1 Month Left To Study For The LSAT

As of the writing of this post, there is one month left to go before the LSAT! Eeek! Reason numero uno for this one month LSAT alert post is to tell you that we are here as a resource for you. No matter what’s going on in your prep if you have something to ask, go ahead and ask it in the comments below! We get a lot of comments, but we try to answer as many as possible. If you want to be anonymous that’s fine, but we are here if you need help, counseling, advice, whatever, ASK AWAY! It’s easy to be freaked out with only one month to go. Hopefully, we can get you to chill out.

Here is some advice for the last month before you take the LSAT:

Don’t Worry If Your Practice Scores Are Still A Little Low

If you’ve been studying over the previous two months, it’s likely you’ve seen some improvement right? A lot of people worry that they have hit their upper limits and can’t get any better. It just doesn’t work like that. Keep practicing and drilling stuff into your brain and you will see progress. Just keep following the study schedule and forget worrying that there is some sort of wall in your mind that you can’t climb. There isn’t.

In fact, it’s likelier that all the work you’ve been doing up ’til now will start to pay dividends. My personal story: I went from still missing around 4 or 5 on logic games to missing one or none in my last month. What did I do? Step 1: stop worrying. Step 2: keep practicing. Step 3: watch the improvement.

If you don’t see much improvement, it’s likely you can fix it. Try these tips:

Identify Areas of Weakness

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Gentle facepalm if you haven’t been doing this all along, but now it’s critical to see where your mistakes are. Go back over ten preptests you have already done and look at what you got wrong. Was it assumption questions? Was it parallel reasoning? Go back to your Logical Reasoning Bible and reread the section on how to attack that specific question type, then drill on a whole bunch of them.

Repeat this search and destroy technique with any weaknesses you find. Eventually, you will start to run out of weaknesses! That’s a beautiful thing. You are almost ready to take this test.

EXTRA TIP: Parallel reasoning questions are usually some of the more time-consuming ones on LR. If you are having trouble completing timed logical reasoning sections within the allotted 35 minutes, consider skipping over Parallel Reasoning questions and only coming back to them if there is time.

Focus On Health

I’ve said this a lot, so I’m not going to belabor the point: Eat healthily and exercise. Don’t let LSAT study or anything else cut into your sleep time. Don’t drink heavily. Be a little bit selfish about your health. If other people are trying to mess with your zen, kick them out of your life for a bit. Tell your parents you don’t want to talk about the LSAT at dinner. Do whatever it takes so you feel good. Except for the fact that you have to study, the last month before your LSAT should be like your birthday: it’s about you, and it’s okay to be selfish. Yes, you can cry if you want to.

The one thing I didn’t try that I might recommend is meditation. Younger me would have said no way, but I’ve heard about some pretty startling positive results from doing mindfulness exercises. Check the coverage on this study for instance: Meditation Improves Memory, Attention

This seems well worth a try to me. Worse case is that you get to unwind and relax for a bit, and that can’t be a bad thing the last month before the LSAT.

Simulate Tests The Right Way

By the last month, you are mostly just doing all real LSAT problems you can. Here’s what we have for the last month on your study schedule:

At this point is your LSAT study its time to take stock of how much material you have remaining and schedule your remaining prep. From here on out, the lion share of your study consists of simply doing timed sections and going over the answers to understand any that may have given you trouble. Schedule it out so you can do 3-4 full preptests a week the next 4 weeks. Do these every other day. On in between days don’t do a full test. Rather do 2-3 sections with rest in between sections. On these in between days, load up on more sections of whatever section type (LR/LG/RC) is giving you the most trouble.

For these full timed preptests, make sure that you are working through AT LEAST two a week under full simulated conditions. The closer you can simulate test-day conditions, the better. You can even start adding an extra section from one of your older LSAT preptests to simulate the experimental section and get used to a full 5-section test as you’ll see on test day. When adding a 5th section, I recommend picking the section type that is giving you the most trouble so that you’ll get some extra practice on your weakest area. Take these five sections under strictly timed conditions: 35 minutes per section with only a short 15-20 minute break between the third and fourth sections.

