Should I Use an LSAT Prep Course or Self-Study?
- Dec 13, 2023
- LSAT Courses, lsat prep
- Reviewed by: Matt Riley
It’s a tale as old as time: when the LSAT starts becoming a looming next step on your journey to law school, students are always wondering if they’re better off paying for an LSAT prep course vs self study.
Self-study is enough for many people to get a good LSAT score (Disclosure #1: I’m one of them; I scored 176 on my only attempt without taking a prep course), most benefit from the structure, accountability, and expertise an LSAT course offers. (Disclosure #2: I’ve taught thousands of students in dozens of prep courses since 2004).
So, let’s take an unbiased (yes, really) look at the pros and cons of self-study and what a well-designed prep course could add to your experience.
Prepping for the LSAT With a Prep Course vs. Self Study
Pros of Self-Studying for the LSAT
This one’s obvious. With the proliferation of free advice on the internet, LSAC’s LawHub™, and the public resources from various prep companies (forums, sample lessons, free practice tests, LSAT blogs just like this one, etc.), there have never been more options for preparing on a budget.
LSAT self-study can happen at your own pace and on your own schedule. Whether you want to spend one month or nine months preparing (the ideal amount is probably in the middle of this range), self-study gives you complete control.
(Disclosure #3: You could also achieve this through a self-paced course. More on that later.)
As you learn about your strengths and weaknesses, you can decide which parts of the tests to emphasize and which ones to practice less often. You don’t need to wait for other students to figure out a concept you already understand or struggle to keep pace with a class schedule that might leave you behind.
Cons of Self-Studying for the LSAT
It’s hard to know what you don’t know (those pesky unknown unknowns!). Certain quirks of the test, such as the dramatic difference between tangential information in Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning, can be hard to discern without reviewing dozens or even hundreds of examples. You’ll also want a systematic way to keep track of and act upon these insights as you spot them.
It’s very important to be highly self-motivated and organized if you plan to study on your own. Without some form of accountability, it’s very easy to lose focus or motivation.
At this point, you may be thinking self-study still sounds like a pretty feasible idea and you’re not entirely wrong–it can be a great option for the right learner.
But let’s talk about why I think an LSAT course is often the most effection option for most students.
A good LSAT course should provide the advantages of self-study (convenience and customization), remedy the disadvantages (insight and accountability), and come at a competitive cost.
Spoiler alert: this is exactly what Blueprint LSAT courses offer.
Sign up to get expert tips and exclusive invites to free LSAT classes and law school admissions workshops!
Pros of an LSAT Prep Course
Blueprint’s core curriculum consists of high-quality, on-demand learning modules that you can watch and re-watch at your own pace. The live courses suit a wide variety of schedules and each lesson is recorded for you.
When you sign up for a course, you actually have access to every course that is taught during the length of your access. Need to travel? Attend your next scheduled lesson tomorrow. Want a different explanation of a tough concept? Watch another pair of experts teach the same concept differently.
Just because you’re prepping with a course doesn’t mean you’re giving up your individuality!
From the moment you log in and create an individualized LSAT study plan to the day you complete your LSAT, Blueprint courses meet you where you are and help you grow. Our calendar adapts to your daily study schedule and planned days off, while our AI-powered question bank generator picks the perfect questions for you to attempt each day.
We analyze your strengths, weaknesses, recent performance, and overall goals to optimize your study recommendations.
With Blueprint, there are no unknown unknowns. For the past two decades, we’ve analyzed every question ever released by LSAC and we know every pattern the testmakers use. Every course is taught by two trained LSAT experts who have all scored in the 98th+ percentile.
We have dozens of hours of explanation videos and hundreds of pages of answer choice explanations. The LSAT can’t stump us and we’ll make sure it doesn’t stump you, either.
At Blueprint, we understand that learning the LSAT can be a challenging and isolating process; that’s why we strive to create an engaging and interactive environment in all of our classes. Your instructors monitor your progress inside and outside of the class.
They will encourage and support you at every step in this process. We will email you after each lesson and if you fall behind in your study plan or your course attendance.
In addition, students are invited to join our thriving Discord community, with hundreds of active learners.
Deciding between an LSAT prep course or self-studying is purely a personal choice. There are some legitimate reasons to consider self-study and for some people, it’s a wonderful option.
But for others, a well-designed LSAT course is much more likely to result in a significant score increase. We know how much this test matters and we want to help you keep your own goals.
No matter what you decide, we wish you the best of luck on the LSAT!
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