One Month LSAT Study Plan
Take a diagnostic practice test to establish a baseline and familiarize yourself with the test. Design an error log to track outcomes and document takeaways. Learn to diagram conditional language using flashcards, doing drills, and coming up with your own throughout the day.
For Logical Reasoning - Develop a game plan for ~MBT and MBT questions. MBT questions are all about understanding validity and reward diagramming. ~MBT questions are all about learning how to provide supported conclusions, and learning to differentiate between supported and unsupported inferences (this becomes very important in strengthening questions and Reading Comprehension in general).
For Logic Games - Learn to identify ordering elements in the set up. Develop/learn a system for consistently symbolizing ordering rules and practice making deductions. Start with the basic ordering games and work towards underbooked/overbooked, with an emphasis on underbooked. Here you’ll encounter some distribution principles.
For Reading Comprehension - Practice reading with the goal of identifying the subject and viewpoints expressed about that subject, summarizing the author’s main point after reading, and discerning the author’s attitude throughout. Write these down before attempting any of the questions. Also important to keep an eye out for any disagreement patterns that may be present in the passage. Make sure not to obsess over the background info and many details, HOW you read is much more important that what you read.
Transition from fact patterns to arguments. Understand the anatomy of an argument. Learn the common flaws and find anchor examples for each. Focus your prep on the four most common flaws, causation, equivocation, exclusivity, and comparison. Use what you’ve learned from ~MBT and role questions in your Reading Comp preparation. Go from tiered ordering games to basic grouping games. Learn to start using scenarios in games, and what kind of rules suggest that you should be looking for them (blocks, exclusive or’s, etc).
For Logical Reasoning - Paraphrase every argument you encounter in terms of primary support + main conclusion. Develop and execute a game plan for role questions and flaw questions. On your error log whenever you make a mistake be sure to diagnose the two reasons you got the question wrong (liking the wrong answer choice, and NOT liking the correct answer choice).
For Reading Comprehension - Experiment with tagging/note-taking in the passage. Tag paragraphs with conclusions and support structures you find in the passage. Focus on finding cause and effect relationships and specific examples for your tags. On your error log make sure to address your tags if you missed something important that was referenced in a question.
For Logic Games - Transition to tiered ordering games quickly followed by basic, stable grouping games. Make sure you have a system for symbolizing grouping rules. Diagramming conditionals should be absolutely mastered by this point. Plan to let grouping games get the lion’s share of your attention. In your error log track the games that should’ve been done using scenarios.
Now that you are familiar with arguments, transition over to strengthen, weaken, and assumption questions. Work on unstable games and also introduce combo games. Try your hand at comparative passages in Reading Comp, keeping your tags next to each other to underscore differences/similarities between the passages.
For Logical Reasoning - Develop a plan for dealing with strengthen, weaken, and assumptions questions. These questions are all about identifying flaws in the argument at hand and fixing them (or in the case of weaken questions, affirming the existence of the flaw). Strengthen questions are the most common in LR, so you’ll want to ramp up the volume on them. Introduce comparative RC passages. Start with unstable grouping games, and then bring it all together by starting on combo games. Combo games will allow you to practice both ordering and grouping concepts at the same time. You’ll also want to take a practice LSAT at the end of this week to benchmark your progress.
For Logical Reasoning - Develop a game plan for strengthen, weaken, and assumption questions. Really focus on cause and effect, and how to strengthen/weaken these types of relationships. Make yourself sensitive to “linking” issues, when the conclusion mentions a concept that isn’t referenced in the support.
For Reading Comprehension - Practice tackling comparative passages using the same strategies used in regular passages. Pay special attention to the relationship between the two passages being compared, and keep track of similarities and differences in your passage tags. It’s also a good idea to keep track of things that are only mentioned in one passage and not the other.
