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BooksA couple weeks back when we introduced our 2014’s Best LSAT prep resources list, the question came up about using multiple books for self-study. How many LSAT prep books do you need? Is it wise to use materials from a bunch of different LSAT companies when you are doing your prep? Here we’ll talk about this, and also how to prep if you do choose to use multiple books for your self-study.

When you go to self-study for the LSAT, you are confronted with a lot of choice. Even within the narrow range of quality LSAT books that we recommend, you have some decisions to make. So we can talk about it, I’ll list the prep books we currently recommend here:

For Logic Games:

The Powerscore™ Logic Games Bible

The Blueprint for LSAT Logic Games

For Logical Reasoning

The Powerscore™ Logical Reasoning Bible

The Fox Test Prep Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia: Disrespecting the LSAT

For Reading Comprehension

The Powerscore™ Reading Comprehension Bible

(This list is just the books that teach techniques, so it excludes practice tests, which of course you need for self-study no matter what, and explanations)

Choosing Your LSAT Books

So that’s a bunch of books. Some cover the same material, just differently. The Blueprint for Logic Games, for example, covers everything you need to know to do logic games. So does the Powerscore LG Bible, but they teach it differently, with different diagramming techniques and different tips and strategies.

So how do you choose? Do you have to?

You obviously at least one resource to teach you how to do each section type. In recent years, however, a ton of high scorers have used multiple books to attack the LSAT. I’m going to say cautiously that it appears to be the favored strategy among high-scoring self-studiers. The thinking goes like this: you study from several different books covering the same topics, picking out the techniques that make the most sense to you and work the best for your thinking style. It’s a sensible approach, but it comes with some potential problems:

  • Deciding between techniques is tough. With logic games in particular, you have to choose one diagramming technique for each type of rule and apply that consistently. Switching back and forth  between techniques is going to slow you down. It might be difficult to choose among different techniques, and keeping track of all the choices you make can lead to confusion.
  • Time. Studying from multiple books is going to straight up take longer.

So what should you do? Here’s what I think:

Logical Reasoning

With logical reasoning, it’s good to hear anything that a thoughtful expert has to say about it. You never know which tips or which way of thinking is going to work best and give you something to latch on to that helps your logical reasoning strategy.

When I was studying, I was like a sponge for logical reasoning advice. I thinks that’s in large part what helped me gain true mastery of the section. I went for having significant difficulties with it to getting none or one wrong tops on every single practice section. Because of that, and what I’ve seen with other LSAT students, I’m a big proponent of soaking up a lot of advice on this section.

I would definitely get a couple resources to learn logical reasoning. Learning how to navigate through using different approaches will only strengthen your skills for working with the problems.

Reading Comprehension

With reading comprehension, I don’t think it’s often necessary to get a ton of advice on the section to do well. Here’s what I would do with RC: try your skills out after you’ve learned strategy from just one source. Practice for a while. Only if you are having trouble improving, then you might want to go back to the drawing board and seek some other advice.

The point here is that reading comprehension requires a lot of practice to improve, and the improvements tend to come slowly. I don’t want people freaking out if things aren’t going great at first, then running around constantly looking for some magic techniques that don’t exist. The key is to be patient a build your skill on this section slowly.

Start with one resource (I really like theReading Comprehension Bible for reading comp), and work off that. It should be enough for a majority of test takers to see maximum improvement. If by the midpoint of your prep you are still struggling to make any gains , then you may want to seek some more resources.

Logic Games

This is the tricky one. I think a bit of it comes down to learning style. Does the idea of knowing two different ways to do something freak you out or give you comfort? Remember that you have to pick one way or the other usually. When you see the rule, “There is one spot in between G and F,” you have to diagram that consistently. Picking between ways of doing that might be distracting.

On the other hand, different books provide different little tips, and you might like the presentation in one book better than the other.

Don’t think you’ll be at a disadvantage using the just one book per section type strategy. With logic games, I confidently stuck with just the Powerscore Bible, used only their methods and had great results. Josh did the same. The two LG specific books the list above are both complete, comprehensive resources. Either one will give you all the tools you need to beat the section. However, if you think you like seeing things two ways and think it won’t get confusing, don’t hesitate to work with a couple of resources.

One more thing: If you really feel that a prep company’s LG strategies just aren’t clicking for you, by all means, try something different (as long as it’s not Kaplan or Princeton review). However, make sure that you’ve given the strategies a fair chance. It takes more than a week to learn how to use new techniques. Make sure you’ve tried things out for at least a few weeks before you even consider a switch.

Also realize that switching techniques can put you back a bit. By the last month of your LSAT study, you should definitely be locked into the techniques you are going to use on games. Making minor changes is okay, but totally switching up strategies is probably a lousy idea that late in the game.

Using Multiple LSAT Books

The study schedule that we have gives you a 3 month outline of what to do using just the Powerscore stuff. How do you add other stuff in? I would recommend tacking some extra time on to the beginning of the schedule, at least a few weeks. Start working with the Powerscore Bibles first, working through the Logic Games Bible and The Logical Reasoning Bible.

