LSAT Diary: General Prep Advice

LSAT Diary Blog
UPDATE: Lisa got a 175!

Here's what she wrote:

"I got my LSAT score yesterday and was thrilled to find out that I got a 175. I really want to thank you for all the information you put on your blog and for offering the 3-month-study schedule that I followed...There's not enough I can say to thank you."

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Please thank Lisa for her advice below in the comments!

Lisa's LSAT Diary:

Because it’s been more than a few years since I attended school for anything other than learning a new language or how to develop film, I knew I needed a solid game plan as I approached the LSAT. After searching for LSAT study plans, I found LSAT Blog with Steve at the helm giving practical and useful advice to all comers.

I soon found myself loaded with nearly every LSAT PrepTest. The 3-month LSAT schedule provided by Steve went up on the wall in my breakfast nook along side the growing list of “Don’t Forget These Words”, and stacks of reading material took up residence on the nearby buffet. Like most folks, I have a busy schedule. I have a consulting business and volunteer on a city commission, an agency task force and serve as the boardmember for a local non-profit dedicated to improving the education of our children.

It’s possible I went a little overboard when I got rid of the television (ok, it was only partially functional to begin with) and realigned my schedule to give myself Sunday afternoon off. Each day, I would get up early enough to give myself 4 hours before work to study. As soon as I started taking full PrepTests, my evenings would mean sitting with the answer sheet and a stack of paper to work through missed questions rather than heading out with friends.

Early in the process, I spent a couple of weeks visiting family - with a hundred pages of prep tests to keep me company. No trashy novels for this visit to the lake. Luckily for me, my family is full of late sleepers and didn’t realize I was sitting outside as the sun rose, pencil continuously working.

My first PrepTest, before opening a book or having any idea what I was getting into, was a 150. Leaving me plenty of room for improvement.

I worked my way through the PrepTests and with each timed full test was pleased to see my scores rising until I pulled a 172. While I don’t know my actual score yet, here's the advice I would offer:

1. Focus - clear the decks of all other obligations and make your preparation the main thing in your life. There’s plenty of time to party/sleep/read after the exam and you’ll just kick yourself if you slack off and don’t do as well as you would like.

2. Review - when you have an incorrect answer, just mark the question wrong as you’re scoring. Then, go back to all those you got wrong and rework each one until it makes sense. Use the one of the many resources available online to see the analysis performed on those you got wrong.

3. Visualize - check out the site where you are taking the test. If you know the specific room great, if not, check out likely rooms and call the site administrator to ask if they know the specific room. Visualize your day of routine, arriving at the site, settling in, opening the test and working easily through the exam.

4. Play - organize individual games into like sets, that is, put all the Grouping or Linear together and motor through them as a set. Repetition works.

5. Read - don’t let the reading comprehension section scare you. The stories change but the setup and questions repeat. Learn to love the word “historiography” even if you can’t pronounce it without embarrassing yourself. Enjoy the RC sections, they are fascinating if you can set aside the reason you find yourself glued to them.

6. Fun - whatever mantra you need to remind yourself that what you are learning is fun and interesting - do it and remind yourself when you get out of bed, while brushing your teeth and just before falling asleep.

On Test Day, I found myself standing in line with all the other ziploc baggie holding folks and I was reminded of other big tests. The difference was, I wasn’t nervous. I’d practiced and was comfortable with my timing and scores. I’m generally not into visualization, it feels a little too woo-woo for my tastes but I had done it on the theory that it couldn’t hurt and it might help. As I sat in the test room waiting for every last seat to be filled I was relaxed and comfortable, watching as others were nervously chattering away, fidgeting or tapping their feet.

After the exam was the big shock for me. When I stepped out into the sunshine planning for that evening’s festivities, I was faced with the parents of nearly every test-taker inside. I’m pretty sure they were as shocked to see me holding the same ziploc they’d packed for their kid as I was to see them. After all, I am older than most of the parents.

Photo by photosan0


  1. Thank you Lisa, this is one diary full of optimistic thoughts!

  2. Thanks Lisa!! Very encouraging post. All the best in law school.

  3. Thank you Lisa, I feel much better taking the test. If I had second thoughts which I did, now they seem a vague memory since I am facing my 45 next March! Break a leg in Law School.

  4. Thank you Lisa for your wonderful post! Certainly gives young single mothers like me a sence of optimism! I have just turned 21 and I am in my 3rd year of college, anticipating to graduate in June 2012 w/ a B.A. in Political Science. Additionally, I am a part time legal assistant in a firm and am raising a two year old daughter. Becoming a lawyer has been a passion of mine for years and I will not allow anything to prevent me from becoming one (though sometimes I think lsat prep does, lol). Your story, though quite different than mine, gives me hope that through using Steve's tips & study schedule that busy bee's like us can accomplish more than we already have! Best of luck to you in law school!

  5. hi lisa
    thanks fro the comprehensive review
    it shows hard work pays off.