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1 month to study for the LSAT


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#1 aspiringlawstudent

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:01 PM

I have studied intensely for the LSAT in the past, but I took a long time off (6 months) to focus on school (in order to maximize my gpa). This worked out quite well for me in the gpa department, but I am quite rusty, and I am scoring about a 160 on average on my most recent practice tests. Do you think that a month of full time studying (50 hours a week) is sufficient to reach my minimum goal of the early 160s on test day? I know this is person dependent, but I am just curious if you think that getting my first write done in June is a good idea?


Edited by aspiringlawstudent, 05 May 2013 - 10:05 PM.


#2 raffletaffle

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:21 PM

I did a month of part-time practice (about 2 hrs a day, if that) to prepare for my LSAT. I think my score ended up being about 4 pts higher than my initial diagnostic, although at least 5 pts lower than my practice-test average. But I'm sure some people can get by with more, and some with less. It'll depend on the way you learn, your degree of natural facility for LSAT-type questions and the degree to which you suffer from exam anxiety.

 

What I'm trying to say is you probably know better than strangers on the internet how much you need to study to get ready for the LSAT. For example, I think I would have found 50 hours a week of studying borderline counterproductive.



#3 aspiringlawstudent

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:33 PM

Ya it works out to around 7 hours a day of studying for me which is just fine, I don't find it counterproductive. I don't really experience exam anxiety. But ya i see where you are coming from. I have a bad habit of putting off this test and should probably just study a ton, and get it done this June. Thanks for the comment.


Edited by aspiringlawstudent, 05 May 2013 - 10:34 PM.


#4 DSman

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:34 PM

Also if you are trying to score in the early 160s, make sure you are scoring above that in your practice tests. I took it last year and i got a 163. In the last couple of weeks, on fully timed practice tests i was scoring around a 168-169. Was so disappointed when I dropped a few points. Test day anxiety and pressure can screw you up. I'm not saying this happens to everyone but make sure you are consistently scoring above or at least at the level you want to score. I know a few people who scored below their practice ( also some who scored above but who wants to take that risk).

 

Also raffle has a point. 50 hours a weeks seems counterproductive. Do practice tests, new ones and carefully analyze what you're getting wrong and what mistakes you keep making. Work on those and see where you are in a couple of weeks.

 

Finally, if you are applying to schools that average LSATS (U of A), then I say its better to wait. If not then go ahead. 



#5 El Diego

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 11:07 AM

I did about 6-7 weeks, 4-5 days a week, about 3-4 hours a day (that's a lot of hyphens). Sometimes I wonder if I could have done better with more time but I don't really think so; however I don't know if it's safe comparing my style to yours. I feel like I had a few moments of realization along the way that helped me and then the rest of the time I was just slowly learning more and more patterns. By the last week of studying my diagnostics were not improving at all, and I was feeling mentally fresh going into the LSAT. The last few days before the LSAT I did one practice test a day just to keep in the groove, I wasn't really looking at learning anything new.

 

Looking back on it, I think I really lucked out with my timing. I didn't plan it that way but it worked out. Also, the scoring higher on diagnostics than actual test was true for me as well. Dropped about 3 points from what I was scoring to what I actually got. Not necessarily massive, I know, but seems like it happens to a lot of people.



#6 Aureliuse

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:41 PM

It all depends on personal aptitude, how quickly can you learn or relearn something?

Moreover, how much time you put in depends on your mental capabilties and focus, as well as personal motivation. I pull 40-45 hours per week, I don't feel burnt out because I see some progress every little bit on the way.

I think a month is more than enough if you truly adhere to that 50 hour week study schedule. Moreover, I assume that you are outlining weak areas and correcting them as you go after every PT. Yeah, I'll even bet you can hit a 170 occasionally by the end of the month.

But even with 50 hours, do exercise, get enough sleep, eat well, and have a positive attitude. The worst you can do is psych yourslf out.



#7 aspiringlawstudent

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Posted 09 May 2013 - 09:58 PM

I took two more and got a 161 on each. I suppose a one point gain over the course of a few days is alright.



#8 hayleypdowd

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:48 AM

the LSAT is such a tricky bitch. i found at the end my score started to flail dramatically. i would get a 163 one day and a 169 the next day. right before the test i was scoring between 167 - 169, but on the actual test day i got a 163. the whole trend of "you lose a few marks on the test day" seems to be true for me.