That’s how it’s gonna be on test day. Don’t expect to hit your practice average on the actual test if you haven’t been simulating practice tests the right way.

Simulating tests this way at least twice a week, and you will have the stamina for game day. Are sports metaphors appropriate right now? Absolutely! Test-taking requires endurance. If you’ve only run 20 miles in your practice before the marathon, I bet those last 4 miles are going to kill you. I know for a fact this is how it works on the LSAT. Unless you are a natural test-taker, you will run out of steam towards the end of the test unless you have learned how to focus that long by practicing.

What If Nothing Is Working???

If it’s the last month and you are still more than 10 points below the score it would take to get you into a school you would be satisfied attending, then you have a tough choice. There may be limits to how much someone can improve on the LSAT in one month. It’s probably best to keep prepping, but if you reach the middle of this month and you are nowhere near a score you would be satisfied with, it is very reasonable to consider postponing the test. Especially consider delaying if you don’t feel you have been prepping as much as you should have. You may want to start fresh and do it right the next time.

Before anyone cancels right now with a month to go, there is one emergency measure to consider: ditch any lousy system you are using to diagram LSAT problems. Here I am speaking directly to those using Kaplan or Princeton Review books to prep. Hopefully none of our regular readers are doing this, but if you are reading this now and are still using PR/Kaplan methods, QUIT RIGHT NOW BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. I’ve beaten this point to death elsewhere so I won’t go into details, but those prep books are terrible. Use Powerscore, Manhattan, or Blueprint’s books. These are all reputable LSAT companies that earned their reputation by helping a ton of people get high scores on the LSAT.

Here are the books we most strongly recommend you use to learn how to do LSAT problems:

Recommended LSAT Prep Books

That said, while these books are the best out there, they may not be able to work miracles in the space of a month. You are likely better off postponing the test and trying again with the right materials if your score is still way below what you are aiming to hit.

If you do try to summon a miracle with the new books in the next thirty days, here’s how to attempt it: https://lawschooli.com/how-can-i-increase-my-lsat-score-in-under-30-days/

However, remember that canceling or retaking the LSAT is not the end of the world. In past years it was considered a disadvantage to apply later in the cycle given that so many people would be in line ahead of you. However, law school applications have been down in recent years, so law schools are eager for well-qualified applicants, even if they apply later in the cycle.

I’m not trying to get people to second guess themselves. If you are 5 points (or even a little more) below your target score right now, keep prepping and go for it! Remember that you will likely see improvements in this last month.

Best of luck to everyone!

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34 Comments

  1. I know what it is you are attempting to indicate and your stage does make sense but that I can not say I completely agree with you.
    You see, there might be some complications in regards to the problems
    you’ve said. But I enjoy the time you invested in describing your opinion. I’m interested in this subject and will definitely dig deeper into the problem.

  2. Coco Brashears on

    I’ve just about completed the 4 month study schedule and saw my score go up from 159 on my first diagnostic to 176 on the June 2007! But now that I’m doing the 5 most recent tests, my score has dropped substantially. On preptest 81 I got 162. What could this mean and what should I do before the test next week?

  3. What LSAT does someone with a 2.9GPA from a top50 public state school for undergrad need for t14 admission? Thanks in advance!

  4. Hi, I’m scheduled for the September LSAT, and I’ve been studying almost every day, atleast three hours a day for a little over a month now (before that I was studying, but no as intensely). I have taken plenty of real practice tests, in simulated conditions, and the last three that I have written came to 157. I want to get atleast 160 on the real thing- so I am on the fence about whether or not I should give my self more time and write the December LSAT or if I should just go for the September one. Do you think improvement is possible at this point?

  5. Hi,
    There’s only a month and a half left before the June lsats and I’m studying intensely every single day. The problem is I’m getting more and more anxious. And as a result I’m forgetting major concepts like how to identify conditional reasoning in a stimulus. This is making me very frustrated because all this effort I’m putting into studying is for nothing. Besides the tips mentioned how do I ease my nerves?

