If you’re reading this, you likely have the ambition to go to law school. You may be scouring the internet for as much information as you can find about the LSAT, law school applications, and how to prepare for it all. Whether you’re currently in undergrad or you already have a bachelor’s degree, making time to adequately prepare for the LSAT can seem a little overwhelming. Our goal here at Law School Solutions is to make things easier for you. Here are some of our tips to help you create your LSAT study schedule.
First things first: I want to make sure you know how important it is to seriously study for the LSAT. A lot of those who apply to law school are high achieving students. They have always done well in school and on standardized tests. However, the LSAT is a whole new ballpark. Those who fail to prepare adequately usually find themselves without as many options for acceptance and scholarships.
Now that we have that little reminder out of the way, let’s talk about what it looks like to create your ideal LSAT study schedule.
7 Keys for Developing an LSAT Study Schedule
1. Print out full-page monthly calendars to write on
Even though digital calendars can be useful for organizing your life, go with paper on this one. Having the months leading up to your exam laid out in front of you can be helpful for getting a big picture view of the study opportunities before the LSAT.
2. Give yourself a good number of weeks to study
If you have an LSAT date in mind, count back from that date until now. This is how much time is available to you for studying. Everyone needs different amounts of time, but I don’t usually recommend any less than 12 weeks of study time. If you aren’t familiar with the parts of the LSAT, it can be challenging to get your mind thinking like the test does.
3. Look at the margin in your life outside of current school, work, and extracurricular commitments
Take a hard look at your schedule. Ideally, you’ll want to commit to studying 5-6 days per week. It can be helpful for many people to have a day off to rest, but be sure to get back to studying when that day is over. Identify chunks of time in your week you can block off for LSAT prep and get them on the calendar.
During this season of life, you may have to give up other activities. It’s important to be wholeheartedly devoted to LSAT studying. While it totally depends on your season of life and the resources available to you, it can be beneficial to make LSAT prep your top priority. (Although, I don’t advocate for letting your GPA suffer by not paying any attention to schoolwork during this time!)
Also keep in mind that some people learn better at different times. Is there a time of day when you feel most clear-headed? See if you can carve out time around then to maximize your efforts.
4. Know what you’ll be studying before you sit down to study
You’ll need to learn the basics of each section: Logic Games, Logical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension. Determine which days you’ll devote to each section. At the beginning of LSAT studying, you can map out a plan for the first few weeks. As you delve further into practicing, you’ll know which areas need more of your time and attention.
5. Determine which days you’ll take practice LSAT exams
Some LSAT takers take two or three practice exams per week leading up to the exam. If you’re studying on your own, you’ll need to set the days for practice exams. If you’re taking a course to prepare, there may be pre-determined practice exam days or schedules they give you to take the test on your own.
At the beginning of LSAT prep, it might be beneficial to take a couple practice exams per week (after you get the hang of the various sections). But you know yourself better than anyone else. If you are able to handle taking a lot of practice exams, do it. However, if you are prone to stress, it might be better to take fewer exams and instead focus on in-depth studying of the sections. You can take exams over practice sections instead of the tests as a whole.
Some students find a lot of success by taking practice exams in test-like conditions. The Exam Proctor app is can be a huge help for timing. It can even include ambient noise and real test-day instructions!
6. Take a diagnostic LSAT
Before you start following that LSAT study schedule you’ve prepared, take a diagnostic LSAT. Real talk: this might hurt a little, especially if you have VERY high hopes for your score. Just know that understanding your baseline score is incredibly important. It can be used to spur you on if you let it.
While you may be discouraged at first, choose to see this as the first step toward LSAT success. Everyone has to start somewhere. Give it your best try and then seek to master the exam in the coming weeks.
7. Give yourself grace
The LSAT is probably the hardest exam you’ve ever had to take. Even with great intentions, there will be times on your journey when you don’t stick to your LSAT study schedule. The best thing you can do is get back on track the next day. Beating yourself up for not being perfect will never help you in the long run.
I hope these seven tips help you work to create your ideal LSAT study schedule. Preparing for the LSAT is no small feat. It takes time, determination, and incredible effort. If you set your mind to it, I know you can be prepared come LSAT test day. Let’s get to work! For more blog posts on the LSAT and answers to your law school application questions, check out our blog.