For Logic Games - After tackling unstable grouping, focus on putting the ordering and grouping practice to good use with combo games. Also a great opportunity to put your scenario skills to the test. Prioritize grouping rules when looking for scenarios, and at this point it’s better to “over-scenario” than to “under-scenario”
Week 4 (+a couple extra days)
Review last week’s practice test. Bunker down on problem sets, focusing on timing and reviewing your errors carefully. Prioritize establishing mastery over the four most common flaw types. Actively practice getting faster, with all of your problem sets being timed (15 minutes per each 10-question set on LR, ~9 minutes per each 7-question RC passage, 8/9 minutes per easy/medium difficulty logic game. You’ll also want to take a practice test at the end of the week, about 3 or 4 days removed from your actual exam (you’ll want enough time to review and generate some specific practice sets to practice applying your takeaways). Make sure to rest the day before your exam! Feeling fresh and rested on your test day is more important than anything any one day of prep can do for you.
If you’d like, warm up with a handful of easy problems before your test. Don’t over caffeinate.
Be sure to register for the exam, pick a test date and test center most suitable for you. See our LSAT Test Dates page for upcoming exams.
Two Month LSAT Study Plan
For Logical Reasoning - Those Logical Reasoning questions from your first practice exam were kind of all over the place, huh? You probably could only barely understand half of what those questions were talking about. The topics of the questions matter very little. So, in order to start making some sense of these questions, you need to figure out how to extract these logical concepts from the subject matter. Start your LR training by diving into one of the most important concepts: conditional statements. This is one of the most commonly tested concepts in LR, showing up in roughly 20% of the LR questions on a given exam. But it takes time to master these. Start by learning what conditional statements are (they are, in short, just “if-then” statements), how to diagram them, how to make inferences using them. Focus especially on the words and phrases that express “sufficiency” and “necessity.” Make flashcards, use quizzing apps, construct a “memory palace” — do whatever you have to do to master conditional language. Then take it to actual questions. So-called Must Be True and Soft Must Be True questions frequently involve conditional statements. While you are at, practice the Must Be True and Soft Must Be Trues that don’t involve diagramming as well. To do that, you’ll need to brush up on another common LR concept: logical force. (By the way, whenever you’re learning a new technique, like diagramming or logical force, or practicing a new question type, focus on accuracy. Don’t worry about how long these questions are taking you at first. Just make sure you’re practicing sound approaches that help you get the right answer.) Extra credit: Masterdiagramming’s cousin, quantified logic. For Reading Comprehension - Those Reading Comp passages in your practice exam were also pretty weird, right? They were just a dense morass of facts, ideas, and views that you could barely machete-hack your way through. When you start practicing for Reading Comp section, focus on just one part of the passage, namely the author — what does the author think about the topic? Don’t worry about all the nitty, gritty details in that passage. Just focus on whether the authors of these passages are espousing a viewpoint, expressing any opinions about the topics at hand, disagreeing with any alternative viewpoints, and how strongly they are expressing their views. Make sure you can answer all the questions that relate to the author’s view, main point/main idea, primary purpose, attitude, and beliefs. For Logic Games - If you’re anything like the vast majority of first-time LSAT-takers, this section was an utter mess for you on PE1. No one has any experience doing logic games before their first LSAT. Good news: many people, including some smart folks at Blueprint, have cracked the code on logic games and have devised a system to help others do the same. Start by learning this system on very basic ordering games, since these games come fairly naturally to most, and are typically the easiest games on the LSAT. Practice constructing set-ups, representing rules, and making deductions on these games.
