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

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

168 Comments

  1. Hi Josh,

    I just purchased the 10 week study schedule and the books but I did not purchase the mastermind study group membership. I was going over the schedule and it seems that a lot of the optional study material is only available is you purchase the membership. My question is will the schedule still work if I do not purchase the membership and just use the other 9 books?

    • Hi Yesha –

      Yes, you will be in good hands, just be sure to stay on track with the schedule! The schedule is meant to be completed with just the books. The Mastermind Group as it states in the schedule is optional and not required.

      The MasterMind Group is a great addition for those students that want to expand their knowledge, desire feedback, extra motivation and to participate in weekly office hours.

  2. Hi Josh – what are the best online resources for LSAT Practice Test Explanations? 7Sage has LG, but I’m having trouble finding a one-stop shop for LR and RC. Thanks!

  3. Hi , please let me know why have you selected only certain prep tests in your recommended 9 books , from June 2007 every prep test seems to be in today’s format manisha

    • Are you talking about the 40s PrepTest? That book was only released last year and the other PTs are unpublished and very expensive. We skip the 40s so people have fresh material if they need a retake. We also recommend people get PTs 72-80 in our schedules. Hope that helps.

  4. Hi Josh! Got a quick question for you. Fairly new to studying for the lsat (aka I have no idea what I am doing…yet). So, I have already purchased the Powerscore bibles and found their three month outline online yesterday. I was planning on using their outline but found out that the additional material they filter in to the weekly exercises includes both the Powerscore Type Training Trilogies and the Powerscore Workbook Trilogy’s, equaling close to an extra $200 (not including the practice tests which are nearly the exact same ones you recommend).

    So my question… Do you know much about the other Powerscore Trilogies? Worth it? Seems like your outline and theirs is very similar minus the additional Trilogies. I wouldn’t mind saving a couple of hundred dollars and yet still getting a great outline (purchasing your three month) if you DON’T recommend the trilogies.

    Thanks!

    • I have not used the workbooks, but from my understanding, they use the actual LSAT questions. You might save time on doing drills by not having to look them up in the PTs, but maybe you should get our schedule and save $180 🙂

      Our schedules do cost $20, but they provide a ton of great advice, follow the PTs with drills and test assignments and the PowerScore Books, so they are unique in that fashion. Plus we are about to release the 2017 edition of the schedules and they have links to all of our free lessons on this site as an added bonus.

      • Hi, Joshua, I’m wondering if the books that you provided have newer editions. It says these books were made back in 2007 and its 2017 now.

  5. I purchased the 14 week LSAT study schedule and I am wondering if the information is dated? The information for Week 1 has Powerscore LGB Chapter 2 Linear Games, but in the actual book Chapter 2 is Analytical Reasoning Basics. If this chapter is off, will the rest of the chapters be off, as well? Please advise. Thank you.

  6. Hi Joshua and thank you for your article I find it super helpful !

    Just a quick question for you, so I just did the LSAT yesterday for the first time and I want to do it again in June. I now know where my weaknesses are and what I need to work on. Timing wasn’t an issue for me personally I found the length of the exam more exhausting. I think I got lucky and only got ONE LG section which was my worst section.

    Anyway, my “quick” question is show I just go through the list of the books you mentioned in your article or purchase the 16-week self study book? I’m refering to the lawschooli 16-week study schedule and the list of 9 books you recommended. I’m the type of person that studies best with ONE method and one method ONLY. I can’t commit to like two different ways of studying because I find it stressful and time consuming.
    So which path do you honestly recommend? I mean there’s a big difference in the price the 16-week is $20 and the list of books is a total of $300- money isn’t an issue, but it just makes me think how can $20 cover EVERYTHING ?

    Let me know your thoughts I’m looking to purchase one of the two pretty soon and get back into it.

    Regards,

    Negar

    • Negar,

      Our LSAT study schedules are to be used in CONJUNCTION with these books.

      After I began recommending these LSAT prep books, the most frequently asked question I got was along these lines: “okay, now that I have all of the best LSAT prep books, what is the best way to work through them?”

      If you’re going to buy ONE or the OTHER, then you certainly should buy the books rather than my schedule.

      If you buy the books and want to know how to work through them in the most effective and efficient way possible, then buy my schedule as well.

      If you buy the books and want additional support (via weekly office hours sessions & private forms), along with supplementary lessons designed to compliment the above books, join the LSAT mastermind study group.

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