Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: !закон и право! on September 23, 2008, 06:25:23 PM

Title: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 23, 2008, 06:25:23 PM
Okay, I'll describe my situation.

I've done 27 PTs in the last 10 weeks, from oldest to newest, at regular intervals. My initial diagnostic score was a 151, cold, without any prior familiarity with the LSAT. From PTs 15 to 24 I've been scoring in the 170+ range, with an average score of approximately 173-174.

My problem. From PTs 20 to 24 I floundered without making much progress, on PT 25 I scored a 162, 26 a 158 and 27 (today) a 154. The worst part about these PTs, I felt like I was performing as well as I had when I was scoring 170. I'm certain that this nosedive is due to burnout, but I have no clue how to deal with it.

I've also been having dreams, literally nightmares about the day of the test for the last 3 weeks. Last night, I dreamt about finishing 2 LR sections and half a LG section before waking up.

Is this a sign of pretest anxiety bleeding through? (self evident answer)

Any experiences or advice?
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: blairchuckalways on September 23, 2008, 07:01:34 PM
Wow, I had the exact same crash around the exact same tests. It's burnout. Definitely. 27 knocked me out cold with a 163 when I took it the first time. Took it a second time after three or four weeks and got a 178.

Take 2-3 days off. I know it's last minute and the test is around the corner, but I PROMISE it will work wonders. And don't be like me and underestimate your progress because of one test -- definitely does more harm than good! After a few days of mental rest, just tell yourself it was a flake and proceed forward. It should all work out okay :)

Good luck!
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 23, 2008, 07:03:28 PM
Wow, I had the exact same crash around the exact same tests. It's burnout. Definitely. 27 knocked me out cold with a 163 when I took it the first time. Took it a second time after three or four weeks and got a 178.

Take 2-3 days off. I know it's last minute and the test is around the corner, but I PROMISE it will work wonders. And don't be like me and underestimate your progress because of one test -- definitely does more harm than good! After a few days of mental rest, just tell yourself it was a flake and proceed forward. It should all work out okay :)

Good luck!

Sorry, I didn't mean PTs 25 26 and 27, but rather my 25th 26th and 27th PTs. I think they were PrepTests 53, 52 and one other.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: TimMitchell on September 23, 2008, 07:20:42 PM
Burnout advice? Try using slicks on a rear wheel drive hot-rod...

hahaha, but all jokes aside people; I don't think anything is too unusual with a couple outliers. I've always considered myself an ace standardized test taker, I'm very calm and don't get distracted during the real thing, but a few times I have bombed a PT which really makes you doubt your chances of getting your target score (or for retakers like me, beating my inital score). Pie is right, take a day or two off or find another way to relax. You  start to think only in LSAT terms and it messes with you, some time away does some good.

The tough part is the fact that you felt you were performing as well as before, one thing that got me on the June test was that I prepped using older tests and wasn't prepared for some of the changes. What sections messed you up? Did you feel confident in your answers?
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 23, 2008, 07:55:03 PM
Yeah, I'm definitely going to take a few days off. I've been falling a bit behind in my coursework as a result of LSAT prep, which adds to the stress. Time to catch up.

I've actually been bombing my previous best section: LR. Still with a bit of difficulty with the new RC, and no trouble with games.

And I was confident in my answers, but I do find myself getting distracted/irritated more easily now. My concentration isn't as stellar as it was on previous PTs.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: LessThanLiz on September 23, 2008, 09:21:34 PM
Same problem, here. I was scoring upper 160's and broke into 171, then ended up crashing to 159, 157, and 159 today. I was never great at logic games, but I went from 1 or 2 wrong in LR to ~6-8 wrong. I decided to take the night off, go to classes tomorrow, do some review (independent test sections, not a whole timed test) to try and isolate what my problem is if it's not stress. Hit the PTs again on Thursday.

That's my plan, anyways.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: nevdash on September 24, 2008, 03:20:18 PM
Just keep in mind that even professional athletes have bad games. We really are like the professional athletes of the LSAT world; most of us on this board are scoring in ranges that most prospective law students couldn't even reach if their lives depended on it. When you get to this high level of accomplishment, it mostly becomes about mental discipline. It sounds like you have the skills necessary to perform exceptionally on the test, just have faith in them and do anything you can to make sure you're in your top mental state come test day, which probably entails taking a break for a couple of days at this point.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: Nowhere Fast on September 24, 2008, 03:42:06 PM
I pray you guys are right. 

