Studying for the LSAT is essential if you want to ensure you are familiar with this test and that you achieve the best score possible. However, many newcomers to the LSAT and even those with some experience taking the LSAT wonder how long they should study before scheduling the exam.
Our article helps you understand more about average LSAT study times and gives you study tips to get started on your road to success with this important exam.
Understanding What’s on the LSAT
The LSAT consists of a multiple-choice section and a written essay portion. The multiple-choice section is typically the part of the LSAT that requires the most preparation, as all four of the units in the multiple-choice portion tend to be filled with dense text passages and questions that require both critical and logical thinking to complete.
The four multiple-choice sections on the LSAT are divided into reading comprehension, logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and a repeat of one of these sections. The repeated section will be unscored and is used by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) to trial new test questions, though you will not know which was the unscored section until you receive your final score. There are around 99 to 102 questions on this exam, and the highest score you can achieve is 180; the lowest score possible is 120.
Each of the four sections on the multiple-choice portion of the LSAT is timed at 35 minutes long. The multiple-choice portion takes approximately three hours total to complete. It’s important to be familiar with the LSAT and the questions on this test, as more familiarity improves your speed and scoring accuracy over time.
Average Study Times for the LSAT
Most students generally study for around three months before taking the LSAT. While every student is different, the overall consensus is that it takes between 150 and 300 hours to become fully familiar with the LSAT. The shorter estimate is for students who don’t need to improve their score much to be in their targeted range, while the longer estimate is for students who are attempting to raise their score a significant amount to achieve their overall score goals.
On average, this time breaks down to about 12 to 25 hours of studying per week. But, again, every student is different, and you might need to study more or less each week to feel comfortable with your overall grasp of the LSAT.
What Should Your LSAT Study Timeline Look Like?
Your LSAT studying timeline should consider your available free time, your LSAT strengths and weaknesses, and the score range you’re aiming for. Of course, this looks different for every student, but keep in mind your limitations and goals as you decide on how many hours a week to study.
Your study plan for the LSAT should include full-length practice tests, analyzing and reviewing your answers to tests, and specific studying of any of your LSAT weaknesses. A dedicated LSAT prep course can help you with all of this and point you in the right direction with personalized study guides that help you increase your score.
LSAT Study Tips
The following LSAT study tips can help you design a study plan that is right for your specific needs. Make sure to review all of them before deciding on your study timeline.
Commit to a Study Plan
Once you’ve decided on a study plan, make sure that you commit to it. This doesn’t mean pushing yourself to study every single day even when you don’t feel like it – everyone needs to take breaks or rest days – but it does mean being consistent with studying. For example, you won’t progress if you only take a practice test or two every other week. You need to regularly take full-length tests and break down the answers to learn where you went wrong and what your weaknesses might be.
A realistic study plan will help you much more in the long run than one that is more idealistic and doesn’t take into account your limitations. When designing your study plan, ensure you include time for breaks or rests between study sessions and that you know approximately how many hours each day or week you can safely dedicate to studying.
If you have a job, a family, or other outside responsibilities that you know will take up some of your time, don’t try and commit to a study plan that will take up a significant amount of your free time. Design your study plan to blend into your life without much stress, as this is the key to consistent studying that doesn’t feel like a challenge every time you sit down with a practice test.
Seek Outside Help
LSAT prep courses, YouTube videos, and study sessions with friends also taking the LSAT are great ways to bring new eyes to your study plan and get outside opinions. With the help of online materials, friends, and tutors, you can more accurately diagnose your weaknesses with the LSAT and improve them to achieve your best score.
An LSAT tutor is also a great investment if you are having trouble raising your score or figuring out where you went wrong even after consistent studying.
Studying for Your Best LSAT Score
Many individuals taking the LSAT know exactly which score range they wish to break into, and achieving this score is simply a matter of studying and practicing. A dedicated study plan complemented by materials like LSAT prep courses and online resources can help you become more familiar with the LSAT and raise your score to meet your goals.