Written by Brett McKay
In this guest post, Steve Schwartz, a professional LSAT tutor in NYC and blogger at LSAT Blog, gives 7 tips on how you can save money as you prepare for the LSAT.
1. Download free LSAT PrepTests from LSAC’s website
Two LSAT PrepTests are available to download for free from LSAC:
LSAC also provides an overview of the LSAT with sample questions and explanations (PDF).
2. Use Freecycle to get LSAT books for free
You can search your local Freecycle group’s message board to see if anyone recently offered LSAT prep books. You can post a wanted ad for LSAT prep books as well. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to give their (sometimes-unused!) LSAT books away.
3. Form an LSAT study group
Find people in your workplace, college, or community who are also studying for the LSAT. Craigslist and LSAT-related Facebook groups are great places to find potential study partners. Ideally, you’ll find study partners with strengths and weaknesses that complement yours. Even if you can’t find anyone studying for the LSAT, simply having a friend read or study with you can keep you focused, much like a workout buddy.
4. Only use books containing real LSAT questions
Don’t waste time or money using books with fake LSAT questions. If a book doesn’t explicitly say that it uses real LSAT questions, it doesn’t use them. It’s virtually impossible to write full exams that accurately mirror the complexity of real LSAT questions. These fake books contain several mistakes and cause students a great deal of frustration. Steer clear.
5. Only take the LSAT when you’re ready
Make sure your last few timed practice test scores are at or near what you want your actual LSAT score to be. You’re unlikely to see a significant jump on test day. Instead, postpone the exam until you’re in the ballpark of your desired score. Many students want to take it before they’re ready simply because they’re eager to get into law school. However, it’s often worth it to wait an extra year in order to get into a better law school.
6. Read reviews of LSAT test sites before registering
Not all test sites are created equal. All the preparation in the world won’t help if your test center is disorganized, uncomfortable, or noisy. If you have to retake the exam a few months later, you’ll have to get back “in the zone” and devote several additional months to preparing. This would cost you a great deal of time and money. This wiki contains reviews of several test centers to help you find the ideal LSAT test center. Read the reviews and post your own!
7. Read my LSAT Blog
This last tip is a bit of shameless self-promotion. I run an LSAT blog with free LSAT tips and tricks that I update every week. It includes sample schedules and tons of tips to help you tackle each section of the LSAT. Check it out!
Now it’s your turn. What tips, tricks, and strategies have you found to be most effective in saving money as you prepare for the LSAT?