The Reality of Taking an LSAT Prep Course

I’ve known ever since I started college that one day, I would want to go to law school.

The years went on and I tried to decide my plan of action.

There were so many factors that determined when I would need to study for the LSAT.

I knew I would not be ready to start before my junior year so I added two minors so I would not need to graduate early and put off graduating for another year.

This year I buckled down and knew I would need to take a prep course this semester so I could take the LSAT soon and apply to law school this upcoming fall.

I had some idea about how difficult taking on a prep course for such an important test would be. After all, it is different than any other standardized test I have taken before. 

But I did not realize how much time and effort this prep course would take for me to get everything I could out of the course.

There are three main things I was not expecting when I started this prep course and I want to share them with you so that if somebody is unsure of what taking a prep course like this entails, they might have a better idea after reading this. 

How much time does a course like this take? 

My prep course is twice a week for four hours each time.

The first time I heard this, I figured that since the classes were so long in person, I would not need to study that much outside of it.

Unfortunately, I soon realized I would need to put in a lot more effort outside of the set class hours.

In the class, you just learn the basics of the different strategies for all the different sections and question types on the exam.

You do some practice problems in class and have the teacher lead you through some of them, but the bulk of your practice comes from the homework questions assigned to you on the test prep company’s website. 

The first few lessons have a few different sections of practice problems but after a few lessons, this quickly changes.

Soon the lessons have up to around seven different sections of practice homework questions.

I underestimated how quickly I would start to fall behind and how much time I actually would have to put aside to keep up with the homework.

At first, I did not think it was a big deal and that the classes themselves were enough to help me absorb and truly understand the material and strategies I would need to pass the test. But practice really does make perfect in this scenario. 

Rachel Grimley, a UF junior is also taking an LSAT prep course. 

“I didn’t expect it to take up so much time; between the homework and the in-class session, I easily spend 20-30 hours a week on it,” Grimley said. “But the class has definitely helped, I have improved over 10 points since starting and feel like the class forces you to put in the hours to study. I think it will be well worth the cost.” 

How long are the classes? 

The first day of classes someone in my class raised their hand to ask how long the class would last that night, our teacher answered four hours.

I had no idea how I could concentrate for that long of a time.

But soon after a few lessons and a lot of coffee, I got into a rhythm.

We get a 10-minute break at 8 p.m. and though that doesn’t seem like long, it helps break up the class at just the right time.

If you go into the class with the right mindset and try to concentrate and really absorb the information, the time goes by a lot faster as you are engaged in what is being taught.

And even though it may be a lot on some days and be draining to sit there for four hours when you don’t have time to dedicate to study outside of class those four hours make all the difference in learning and practicing some test material at least twice a week. 

This is why a prep course is like another class 

People like to equate taking a prep course to adding another class to your school schedule and at first, I didn’t believe this.

But after taking this LSAT prep class for eight weeks, I can say that this is true.

I have more homework for my LSAT class than I do for some of my actual classes at UF.

I did not take into account that, like an actual class, these prep classes need me to make time for the homework, supplemental videos and practice tests that help drive home everything taught in the class.

Like in an actual class there are things I have to study and do outside of it.

Just going to the class is not enough because it is the outside repetition and practice that really helps.   

It can be intimidating to prep for a test that will impact your future.

It can be especially difficult when the prep for this test does not go the way you thought it would.

I have always been good at the reading parts of standardized tests, so figured the LSAT would not be too difficult for me to understand.

However, prepping for a test this intense and structure heavy is so different from anything else I have ever done before and I should give myself grace when I don’t get the material at first.

But I think if one knows all that comes with taking on starting to study for a test like the LSAT through a prep course they can better plan to make it easier on themselves by scheduling an easy semester for themselves while taking on a prep course.