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How Many LSAT Practice Tests Should I Take?

Taking LSAT practice tests is a key ingredient to LSAT preparation and performance. Students who take full-length practice tests are far more likely to see their desired score increase than students who stick with practice problems and untimed tests exclusively. However, there is a fine line between not enough practice tests (which can lead to underperformance) and too many (which can lead to burnout). It’s best to hit the sweet spot in between just prior to taking your actual exam.

How much time do you have before your exam?

How many LSAT practice exams you can fit in depends largely on when you start your studying. Ideally, students will begin LSAT preparation 6 months to a year in advance, but let’s be realistic…not everyone does this. The closer you are to test date, the more intense you will need to be with your practice schedule. If you decide to start studying for the LSAT two months before your test, you should still try and fit in about 20 practice exams (2-3 per week). On the other hand, if you have plenty of time before your test (9 months or more), you may be able to fit in all 78 practice tests currently available (at the same 2-3 tests per week pace).

How much time do you have available in your schedule?

LSAT test-takers come from all walks of life. Some of them have full-time jobs and families, while others are dedicating their full time to LSAT preparation. Where you fall in this spectrum will have tremendous impact on how many tests you can take. If you are taking full-length timed LSAT practice tests, one test will take you about 3 hours to complete, and you should plan on at least 2 additional hours to go over the questions that you got incorrect. People who can commit 5 hours to a practice test three times a week will have a great shot at being well-prepared when the actual test rolls around. If your schedule does not permit this, try to fit in at least one full-length test per week and supplement by taking timed sections when you can.

How susceptible are you to burnout?

Taking so many LSAT practice tests that you put yourself in a negative psychological state will definitely detract from your LSAT performance, and you will want to avoid it. However, every person has a different tolerance for mental pressure, and you want to give yourself an honest assessment of your own nature. If you find that taking 2-3 tests per week stresses you out to the point of not being able to perform well, you should definitely ease up or give yourself a break. On the other hand, if you find that the adrenaline of taking timed practice tests heightens your performance, by all means….step it up. One way to diagnose burnout is if you see a plateau in your performance. If you notice this, give yourself a little break before your next practice exam.

In an ideal world, every student preparing for the LSAT would take every practice test that is out there. Start with that as your goal, and then back off of it depending on the amount of time you have before your test, the amount of time you have in your schedule, and the degree to which you are affected by mental burnout. Good Luck!!

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