What to Look for When Buying LSAT Study Guides

Your LSAT score is a critical factor in admission to law school. To get the most out of your valuable study time, it is important to study with the right LSAT prep books. LSAT workbooks are not all the same, and not every book is appropriate for every test taker. Here are tips to ensure that you buy the best LSAT study guide for your needs.

1. First, remember that on the LSAT, 50% of the scored questions are Logical Reasoning, 25% are Reading Comprehension, and 25% are Logic Games. (There is also an unscored 5th section that can be either LR, RC, or LG.) Choose LSAT books that contain practice questions in these proportions. A book that is too heavily skewed toward one section will not be effective for overall study.

2. Make sure the book contains at least one practice test, preferably more. Taking practice LSAT exams helps you improve your timing and testing endurance. (The LSAT last about four hours!) Practice tests let you apply the skills and strategies you've learned so that you are better prepared on test day.

3. Examine the layout of each book as you browse in the bookstore. Is the book clear and easy to follow? Does the logic games section have plenty of diagrams? Do the practice questions have detailed explanations? Explanations are crucial because you can learn a lot about how the test maker develops questions by studying the rationale behind each answer choice.


4. If you can't get to a physical bookstore, read online reviews to weed out bad LSAT books from your search. Pay attention to reviews that mention typos, errors, or confusing explanations.

5. Remember that the LSAT contains a writing prompt. Although it is an unscored section, law schools read your essay to assess your basic writing skills. Look for books that have examples of well-written essays so that you can use them as templates for your own LSAT essay.

6. As with anything in life--including study guides--you get what you pay for. Cheaper LSAT books are less in-depth, while more expensive books are more comprehensive. Buy one or two comprehensive books, or several smaller books that focus on different sections.

If you struggle with a particular section more than the others, buy an extra book that contains special techniques for that section only. For example, if LSAT logic games confound you, get a guide that provides diagramming and logical deduction strategies.

7. Buy extra practice tests and spread them out over the course of your study. Don't take the tests all at once, or peek at the questions before you're ready to take the sample test. Pace yourself and take one test a week; try to save two tests for the last week.

8. To get the most out of your LSAT prep books, devise a study schedule. Try to find time to use all of your materials.

© Had2Know 2010



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