Best LSAT Prep Books

As a professional LSAT tutor, I’ve had the chance to look at just about every LSAT prep book available. I’ve compiled a list of my recommendations for the best of the best, both for overall prep and for section-specific training. My recommendations are:

Fundamentals: PowerScore LR Bible
Advanced Study: Fox LR Encyclopedia

  • Best LSAT Prep Book for Logic Games:

Fundamentals: Kaplan LG Unlocked
Advanced Study: PowerScore LG Bible

Interested in more details on these books? Read on for more information!

Best Overall LSAT Prep Book for Goal Scores Over 155

PowerScore Bible Trilogy  

Includes:

  • 1,944 pages
  • Real LSAT questions
  • Online study plans, written supplements/updates, and test analytic tools
  • No practice test access

This behemoth is technically three books, one each for the Logical Reasoning section (LR), the Logic Games section (LG), and the Reading Comprehension section (RC). The PowerScore Bible Trilogy is incredibly comprehensive. If it’s on the LSAT, it’s in the PowerScore Bibles.

For example, other prep books neglect discussions of important topics like polar vs. logical opposition, the subtle difference between “could be true” and “not necessarily true,” and how to diagram quantitative conditional statements like “most As are Bs” and “some Bs are Cs.” There are pages and pages of drills for everything from Question Type Identification to Premise versus Conclusion Identification, as well as Statement Negation Drills.

However, the trilogy’s thoroughness is also a curse. Does anyone really need two full pages explaining that “earlier” should be diagrammed to the left of “later,” or “before” should be diagrammed to the left of “after”? Does anyone at this level of education need a primer on what a comma means and what a parenthesis means? Not likely. This book covers everything–often to its detriment. For a beginning student aiming for a modest score, the Bible Trilogy could easily be overwhelming.

Pros:

  • Plenty of drills to test what you’ve learned, including unique ones like “Active Reading” where you’re asked to finish the presented paragraph.
  • A common-sense progression (e.g. The LG book goes from Linear Games, to Advanced Linear Games, to Grouping Games, then to Hybrid Linear/Grouping Games).
  • The most nuanced discussion of conditional and causal reasoning you’ll find in any LSAT prep book.  
  • Incredibly comprehensive, including discussions on “Common Passage Themes” in RC, how to approach those dreaded “Rule Substitution” questions, and how to identify when numerical distribution might be the key to cracking a Logic Game.

Cons:

  • Not many sample questions, passages, or games to work with. (e.g. In the LG book, each chapter ends with only four or five full games to test yourself–and in some cases only 2. In the LR book, many chapters end with only two to four real LSAT questions. Thus, buying additional LSAC Ten Actual Official books to supplement your studies is absolutely necessary.  
  • Its Reading Comprehension approach uses a method which, in their attempt to make it a clever acronym, includes far too many steps for most students. It also focuses on annotating the text with pencil which, as of July 2019, is obsolete due to the LSAC’s transition from a pencil-and-paper format to a digital one. Post-2019 versions will most likely rectify that shortcoming.
  • It’s expensive. At well over $100 for the set, plus additional books to have access to enough real LSAT questions, this is definitely the most expensive physical study material.  

Use the PowerScore Bible Trilogy if you are already at a decent score aiming for an exceptional score and you have at least four months to study.

Best Overall LSAT Prep Book for Goal Scores of 140-155

The Princeton Review – Cracking the LSAT Premium

Includes:

  • 412 pages
  • Real LSAT questions
  • Online study plans, law school profiles, career prospect rankings, financial aid and scholarship info
  • Full practice test access with PrepTests 53, 56, and 59 containing full explanations

This compact book covers the basics of what you need to know to achieve a respectable LSAT score. It focuses on a strict step-by-step method which, through brute repetition, forces the student to internalize the information. Though that may sound overbearing, The Princeton Review’s Cracking the LSAT Premium is usually exactly what students need to break bad habits and avoid missing critical action steps.

However, the book tends to veer too psychological at times with mantras and long sections devoted to “mindset” considerations such as “keep your pencil moving” and “take deep breaths after each passage.” Although that is certainly good advice, a book this concise should be filled cover to cover with concrete LSAT-specific strategies.

Pros:

  • Practical drills for testing your retention of concepts, including drills for Inferences/Deductions and In/Out game placeholders.
  • Includes a very useful and extensive chart summarizing the suggested approach for each LR question type.
  • Emphasizes doing the questions, games, and passages in strategic order according to your personal strengths and preferences.

Cons:

  • The peculiar method of diagramming Logic Games with a “clue shelf” and a subsequent chart of layouts for each question doesn’t mesh with any other test prep methods, so using supplemental materials from other sources might prove confusing.
  • The Table of Contents is only broken down into Logical Reasoning, Logic Games, and Reading Comprehension, making the book difficult to use as a reference tool for looking up specific concepts.
  • There are not enough real LSAT practice questions, so you must purchase at least one of the LSAC’s Ten Actual Official books to have sufficient practice material.

