LSAT Prep Checklist: How Should I Prepare for the LSAT?

Woman sitting on floor with laptop looks to the three checkboxes and word "Checklist" in the middle representing LSAT Prep Checklist - image by Magoosh

So, you’ve decided to apply to law school? The most important part of getting into law school is your LSAT score. Your LSAT score is such a huge factor in your chances of admission that you don’t want to take it without proper preparation. Keep reading to learn how to prepare for the LSAT, along with tips for using our LSAT prep checklist.

Magoosh LSAT Prep Checklist get the PDF by clicking here

How to prepare for the LSAT: Best Resources for LSAT Prep

Here are the LSAT prep resources that we recommend. There are a variety of resources in this list for different needs—see what works best for you!

LSAT Prep ContentWhat you get with each prep optionCostBest for...
Magoosh LSAT Prep

  • Access to video lessons on every LSAT concept

  • Hundreds of questions from past exams

  • 10 (and counting!) official LSAT practice tests
$279 (get 12 months for the price of one!)People looking for a comprehensive, highly affordable LSAT course with access to thousands of real questions and every published PrepTest.
Khan Academy

  • Free LSAT lessons

  • Customized practice plan

  • Instant help and feedback
FreeBeginners to LSAT studying, who are interested in robust free prep material.
Magoosh LSAT Practice Test

  • 1 full-length official LSAC practice test

  • 20 additional LSAC practice questions

  • 19 Magoosh LSAT premium lessons

  • Official LSAT test day interface
FreeBeginners who want to see what the LSAT is like and how they’d score on a diagnostic exam.
LSAC's Official LSAT Prep Plus®

  • 2 full-length LSAT PrepTests

  • 1 full-length LSAT-Flex test

  • 1 year access to 70+ more Official, full-length LSAT PrepTests®

  • Official LSAT test day interface

  • Instant scoring feedback
$99Everyone - this is the only way to get access to practice tests in the exact interface you’ll use during the real exam.
LSAC SuperPrep

  • 3 full PrepTests with answer explanations

  • LSAT logic guide

  • Sample Comparative Reading questions with explanations
Free for students in LSAC PLUS program, or $15.25 on AmazonStudents who qualify for a fee waiver from the LSAT.
LSAT Prep Books (check out our reviews and comparisons!)See reviews for more detailsSee reviews for more detailsSee reviews for more details

How should I prepare for the LSAT?

Your LSAT prep process should proceed through the following stages:

  1. Gaining familiarity with the format of the LSAT.
  2. Building your understanding of the concepts it tests.
  3. Going over the LSAT prep checklist one month and two weeks before test day. (Keep reading for a free download of the checklist!)
  4. Taking and reviewing practice exams.
  5. Getting ready for the day of the test.

1. Get to Know the Format of the LSAT

Before diving into your LSAT studies, you’ll want to read about the format of the test and what’s in each of the different sections. Then, take a diagnostic test to see where you’re starting. This is also a good time to think about the target score for your dream law schools and get motivated to master this test!

Practice with official LSAT questions. Start your online LSAT prep with Magoosh today. Start a free trial

2. Build Understanding of LSAT Concepts

After learning about the format of the test and taking a diagnostic exam, it’s time to build your understanding of the different concepts tested by the LSAT, including conditional logic, causal reasoning, logical fallacies, diagramming logic games, and so much more. This is where taking an LSAT course or working through LSAT prep books can be very helpful. During this stage, you’ll want to develop a systematic approach to every component of the test and work through problem sets from past LSATs to expose yourself to many of the tricks and traps the LSAT writers set for unprepared test-takers.

3. Check Your Progress With Our LSAT Prep Checklist

Our free, downloadable LSAT prep checklist will help you keep track of the concepts you’ve learned throughout your LSAT preparation. Start by rating your knowledge (on a scale of 1-5) of the concepts listed about one month before your test day. After you complete your first check-in, look at which concepts have a 1, 2, or 3 next to them. These are your weaker areas, and you’ll want to focus your review and practice on these concepts.

Screenshot of Magoosh LSAT Prep Checklist

Two weeks before test day, go through the LSAT prep checklist again, and rate each concept again. Have you improved your confidence in the weaker areas? Are there any concepts you still feel unsure about? Be sure to strengthen your LSAT prep in any concepts that you rated between 1-3 while still leaving time for doing overall review and practice tests.

Click here to download Magoosh's LSAT Prep Checklist PDF

4. Take and Review Practice Exams

Many LSAT-takers don’t take enough practice tests before the real exam. Although you might feel comfortable with a lot of things tested by the LSAT during a relaxed study session, you may feel differently under the pressure of a test. When you’re limited to 35 minutes per section and have to deal with a mix of question types, the pressure is on! Taking practice tests under realistic conditions is the best way to get used to the pacing of the exam and to figure out your weaknesses. The most successful LSAT students usually take at least six practice tests before the real thing, and many take more than ten.

Reviewing your tests is even more important than just taking them. To learn from your mistakes, you have to understand why you made them and how you can avoid similar mistakes in the future. For every question you get wrong, strive to understand:

  1. Why the answer you picked is wrong.
  2. Why the right answer is correct.
  3. Why you picked the wrong answer instead of the right one.
  4. What you can do to avoid this kind of mistake.

To help you with this process, using resources from an LSAT prep course or working with an LSAT tutor can be effective.

5. Get Ready for Test Day

About two weeks before the test, it’s time to get ready for game day. The LSAT is a test of mental performance and endurance, and it’s therefore critical that you’re in top test-taking shape by the time of the real exam. This means you should adopt a sleeping, eating, and exercise routine that fits the time of your scheduled exam.

You should also get all of the logistical and administrative issues for the test out of the way well in advance. If you’re taking the remote LSAT, you should prepare your space for exam day and test out your internet and computer on ProctorU’s website. If you’re taking an in-person LSAT, you should know how to get to the exam location and gather all of the items you’ll bring to the exam center.

On the day of the test, make sure to do a super easy logic game and a handful of easy logical reasoning problems to warm up several hours before the real exam. Think of it like stretching before a run.

How long does it take to prepare for the LSAT?

So, how long should you plan to study for the test? That depends on a lot of factors, including how you do on your diagnostic test, how much you want to improve, and how much time you have to study each week. That said, an average person coming to the test as a beginner should be prepared to spend between three to six months studying for the test. No matter how long you intend to study, make sure to use an effective LSAT study plan.

LSAT Prep Checklist: Where to Go From Here

Now that you have your LSAT prep checklist and a better understanding of the LSAT preparation process, it’s time to get started!

Your LSAT journey won’t be as hard as you think if you use effective LSAT prep material. Need more advice on how to prepare for the LSAT? Look to these LSAT words of wisdom from lawyers who were once in your shoes.

That’s all for now. Good luck on your LSAT prep journey!

Magoosh LSAT has thousands of official questions. Start for free

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Author

  • Kevin Lin

    Kevin Lin earned a B.A. from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. After working as a lawyer for several years, both at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and at a large New York law firm, he succumbed to his love of the LSAT and teaching and has been a full-time LSAT instructor since 2015. Beginning first at a major test prep company and rising to become one of its most experienced and highly rated instructors, he began tutoring independently in 2019. Kevin has worked with LSAT students at all stages of their preparation, from complete beginners to LSAT veterans shooting for the 99th percentile. Connect and learn more about Kevin on YouTube, LinkedIn, and his website.

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