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.


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.


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.


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.


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




  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!


  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?


  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

  12. Hi, Joshua.

    I’m impressed by your feats and am grateful for the help and resources you’re providing to others around you.
    So, I bought most of the books on your lists. I studied on and off for about three months or so. I took the LSAT late January of this year and performed not all that great.
    I’m looking to re-take the LSAT this summer. If I don’t feel ready for it by summer, then September or October at the latest.

    I will be okay with LR and LG. However, when it comes to RC that is a different story. My background is in English, but this seems to be quite a different type of beast.
    Any tips on how to get better on RC? I know if I want the best score possible I’ll need to improve my score in this area.

    I’m also contemplating taking a prep course with Blueprint LSAT. Is it worth the money, or could I be making similar gains through self study?

    Thank you for your help.



  13. Kristal Rodriguez on

    Hi! I recently learned that I am very interested in law and want to attend law school. However, I have a bit of a concern. I’m not the fastest reader. I know the tests are timed. What advice do you have for a student like me that knows they’re a slow reader?

  14. Isiah Williams on

    Good Morning Josh and Evan
    I wanted to ask you if the books listed in your 4-month schedule study program do you recommend that I purchase all of the study guides all at once or can we purchase one book at a time and work through each book depending on the study schedule. What do you see as the best option? I definitely see myself doing the best when I am trying to work through the study programs one by one and then combine them all together. Can you give me some insight on that, please.

    Thank you,

  15. Keziah Ampadu-Siaw on

    Hello Josh & Evan!

    My name is Keziah and I am currently a Senior studying Philosophy in ASU’s Barrett, The Honors College. I am looking to go to Law School fall of 2020 and debating on taking my first LSAT June 2019. Do you think I should take my first test in March of 2019 or wait until June 2019? I would really like your advice on when you think will be the appropriate time to take the test, which study plan I should use, and edition of the Bible Books I should get (2018 or 2019). Also, if you could please link all the materials I need to purchase in your response, I will greatly appreciate it.

    Lastly, the reason why I plan to start law school in the fall of 2020 is that I am taking a gap year to either teach English abroad under the Fulbright program (if I get in) or intern/work in a law firm. Any ideas on what I should do?

    P.S. I am looking for a 171+ score.

    P.S.S. One more question, should I be worried about what specialty law I want to do now?

  16. Hi guys, I am a mom and work full-time. I’m hoping to take the LSAT in November, but with work and family, I’m looking at maybe 2-3 hours of studying a night, with maybe longer stretches on the odd weekend. I know your recommendation is shorter studying time, with more intense studying, but with work I won’t be able to do that. I guess I’m looking for reassurance that it is still possible to get a great score when you can only use the few hours a day you have available for studying. Closer to the test I’ll use some vacation and do some full-days, but might not get many of them.

  17. Hi, I loved your post.
    I actually am prepping for the MCAT right now, but was looking for good verbal/analytical reading practice, for the reading section on the MCAT. There is very little official material released by the AAMC for the MCAT, do you think working on prep tests would be good practice to Hone my reading skills?

    Sorry if you’re not versed with other exams.


  18. Hi Joshua and Evan!

    Thank you so much for all the wonderful advice. I’m wondering if you guys have ever heard of blueprint lsat prep course and what your opinion was on it?

    I appreciate any feedback!

  19. Hi,
    This may be a dumb question, but I ordered all these books and got the 4 month study schedule and on week 1 there is a section for Basic Ordering Drill 1 and 3. I am confused as to where to find these drills. Are the in the Powerscore LGB or are they on this website? Please help.

  20. Hey Josh, I’m a Canadian student from the University of Toronto. I have just recently graduated from U of T with a CGPA of 2.66, although my grades do not represent who I am. I was competing at the top level of amateur boxing throughout my undergrad and my grades always suffered as a result. I was wondering what my chances were of getting into law school if I waited four years to apply as a mature student? If I killed the LSAT would I still be able to get in? I’m currently in Thailand teaching English to underprivileged children, and am also looking to volunteer at animal shelters, as well as get my 200 hour yoga teaching certification to try and demonstrate personal growth. What do you think? I’d like to go to law school in Canada, but am open to going to the US or the UK as well.

  21. Hello! Are all the books the latest edition? Some are 2017 edition, so I was wondering if the 2018 Edition was available?

    Thank you!

    • My books are the 2017 edition because at the time I purchased them, 2018 were not out yet. I do believe the 2018 edition can be purchased now though!

