The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) serves as the single point gateway for admissions into every American Bar Association (ABA) accredited law school in the United States.
It is one of the most competitive exams globally, with the top 25 U.S. law schools consistently requiring scores above 160. Furthermore, with the number of test-takers increasing every year, most serious applicants will need to plan out their preparation well to be a step ahead of their competitors.
However, most popular LSAT preparatory resources come at a cost and can often be pricey for college students on a budget. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly resources out there to help you with your LSAT preparation.
How Much Does it Cost to Take The LSAT?
- Examination Fees– The standard cost of registration for the LSAT is $200. However, this only includes the charges for the proctored exam. The test-taking experience also includes other fees that can add up quickly, such as test preparation materials, tutors, and courses, which can range from free to $1,500.
- Credential Assembly Service (CAS)– The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) features the CAS as a way to simplify the law school application process for all ABA-accredited law schools in the United States. Most law schools will require you to sign up with the service, and it will set you back $195.
- Law School Report– The CAS also features a report summarizing all your academic achievements at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels, your LSAT score, and any letters of recommendation. It is also required for most law school applications and costs $45.
The LSAT is a very competitive exam, and throwing yourself into studying will only get you so far if you don’t have a plan. Many prospective test-takers will take on too intense or broad of a study strategy and end up burning out before they’re fully prepared. That’s why the smart approach is the advisable one. Here are some pointers to get you started:
- Familiarize yourself with the examination pattern, so you understand not only what questions you’ll be asked but what they are meant to assess.
- Develop a practical study plan considering both your weak points and how you tend to time out your work.
- Focus on being both thorough and efficient, rather than speeding through prep-course materials.
You can take the LSAT as many times as you want, but because of the high cost of the LSAT, you’ll be aiming to avoid the price of a re-take. Studying smart can help you achieve that goal.
Go Second-Hand With Materials
One of the best ways to save money during your LSAT preparation is to go with second-hand practice books, flashcards, and so on. Because so many people take the test each year, there is a thriving market for second-hand preparation materials.
Look on your community page, check Craigslist, and ask your school’s guidance office. Just be sure to keep abreast of any changes made to the exam that may make second-hand study materials obsolete.
Learn How to Study Solo
Many people join LSAT study groups, but it can be challenging to find affordable options as prep courses are typically the most expensive method of studying.
Although studying solo can seem like a daunting task, there are many resources available that can make it much easier, as well as highly effective. Studying solo can also be a far more practical option for those on a budget, those with variable schedules, and those who have trouble focusing in group settings.
Find Discount Codes
If you do choose to participate in a group preparatory course, you’ll definitely want to do everything you can to reduce the price.
Various discount codes and coupons are available, and they can make group courses much more affordable. You can find such discount codes online, as well as in publications aimed at LSAT-takers and students. You should also check with your employer to see if they offer any educational stipends.
Take Advantage of Free Prep
For ultimate savings, seek out free preparatory materials being produced by coaching institutes and ed-tech startups. Because these materials function as promotional elements for said companies and at the same time as they help students, the companies are able to keep them free.
Many top-notch companies offer professionally-developed content at no extra cost. If you want to try one out, click here for a free LSAT practice test from Kaplan.
Money Shouldn’t Equal Success
While having strong financial backing can make your LSAT preparation much more manageable, it can never serve as a substitute for hard work and smart studying and planning. This is especially true nowadays when finding budget-friendly preparation options is easier than ever. Take advantage of every resource available to you to take your LSAT preparation to the next level without breaking the bank.