Decoding the Perfect Timing for LSAT Preparation: When should you start?

Decoding the Perfect Timing for LSAT Preparation: When should you start?

So you’ve decided to take the LSAT. That’s a big step towards your dream of law school. But, there’s one question that’s probably nagging at you: when should you start studying for the LSAT?

The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all. It depends on factors like your current knowledge level, your target score, and how much time you can dedicate to studying. But don’t worry, we’ve got some tips to help you figure out the best time to start hitting the books.

Remember, the LSAT isn’t just any test. It’s a high-stakes exam that can greatly influence your law school admissions. So, it’s crucial to give yourself ample time to prepare. Let’s dive into how you can determine when to start your LSAT study journey.

Key Takeaways

  • An initial step towards LSAT preparation requires assessing your current knowledge level. Utilize practice tests to understand your strengths and weaknesses, which can inform an effective study plan.
  • The LSAT exam isn’t just about your score but also a key element in shaping your future legal career. Setting a realistic yet challenging target score can guide your study plan and time allocation effectively.
  • Consider the average LSAT score of the law schools you’re interested in, to set a tangible goal for your studies. Higher LSAT scores improve your chances of admission and potential scholarships.
  • Time availability for studying plays a significant role. Assess your daily routine and understand how many hours you can realistically dedicate to LSAT prep.
  • Studying for the LSAT isn’t just about the study hours but the quality of learning and retention during that time. Find and utilize your peak cognitive hours for optimal learning experiences.
  • Start studying at least three to six months before your LSAT exam. Be flexible, adapt your studies to fit your life, and maintain regular, manageable study blocks to ensure long-term retention of concepts and avoid burnout.

Starting LSAT preparation early is critical for achieving a competitive score, with general recommendations suggesting a minimum of three to six months of dedicated study, as advised by Law School Admission Council. Tailoring a study schedule based on individual needs and previous test-taking experience is crucial, with guidance available at Kaplan Test Prep.

Assessing Your Current Knowledge Level

Assessing Your Current Knowledge Level

As an initial step in determining the ideal start date for LSAT preparation, it’s vital to assess your current knowledge level. Get a grip on how well-versed you are with the subject matter covered in the LSAT. This includes understanding of analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension.

Take a practice test to bring your current skills to light. Simulate a real testing situation to generate accurate results. Gauge where you fall short and where you excel. Don’t be disheartened by a low score on the initial test – this baseline serves as nothing more than a point of reference.

Analyze your strengths and weaknesses

Post-test analysis is a must. Where did you falter? What reasoning questions bogged you down? Delving deeper into these areas helps you identify the gaps in your understanding. Also take note of the areas of strength, as this data point will determine your strategy moving forward.

  • Create a breakdown of sections for your evaluation process.
  • Each section will serve as an indicator of your understanding of the topics covered in the LSAT.

Depending on the outcome of the assessment, you may need to allocate more time for research, studying and skill polishing before you’re ready to start official LSAT prep. If, for example, you find out that you’re struggling with logical reasoning or reading comprehension, you might have a longer haul ahead of you than someone who’s already fairly proficient at these. But remember, even if there’s considerable groundwork to be done, the time you invest now will reap dividends during the actual test.

Setting Your Target Score

After assessing your current knowledge level and pinpointing areas for improvement, it’s time to establish your LSAT target score. This might seem daunting, but trust us, it’s crucial. Your target score is effectively a compass; guiding your study plan and helping you allocate time and resources more wisely.

To set your LSAT target score, first consider the law schools you’re interested in. Each law school typically has its own average LSAT score for admitted students. This information can be found on each school’s admissions page or legal education statistics sites. Having an idea of these numbers will provide a tangible goal for your studies.

It’s empowering to know how much you need to improve to get that desired score. If you find the gap between your practice test score and your target score is large, don’t fret. It’s natural and common. This just means you’ll have to commit more time and effort into your study plan. On the contrary, if the gap is smaller, you may not need inordinate amounts of time.

To help you get a better idea, let’s consider the numbers involved. Let’s say you score 150 on your practice LSAT test. Your chosen law school has an average admission score of 165. That’s a 15 point improvement you need to aim for.

Here’s a brief table illustrating the example:

Your Practice ScoreAverage Admission ScoreScore Improvement Needed

Remember, a higher LSAT score gives a better chance of admission to your preferred law school, potentially increasing scholarship opportunities. So, while setting your LSAT target score, challenge yourself, but also remain realistic. Your target score is not just a number. It’s your ticket to the chosen career path, shaping your future in the legal profession.