I always doubted that a 'burnout' effect would seriously have a detrimental effect.  Roughly three months ago, I scored a 143 on my first diagnostic, no prior experience.  Since then, I've dedicated myself full force and studied 7 days a week, 8 hours a day, on average.  In the last two weeks, I've been averaging a 163/164.. and nailed a 167 on my highest.  After that, my preptests went to 156 then 152 then 158 then a 160.  Just like one of the poster's said previously, I felt like I nailed the material.  I was ending each section with extra time and extreme confidence.  However, when it came down to scoring... it was just a seriously depressing moment.

I decided to take today off, but my body is not allowing itself to relax.  I can't stop thinking about how bad my scores have dropped.. and I'm fighting the urge of doing another preptest tonight just to prove to myself that those test's are just some temporary flukes. 
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: flip side on September 24, 2008, 03:53:17 PM
i did the same thing & did lsat prep lite for 1 week, without fully taking a break.  it worked then i jumped 10 points back up to my norm (172ish).  however, after going back up, i took another test last night & got a 163!  of course i know that is not a bad score, but when i worked that hard for 170s, i do not want a 163 on test day.

so, since i feel like i already took my break, i'm not gonna take another. but like i posted today, i think i am gonna relax from pt's for a day or 2 and do the lr bible.  maybe it will do the trick of a semi-break & helping my score.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 24, 2008, 04:43:02 PM
I'm not going to do anything LSAT related today. Light Bible review tomorrow, and I'll do another PT Friday. Then section specific questions next week with a final PT on the Thursday before test day.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: taehwanjo on September 24, 2008, 11:42:43 PM
I'm in the same position as Thales and LessThanLiz, except I don't think it has anything to do with burnout.  I used to consider myself an LR ace... I would regularly ace LR sections, and the worst I did on pre-2004 tests was -3.  However, on post 2004 tests, I've been missing a lot of LR questions.  I got -9 twice.  The thing is, last week I did -7 for a 2006 test, then immediately the day after, I did -0 for June 2003.  I really think it might have something to do with the LR questions changing with the supposed change in question-writers that occurred in 2004.  I don't feel burned out at all. 
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: Pretentious Undergrad on September 25, 2008, 12:58:54 AM
Well I for one am not in this position at all. I've been smoking pot just about every day and have written exactly one full length prep test since the beginning of the summer. @#!* it. I burned myself out the first time I wrote, I'm doing something totally different for the rewrite.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: TimMitchell on September 25, 2008, 01:03:46 AM
Well I for one am not in this position at all. I've been smoking pot just about every day and have written exactly one full length prep test since the beginning of the summer. @#!* it. I burned myself out the first time I wrote, I'm doing something totally different for the rewrite.

Spelling 420 across your answer via the bubbles
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: blairchuckalways on September 25, 2008, 12:08:09 PM
Hrm, I'm unsure if LR necessarily got harder. However, some tests (I just took June 2006, 49) have a ridiculous number of assumption/hard logic/weaken/must be true questions, which can fry your brain over time (as did with me, most of my wrong answers showed up in the fifth section towards the end when nothing made sense anymore and heavy bouts of self-doubt started to settle in).

So for me, I know that to prepare for the worst, a mix of these types of questions and practicing them will do my brain some good. Maybe something similar could help you out with LR in the more recent tests?
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: CTL on September 25, 2008, 12:47:38 PM
Here's what I did differently this time (I hope it works on my retest - I HAVE been scoring much more consistently in the range I hope to achieve in):

-Every other night I go through the review for each question type chapter in the LR bible
-On those same nights I add a review of a game type chapter in the LG bible
-I practice 3-5 game types of the chapter reviewed in the LG bible
-Review
-I take a timed LR section from an unused preptest
-Review
-On alternate nights I take a timed preptest

I've only started this routine last weekend, but before that I was reviewing the chapters from the bibles independently and doing question types from the chapter(s) studied.  I find that the constant review of strategy entrenches the concepts in my head.  When I come across any LR question I either know immediately what to look for, or I know how to go about finding the solution (or at least checking to see if what I've chosen is right).  I also set certain strategies for LR sections.  First 10 in 10 minutes, next 15-16 in the next 20 minutes.  5 minutes to go back to those difficult problems.  My pacing has gotten to a disturbing point.  Last night I finished each LR section of PT 46 with 5 minutes to spare - I finished the LG section with 9 minutes to spare! 

