What does an ideal LSAT study schedule look like? Preparing for law school means getting ready to take the LSAT, but plenty of students aren’t sure or even what a good LSAT study schedule includes. Even some of the require the LSAT for admission, and earning a good score starts with a good LSAT study schedule. In this blog, we’ll look at the importance of your LSAT score, how to start building your LSAT study schedule and examples of LSAT study schedules for different timelines.
Listen to the blog!
are highly competitive at most schools, and your LSAT is one of the first indicators of academic success a law school admissions committee will look at, aside from your GPA. Together, your GPA and LSAT will be used to evaluate whether you are a good candidate for any law school, unless you apply exclusively to .
Many schools also have minimum thresholds when it comes to your , so it’s vital to exceed these thresholds when applying to law schools to have the best chance of getting accepted. If you do not at least meet the minimum LSAT score, your chances of acceptance are slim. Other law schools who do not set a minimum may publish average LSAT scores from past admission cycles. These are helpful as they can give you an idea of whether your LSAT score is competitive or not for a specific law school.
and both use the LSAT when measuring a candidate’s academic ability and preparedness for law school. Achieving a high score on the LSAT typically means scoring above a 150. To get accepted to elite law schools, like Harvard Law or Yale Law School, means scoring above 170 on your LSAT. To get into the University of Toronto law school in Canada, you need an LSAT score above 168. Keep in mind that a high LSAT score cannot overshadow an otherwise lacking law school application, if you want to know . Your LSAT score should complement a well-written application, but it cannot make up for a low GPA or poorly written , for instance.
Achieving a great LSAT score is not an easy feat, so along with creating an excellent study schedule and knowing how to study for the test, you might consider hiring an or enrolling in an to help you.
First things first, you’ll need to learn how to start studying for the LSAT. Next, we’ll cover what is on the LSAT and what you need to do before you start studying.
Check out this video for our guide to LSAT prep!
Before you build your LSAT study schedule and begin your studying in earnest, you should have your law school application timeline figured out so you know when you will be applying to law school and how much time you will have dedicated to LSAT study. You should also consider taking the test as early as possible when choosing an LSAT test date, so you have time for a retake if you decide to do so.
Next, you’ll need to get familiar with the LSAT’s format and content. Knowing what is on the test will help you create a more effective study schedule, help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses in the test content and determine how much time you’ll need to devote to studying.
#1 Research the LSAT
Your first step will be to visit the LSAC website and find out everything you need to know about the LSAT. This is a test of skill, not content. The test is designed to test your logical analysis, critical reasoning and reading comprehension skills. There is also an unscored, that evaluates your persuasive writing ability.
There are four different sections of the LSAT:
- Reading Comprehension
- Logical Reasoning (“arguments”)
- Analytical Reasoning (“”)
- Variable Section (unscored)
We’ll go over each of these sections in more detail next.
#2 Take a diagnostic test
To establish a baseline and figure out where your weak points are, take an initial LSAT practice test. The LSAC has free, official practice tests available for you to use. Calculate your score and review all of the questions you got right and the ones you got wrong. Make sure you understand why your correct answers were right and what you missed on any wrong answers. Write down some notes for yourself and identify your weakest section, moving up to your strongest section type. If you struggled with the “logic games” or analytical reasoning section, for instance, this will be where you start studying, so you have the most amount of time to strengthen this skillset.
#3 Determine your LSAT study timeline
Once you’ve established your baseline, consider what score you are aiming for. This will be based on which law schools you’re applying to. If you’re applying to schools at the very top of , your goal may be a score of 165. If you’re only applying to less competitive schools, your ideal score might be 155. If you’re already fairly close to your ideal score, you may only decide to study for the LSAT for a month or two. If you need to significantly increase your score from your diagnostic test results, you may want to devote 3 or more months to LSAT study.
#4 Pick your LSAT test date and gather study materials
Once you have a timeline in mind, you can choose the that fits with your study timeline and application deadlines. Be sure to check that your LSAT test score release date is well before any application deadlines and that you have time for a retake if necessary.
Next, gather your study materials. For the LSAT, this means plenty of practice tests, or logical games, and reading materials. A significant portion of the LSAT is dedicated to reading comprehension, so it’s in your best interest to start reading complex passages, expanding your vocabulary, improving your reading speed and understanding of dense texts.
#5 Create a detailed weekly study plan
Create a weekly study plan for yourself, blocking out how many hours per week you will study for the LSAT, and what topics you’ll be studying.
