The Law School Admission Council is a not-for-profit organization that promotes quality, access, and equality in law and education.
If you’re considering applying to law school, you’ve probably been told about the LSAT prep.
Knowing how often to study for the LSAT and for how long can be extremely frustrating as it feels like you have enough studying!
The LSAC aims to help and support potential law students to fulfill their potential throughout the law school admission process.
In this article, we are going to explain how long should you study for the LSAT test. (Click here to learn more)
What Is The LSAT?
‘LSAT’ is an acronym for the law school admission test, which is a key role in law school admission. The test is broken down into two parts, the first is made up of several 25-minute multiple-choice questions.
The second part is a 35-minute unscored writing sample, candidates will be presented with a decision problem from which they will be asked to choose between two courses of action or positions.
This section is designed to examine the persuasive writing skills required amongst others.
How Is It Scored?
Depending on the number of questions in a specific test, the available range of scores could be between 120 to 180.
Although the second writing test isn’t scored, this doesn’t mean it can be brushed aside and is unimportant. Law schools may still read this section when reviewing your application.
The average LSAT score is 151 and a perfect target score is 180. For reference, the top 10% of test takers score between 164-173.
As the test doesn’t take away points for wrong answers, candidates’ higher scores are a reflection of how many correct answers they get.
Who Should Take The LSAT?
The LSAT can be taken by anyone who wants to increase their chances of getting into law school.
This test can help students identify whether or not law school is suitable for them as the necessary skills such as reading comprehension and reasoning are assessed.
Anyone unsure whether law school is right for them should also take the LSAT as this test may reveal if it suits them.
Currently, around 130,000 people take the LSAT preparation every year.
How Long Should You Spend Studying?
Firstly, the amount of time an individual spends studying depends on the individual. Everyone learns at their own pace and some may take longer to grasp certain concepts.
Further, some individuals have certain learning difficulties which means they may need longer to prepare for LSAT practice exams and standardized tests.
For some, it could take as little as a month to prepare for the timed practice tests if they have a significant amount of time available.
Generally speaking, it is recommended that the average person begin preparing for the LSAT three month period in advance.
Setting a goal to study for around 20 hours per week is an ideal way to prepare for the LSAT, this is a pretty standard amount of time to dedicate for most students.
As mentioned above, individuals may need to adjust this to suit their needs and fit around their current schedule.
So how many hours a day
All in all, this should equate to around 150 plus hours of studying for the LSAT over that time period.
Some LSAT prep courses state that it usually takes students a minimum of around 120 hours to get acquainted with the test.
Top Tip: take a free practice test before you start studying for the LSAT to get a baseline score.
This score can then be used to determine how much work is needed to achieve the results you are hoping for.
Planning Your Study Timetable
Planning and getting organized is just as important as studying itself, having an LSAT study plan allows you to account for every aspect of the test and allocate extremely important rest periods.
If you are considering taking the test then working out how much free time you have during one week is vital to plan when you need to start preparing.
For example, if you only have ten spare hours a week it may take you twice as long to prepare for the test as those who can dedicate 20 hours a week.
There are a number of online programs that can be used to make a study schedule and enable you to plan your current commitments around preparing for the test.
In-built computer software such as Excel or a calendar application is also useful for this.
Those that create a study schedule are more likely to stick to the plan and achieve their goals!
There are various study plans online which allocate three months worth of studying in order to get you prepared for the test.
These can be altered to suit any study period timeline sticking to the recommended 150 hours minimum.
Online prep courses and study materials can be purchased which can help with every part of the preparation process.
The official LSAT prep course is run via Khan Academy and information about this can be found on the LSAC website.
Prep courses often feature materials such as practice tests, how-to videos, practice questions feedback, and personalized learning plans.
Other course materials such as books and eBooks are also available from various booksellers or second-hand retailers.
These include advice, test questions, and explanations from LSAT writers, which can give candidates a better understanding of what is expected of them.
The LawHub is a portal that prospective law students can use to help them prepare for the LSAT. It is full of resources and support that can help individuals reach their goals.
This could be through a number of methods such as podcasts, live events, and authentic test interfaces.
Other groups that may benefit from using the LawHub after they’ve passed the LSAT are current law students.
Law School Success is aimed at first-year law students that can help them thrive in their new environment and receive mentorship and guidance.
This could be the difference between passing and actually developing a future career in law for some.
LSAT Prep Plan
When you sign up for an LSAC account, you get access to the free Prep Plan made by the LSAC.
This plan includes practice with the interface, self-paced and simulated exam modes, practice test history, 5 official LSAT prep tests, and instant scoring feedback.
The Prep Plus plan is an upgraded version of this and includes all of these features plus unlimited access to more than seventy prep tests.
However, this does come at a price of $99.00 per year which isn’t accessible to everyone.
LSAT Scores And Getting Into Law School
The LSAT is just one part of the process of getting into law school, just because you pass the test doesn’t automatically guarantee you a place in a school.
That being said, the score does account for more than 50% of the admissions decision coupled with the undergraduate GPA score.
LSAT Preparation Tips
Here are some preparation tips to help you through the preparation process.
Don’t Worry If You Have To Take It Again
Although it would be great if you achieved a great score the first time, not everyone is this lucky. Don’t be disheartened if you have to take the test a couple of times to get a better score.
Utilize Free Tools
There are a lot of free resources online as well as paid ones, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they are better.
Using a variety of free resources available can help you achieve your desired score and enable you to learn more effectively.
For example, visual learners may prefer YouTube videos and auditory learners may benefit from podcasts.
Trial and error is the best way to work out which learning method works best for you.
Give Yourself Enough Time
Candidates can take the LSAT up to three times in one year, so there is no need to rush to get it done.
Not giving yourself enough time to prepare is the biggest mistake you can make and will severely impact your scores.
Some people will need more time than others to be able to process how the test works, as it isn’t something that can be crammed for.
Conduct In-Depth Study
When studying, it’s easy to skim things and gain a surface-level understanding of the material, however, in-depth knowledge is required to achieve a good score on the LSAT.
This requires candidates to repeatedly test themselves and become familiar with what is expected of them with this test.
The most important thing you can do is stay on top of things and organize your study schedule into manageable chunks at a reasonable pace.
Trying to fit too much in a short amount of time can result in burnout.
The Bottom Line
The LSAT is an important test for any prospective law student and should be prepared for in the same way you would for any other school test.
Studying for tests is difficult but worthwhile if it allows you to pursue the career of your dreams.