If you want to know how to study for the LSAT, here’s one of the most powerful tips up front:
It’s not so much about knowledge.
It’s about using your skills to essentially win a series of games based on logic.
Now, you might be thinking:
“Hang on. The LSAT also has reading comprehension and writing assignments. Those aren’t games.”
Perhaps they don’t seem that way at first glance.
But every part of the LSAT is a game.
And it’s also an experiment.
The LSAC (Law School Admission Council) actually uses how people like you perform to design future LSATs.
So not only are you paying to be a guinea pig when completing the LSAT.
You also have more leeway than it seems to show what you’re really made of.
So if you’re ready for the ultimate LSAT preparation guide, I’ll help remove all of your stress and give you tips and tactics to ensure you pass.
Let’s dive in.
How to Study & Prepare for the LSAT:
14 Memory and Focus Tips That Will Change Your Life
As we go through these tips, there’s definitely an order of importance to these tips.
This is because you only have a limited time to prepare.
Also, the LSAT is scored on a 120-to-180 scale. To finish in the highest percentile, you need to mix a variety of preparation strategies. That way you’ll shine in all of the LSAT’s sections:
- Logic games
- Reading Comprehension
- Writing sample
But things change, so as a general rule, you’ll want to keep the first tip in mind.
One: Familiarize Yourself With The Test Format And Guidelines
There are a ton of books about how to ace the LSAT.
The problem is that things change fast. Many LSAT study guides are well worth reading, but due to how slow traditional publishing works, they can become dated quickly.
That’s why you want to call the admissions offices at the schools you want to study in and ask them for the latest test format, content and how the tests are reviewed.
This is especially important if you plan to take the test more than once. Different schools have different regulations around multiple scores. You want to make sure that they look only at your highest score.
Two: Make A Study Schedule
Making a study schedule and sticking to it is a major key to success.
Start by making a list of everything involved in the LSAT and judge where your skills are at right now.
As you’ll see in a tip below, I’m estimating that most people will need to give writing and reading comprehension the most time, especially in our age of digital amnesia.
Make sure to study in suitable places.
Also, don’t cram. Break things up. Study for an hour in the morning, take a break, and then study for another hour in the afternoon.
Make sure that you also think about the skills involved with the LSAT throughout the day. This is part of passive memory training as discussed by Dr. Gary Small.
Keep timing in mind. We all have times when we’re most alert and focused. Capitalize on these.
Take breaks and remain flexible. Life happens sometimes and it’s important not to get upset. That used to happen to me all the time until I developed a “victorious mind” over such issues.
Finally, be consistent. It’s difficult to study effectively if you aren’t.
Three: Review The Key Concepts & Strategies
The Law School Admission Test or LSAT assesses your critical thinking strategies, reading comprehension, logical reasoning and your ability to express ideas through writing.
A hidden part of the LSAT that many people don’t realize is that it’s also testing your time management skills. You need to organized and prepared to get through the test within the time limits.
Finally, your material organization is being tested.
That’s because being able to map out conceptually what you need to do and how to do is a huge part of what it takes to become a solid legal professional. That’s why a key strategy for success involves showing up to the exam with:
- A manual pencil sharpener (not electric)
- A white eraser (so it doesn’t leave marks)
- Pain relief (like aspirin in case you get a headache)
- Memory healthy food for a snack during the short break
- Bottled water
- Jacket or sweater in case you feel cold
- Ear plugs
- Analog watch (digital timers are banned)
- Ziplock bag because that’s all you’re allowed to have to carry all of the above
Four: Understand The Test Conditions In Advance
This principal involves contacting the people holding the test. They may have updated a number of items that are prohibited.
You want to make yourself aware of all this information as soon as possible so the questions are off your mind while you’re preparing.
Then, check one more time shortly before the exam takes place to make sure nothing has been changed, including details like time and location.
Five: Start Practicing The Writing Part As Early As Possible
Writing takes time. That’s why you want to start practicing the writing assignments early on.
As you study for the LSAT, practice examining the prompts and what goes into a good essay structure.
You also need to be aware of the two kinds of writing prompts:
- The issue prompt
- The argument prompt
Let’s look at each in more detail.
Six: Practice Taking A Stance
The first type of writing prompt asks you to take a stance on an important issue.
To practice, choose a topic, either from an LSAT study guide or just pick something you’re passionate about.
Next, identify the issues involved. If you struggle with finding the main point, these critical thinking exercises will help.
If you have time, research as many issues from the practice tests thoroughly so you understand the different perspectives surrounding the issue.
Taking a strong stance means stating that position clearly and as soon as possible. Then, support your position by providing evidence and logical and rational arguments.
