A few weeks ago, we started a series of posts providing LSAT study plans of varying lengths, using the September 2016 exam as a target. Continuing that series, this post is going to outline a five-month study plan to help you maximize your preparation for the test. As an aside, if you’re not ready to start prepping yet, you don’t need to panic yet. As long as you give yourself at least three months, you should be in an optimal position to succeed. With that said, giving yourself more time will allow you to internalize the methods and spread out your study time in a less stressful fashion than if you wait. Without further ado, here’s the five-month plan.
For your first month, you should try to get in a solid study rhythm. If you’re not in school any more, it has probably been a while since you really had to hit the books. It might take a bit of time to get back in the swings of things. You should set aside times to study and stick to that schedule. Moreover, you should really try to master the basic methods. It can take some time to wrap your head around the building blocks to success on the LSAT, so the first month is a crucial time to ensuring that you create a strong foundation for subsequent lessons. If you’re taking the Blueprint online course, I would try to do one lesson per week. The pace will quicken as you proceed, but, as noted, you really need to master the basics before you can ramp it up to more advanced subjects.
The second month, like the first, should involve a steady progression through the Blueprint lessons. You should try to get through lessons 5-8, along with Workshop 1. The biggest part of this month will be taking your second practice exam. It is important to note that, for this exam, you won’t have covered about half of the material. Consequently, don’t be surprised if you see your score stay the same as your initial practice exam (or even go down slightly). Your focus on this exam should be ensuring that you’ve mastered the methods for the question types that you’ve covered in the material so far. You should carefully review the exam, make sure you understand why got wrong answers wrong and why the right answer to those questions were right. Use this as an opportunity to check your progress so far. Your metric for success here is whether you increased your accuracy with the question types you’ve learned to address. If that’s the case, then, even if your score goes down, you’re on the right track. Finally, don’t be afraid to take a little time off after your first practice test.
Soldiering on, you should try to complete lessons 9-12, workshop 2, and another practice exam. Again, don’t just take the exam, score it, and move on. Make sure you wring every drop of wisdom you can from your results on the test. Practice exams are one of the best opportunities you have to check your understanding of the methods. At this point, if you see yourself struggling with any particular question types, you can augment your study routine by adding in the Blueprint LSAT Logic Games and Blueprint LSAT Reading Comprehension books.
By the end of the fourth month, you should have completed the remaining lessons and workshops. This is the time to really start focusing on timing, which is the true killer on the LSAT. You should complete two additional practice tests and review them thoroughly. If you’re using Blueprint, you should be particularly attentive to the online analytics by this point in your studies. You should identify the question types you’re struggling with consistently, and either review those question types in your course materials or use the supplemental books to get some extra practice.
The fifth month is dedicated almost entirely to taking practice exams. I would suggest taking two per week. Not to beat a dead horse here, but you should make sure that you review each of the practice tests thoroughly and completely. You should be attentive to timing and to your trouble areas, and ensure that you’re addressing any shortcomings in your performance. I would recommend taking at least one day off prior to the exam to recharge your batteries and make sure you’re in fighting shape for the real deal.
The five-month plan is similar to the six-month plan. You should spend generally the same amount of time working through your course materials, but you’ll want to ramp it up a little more at the end in terms of taking practice exams. If you have the time, you should try to work your way through the supplemental books; if you don’t, you should definitely use them to bolster any deficiencies in your performance on particular sections or question types. Five months might seem like a long time to stay disciplined, but remember that the LSAT is the single most important part of your law school application (and a great opportunity to make up for partying a little too much in undergrad).