LSAT Prep Advice... Books? Prep Courses? Study Habits? Full-Time Teacher here trying to get into law school!

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
cgra1916

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LSAT Prep Advice... Books? Prep Courses? Study Habits? Full-Time Teacher here trying to get into law school!

Postby cgra1916 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 2:40 am

Hey everyone!
I am looking to take the LSAT in September/October, and I was hoping to get any help and advice on how you prepared for the LSAT.

-What are the best LSAT books out there?

-Did you take any prep courses (Kaplan, Princeton, etc)? What kind were they (In person, online, private tutor)? Were they worth it?

-When is the best time to take a prep course? (Nearing exam date, anytime, etc)?

-How long did you study and prepare for the exam?

-What was your study plan?

-I got a 141 diagnostic :/ I know it's bad and I have my work cut out for me, but I'm not doomed for the test day, am I? Looking to really crack down in the summer (8 hours a day, most likely) since I will have much more time available.

A little info about me... I'm currently a full-time teacher in Texas, so managing time with work and studying for this exam have been of course rather difficult. I study about 2-2.5 hours M-F, and then 4-5 hours on Saturday or Sunday.
Aside from my questions I posted, I'm specifically interested in getting your thoughts on prep courses. I scored a 141 diagnostic (I know... Not good at all :/ ) I already enrolled in a prep course with Kaplan, but I'd like to know what was your experience with these prep courses, or what you have heard?

I would greatly appreciate any advice regarding to LSAT prep, thanks in advance!

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twiix

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Re: LSAT Prep Advice... Books? Prep Courses? Study Habits? Full-Time Teacher here trying to get into law school!

Postby twiix » Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:31 am

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Last edited by twiix on Wed May 17, 2017 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cgra1916

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Re: LSAT Prep Advice... Books? Prep Courses? Study Habits? Full-Time Teacher here trying to get into law school!

Postby cgra1916 » Thu Mar 31, 2016 3:08 pm

TWiiX wrote:I'll throw some notes in your original post below.


cgra1916 wrote:Hey everyone!
I am looking to take the LSAT in September/October, and I was hoping to get any help and advice on how you prepared for the LSAT.

-What are the best LSAT books out there?

A lot of people (myself included) really appreciate the LSAT Bibles by PowerScore. They offer great explanations and familiarization with the test and what sort of questions you can expect to see on the test. This is a great starting place. Another good resource is the LSAT Trainer just because it comes with a schedule and keeps you accountable for covering material every day. One of my biggest setbacks when starting off was finding any and every excuse I could to delay studying, so that schedule might be a gamechanger.

-Did you take any prep courses (Kaplan, Princeton, etc)? What kind were they (In person, online, private tutor)? Were they worth it?

Not a lot of prep courses are worth the money. There is a review on these forums that I would recommend looking at though. 7Sage offers an online database that I would say IS worth it. It's not really a training course in the same category as Kaplan or Princeton, but he has online explanations and a ton of material to study off of. This is probably the most comprehensive resource you will find. Again, look up reviews to see if it's something you might like.

-When is the best time to take a prep course? (Nearing exam date, anytime, etc)?

Start studying now. Even if you don't plan on taking it for a year, you won't forget what you learn. The more you prep, the better you'll do. A prep course will typically cover all of the basics of the test, so it's probably best to start with one of these. If you want to save the money, this can easily be replaced by the LSAT Bibles. It all kind of depends on your learning style, but a ton of people (maybe even a majority) of the people who score in the 99th percentile do not take any of these courses. Depending on what sort of score you're aiming for, these courses often won't help you. They are built to appeal to the masses, and if you want a 170+ for example, you are going to need something above and beyond the average, which these courses can't offer.

You need to pinpoint your weaknesses after familiarizing yourself and taking a Practice Test (PT) to see where you benchmarked at. After you become familiar, a common way to study is to begin drilling questions that you do poorly on. All of this would occur after your prep course if you choose to take one, since all that will do is familiarize yourself with the test.


-How long did you study and prepare for the exam?

The earlier and longer, the better. I think a good average is to prepare for 6-8 months. Since you are aiming for the September test date, you definitely have enough time. I would recommend checking out the September Study group thread! http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 6&t=260137

-What was your study plan?

I've kind of outlined a very generic study plan in previous points, but it definitely depends on how you learn best. I would say without a doubt you should start with something that goes over the different parts of the test and the different questions you can expect to see (LSAT Bibles). Once you do this, you should take a PT to see where you stand and then depending on how much improvement you want to make will determine how much you should dedicate to studying, and what kind of studying you will need to do. Logic Games is typically seen as the easiest section to improve on since you can learn how to do it. Reading Comprehension on the other hand relies heavily on how well and quickly you can read and process information. This is harder to learn because it is built from your reading habits that you've developed since you were a kid. These sections are vastly different however, and depending on what you need work in, will change how you study for them.

Some good guides can be found here:
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... =6&t=41657 (overall guide)
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... f=6&t=7240 (reading comp)
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 2&t=117317 (overall guide, less detailed)


This final link goes over kind of the same stuff I did, except in much greater detail. It's worth the read.
http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 6&t=120471



-I got a 141 diagnostic :/ I know it's bad and I have my work cut out for me, but I'm not doomed for the test day, am I? Looking to really crack down in the summer (8 hours a day, most likely) since I will have much more time available.

Forget about the diagnostic. Read the bibles, take notes and do all the practice problems and then take another. I took a cold diagnostic of 145 and I am up to 159 by only going through about half of the Logical Reasoning Bible. Familiarizing yourself with the questions will make a huge difference. This also doesn't mean much because depending where you got questions wrong, this might be very easy to raise up. If you got 15 wrong on Logic Games, and 15 on each Logical reasoning section and missed 1 or 2 in Reading Comp, that would be best case because then you can practice to get LG down to 0-2 consistently, and LR should be easy enough to get down to -5 give or take. The diagnostic after the Bibles means a lot more than a cold one in my opinion.

I would watch out for studying 8 hours a day however. You will very quickly burn out if you plan on doing that 5 days a week for an entire summer. Make sure you eat healthy and work out, get outside, and enjoy everything you would regularly do. Keep a moderate study pace (the 3 hours you describe now would be sufficient if you keep that up for 6 months and then maybe do 4-6 hours on the weekend). If you feel your brain melting, don't be afraid to take some time off. There's plenty of users on this forums who have taken a few days off and came back and noticed they do better than ever. Just don't burn out.


A little info about me... I'm currently a full-time teacher in Texas, so managing time with work and studying for this exam have been of course rather difficult. I study about 2-2.5 hours M-F, and then 4-5 hours on Saturday or Sunday.
Aside from my questions I posted, I'm specifically interested in getting your thoughts on prep courses. I scored a 141 diagnostic (I know... Not good at all :/ ) I already enrolled in a prep course with Kaplan, but I'd like to know what was your experience with these prep courses, or what you have heard?

Here's a link going over all of the test courses if that's what you want to pursue.

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... p?t=151670



I would greatly appreciate any advice regarding to LSAT prep, thanks in advance!

Best of luck! If you ever need motivation to stay on track I've always found this is a good place to go to get it.


Thanks so much for your advice and suggestions. The only reason why I want to study for those 7-8 hours a day (with a lunch break at 12:00, like a regular work day) is because the summer is really the only time I have to completely anchor down for the exam. Sure, I've been studying 2-2.5 hours now, but I have no other option than to study by the end of the day after all work and house stuff has been done. By then, even though I have eaten, maybe even relaxed a bit, I am still not 100% focused due to being up and at 'em all day. Thanks again!



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