Studying for the LSAT was the most difficult thing I have ever done, and I did it completely alone. However, many students find that joining an LSAT study group helps them progress with their studies.
Whether or not you fall into this category is dependent on your personality, your study habits, how you learn, where you live, and so many other factors that I’m not going to try to predict if joining a study group is a good idea for you.
Instead, I’m going to list the benefits of LSAT study groups and let you decide for yourself.
Studying for the LSAT is not only a massive investment of time and effort, but it also requires a financial investment. Some students choose to hire personal tutors, enroll in classes, and others purchase books or online courses to study on their own. These costs can add up to thousands of dollars, though we do have a cheaper tactic. (link to cheapest LSAT study guide)
By joining a study group you can avoid some of these costs by sharing resources.
For example, if you join a study group with two other people each of you can buy the Power Score Bible for just one section of the LSAT. After each of you has finished the book you bought, y’all can rotate them.
You just saved $100.
This benefit of joining a study group is pretty obvious, but some of the others are not so much.
Besides directly sharing study materials, joining an LSAT study group will also give you access to the study strategies and tips of your peers.
If you’re struggling with Logic Games, one of the people in your study group could explain how she approached this section and started getting -0 every time.
If you don’t know whether or not to drill timed sections or do full-length PTs, someone in your group could give you their experience.
Yes, these tips will mostly be anecdotally supported, but they will at least give you a new perspective on things, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need when you’re studying for the LSAT.
If you’ve ever studied in a group before for anything, you may have already experienced this benefit.
When studying in a group, not only are the people in the group who are receiving instructions from their peers gaining valuable knowledge, but the person giving the instructions is also learning through teaching.
This phenomenon is especially true with the LSAT.
Studying for the LSAT usually follows a trend of starting with the general learning of the material. Then, it ends with practicing the application of that material during timed sections or full-length practice tests.
During this latter stage of studying, one of the most important parts is reviewing the test questions. Particularly, you should review the ones you missed, but you should also the ones you got right.
It’s not enough to just get a question correct while you’re studying- you need to understand how and why.
Studying in a group can help you do this if you review test questions together.
What I recommend for LSAT study groups is that students all do the same timed sections or practice tests alone, on their own time. Afterward, the students meet up and take turns explaining how they answered the questions they got right, and the questions they got wrong.
And the last benefit of joining an LSAT study group is that there is joy in shared suffering.
Studying for the LSAT takes a ton of time and energy. But, many of your more sane peers (who aren’t going to law school) may not understand the point.
They won’t know why it sucks so bad to be studying things that are called games. They won’t know why getting a high LSAT score is so important to you. And they won’t know why it’s taking so long for you to get the score you want.
But other people studying for the LSAT will.
Having a community around you that understands what you’re going through will encourage you to keep studying for the LSAT. Sometimes we can’t do it alone.
Joining an LSAT study group has its benefits. But, it can also be a waste of time for some people, especially if you join the wrong one.
But I encourage you to at least give a study group a shot.
If you’re still in school, talk to your pre-law advisor and see if there are LSAT study groups that already exist. If not, ask if you can start one!
And if you’re already out of school, you can post on the LSAT subreddit. Or, you can go on any of the other active LSAT forums. Shoot, put an ad out on Craiglist.
There are people out there looking for study groups, even if it’s just on Skype.
And you can also get great information and free advice by signing up for my LSAT newsletter.
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John Wilson Booth grew up in Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. He moved to Salt Lake City after graduation and began studying for the LSAT. His cold diagnostic score was a 154 and he self-studied to a 171. Now, he works as a writer as he decides which law school to attend.
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