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How Long Should I Study for the LSAT?

Taking the LSAT is an incredibly important event; it is the beginning of one’s career in law.

Your Law School Admission Test (LSAT) score is crucial for determining which law schools will grant you admission and whether you will receive any scholarships—which would be ideal, given that law school can be incredibly costly.

While the specific amount of time required to adequately prepare for the LSAT will vary for each student, most experts agree that a prospective examinee should try to put in at least 250 to 300 hours of study time during a 3- to 6-month period. This may seem like an extraordinary amount of time to invest in preparing for one test, but there are several reasons for this recommendation.

Why so Long?

The LSAT differs from other standardized tests in several ways. It is focused on testing skills rather than content, so you must study differently. Learning subject matter in the manner required by most other tests is not helpful. Instead, you must retrain your brain to think logically and analytically. This type of legal thought process is unnatural for most individuals who have not attended law school, which is part of the reason for a long preparatory period prior to taking the test.

What About Cramming?

Since the LSAT is not focused on subject matter, cramming simply won’t help most examinees, no matter how well this may work in other academic settings. Since the exam requires a drastic shift in thought process, test takers must put in whatever time they need to feel comfortable with these changes. One of the worst mistakes an individual can make is to put off studying, believing that they can cram it into the last few weeks leading up to the test. A longer, steadier method for studying is the best path to achieving your desired LSAT score.

What Else Do I Need to Know?

It’s crucial for law school applicants to develop a study plan early on, follow it, and access high-quality testing materials before taking the LSAT. You should never take the exam if you are not ready for it and are not scoring close to your desired goal on practice tests. While you can take the exam more than once, multiple scores (particularly those that are below your target) can hurt your prospects for admissions.

One great study resource is Union Test Prep’s LSAT Test

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