Ms. JD Pre-Law: Choosing the right LSAT prep method for YOU!
By Laura Bladow • February 25, 2015•Law School, Pre-Law
If you’re new to the pre-law world you might be struggling to figure out what is the best way to study for the LSAT. There are three different options to chose from: self-study, a tutor, or a class. Within each option there are a variety of different companies and consultants, who all promise to maximize your score.
I’m going to let you in on a secret here, none of these companies or consultants are the key to your success on the LSAT. They will not make or break your score. YOU make or break your score.
You can be successful with any method you choose. To maximize your potential for success, you need to do a little bit of self-evaluation.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
When do you plan to study? What does your schedule look like? Do you have time to attend a class twice a week for 3 months? Can you clear your weeknights or weekends to take full-length practice tests? If you don’t have a set time to study dictated by a class or tutor will you follow through?
How self-motivated are you? No one can make you study for the LSAT, except for you. Are you disciplined enough to commit to picking up the prep books every night and working through it on your own? Can you push through multiple full-length practice tests without having a tutor checking in on you or a set class time to take and review the exam? Will you take the time to review and learn from the questions you miss without a tutor or instructor around to interact with and pose questions to?
How much structure do you need? Do you know where to begin if you self-study, or is that thought incredibly overwhelming? If a tutor sets a deadline for you, will you take it seriously, or blow through it because they can readjust your study plan? Will taking a class be too structured for you because you prefer to explore and learn on your own at your own pace? Or, will having a class motivate you to make time to complete your homework and keep up with the practice exams?
What is your preferred learning and study style? Studying for the LSAT can be very isolating. Sitting down and spending 4 hours at a time on a practice exam or set of questions isn’t a social activity unless you have someone to discuss the material with. If you learn well from others and their mistakes and questions, a class can provide those things as well as some additional moral support. Do you prefer to have one-on-one time with an instructor? Or are you independent and like to puzzle through things on your own?
And don’t forget to consider the logistics:
What is your budget? Tutors are at the highest end of test prep options for complete individualized attention. Most of the test prep companies offer a range of class options, and often times they have shorter courses or online courses that are more affordable. If you self-study you’ll still have the cost of prep books and old exams which can run you upwards of $300. Begin budgeting early to cover the costs of your preferred method or preparation.
When are you taking the exam? Experts typically recommend studying for at least 12 weeks, so keep in mind that when searching for a tutor or class you should be researching at least 4 months prior to your exam date.
Once you have a better understanding of what will work best for your study needs, it’s time for more targeted research on your preferred method of study!
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TatumLindsay April 14, 2015
These are great questions and pointers!