  22. Hello! I have recently purchased the LSAT bible trilogy along with the LSAC books you recommend to go along with the 2 month study plan. I took the June 2007 LSAT to get a baseline score and see which areas need improvement. I scored a 148 which is not exactly where I wanted to start off, but not horrible I suppose for someone just jumping into it for the first time. Ideally I would like to score 160-162 taking the Feb. LSAT coming up. I can push it off until June if I a feel I am not ready, however, is there anything you can recommend to improve my score between now and then? I intend to study for 4-5 hours each day at minimum Monday-Friday as well as take the Powerscore accelerated class at the end of January.

    I appreciate any feedback!!

    • My books are the 2017 edition because at the time I purchased them, 2018 were not out yet. I do believe the 2018 edition can be purchased now though!

  23. Hi guys!!

    I am currently taking 18 credits at my university during this semester, and I am taking another 18 credits in the upcoming spring semester to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. I wish to go to law school, and ideally I would have liked to start this time next year (fall semester). However, I have not yet taken my LSAT. I was wondering when I should register to take my LSAT, I want to be mindful of my heavy work load currently, and I work in addition to this. Can one register to take the LSAT without first officially graduating? Just trying to get an idea of when I could take it/go to law school.

    Thank you!!

  24. Please Help me. I have been studying for the Lsat since June starting with the Powerscore Logic Reasoning Bible. Then I took a Powerscore Class and for my diagnostic test, I got a 140. And from there, I have been studying for 6-7 hours a day practicing games and logical reasoning and only went up 6 points in two months. Now that I continue to take full length practice tests every Saturday and Sunday, my score is going down. I do feel like I wasted money on the course because I have yet to see significant progress AND in the time! I am willing to study, I was wondering if I was overstudying. I need help

  25. How can I add Reading Comp into my 3month study schedule planner that I purchased on this website. After looking over the study schedule I did see it pop up I believe in week 6, but I do want to work on it earlier? Please get back to me when you can ! Thank you

    • You can always add it in earlier, but you usually improve in RC after you’ve mastered the LR section as they use similar skills. Plus drilling the RC is the best way to improve, you can start earlier but we have it in week 6, as it’s more important to master LR and LG first.

  26. I just purchased the 3 month study plan! I took a course last year and the methodology presented did not work for me.

    • Sarish,

      I’m so glad you found the 3 month study plan! So many students tell me that they spent $1000+ on an LSAT prep course without seeing much improvement. Then, they follow our study schedule for only $20 and realized that they should have done that in the first place! Good luck with your prep, Sarish!

      Joshua Craven

  27. Daniela Silva on

    Hi Joshua and Evans. My first diagnostic was a 148. After months of prep, I was able to raise my score to 168. However, it has been two weeks since I have seen any progress. As a matter of fact, I’m getting worse. It started by 2 or 3 points down, but I just took a practice test and I went down to 161. It has been a long time since I have scored that low. I’m becoming frustrated. I don’t know if it is because I’m mentally exhausted, but I just can’t move forward. I took a 5 day break, but nothing is working. Just so you have an idea, I started preparing for the 2017 September LSAT since December of 2016. I started by studying twice a week and I have increased my studying slowly. I’m currently doing 4 to 5 days a week, 6-8 hrs per day. What are your thoughts?

    • Daniela,

      1) It is very common for people to hit a plateau, and I tend to find that the 165-168 range is a very common place for people to plateau at. So going 2 weeks without seeing any improvement in your score isn’t something to worry about. It took me at least 4 weeks to break through that plateau into the 170s. You’ve just gotta keep pushing!

      2) Don’t confuse “no score improvement on a PT” with “no progress.” You’re learning, improving your skills, learning to recognize patters, sharpening your senses, building your stamina, etc. You’re just having a hard time putting it together on a single practice test.

      3) If you need a break, take one. You’ve been working hard and seeing improvement, and it sounds like you need to recollect yourself and get into a better head space.

      4) It is important to stay positive and embrace the challenge. People who view plateaus and setbacks too negatively often get frustrated and disengaged. See this as a challenge for you to overcome & relentlessly pursue your goals. This isn’t the first obstacle you’ve encountered as you’ve prepped for this test, and it isn’t likely to be your last, but you can overcome it if you stay focused, keep a positive attitude, and embrace a growth mindset.

  28. Hello. Just to clarify, I am planning on buying the 2 month LSAT study schedule along with the 9 LSAT books that were recommended. Does the study schedule go along with the 9 books recommended?

