When is the best time to start preparing for the June LSAT?
The LSAT is a complicated test that takes time to master. Most people need at least 3 months to prepare, so the best time to start is in late February or early March. Many Marks Education clients have found studying for about 14-16 weeks (an hour of tutoring and about 3-5 hours of homework per week) allows them to implement a broad incremental improvement strategy. The regular registration deadline for the June 12th LSAT in the United States is April 26th, 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, though this depends on your learning style and other demands on your time. While getting started early 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. This depends as well on your work, school, and family commitments. Some choose to study more intensely over a shorter period of time whereas others benefit most from a slow and steady approach over 6 months or more.
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 The oldest ones are from the early 1990s and are moderately outdated.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 with more words and fewer numbers. Their unusual format means it takes some time to get comfortable with this section. However, careful practice and specific approaches and techniques we teach at Marks Education make mastering the logic games less daunting.
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 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 learning and practicing strategies and techniques, becoming more familiar with the depth and breadth of content covered on the test, and taking practice tests, most students are able to meaningfully increase their starting scores, especially through one-on-one sessions with a tutor.
Contact us at Marks Education to take a complimentary baseline practice test or to sign up for a free initial consultation with an experienced LSAT tutor.