I think it's safe to say that finding the best LSAT prep resources can be overwhelming. There are so many books and test prep companies out there publishing study material, and that doesn't even include the many preptests available to take.
Here's why you don't have to worry about wasting time on research:
You can increase your practice test scores in just a few hours of reading by using the lessons and tactics from the best books available.
By the end of this post, you'll know all about the best LSAT prep books to help you at each stage of your test prep journey, and how to get the most out of them!
There's no better source than the LSAC itself! This official guide book tells you what to expect on the test, including:
But here's what surprised me the most about this book:
The test-writers are not holding back in the Official LSAT Superprep. They don't beat around the bush or give vague tips on doing better on the test. They break down the essential topics that you'll need to understand to excel on the LSAT.
TIP: When you get a copy, take your time to give it a serious read. Take notes, and refer back to relevant sections when you get certain questions wrong on a practice test.
You could even get a FREE copy from the LSAC if you qualify for a fee waiver.
While the LSAT Superprep gives an amazing overview of what the LSAT is all about--it certainly can't tell you everything you need to know.
You might be curious what it's missing:
Well, the test writers will tell you that, in Identifying Argument Flaw Questions for example, you'll need to "recognize in what way an argument is defective in its reasoning." (Superprep Pg. 33)
But how can you know whether an argument's defective or not if you haven't read about proper argumentation at all?
That's where A Rulebook for Arguments comes in.
This book is:
1. Short and sweet (only 88 pages total)
2. Well-organized (it breaks down the rules for different categories of arguments, like short ones, generalizations, analogies, using sources, etc.)
3. MAJORLY relevant to the LSAT
The LSAT is testing your knowledge of principles of solid arguments, which we've learned from thousands of years of philosophical thought.
So reading this book is actually a sneaky way to get ahead, because you'll get a concise summary of what the test writers want from you.
Some of the rules include:
"Start from reliable premises"
"Use consistent terms"
"Use representative examples"
And the rulebook outlines some of the most common logical fallacies
Don't hesitate to use this book as you begin your self-study--it will help give you a firm foundation for the test!
Compared to the Powerscore Logical Reasoning Bible, the reading comprehension bible is less overwhelming and more suitable as a reference point. There are tons of helpful insights into how to get the most out of reading a test passage, like what to look out for (viewpoints, structure, tone, arguments, and main point). It's a solid resource for intermediate LSAT students.
TIP: Because your reading comprehension score depends on so many skills and tactics (and finding which particular tactics work for you), I recommend reading this book to pick up some strategies you may not have considered before.
While A Rulebook for Arguments can give you a great introduction to the principles of argumentation, Informal Logic is the next step in getting a deeper understanding of why we follow these rules for the best logical arguments.
"What's informal logic is anyway?":
As opposed to "formal logic" AKA "deductive argumentation" (.e.g. If A, then B. A is the case, therefore B is the case), informal logic is not as clear-cut. If the premises in a formal logic argument are all true, and if it's structured correctly, then the conclusion must be true.
But informal logic isn't as clear-cut. It's about presenting arguments with elements that can't really be boiled down into "if, then" statements. As in, using statistics, expert opinions, comparisons, etc.
Advanced students will greatly benefit from this book if they want to see the bigger picture surrounding the LSAT.
Here's the thing:
Doing well on the LSAT requires specific diagramming and thinking skills. For many students, the only chance to practice these skills are when they're taking practice tests and working with real test questions.
The problem is, once you do a real LSAT Logical Reasoning question, you can't repeat it again. So, building your skills will end up costing you precious study material and money.
That's where 400 Foundational LSAT Drills comes in!
How to Use This Book:
These drills are meant to be repeated again and again, not only until you get the answers 100%, but until you can internalize the skills they test.
You’re encouraged to reuse the material by either writing your answers with an erasable marker on a plastic sheet over the pages, copying and reprinting the pages, or writing your answers on separate pieces of paper.