Use the Princeton Review’s Cracking the LSAT Premium book if you are just beginning your foray into LSAT studying, you have a modest score goal, or you have less than two months to study.

Best LSAT Prep Book for the Logical Reasoning Section

For Fundamentals: PowerScore LR Bible

Includes:

  • 718 pages
  • Real LSAT questions
  • Online written supplements, updates, and study plans
  • No practice test access

The PowerScore LR Bible organizes question types in a unique and very effective way. Each of the 13 question types is grouped into one of four “families.”  Each “family,” in turn, has specific essential characteristics which assist in eliminating incorrect answers. It is also one of the few LR books that provides an extremely helpful list of common logical errors in LSAT Flaw questions, such as ad hominem arguments, circular arguments, straw man arguments, etc.

The book also includes a useful discussion on guessing strategy. It’s inevitable, after all–sometimes you just have to guess! It’s nice to have some detailed statistics on the most common correct answer letter.

However, the book is unsurprisingly detailed, and can be over the top at times. This should be no surprise to anyone since this is a PowerScore text. Two full pages are devoted to what to make, if anything, of the stated speaker of the stimulus (i.e. When a stimulus starts with “Scientist” or “Advertisement” or even “Anna”). The book also lacks sufficient questions for practice at the end of each concept, necessitating the purchase of a supplementary Ten Actual Official book.

Despite those qualms, the PowerScore LR Bible is the preeminent resource for LSAT Logical Reasoning, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Pros:

  • Commonsense and useful organization of question types into distinct “families.”
  • Includes concepts that other books neglect, like how numbers and percentages are utilized in tricky questions, and how to handle questions that specifically ask about the application of “principles.”
  • Extremely detailed discussion of common logical flaws that show up often on the exam.

Cons:

  • Not enough actual questions for practicing each concept. Supplementary books of full LSATs are thus advised.
  • Overly detailed at times, with countless trademarked terms for different methods and approaches that cause many students to miss the forest for the trees.

For Advanced Study: Fox LR Encyclopedia

Includes:

  • 587 pages
  • Real LSAT questions
  • No online resources
  • No practice test access

This hefty book is an excellent supplement once you are already familiar with the underlying concepts of logical reasoning. It is written in commentary style, meaning it presents Logical Reasoning questions, then delves into the author, Nathan Fox’s, inner dialogue as he dissects the argument.

As such, the book is completely lacking any compiled instruction on how to attack specific question types. For example, the book eventually covers everything you need to know for conditional diagramming, but that information is scattered throughout different monologues, making for impossible referencing.

There are also no drills to complete to test your learning; many answer choices are left without analysis (answer choice D, for example, may be followed by “Nah, C was a perfect answer. This ain’t it”) and some students find the brash language (like “Thou shalt be a d*ck,” or “dumba** argument,” or “what the f*ck is this?”) off-putting.

Still, there is nothing like being able to get inside an LSAT expert’s mind as they reason through questions. As long as you already know how to form the contrapositive, for example, and how to identify different question types, this book is an entertaining and creative approach to LR training.

Pros:

  • Questions are organized by question type and in increasing order of difficulty–handy when you want to tackle only the most complex questions, or you want to gauge your progress as it relates to question difficulty.
  • Easy to read with an entertaining writing style that exposes an LSAT expert’s inner monologue and trains you to be hyper-critical of the presented arguments.

Cons:

  • No drills, no theory, and no mixed practice sections where you don’t already know the question type.
  • No chapter or section devoted to determining a question’s type, which is not ideal since the entire book’s organization is premised on one’s understanding of question types.

Best LSAT Prep Book for the Logic Games Section

For Fundamentals: Kaplan LG Unlocked

Includes:

  • 639 pages
  • Real LSAT questions
  • Online study plans, videos for some of the games, additional explanatory PDFs, quizzes, and drills
  • Free PrepTest access (also available via LSAC website)

This book includes a truly impressive number of practice drills to make sure you’ve mastered a concept before moving on. Especially useful are the pages upon pages of drills on conditional diagramming, which is one of the toughest concepts to fully understand.

The entire first part of the book, all 220 pages, is devoted to theory. This section breaks down how to diagram various game types, and includes a primer for techniques, methods, and strategies. Its step-by-step approach with easy-to-remember acronyms is perfect for a first venture into the crazy world of Logic Games.

I also love its introduction to each game type, wherein it gives a real-world example of how you already use the concept (ordering, sequencing, grouping, etc.) in your daily life. Those humanizing touches make this book a real gem. The Logic Games index at the end of the book is an invaluable resource. It lists the “game type” of every game on past LSATs by PrepTest number for easy reference when working on specific skills.  

