Sure, it's not always fun to study for the LSAT, but it's necessary, and if you follow the nine steps below, your study time will be more effective. As a wise man once said, "To accomplish great things, we must dream as well as act," and if mastering the LSAT has always been your dream, then you must study for the LSAT - act on it - in order to succeed.
1. Study for the LSAT Early
Studying for a multiple choice standardized test requires that you start early, as in months, not weeks or days. Months! For the LSAT you'll have vocabulary to learn, testing strategies to master, practice questions to figure out, and tests to take before you ever sit down for the actual test. More than likely, you're in the middle of your LIFE (hello!), and fitting in LSAT prep is going to be tough. So start a few months in advance.
2. Get a Baseline Score
Buy a book or download a complete LSAT practice test and take it blind. What you'll end up with is your baseline score. By determining where you are without any prep, you'll know where you need to go to improve.
3. Learn the LSAT Test Basics
4. Set a Goal
Once you've figured out what a good LSAT score is and what your baseline score is, then determine the score you want by learning the average score your school of choice requires. Get a number in mind and it will help you determine how much time and help it'll take to get you there.
5. Figure Out Your LSAT Prep Options
It couldn't be easier to study for the LSAT than it is right now. Well, I wouldn't say it's easy per se. It's just that you have many options for helping yourself if you really want to study for the LSAT. You can purchase LSAT study apps for your phone, find free practice LSAT tests online, purchase a book, hire a private tutor, and on and on. You have many LSAT prep options out there, so do a little research and figure out which is right for you!
6. Create a Study Schedule
To study for the LSAT effectively, you have to carve time into your daily schedule, which is tough to do because you're probably really busy, right? One way to do that is with my time management chart. Figure out your time drains, and work in studying as much as you can. If you don't have much time per day, then you need to start studying even earlier. Plan your time based on whether you have months or just weeks. Build test prep into your schedule like it's a meeting you can't miss, and you won't be tempted to skip.
7. Take Practice LSAT Tests
You don't have to purchase a fancy practice class session to take practice LSAT tests. There are quite a few full-length tests available for free online. LSAC offers some good practice LSAT tests – they're the makers of the test, so they had better be, right?
8. Be Accountable
If you're not hiring a tutor or don't want a study partner, then get someone (a girlfriend, a husband, a mom) to hold you accountable and harass you if you're not studying. It's tough to fit studying in! That's why you need someone who will be strong for you when you're busy.
9. Learn the LSAT Test Strategies Before You Test
Should you guess on an answer if you don't know? Are you penalized for wrong answers? Can you go back and change answers? If you don't know the LSAT test strategies before you go, you could get answers incorrect when you didn't need to. Memorize these bad boys and increase your score.