For Logical Reasoning - Conditional statements should feel like old hat now. You should, no joke, be hearing conditional statements in songs at this point. It’s time to move onto the next important concept: arguments. Start by learning how to break down arguments, so you can identify their premises (evidence) and conclusions (main points). To do this, learn the language of premises and conclusions. This is a fundamental skill for the vast majority of LR questions, so make sure you’re taking this step seriously. Additionally, learn some of the common argumentative strategies that appear on the LSAT (such as analogies, applying principles, using counterexamples, and cetera). And then take it to real questions. Main Point, Role, and Describe questions are great practice in this regard. If you can consistently find the conclusion on a Main Point question, the role played by a given statement on a Role question, or the argumentative strategy employed on a Describe question, you can do this on any other question too. After that, you’re ready to move on to the most important LR question of them all: the common fallacies. They help you out enormously on all manner of LR questions, but they get tested most frequently on one of the most common question types: Flaw questions. Practice trying to get these question right (obviously you should be doing this on all questions), but also use each Flaw question as an opportunity to identify which common fallacy is being committed in that argument. Make sure you have the most common fallacies — causation, exclusivity, equivocation, and comparison fallacies — down pat. Being able to reliably identify common fallacies will not only boost your accuracy on Flaw questions, but it’ll help on a whole host of other questions as well. For Reading Comprehension - You should be very comfortable discerning the author’s opinions in these passages, so now it’s time to start focusing on the structure of the passages. Try to annotate the structure of the passage. Iis this paragraph introducing a viewpoint? Providing evidence that supports an earlier viewpoint? Discussing an alternative viewpoint? Making a concession? Discussing the implications of new scientific discoveries? Making these “tags” in your passage will help you answer all the organization questions, and they should also help you reference parts of the passage to collect the information you’ll need to answer the questions about specific details from the passage. For Logic Games - Now that you understand, the basics of ordering, it’s time to get into the advanced ordering. Start figuring out when and how to make scenarios. Start compiling a list of common rules and deductions that are very useful for making these scenarios. You can even go back to games you’ve already done and experiment with scenarios on those. That can give you a feel for when and how to make scenarios. Then start trying out the more complex ordering games, such as the ordering games in which there are either more players than slots or fewer players than slots, and the “tiered” ordering games. For the former, you’ll need to learn a little trick called “playing the numbers.” For the latter, focus on the common deductions those games test.
For Logical Reasoning - At this point, you should be seeing the common fallacies everywhere you look. If you’re a sports person, the NBA finals will be in full swing. Those commentators are notorious for making boneheaded arguments — see if you can spot the common fallacies. If sports aren’t your thing, political punditry and Twitter are a 24/7 faucets for fallacies — see if you can spot some there. Of course, you should continue looking for the fallacies in LR questions, too. After you feel more comfortable tackling the Flaw questions, try out their steroidal cousins, the Parallel Flaw questions. Also try out Parallel questions, which are Describe question’s beefier brother. Those Parallel questions are also among the more commonly diagrammable question types, so they’ll be an opportunity to review conditional statements. After those, you’re ready for two of the most important question types in LR: Strengthen and Weaken questions. To do those, you’ll need to study up on cause and effect to learn how to strengthen and weaken causal relationships. That’s what you’ll be doing on half of the Strengthen and Weaken questions. For the other half, it’s all about figuring out why the argument is flawed, and then anticipating how to fix that problem (on Strengthen questions) or exploit that problem (on Weaken questions). Extra credit: Practice doing an uncommon relative to the Strengthen and Weaken questions: the “Crux” question (which asks you to find the answer choice that would be most “useful” or “helpful” in evaluating an argument). For Reading Comprehension - Now that you can discern the author’s role in a passage and make solid tags, move your attention to identifying some of the important details in a passage. You’re already studying cause and effect for LR, but start trying to spot the cause and effect in Reading Comp passages, too. These types of relationships are common in RC — especially in science passages — and almost always help you answer at least one question. Then turn your attention to examples — look for the many instances that examples are used in RC to illustrate a more general point. These two rhetorical should help you answer the detail-oriented questions way more consistently. Extra credit: Do a series of passages that pose and answer questions — this common rhetorical device can help you glean the big picture ideas from the passage. For Logic Games - You’ve mastered ordering games, so now you should turn your attention to the other genre of games: grouping. There are only a few different types of grouping rules, so study up on how to represent them and interpret them in a grouping game. Then start applying them in real games. Start simple, with “In & Out” games, which only involve one group. Then try out games that involve more than one group. Extra credit: Start compiling a list of rules and deductions that are helpful for constructing scenarios on grouping games.
