Studying For The LSAT Sucks! Here’s How to Cope

It does, I wont sugar coat it. It was the most stressful experience of my life (that’s a bit dramatic, I know). To tell you all the truth, I rarely feel challenged in school. I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant, it’s just how I feel. I’ve always gotten A’s, I’ve always been a good student, and I rarely come across subjects that I find difficult. (Yay, law school?) So when it came time to study for the LSAT I thought it would be just another exam…boy was I wrong!

One year of my life was dedicated to this exam, so I think I can give a few helpful tips for studying.

1. Start Early!

I started studying for the LSAT in October 2013 & I didn’t submit applications until January 2015. I was crazy, but I also knew that I didn’t understand ANYTHING when It came to the LSAT. I wouldn’t suggest taking as long as I did but you should give yourself at least 4 months to study.

2. Make a schedule!

As you begin studying, you’ll realize that there are 1000 nuances on the test. A proper schedule will ensure that you learn basic diagraming before you learn to properly negate. I downloaded a study schedule from LawSchooli, they offer 10,12, 14, and 16 week schedules for a $20 fee.

3. Take a class (If you can afford it) 

I swear by my experience in TestMasters! IT IS THE BEST! The downside of taking a prep course is the price, the course will cost between $950 and $1,500. Thankfully I had a mother who was willing to pay almost anything to help me get a good score. Other options that I think are worth paying for (beware of bad test prep) are 7Sage ,Powerscore, & Manhattan Prep. If you can’t afford a course, it is not the end of the world! You will need to be more disciplined but it is not impossible.

4. Buy Prep Books

If you ask anyone, anywhere about LSAT prep books they’re going to refer you to the PowerScore Bibles the holy grail of LSAT prep. Each subject of the LSAT has its own bible (Logic Games, Logical Reasoning, & Reading Comp) as well as a workbook with practice questions. These are a great option for those who cannot afford a $1000 prep course. I bought mine on Amazon for about $20 each, about $120 in total. Towards the end of my studying I found The LSAT Trainer, this book was pretty amazing I wish I’d discovered it sooner.

5. Dedicate enough time

As it came closer to exam day I was spending 4 to 5 hours per day studying/drilling/taking practice exams. It takes time. Be honest with yourself on how much time you have to dedicate to studying. Everyone is different, maybe you can get what I got done in 2 hours instead of 4. Take the time to determine how long it will take to complete every assignment and stick to that!

6. Don’t get too discouraged 

Studying is going to feel like a rollercoaster. Little moments of triumph are shattered by missing 15 questions in a LR section. Just remember: ITS GOING TO BE OK! I can honestly say that if I had spent less time worrying about how bad I was doing on practice exams, I would have gotten a higher score much sooner. I talked myself out of a good score 50 times before finally getting it right. While you’re prepping don’t worry yourself on doing bad, focus on how to get better. Set weekly goals and reward yourself when you get there. I set a goal of getting through 1 exam in 30 minute sections rather than 35, when I accomplished this goal I treated myself to an hour of watching YouTube that night. (I love YouTube) These things will help keep you motivated!

OK, I’ll stop there. I’m pretty sure I could go on for days about the LSAT. Just remember that at the end of the day, it’s just a test. This exam doesn’t determine your future. If you don’t get the score you dreamed of you won’t end up living a life of despair, you’ll still become an attorney. Take it from someone who had weekly anxiety attacks just to get accepted into 10 law schools a few months later