The LSAT 4-Month Study Plan

Were you to start studying for this year’s September LSAT, you’d have precisely four months from today to study. Following the long-established tradition (established approximately two months ago) of periodic study plans, and without further ado, here is your official 4-month LSAT study plan:

First month:

Goals. Take a practice exam. Learn basic structure of the exam — number of sections, scoring, etc. Learn what the exam is testing and how it tests it. Learn conditional diagramming and argument structure and the basics of representing Logic Games rules and diagrams.

Action plan. If you’re in the online Blueprint course, you ought to be doing two lessons a week, regardless of whether you’re taking a classroom course or the online course. If you’re not in a Blueprint class these things are what you should be nailing down first anyway because everything else builds off of them. Any good prep material will give you this stuff up front, and just make sure you’ve got a good grasp

Second month:

Goals. Become comfortable applying the fundamentals to real LSAT problems, all three section types. Incorporate practice exams into your studies.

Action plan. For Blueprint online students, you’re finishing up the lessons with new material, i.e. up through Lesson 13. You’ll have taken between three and four practice exams at this point, counting the practice exam you took cold at the beginning of the course. In any case, you should take at least two practice exams in your second month and note your strengths and weaknesses. Since you’re still learning new concepts throughout this period, it’s normal to see very little score increase. For most, that comes later.

Third month:

Goals. Review fundamentals. Begin incorporating timed practice into studies.

Action plan. Once you’ve finished new material, you need to review fundamentals. You won’t want to do this, but do this please. For a definition of “fundamentals” see First Month section above. You should also start doing question sprints. Where you give yourself a certain amount of time to do a game or a passage or a set of seven LR questions. Your timing for any one of these should start at ten minutes or so, and be down to 8:45 by the end of the month. Your review and question sprints are separate, and, as you’re reviewing fundamentals, you should be using them on real questions without timing yourself.

Fourth month:

Goals. Build test-taking endurance. Develop test day strategy, including timing strategy.

Action plan. This is the last month of study, and it’s where studying becomes personalized. By this point, you should have mastered the fundamentals so that they’re second nature, and you should have a definitive understanding of your strengths and weaknesses so you may continue to focus on patching up those weaknesses. For the first three weeks, you should take at least one practice exam a week. This will help you build endurance, and also give you a platform to try different test-taking/timing strategies so that you can find the right mix by test day. In the last week, you should be taking a practice exam every other day, hopefully practicing a winning test-taking strategy that you crafted in the previous few weeks.

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