  6. Hi,

    I am currently studying for the FEB LSAT, I have been studying off and on for about a year now but just starting to see improvement since I have been able to devote more consistent time as of lately. With 6 weeks left I am seeking an opinion on weather I should focus on full length practice tests everyday or continue on with my online prep course. Realistically I just do not have time to complete full length practice tests and the full lesson plans daily. I am taking the Blueprint online prep course which has been a great help thus far. Any tips as far as how to balance between the prep course and full length test would be great. I also have the bibles however I haven’t even worked them into my schedule between the prep course and the homework.

    Thank you in advance!
    -Nique

  7. Hi,

    I’ve been studying since end of June. My full PT score started at a 156. I’ve improved significantly on untimed accuracy. I can get 173-175 consistently untimed. However, lately all my recent full timed PTs hit a ceiling of 159. Is there hope in the last month to raise if to my potential untimed? I presume a lot of my issue has to do with pace and endurance, is that fixable to this extent in this time frame?

    • Hi Kate, 10 points is a big boost to expect in a month. While I don’t doubt it’s happened, you might want to prepare for the possibility of a December retake if you don’t get there. I recommend this: see how long it takes you to hit that 173+. Say it’s taking 45 minutes per section, you should then try to shave a minute off of each section each time you take the test. Work down that way, looking for ways to improve your timing with each test.

      If it doesn’t go well for you in the next month, I would consider joining our Mastermind Study Group to prepare for the December exam. There are a lot of things we can try to get your speed up. Check it out here: https://lawschooli.com/shop/lsat-study-group/mastermind/ This week just added thousands of LSAT explanations to the group site. Most of them are for recent tests, so it might be helpful in this last month as well. email if you have any questions about that evan.jones@lawschooli.com

  8. Hey there! I’ve been getting the logical questions right when practising, but when I attempt them in timed conditions, I get less than half right! What do I do? (I use the power score books)

    • Hi Maria,

      You’ve already done the right thing by building accuracy untimed, so good job! (See our post here on improving at LR) However, my guess is that your problem is that you are trying to immediately go full speed (simulating the actual test conditions). That’s too much to put on yourself all at once. Instead, time out how long it takes to do a section at a comfortable pace, getting all the questions right or close to it. Then give yourself a little less time than that each day and see if you can stay accurate.

      Say it takes you 40 minutes at first to get only 1 or 2 wrong. Then try doing it in 38 minutes the next day. If it doesn’t work yet, practice at 38 minutes for a bit until you get only 1 or 2 wrong again. Then, drop your time by another two minutes. Go by feel and push yourself.

      Look for problem types that are taking you a lot of time and review the logic games bible lesson on them. Single out those problem types and practice them untimed a little more if needed. A great resource for doing that is the logical reasoning workbook: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/098266186X/lawschooli-20

      Do this, and you should eventually feel much more comfortable doing the problems in the time required. You might not ever be just as accurate timed as untimed, but I guarantee you can make significant improvements if you go slowly.

      • Bear in mind this process might take longer than a month, so if you are scheduled for the June LSAT, be prepared to postpone.

  9. Hi again, I would like to say thank you for all the great articles you post.

    I have the bibles, preptests you recommended, and an online kaplan course.

    I haven’t yet put as much time towards this yet (mainly due to majoring in history and literature) but now that the semester is coming to a close I plan to pick it back up and finish strong.

    What is your recommendation for an intensive 5 week study schedule? (taking the June exam)

    Thanks,
    JC

    • Hi JC,

      I really can’t recommend you try to study for the whole LSAT in just 5 weeks. There’s close to a 100% chance that you’ll be leaving points on the table, which is never a good idea. See our post on how long to study for the LSAT. Really, I can’t stress the importance of this enough. You would be hard pressed to even get through the bibles in a month, let alone start the long process of reinforcing the skills and improving.

  10. Hi guys. Great website and thanks so much for the free tips. A question: I prepped for three months, really hard core and took the October LSAT and got a 169. I got like around 3-4 wrong per section. At this point, logic games are actually my strong suit and I am weaker at RC and definitely weakest at LR. I realize that it may be a strategy thing more than a brute force thing in the sense that I worked really, really hard for three months, but I may not have been tackling it the right way since I don’t think in a very LR way but 1. is one month enough to get myself in a logical reasoning mindset and really what is an LR mindset and 2. is it enough to make the jump from 169 to ~173? Thanks in advance!

