We take systematic preparation for this test seriously because it is critically important to many admissions committees’ decisions about your law school application. Many of our students come to us after a gap in their schooling, and studying for the LSAT frequently requires reinforcing logic and English fundamentals, while learning how to apply knowledge to the particular requirements of the test. For an overview of our thoughts on the law school application process in general, please visit the law school coaching page of this site. Below, you’ll find a summary of the LSAT process specifically, which can help you gain some familiarity with it as you think about the best preparation program for you. Remember that we are available to you to help situate the LSAT within the law school application process. Feel free to contact us about any question, no matter how small.
Determine when you need to take the test and plan your preparation schedule
The LSAT is administered four times annually. Most law schools require that applicants complete the exam by December for fall admission. That said, it's wise to start studying early. Achieving your best score on the LSAT takes time and it's nice to have the test out of the way by the time your law school application process is in full swing. Many law schools have rolling admissions and you don't want the LSAT to keep you from getting your application in early. In addition, while the vast majority of our students are satisfied with their scores after taking the test for the first time, it is good to give yourself another opportunity in case you are unhappy with your first score.
Accordingly, starting your preparation earlier is obviously better. The LSAT is highly coachable, patterned, and predictable. Familiarity through repetition leads to dramatically superior outcomes. We recommend a minimum of 16 sessions to cover the entirety of the test. Most of our students space these sessions out over the course of two to four months during a Comprehensive Package. Students who have more time or feel that they would benefit from additional preparation often choose the Planning Ahead Package which includes 20 sessions. Generally, the Planning Ahead Package allows for additional focus on advanced problem types and more extended coaching on full length exams.
Familiarize yourself with the format of the exam
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) provides this summary of the LSAT format. In addition to understanding the three different question types and familiarizing yourself with the timing requirements, we recommend that you complete the sample questions provided on the LSAC website.
Establish a baseline on a previously administered test
Establishing a baseline is a critical step in the process of studying for LSAT. We highly recommend taking a real full-length practice exam published by the Law School Admission Council as your diagnostic. The June 2007 exam is a great place to start. Although many companies offer free practice exams, these tests are observably different from the actual test.
Take your diagnostic practice exam under timed conditions and complete it in one sitting. Sustained focus over a long stretch of time is one of the primary challenges associated with the LSAT. Give yourself just under three hours to complete the test. Follow the scoring instructions at the end of the booklet to see how you did.
Your score on this first diagnostic is not particularly important. Your correct and incorrect answers serve as a starting point for your tutor, allowing us to build a syllabus customized to your strengths and weaknesses.
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Once you have a score from your diagnostic, we can advise you more specifically on what kind of preparation program makes sense. The more information you provide the better. If possible, please summarize your performance on each section of the exam, your goals, schedule, and any specific concerns you have about your preparation. One of our tutors would be happy to discuss a preparation schedule that suits your needs.
Tutoring & Practice Testing
Once we’ve matched you with tutor, the real work begins! You’ll meet with your tutor regularly (ideally, at least once or twice per week), complete homework in between sessions, and take practice tests. Practice tests are the best way for you and your tutor to to gauge your progress during the course of tutoring. Based on the results of your practice tests, your tutor will adjust his or her approach to ensure you are getting as much out of the process as possible.