see if there is any pattern to the questions you are missing, then try to relearn that question type from the RC bible. Is speed the issue or just accuracy? For the record, I had turned in what was for me a bad score on the RC, a -4, and still managed to get a 173 (usually I missed 1 or 2), so really good scores are still possible even with a poor showing in RC relative to the other sections.

      Good job getting to this point. It seems like you are well on your way to a very solid score!

      • YES I AM TAKING THE TEST IN OCTOBER. AND THE QUESTIONS THAT IT SEEMS LIKE IM HAVING A HARD TIME GRASPING INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR. QUESTIONS SUCH AS, THE AUTHOR WOULD MOST LIKELY AGREE WITH THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT OR IT WILL HAVE A FEW WORDS THAT I MAY NOT KNOW THE DEFINITION. AND QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PASSAGE WOULD ANSWER WHICH ONE OF THE QUESTIONS. SPEED IS NOT A HUGE ISSUE, BUT IT DOES PLAY A LITTLE PART BECAUSE AFTER TAKING A LOT OF TIME TO UNDERSTAND THE THIRD PASSAGE THAN IT FORCES ME TO HAVE LESS TIME TO REALLY UNDERSTAND PASSAGE 4. AND THAT GOES ALONG WITH ACCURACY.

  9. Kelley Pasmanick on

    Mr. Craven & Mr. Jones,

    My name is Kelley Pasmanick. Since I’m a test taker with a physical disability needing testing accommodations, I will only be able to take the LSAT in February, 2014. Since the LSAC requires test takers with disabilities to register for LSAT test dates before they are notified of whether or not they have in fact received accommodations, and even still, before the test taker with a disability knows which particular accommodations she is receiving. I am presented with quite a dilemma with regard to setting a study schedule for the next for months based on not knowing whether I’ll have double time on each section of the test and also not knowing whether I’ll have access to a computer for the writing sample since the physical act of writing is very difficult for me. Now that I’ve set up what I’m facing, here are my questions:
    1. How do I set up a study schedule over the next 4 months, not knowing which accommodations I’m going to have, if any?

    2. How do I accurately time myself on exercises & practice tests when I do not know whether or not I’ll be receiving double time on the day of the exam, but knowing that if I base the timing on standard section times, the scores of those exercises & practice tests will be incomplete & will not accurately affect my abilities?

    3. How do I prepare for the Writing sample when I do not know if I’ll have access to a computer or double time? Again, if I base the section time on standard test practices, I will not be able to complete practice writing samples or the official writing sample on the test date, neither of which will accurately reflect my ability to write a cogent argument.

    4. How many weeks out of 16 total weeks do you suggest I spend working through the 15 LSAT preparation books you’ve recommended?

    I hope my above questions make sense to you as test takers without disabilities. I can be reached at 678 923 6099. Please respond to this comment because I know I’m not the only prospective LSAT taker with a disability worried about the above. Even if neither of you can help, respond to let me know you can’t.

    Thank you,

    Kelley Pasmanick

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Hi Kelly,

      Sorry for the delayed response. I know LSAC says they might take substantially longer than the baseline 14 days to process a request. Do they at least give you any idea how long it is going to take?

      Because how you should start you LSAT preparation is going to be same regardless of whether you receive accommodations or not (the first month should be mostly untimed prep), feel free to get started. Hopefully you will know what time requirements you’ll have by the time you start practicing timed questions. If you don’t hear back by then, I would suggest you start timing practice using the additional time you have requested.

      We’ve created a 16-week LSAT study schedule that would be a great fit if you’ve got 4 months to prep.

      Don’t worry much about the writing sample. It’s not an important part of the admissions process for one thing, but I’m confident that LSAC will make the necessary accommodations there.

      Let me know if this didn’t sufficiently answer any of your questions. Best of luck with your prep!

  10. I’ve really been enjoying the blog, thanks guys for doing this!

    So I was wondering – I have the LR and LG Bible and probably all of the previous years tests, or at least a good maybe 60 of them. (How many are there all together?). I also have one or two explanation books for maybe 6-9 of these tests. And also have Kaplan’s Pacing (which includes timed tests sections from real tests), Endurance (which includes full tests plus an extra section added on to make it 5 sections), and Mastery (individual questions in sections from real tests). I think I have one or two other books also that I can’t even remember what they are…So – lots of fun materials that I can go through before the December Test 2013. ;) (My LSAT book pile is over a meter high)