Make sure to anticipate and address potential counterarguments to your position. Showing your awareness of arguments against your stance will make your writing more persuasive. And it will score higher on the actual LSAT as a result.
Seven: Practice Analyzing Arguments
To effectively analyze an argument for its strengths and weaknesses:
- Gather a decent number of arguments
- Identify the main claim or conclusion of each argument
- Identify the evidence or reasons that are given to support the argument
- Determine whether the evidence is relevant. Does the evidence support the claim? Does it address the key issues and provide a strong foundation for the argument?
- Identify any assumptions or biases in the argument. What makes them valid? How are they supported by the evidence. If they are questionable and unsubstantiated, why?
- Look for logical fallacies or instances of subjective reasoning.
- Discuss the overall strengths and weaknesses of the argument in your own words.
Reading critical thinking books will also help. Speaking of which…
Eight: Develop Your Reading And Comprehension Skills
You’ll use everything we’ve discussed related to writing while you’re reading.
But in this case, you always want to be aware of the purpose of reading strategies for the LSAT.
To do this, always read the question first. Making sure you do this each and every time will set you up with a specific purpose for the reading.
Even better, it will help you focus on the most important information. Focus is critical when it comes to skimming and scanning and not missing any important details.
(Note: Although it is good to skim and scan as part of reading faster, you still want to read every word, especially the exact wording of the possible answers.)
As you read, look for the statement you’re either going to confirm or refute. Practice finding logical errors like making analogies instead of providing evidence.
Nine: Practice The Logic Games Using Diagrams And Tables
Top performers on the LSAT do not try to work out the logic games component in their heads. They practice using their hands to represent the given information.
Sure, visualization exercises will help, but it’s best to make sure that you can see the information arranged logically in front you.
Using diagrams and tables works so well because you can spot the relationships between the variables and elements in the game. You will also understand the rules at a higher level and make better deductions faster.
Also, practice checking your work carefully before moving on to the next game. You’ll also want to check your work carefully during the LSAT itself. Reviewing your work is itself a skill.
Ten: Practice Under Real Test Conditions
A lot of people practice for the LSAT with their phone nearby and endless distractions.
This approach will not help you. You need to put yourself under the same conditions as the actual exam so you know how well you’re doing with the clock on.
When you emulate the actual exam situation, you’ll be able to identify your biggest weaknesses. That way you can work on them.
Eleven: Get Help If You Need It
There’s no need to struggle on your own. Although there are certainly sharks in the waters of the exam prep world, there are tons of good people out there.
You can also learn from videos and books. The point is to not dwell in worry or concern that you might not do well.
If that’s on your mind, look for a good source of help. You can succeed and there’s nothing wrong with seeking support.
Twelve: Talk To Lots Of Legal Professionals
Even if you don’t need help, a lot of potential top performers fail to spend time speaking with successful lawyers and other people related to the legal world.
These days, it’s so easy. Dozens of lawyers live stream on YouTube, for example. There are online groups you can join for free.
The more you simply converse with people who have been through the LSAT before, so much of their logical thinking will simply rub off on you.
Thirteen: Practice Relaxation
When I showed up for my PhD exam, people noticed that I didn’t seem nervous at all. Likewise when I delivered a speech at a TEDx event, people kept remarking on how calm I was.
That wasn’t by accident.
To focus your mind without a shred of stress when you show up for the LSAT, try these concentration tips.
You can also start practicing with these mental clarity tips.
Fourteen: Sharpen Your Memory
If you want the ultimate edge when taking the LSAT, improving your memory is key.
Even just a bit of practice with the main memory techniques available to you on this blog will be powerful for you. This is because the ancient memory techniques I teach in the Magnetic Memory Method Masterclass help you:
- Retain information quickly, such as logical principles
- Remember the rules of the test itself and the best order for tackling the LSAT
- Having strong short and long term memory skills help with time management
This last point is key. Many people taking the LSAT struggle to remember how much time they have left. They also have trouble deciding how much time to spend on each question.
But when you have improved your memory, you won’t get caught with these issues. You’ll know how to study fast, but not at the expense of thoroughness.
But if you’re still struggling, here’s what I suggest.
Grab my FREE Memory Improvement Kit:
It will help you rapidly remember everything related to the LSAT and put you ahead of the crowd.
How To Pass The LSAT With Ease
So there you have it.
A direct path to sitting for the LSAT and getting the highest possible score the first time.
As a former professor, I can tell you one thing that’s worth repeating:
Read every word in every question on the exam.
They’re often tricky. And so many people lose points simply because they don’t practice doing this so it’s something that happens naturally when sitting for the exam.
Now you know how important this is, so get out there and make every minute you schedule of LSAT prep count. You got this!