Just like the unexamined life is not worth living, the unreviewed LSAT prep test is not worth taking.

The Importance of Reviewing LSAT Practice Tests

Reviewing LSAT preptests correctly is the key to getting better quickly. Imagine if you never reviewed or scored any of your LSAT practice tests and thus never knew for sure what you got right or wrong. Would you still improve? Probably not. Even if you did improve a bit, your progress would be a lot slower.

Reviewing LSAT practice questions provides you with a critical feedback loop. The LSAT is like any other skill: you have to see what you are doing wrong to improve. Sports like tennis are great because you get instant feedback: if you mess up the shot, it doesn’t go in, so you have better do differently next time you swing, right? In tennis, practice and reinforcement happen at the same time. It’s a little harder to get the mix of practice and feedback right on the LSAT.

Reviewing LSAT preptests is the point at which you switch over from mere practice to actually teaching yourself. This is an important distinction to grasp. Review is actually more important than working through tons of LSAT problems, so never skip it. We’d rather you do 35 preptests with a good solid review than 70 without it.

This post shows you how to review LSAT practice tests to get proper feedback and squeeze the most out of your prep. This is the review method that I used to earn a 177 on the LSAT.

The 2 Questions to Ask Yourself During Review

When reviewing LSAT preptests, ask yourself 2 questions:

1) What am I missing?

  • Are you missing specific question types? (eg. Must Be True/Assumption/Flaw/etc.)
  • Are you missing questions with formal logic elements?
  • Are you missing questions with heavy conditional reasoning elements?
  • Are you missing questions with numbers and percentages?
  • Are you missing questions that deal with technical nomenclature?
  • Are you missing questions that deal with science/economics/law/etc.?

If you can key in on the specific content of the types of problems you are having trouble with, you can develop an effective strategy for attacking those types of problems.

2) Why am I missing this/these question(s)?

  • Are you having timing issues and only missing questions when you are rushing at the end of the section? (focus on timing)
  • Are you misreading? (focus on attention to detail)
  • Are you misunderstanding the stimuli? (focus on attention to detail)
  • Did you get frustrated?  (focus on mental/emotional strength & stamina)
  • Did you lose focus? (focus on mental/emotional strength & stamina)
  • Is there a more effective way that you could’ve attacked the problem? (focus on approach)
  • Did you misunderstand and/or mis-diagram the relationship between elements in the stimuli? (focus on attention to detail/conditional reasoning/formal logic)
  • Did you narrow the answer choices down to the correct answer choice and the answer choice that you incorrectly selected? Why did you choose the incorrect answer choice? Why was it attractive? Are you choosing the same types of incorrect answers over and over? (ie. opposite answers, shell game answers, out of scope answers, etc.)

Review LSAT preptests, looking for patterns in your mistakes: Many people make similar errors repeatedly because they don’t realize what they are having trouble with and why they are making errors. Carefully consider your weak areas, and aggressively work to develop those skills.

If you realize that you are struggling with Necessary Assumption questions, for example, carefully reread that section in the LRB, then skim through preptests 1-20 or so, locating each “assumption” question. One by one, work through ONLY assumption questions in untimed conditions. Review after each question.

Don’t move on until you are comfortable that you thoroughly understand that question.

Develop a methodical approach to the question type, then drill until that approach is ingrained in your mind and becomes almost reflexive.

Below, I’ve outlined a specific formula for reviewing untimed or timed LSAT preptests.

Reviewing Untimed LSAT Practice Tests/Questions

In the early part of your prep schedule, especially the first month, you mostly do untimed questions (see our prep study schedule for a full breakdown of what to do when). With untimed questions, it’s very tempting to jump ahead to the answer choices right away (often before you are done reasoning through the problem) to see if you got the right answer.

Here’s the thing about the real LSAT test you are studying for: There are no answers in the back. You have to learn how to do the best thinking you can do on your own. Untimed prep is all about learning how to reason through these questions under the best conditions possible before adding time pressure later in your prep.

If you shortchange yourself by jumping to the answer too quickly, often you’ll find you guessed the wrong answer. Now you’ll never know if you could have reasoned through the problem successfully and learned something from it in the process.  Here’s what you do instead of that:

Step 1 – Pick some problems and start doing them!