    With all these materials, I’ve decided to do mostly self-study – plus there’s not really LSAT classes near my house… I didn’t really have self-study discipline or determination before, but I now have that motivation more than ever. (!)
    I’ve been through my LR and LG Bible and my friend was suggesting taking a test a day and reviewing it every day, and trying get through as many tests as I can before December.
    Probably this is the best way to go – but that would mean dumping the Kaplan materials, etc. I don’t mind doing those materials too, but I don’t want to use them just because I have them…At the moment if I do everything untimed but still moving at a spritely pace (basically taking a timed test, but then going back and answering all the questions that I didn’t have to time get to at the end), I miss less than 10 questions on the test overall– the problem is pacing. Taking a timed test I still always have a handful of questions at the end of each section that I haven’t gotten to. (I’ve just read your blog post about increasing spead, so I’ll try that too on my next test.)

    Anyway, that’s my plan and challenges so far if you have any suggestions.

    Also, I was just curious about – the Bibles and Kaplan, and I’m sure other test prep materials all use “real test questions” in their test prep materials, and they divide it into groups, for practive, for example – LR: Assumption questions, LR: Strengthen questions. Doesn’t through off my test score when I see some of these same questions again when I’m doing a practice test? Is it better then to just stick with practice tests, and reviewing the practice tests, and then only if I’m really struggling with a particular type of question go back and do a whole section of LR: weaken questions?

    Thanks!

    P.S. Evan, where in China are you this month? I live out here. :)

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Shirin,

      I’m mostly in Shanghai! (went to Xi’an and Beijing for a few days each too, and also saw Wuxi, Suzhou, and Hangzhou) Sadly I’m leaving tomorrow :(

      I’m not familiar with those Kaplan materials. Are they using real LSAT questions? If so they will just contain problems that you’ll hit doing the tests anyways, and you should probably just do them that way. You might want to compare your friends advice with our study schedule and see which approach you like better. Your friend’s approach will work, but see if you want to incorporate some of our strategies.

      As to this question: “Is it better then to just stick with practice tests, and reviewing the practice tests, and then only if I’m really struggling with a particular type of question go back and do a whole section of LR: weaken questions?”, yes, I think with logical reasoning that’s probably the best approach.

      Best of luck with your studies!

      • Thanks for the fast reply!

        Yes, these Kaplan books do use real LSAT questions – they’re left over from an old Kaplan online course.

        I live pretty close to there actually – in Nanjing, finishing up a Law Degree in Chinese.

        Hope you had a good trip!

  11. Hi there! I’m taking the January 2014 LSAT. I’m starting my prep now and I am so overwhelmed! Should I get the Powerscore Bible workbooks? I noticed on the powerscore website they have new editions that were published in 2013… should I get the new editions from the website or the older editions? Thanks so much!

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Definitely get the new editions of the Powerscore stuff. Definitely, the workbooks will be useful as they do the work for you in terms of separating logic games into type, however, you can do it on your own too.

  12. Joshua and Evan,

    Thank you for all of the tips and helpful suggestions this website provides. I am currently a junior in undergrad and I have a question about the three month schedule. How can I study for 3-6 hours per day on top of my course work? The program seems perfect in terms of structure, however I just can’t seem to figure out how I would work all of those hours in if I want to go to law school the semester after I graduate. I know there is plenty of time before I take the test but I simply want to get ahead.

    Thank you!

    • Micheal,

      A lot of hard-working students have this problem. It’s the type of person that is most likely to study hard for their other classes who also wants to prep hard for the LSAT. That’s a good sign you’ll do well.

      Balancing it can be tough, which is part of why we generally suggest taking a year off between undergrad and law school: http://lawschooli.com/should-i-take-a-year-off-before-going-to-law-school/

      Can you lighten you course load at all? If not, your going to have to get really good at time management. I would suggest studying for 4 months so that you don’t have to put in quite as many hours per day for the early part of your schedule. Other than that, you just have to get some serious motivation and do. Josh and I both managed this well having full-time jobs, so we know it’s doable. Focus on your LSAT prep early in the day well you are still fresh (unless you are a night person like me, then maybe save it til the end of the day). Just whatever you do, keep your GPA up. You can ‘erase’ a lower LSAT score with a retake. Your GPA on the other hand gets fixed in stone.