    • Also, just as a quick follow up/clarification: speed has never been my issue. Even when I am doing LR/RC without conscientiously timing and “methodically”, I can finish around the 35 minute mark. But I am not sure that even when I slow down I get that many more right.

      • Hi Shengxi, Evan here.

        I had fairly similar problems when I was prepping and pushed through it in the last month, so it’s definitely doable. You might try this book called ‘Disrespecting The LSAT‘. It has helpful and not the slightest bit tedious explanations of difficult LR questions.

        As to what an LR mindset is, I think with a 169 you probably already have it and we just need to sharpen some things up. Really, I would apply brute force and just do a ton of LR questions. Obviously log errors. You might consider approaching thing more mechanically. For example, always applying the assumption negation technique to difficult assumption questions even if you are pretty sure you have the right answer.

        Another thing that worked for me is I would try to circle really difficult LR questions in hopes that I would have time to get back to them. You might try that technique. Sometimes the answer is much more clear on a second pass.

        Also, always make sure you are properly reviewing LR sections before looking at the answers: https://lawschooli.com/reviewing-an-lsat-practice-test/

        Keep at it and best of luck. Let me know if you have any more questions at all.

  11. I am aiming for a 173-4 with under three weeks to go, and am ranging from a 169-172/3 with four preptests taken (PTs 52, 53, 55, 56). LG I am nearly perfect on most exams, but LR I seem to run into timing issues (~1-3 minutes), and maybe I am checking the clock too often as I proceed throughout the section. Is there a science to time-checking (i.e. am i better off setting benchmarks for when to look at my watch, for instance, at 5, 10, 15 questions completed?). And are these gains (2-4 points depending on the test administration) feasible during this time window? How should one optimize time (in all PTs, timed sections, question-type specific prep? trying to hit first 10 LR in a section within 10 mins, 15 in 15 mins? etc.)

    LSAT prep is all I have to focus on during this time and I feel like the anxiety of the timer has made me make certain careless errors I otherwise wouldn’t make in LR/RC, so if there are any particular strategies you’d recommend for becoming more consistent and better timing LR, that would be immensely helpful.

    Thanks so much for writing these entries! I followed the advice to pick up the three bibles and have worked through them and the Manhattan LR over the past 3 months.

    • First of all Amy, good work getting to where you are.

      Here’s what worked for me with LR timing. I would try to get through the first 10 questions in about ten minutes. Generally they are easier and that shouldn’t be a problem. Currently, you might be taking more time than you need on those. Once you hit that milestone, you’ve got 25 minutes to hit the remaining 15 questions. I always found that if I hit that milestone, finishing the section was easy. I only would usually only look at the clock a couple times: Usually after I finished question 10, then again after question 20 so I knew whether I had to hustle on the last 5. Also make sure you are following Tip #4 on here: https://lawschooli.com/lsat-logical-reasoning-tips/

      Looking at the clock at odd times doesn’t really help you. Instead, you want very familiar with these checkpoints so you know if you need to speed up a little or whether you are okay. Remember not to freak out if you are a little over time at a checkpoint, frequently that’ll mean that the remainder of the section is a little easier. They balance section difficulty that way.

      Check in if you are still having any problems with this strategy. Best of luck!

  12. Now with 3 weeks exactly before the December LSAT, I am stressing. Finding this post helped though! Thanks. 🙂 Might be worth reposting it for other December takers.

    Anyway, I recently just found my “The Official LSAT SuperPrep“. I know this was on your list of suggested preparation materials. Do you think it would still be helpful for me to read/go over now? I think probably the most important things is to hammer away at particular sections to increase my speed, which is what i’m struggling with most. I’m pretty familiar with the LSAT at this point, but I don’t want to miss anything important that’s mentioned in the SuperPrep

  13. Hi Josh and Evan,

    I sure appreciate your website. It’s really top notch and informative.

    I have an urgent matter on my hands. For the past five months I have been prepping for the GRE only to shift gears here at the last minute and decide I want to go to Law School. The problem is, I haven’t began studying for the LSAT. In order to get the kind of score I think I’m capable of getting I think I would need to give myself some time and sit for the February LSAT.

