LSAC Official Guides to the LSAT

LSAT Official Guides Overview

The content typically included in a single-volume official guide for most standardized tests is actually two volumes for the LSAT: The Official LSAT Superprep II and The Official LSAT Handbook. Both of these titles were written and published by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the administrator of the LSAT, and this gives them their official status. Superprep II is primarily concerned with LSAT practice, while the Handbook goes into much more detail about the test itself. The most recent versions of these titles were published in 2015 and 2010 respectively, but this is not a problem because the LSAT hasn't undergone any major content changes since 2007. LSAC does not directly sell either volume on its website, but the "LSAT Test Prep" section provides links to online booksellers, where the combined cost is about $40. At present, according to the LSAC website, Superprep II may be purchased in hard copy or as an eBook, but the Handbook is only available as a traditional book.

LSAT Superprep II

Superprep II is the more important of these books, and it is also the more expensive of the two ($30). This 484-page volume offers a brief introduction to the LSAT, a guide to the questions in the Analytical Reasoning, Logical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension sections, and three full practice tests with answer keys and answer explanations. The introduction includes a summary of the three multiple-choice test sections plus the Writing sample and tips for practice testing. The sectional guides provide a series of helpful approaches to each section’s exercises. The practice test section features a scaled-score conversion chart and instructions on how to score the practice exams.

The LSAT Handbook

LSAC describes the LSAT Handbook as a "comprehensive guide to the skills that the LSAT assesses." The cost of this volume alone is approximately $10. The Handbook is a 111-page guide that includes much more specific information about the individual test sections than Superprep II (unlike the latter, the former features substantial individual chapters on each part of the test). How valuable this information is to test preparation is an open question, but some students may find it helpful to learn more about the exam and related issues, such as the pedagogical reasoning behind each test section. There are three appendices: Using Diagrams in Answering Analytical Reasoning Questions (Appendix A), Logical Reasoning Questions (Appendix B), and Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions (Appendix C). The appendices offer practical approaches to their respective sectional exercises. There are practice questions but no full-length practice tests in this book.

Superprep II Practice Tests

The three practice tests included in Superprep II consist of actual questions from past LSATs. The only differences between these tests and an actual LSAT are the lack of an experimental section and the order in which the sections appear (in an official LSAT test administration, there is an unscored multiple-choice section and the test sections are presented in deliberately random order). Each practice test in Superprep II is preceded by a section explaining the answers to all test questions. Answer explanations consist of three parts: a question overview, a discussion of the correct answer, and a summary of why the other answer choices are incorrect. Answer sheets are also provided.

Using the Official Guides

Superprep II is an essential resource for any LSAT study plan and is frequently used as a course textbook in formal LSAT group courses and private tutoring programs. The Handbook can be a useful supplement to LSAT study, but most informed individuals do not regard it as essential. Neither book, however, is meant to be the sole resource for LSAT study. LSAT preparation that uses these books exclusively (that is, without the aid of a professional teacher) is very unlikely to produce high test scores.

LSAC Editors

LSAC does not name any individual authors for the official guides. The LSAC publications team includes Executive Editor Wendy Margolis, Managing Editor Bonnie Gordon, and Design and Production Manager Deborah Velsor.