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How to Study for the LSAT on Your Own

Published October 14, 2019

Studying for the LSAT can be daunting, and even more so if you are venturing to do it on your own. Here are some suggestions on how to get started and achieve your highest score without the high price tag of a commercial course.

1. Set the date
2. Select your study materials
3. Practice with intention
4. Keep it balanced
5.Take full-length practice tests (several)

1. Set the date

Decide when you are going to take the LSAT and work backwards from there. That way you can set your schedule and block out time daily that you will be focusing on studying. While everyone learns differently, it is safe to try and give yourself around 3 months to prepare. You can see the upcoming LSAT registration and administration dates on

2. Select your study materials

It is critical that you select study materials that will properly prepare you for the LSAT. Different publishers offer different things, so you might have to buy several different books to gather all of the information you need for your best score. Here are things to consider when purchasing study books:

  • Full-length practice tests with official questions
  • Strategies for each section
  • Explanations for wrong answers or common mistakes

Check out for in-depth analysis of LSAT prep materials. You can also visit our Admissions page to see what UB School of Law is looking for in an applicant.

3. Practice with intention

Unfortunately, osmosis does not work when it comes to studying for the LSAT. Practice requires doing little by little, every day, and building that foundation of knowledge and understanding. A common mistake I see people make is that they take a practice section, only get a few right, and then go on to take another practice section in hopes of getting more right. The problem with this is that they are avoiding the review of the questions they got wrong and instead are hoping that the next practice section with magically be better.

True understanding and mastery comes from learning from your mistakes, not from getting all the questions right all the time. That is WHY you practice, so that on the ACTUAL test day, you’ve made all of your mistakes on the practice tests. I see many people get caught up in the emotional cycle of thinking they are a failure while studying. That mentality is detrimental to successful studying. Keep in mind that the LSAT is just a test, it does not define you or determine your worth. It can be mastered if you put the proper time and effort. /rant

4. Keep it balanced

It is easy to get overwhelmed when studying. If you feel yourself burning out, reevaluate your study schedule and take a break. Get some fresh air, work out, and spend time with friends or family. All these things will help you put the test into perspective.

5. Take full-length practice tests (several)

You don’t want to be sitting for your first full-length test on the actual test day. There is a big difference between sitting for practice sections here and there, and sitting for all of the timed sections back to back. The timing of the test is the hardest part, so having a proper pace is crucial to success. This requires taking at least 4 full-length times tests prior to your test day. Think of it this way, if you put the time in for the practice tests, by your actual test, there should be no surprises. If you are in the area, UB School of Law offers full-length practice tests which are great because they simulate the actual test experience.

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Amber Melvin, Esq.'13 is a graduate of the UB School of Law and Assistant Director of Admissions


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