Start with your weakest section and work your way towards your strongest section as you get closer to test day. Add in regular practice LSAT tests to track your score improvement and reassess how your studying is working.
Also set aside time each week for reading practice passages or working on your vocabulary. The LSAT uses high-level vocabulary in its passages, and unfamiliar words can impact your understanding of a text.
When creating your LSAT study schedule, divide it into two distinct phases: the learning and prepping phase, and the practice phase.
The First Phase
The first phase includes learning everything there is to know about the LSAT and how to prepare for it. Review the different sections and get familiar with the different types of LSAT questions with practice LSAT questions. This is also the phase where you begin prepping by learning the effective strategies to tackle the LSAT’s reading comprehension, logic games and logical reasoning questions. Focus the bulk of your efforts on learning the strategies for your weakest sections first. Practice applying these strategies consistently with practice questions every week.
The Second Phase
The second phase is the practice phase. This is where you’ll start incorporating full-length LSAT practice exams. The goal here is to see how well you can implement the strategies you learned for each section and if you can do so consistently. Practice tests will let you gauge how well you’re using the strategies and if there are still areas of the test you don’t understand.
Start with an untimed practice test and work in timed practice tests in a realistic, simulated test environment to see how well you manage your time during the test. Your practice test environment should be as close to the real test environment as possible. If you run out of time to answer all the questions in a section but you’re implementing question strategy well, focus on sharpening your time management. During practice tests, complete questions you understand well first. Any questions that stump you, flag and come back to.
Longer LSAT Study Schedules
Shorter LSAT Study Schedules
Do you need a law school advisor? Here's how one can help you:
The days leading up to exam day will be stressful, but remember to take the time to rest and reset. Studying for the LSAT will be intense, but its important to take breaks and allow time for your brain to absorb information.
#1 Don’t overdo it
It's tempting to keep studying up until the very last minute, but avoid the urge to overdo your studying. After weeks of intense studying for the LSAT, give your brain a rest before the real deal.
#2 Get plenty of rest
Give yourself plenty of rest the day before your test and get enough sleep. Being in a good mental and physical state will help to calm test anxiety and help keep you focused once the test starts. If you're neglecting your well-being, it will catch up to you on test day!
#3 Complete the LSAT's written section
The LSAT's written section Is made available up to 8 days before your exam date. You can complete the unscored written section at any time before your exam once it's available. It's a good idea to get this section done and out of the way, so you don't need to stress about it on the day of your test.
#4 Make a test day game plan
It's vital to know exactly what you're doing to do on the day of your test. Since the LSAT is typically taken online, you'll be asked to complete a systems check on the computer you'll be taking the test on, and verifying that your test environment is ideal. In the days before your test, check your equipment and ensure you have a quiet, distraction-free exam room. Install the necessary software on your computer and verify you have your government-issued ID. Check the LSAC website for all testing and equipment requirements. If you need testing accommodations, be sure to check the LSAC website since the deadline will be well before your test day.
1. How long does it take to study for the LSAT?
Most students take 3 or 4 months to study for the LSAT, though some may use shorter LSAT study schedules of 1 month, 2 months or 6 weeks.
2. What is a good study schedule for the LSAT?
A good LSAT study schedule should include learning time, to learn the strategies you need for each of the different test sections, and practice time, where you implement these strategies in practice tests.
3. Is 1 or 2 months enough LSAT prep?
If LSAT study is the only Item on your calendar for 1 or 2 months, and you are either confident in your self-studying ability or have professional study help, a shorter LSAT study schedule may work for you. If you are consistently achieving a good LSAT score on practice tests or only need to Increase your score by a few points, 1 or 2 months of study may be enough for you.
4. Who can help me with LSAT prep?
5. What If I don't get a good LSAT score?
If you get a low LSAT score, or you don't achieve the score you want, you can retake the LSAT after working to improve your score. If you are already in the process of applying to law school, you can also address a low score In your or .
6. How many hours of LSAT prep a week do I need?
We suggest 20-25 hours of LSAT prep a week, for 3 to 4 months. In total, you should be looking at 250-300 hours of studying time.
7. How hard is the LSAT in Canada?
Canadian law school applicants write the same LSAT as American law school applicants. There is a negligible difference in the test difficulty, depending on which month you write the test in. Even the use the LSAT to evaluate candidates, so if you want to study law In Canada, chances are you will be writing the LSAT.
8. How many LSAT practice tests should I take?
Other than a diagnostic test, try to take an LSAT practice test at least once a week during your study schedule.