Every Trick for LSAT Success

Last updated: Jan 17, 2023

The LSAT has a reputation for being a kingmaker or dealbreaker for law school applicants. A high score proves to law schools that you have the intellectual firepower for the study and practice of law. A so-so score could put you at the back of the admissions line. To improve your competitive chances as law school applications reach a 10-year high, make a study and test-taking plan to maximize every trick for LSAT success.


Female law student learning tips and tricks for LSAT success.

In the Run-Up to Your Test Date

The key to LSAT success is preparation. You need enough study hours, days, weeks, and months to deeply understand the structure of the LSAT and to practice the LSAT (repeatedly) under test-like conditions.


Give Yourself Adequate Time

The LSAT requires more prep time than a normal test. It does not examine your mastery of a subject. It tests your ability to think logically and analytically. This can be a very unnatural way of thinking, so it takes time to train yourself. Cramming just won’t work for the LSAT.


  • Trick No. 1: Plan a three-month lead time before your test date. Double that if you’re working full time. Figured another way, aim for at least 300 hours of prep, however it fits into your life.


Project-Manage Your Study Plan

Don’t just make a short-term plan to “study for the LSAT.” Create a highly organized strategy and calendar with measurable benchmarking goals, such as setting a time to “take Practice Test #7 and create a study guide based on mistakes.”


  • Trick No. 2: Create a daily, weekly and monthly study agenda, and stick to it.


Make Friends with Your Highlighter

Invest in printed LSAT prep books. Mark them up. Take notes. Circle keywords. Studying on a tablet or laptop can be effective, too, but make sure to use the highlighter function and add comments in the margins as you scroll. You can use a pen and paper during the real exam to take notes.


  • Trick No. 3: Get into the habit of underlining or highlighting the specific words or phrases (thus, hence, therefore, because, since, and for) that indicate the premise or conclusion of an argument – it’s very helpful in the Logical Reasoning sections.


Budget Your Hours Wisely

Overprepare for the Logical Reasoning sections. Because it is emphasized so heavily on the LSAT, analyzing and criticizing arguments should make up the bulk of your study time. Become familiar with the question types and most common missteps. Study with friends, explain your logic out loud, and listen for flaws in their logic. And consider downloading an app for on-the-go LSAT training.


  • Trick No. 4: For every Logic Game or Reading Comprehension section you do, complete at least one Logical Reasoning section.


Identify Your Weaknesses

Systematically learn from your mistakes on the practice exams. If you notice that you’re struggling with inference questions, analyze where your thought process went wrong, then how to overcome that weakness.


  • Trick No. 5: For every three-hour practice exam, plan to spend up to five hours doing a forensic analysis of your answers. Flag patterns in your mistakes and make a plan to master the thinking for those types of questions.


Develop Stamina

A half-hour here and there won’t cut it when you’re prepping for the LSAT. Simulate the actual test by building up your ability to concentrate for three to four hours at a stretch. Set a timer for 35 minutes for each section and only take a 10-minute break before the third section for exam-day authenticity.


  • Trick No. 6: The LSAT is currently administered as an at-home proctored exam per COVID-19 protocol, so do your practice tests in the same room where you plan to take the real at-home test, a place where you’ll have both comfort and solitude.


Stock Up on Practice Tests

When you enroll in a top-quality LSAT test prep course, you’ll have access to diagnostic practice exams, along with expert feedback to interpret your results. But even if you go solo for your test prep, complete as many official LSAT practice tests as time allows.


  • Trick No. 7: Plan to take 10-20 practice tests before sitting for the exam, scheduling two a week for the month prior to your test date.

Male law student in a library preparing to take the LSAT.

On Test Day

Fewer than one percent of people taking the LSAT score in the 180 “perfect” score range, but you can certainly approach your personal best by adopting these methods for test day.


Start With Easy Questions

If you’re stumped by a question, flag it and move on quickly. The same number of points are given for every question, so don’t fritter your time on a tough one.


  • Trick No. 8: Answer the easy questions first and go back to the stumpers if you have time.


Take a Guess

You aren’t penalized for a wrong answer, so take a shot at a tough question. If you have time, circle back to it after answering the ones you’re sure you know.


  • Trick No. 9: Eliminate obviously wrong answers first to narrow your choices if you can. Likely one is noticeably wrong, but in logical reasoning, you should know that there could be multiple right answers. Even if you bubble in randomly, though, you’ve got a 25 percent chance of getting it right.

Do Not Skim

Reading carelessly will come back to haunt you. Every word on the LSAT is there for a purpose. If you begin by doing a quick skim to get the basics of the question, make sure you follow up with a careful reading so you don’t misunderstand the setup for a logic game or overlook a critical word.


  • Trick No. 10: The LSAT becomes progressively harder throughout the test, so focus your concentration at an even higher level for the last few questions of each section.


Give Yourself Every Advantage

Improving your LSAT score has never been more important. According to the Law School Admission Council, there was a 13 percent increase in applications to law schools in 2021, the highest in a decade. To help you surpass the competition, USF Corporate Training and Professional Education’s LSAT Test Prep Course offers 30 hours of interactive, live-online instruction. You’ll focus on the skills and test-taking methods proven to deliver LSAT success.


Learn More