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LastStar
  • Applicant

I had 2 questions as I begin my LSAT prep, I aim to take it next year as I finish my last year of undergrad:

1. Is there significant difference between the Kaplan prep books? I am currently studying using Kaplan LSAT unlocked book 2018-2019, should I try and buy the latest version or will this version be sufficient and once I acquire the skills, get the other preptests and study that way? 

2. What resources have been helpful to you guys? what books, etc. 

thank you

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StephenToast
  • Law School Admit
5 minutes ago, LastStar said:

I had 2 questions as I begin my LSAT prep, I aim to take it next year as I finish my last year of undergrad:

1. Is there significant difference between the Kaplan prep books? I am currently studying using Kaplan LSAT unlocked book 2018-2019, should I try and buy the latest version or will this version be sufficient and once I acquire the skills, get the other preptests and study that way? 

2. What resources have been helpful to you guys? what books, etc. 

thank you

I've never used Kaplan's book so I couldn't comment on that. Regarding other resources, I personally found the Khan Academy LSAT course really helpful. I prepared for the test exclusively with Khan and prep tests.

https://www.khanacademy.org/prep/lsat

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Barry
  • Law School Admit
5 minutes ago, LastStar said:

2. What resources have been helpful to you guys? what books, etc. 

I never used the Kaplan books so I can't speak to that, but the PowerScore bibles for LR and LG helped me tremendously. I also found the explanations of the games on 7Sage extremely helpful in getting my speed up.

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LastStar
  • Applicant
35 minutes ago, MaxPower said:

I never used the Kaplan books so I can't speak to that, but the PowerScore bibles for LR and LG helped me tremendously. I also found the explanations of the games on 7Sage extremely helpful in getting my speed up.

How should I go about getting the Powerscore and 7sage books? Should I buy them brand new, latest additions? Off Amazon?

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Lkm97
37 minutes ago, LastStar said:

How should I go about getting the Powerscore and 7sage books? Should I buy them brand new, latest additions? Off Amazon?

7sage is an online curriculum - I would highly recommend this (I improved 5 points in 6 weeks using it after solely using the bibles)

I got my power score bibles off Amazon. I think the overall idea is the same for studying so an older edition (maybe a year or two) would be okay, but they do talk about trends and what kind of questions have been popping up more frequently in recent years 

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Barry
  • Law School Admit
7 hours ago, LastStar said:

How should I go about getting the Powerscore and 7sage books? Should I buy them brand new, latest additions? Off Amazon?

7Sage isn't a book it's a website so you only have to buy a subscription. It's a little bit pricey but imo it's completely worth it, I think you can get a free trial. I wouldn't recommend getting it until you get the fundamentals down, which PowerScore did really well for me.

For PowerScore: I had an older version and it still worked fine; learning the fundamentals of logic isn't going to change over time, but as a poster above said the questions they use may have been updated in the newer ones which may be beneficial since I think the newer LSAT question formats are a bit different than the older ones. But if you want to save some $$ I imagine the older ones will be very cheap to find on Amazon or through kijiji/marketplace. 

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Obi-wan
  • Law Student

PowerScore LG book was an excellent resource. I really clicked w/ their diagramming methods. I used PowerScore’s LR book also, but I found the Loophole in LSAT Logical Reasoning really supplemented my LR training. Cannot recommend it enough! 

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Parker
  • Law School Admit

I really liked the PowerScore books! I also used Khan's free resource which was nice and lots of practice tests. It was really nice using the books just to have less screen time in the summer (which is when I wrote the LSAT). If you have the money, I also used Blueprints course and I liked a lot of the videos and they had lots of zoom sessions (most days there was a session to register for) where you work through problems with a tutor as well timed tests that simulate the LSAT Flex. 

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AllanC

RE: Kaplan books

I generally don’t like to comment on individual prep companies / books but there are so many high-quality alternatives that I am not sure that Kaplan should be your first draw. For example, see their reputation on The Top Law School Forum. That said, a number of students have seen marked improvement with their methods so YMMV!

RE: Other Study Materials

It really depends on budget and learning style. In other words, if you are someone who needs regularization and a strict schedule to keep you motivated, maybe a course/tutoring might be the most suitable way forward (if you have the finances). On the other hand, if you are less of an auditory learner and can extract a good amount from simply reading explanations then maybe the self-prep route is the way!

In any event, it’s best to start at the free or mostly free resources and expand as needed. No need to spend money if you don't have to!

My first stop would be the study guides on TLS. See here and here for general approaches. Voyager’s guide remains the standard for RC. These, among others on the TLS forums, provide some great outlines for basing your own routine. Take a look and pick something you think might work for you.

Next up would be any free LSAT materials that I could conjure up. @StephenToast already mentioned Khan academy. Make sure you take a look at the free full exams LSAC offers (copies of others abound but I cannot be the one to point you there!). LSAT Hacks offers explanations to all sections of most modern tests; combining those explanations with the official exams is definitely a powerful (and cheap) study combo!

I’m personally a fan of textbooks because I learn best when I can read someone else’s thoughts and process in my own time. If that sounds like you then you might benefit from a series of texts as well. PowerScore bibles are usually what are suggested and they certainly can get the job done. In fact, I was reared on the PowerScore bibles! However, these days I much prefer the Manhattan LSAT guides ($155 CND for all three is great value IMHO) as they take a more simplistic approach in a lot of cases where the extra digression/verbiage inherent in PowerScore is sometimes counter to the learning objective.

The LSAT is such a personal endeavor that the best anyone can do is point you in a few directions but its up to you to suss out what really works for your own style / budget. There should be enough here to get you started. If you have any other questions feel free to fire away.

Good luck!

