When is the best time to start preparing for the July LSAT?
Thinking of taking the July LSAT? Then it’s a good idea to get started now (late March/early April). This timeline gives you a little more than 3 months to prepare, which is a good amount of time for a broad incremental improvement strategy. The earlier you can get started preparing for the LSAT, the better. This is a complicated test that takes time to master. The regular registration deadline for the July 15 LSAT in the United States is June 4 so make sure to register before then.
Does this mean if I’m planning on a later test date, I should start studying now?
Probably not. While getting started with plenty of time before the test is a great idea, you risk burnout and running out of good study material if you start more than about 4 months before the test. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the test, the best study material is official released practice tests, and there are only so many of those available. Don’t worry, though. You won’t run out of them all in 3-4 months of prep unless you have an overly-intense study schedule.
Does that mean I need to try to take all the released LSAT practice tests?
Definitely not. There are about 92 released practice tests, although some of them are more helpful than others. The oldest ones are from the early 1990s and are somewhat outdated. The format of the test hasn’t been modified drastically since then, but there have been a few noticeable changes, such as the introduction of a comparative (paired) reading passage in 2007. Most students see the greatest benefit from completing about 10-25 full practice tests worth of sections before taking the real test.
Why is it important to start preparing for the LSAT a few months before the test?
The LSAT is quite different from most other standardized tests. In addition to testing logical reasoning and reading comprehension skills, which take time to hone and practice, it also tests analytical reasoning ability through the use of logic games. Logic games are kind of like Sudoku puzzles but more wordy and with fewer numbers. Because of this unusual format, it can take some time to get comfortable with this section of the test. However, mastering the logic games is definitely possible with effort and study over time.
I’m ready to begin preparing for the LSAT. How should I get started?
After reading up on the basics of the format of the test, the first step for anyone who wants to take the LSAT should be to take a full practice LSAT under simulated testing conditions. This will provide you with a sense of both how much time and effort you need to put into the preparation process and the range of possible results you might be able to achieve. Through sustained effort over time involving learning and practicing strategies and techniques, becoming more familiar with the depth and breath of content covered on the test, and taking practice tests, most students are able to bring up their starting scores, especially through one-on-one sessions with a tutor.
Changes to the July 15, 2019 Test:
In July 2019, some testing centers will begin offering a digital format of the LSAT. For additional information on what you should do to prepare for the digital LSAT, check out our blog here.