Your LSAT Study Schedule: 2 Essential Tips
In this post, I want to focus on the process of studying for the LSAT and, specifically, the LSAT study schedule. Many LSAT experts write about the importance of having a study schedule for your preparation for the LSAT. No one would argue with that. What often gets overlooked, however, are two critical pieces of that process: (1) how your study schedule should be organized; and (2) when you should begin implementing your study schedule.
- How You Should Organize Your LSAT Study Schedule
I’ve explained before that the LSAT is not like other exams. Preparing a study schedule for it can seem counter-intuitive. For example, preparing a study schedule for a traditional history exam is simple: take your notes and whatever other materials you need to review, look at the time you have to study, and allocate your review of the notes and material evenly over that period of time. The LSAT, in contrast, is nothing like that.
Remember that doing well on the LSAT requires two critical steps: learning the logic and practicing with actual LSAT questions. The LSAT presents an underlying layer of substantive material you need to learn (the logic), and then it requires that you undertake a more mechanical (and less “studying” oriented) process of practicing with actual exams and applying the logic that you learned.
Therefore, a proper LSAT study schedule should focus on learning the fundamentals of the exam first and early on and then slowly transition into intensive practice and taking full-length exams later on in the process. For example, in a two-month LSAT study schedule, the first month should be comprised primarily of learning the logic on the exam and contain minimal practice. The second month should then shift gears and focus more heavily on taking practice exams.
This structure makes sense because it provides students with the foundation necessary to make their hours and hours of practice leading up to the exam meaningful and effective.
- When You Should Begin Your LSAT Study Schedule
Again, the LSAT is not like other exams. Unlike other exams – for which you could possibly cram a ridiculous amount of information into your brain either on the eve of the exam or in the days leading up to it – the LSAT requires that you start studying early.
With the LSAT, you cannot just pop open an LSAT prep book two weeks or several days before exam day and expect to prepare yourself for the exam, let alone get a good score. That strategy will get you burned. Only geniuses can pull off that kind of stunt and score high on the LSAT without any preparation whatsoever. For our purposes here, let’s assume you need to put in the effort. If so, cramming is neither optimal nor feasible.
Instead, start your LSAT studying well in advance. If you have two months before the big day, start at the beginning of that two-month period. If you have three months before test day, start three months out. If you’ve never seen the LSAT before, you need to become familiar with the material. This includes learning and understanding the logic on the exam, and then practicing answering real LSAT questions under timed conditions. There is a lot of ground to cover, and the process of covering all that ground takes time. So, do not waste time, and get started early.
When you finally have an LSAT study schedule and know when you need to begin studying, stick to that schedule at all costs. Make it your job or livelihood for that limited period of time. Do not skip or rush through any portion of it. Take the process seriously.
This article was written by Robert M. Fojo from LSAT Freedom. Robert writes about tips and strategies for doing well on the LSAT. For helpful tips about the LSAT and to begin your LSAT preparation, sign up to get LSAT Freedom’s free LSAT logic guide and free LSAT logic course.