Congratulations! You’ve decided to embark on a career in law, and the first step towards your new goal is conquering the LSAT. Well, to be more accurate, your first step is to begin your LSAT test prep. The LSAT is a difficult exam as it requires you to familiarize yourself with the exam’s methods rather than just the material. Unlike so many other standardized exams, this is not something you can memorize facts for.
So, in order to begin your LSAT test prep, it’s important that you create the right plan to help guide you through it. Preparation is key for this exam, and you need to make sure that you are using the right approach. Here are 5 steps for creating the perfect LSAT study plan:
Step #1: Take A Practice Exam
Whether you’re using a LSAT test prep program or self-studying, the first thing you need to do before you begin your prep is take an official practice exam under simulated testing conditions. This will help you (or your tutor) determine your baseline so you know what areas you need to focus on the most. You need to figure out what you know and what you don’t yet know in order to create the right study plan for you.
After you take your practice exam, you need to analyze the results to figure out your own strengths, weaknesses, and patterns. Don’t pay too much attention to the actual score, as this doesn’t necessarily mean anything. If you didn’t score very well, it doesn’t matter. (That would be like taking a college final before you’ve even taken the class.) Whatever you don’t know, you will cover in your later test prep.
Step #2: Determine Your Timeline
Your timeline is largely going to depend on your personal goals and baseline scores. If you want to score in the top percentile, then you will probably need to take a little more time to get there. However, not everybody needs to get that high of an LSAT score. Really it all just depends on the law schools you plan on applying to and what their average acceptance score is.
On average, you will want to spend about 300 hours total working on your LSAT test prep. This roughly translates to 24 hours per week for about 3 months. Of course, this is an estimate. If you’re not sure what’s best for your skill level and goals, try consulting an LSAT tutor.
Step #3: Focus Yourself Completely To LSAT
This part can be difficult but working towards the LSAT requires a lot of commitment. This means rearranging your work and social life to accommodate your test prep. LSAT studying is not the kind of thing you can do in your off time. It is something that requires 100% commitment in order for you to be successful.
Step #4: Prepare Detailed Weekly Schedules
You can still have fun and social contact but be prepared to schedule it in to your LSAT study schedule. Every week you will need to schedule each day in order to make sure that you cover all of the necessary material. This means carefully scheduling in study sessions, topics of study, goals for each session, practice tests, breaks, and any recreational activities.
Step #5: Vocab Review
This is something that often gets overlooked, but is invaluable to your LSAT test prep. This exam will test your ability to read quickly and precisely, so you need to make sure that you have a high reading level to keep up. Make sure to schedule at least one hour a week exclusively for vocabulary review to boost your chances of success and increase your reading speed.