For Logical Reasoning - You’re almost atop Mt. Logical Reasoning, but you have one more peak to climb: the assumption questions. Many people find these questions to be the most treacherous parts of Mt. LR. Fortunately, there will be a friendly Sherpa to help guide you up these demanding summits. Look out for new information in the conclusion. That technique will really be your best friend on the Sufficient and Necessary assumption questions. Once you’re feeling good on these questions, it’s time to start thinking about timing. You’ve been focused on accuracy so far, but now you have to figure out how to speed up. A gradual approach is best. Start by doing a mixed collection of ten LR questions, and give yourself twenty minutes to complete those questions. If you can maintain your hard-won accuracy at that pace, reduce the time a little bit. Try doing a set of ten questions in eighteen minutes. Eventually, try to get to a point in which you can do ten questions in fifteen minutes. But if your accuracy ever slips in these time trials, you’re going too fast. You’ll need to give yourself a few more minutes and get some more practice at that pace. For Reading Comprehension - You’ve mastered, hopefully by now, the traditional passages. Now it’s time to try the comparative passage. These comparative passages (in which there are two passages — passage A and passage B — that have some sort of relationship to each other) will require you to do a few additional things. You’ll need to practice finding the specific details that appear in both passages, and determining how the passages generally relate to one another. Remember: these are called “comparative” passages for a reason — most questions will ask you to compare and contrast the two passages, so focus on how these passages relate as you read them. For Logic Games - Once you have the fundamentals of grouping down, try doing some advanced grouping games. Specifically, what we call unstable grouping games and profiling games. These games involve a bit more uncertainty than last week’s grouping games — in unstable grouping games, you won’t know how many players go in each group, and in profiling games, you also won’t know how many groups each player joins. Practice finding ways to minimize this uncertainty, such as making scenarios.
For Logical Reasoning - If you’re able to get through ten or so LR questions in fifteen minutes, you’re ready to start doing full, timed sections. Take one of the LR sections from an old exam, and give yourself thirty-five minutes to complete it. Try to develop a timing strategy for the section — one that will allow you to get through the earlier, easier questions more quickly, leaving more time to tackle the later, more demanding questions. Also practice strategically skipping questions, to avoid those times in which you are wasting several minutes getting a question wrong. For Reading Comprehension - It’s time to start thinking about timing in Reading Comp. As on LR, use a gradual approach. Try to do two passages, back to back, in twenty-four minutes. If you can maintain your accuracy at that pace, reduce the time. You want to get to a point at which you can do two passages accurately at about seventeen or eighteen minutes. For Logic Games - You mastered ordering, you mastered grouping. Now it’s time to put them together, with combo games. These games just combine ordering and grouping into one game, so they shouldn’t really feel “new.” Really, they’re just a referendum on your skills with respect to both ordering and grouping games. But nonetheless, it’s important to get some practice with them. After you nail down combo games, try to work on timing. Same exact idea as Reading Comp: start by doing two games, back-to-back, in about twenty-four minutes. Reduce the time until you can comfortably and accurately complete two games in seventeen or eighteen minutes.
Week 6 and Week 7
Enjoy a healthy diet of practice exams during the last two-week stretch. Use the practice tests as not just an opportunity to track your progress, but also to experiment with testing strategies. There are a variety of ways to approach each section, and you should use these exams as a chance to see which approach works best for you.
After each exam, follow the same procedure. Score the exam, and then put it away for the rest of the day. The next day, try the LR questions you missed again, and re-do the games and passage you did worse than usual. Try them again, untimed, without seeing which answer choice is correct or which answer choice you selected the first time. If you’re able to get most of those questions right on try number two, that’s a sign that it was just the time pressure that led you to miss those questions. Which means you should get some more timed practice. If you miss a question on attempt number two, that’s a sign that you should review the approach to that question, passage, or game, and get some untimed practice.
