The LSAT market is flooded with prep books. Walk into any bookstore and you’ll find more than you could ever possibly use. There’s even more on the Internet. It’s very hard to decide if you’re just starting out.
The paradox of choice: Too much choice kills choice.
I’m going to help clear away the fog. You only really need three things:
2. Some past LSAT tests. I’ve grouped together the past LSATs which are available on Amazon, you can find them under the categories “LSAC preptests” and “Individual Preptests”. I’ll elaborate below.
3. A good prep book. Use this to teach yourself the basics before moving on to practicing with past LSATs.
Don’t use made up questions
Any prepbook which does not use actual LSAT questions is not a prepbook you should use (eg. Kaplan – they write their own questions). Made-up questions will give you a distorted view of what the LSAT is really like. I like the Powerscore books, but any prepbook which uses actual LSAT questions should be able to teach you the basics. Powerscore has a book for each section (Logical Reasoning, Logic Games, Reading Comprehension), you’ll probably only need to look at 1-2, for your weakest section.
One interesting prepbook is offered by the LSAC. Called the “Superprep” it costs $20. It includes an overview of the LSAT and advice on how to approach each question. It also includes three full practice tests, with explanations from the LSAC.
Practice Using Past LSATs
Past LSATs should be your main source of practice material. Previous LSATs are the best guide to future LSATs. You’ll get to try actual tests which were once given, and in the same format. You can get used to making logic games diagrams within the space available on the page.
What do all the books cost?
The LSAC’s 10 Actual Official LSATs series offers the best value for money. The three books in this series each contain ten past LSATs, and they only cost $20. However, these books do not contain the most recent tests.
The most recent LSATs have to be bought individually. They cost 8$ on Amazon, and you can buy 4 for 3. So buying the 20 most recent tests will cost $120. Ouch. You should buy at least a few of these tests though, as the LSAT has changed in recent years.
How to Use the Books
Use the older, cheaper preptests to learn the different types of questions. Save newer tests for doing full practice preptests. The newer tests are more representative of the questions you may see on test day.
In all cases, I recommend using the pages themselves for scrap paper, and writing in pencil. That’s how things will go on test day, so its best to get used to it while practicing. The books also come with tear-able answer sheets where you can fill in your answers. You should use these, to mimic the timing and experience of test day.
Use prepbooks to give yourself a basic understanding of the test. Then practice using past LSATs. Review what you got wrong, and try to identify weaknesses. Also make note of questions you got right, but that gave you difficulty (circle them while you’re taking the test).
Then go back to the prepbook to see if there is any specific advice which might help. Don’t worry too much about the detailed classifications given, in most cases you don’t need to know them.
Where can I get the books
Most bookstores will have at least one of the LSAC’s books. To get the most selection (and best prices), you’ll have to go online. I like Amazon.com, and I’ve grouped together all of the books I’ve mentioned into a store here.