Are you thinking about taking the LSAT? LSAT courses can be extremely expensive and time consuming. And taking the LSAT obviously comes before law school, where you’ll likely be taking out thousands (more like hundreds of thousands) of dollars in student loan debt. Really, there are tons of reasons why you might want to study for the LSAT on your own and not fork out tons of money for a needlessly expensive LSAT course. The truth is, you can study for the LSAT on your own without spending an arm an a leg. Here’s how.
How to Study for the LSAT on Your Own
USE ALL THE FREE RESOURCES YOU CAN.
The first thing you should do if you plan to study for the LSAT on your own is make sure to take advantage of all the free resources you can. Ask friends who have taken the LSAT if they have materials you can use, especially if they have copies of real past exams. Check your local library and your local law library and see what materials they have. You’ll be shocked at the things you can get for free.
SIGN UP FOR A GOOD & AFFORDABLE LSAT PREP COURSE.
Next, sign up for a cheap, remote LSAT prep course like LSATMax. LSATMax is completely remote and comes with an extremely useful app. It helps you to study on your own, at your own pace, 100% remotely for a fraction of the cost of other LSAT prep courses. I used them to study for the bar (BarMax) on my own and had a wonderful experience. [Related: An Honest BarMax Review].They were created by Harvard alum who recognized that so much time for LSAT prep is wasted sitting in a classroom talking about things that aren’t actually going to help you get a high score on the LSAT. You can take comfort when you sign up because it’s one of the cheapest courses out there but it’s also the highest rated remote course in the world. Plus you get instant and lifetime access. Check LSATMax out here. (P.S. the cheaper Pro or Premium versions are likely all you need here).
USE YOUR TIME WISELY.
The drawback to not signing up for a traditional LSAT prep course is that you won’t have the built in structure that they provide. Instead, you’ll have to make that structure on your own by using your time wisely. Plan ahead of time what you are going to do before study time comes. That way, you’ll really be able to maximize your study time which will help you improve your score. By signing up for LSATMax, you’ll have a good idea of what things you need to fill your time with (rather than sitting in an lecture which isn’t really an efficient use of your time). One thing I did was I focused on taking as many practice exams as I could, rather than sitting around listening to lectures. LSATMax comes with lectures– I’d only listen to them while your driving in the car or working out (or really anytime you’d otherwise be listening to music or a podcast).
TAKE TONS OF PRACTICE EXAMS IN LIKE CONDITIONS.
One of the most important things you can do to study for the LSAT on your own is to take REAL practice exams in like conditions. In the beginning, you should start out taking the exam and giving yourself all the time you need. After you have taken a few exams, you should simulate testing conditions– go to a local library, find a desk, and take the test timed, just as it is on testing day. Give yourself the same amount of time to take breaks. (On test day, you’ll be taking five 35-minute sections, with a 15 minute break between the 3rd and 4th section. And just as a heads up, one of those sections is not graded). You’ll get 87 full length LSAT’s from LSATMax.
You don’t necessarily need to study for the LSAT full time. Focus on studying smarter rather than studying longer. If you are routinely taking practice exams and grading them, you’ll know what areas need improvement. If you are doing well in logic reasoning but continuing to run out of time during the logic games, spend more time amping up your logic games.
PERFECT THE LOGIC GAMES.
Speaking of logic games, once you’ve taken enough practice exams, you’ll start to see patterns emerging in different logic games. In my opinion, improving your logic games section is the best thing you can do to study for the LSAT on your own and get a good score. It’s a lot easier to improve your score in the games than it is to improve your reading comprehension or logical reasoning, so definitely take the time to learn the games.
START EARLY (BUT NOT TOO EARLY).
You should start studying for the LSAT about 3 months before the exam. This will give you just the right amount of time to immerse yourself in it without getting burned out What you don’t want to do is immerse yourself in it too early and be completely burned out by the time it’s time to take the actual exam. I think some light exposure to the exam about 4 months beforehand is OK, but I’d wait until the 3 month mark to really get serious about it.
If you have the desire and the determination, you definitely can study for the LSAT on your own without paying thousands of dollars to sit in on a bunch of classes that don’t really help you study for the LSAT. A lot of those courses spend precious class time telling you what and how to study. You don’t really need that. Grab LSATMax and read in a fraction of the time what you need to know, then get to studying. The only person that can get you ready for the LSAT is you.
Want to get to know me better? My husband and I are currently paying off $650k in student loan debt from law school and dental school. Find out how here.
Have you taken the LSAT on your own (aka without an expensive prep course)? What things helped you study on your own? Comment below!
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