The Importance of Taking LSAT Practice Tests

Discover why LSAT practice tests are vital for your score improvement and how to get the most out of every one.
  • /Reviewed by: Matt Riley
  • At Blueprint, we believe that you will perform approximately how you practice. While we know most of you are aiming for Memorial Hall or Phelps Hall rather than Carnegie Hall, we agree with Sarah Kay. Repeating the same mistakes in your LSAT practice tests or question sets won’t get you to your goal.

    “Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Repeat the same mistakes over and over, and you don’t get any closer to Carnegie Hall.”- Sarah Kay, No Matter the Wreckage: Poems.

    So, how should you practice for the LSAT? And what can you do to make the most of every LSAT practice test (hereafter PT)?

    How Often Should You Take an LSAT Practice Test?

    Well, it depends on what else you are doing to study.

    If, for example, you are enrolled in a course that offers thousands of AI-assisted practice questions, live and recorded lessons, dozens of video modules, and in-depth office hours, you should just stick to the study plan. Where would you find such a robust course? Have you heard of Blueprint LSAT?

    If not, then you’ll probably want to follow a schedule like the following:

    Day 1: Take a full PT.

    Day 2: Review the PT thoroughly.

    Day 3: Practice specific target areas, watch an LSAT video module, listen to an LSAT podcast, or work on timing or technique goals.

    Repeat these steps twice a week, and make sure to schedule a full rest day. Better yet, download our free sample LSAT study plans to get an idea of what yours can look like.

    How Many LSAT Practice Tests Should You Take?

    You should take enough PTs to feel completely comfortable with any LSAT question type you might encounter. There’s really no limit to how many PTs you can usefully take. However, make sure you’re not seeing any signs of burnout. Additionally, ensure you have time to review and apply what you’ve learned in between tests.

    For most students, taking 8-10 full PTs and at least another 12-15 exams’ worth of focused practice questions (i.e., 1200-1500 additional questions) is highly correlated with significant score increases.

    How to Practice for the LSAT

    1. Set Goals

    First, decide on a goal for your PT. Do you want to improve your anticipations? Are you focusing on better understanding of the Reading Comprehension passages upfront? Or is trying to finish one or two additional questions per section without sacrificing accuracy your main goal?

    Having a goal for each LSAT practice test is a great way to focus and measure your progress. This is, of course, separate from the three-digit scaled score at the end.

    2. Create a Realistic Testing Environment

    Second, create conditions that are conducive to achieving that goal. Put your phone away. Close the door. Warn your friends and loved ones that you’ll be busy for the next 2.5 hours. Do whatever it takes to simulate the test day environment as closely as possible (including taking 1-minute breaks after sections 1 and 3, and a 10-minute break after section 2). 

    3. Review Your LSAT Practice Test

    Third, review, review, review.

    Here are questions you should ask yourself when reviewing any LSAT practice test or any set of practice questions:

    1. What did I think was happening in the passage/stimulus?
    2. What was actually happening in the passage/stimulus?
    3. Was my answer anticipation/passage annotation helpful on this question?

    For questions you get right:

    1. What stood out in the correct answer and how can I spot that pattern again?
    2. Why were other people fooled by the best incorrect answer here? How can I continue to avoid that trap in the future?

    For questions you get wrong:

    1. What made the correct answer seem unappealing? How can I adjust my approach to make it look more appealing next time?
    2. What made the incorrect answer seem appealing? How can I adjust my approach to make it look less appealing next time?

    No matter what, do NOT read anyone else’s explanations until you’ve finished answering the above questions, ideally in a journal like Blueprint’s Lessons Learned Journal. Try it for free by creating a free Blueprint LSAT account.

    Try to form your own understanding of errors and takeaways before you read what someone else thinks about a question. 

    Additionally, you might have heard of blind review. While there are absolutely useful aspects to blind review—particularly around calibrating your confidence level and determining your potential score ceiling— we don’t think it’s necessary or even optimal to take every test twice before reviewing the questions.

    4. Repeat and Recycle

    Fourth, apply what you’ve learned to set a new goal and repeat steps 1-3. 

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    Final Thoughts

    Finally, let me share one mindset tip with you: it’s helpful to treat the actual test as slightly more important than your practice, but not significantly so.

    Slightly elevated importance is likely to trigger useful levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol and norepinephrine, that can actually help you lock in and be hyper-focused. Alternatively, exaggerated importance can lead to excess adrenaline, causing a fight-or-flight sensation that is distinctly unhelpful during a test that you can’t punch in the mouth or run away from.

    I encourage my students to view the real test as another practice test but one that’s slightly more public than usual. For instance, LSAC will see your score on this “public” practice test, along with any friends and loved ones you choose to send it to. Heck, a few law schools might even get to see how it went for you, if you decide to keep the score.

    If you want to increase the likelihood that your “public” practice test score is worth sharing with law schools, we can help! Whether you have the discipline to study on your own with a Self-Paced Course, want to navigate the LSAT with instructors in a Live Course, or prefer one-on-one attention through tutoring, we have the study method that fits your learning style. 

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