Preparing for the LSAT is a tremendous undertaking, with many left feeling overwhelmed in the beginning. A universal struggle test-takers find themselves in is knowing what resources are needed and where they can be found. That is why a great first step in developing a study routine is to gather a list of trustworthy sources that can guide you.
1. Test Prep Books
Not all test prep books are equal when it comes to their ability to prepare a test-taker for test day. There is a world of difference in the quality of an outdated study guide sold at a discount and the leading LSAT books from Kaplan or another well-recognized test prep company.
It should be a common understanding that it is essential to use up-to-date test prep materials with real questions from recent exams. This will prepare for the structure and types of questions on the most current form of the LSAT.
2. Full-length Practice Tests
A typical mistake test-takers fall victim to is breaking down practice tests into smaller, more manageable sections. This makes it easier to fit into a study plan, but these people miss out on the valuable benefit of taking a full-length test in one sitting. Test-takers should experience sitting throughout the allotted time at least once or twice to be mentally prepared for test day.
These practice tests can be done online or from test books, but there is an added benefit from completing them in the same form as the actual test will be. The more comfortable you are with the format, the fewer surprises there will be on the test day.
Flashcards are another resource that can be used online or with physical cards. Online flashcards can save you time not making them. However, physical flashcards have the added benefit of the improved retention rate from physically writing information down. Both formats can be taken with you nearly everywhere, so there is always the opportunity to put your time to fair use.
The flashcards should include various information, from test questions to general concepts or vocabulary.
With so many industries going digital, it is no wonder that test prep is following suit. Some apps may offer digital flashcards, questions of the day, micro tests, podcasts, videos, explainers, and more. Plus, these apps are available on the go. You can study on car or plane rides, waiting for an appointment or in line at the grocery store, and so on.
However, despite the added convenience some of these options offer, it is important to note some of their setbacks.
Smartphone apps have their limitations. The LSAT is very much a hands-on test, requiring the test-taker to make diagrams, take notes, and refer to past questions. This is all made more difficult by apps that do not allow for these necessities to take place. As stressed earlier, it is essential to recreate test scenarios in your practice to be prepared on test day. With that in mind, adapt the usage of apps to give you the most benefit.
The LSAC is the nonprofit council that aids in the admission process for law schools and applicants by administrating the LSAT. As the test owner, the LSAC is an excellent resource for those studying on a budget as it provides some free study resources and tips. However, as these resources are free and not all-encompassing, supplementing with other mediums is still recommended.
Having one-on-one or small group interactions with a tutor experienced in LSAT preparation is a great way to fill in your study plan gaps. Speaking with a tutor can help answer the questions you could not resolve yourself through your study materials. They can also provide insights into the LSAT you would have been unable to discover on your own.
7. Webinars and Workshops
In the era of social distancing, it might be challenging to coordinate a meeting with a tutor. In place of those opportunities, students can always turn to webinars and workshops. These courses are an excellent option to fill in the blanks of a study plan, albeit in a slightly less personal environment, which some students find to be more suitable. Some of these organizations even offer free workshops.
Easing the Dreaded Study Pains
Taken as a whole, the months leading up to the LSAT may seem like an unbearably stressful time. However, taking advantage of the many resources at your disposal will make the ordeal much more manageable. With solid preparation, you will be able to get your targeted score and on your way to earning your degree.