Decide on a block of five to ten problems that you will do in a row without looking at the answers. Sit down and start doing them.

Some questions are going to be pretty easy. You’ll be close to 100% sure not only that the answer you chose is right but also that the other answer choices are wrong for some reason that you can readily identify. Don’t do anything special to mark these questions. Just do them, eliminating the wrong answer choices and circling the one you think is correct, then move on.

Step 2 – Mark hard problems

When you get to harder questions, reason them out as best as you can. Eliminate any, and all answer choices that you are sure are incorrect. Then really think hard and pick the one you think is best. Now, mark the question so you can come back to it later. We would circle the question number at the top left of the question so it’s easy to find again.

Step 3 – Specially mark problems that have you totally stumped

Often there will be one problem that you can’t decide at all which of two or three remaining answer choices are best. Do your best, but move on when it becomes obvious you aren’t making progress on your own (still pick an answer just like you would on the real test). Mark these problems with a star around the question number.

Step 4 – Before checking the answers, take one more pass at any questions that had you totally stumped

Sometimes a second look after can help you see something you didn’t see the first time, and suddenly the problem becomes easier. For this reason, take a quick second try at starred problems (and maybe some of the harder circled ones) before you check the answers.

Step 5 – Check the answers and review incorrect answers

If any are wrong, review those questions until you understand why the correct answer is better than what you picked. You may want to review the relevant section in your Powerscore Bibles to see again how they recommend doing that specific question type if you think you really missed something fundamental.

It might take a lot of thinking, but usually, if you look at the words of a question long enough, you will see why your answer choice was wrong, and the correct answer choice was right.

Step 6 – Review circled and starred questions you got right

Now, quickly review the circled (hard) and starred (very hard) questions you got right. You want to make sure you understand exactly why you got any questions right, meaning you should be able to identify exactly why the answer you picked is right and exactly why the other answer choices are wrong.

Having the right answer doesn’t guarantee that you understood it. You always want to understand each LSAT problem that you encounter.

Explanations- while I don’t always recommend them because they don’t force you to think through things on your own, LSAT preptest explanations are often a good way to learn why you got questions right or wrong when you are starting and having significant trouble seeing it for yourself.

If you buy explanations, don’t use them until you have absolutely done everything you can to understand the problems with just your own brain.   Lots of people have published explanations, but some are a lot better than others. 

We recommend the books in Fox Test Prep’s explanation series: Cheating The LSAT, Breaking The LSAT, and Exposing The LSAT. If you think you’ll like explanations early in your prep, consider starting off your untimed LSAT question prep with these three books.

They come with official preptests: PT61, PT62, and PT63, so there is no need to buy those separately.   Another excellent option for LSAT Preptest explanations is Graeme Blake’s Hacking the LSAT series. Check out Graeme’s post “Five Things I Learned While Writing Thousands of LSAT Explanations.”  

Hacking The LSAT

Step 7 – Keep notes in your log

You always want to keep a log of problems that you had difficultly with. Keep 3 separate lists of the specific question type for each problem you got wrong, circled, or starred. You do this so that later in your LSAT prep, you can see patterns as to which questions types are giving you the most difficulty. Early in your prep, you will learn how to identify questions by type from whatever prep books you are using to learn the LSAT. We recommend using the Powerscore ‘Bible’ Series.

Reviewing Timed LSAT Practice Tests

Reviewing timed tests is a slightly different game. Here, you do a whole section within the time limit before doing any review. Almost everyone likes to look straight at the answers after finishing a section. This is a huge mistake! Do this, and you will be missing out on valuable opportunities to reason through the hard problems untimed before learning the answer. Here is the proper way to review a timed LSAT practice test.

Step 1 – Pick a section and do it within the 35 minute time limit

Eliminate wrong answer choices, circle whatever answer you think is best, and mark your answers on the bubble sheet like you will on test day.

Step 2 – Mark hard problems with a circle

Same as you did with untimed questions, mark any question you aren’t pretty close sure about with a circle around the question number.

Step 3 – Specially mark problems that have you totally stumped with a star

Again, same as before, mark the ones that have you at a total loss with a star. Still, pick an answer and bubble it on the answer sheet.