There are cons, however. For some of the games, the access to explanations–and even answers–is available only online. Moreover, it doesn’t delve very deeply into the more advanced concepts like grouping games with subcategories. Still, a mastery of the contents of this book will lead a student to stellar performance in the LG section of the test.

Pros:

  • This book gives ample opportunity to practice and master each concept through drills, drills, and more drills.
  • Though there isn’t a ton of practice games at the end of each concept, the book provides a useful list of similar games in official PrepTests. As long as you have access to official PrepTests, you won’t be lacking additional focused practice.

Cons:

  • A few of the game types use setups and notations that aren’t similar to those used in other prep sources. The methods aren’t necessarily bad, but their uniqueness makes the use of additional prep materials potentially confusing.
  • Although the book is solid, the In-Person and Online courses are not recommended. The sheer number of classes they run means that the instructors are sometimes subpar. So, if you wanted to supplement the book with a course, you’d need to abruptly adjust to another prep company’s methods.

For Advanced Study: PowerScore LG Bible

Includes:

  • 726 pages
  • Real LSAT questions
  • Online study plans, book supplements, updates, additional explanations of selected concepts, and test scoring analytics
  • No practice test access

For continuing study, or for more advanced students, I highly recommend the PowerScore Logic Games Bible. It is exhaustive in its coverage of concepts that other books skim over. For example, while other books do explain the peculiarities of diagramming the word “unless,” PowerScore extends that same attention to other words that function similarly, like “until,” “except,” and “without.”

The book also includes a good number of diagramming drills where the focus is not on answering the subsequent questions–in fact, there are no subsequent questions–but rather on ensuring that you hone in on efficiently and effectively representing the game and its moving parts.

However, considering the importance of conditional reasoning in many LSAT games, I feel the book should provide even more conditional diagramming drills than it does. Moreover, there are simply not enough full games for practice at the end of each lesson. To have enough practice material, you will need to also purchase at least one of LSAC’s Ten Actual Official books.

Overall, the PowerScore LG Bible is second to none when it comes to in-depth analysis of everything one expects to find on the LSAT.

Pros:

  • In-depth coverage of all Logic Game topics, including advanced topics and rare games.
  • The methods for diagramming rules and creating an initial set-up are commonsense and straightforward. No new techniques need to be learned just to set up a diagram.

Cons:

  • Additional books of official tests must be bought in order to have enough practice material.
  • Since many people are visual learners when it comes to Logic Games, it is unfortunate that the book does not come with access to any online video explanations.

Best LSAT Prep Book for the Reading Comprehension Section

Manhattan Prep RC

Includes:

  • 300 pages
  • Real LSAT questions
  • Online videos, forums, score diagnostic tools, and one free lesson on the digital learning platform
  • No practice test access

For the RC section, I actually advise against the revered PowerScore Bible. Although you really can’t go wrong with any of PowerScore’s prep materials, the Manhattan Prep book for Reading Comprehension is more straightforward and better suited to the ways in which the LSAT has recently changed.

As of July 2019, the LSAT is administered digitally on a Microsoft Surface Go tablet instead of on paper. Manhattan Prep’s methods are easily translatable to the digital format because they don’t rely on any specific annotations or diagramming on the physical paper. With their next updates, I anticipate that both PowerScore and Manhattan Prep will make massive changes to their RC books, but I still find Manhattan Prep’s methods clearer overall and its drills more useful.

Manhattan Prep suggests using a mental “scale” to approach RC passages (i.e. Determine the individual arguments presented and assign each a relative “weight” on the scale, noting which side of the scale the author would fall. This strategy affords a big-picture mental map that makes most general questions a breeze.

Although it is a relatively short 300 pages, the book is absolutely packed with creative drills to build your reading comprehension muscles. For example, one drill presents a passage with the important words replaced by foreign words from a different language. Another presents a passage with words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs redacted. These drills help you learn to extrapolate from context in a way that is incredibly useful for passages about unfamiliar topics.

The book also presents passages with a sort of running commentary; that is, every few sentences of the passage are followed by italicized text of what you should be thinking. This inner monologue, which also appears after each answer choice, is written in an informal and relatable manner with quips like, “Ooh, now we have a fight!

Overall the Manhattan Prep approach to RC is sensible and meticulous. It uses a short, simple acronym to help ensure active engagement with the text, and guides you toward a new and highly beneficial way of reading for the LSAT.

Pros:

  • Great “Troubleshooting” section that suggests steps to take for various common problems.
  • Incredible drills that challenge you in unique and useful ways.

Cons:

  • You will still need to purchase one of LSAC’s Ten Actual Official books to have enough practice material.