How to Study for the LSAT Part-Time
- Dec 14, 2022
- General LSAT Advice, LSAT Advice, part-time
- Reviewed by: Matt Riley
As much as we may like it to, life simply doesn’t slow down to make room for the LSAT. If you’re planning to balance studying for the LSAT with a course load, internship, or job, then read on to learn more about our LSAT tips and tricks for fitting the LSAT into your busy schedule!
When to Start Studying for the LSAT
First things first: when do you want to get started? A good range is 3–6 months before your first test date. Particularly busy folks may be tempted to stretch out their studying for a longer period, but there definitely can be such a thing as too-long of a timeline. When you’re looking around a year or more of lead-up to the test, it’s just really hard to build momentum. Think about the application timeline you’re aiming for. If you want to apply to law school in the upcoming fall, it’s a good idea to make sure you are allowing yourself the chance to retest a couple of months after the first, just in case you want that option. So, aiming for a winter/spring test (January, February, or April) before the fall application cycle makes sense!
If you know that you will be juggling studying for the LSAT along with other hefty obligations, it’s likely that you’ll be falling closer to that 6-month range. Take an honest look ahead at your course load and work schedule for that time period. Take stock of “lull” and “busy” periods. For example, if you are involved in a bi-monthly report at work, you may anticipate the week or two leading up to that to be a “busy” period. Plan for your LSAT studying to be lighter during that period. On the flip side, you might find the times after a big deliverable to be more relaxed. Kick up the LSAT hours during that period, maybe compressing some of your content learning and trying to get through more questions.
Take advantage of any flexibility to help support your LSAT study schedule. This may look like strategically timed PTO or completing a large assignment ahead of time so that you can free up more headspace in the crucial weeks right before the LSAT.
How to Structure Your Studying
Structure will be your best friend when it comes to balancing your schedule and staying on task. Think from a top-down level, working from your goal score to monthly goals to weekly and even daily goals. Read more about those below.
On a monthly basis, you can think about incremental score increases, section-level raw score increases, and timing mastery. In building to your ultimate goal, make sure you’re setting intermediate goals along the way. This is crucial to maintain motivation and focus.
On a weekly basis, try to set two to three more specific goals that will be at the forefront of your studying. It can be really helpful to frame these based on your practice exams. Ask yourself the following questions: Where was my approach and anticipation shaky? When did I spend a lot of time on a practice test question, game, or passage? Where do I have low accuracy?
Use the answers to these questions to set your LSAT study plans for the week. Practice certain question types. Review your fundamentals and approach. Time yourself for specific portions of work (e.g., reading a passage, setting up an LSAT logic game, anticipating for LR, and then choosing between your answer choices).
On a daily basis, you want to have a couple of areas of focus in mind to guide your studying. Keep these things in the forefront of your mind and make sure you take a moment to reflect on your performance when you’re done. For example, focus areas might be catching every deduction in your 1:1 ordering practice or not referring back to the passage during your reading comprehension practice.
It might be hard to fit LSAT prep into your day in one sitting. Think about how you can break up your studying throughout the day to make it more manageable. This might look like reading over foundational concepts in the morning, running through some practice sets during your lunch break, and then taking an hour for targeted review and reflection.
Have conversations with your advisors, managers, and anyone else that you feel comfortable sharing with that you’re gearing up for the LSAT. Hopefully, this will set you up down-the-line if you need to ask for an extension or take less on your plate momentarily in order to focus on the LSAT. Don’t feel pressure to do it all! Balancing multiple responsibilities is a big challenge and it’s alright to take a step back from some obligations to give yourself more leeway.
Build breaks into your schedule. We recommend having at least one day per week where you are not thinking about the LSAT. Continue to practice your methods of relaxing and recharging, whether through exercise, spending time with loved ones, hobbies, or simply vegging out. If you’re feeling like you need a longer break to reset or personal circumstances arise, that’s absolutely fine. In the long run, you will likely benefit from a few days away. Just set yourself a date for when you’re going to get back to the LSAT, and enjoy your time off!
Give yourself grace when things don’t go according to plan! Last-minute things will always come up, and your time (and mental sanity!) is best spent focusing on how you can adjust to get back on track. Triage your catching up by thinking about what content is more likely to show up on the test, your areas of weakness, and concepts/foundational skills that are overarching.
Speaking of flexibility, Blueprint’s courses are great for that. We offer LSAT prep courses tailored to your individual learning style. From a DIY Self-Paced Online LSAT Course to a Live LSAT Class to our new, intensive 170+ LSAT Course and even a private LSAT tutor, we have the LSAT preparation designed to increase your LSAT score by 15 points, on average! All the courses come with a study plan that offers both structure and adaptability. Based on your availability and needs, you can move modules around and adjust your schedule to fit your day-to-day.
Don’t want to commit to an LSAT prep course right now? Get access to a bunch of free LSAT resources when you create a Blueprint LSAT account. And when you’re finally ready to make the final jump into LSAT prep, we’ll be here to help, especially if you are studying for the LSAT while working full-time or part-time
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