The LSAT: A Word about Practice (it doesn’t necessarily make perfect)

Most LSAT test-takers are high achievers.  And they believe in hard work.  But that could be a mistake.  It’s like the ‘no pain, no gain’ attitude that we now know is counterproductive.

Franz Liszt once said “Think 10 times.  Play once.”  I wish I’d known that before I spent fourteen years becoming a somewhat accomplished pianist.  It might have taken only ten years.

The idea is this: whenever you do something, you’re training your mind or body to do it that way; so the possibility of training it to do it the wrong way is high if you focus on quantity rather than quality.  Better to do one LSAT practice test with everything you’ve got than to do five practice tests half-assed.  In the second case, not only will you be training yourself to do it the half-assed way, you’re going to have to undo that training.  One step forward, five steps back.  Not an efficient way to progress!

Not only does this apply to number of practice tests you do, it also applies to number of hours.  Better to spend two or three really good hours on LSAT prep than to spend eight tired and frustrated and angry hours on it.

Lastly, the potential for burn-out is high.  You don’t want to get to the point where you hate the LSAT and you just wish the frickin’ thing was behind you!  Not a good space to be in on test day.  So I strongly recommend my tutees to take two days off a week.  That’s right: work on your LSAT prep only five of the seven days. 


Peg Tittle used to work at LSAC writing the questions that go on the LSAT; she’s the author of a logical reasoning textbook (Critical Thinking: An Appeal to Reason, Routledge 2011); she has an M.A. in Philosophy (we’re all about argument!), a B.A. in Literature (there’s my RC!), a B.Ed. (so I know pedagogy), and ESL certification; and she has over ten years’ teaching/tutoring experience. She has set up an FAQ page about her LSAT tutoring (which she does by phone or skype).  

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