Since you haven't scored within your target range for a couple tests you're probably psyched out.  Before taking another test, don't just jump in.  Sit for a minute and prep yourself.  Think 'I'm going to destroy this test', 'I'm going to stay ahead of the questions'.  By starting out fast, you give yourself time toward the end to work over some more difficult ones.  If you spend too much time early on, its easy to feel rushed and start to lose focus.  Trust me, it is what happened to me in the final RC section on the June 2007 text.  I spent too long on one passage and I paid dearly for it on the last passage. 
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 27, 2008, 09:40:49 AM
Here's what I did differently this time (I hope it works on my retest - I HAVE been scoring much more consistently in the range I hope to achieve in):

-Every other night I go through the review for each question type chapter in the LR bible
-On those same nights I add a review of a game type chapter in the LG bible
-I practice 3-5 game types of the chapter reviewed in the LG bible
-Review
-I take a timed LR section from an unused preptest
-Review
-On alternate nights I take a timed preptest

I've only started this routine last weekend, but before that I was reviewing the chapters from the bibles independently and doing question types from the chapter(s) studied.  I find that the constant review of strategy entrenches the concepts in my head.  When I come across any LR question I either know immediately what to look for, or I know how to go about finding the solution (or at least checking to see if what I've chosen is right).  I also set certain strategies for LR sections.  First 10 in 10 minutes, next 15-16 in the next 20 minutes.  5 minutes to go back to those difficult problems.  My pacing has gotten to a disturbing point.  Last night I finished each LR section of PT 46 with 5 minutes to spare - I finished the LG section with 9 minutes to spare! 

Since you haven't scored within your target range for a couple tests you're probably psyched out.  Before taking another test, don't just jump in.  Sit for a minute and prep yourself.  Think 'I'm going to destroy this test', 'I'm going to stay ahead of the questions'.  By starting out fast, you give yourself time toward the end to work over some more difficult ones.  If you spend too much time early on, its easy to feel rushed and start to lose focus.  Trust me, it is what happened to me in the final RC section on the June 2007 text.  I spent too long on one passage and I paid dearly for it on the last passage. 

Thanks man. I did another PT and got owned yet again (June 2008). Almost perfect on LR this time (-1 per section). Not well on RC (-5) and I got destroyed on the games. (-13) I found myself losing focus and getting frustrated far too easily this week.

I'll review the bibles for the remaining days before the test and do sections timed. No more PTs. I'm obviously not taking them seriously enough anymore.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: Pretentious Undergrad on September 27, 2008, 11:10:07 AM
Only when I'm oot and aboot
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: High Life on September 27, 2008, 11:11:43 AM
Only when I'm oot and aboot

163 LSAT and applying to canadian law schools = very unpretentious.

Go drink another labatt lite.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: CTL on September 27, 2008, 12:19:39 PM
Lol.  Actually, a 163 LSAT is probably enough to get you in to every Canadian law school except UofT.

And given the price of all beer in Canada, only the foolish would opt to have a Blue light.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: TimMitchell on September 27, 2008, 12:44:40 PM
Lol.  Actually, a 163 LSAT is probably enough to get you in to every Canadian law school except UofT.

And given the price of all beer in Canada, only the foolish would opt to have a Blue light.

Shhhh... don't feed the troll
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 27, 2008, 12:48:32 PM
Lol.  Actually, a 163 LSAT is probably enough to get you in to every Canadian law school except UofT.

And given the price of all beer in Canada, only the foolish would opt to have a Blue light.

1. 163 isn't enough.

2. I don't quite understand the crux of the beer comment. Beer here is much more expensive than in the US or Europe. Blue is disgusting, but if you're on a budget domestic/American beer is the way to go.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 27, 2008, 03:01:52 PM
Lol.  Actually, a 163 LSAT is probably enough to get you in to every Canadian law school except UofT.

And given the price of all beer in Canada, only the foolish would opt to have a Blue light.

1. 163 isn't enough.

2. I don't quite understand the crux of the beer comment. Beer here is much more expensive than in the US or Europe. Blue is disgusting, but if you're on a budget domestic/American beer is the way to go.

Maybe he means all beer is expensive, so you may as well drink good stuff.

What Canadian brew do you like?  I'm a fan of the Golden myself.

I'm not really a fan of most Canadian or American beers. But I do like Alexander Keith's.