Determining Time Availability for Studying

Juggling your regular responsibilities while preparing for the LSAT can seem like a mountainous challenge. How much time do you have for LSAT prep? That’s a vital question to ask yourself.

Before you plunge headfirst into the preparation, take a moment to assess your everyday schedule. Look at your commitments towards school, work, family, and social obligations. By recognizing how many hours in a day you can realistically dedicate to LSAT study, you’ll have a clearer picture of your timeline. Your availability could range from a few hours every week to a full-time commitment – it’s unique to you and your circumstances.

After establishing your daily routine, let’s move to effective study hours. You might have the luxury of available hours, but it’s crucial that they are productive. Studying for the LSAT isn’t about clocking in the maximum number of hours, but about how much you learn and retain during that time. Are you a morning person or an owl? Identify when you’re at your cognitive best to optimize your study sessions.

Just like physical exercises need rests in between for muscle recovery, your brain also needs time to process, absorb, and retain the information it receives. It would be best if you avoided marathon study sessions and instead opted for consistent, manageable chunks of study time spread across the week.

After a careful evaluation of your commitments and effective study hours, next on the agenda is a reality check. Are you over-ambitious about either your availability or productivity? Are there high-chances of experiencing study burnout because it’s too intense? Keep your study plan flexible and adaptable.

Incorporating your preparation into your life entails a process of trial and error, adjustment, and balance. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but a dynamic process where you’ll consistently assess and adjust your approach. So, as your LSAT dates draw closer, remember one thing – your preparation schedule is as unique as your fingerprint. It’s all about finding what works for you.

Tips for Deciding When to Start Studying for the LSAT

Tips for Deciding When to Start Studying for the LSAT

Start Early, Start Right. As the age-old saying goes, the early bird catches the worm. That’s not just a catchy phrase – it applies to your LSAT prep too. It’s usually best to start studying at least three to six months before your exam date. This provides ample time to familiarize yourself with the pattern of the test, practice in-depth with various mock tests, and consistently build upon your skills. Remember, the LSAT isn’t just another exam – it’s a milestone on your path to law school.

What about those Existing Commitments you already have on your plate? It’s not just about setting aside time; it’s about making sure that the time you set aside for LSAT study doesn’t clash with your personal or professional obligations. Analyze your daily schedule closely and find those pockets of time where you can fit in regular, effective study sessions.

Another important factor to consider is Your Peak Cognitive Hours. You’re not a machine; there are certain times of day when you’re more alert, more focused. Pinpoint these hours and focus your LSAT prep around them for optimal learning. Research even highlights that studying during peak cognitive hours can improve recall and retention of information.

Don’t Overdo It. Studying for the LSAT can feel like a marathon, but remember: it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. Instead of cramming long hours into a single day, aim for regular, manageable study blocks throughout the week. This helps to enhance long-term retention of concepts and keeps burnout at bay.

Adopt a Trial and Error approach to find a study plan that fits your needs and life. Be flexible, make adjustments as needed, and most importantly, give yourself the permission to have days off. It’s about balancing intense LSAT prep with your well-being. Indeed this LSAT journey is not a quick race, but a sprint. Reflect upon this and approach it with determination and resilience.


So, you’ve got your game plan. Start your LSAT prep early, ideally three to six months out. Make sure you’re studying when your brain’s at its best and break your study time into manageable chunks. Remember, cramming won’t cut it. It’s about consistent effort, not last-minute marathons.

Treat your LSAT journey as a personal one. It’s not one-size-fits-all. Don’t be afraid to adjust your methods until you find what works best for you. And above all, keep your well-being front and center. You’re not just prepping for a test; you’re building resilience and determination. And that’s something that’ll serve you well beyond the LSAT.

When should I start preparing for the LSAT?

You should ideally start preparing for the LSAT three to six months before the exam date. This allows for ample time to practice and develop necessary skills without rushing or cramming.

Is it necessary to align my LSAT study time with my peak cognitive hours?

Yes, aligning your study time with your peak cognitive hours can significantly improve your learning efficiency. This means studying when your mental alertness and focus are at their highest.

Are cramming sessions effective for LSAT preparation?

No, the article advises against cramming for LSAT preparation. Consistent study sessions throughout the week are deemed more beneficial for long-term retention and understanding.

Does the LSAT preparation process require a personalized approach?

Absolutely. The LSAT preparation process should be adjusted according to individual needs. A balanced, flexible approach using a trial-and-error method is recommended to tailor a study plan that works best for you.

Is well-being important during LSAT preparation?

Indeed, maintaining good physical and mental well-being is crucial during LSAT preparation. It’s advisable not to compromise your health in the process of achieving study goals. LSAT preparation demands perseverance and resilience, but should not come at the cost of your well-being.