  13. Hi guys,

    Well I’m embarrassed to say my first score was a 139. My 2nd PT (shortly after the 1st) was a 141. My last PT two days ago was a 147. I’ve never taken logic and I’ve always been a mediocre reader. While this is an increase I know I need to improve a lot more. I’ve noticed my accuracy is not too bad the problem is I read slow. From here until December I will mostly be doing timed tests as well as questions and sections to see if I can improve. What do you guys think? I’m not too freaked out because I’m familiar with question types and feel pretty comfortable so I know there’s room for improvement but I’m just not sure if there’s enough time.

    Thanks!

    • Brenda,

      My honest opinion: those LSAT scores aren’t going to get you in to a law school that is a safe bet to attend in this economy. 40 days is not a lot of time to make the jump you would need to get good outcomes. With scores in that range you probably are having major troubles with accuracy. You shouldn’t worry about timing until you can do problems untimed with a reasonable amount of accuracy (all but 2 or 3 incorrect is a good mark to shoot for before you start adding timing). My advice is to withdraw your December registration. Start prepping from the ground up focusing on accuracy first. See our more detailed prep schedule for a good 3 month study plan that you could use leading up to February.

      Let us know if you have any more questions!

  14. i have taken 3 untimed LR sections and every one I miss exactly 10 questions. The type of questions are scattered but mainly having a hard time with Flaw and MBT questions and MP questions. what would be a good way to decrease the amount of questions missed as well as increasing the chances of getting a Flaw, MBT, and MP questions correct.

  15. I just want to hammer-in the author’s point that self-study is the way to go.

    I self-studied and had excellent results. My first diagnostic was a 148. I ordered nearly all of the practice tests from LSAC, and used online resources to find prep books and create a study schedule. After sticking to my plan and putting in 40hrs per week, I was consistently scoring between 165-170 three months later. On test day I scored a 168.

    In my opinion, a prep-course does little more than give you a faulty sense of peace of mind. The materials it provides can be obtained in book stores. The guidance it provides is available online. Ultimately, it all boils down to the work you do on your own: you cannot be spoon-fed a high LSAT score. Commit to 40hrs/wk and stick to it for at least three months. That’s the best strategy. Prep-courses are not necessary and a waste of money…(there are exceptions, of course).

    Just wanted to use my story to affirm the author’s advice. Good luck all.

  16. Hey guys,

    Just curious: I see a lot of LSAT-students working with multiple books at a time (PS, LSAT Trainer, Manhattan). In your opinion, will the PS series be sufficient for one to get a firm foundation on theory to be able to explain all the LSAT questions?

    I ask this because I’d rather stick to one company’s approach than to juggle a couple different methods at a time.

    Thanks!

  17. I see you guys have a business in marketing and media website for plastic surgeons, but it seems that your focus is on law and improving LSAT scores . How is it that you have experience in plastic surgery? These are vastly different .

    • Yeah, they are two completely separate businesses and we split time between them. No overlap except in terms of marketing knowledge. Plastic surgery is a niche that Josh happened to be knowledgeable in because of personal connections, and he has built that into a successful client-based business. In business, you don’t think narrowly. Skills that work somewhere can be applied in other markets. Josh is very good at inbound marketing so he can thrive in a lot of areas. My focus is going to be more on LSAT prep for the immediate future.

  18. I saw your recent post that gave good review to some new study material, and I am wondering if this list of study material could be updated to include those new books. Would you suggest that some of those older books could be replaced with the newer ones? I will be buying the whole list in a couple of weeks and want to save as much money as possible. Thanks! :)

  19. Hello,

    Thanks for a helpful article. I am trying to decide between taking the June LSAT or the October one. Is there a benefit to taking one over the other? The difficulty for me is that I’m currently living in Switzerland, and there are no test centers here. I will have to fly to London, most likely. I may be back in the US for the October one, but I may also be in South Korea. It’s still a bit up in the air. If there is an advantage to taking the June one, I will do that. That would mean I have about 4 months to study. Getting the study materials shipped here costs an arm and a leg. It seems like a worthwhile investment, but it’s a tough bill to pay. Even if/when I do order the materials, they will not arrive for a couple of weeks, which shaves off study time. That’s another reason I’m considering doing the October test.

    I took a test untimed, and I scored a 164. I’m planning on going through the couple tests I’ve completed in order to understand the questions a bit better before I take a full timed test. Is that a good idea?

    Thanks,

    Danielle

    • Well, first things first, can we trade lives? I’ve been really wanting to go to Korea.

      There is no advantage to taking in June except that if things don’t go well you have ample time to study before a retake in October. Honestly, it seems like you’ve got a lot going on in your life, so I might suggest taking in October. If you do want to do June, you’ll have almost the three months of study time we recommend by the time your books arrive, so that should be fine. Just be sure you are ready to really focus these next three months. You definitely do need to get materials. There is really no way to study without them.

