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LSAT prep book anti-recommendations

I’m always a little bit sad when I browse the LSAT prep book section at a big book store, because someone must be buying the LSAT for Dummies books and all these DVD’s.  They are not a good idea.  Here’s what NOT to look for in an LSAT book.

  • It’s really cheap! This is a tip-off that this book does not use real LSAT questions.  Any book that does so has to pay a hefty licensing fee to LSDAS.  Any book that does not use real LSAT questions should be carefully avoided.  While they have the look of a real question, it’s impossible to re-create the intricacies of real questions that have been tested on thousands of students.  Plus, there’s no benefit to getting these books other than saving a few dollars.  If a book uses real LSAT questions, it will say so right on the front because the company knows it’s a big deal.
  • Wow, it comes with a DVD! Working on a computer makes perfect sense for tests like the GRE which are (mostly) administered by computer.  But the LSAT is a pencil and paper test, and that’s how you should be practicing.  You need to be underlining and roadmapping in reading comprehension and bracketing conclusions in logical reasoning.
  • And it comes with an online module! See above.  It’s not that you can’t learn anything about the LSAT Prep online (hopefully you are right now), but serious study needs to be done with paper and pencil.
  • It’s by a big national test prep company! Kaplan charges $1,499 for their LSAT extreme course.  Do you think they’d rather sell you that, or a $20 book?  Big companies can’t afford to give away their methodologies for a fraction of what they really want to charge.  Their store-bought prep books are very different (read: worse) than the material you would see in a class.

Good LSAT prep starts with real LSAT questions. My recommendations are following in an upcoming post.

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