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7 Ways To Save Money On LSAT Prep

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.

lsat.jpg1. Download free LSAT PrepTests from LSAC’s website

Two LSAT PrepTests are available to download for free from LSAC:

June 2007 LSAT – Free Sample PrepTest (PDF)

October 1996 LSAT – PrepTest 20 (PDF)

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?

Craftier Everyday

Written by Brett McKay

Craftier Everyday follows one person as they prepare for the LSAT and applying for law school. They have some good tips on how to prepare for the LSAT. I thought this tip was especially good. If you’re preparing for law school, this a blog I would definitely check out.

Save Money Preparing for the LSAT: Part V

Written by Brett McKay

  1. Miscellaneous advice. I found that taking a symbolic logic class helped me out a lot on the logical reasoning section. The questions on the LSAT are VERY different then what you’ll be doing in a logic class at school. However, it helped me think more analytically and deductively-skills that are essential for the LSAT. To get ready for the reading comprehension section, read stuff like The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, or the New York Times. (Don’t buy them. That wouldn’t be frugal. Just go to Boarder’s or the library to read them.) The passages in the LSAT are very similar to the writing styles in these publications. In fact, the LSAT often uses articles from these publications on their test.

NOTE: According to LSAC, in June 2007, reading comprehension will be changed to comparative reading. Instead of one long passage as in past LSAT’s, you’ll be given two short passages. You’ll be asked questions on how the passages relate. Keep this in mind as you use older tests. What you’ll be facing on the reading comprehension section in June 2007 is very different from what past LSAT’s have been.

If you have any questions or you just need some motivation, feel free to email me at frugallawstudent@gmail.com

Save Money Preparing for the LSAT: Part IV

Written by Brett McKay

This is Part IV of the LSAT Series. (Read Part I, Part II, Part III.)

  1. Allocate your tests. Save the more recent tests for your full timed tests. The LSAT has evolved over the past 10 years. In the 90’s the games sections were super hard, while the logical reasoning and reading comprehension were pretty easy. Today the games are pretty easy, and the logical reasoning is bit harder and the reading comprehension is much harder. So, to be ready for what the real test is like, save the more recent tests for your full practice tests. Use the older tests to practice each section individually.
  2. Get to work. Stick to your plan and you’ll start seeing improvement. You might see some pretty rapid improvement immediately, but then you reach a plateau. Keep working and don’t get discouraged. You’ll break through it. This happened to me. I went from my measly 148 to a 155 in just two weeks. However, for the next 5 weeks, my practice test scores stayed at 155. I kept working and plugging away, but nothing happened. I started to think that maybe a 155 is the best I can do. But, I had a break through and scored a 160. After that, I started improving slowly, but steadily for the next few weeks. So, don’t get discouraged if improvement doesn’t come quickly. Stick to your plan. Review WHY you got answers wrong, and learn from your mistakes.

Save Money Preparing for the LSAT: Part III

Written by Brett McKay

This is Part III. (Read Part I, Part II.)

  1. Sign up for the test. I suggest you take the test in October. That way you have all summer to prepare for it. Additionally, if you don’t do as well as you like, you can retake it in December and still get your score back in time to apply to schools for the next year. Also, check and see if you’re eligible for a fee waiver.
  2. Make your study schedule. After taking the diagnostic test, you’ll know what sections you need to work on. Allocate more time for your weak areas. Set aside one day to take a full timed test. After the test, review the answers you got wrong. Focus on why that’s the wrong answer and why the right answer is right. To give you an idea of a possible schedule, here’s what mine often looked like:

Monday- Logic Games, Tuesday- Logical Reasoning, Wednesday- Reading Comprehension, Thursday- Logic Games, Friday- Logic Reasoning, Saturday- Full Test, Sunday- Nothing.

Check back tomorrow for Part IV.

Save Money Preparing for the LSAT: Part II

Written by Mrs. FLS

This is Part II on how to save money on the LSAT. (Read Part I.)

  1. Get old official LSAT’s. The best way to practice for the LSAT is use old tests. You can buy these used on eBay, half.com, or amazon.com. LSAC puts out books with 10 actual tests in them. I think right now they have three of these books that have tests from 1996-2003. For the more recent tests, you’ll have to buy them separately. They cost $8.00 on the LSAC page, but you can find them on eBay for less than $2.00. If you do some good bargain hunting, you can probably buy all the tests for under $50. (See sidebar for deals from Amazon.com)
  2. Get test prep books. Like I said earlier, the LSAT is learnable test. There are no tricks or shortcuts, but you can learn how to beat it with a good system. Don’t waste your time with Kaplan or Princeton Review. Like I said, their systems aren’t very good. The best prep books out there are the LSAT Bibles put out by Powerscore. The Logic Game Bible is amazing. They break down the games into types and tell you how to approach them systematically. The Logical Reasoning Bible is great, too. The break down the different types of logical reasoning questions and how to go about answering each kind. They also have great practice questions from real LSATs. However, these books are expensive when bought new. However, you can find them online for half the cost. (See Sidebar for deals from Amazon.com) If you can’t find them for cheaper, bite the bullet and buy them. They’ll be the best investment you can make in starting your legal career.