Six Month LSAT Study Plan
In the first month of your plan, focus on fundamentals and establish a study routine. If you’re taking the Blueprint online course, aim to do about one lesson per week, four lessons in the first month. Additionally, start doing daily readings to boost your reading comprehension skills. Read with an eye toward argument. Try to be consistent. Seek out articles about science on, say, Mondays and Thursdays, humanities on Tuesday, social science on Wednesday, and law over the weekend. Set aside two nights a week and one day on the weekend to study.
By the end of the second month, you should try to finish about half of your main curriculum. Keep up the daily readings and take your first practice test at the end of the month. Score it, have a brief panic attack, and eat some ice cream. Don’t study for 24 hours. Find an alternate coffee shop to provide a change of scenery, but don’t turn your back on your main spot.
In month three, you should start to ramp things up a bit. Add another night of studying to your schedule. Repetition will reinforce key concepts and allow you to move quickly. Take another practice test at the end of Month 3 and simulate real test conditions. Make a playlist with pump-up music and use it to, well, pump yourself up.
You can pare down your outside readings and start keeping a journal for LSAT questions you get wrong or struggle with. Increasingly, you should do all LSAT questions under timed conditions and start tracking and working on your time management. Take two practice tests in Month 4 and review each test thoroughly.
Review your error journal to identify areas of weakness and put together question sets that focus on your deficiencies. Take one practice test per week, and spend at least as much time reviewing them as you spend taking them. Try not to let a healthy diet and exercise fall by the wayside. As the test date approaches, the stress increases, so ways of maintaining balance.
Don’t spend all your time reading message boards and thinking about your score. Do take between 4 and 10 final practice tests, but be mindful not to burn yourself out by doing too much. Keep your error journal with you at all times and read it over and over again until the pages are worn and torn. Keep exercising and eating well and take it easy the day before your test.
Twelve Month LSAT Study Plan
Okay, so you’ve decided you’re going to take the LSAT in one year and you’d like to start your prep. Only problem is, where do you begin? Do you jump right in and take a practice test? Do you take on some sample problems? You should have 3 main goals for your very first month of prep, and none of them have much to do with actual test-specific practice. Your priorities should break down as follow:
- Negotiate a proper routine/study plan for yourself. Calculate how many hours you can devote to the more passive prep you’ll be engaging in this month. You’re a far ways out from your test date, and you want to gradually ramp up your prep. Starting off with around 6-8 hours spread across 3-4 days appears to be a balanced approach. Plan to increase these amounts accordingly as the test date nears.
- Learn about the LSAT. Know what the LSAT is and how it’s scored.
- Focus on the fundamental skills that translate to success on this exam. Practice reading actively, summarizing what you read as concisely as you can and looking for tone, viewpoints, conclusions, and evidence. Read essays and articles about science/technology, history, law, art, and social issues. You can look into “the great American essays collection” and pull articles from thebrowser.com. Make sure you’re exposing yourself to articles of all types, and emphasize getting comfortable with content you would otherwise find difficult to parse. Coming into this test with robust vocabulary can save you time and plenty of pain in some instances.
By now you know about the LSAT and you’ve been practicing many of the core skills that are directly tested. The next step is to enroll in a course and embark on a journey of methodology! It’s time to jump into the cold, deep waters of the LSAT and take a practice test! The purpose of taking a practice test is to crystalize our understanding of the test experience and to establish a baseline. If you’re enrolled in a Blueprint course, you can plan to cover the first two lessons at great depth and track your accuracy via error logs and retention checks along the way. Continue your weekly readings to reinforce the active reading prescriptives developed in Month 1. The lessons and assignments do a great job of providing structure, while adding “reflection” days to take stock of your weekly takeaways is a great way to enhance the effects of the curriculum.
