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Study Timeline

This page suggests a general schedule for your studying.

Before You Begin

Take a diagnostic test to see where you're at. Do it timed, but without pressure or expectations.

Find a few free practice tests on LawHub


You need learn how to approach the parts of the test that don't already make intuitive sense to you.

You can discover some of this through puzzle practice. In other words, you can figure out how the test works by figuring out why the wrong answers were wrong and the right answer was right.

You can also learn from the experience of others. That means reading about the test. When reading about the test, here or elsewhere, you can make that time more valuable by reading actively, meaning:

  • Stopping frequently to try to apply what you've learned; and
  • Making your own checklists and flashcards.

Your skill practice, in these early stages, should be slow and deliberate.

When you practice new skills, do questions 1 at a time. Doing individual questions will allow you to observe yourself more accurately, and to iterate more frequently.

And don't be afraid to write down instructions to yourself. Referring to instructions as you go will help ensure you build good habits. And having those intentions written down will help you stay accountable to your initial goals.

If you do any race practice, try a count-up timer instead of a count-down timer.


In the middle stages, you can begin to do exercises of gradually increasing difficulty, such as...

  • skill practice on larger sets of questions
  • race practice on easier questions (like Game 1 in 9 minutes, or the first 5 Reasoning questions in 6 minutes)
  • puzzle practice on increasingly hard questions

At this stage, it may also be useful to start an error log to record the results of your race practice. This log should include all the questions you got wrong, struggled with, or invested too much time in. As well as what you learned from that mistake/struggle.

It can be tempting, in this middle phase, to focus exclusively on your weak areas. And it's OK to spend more time where you can get more points, but make sure you do at least something from every section (Games, Reading, Reasoning) every day.


As you get closer to test day, your practice should become mostly race practice.

As you begin to do full practice tests, you'll need to pick goals that can work on a full test. I like to pick 1 skill and 1 timing benchmark per section. For example:

Section Skill Goal Timing Goal
Reading Re-read when needed ~3:00 per Read
Reasoning Anchor predictions for hard questions First 12 questions in 10:00

It can also be useful, to do resistance training. That is, make your practice harder than the actual test. Try, for example...

  • 30 minute sections (or even 25 minutes)
  • 5 section practice tests (or even 6 sections)
  • Sprints

But the most useful way to gain points, especially as you get within 3 weeks of test day, will be to solidify your strengths. The closer you get to the test, the less you should worry about what you're bad at. Focus instead on your strengths to ensure you get the points you've earned.

Sample Schedule For Practice Tests

Weeks Until Test Day Number of Tests Per Week
10 0
9 0
8 1
7 1
6 1
5 2
4 2
3 3
2 3
1 1

Adjust this to your needs, but generally follow the pattern of peak intensity in the lead up to test day, and then a taper at the end.


Don't take more tests than you can review.

How long to study for the LSAT

How long you need to study will depend on how much growth you want. This chart gives very rough estimates:

Score Growth Estimated Time
+1 to +3 6 weeks or less
+4 to +6 12 weeks
+7 or more 16 weeks or more

Factors that can effect how long it will take to reach your goals

1. the novice effect

You may get (relatively) easy gains at first, just by getting familiar with the test.

Strength coach Mark Rippetoe explains...

The novice effect fools a lot of people.

Anything that constitutes a stress is going to make you adapt a little bit.

For a completely untrained person, riding a bicycle will make your bench press go up, at first.

If you get up off your absolutely dead ass and do something, then anything you do is going to get the blame for the improvement.

source: YouTube

You can still celebrate your early gains. Those are real points you've earned.

But be mindful, just because some method works at first doesn't mean it's the best method.

2. The curve

It's easier to improve on a lower base score.

For example, going from a 150 to 151 is easier than going from 160 to 161.

3. Your background

You might be able to achieve your goals more quickly with small tweaks if you...

  • grew up talking like the LSAT talks;
  • have a brain that works like the LSAT works; or
  • already studied formal logic.

Your might need more time to rewire your brain (or help from a teacher) if...

  • the LSAT seems to be speaking a foreign language;
  • after you check the answer, you can't tell why the wrong answers are wrong; or
  • you want a big, 7+ score increase.