#9 madlib

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:11 AM

The make-up and difficulty of each test varies a little (although your score is standardized), and you're likely to have on and off days. The best way for you to get a reliable picture of your potential is to take multiple tests under test conditions (repeated measures). If you're like most test takers, you'll see a trend over the long-term, but small ups and downs from test to test.

 

Considering you've already spent considerable time mastering the concepts, I would spend as little time as possible refreshing yourself on the main ideas and instead focus on applying them in practice.  Complete as many practice sections and practice tests as you can and make sure you review every response afterwards. It's hard to overstate the importance of becoming familiar with test structure and question types. If you find your scores are miserable and not improving, well, then, back to the drawing board.

 

Its always a good idea to aim for 180 and apply a kind of "hope for the best, prepare for the worst" type of attitude, but, I'll point out that some people do outperform their practice scores on test day.


Edited by madlib, 16 May 2013 - 10:12 AM.


#10 Uriel

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 12:43 PM

There are also a bunch of soft, unpredictable factors.  I was testing at 168-172 (95-98th) but had the flu on test day, which brought me down to my original diagnostic of 164 (90th).  (I had to keep shaking the cobwebs out of my head.)

 

Aim high.  Don't settle.  You never know.



#11 aspiringlawstudent

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:08 PM

My difficulty is with timing on practice exams, not the difficulty of the questions. Therefore, I think that I should just start doing practice exams. Up until now, I was mainly working on redeveloping the fundamentals, but i think timing is the bigger issue. I can go through logical reasoning quickly after I am done and I can identify my mistakes quickly, and usually the mistakes are due to being rushed. Thanks for the advice guys!


Edited by aspiringlawstudent, 16 May 2013 - 01:09 PM.


#12 davyboy

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 01:11 PM

Once you have the fundamentals down, move on to timing and accuracy.



#13 QuincyWagstaff

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:40 PM


My difficulty is with timing on practice exams, not the difficulty of the questions. Therefore, I think that I should just start doing practice exams. Up until now, I was mainly working on redeveloping the fundamentals, but i think timing is the bigger issue. I can go through logical reasoning quickly after I am done and I can identify my mistakes quickly, and usually the mistakes are due to being rushed. Thanks for the advice guys!

You can't separate question difficulty and timing issues. You have timing issues because you find some questions difficult, and you find those questions difficult partially due to taking too long to answer less difficult questions. Just hammering away at PTs in a brute-force manner will not solve timing problems as effectively as improving your efficiency through review. So, my advice is not to neglect deep review for the sake of more timed practice.

Edited by QuincyWagstaff, 16 May 2013 - 04:41 PM.


#14 steel_shot

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:53 PM

I think you should be okay. I'm doing the same thing right now, and although I'm having to redo PTs from about 8 months ago, I'm scoring a few points higher than before. I'm just taking it easy, studying about 10 hours a week and reviewing, and still scoring low to mid 170s. Just do what you think you need, and aim for the best score possible! I'm not comfortable with saying that your studying will be sufficient, but it will help for sure. Just take a bit of a break before the test day, because burnout is a real thing, and I screwed up my last write because of going too hard.



#15 aspiringlawstudent

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:14 PM

This might sound funny, but any tips to avoid simple reading errors? If I get a question wrong in LR, it is because I misread one word the vast majority of the time. This happens to me sometimes when i am tired.



#16 steel_shot

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 08:58 PM

This might sound funny, but any tips to avoid simple reading errors? If I get a question wrong in LR, it is because I misread one word the vast majority of the time. This happens to me sometimes when i am tired.

I think getting a good sleep, eating well, and exercising helps to improve focus and reduce those errors. I also found that just doing a quick check of my answer (or the last two remaining) with the stimulus helped to be sure I wasn't missing anything obvious.



#17 KeithofKinkel

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 04:41 AM

This might sound funny, but any tips to avoid simple reading errors? If I get a question wrong in LR, it is because I misread one word the vast majority of the time. This happens to me sometimes when i am tired.

 

Don't write off misreading as a trivial error.  Also get more sleep, seeing as this is probably one of the most important tests you'll ever write.



#18 loracxw

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Posted 23 May 2013 - 04:17 PM

I think the answer depends on what type of test-taker you are. If you're a nervous test taker, the fact that you only had one month of solid studying and a large gap inbetween studying may cause anxiety and affect your performance on test day because you won't feel fully prepared. Also, asking whether a month is sufficient study time for the LSAT seems to indicate you're not confident about your study routine and that might factor into your performance.

 

I would write the test if I knew anxiety wouldn't affect me on test day. Otherwise I'd want to study more to give myself reassurance that I'd done everything I could and was well prepared.






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