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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

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-hours-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 below. Check out my full 3-month LSAT study schedule for a detailed step-by-step guide.

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 10 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 10 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 10 books that I think you MUST HAVE to prep for the LSAT

  1. The Logic Games Bible
  2. The Logical Reasoning Bible
  3. The Reading Comprehension Bible
  4. The LSAT Superprep
  5. 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests
  6. Next 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests
  7. 10 More Actual, Official LSAT Preptests
  8. 10 New Actual, Official LSAT Preptests
  9. 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests: Volume V
  10. 10 Actual, Official LSAT Preptests: Volume VI

Buy anything on that list and you won’t 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

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213 Comments

  1. Hello,
    I’ve heard there is an optional writing portion of the LSAT, can you tell me your thoughts about whether taking it is a good option? I am completing my BA in English right now and I feel I could perform well in this section, but I wondered how it impacted the score overall? Thank you in advance, I just found this site and it is very useful!

    Bianca

  2. Hello Evan,

    I was starting to prepare for the LSAT and realized this post was from 2013. Would the books you highly recommend to prepare still be helpful now or would it be outdated for the exams given out in 2020?

    Sincerely,
    Rehana

  3. Hi Josh and Evan,

    I want to get the books you all recommended, but three of the books on your list above are crossed out. Does that mean you no longer recommend them or that you no longer think they are necessary?

  4. Hi, I am starting my 3 month lsat studying and I don’t know if I should get through the bibles once, taking notes of what I think is important and then going through them thoroughly a second time, or if I should flip that and read through them carefully first and then go back a second time and read through the sections I want to work on the most. I was thinking of going with the first option because I would figure out what is the hardest and then when I go back I can focus on those sections more. Any thoughts ?

    Also do you think it is efficient to memorize things that they teach in the bibles or is that going to waste too much time ?

  5. I have been studying for the past year and I am still stuck in the 165’s. I have literally done every single logic game and reading comprehension passage, and I am running out of LR passages (I really only have some sections in prep tests 1-30 left untouched, and a couple in the 30-40 range as well. Do you have any recommendations for continued study? Thank you.

  6. Hello,
    I’m currently a sophomore undergrad in supply chain and I have decided that I’d like to eventually take the LSAT exam. I’d like to know if it’s too soon to start studying and what is the best way in your opinion to study long term since I have a couple years?

  7. Also, how do I know how many of your 10 suggested books to buy? Do you recommend all of them? do you reference them in your three month study plan?
    Thanks again!

  8. Hi! I am looking at attending law school next year (2020). I have been out of school for 18 years and have been working and have two small kids at the moment. I work for myself (I’m a commercial video producer) and have a flexible schedule, with weeks where the work load is light and weeks where it is full on. Given the amount of time I’ve been out of the test taking/academic world, would you suggest two or three months of study? I was going to aim for October but am thinking it might be better to give myself 3 full months of study and take the test in November with the option to retake in January if needed. Would love your thoughts!

  9. Hi, the SuperPrep came out with a volume II, do you think one is better than the other? Or is there no difference?

    Thank you in advance!

  10. Hey Josh and Evan,

    I used your self-study schedule to take the LSAT for the first time in December 2017. I had taken a semester off school and used the time to study and take the LSAT. My practice test scores were around 172-175, but on the day of the test I scored 168 (I had an almost sleepless night before the LSAT, a long drive, and nerves on the day). I don’t think the score reflects my ability, so I want to retake the LSAT now that I have graduated from college. I plan on applying to law schools in the fall and hope to be admitted into HYS or Columbia. I am planning to retake the LSAT in either September or October. Besides the occasional practice section, I haven’t really thought about the LSAT since I took it in December 2017. What is your advice for studying for my retake? Should I follow the three-month study schedule as it was again, or should I take a different approach? I’m also wondering about the effectiveness of retaking practice tests – I took most of the practice tests back in 2017, but I don’t think I remember the questions.

    Thank you for your clear and useful advice. It helped me improve my score tremendously.

  11. I’m foreign student with BA of Law from different country. Last month finished college with Paralegal certificate, as a honor student. Couple weeks ago started studying for LSAT. Downloaded 3 apps. Trying to improve my score from 135 to 177. Please let me know, if you have any advise for the foreign students.

    Thank you