Before you go any further, consider getting a 30-day free trial for Scribd. I don’t love pushing some rando product, but you can literally sign up (with a payment card, yuck) and then cancel 10 seconds later and still get access for 30 days. Scribd has a lot of prep books and a ton of downloadable tests that (if you cancel your free trial before it ends) you can get for free.
The Law School Admission Test, better known as the LSAT, is the main standardized test that law school admissions departments use to decide if you get into their JD program.
Competition for top law schools in the U.S. is intense. And for better or worse the LSAT matters a ton for your chances of getting into your dream law school. And because it matters, there is a whole industry that exists to help you do as well as possible on the test. At LSD, we think the test is learnable. Hard, but learnable. Because the LSAT is learnable, you should consider using the available resources to perform as well as you possibly can.
However, there are a lot of resources (books, classes, tutors) out there and it is hard to cut through all the noise. While you should consider books, classes, asynchronous programs, and tutors, books are the cheapest option so that’s usually where law school applicants start.
This article is about the ‘best’ LSAT prep books, but really the purpose is to highlight different categories of LSAT prep books in order to provide a little insight into the industry.
LSAC is the organization that creates and administers the LSAT. It stands to reason that their prep books are a good place to start.
LSAC (a non-profit that seems to charge for a lot of things) provides (sells) a few different kinds of books:
are exactly what they sound like. LSAC charges ~$17 for 20 old (~2009 and older) tests and ~$10 per new (~2010 and newer) test. If you want to find these tests you can search on Amazon for “Law school admission council” and then look for products by “Law School Admissions Council.” You can also get there by clicking on this link here. You can also find a lot of them on Scribd.
books are 3-packs of past exams with a bit of a volume discount.
include tests and an actual explanation of the answers. As far as we can tell, the most recent book came out in 2015 and is therefore a bit out of date.
LSAC has also partnered with Khan Academy to offer a free, online prep course, which includes free old LSAT questions. You can check it out at Khan Academy.
LSAC makes the LSAT. You should definitely use the old LSAT tests to prepare. However, I’ve never heard of anyone using the Super Prep books to prepare for the LSAT.
Old LSAT exams are the best way to simulate the LSAT exam that you will eventually take. LSAC publishes almost every past exam and it’s definitely worth doing past exams. The best thing about Khan Academy is that it’s free and has real LSAT questions. If you’ve never heard of the LSAT before reading this article, the Khan Academy course is a good way to get yourself up to speed. If you’ve already dipped your toes in the pool and are looking to squeeze every last point out of the LSAT, you’ll find that Khan Academy is a bit too shallow for advanced study.
Again, I’ve never actually heard of someone using the explanations in LSAC’s Super Prep books. The fact that even LSAC didn’t bother to refresh the Super Prep books after 2015 should tell you enough about how much effort was put into them.
Khan Academy has a fairly limited set of practice questions of each type, and they keep repeating over and over. Additionally, the practice questions and 'experimental' sections draw from recent PTs (I saw stuff from PT 54+) which 'burns' a section and prevents you from using the entire PT for timed practice.
When I say Established, I mean for-profit LSAT prep book companies that have been around for a while and are well respected by previous test takers and industry professionals.
The PowerScore LSAT Bibles are a set of comprehensive self-study guides for the LSAT. These books are designed to help you master the skills necessary to succeed on the LSAT. The Bibles cover all aspects of the LSAT, from the basics of logical reasoning to more advanced topics such as game theory and reading comprehension. With clear explanations and detailed examples, the PowerScore LSAT Bibles are an essential resource for any student preparing for the LSAT. LSD co-founder cryptanon used these books.
The Princeton Review books provide detailed explanations of the concepts tested on the LSAT, as well as practice questions and answer explanations. The books also include a full-length practice test, so you can get a feel for what the test will be like.
There are a few different LSAT prep books on the market, but the Kaplan LSAT Prep Book is one of the most popular and well-respected options. The book is designed to help you score your best on the LSAT, and it includes six full-length practice tests, detailed explanations for every question, and strategies for tackling every section of the test. The books cover all of the topics you can expect to see on the LSAT.
Tens of thousands of people have used these books and left happy. Popularity alone isn’t a reason to trust a product, but these companies all have full teams dedicated to giving you the best LSAT prep book experience.
They ain’t cheap.
There are quite a few companies (and a few random but [probably?] competent HLS grads) who write books in an attempt to have one of the best LSAT prep books. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to try out all these options, but we wanted to share the majority that we could find so that you can research them yourself if you are looking for something off the beaten path. Also, if you share your experience with any of these with us we are happy to share your words with the world.
The Road to 180 is an LSAT prep book by TestMax, a company that provides LSAT prep courses
The LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim who used to work at Kaplan prep
Next Step Test Preparation we are pretty sure is a dead company. You can get some of the books on eBay if you want
Fox Test Prep provides a ton of books that cover each aspect of the LSAT
Next Step Test Preparation just promotes other courses
Test Prep Books has pretty bad reviews on Amazon
APEX Test Prep's LSAT Prep Books has an LSAT tutor tool program too. If anyone has any experience with them, let us know.
You can find some cheap ones so you might be able to prepare for the LSAT inexpensively.
Since these are small companies they don’t really have accountability to customers. Every year a new cohort rolls through and it doesn't matter if these books are among the best LSAT prep books because someone who doesn’t know better will just buy them the following year.
Many LSAT books (and old tests) are available via ebook on Scribd for pretty cheap (or free). You can also download most of the old tests by searching “LSAT” on certain websites that we at LSD would never promote. But did you know that before Wikipedia came along, people used to pay hundreds of dollars for encyclopedia sets?
I am the half of LSD that didn't take the LSAT, or go to law school (Sorry about that). But I did go to MIT business school while surrounded by law students and lawyers, so I am somewhat qualified to talk about the intricacies of law school apps and finances.
Windsor (the dog) didn't write this but he WAS a Resident Tutor and career advisor at Harvard College with me, so deserves some credit.