      Don’t even worry about full-timed tests for a while. You’ll want to more or less completely learn the strategies for doing the problems before introducing the timing component. That can take a month or more. We have a three month schedule if you want to glance at that.

      Let us know how it’s going and get in touch if you have any further questions.

  20. Ben in Texas on

    Hey Guys, great site btw, really helpful.
    I am a non traditional student at the moment. I am 33 years old and about to complete my second run at college and finally getting my bachelors. My first time around I was a pol sci major aiming for law school,and I had to work alot because my parents were not able to support me, and eventually I quit school because a job opportunity came along that paid well, and there was no way I could go to school working 60+hours a week,when i was already struggling working 40 hours + school+ a social life. I am older and maybe a little wiser now, and still really want to be an attorney. I changed my Major to a BAAS in business operations to hedge my bets in case I didnt go to law school. My gpa from my first 60 hours is 2.95, and this second time around I am holding on to a 4.0 while working a full time job in outside sales for a major telecommunications company. I graduate next may but only have to take 6 hours that final semester. I think a realistic prediction of my cumulative gpa should be about 3.4 allowing myself 1-2 B’s in this last little stretch. I have taken 1 completely cold lsat practice test and scored 156. I need to stay local, and my dream/reach school is UT, but if I could get into Baylor, U.of Houston, or SMU with some $ I would be happy to go there. I know for certain I want to be an attorney, but I have a family, and will not take the risk of compromising our future by digging us into a load of debt at some lowly ranked school with poor job prospects. What score do you think I need to get in at UT, or one of my others and have a good shot at some scholarship $? You’re advice would really be appreciated, since I I am a first generation college graduate to be, and do not have a lot options for guidance on such a huge decision for my family and I.
    Thanks in advance,

  21. Shani Frugtniet on

    Hello! Thank you for the great advice. I’m wondering if you have a recommendation for a specific LSAT Diagnostic Test. Did you take yours from one of the books you suggested? Or did you sit through a prep-course practice test? Thanks again.

    • Joshua Craven on

      Any real LSAT preptest can be used for your diagnostic test. I generally recommend using one of the 3 tests included in the LSAT SuperPrep, since it includes explanations of the answers.

      Having these explanations on hand is particularly useful when you are getting started with your LSAT prep. Explanations for newer LSAT preptests are available as well, but the LSAT Superprep is a nice all-in-one option.

      If you’re particularly eager to get started right away, you can download and print this free sample LSAT from the LSAC website: http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source/jd-docs/sampleptjune.pdf

      Its probably not a bad idea to sit through a proctored LSAT practice test at some point if they are ever being offered for free on campus. This can give you a better feel for what test day conditions will be like. However, it certainly isn’t necessary to wait for that opportunity before you begin preparing… so feel free to self-administer your initial diagnostic test. Just try to approximate actual exam conditions as much as possible.

      Hope this helps! Good luck on your diagnostic & let us know how it goes!

  22. Hey!

    Thank you for all of the information the two of you have put out here for us prospective law students…it’s all very helpful! I wanted to ask for your opinions on LSAT prep. I will be taking the October test and was planning on taking a Kaplan course that starts in April and runs through June. I am hoping to follow up that course with the three month schedule provided on this site. Do you think it’s foolish to take a Kaplan course only to follow it up with three months of Powerscore material? Or, do you think it would be more beneficial to take a Powerscore course instead? I understand it might be confusing to learn different strategies, but would you say there is any benefit to it? There is a Powerscore course available in my area and it does run at the same time. I had been leaning towards Kaplan because the course seemed more intense and I really want to take advantage of the six months I have to prepare. Thank you!

    MC

    • Hi MC,

      Here’s what I think: you are probably just better off skipping the Kaplan course and switching to another one, either Blueprint, Powerscore, or for a good cheaper option, check out our LSAT Mastermind Study Group. While I don’t doubt you’ll make some improvement in the Kaplan course, you’ll more or less just have to restart the learning process when you begin working with the books we recommend http://lawschooli.com/lsat-prep-books-self-study/#books If the course seemed more intense, I sure that’s because Kaplan has done a great job marketing it. They are very good at marketing but, unfortunately, not so good at following through.

      It’s not overly confusing to learn a few different strategies as long as you pick a consistent approach. For example, a lot of people we’ve advised study with the LSAT trainer in addition to the PS bibles. However, you should always be using solid strategies, and Kaplan’s techniques are very hit or miss (with a lot more miss).

