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If you’re planning to take the LSAT, you’re probably grappling with a few very common dilemmas:
“Should I study on my own, enrol in an LSAT prep course, or go all-in with private tutoring?”
“What study strategy is most likely to get me a competitive LSAT score, the first time around?”
First of all, it’s important to know where you stand right now, in terms of LSAT readiness. If you’ve taken a practice test and are relatively happy with the result, you could probably study independently for a modest score increase of a few points.
On the other hand, if you need to boost your score by more than 10-15 points, then some form of professional help could be very useful.
An LSAT prep course or private tutor will help you maximize your study time and avoid common exam errors. You’ll also learn standardized approaches for answering each question-type, which can significantly improve performance in weak areas.
The support of an instructor is particularly helpful for people who work demanding jobs, and don’t have time to research and learn the best test-taking strategies on their own.
So, if you’re looking for a substantial score increase, and private tutoring isn’t an option, a quality LSAT prep course is your best bet for guided study that will get results.
Here’s what you can expect to cover in a 50-hr LSAT course (based on Quantum’s program), and a few tips for choosing a reliable test prep company.
Comprehensive Coverage of the 3 LSAT Question Types
The purpose of the LSAT is to test your readiness for law school by assessing your abilities in three key areas: logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and reading comprehension.
A 50-hr LSAT course is typically divided into three sections, with each part devoted to one of the three main topic areas. Spread over a few weekends, students delve into each topic, do hundreds of practice questions, and learn a wide range of strategies for approaching tough problems.
You’ll cover every type of problem, and tackle the full spectrum of logic games (perhaps the most dreaded aspect of the LSAT), including:
- sequencing games
- grouping games
- hybrid games
- mapping games
- pattern games
- pure logic games
Other than comprehensiveness, what else should you look for in a quality 50-hr LSAT course? Key markers of reliability include:
- full-time instructors with 5+ years of experience teaching LSAT prep, and personal scores of at least 170
- a “free course repeat” policy that allows you to re-take all, or part of the course, as many times as you need to refine your skills
Free Practice Tests & a Proctored Mock LSAT Exam
The 50-hr LSAT course should also provide students with free, sample LSAT exams, and the opportunity to sit a proctored mock exam.
Practice tests are essential for tracking overall score improvements both during and after the course, identifying areas for improvement, and continuing to refine your study strategy right up to the exam.
The proctored mock exam is also key because it gives students a realistic preview of what exam day will be like. The mock will help you cope with pressure and learn to pace yourself—and in general, prepare for the marathon-like experience of test day (the exam takes around 3.5 hours to complete, from start to finish).
What if You Don’t Need the Full 50 Hours of LSAT prep?
A 50-hr course is definitely worth it if you need comprehensive instruction in all three topic areas. However, if you’re struggling only with logic games or reading comprehension, it makes more sense to zero-in on those specific topics.
Some test prep companies will let you split a longer course into modules, and take only the classes you really need. For example, students can divide Quantum’s 50-hr LSAT prep course into segments, and sign up for just one or two modules:
- Logical Reasoning (20 hrs)
- Analytical Reasoning/Logic Games (20 hrs)
- Reading Comprehension (10 hrs)
Of course, there’s usually a discount for bundling all three modules together, but students are under no obligation to do so. Each test prep company has their own policies on bundling and discounts, so it’s wise to investigate these before signing up.
Need more information about LSAT test prep, or the exam in general? Start by exploring these free resources and links to helpful study materials: