5 years ago, when we released LSAT Interact, my colleague Noah announced the project on our blog by saying, “Have you ever given birth to a baby? I have. And I did it along with some fellow LSAT geeks here at Manhattan Prep.”
Well, if LSAT Interact was the firstborn child of the Manhattan Prep LSAT team, The 5 lb. Book of LSAT Practice Drills is the second. Two years, 1,100 pages, and 5,000 LSAT practice problems later, we are so proud to present our new baby to the world.
When we set out to write this book, it was because we believed there was something missing in the world of LSAT prep. There are plenty of tests and plenty of textbooks, and that’s great—we’re not knocking that! But we felt our students needed a resource specifically designed to help them turn weaknesses into strengths.
What’s different about The 5 lb. Book of LSAT Practice Drills, you ask? The answer, in short, is “microskills.” When an expert takes this test, their brain is doing one hundred (and eighty!) things at once, and most of them intuitively. That’s skill at the macro level. In this book, we’ve taken that expert process and broken it down from the macro level to the micro level. Instead of testing all of your skills at once, as a PrepTest would, the LSAT practice problems in this book test skills in isolation.
Why does that matter? Because so often, we find our students caught in this vicious cycle (tell us if it sounds familiar):
You ID a question type that you’re missing a lot of → you go do a bunch of questions of that type → you miss a lot of them → repeat, ad nauseum.
This all-too-common pattern tells us that students are struggling with two related facets of their preparation: pinpointing exact areas of weakness and finding material that specifically targets those areas. Sure, they can say “I miss a lot of Assumption questions,” but what does that really say about their skillset? Within every missed Assumption question is a world of possibilities. Maybe you didn’t identify the conclusion correctly. Maybe you missed a subtle term shift. Maybe you failed to recognize a common flaw, failed to pre-phrase a common correct answer type, or got suckered by a common trap.
By testing microskills in isolation, rather than in combination, The 5 lb. Book of LSAT Practice Drills takes the guesswork out of that analysis. When you miss questions in a drill, you actually know why! Then, you can keep drilling that exact microskill in our best approximation of a controlled environment until you get good at it. Instead of doing a set of real LSAT questions and hoping that some of them test the skill you’re working on, when you study with The 5 lb. Book of LSAT Practice Drills, you know where to look for the material you need.
The first section of the book, LSAT Foundations, is designed to build the most basic skills that are the foundation of a strong LSAT performance. There is one chapter devoted to each section of the exam. Don’t let the name fool you: the LSAT practice problems in these chapters are appropriate for someone at any stage of their LSAT preparation. We recommend that even experienced test-takers start here.
The next section of the book, LSAT Core Skills, is designed to cover all of the microskills that make up an expert performance. It’s broken down first by the sections of the test, then further by the guiding principles of our 4-Step Process for each of the three LSAT sections, and finally by question families (on the Logical Reasoning side) and game types (on the Logic Games side). If that sounds like it requires some background knowledge of how we approach the test, don’t worry: the first few pages of the book are a crash course in our lexicon and approach. We promise, you don’t need any other background in our methodology.
The final section of the book, Getting the Most Out of Your Work, gives you resources beyond the LSAT practice problems to maximize your learning: the must-knows for every question and game type, planning documents to help you chart the right course, and in-depth review documents to help you extract the most out of your performance.
No matter how you’ve been prepping or how you hope to prep, we designed The 5 lb. Book of LSAT Practice Drills with you in mind. You don’t need to know our lingo or the particulars of how we set up games for this book to work for you. If you’re already planning on prepping with us, great—we’re thrilled to have you!—but this book is equally valuable to students who are prepping in other ways, from LSAT novices to LSAT veterans, from self-preppers to students of any LSAT methodology.
Want to check it out? You can find it right here!
Laura Damone is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in San Francisco, CA. She fell for the LSAT while getting her undergrad degree and has now taught LSAT classes at more than 20 universities around the country. When she’s not teaching, learning, or publishing her work, she can be found frolicking in the redwoods and exploring the Pacific coast. Check out Laura’s upcoming LSAT courses here!