  29. Are these books applicable to the 2017 LSAT or do I need to look for updated versions of the books?

  30. Hi, Joshua

    I took the LSAT awhile back without preparing, other than familiarizing myself with the format, and scored a 163. Are you confident if I purchased these books you recommend, that I could get into the 170s?


    • I would certainly say that if someone starts with a cold diagnostic score of a 163, it is very possible for them to reach the 170+ range.

      Can I say that reading these books guarantees that you’ll see that improvement? No, of course not. Anyone who tells you they can guarantee you’ll score in the 170s by reading a few books is lying to you.

      However, what I can say with confidence is that if I were in your position today, getting those books and following an lsat study plan like our 3-month prep schedule is exactly what I would do to get my score up to 170+.

      From what you’ve told me, you seem to be in a great starting place & you’ve got a lot of potential, so go for it, Matt!

      Good Luck,

  31. 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.

      • Hey Josh,

        I purchased the 10 week schedule as well as all the books but on the schedule it seems that we will also need the super prep 2 book as well which is not on your list of books to buy. So my question is will I need to purchase the superprep 2 book as well?

        • The LSAT Superprep 2 is also listed as optional. You certainly don’t NEED to purchase it to fully utilize the LSAT study schedules, but if you really liked using the LSAT superprep 1, you may want to add the superprep 2, which is the same thing for 3 different preptests.

    • Joshua Craven on

      Yes, the optional lessons for LSAT mastermind group members are included at the request of our members in order to make it easier for them to incorporate our lessons into the schedule. They’re listed for the convenience of our members.

      However, these lessons are 100% optional & you do not need to join the mastermind group in order to fully utilize the schedules. While we’d love to have you in the group, Please don’t feel any pressure to join just because you are using the schedule.

  32. 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!

  33. 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.

  34. 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.


    • 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.

  35. 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.



    • 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.

  36. First of all thanks so much for this and all of your help. This and the LSAT study schedule post are insanely helpful. I also appreciate posting the LSAT medians and percentiles.

    Quick question regarding prep books, though:

    My buddy currently in law school lent me some books- one of them is the Super Prep so that’s all good. However, the other two are Kaplan- Workbook and a Premier book. Could I substitute the other 8 recommended books for these? Or say I got the Powerscore Bible trilogy and nothing else- could the questions in the Kaplan book suffice? Or would I learn different techniques from the Premier book (it says it’s used in junction with a course, whereas I am self-studying)?

    Maybe I’ll bite the bullet and buy the other 8 books but it’s so expensive…Might start out small.

    • You could skip the RC Bible, although most people do purchase it, which is why we include it. If you buy all three together sometimes amazon has them on special. We do not recommend the Kaplan books.

      Most top scoring use the PowerScore Books.

  37. Alexandra VandeMerkt on

    Hi Josh,

    Two questions:

    I bought the 6 month test schedule and I noticed that the schedule advises jumping around from different sections and books. What is the benefit of doing that instead of going through all of the bibles one at a time. Also, why is the schedule jumping around to different chapters instead of doing it right in a row? As well as, what is the benefit of jumping around to different test and questions instead of just working through each test?

    The lsat test trainer is not listed as a recommended reading, but it is listed in the schedule every week. Is the book beneficial?

    • You want to make sure that you are staying on top of all areas. If you do all LG and then do all LR, we have found that students regress on their progress. There are also some LG skills that support LR and some LR that help you improve in LG.

      The real test is mixed work, but you need to be a specialist in each question type first. When you skip in a drill list, you are practicing all one type of question.

      The LSAT trainer is listed as an optional book in the 6-month schedule if people want an additional resource.

  38. I took logic last semester and received an A. Would a more advanced study of logic alongside the Powerscore books help? Or is what you learn of logic in the books sufficient for a best score?

  39. Hello, I am now two months into the four month study plan i acquired from your site. I have a follow up question regarding LSAC gap. After high school graduation i went straight to a university. After a year i took a year off to go do mission work. After that year i took one semester before working full time to save money so that i could transfer to the international university i dreamed of going to. I am now going into my last year here and am wondering what courses will be used in my final gap. For graduation at my university they only accepted 15 units from my initial university so i have completed everything through my current university. Will the LSAC take just the grades used to go into my degree or will they take into account the courses i took that did not help me graduate?

  40. Ashley Tanas on

    Does anyone have any recommendations for formal logic reading? I took a Kaplan class and their explanations of formal logic seemed incomplete to me? Wanted to get a handle on the formal logic before I dove in to the full-on LSAT studies again…..except this time, I’m doing Josh and Evans route!
    Formal logic suggestions would be much appreciated!

  41. Maria on