I'm an alcohol snob, so I normally prefer European brews. Particularily Dutch, Czech and German beer.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: CTL on September 27, 2008, 03:30:18 PM
Lindbergh nailed it.  Given that a six-pack in Ontario is between 9.50 to 12.00 regardless of the origin/quality, you might as well go for the good stuff.  It's unfortunate that the Beer Store hasn't picked up on all the great beer available in the States.  So many Canadians make fun of American beer because they operate under the assumption that American beer = Anheuser Busch, Miller, Coors, etc.  There are a plethora of outstanding regionals and micros here that would give European beers penis envy.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 27, 2008, 06:59:03 PM
Lol.  Actually, a 163 LSAT is probably enough to get you in to every Canadian law school except UofT.

And given the price of all beer in Canada, only the foolish would opt to have a Blue light.

1. 163 isn't enough.

2. I don't quite understand the crux of the beer comment. Beer here is much more expensive than in the US or Europe. Blue is disgusting, but if you're on a budget domestic/American beer is the way to go.

Maybe he means all beer is expensive, so you may as well drink good stuff.

What Canadian brew do you like?  I'm a fan of the Golden myself.

I'm not really a fan of most Canadian or American beers. But I do like Alexander Keith's.

I'm an alcohol snob, so I normally prefer European brews. Particularily Dutch, Czech and German beer.

I'll try out the Keith's.  Normally, I like the English/Irish beers, like Harps.

Bell's Oberon is a nice american microbrew, if you ever get a chance to try it.

I'll give it a try. I find that the microbrewery beers don't have that metallic-like aftertaste that are typical of some of the big brand North American brews.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: !закон и право! on September 27, 2008, 07:00:41 PM
Lindbergh nailed it.  Given that a six-pack in Ontario is between 9.50 to 12.00 regardless of the origin/quality, you might as well go for the good stuff.  It's unfortunate that the Beer Store hasn't picked up on all the great beer available in the States.  So many Canadians make fun of American beer because they operate under the assumption that American beer = Anheuser Busch, Miller, Coors, etc.  There are a plethora of outstanding regionals and micros here that would give European beers penis envy.

I've had a number of microbrewery beers. They're alright, but I still don't think they compare to a standard German Lager or Czech Pilsner.

Name a few of your favourites and I'll find them.

P.S. The Beer Store may or may not have a large enough variety of American regional or microbrews, but the LCBO tends to carry a larger and better variety (especially in recent months)
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: meggo on September 27, 2008, 08:02:15 PM
also, it a mistaken assumption that all beer in Canada costs the same price. Due to the bizarre fact that Ontario seems to operate under an alcohol monopoly it is more expensive here, but not likewise for the rest of Canada. The LCBO is improving their selection, esp. in cider. They get Weston's cider which is really nice and they also now carry an Ontario brand of cider that is quite nice and not too sweet. Anyone who thinks Strongbow is cider is really missing out.

I'm not really into beer that much but thankfully the Beer Store happens to be located about a minute walk from my house and has Grolsch so I'm pretty much looked after
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: CTL on September 27, 2008, 09:29:09 PM
I'm a huge fan of Victory Brewing Company's 'Storm King Stout'.  It is 9.1%, so be careful.  I made the mistake of bringing a six-pack to a poker game.  Let's just say I played a little too loose toward the end of the game.

I also like Dogfishhead 90 minute IPA.  It's another 9% beer, but it has hops in spades.  Definitely tasty. 

Sierra Nevada Pale Ales are definitely great, well-rounded beers, but pretty much anything from Anchor brewing company should get you started pretty nicely as well.

If you can find any of these at your neighborhood LCBO, I'll give the LCBO a round of applause.  I used to be a big fan of Ziewic, the Polish beer - I drank it just about all the time.
Title: Re: Burnout Advice
Post by: just Trev on September 27, 2008, 10:10:07 PM
I'm a huge fan of Victory Brewing Company's 'Storm King Stout'.  It is 9.1%, so be careful.  I made the mistake of bringing a six-pack to a poker game.  Let's just say I played a little too loose toward the end of the game.

I also like Dogfishhead 90 minute IPA.  It's another 9% beer, but it has hops in spades.  Definitely tasty. 

Sierra Nevada Pale Ales are definitely great, well-rounded beers, but pretty much anything from Anchor brewing company should get you started pretty nicely as well.

If you can find any of these at your neighborhood LCBO, I'll give the LCBO a round of applause.  I used to be a big fan of Ziewic, the Polish beer - I drank it just about all the time.

tag...throw in a bridgeport ipa as well