Are LSAT study books still relevant in the digital-era? Definitely—LSAT prep books contain the same content as their digital counterparts, and either approach is proven effective at learning how to succeed on the LSAT. In fact, many students find that they learn the LSAT’s logic more effectively by reading a physical book rather than by preparing for the LSAT via implementation of an online learning platform (the opposite is also often true). When it comes down to learning the LSAT, there isn’t a “one-fits-all” approach, and students often find that they have to experiment with several modes of learning and instruction to find one that best suites them—a.k.a. implementing a multifaceted learning approach.
There are several common properties among the best LSAT test prep books and LSAT prep resources in general. These properties include: the usage of official LSAT content only, the implementation of LSAT-specific strategies, the organization of topics by section and question type, and the availability of practice problem sets organized by question type. Resources adhering to this formula tend to create a “playground” for learning geared towards strategic improvement, and prior to investing in any LSAT study resource it’s a wise idea to ensure the mentioned properties are present.
A Multifaceted Approach to LSAT Success
It’s crucial for individuals studying for the LSAT to be assessing their understanding of the exam through regular drilling and PrepTesting. Without monitoring these data, it’s hard to track personal growth in LSAT logic understanding, and as a result, it becomes impossible to gauge the effectiveness of a particular resource. Every student that studies for the LSAT should witness gradual and constant score improvements, and if that’s not happening, it’s likely that this student needs to change their study approach.
Furthermore, after completing any type of LSAT study program (physical book or online), most students will find they still have a few testing weaknesses. Generally, a self-study LSAT student will need to implement more than one study resource to achieve a “high” LSAT goal score. This arises from the unlikelihood that one resource is capable of meeting all of an individual LSAT student’s learning needs. With that said, if a self-study student has exhausted the contents of any given study resource and there is room for that student to improve score-wise (as is usually the case), it’s a strategic next step for that student to diversify their study resource portfolio by implementing a new mode of learning and instruction. When a student does this, they expose themselves to new strategies and new processes of thinking about the same content—enabling that student to pick and choose the most effective strategies for their implementation on test day.
It’s important for students understand, that in order to achieve an elite LSAT score, they’ll likely have to take a multifaceted study approach to proficiently learning the LSAT. If a student’s usage of a particular study resource results in gradual score improvements, it’s wise for that student to complete the remainder of the lessons and content in that resource prior to seeking alternative and supplemental teachings. However, if a student observes little to no improvement in their scoring data after several weeks of studying, then the changing of their study approach (and possibly habits) is certainly recommended, and it’s a mistake for students to waste time by forcing personally ineffective teachings upon themselves!
Prep Format Misconceptions
On a final note, let’s address the common LSAT prep misconception that “LSAT students should prepare for the LSAT digitally as the exam has transitioned into a digital format.” This argument holds only a grain of truth to it. Realistically, no LSAT taker should sit for a digital LSAT prior to getting acclimated to the LSAT’s new digital format; however, that doesn’t mean that paper-based resources have lost any of their value. Again, it’s important to reiterate that the exam’s content, and the content found in prep books hasn’t changed. Test takers preparing for the LSAT using a paper-based approach ideally should be acclimating themselves to testing digitally by making use of LSAC’s official LSAT prep, a service that provides LSAT students with access to officially formatted digital PrepTests 71 and 73. For further digital acclimation, LSAT students can purchase, from LSAC, a one-year subscription to 60+ more official digitally formatted PrepTests (available March 2020).