Now you can start ramping up your prep. You can safely budget for an extra day of studying each week. This month you can plan to cover Lessons 3-4. Start tracking your accuracy carefully. You don’t have to worry about timing yet but if you’re aiming for at least a 160 then your accuracy goal should be at least 75% on the questions you attempt. Now that you’re covering RC you can scale back or eliminate your weekly readings.
Cover Lessons 5-6. Take a retention check week to ensure that past concepts are sticking as firmly as you’d like. Revisit any areas that are lagging up to this point, and increase the difficulty on the areas where you’re overperforming. The key is to be adaptive! Make sure that your self assessment is backed by your error log and platform metrics.
At this point you should have a steady, consistent routine. Let yourself settle into this routine as you complete Lessons 7-8. Keep track of your accuracy and don’t forget to weave in practice sets from past lessons’ question types to stay on top of all the important concepts. At the end of the month, take a practice test and score it. Focus on your accuracy among the questions you attempted, not your overall score if you had timing issues.
Wow, at the end of this month you’ll be halfway to your test! You should feel prepared, like you have a game plan for each type of question you’ve reviewed. You should have a good sense for the “success patterns” and “error patterns” of each respective question type as well. It’s time to sprinkle in some useful redundancies into your prep. We learn best through imitation and repetition. Take another practice test at the end of the month and re-assess your strengths and weaknesses.
Time to finish our coursework in its entirety and put it all together. Complete Lessons 11 and 12. Celebrate the end of your methodological journey with a practice test to help you benchmark your progress and mark the shift from “learning” to “mastering/perfecting”. Attend any supplemental workshops you have available to you, and start to drill down on weak areas in order to improve your accuracy.
Now it’s time to push the pedal to the metal. Create targeted problem sets to drill down on deficiencies and start to work on your timing in the question types that you’ve already conquered accuracy wise. Plan to take two practice tests this month and review them intensively, looking for opportunities to refine your test specific strategies. Go back and review any lessons that cover sore spots.
At this point, if you’re still noticing accuracy issues (not hitting your accuracy goals) in some areas, consider reaching out to a tutor to diagnose what needs to be done. Work on timing drills like getting through the first 12 questions of an LR section in 15 minutes and finishing the easier games in ~7/8 minutes with 100% accuracy. Your takeaways at this point should be more strategic and timing orientated. Take 2 more practice tests and self assess post-mortem.
Start a high-paced methodological/foundational review to compliment your speed drills. Ask for advanced methodological content if it’s available. Crank up the difficulty of some of your sets, and refine your timing strategies to account for dealing with tough questions/moments on the exam. Have a system for knowing when to get out of a question, and prioritize question types that have you synthesize multiple concepts, such as combo games and necessary assumption questions. Take two more practice tests and evaluate the effectiveness of your timing strategies.
By now you should know exactly what to do if/when that tough substitution question rears its ugly head. You should know how to tackle that incredibly dense comparative passage, and you should have well established timing benchmarks to keep you on pace. At this point, your main concern must be execution. You should be masterful with respect to knowledge and strategy, now it’s time to do the darn thing, and do it consistently. Take one practice test each week and tailor the rest of your prep to match the specific outcomes of those tests.
Here we are. The final countdown. The promised land. The end. Test month. A mere formality at this point, really. You know what to expect, you have a game plan for everything. But you also know that you will still be surprised, and that nothing comes easy, even to a master. This month will look a lot like Month 11. Take 4 practice tests, preferably once a week However, this week, there’s an emphasis on sleep and relaxation. Review your error log often, dissect the practice tests you take, supplement your prep with targeted AND mixed problem sets. But most importantly, prioritize your rest and sanity. Don’t overdo it! You’ve been training your mind for 11 months, the skills should be hard coded! Feel free to polish and reinforce, but don’t make any major last second changes. Do some light reviewing in the days leading up to your test date and maybe even do some exercises the day of to warm up the engine. But importantly, be positive and trust in the lessons you’ve learned and tools you’ve acquired!