When choosing the right LSAT course for you, you may face this dilemma. Should you take the course that starts early and ends well before your LSAT administration? Or should you wait so that it ends closer to the test date? There are pros and cons to each decision, let’s look into them.
Starts Well Before the Test Date
If your target score range is way above where you’re currently scoring, taking an earlier course might be your best bet. Early courses are particularly advantageous if you don’t think you can complete all your homework while also taking additional practice tests in the course of your study. In our courses, we direct you to take a minimum of 4 practice tests to gauge your progress throughout the course. But, that’s the minimum. Our students have access to dozens of real LSATs! Our recommendation is that you take 10 PTs in addition to the 4 you’ll take on a schedule. If the thought of all those tests plus the homework is too much work when bundling it with your home/employment obligations, start your course as early as possible.
The downside to taking a course that ends weeks (or months) before the actual test is obvious. You may forget the material by the time you need to take the test. However, this is easily avoidable if you make a study schedule and stick to it. 2-3 practice tests/week + thorough review seems to do the trick. As a PowerScore student, you have access to your Online Student Center even after your course ends. If your test date is after the Online Student Center’s expiration date, we offer extensions! So, take advantage of all that it has to offer even after the completion of your course.
Closer to Test Date
Taking a later course offers you the obvious benefit of having the material “fresh” in your memory. This is best for students who can’t take an earlier course but is able to devote more time to LSAT prep in a short period of time. A later course also gives you the opportunity to study on your own before classes begin. Although your LSAT courses are designed for students that have no prior experience with the test, studying beforehand can help quite a bit. If done right, you’ll pick up the material faster. Your homework won’t take as long because you’ll be familiar with at least some of the conceptual material it covers. You’ll feel more confident in class and likely start taking practice tests earlier than your classmates. This gives you more time to figure out where your weaknesses lie. Plus, you can’t predict how quickly your score will improve. The earlier you start preparing, the better you’ll feel in the end.
If you do decide to take a later course and self-study first, beware. It’s absolutely imperative to avoid learning poor techniques or inefficient approaches. If you pick up bad habits, you will need to unlearn them once classes begin. Needless to say, this can do more harm than good. It’s an avoidable mistake so long as you stay within the PowerScore LSAT “ecosystem,” aka the LSAT Bibles and corresponding workbooks. These materials present the same approach to the test and its various sections as your course. So, by the time classes start, there will be no conflict between what you learn on your own and what you’ll learn in class. In fact, the Bibles provide an in-depth look at our methodology and are particularly helpful as a starting point.
It’s Your Journey
When all is said and done, whether you take an early or a late course is a personal decision. Sometimes you don’t even have a say in the matter. Regardless of which path you choose, it’s crucial to start prepping as soon as possible after you decide to take the LSAT. You can do that by taking an earlier course, or by studying on your own. You simply have no way of predicting how long it will take you to reach your target! It may be one month or four or more. The sooner you start, the better your chances of beating the odds.