When you hit the three-months-from the LSAT point, start bringing in the other books according to that schedule.

Now, you may want to bring in the LSAT Logical Reasoning Encyclopedia (‘Disrespecting The LSAT’) when you start attacking the logical reasoning section. I would kind of work this in with the Logical Reasoning Bible. After you learn how to approach a section via the Bible and do the practice problems, then do the analogous section in Disrespecting the LSAT, doing all the problems there.

Bear in mind the two books are kind of counterpoints to each other, and will have very different advice. The techniques that you like and that make the most sense are going to kind of naturally come to the front of your mind. That’s totally okay.

In general, adding books is just business as usual: you read the instruction, do the problems, then seek out more practice using practice tests. Adding prep resources isn’t reinventing the wheel. Don’t freak out that there is some precise way to do it that is the only way to unlock your LSAT powers. Just follow the usual game plan: learn techniques, then practice them until they become habit.

There must be a thousand ways to study for the LSAT successfully. That said, they’ve all got something in common: more time prepping and less time not prepping. Go out and hit the books.

If you have any questions about how to organize your study, hit us up in the comments. Also, if you’ve had experience with these LSAT books or any others, please feel free to discuss it the comments. Other readers will definitely appreciate hearing your story.

About Author

University of Chicago, J.D., 2012 Ready to Kickstart your LSAT Prep? Join the LSAT Mastermind Study Group

29 Comments

  1. Choosing between which book to use proved to be a difficult predicament for me. While I’ve landed on the LSAT Trainer and the Power Score Books, I’ve often wondered if I was wasting my time. I’ve discovered that by reading each book cover to cover, I was able to pick and choose what strategies and approaches worked best for me.

    I also agree with needing more time to cover each book, as it has taken significantly longer than I intended.

    • Thanks Matt, yeah, the LSAT Trainer is 600 pages, which is no joke. Even working through that at full speed is going to be a week plus endeavor, and I recommend taking your time with it.

      Don’t worry, it’s not a waste of time to use different resources. See what I said to Doreen below.

    • Yeah, that’s in part why I wrote this post. I know a lot of people are going to go out and seek a bunch of different resources because that’s just how they usually learn. I just want to say that your not wrong to do this and it works for a ton of people.

      It’s lucky for the current LSAT generation that there are several good resources available. When I prepped in 2008 the Powerscore books were really the only decent books on the market.

  2. I recently bought the LGB which has been helpful so far, but if it’s my only resource is it sufficient to do very well on the logic games section or should I get another book?

    • It’s definitely sufficient. That’s all Josh and I used and we did fine! The LGB will give you a tool to attack every kind of problem.

      Don’t hesitate to review the book throughout your study. If at the midpoint of your LSAT study you are having trouble making progress on games, talk to us and we’ll see if we can suggest something.

  3. As with previous commenters, I have to thank you both first for providing this extremely valuable and encouraging blog. I took the LSAT a year ago after prepping for a few months with all three PowerScore Bibles. Unfortunately, I took the test with a sinus infection and didn’t do as well as I hoped. I also didn’t study near as intensely as I should have. Career things have since developed and I’ve somewhat delayed thoughts of law school (also somewhat in anticipation of the job market improving). However, I’m planning to retake February 2015 and this blog post could not have been better timed–I was already thinking of having a firm study plan ready for October. I like your idea of starting earlier with the Trainer, using the Fox and LR Bible together and using the RC Bible as needed. I think with the Trainer and LG Bible (2008) I will also be set. I will watch for updated versions of the Fox and Trainer, but will not plan to get the updated LG Bible (or any other updated PowerScores that are published) unless you definitely suggest it. Thanks again so much for this resource; I feel positive and (surprisingly) eager to study hard and do much better on this lovely test.

    • Thanks for checking in BL. It sounds like you have a solid plan. Yeah, you should be fine with the older LG bible in that case.

      Stay positive and let us know if you hit any snags when you get started.

  4. Hey, I am really enjoying this blog and finding it very helpful! I have a few questions. I am registered to take my lsats this June 2014. I am planning to sign up for a course called testmasters, have you heard anything about it and if so what? Also, I started studying since I will be in school and it will be hard to balance both school work and LSATS. I started with the LG bible book should I do the LG workbook after or move on to LR bible book? Thanks so much!!

    • Hi, Yostina,

      Testmasters has a good reputation. That said, I’m not personally familiar with their techniques so I can’t really give them my full stamp of approval.

      I would do the LG workbook right after you finish the LG bible to reinforce the skills right away.

  5. Hey guys – thanks for all the valuable info you guys have been putting up on this blog. With regards to the Powerscore books, is there much variation between the various editions? What would be your advice on picking up one of the older editions (say 2007) vs. a new edition?

