Your LSAT score will play an integral role in the law school admission committee’s acceptance decisions. To learn how long to study for the LSAT to ensure you can reach your target score, read on!
So you’ve decided to take on the daunting task of preparing for and writing the LSAT. Now you just have to figure out the best study materials to use and a study schedule that works for you.
As you research more into how to best prepare for this exam, you’ll see various opinions on the perfect study schedule. So, how long should you study for the LSAT? What’s enough time to truly master this challenging exam?
You can find all your answers in this guide!
You should spend at least 300-400 hours studying for the LSAT, over 4-6 months, at a rate of 30-40 hours per week. Anything less than this will put you at risk of being underprepared for one of the most important exams of your career!
While this may seem like a long time to get ready for the LSAT, it’s important to remember how unique this exam is! You’ve likely never encountered questions like this before and will have to learn not only how to understand the wording of these questions but also how to effectively tackle them under limited time restraints.
Many argue that studying for the LSAT is like learning a new language, and we completely agree! You wouldn’t expect to learn a new language within a couple of weeks, but you’d see great improvement in your fluency if you kept consistent for several months!
Now that you know how many months you should dedicate to your LSAT studies, you’re likely wondering how many hours a day you should be studying during this time.
It’s recommended that students treat studying for the LSAT like a full-time job, with similar hours. This averages out to roughly six to eight hours of self-study, five days per week.
However, this extensive study schedule may not be realistic for you! If you have other commitments, like an actual full-time job, you may only be able to dedicate a few hours a day to your studies. If this is the case, you should give yourself a longer timeframe to study.
As a general rule of thumb, the fewer hours you can dedicate to your studies per day, the longer your study period should be.
For instance, if you can dedicate seven to eight hours to your LSAT prep, a three-month study period should be sufficient for you. If you have other responsibilities and can only dedicate three to four hours a day to the LSAT, you should give yourself five to six months to study.
This amount of time is generally enough to gain a thorough understanding of how to ace the LSAT.
We’ve covered the suggested LSAT study periods and daily study targets. But, creating your study plan should involve more than just general recommendations!
To ensure you create a personalized, effective study plan that you’ll follow through with, there are several other factors you should consider:
Your first step before setting your exam date should be to figure out your target score to apply to your top law schools. Then, you should complete a diagnostic LSAT test to assess your baseline abilities.
You should use the difference between these scores to create your study schedule. The further away you are from your target score, the more time you’ll need to meet it.
If your target score is in the high 160s or the 170s, you should have a realistic understanding of how difficult it is to reach these scores. Achieving these scores will require at least three to four months of full-time study.
As previously mentioned, you may be able to dedicate all of your time and energy to the LSAT, especially if you write it during the summer months of your undergrad. However, depending on your circumstances, this may not be feasible.
Build a study schedule that considers all of your commitments. Do not overbook yourself or try to cram in your study periods after long shifts. This will not only lead to burnout but will also result in little improvement and poor retention.
Create actual time slots for all of your other time commitments on your LSAT study schedule. If you have a job, write your shifts into your LSAT schedule. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of your time limits and how to work within them.
The final factor to consider when setting up your study schedule is the breadth of resources you plan on using. For instance, the PowerScore Bibles are popular prep books amongst pre-law students, but each of these books is 700–800 pages long!
If you plan on using these prep books, an expert tutor, and a prep course, you’ll have to give yourself ample time to complete and retain the information learned through these resources.
Simply learning effective LSAT strategy through your prep resources won’t get you to your target score. Along with learning the fundamentals, you’ll have to dedicate a significant amount of time to practicing these fundamentals!
Ensure you give yourself enough time to take multiple untimed and timed practice questions, to identify and rectify your weaknesses, and to hone your strengths.
In this guide, we’ve answered the main question, “how long should you study for the LSAT?” We’ve also discussed how many hours to study for the LSAT to reach your target score and what factors to consider when creating the best study schedule for you.
For any remaining questions, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about how to study for this exam.
If you can dedicate eight hours a day, for a total of 40 hours per week, to your study prep, two months may be enough time to study for the LSAT. However, the minimum recommendation is three months.
A 170 will be difficult to obtain. It will require quality resources and substantial preparation. You should dedicate at least four months to reach this target.
You should also consider enlisting the help of Juris’ 99th percentile tutors who can help you increase your score by 12 points! These experts have tips and strategies to help you achieve the highest score possible with the least amount of hassle.
Yes, six months is generally more than enough time to study for the LSAT. This study period is typically best for students who have other time commitments or who have a large difference between their diagnostic score and target score.
No, one month will not be enough time to learn the language of the LSAT and how to master the most common question types. Students typically spend one month just going through their prep books!
Studying for and writing the LSAT will already be extremely nerve-wracking. Avoid any additional stress by following the recommendations in this guide to ensure you create the most effective and customized LSAT study plan to help you succeed.