The LSAT Trainer: A Remarkable Self-Study Guide For The Self-Driven Student 2nd Edition
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Here's the thing: What book you use depends on how you think. I took the LSAT last year and used a combination of Kaplan and Princeton Review - didn't feel like I learned a damn thing and my test scores showed that (still got a decent score - but didn't get into my school of choice or a substantial financial aid package). Both of those books focused a lot on timing and on the day of the test, in spite of the fact that I practiced using LSAT Preptests left and right, I sat there twiddling my thumbs for at least five minutes after each section, believing that I couldn't do any better.
I'm halfway through The LSAT Trainer, and my times for games are way down (Kim uses a different diagramming model that makes sense to me more than Kaplan or Princeton Review), and I genuinely know how to approach logical reasoning questions in all of their forms.
The biggest pro: The explanations.
I'm one of those people who can't learn unless I know what I did wrong. If that's your affliction, this book explains most problems to you. I can backtrack, reread the problem and figure out exactly where I went wrong and what needs to happen to get it right. Halfway through the book and when I'm wrong, I was able to narrow down the answers to the two most viable options.
Things that bother me: Sections do have errors (there's a crappy "Rate how you did section" that tells you to rate yourself 1 - 5 on five different criteria, then has you total it out of 20 instead of 25), and the denotation of answers changes throughout the book (sometimes they are bold, sometimes circled, sometimes just wrong answers are crossed out).
Is this the best book out there? Probably not, but after forking out $355 before even taking the damn test, you better believe that I'm not about to fork out another $150 for the PowerScore books, especially when, like most people, I'm not in an area where a print version can be acquired before buying - and that's a lot of money (money that could be better spent sending me scores to five schools through the mandatory CAS system).
But, here's the thing: The LSAT is a test that is designed not to be finished. I've known people who woke up the morning of without ever studying and people who dropped thousands of dollars on prep courses who scored the same. I've known people who took practice tests, spent thousands on prep courses and scored the exact same on the test the day of.
If you have a decent test taking foundation, this book will likely help you.
If you have no idea how to do logic games, this book will likely help you.
If you're struggling with understanding why you're getting logical reasoning questions wrong, this book will likely help you.
If you get this book and insist that it didn't help you at all because you couldn't understand it and it didn't provide enough of an explanation, do not become a lawyer.
I got a 171 on my LSAT.
Your results may vary.
The details: over a 7 week period leading up to the December 2015 LSAT I read and studied about 90% of this book, doing probably 70% of the exercises inside. My decision to apply to law school was relatively last minute--I had no time to sign up for any LSAT prep courses, either online or in person. I was working a full time job plus carrying a small adjunct teaching load. The only additional study materials I used were the official prep tests (some very early ones plus 62-71 and 76) and the free logic game videos available on 7sage's website. I roughly followed the 8-week study schedule from Mike Kim's website. I took 9 timed practice tests total, which is a few more than Mike Kim recommends. My first timed test was a 156, then I jumped to 163, and after that I averaged 173 (high of 177).
Overall I found the book to be engaging and--dare I say it--fun. I looked forward to each chapter, as the LSAT became a quest in itself for me. Mike's writing style was such that I felt we had become friends by the time it was all said and done (although I was afraid to watch any videos of him, lest they disrupt my mental construction of his personality). Of course, that's not to say that this book doesn't require determination to get through. Mike's emphasis on "self-driven" in the subtitle is very appropriate. If that's you, though, then I think you will benefit from this book as much as I did.
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P.S. Definitely use his website as well, has a ton of great resources and tips (the majority of them free).
I'm currently finishing my 1L year of school, so it must have done something right!
"I'm going to ace it this time, mom."
Compliment the LSAT Trainer with a version dedicated to LSAT logic games.
Other than that, the book is great so far! Mike does a good job at "re-wiring" your thought processes to accommodate for the LSAT!