    Thanks again

    • Hi, Chelsea

      I’ve only looked over their logic games strategies, and while some of it is okay, I’m really not a fan of the way they want you to setup up games (doing everything in just the main diagram). I would recommend the blueprint for logic games instead. Similar symbol usage but better diagramming.

      I’ll try to check out their LR book and get back to you. From what I’ve heard it’s pretty good.

  6. Hi Guys!

    I just want to let you both know that your site has been the greatest tool for my lsat preparation.

    I began studying for the June, 2014 lsat a few days ago. I have all of the Powerscore books and Workbooks as well as LSAT Superprep book.

    However, I was highly considering purchasing the Disrespecting the LSAT logical reasoning book and the Blueprint lsat trainer in addition to the other books.

    My question is, do you think I will have enough time to incorporate these books before June? ( I am following your 3 month study schedule)

    Thank you!

    • Hi Victoria,

      I would say that you aren’t going to have enough time to juggle all that before June and get the most out of it. I wouldn’t worry about buying the blueprint book certainly. Disrespecting the LSAT can be a good one to have as a reference whether you really use it all or not, so if you think it sounds useful, picking that up will be fine. However, I recommend only using it to target weak spots once you are a ways into your prep.

      Let us know if you are having any troubles fitting in all the stuff you already have!

  7. Hi Guys,
    Thank you so much for your valuable tips. I always pay attention to your blog, fb and twitter to keep myself on my toes.

    Currently, I’m having a problem with setting up my studying plan.

    my situation is:
    1. I’m planning to take sep/oct test. It seems that I have a plenty time but
    no because..
    2. I’m a full-time professional. I make sure that I have at least 1.5 hrs of
    studying in the morning.
    3. I’ve finished going through power score LG and LR just now.
    (It took me two months, and I’m planning to finish RC this week.)

    Up to now, I had specific plans like I will finish this chapter by the end of this week. But now that I finished the powersocre, I literally have no idea how to plan to drill each specific types. more specifically until when I need to master each type, and when I need to start timed prep test, etc.

    here’s what I’m doing after going through power score stuff.
    1. Logic Game
    I’m practicing Basic Linear with old prep tests starting from test 1.
    I will move on to the advanced once I’m done.
    –> My question: when to know to move on to the next type.

    2. Logical Reasoning
    I just started doing untimed prep tests ,but it seems that I can’t
    recognise the question types and corresponding techniques from the
    PS.
    –> My question: Should I drill the each type just like in Logic game?
    How can I make the technique my habit?

    I feel like I’m just sitting at the desk for a sake of studying but going nowhere.

    Your help would be much, much appreciated.
    Thank you so much.
    HJ

  8. Hi there. Thanks so much for the informative post! This site has been key in my starting to prep for the LSAT. I was wondering if there was a big difference between the editions of the Bibles? I’ve found some of the older editions for about half the price (circa 2007/2008). Do you think it is worth the extra money to get the newer editions or do you think the content will largely be the same? Thanks for all of your help. Bests, Ryan

    • In my opinion, it is worth the extra money for the newer version. Powerscore didn’t just make some minor tweaks, they really made some significant changes.

      Take a look at the page count of the old version vs. the new version:

      The old version of the Logic Games Bible is 402 pages long
      The new version of the Logic Games Bible is 630 pages long
      —-
      228 pages added to LGB

      The old version of the Logical Reasoning Bible is 541 pages long
      The new version of the Logical Reasoning Bible is 654 pages long
      —-
      113 pages added to LRB

      So yes, I do think that it is worth purchasing the newer version. There are still a couple of ways to save money:

      Right now Amazon sells the new version of the LGB for $44.31
      BUT, once you’re done with the new book, Amazon will buy the new version back for $20.53
      So if you trade it in once you’re finished, it’ll have cost you $23.78

      A new copy of the old version of the LGB is currently $22.08, and it’s pretty much worthless when you’re done with it.

      In the end, you’d only end up paying an extra $1.70 for the new version with an additional 228 pages of material!

      I’m sure you get the point, so I won’t break down the math for the LRB… but it looks pretty much the same: if you buy the new version of the LRB & trade it in when you’re done, it’ll only end up costing you a couple extra bucks.

  9. Wondering what your opinions are about a few things:
    2014 vs 2015 Edition of the Bibles to study for a June 2015 LSAT (tight budget and the 2014s are significantly discounted)
    and
    How many pretests do you recommend? Currently have approx. 30 tests (three volumes of the “10 Official” series)

  10. Hi,

    I am already working through all 3 of the Powerscore bibles for the October exam but realized there are newer versions now out. Would it be worth it for me to switch to the updated editions?

    Also, I’ve been supplementing the 3 bibles with the FOX LR encyclopedia and several preptests but would the LSAT Trainer still be worth adding?

    Thanks

  11. Hi, can I ask why you say “as long as it’s not kaplan”? My friend used Kaplan when she prepared for the LSAT and has given me her copy. Should I not use it?

    Thanks!
    Danielle

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