Choosing the Best LSAT Prep Courses
Choosing the right LSAT prep course is a crucial decision and the first step in achieving your target LSAT score and gaining admission into the law school of your dreams.
Do NOT rely solely on brand names that you recognize. Make sure you research the instructor's credentials and LSAT prep teaching experience, the length of access to the course materials, the number of real LSAT questions, the support provided, and the cost.
The good news is that Crush the LSAT has researched and reviewed every major LSAT course on the market to help you make an informed decision when it comes to your LSAT prep.
This comparison chart will help you decide which course best fits your needs. Click “See More Rankings” below the chart to access the rest of their rankings as well as to read their full analysis of each LSAT prep course.
What's the Best LSAT Date to Choose?
There's no one date or time period that's better than another. For each date, you have the same time to prepare and the same registration or study options. However, your individual circumstances greatly affect which date is right for YOU. Your ideal LSAT test date revolves around:
- Time Needed to Study
Don't choose a date that's closer than 3 months away. Even if you want to get it over with quickly or if you feel the pressure to be able to apply for law schools at a certain time, it's not a good idea to rush your test date.
Give yourself a minimum of 2 months to study, although 3 months is the ideal minimum. But, try not to register for a date too far out, or you may fall into the trap of feeling like you have more than enough time to study and failing to plan your time properly.
- Other Academic Obligations
If you're still finishing law school or other academic classes, especially if you're in your final year classes, you need to pace yourself wisely. It's not a good idea to try to pile LSAT study time on top of trying to finish high-level law classes. Because you need hours of dedicated study time for the LSATs alone, you don't want your test date to coincide with other academic tests, study, and preparations, unless you're taking a very light academic load that semester.
If you need to do your LSATs concurrently with high-level academics, plan a date further out so you can take more time to pace your studies. You'll need to plan well to do this successfully.
- Intended Application Dates
Keep in mind that law schools often won't consider applicants who have taken their LSATs in the same year as their applications. For example, many schools will only accept fall semester applicants who have taken their LSATs no later than the November before.
Think about the timing of your LSATs and when you plan to apply for law schools. It's good to plan this out way in advance so you can avoid delaying your application based on your test dates.
The best date for the LSATs is the one that leaves you with enough time to feel completely prepared and ready for the test. You want to be getting great scores on the practice tests, but mostly you want to feel confident and prepared as you're going in. Give yourself enough time for that.
Seasonal LSAT Registrations
LSAT test dates are available throughout the year in every season. If you're too late to try working towards the closest dates, look ahead to the next seasonal dates and start to plan around those instead. Fall and dates are often the most popular because they make it possible to apply for most top law schools the following year.
Spring and summer dates are great for anyone looking to get LSATS out of the way early, or for those who want to give themselves time to retake the test in the event of a low score. If you take them in the spring or summer, you'll have the time to register and study again for fall or winter test dates to try to a better score before you send off your law school applications.
Do I Need to Sign Up with the Credential Assembly Service?
You should sign up for the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) before applying to law schools. Many top law schools in the US only accept applicants who are already registered with the CAS, so keep this in mind. Registration costs around $125 and lasts for 5 years.
The CAS is a service that compiles all of your relevant testing scores, academic results, recommendation letters, and otherwise and makes them available to law schools where you apply. It's a convenient system for anyone applying at different schools because you'll be able to avoid sending off the same information over and over again. Since registration lasts 5 years, you'll have more than enough time to take your LSATs multiple times if necessary and to apply to schools.
How to Prep for an LSAT Test Date
Create a study plan early. It's recommended that you study for at least 150 hours. Don't wait until a month out and try to cram all those hours in! Pace yourself and study for a few hours every day or on select days of the week.
You can study on your own if you have the self-discipline and the study materials. If you're doing your own study prep, make sure you get up-to-date materials and that you follow a strict study schedule that you can make for yourself. Discipline is the key to success when you follow the self-study route.
Most students mix some level of test prep in with their own studying. Test prep courses, classes (online or in-personal classes), practice tests, tutoring, and other study aids can be really useful to help you improve your performance.
LSATmax offers a comprehensive LSAT study program that gives you unlimited access to digital and hardcover books, a convenient smartphone app, 80+ practice exams, 80+ hours of online video lectures, and so much more to help you be as prepared as possible when your test date rolls around.
When to Register for the LSATs
Popular testing centers fill up their slots quickly, especially in the fall or early winter testing periods. If you want to ensure you get a spot, register as early as possible, once you know for sure you're going to be available on that date. You have nothing to lose by registering early.
Do not register unless you know you'll be available. You can get a partial refund if you cancel by a certain date, but it's better to avoid that if possible. Once the test date gets closer, you can't get a refund or change your test date.
Can You Change Your LSAT Date After Registering?
At most testing centers, you're allowed to change your testing date, but there are conditions to that. You have to pay a fee to change dates, and your ability to change to another date will depend on availability for the other date. Because the deadline for changing dates often falls around or before registration for other dates, this isn't always a problem. However, be aware that the fee could be $100 – $125, and there is no way to avoid paying a fee if you're planning to change dates.
How to Register for the LSAT
You can register for the LSAT online, by phone, or by email.
Here are the details for each option:
By far the easiest and fastest way to register for the LSAT is online through your LSAC.org account.
- By Phone
You can also register by calling LSAC at 215.968.1001 Monday-Friday. Hours vary based on the time of year as follows:
September-February: 8:30am-6:30pm ET
March-August: 8:30am-4:45pm ET
According to LSAC, Monday is the busiest day so you can avoid long hold times by calling later in the week.
- By Mail
To receive a paper registration packet and other information, you can email LSAC or call at 215.968.1001 (same hours as listed above).
Withdrawing Your LSAT Registration
If you register for an LSAT but are unable to take the exam for any reason, you may cancel your registration in one of three ways:
- Request an LSAT Test Date Change (for a fee of $100) by your LSAT test date change deadline.
- Request an LSAT Registration Refund (partial refund of $50 only) by your LSAT's refund request deadline.
- If both deadlines have passed, you can withdraw your registration on the LSAT status page of your LSAC.org account. This option is available until 11:59pm ET the night before the LSAT. Please note, however, that if you withdraw your registration you will not receive a refund and you will be required to pay the full registration fee if you register for another LSAT test date.