    So my question is this: I have looked at a couple of Law School websites and I know that by the time February comes around I may be among the last of those who are submitting applications to Law School. I would like to get into at least a Tier 2 (51 – 100) Law School and I already know I’m interested in “Labor and Employment” Law. However, by the time February roles around is it even worth submitting my application? Will they even take a look at me because it is so late in the season? Do you think I would be better off waiting another year, which I don’t want to do, but I should do anyways? Your advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks again!

    Mark Ireland

  14. Hey guys, great site. I was making big progressions in my studying and my best scores in the last month have been within 2 points of my goal, but in the last week my scores have been dipping. First it was 3 points, then 5, now 9. I’m just over two weeks out from the test and these inconsistencies are killing me and messing with my confidence. I’m trying to be consistent in my environment and mentality but the section that I struggle with often changes around as well. Any ideas what can I do to be more consistent? Thanks in advance.

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      What exactly seems to be giving you trouble? Is it speed or accuracy?

      An important last step for me was learning to recognize easy questions and go really fast on them. In LR for example, the first 10 questions tend to be by and large the easiest on the section. You want to average way less time on those than on the other questions in the section.

      As to confidence, stop focusing so much on your score and instead beat yourself up about why you got each individual question wrong. Here is how to review questions properly BEFORE you look at the answer. https://lawschooli.com/reviewing-an-lsat-practice-test/ After you’ve done that, view any question that you still didn’t get right as an affront to your person and deal with it harshly. You want to look at that problem until you feel you understand how you would have approached it right the first time.

      I hope some of this helps. Give me more details if you like and I’ll see if I can recommend something for you specifically.

      • For RC my problem is speed. Even after 3 months of study I can’t finish all four passages without getting 5-9 questions wrong. If I slow down I still get about the same score so reading one less passage doesn’t seem to be the answer. I guess you could say my accuracy suffers because of my attempts to have enough speed.

        For LR it is difficult to say what my problem is. 50% of the time I am able to get within 2-3 questions of finishing the section and 50% of the time I will actually finish. My accuracy is generally that I miss one, rarely two, of the first 15. But even though I’m leaving ample time for the last 10 questions (usually about 15-17 minutes), I tend to get anywhere from 3-6 of them wrong, sometimes through guessing the last couple.

        Not sure if you have any suggestions but thanks for your help!

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      See comment to Whasting. Another thing I should add is probably don’t take if you would under no circumstances be happy with scoring at your current practice average. As I’ve written elsewhere, big bumps (~5 points) on test day are rare (from what I’ve seen, a small drop is more common).

  15. HI again,

    It’s my third month and the logic games are giving me problems again. For a while, it seemed like I was scoring an average of 16 points per section and then all of a sudden, it dropped to an average of 9 points. I confess that will school starting, I did fall off the wagon a bit with studying at least 3 hrs a day. My question is, should I go back to doing untimed prep at this point in the study schedule or should I keep doing timed sections?

    Thanks

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      I would definitely go back to untimed prep for a bit. Aim for 100% accuracy and do take note of how long it takes to do each game. Start mixing timed prep back in after you start seeing the time it takes to do the games accurately go down.

      Also, with timed prep you should always finish every game BEFORE you look at the answers, even if you ran out of time. Take down the answers that you came up with within the time, then separately note your answers without the time pressure.

  16. Great website. And I’ll second whasting’s comment: What are your thoughts on taking it in October, and then retaking it in December?

  17. Suppose you still are about 5 points away even a couple of weeks before game day. What say you to taking it in October anyway, and then retaking it in December?

    • Joshua Craven and Evan Jones on

      Hi, sorry it took a few days to get to this. I’m in China and Josh is on his honeymoon. My thoughts are that you are probably best off taking it. If you keep prepping you may see a bump in 2 weeks. Also, good test day performances do happen. Lastly, retaking is just not a big deal nowadays. When you really look at who they admit, schools basically just disregard any lower scores.

      The only time I say don’t take in this situation is if you think you have not prepped enough this time around. Better to take it after you have done enough to be satisfied that you put in the required effort. That’s advice that applies to all LSAT takers.

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