Step 4 – Before checking the answers, redo all circled and starred questions UNTIMED

Here’s the key move: You will have all the answers for the timed test on the bubble sheet.

However, BEFORE you see if you got them right, go back and redo all the circled (hard) and starred (very hard) questions untimed.

This way, your brain gets another chance to learn how to do them right without the time pressure. This actually helps develop speed on future questions.

Think about it: when you do a question under time pressure, you often have to give up on that one and move on before you’ve really had a chance to reason it out fully (For example, on LR, you are generally well-advised to move on if an individual question is taking more than 2.5 minutes).

Because you didn’t see your way through to the correct answer, you really won’t get much of a benefit from that question unless you go back and do it right untimed.

Do it right untimed, and there is a better chance that next time your brain will know how to do a similar question within the proper amount of time.

Step 5 – Check the answers and review incorrect answers and correct answers for difficult problems

This part is the same as for untimed problems. Again, the key is to make sure you understand every difficult problem (and any easy ones you got wrong for some reason. Extra tip: look carefully at what tripped you up every time you make a “dumb” mistake. Often you can see a pattern, and just knowing that will make you more alert when you encounter that again).

Step 6 – Keep detailed notes in your log so you can attack weaknesses

This part is a little different for timed tests. Here you want to keep a separate log of problems that you got wrong under time pressure (any wrong on your bubbled answer sheet) and any you got wrong even when you did them untimed after. Pay special attention to the problems that you got wrong untimed. These are problems that you might be having substantive issues with. If any patterns emerge, make sure you go back to your bibles and review the question types giving you trouble.

You should also do this for problems that you had difficultly with under time pressure, but with these, place and extra emphasis on learning how to build speed. Consider going through old practice tests and pulling out lots of questions of just that type to drill with and build speed.



  1. Hey Guys:

    I have really appreciated your material. I’m in the final two weeks before the December LSAT. I feel I have narrowed down one of my key weaknesses. I am able to see the flaw in the arguments (if necessary) and generally have a good prephase, BUT I get stuck in the tricky/tiresome wording of the answer choices. Do you have any tips on sorting through the terrible wording of answer choices and not getting tricked!?



  2. Allie,

    We are generally a little better about answering the blog comments quickly, so if you ever need fast advice definitely just hit us up on here.

    As far as the logging goes, it doesn’t have to be super formal. Just keep track of the types of questions that you are getting wrong. This is most helpful for fixing logical reasoning problems. So mark down whether the question you got wrong is assumption, parallel reasoning, formal logic etc.

    That way you know which question types are giving you the most trouble and can zero in on them when you study.

  3. I sent Josh an email, but I thought I’d comment here, too.

    After reading this post I’m a little confused about what our logging should look like. Can you explain that a bit more in depth?

    Thanks for all your posts and advice. They are extremely helpful.

  4. So I had another question – sorry if it is answered somewhere else.

    The LR Bible suggests first reading the stimulus, then the question stem, prephrase an answer, then look at the answers and choose one. They advise against reading the question first because then sometimes you have to read the question, read the stimulus, and then read the question again and you wouldn’t necessarily have time to read the question again. Also, you can often predict the question type from the stimulus.
    I was wondering if you would agree with reading the question only after reading the stimulus.
    Although I agree with almost all of the above, I’m finding if the stimulus is a bit dense, that I have to read the stimulus, then the question, and then the whole stimulus again which I don’t have time for either. So it seems like it might make sense to read the question first. Generally however, I do read the stimulus then the question, and oftentimes, I can predict the question, etc. But for the those times when I can’t…:S

    Anyway, just wondering what your recommendation is re: first stimulus then question or vice versa.

  5. Hi!

    I see you answered some of my question here actually.

    I appreciate this post too – just seeing some thoughts on how others handle reviewing is helpful.

    A friend had recommended after finishing a test, going over all of the answers, whether right or wrong, to help reinforce the concepts but I like this idea of starring or circling the ones that I’m not sure about too.

    Usually most questions that I answer I get right, but it’s still about timing for me right now and getting a whole section finished in the time-period. :S