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LastStar
  • Applicant
54 minutes ago, AllanC said:

RE: Kaplan books

I generally don’t like to comment on individual prep companies / books but there are so many high-quality alternatives that I am not sure that Kaplan should be your first draw. For example, see their reputation on The Top Law School Forum. That said, a number of students have seen marked improvement with their methods so YMMV!

RE: Other Study Materials

It really depends on budget and learning style. In other words, if you are someone who needs regularization and a strict schedule to keep you motivated, maybe a course/tutoring might be the most suitable way forward (if you have the finances). On the other hand, if you are less of an auditory learner and can extract a good amount from simply reading explanations then maybe the self-prep route is the way!

In any event, it’s best to start at the free or mostly free resources and expand as needed. No need to spend money if you don't have to!

My first stop would be the study guides on TLS. See here and here for general approaches. Voyager’s guide remains the standard for RC. These, among others on the TLS forums, provide some great outlines for basing your own routine. Take a look and pick something you think might work for you.

Next up would be any free LSAT materials that I could conjure up. @StephenToast already mentioned Khan academy. Make sure you take a look at the free full exams LSAC offers (copies of others abound but I cannot be the one to point you there!). LSAT Hacks offers explanations to all sections of most modern tests; combining those explanations with the official exams is definitely a powerful (and cheap) study combo!

I’m personally a fan of textbooks because I learn best when I can read someone else’s thoughts and process in my own time. If that sounds like you then you might benefit from a series of texts as well. PowerScore bibles are usually what are suggested and they certainly can get the job done. In fact, I was reared on the PowerScore bibles! However, these days I much prefer the Manhattan LSAT guides ($155 CND for all three is great value IMHO) as they take a more simplistic approach in a lot of cases where the extra digression/verbiage inherent in PowerScore is sometimes counter to the learning objective.

The LSAT is such a personal endeavor that the best anyone can do is point you in a few directions but its up to you to suss out what really works for your own style / budget. There should be enough here to get you started. If you have any other questions feel free to fire away.

Good luck!

thank you so much for your detailed response. 

The Kaplan books I had were loaned from my local libraries, I recently purchased Powerscore bibles and they came home today so my main prep will consist of: Powerscore, Khan Academy, Youtube n other sources, and lastly 7sage in later stages. I've also gotten PTs so now its just time to get to work. 

LSAT is such a beast, I'm excited to take on this long endeavour. 

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Goblin King
  • Law School Admit

I'm a huge fan of the LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim. He gives you an intuitive understanding of each section and insight into the logic and structure of the test as a whole. I found that my weakest section was AR/logic games. I had significant difficulty gaining an intuitive understanding of it, so I turned to PowerScore. The value of PowerScore, I found, was it gave you cookbook strategies to approach a wide variety of problem categories, rather than a broad structural overview like The LSAT Trainer. 

So my advice is this, read the LSAT trainer first and then dive into the PowerScore Bibles. That is, understand the way the test works first and how to solve problems based on an intuitive understanding, then develop tricks for the stuff you don't understand. 

Best of luck! 

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badwolf
  • Law Student

Never used Kaplan but I echo @Goblin King- I also used the LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim and found it very helpful. It reads wonderfully and you can customize your study schedule relative to when you are taking your test. The book itself is like $60 and then you buy 2 volumes of the "10 Actuals" which are just previously administered LSATs for you to practice with. Honestly though the only thing that made it "click" for me was just taking a shit ton of practice tests and doing a shit ton of problem sets

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Can't comment on the Kaplan books, but I'll comment on the tools I used (I wrote the LSAT in July 2020):

1. The 10 Actuals Books: These are now essentially obsolete. I would get LSAT Prep Plus now, which gives you access to like 100 old tests in digital format, on the same platform you will be actually taking the test on. You will need this subscription if you want to buy most (if not all) digital tutoring services anyways (ie. 7 sage makes you buy it if you don't have it). I actually dropped a few points on my first digital tests, save yourself and the planet and go paperless. 

2. Khan Academy: I found it good for diagnostic, and having free practice tests. I found the first 5 free practice tests to be much easier than the last 5. It was really discouraging for me to go from 175 on PT5 (LSAT PT 54) to 163 on the next practice test (LSAT PT 76). I found their "lessons" to be a little lacking. Overall I would say it's a decent resource if you're on a budget, but it wouldn't be my only study tool. 

3. Blueprint Logic Games Book: This was hard to find in Canada at the time (maybe it still is?) but I ordered it based on some praise I saw on r/LSAT. The book is good, and it definitely helped me master logic games, but I don't think it's different enough from 7sage or even other print resources to pay a premium to get it. 

4. 7sage: I got 7sage late in the game, and only ended up subscribing for a month. If I had to do start from scratch I would just bite the bullet and use 7sage. Know that their schedule, that suggests you study for a whole year is just a money grab as far as I am concerned. They vastly overestimate how long it will take to go through their content. You can probably get by with 2-3 months of subscription. 

Hope this is helpful

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AllRise
  • Law Student

Hi OP,

1. I have not used these study materials so I will not provide any input.

2. I used two tools to prepare for the LSAT: Powerscore Bibles and Khan Academy. I can't say enough good things about Khan Academy, solely because it is a free tool that I feel provides a lot of value for early prep. Once I completed the Khan Academy prep I purchased Powerscore Bibles for every section of the LSAT (it was relatively cheap, a few hundred dollars for all the books). I really liked the Powerscore books, they had great examples and thorough, clear explanations for concepts. 

This approach earned me a 157 on the LSAT. I believe these materials could help another student earn a higher LSAT mark, no matter how much I practiced I consistently came up short on the Logic games. 

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