  23. Christina Stanford on

    Hi there,

    I am contemplating taking the self-study route for the Fall 2014 LSAT because I do well studying on my own. I have some study materials I picked up at a book sale, someone who took a LSAT prep course with Kaplan donated some of their course materials (hardly written in) and I wanted your thoughts regarding using these materials to study (in addition to the Preptests)? However, I believe there may be some materials that are missing but of course have no way of knowing which ones so I figured I could pick up a few additional Kaplan LSAT study materials down the for any sections I feel I do not have enough material on.

    Thank you in advance for your time in responding to my post.
    Christina Stanford

    • Hi Christina. Though you can use any real LSAT prep questions included in those materials for practice, you should definitely not use Kaplan’s techniques for solving the problems. They are clearly inferior to the instructional materials we have listed here. Instead, start with the Logic Games Bible and go from there.

  24. This article is very sound advice. Back when I was applying to law schools, I scored a 151 on my first LSAT and was able to improve it to a 170 by doing this exact same thing. Self study, take a practice test every day. Live and Breathe the Bibles.

    • Thanks for writing in JKG! Glad you put up such a great score. That is a terrific improvement. Those starting out often don’t think something like that is possible, but I see it often enough when people really put in the work.

  25. What strategy suggestions do you have for attacking grouping games? I seem to struggle with those the most out of all the types of games.
    Thanks for the blog – such a relief to know I’m not alone in my prep :)

  26. Hello, is there a resource that has the explanations for answers to the tests in 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests? When checking my answers I’m having trouble understanding why certain ones are wrong. I haven’t been able to find anything on the lsac website – thought you guys might know if they’re out there! Thanks!

  27. Hey guys! After you take prep tests what would you recommend as the best means for checking your answers aka explanations. More specifically, how did you check your answers Josh? Thanks

  28. Hi I have the next 27 days to 100% commit to studying for the LSAT

    what would be the best possible study schedule/plan of attack would you recommend to get to 150 to 170?

    thank you!

  29. Lemonte Long on

    Hello,
    My name is Lemonte. I recently purchased the Logic Games Bible from power score, and contemplating on ordering the other two. I am aiming to take the LSAT December. Hence, I will start preparing June-Nov. At the minimum, 30 Hours a week. Studying ahead of time, it will give me more than enough dedicated time. Is that too long to study? Because I do not know where to start

    Thank You

    • Hi Lemonte,

      Studying longer than 3 months is totally okay. We will be making a 6 month schedule soon so I’ll try to remember to give you the link here. It will definitely be up by june so just check the site.

  30. First off, I want to thank you guys for all the helpful advice on this site. I am a rising sophomore in college with aspirations to attend a tier one law school. Quite frankly, I will put any amount of time into studying for the LSAT, but from what I have heard, it seems as though “drawing out” the study plan over a longer period of time can be disadvantageous. Should I condense all of my studies into the 4 months leading up to the exam, or should I study earlier ahead of time (because I am willing to) while still leaving the last few months leading up to the exam for intensive studying? In other words, are there any “lighter” measures I can take now to increase the likelihood of receiving a high LSAT score? I do, by the way, have a history of not doing exceptionally well on standardized tests. Thank you in advance for your response to this post.

  31. First off, thank you so much for taking the time to give people like myself advice with regards to the LSAT. I was wondering if it is recommended for me to begin studying for the LSAT a year before I actually take it. I want to score as high as possible. With that said, if I should start now what are your recommendations for a schedule that I can stick to. As of right now I have much of my time free, so I just want to know how a possible schedule might look like. Thank you very much and I hope I get a response from you.

  32. Hi, my question is similar to that of Jackie’s and Mark’s and I’m wondering whether it is discouraged to begin light prepping about a year in advance with the intention of reserving 3 or 4 months for intense prep. Any advice you could lend me would be greatly appreciated.

  33. I hope this board is still active! Some great advice re-reading through all the previous comments. I just started my junior year of undergraduate school, and have decided to plan/ prepare to enter law school after! I know you recommend vigorous studying 4 months prior to taking the LSAT. My question is: even though I have time, is there anything I can do to still prepare and train my mind for this test. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    Thank you!

  34. From what I’ve seen, you swear by using the LSAT Trainer first, but I don’t see it mentioned here as part of your success to getting a 177. I realize that text was not available at that time but would you change your ways based on that book now? Would you start with LSAT Trainer and then move to Superprep and the other books? Thanks!

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