How Long Should I Prepare for the LSAT?

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A student preparing to take the LSAT recently asked:

How long should I spend preparing for the LSAT?

The LSAT is designed so students can’t prepare for it. That is, it will not test your knowledge, it will test your ability to analyze and comprehend what you read in the test.  As a result, people spend far less time preparing for the LSAT than other advanced degree exams (e.g. GMAT or MCAT).

To prepare for the LSAT, I suggest you practice by taking old LSAT exams (some are posted for free on the LSAT website and others can be purchased as part of LSAT preparation books) once a week for 6-8 weeks before the exam.

This time period will help you become familiar with the LSAT’s format. Also, you should be sure you know how to write out the puzzles/games presented in the LSAT.  If you need help with this, an LSAT prep book can be useful.

How long did you spend studying and practicing for the LSAT? If you have any advice, please add it here for other students.

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16 Responses to “How Long Should I Prepare for the LSAT?”

  1. Clint Dunaway Says:

    I used and was impressed to say the least. I would highly recommend them to anyone preparing for the LSAT.

  2. Clint Dunaway Says:

    Sorry, I thought the title of the article said How to study for the LSAT. In regards to How Long, I studied 6 days a week for a full year and so did the several hundred other guys that I studied with. Our average score was a 164 with many people in the 170′s and a few that even scored a 180. It really just depends on where you want to go and how big a scholarship you want.

  3. David Says:

    If a student is aiming at a top law school I would recommend up to 6 months of study time for the LSAT. Purchase the Powerscore Bibles on Logical Reasoning, Logical Games, and Reading Comprehension. Know the test inside out, take a prep-course if you have to but it really is not that needed. Above all, be patient and do NOT over-study. (You should have roughly 12-15 tests under you belt in the 6 month period going into the test)

  4. Sally Says:

    An acquintance of mine, told me he bought the prep book and went through it several times over the course of two months. He took the 4 3 hour tests at the end of the prep book and showed me his score of 156. I have about the same amount of time he had..actually a little less. He told me to do as much studying as possible for 3 hours at time and if I don’t pass it, take it again. Is the LSAT a test anyone would want to go through twice?

  5. Warren Says:

    i am planning to take the 02/09 test. i have only taken a weekend cram course with powerscore–excellent course by the way. time has gotten away from me and i haven’t studied. is it advisable to cram over the next 7 days and expect to do well on the lsat? i want to apply for fall admission.

  6. Law Student Says:

    Warren, there is no clear answer to your question, but here are some tips to figuring out the answer for your particular situation.

    Although most students spend more time taking practice exams, the LSAT is designed to test student’s logic and reasoning skills, not the knowledge they have before the exam. However, familiarity with the LSAT is important to improve your logic and reasoning speed on the exam. Also, you must know how to write out a diagram of the puzzles/games questions, so if you don’t feel like you can quickly do that, I suggest waiting to take the LSAT until you feel ready in that area. One final suggestion: don’t study more than a half hour on the second and third day before the LSAT, and don’t study at all on the day before the LSAT. The reason is, the LSAT is like a mental marathon, and exercising right before a marathon can decrease the energy you need on the big day.

  7. John Says:

    Hi All,

    I was wondering if one month of intense study for the LSAT would be sufficient to doing well on the test? I’ve bought some prep books and I’m not currently working, so I have all the time I need in a month. Thanks for your help!

  8. Law Student Says:

    John, in general, one month should be enough time to prepare. I suggest for your particular situation that you evaluate your speed and accuracy on some practice exams to determine whether you feel you are ready at that time.

  9. JN Says:

    John, if you have achieved good results in the past by cramming for a difficult test, then cram for the LSAT. If not, reschedule to pace your study over six months, six hours (two practice tests) per week. DO NOT attempt to cram for any test if past attempts to do so have brought lackluster results.

  10. ML Says:

    Different people need different amounts of prep. I would suggest taking 3-4 actual LSATS about 6 months before you want to take the exam. Your scores should tell you if you need to study hard for 6 months or not. I did this and realized I didn’t need to work on LR or RC at all, but I did need to improve my time for the games. Six months of studying would have been a waste of time for me; I needed six weeks.

  11. JOJO Says:

    To all: Think long and hard about becoming a lawyer in the first place. Many choose this path – way too early in life – only to find they simply cannot stand practicing law any longer.

    Without question, there are just far too many attorneys in this country. Law school has become the no-brainer, default position for aimless college students. Forget the prestige and do something far, far more rewarding. There are countless paths to choose from.

  12. Aliza Says:

    Hey i am a college freshman and i plan to become a lawyer receiving as of now a undergraduate education at a community college. I wanted to know if i have a great shot of getting into a top tier school if i practice for the LSAT and maybe get a 175-180 score by the time i’m a senior. Afcourse also keeping a 3.5-4.0 average on rigorous course in my local college. I really hope someone answers.Thanks.

  13. Britt Says:

    I am looking to write my LSAT in june, I have taken a weekend prep course back in february and so did 2 mock tests then – I scored 156 on both. I thought this was good so I’ve been taking it pretty easy with studying. My test is 8 weeks away now and so how intensely should I study? Have I screwed myself over by slacking off since I took the prep course?

  14. Rachael Says:

    You’re in great shape for law school Keep up the grades and don’t start studying until your sophomore year. You can take the LSAT in your junior year and apply early to schools. I started at a community college and I did fine! good luck!

    I suggest to everyone to study 4 hours a day for the 6 weeks up until the lsat. Take at least 12 practice tests in that time (two a week and then more starting 2 weeks prior).
    Buy all the powerscore books and start going through them all twice within that 6 week period. If you do that, you don’t need to buy a course. And stay AWAY from kaplan books! Horrible!!

    good luck

  15. Tiffany Says:


    Thanks sooo much for that information…I just recently decided I wanted to go to law school and I am starting to get into the LSAT stuff…and funny thing was today I picked up a Kaplan book to read through it….I am SOOOOOOOO happy I didnt go ahead and buy it…lol!!! and I am hoping to follow your plan…and maybe possibly take it in Feb 2011!!!

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