Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: MinaNicole on August 25, 2015, 01:57:24 AM

Title: Reading Anxiety
Post by: MinaNicole on August 25, 2015, 01:57:24 AM
 I have reading anxiety and it has increased since I have started studying for the LSAT. Does anyone else have this problem? Recommendations? Experiences? Thank you.
Title: Re: Reading Anxiety
Post by: loki13 on August 25, 2015, 07:07:07 AM
I have reading anxiety and it has increased since I have started studying for the LSAT. Does anyone else have this problem? Recommendations? Experiences? Thank you.

I am not quite sure what you mean by "reading" anxiety (as opposed to other anxiety)? Is this an issue you have with tests in general, standardized tests, or that you experienced in undergrad?

My two thoughts are as follows-
First, please get a handle on this. If you are experiencing anxiety with the LSAT, it is *nothing* compared to law school and the bar. It's like trying to compare a nice hot shower with a CAT5 hurricane. I'm not saying that to make you more anxious, I'm trying to tell you that you need to get a handle on your anxiety now (which to your credit you are doing).

As for what to do, I find meditation helpful. I understand that there are medications, but I am not a doctor and I do not take any.
Title: Re: Reading Anxiety
Post by: Citylaw on August 25, 2015, 09:43:36 AM
I am not sure what reading anxiety means, but I think if you don't like reading then law school may not be for you.

The LSAT is a very tame version of what law school will be like and that is a joke compared to the bar exam.

What I tell anyone interested in attending law school is to study for the LSAT and take it. If you hate studying for the LSAT odds are you will hate law school or if you don't do well enough to go to law school then you know that door is closed.

I think far to many people put the cart ahead of the horse and start putting all this what "ifs" etc etc, but take the LSAT and it will be stressful it is not an easy test. If you don't like pressure then law is probably not for you it is a high pressure profession, but if the pressure is a little intimidating and it is something you can deal with then join the club of the legal profession. None of it is easy.

Title: Re: Reading Anxiety
Post by: MinaNicole on August 25, 2015, 11:59:13 AM
I have reading anxiety and it has increased since I have started studying for the LSAT. Does anyone else have this problem? Recommendations? Experiences? Thank you.

I am not quite sure what you mean by "reading" anxiety (as opposed to other anxiety)? Is this an issue you have with tests in general, standardized tests, or that you experienced in undergrad?

My two thoughts are as follows-
First, please get a handle on this. If you are experiencing anxiety with the LSAT, it is *nothing* compared to law school and the bar. It's like trying to compare a nice hot shower with a CAT5 hurricane. I'm not saying that to make you more anxious, I'm trying to tell you that you need to get a handle on your anxiety now (which to your credit you are doing).

As for what to do, I find meditation helpful. I understand that there are medications, but I am not a doctor and I do not take any.


Thank you for your response. What I mean by "reading anxiety" is just a constant feeling of nervousness as I read the question--it does not allow me to actually intake the information until the third or fourth time I have read the question. This is primarily because the LSAT is not content based so it makes me more nervous. I always read the question feeling nervous that I may misinterpret the statement and select an answer that does not correlate with the prompt (must be true, flaw, describe, parallel, etc.)



Title: Re: Reading Anxiety
Post by: MinaNicole on August 25, 2015, 12:06:35 PM
I am not sure what reading anxiety means, but I think if you don't like reading then law school may not be for you.

The LSAT is a very tame version of what law school will be like and that is a joke compared to the bar exam.

What I tell anyone interested in attending law school is to study for the LSAT and take it. If you hate studying for the LSAT odds are you will hate law school or if you don't do well enough to go to law school then you know that door is closed.

I think far to many people put the cart ahead of the horse and start putting all this what "ifs" etc etc, but take the LSAT and it will be stressful it is not an easy test. If you don't like pressure then law is probably not for you it is a high pressure profession, but if the pressure is a little intimidating and it is something you can deal with then join the club of the legal profession. None of it is easy.


I am an English and Spanish double major; I love reading.

Although I have the skills to read I am overcome with anxiety to actually use those skills when I am under pressure. My thoughts about the future and the importance of the exam start racing that does not allow me to read the question.

I do enjoy studying for the LSAT but this anxiety is getting in the way of my concentration. I have to read the questions three of even four times. The fact that the LSAT is not content based makes me more nervous. I always read the question feeling nervous that I may misinterpret the statement and select an answer that does not correlate with the prompt (must be true, flaw, describe, parallel, etc.)

Title: Re: Reading Anxiety
Post by: loki13 on August 25, 2015, 12:41:52 PM
Mina,

I'm not sure if there's a generalized answer for you. If it's LSAT-specific (in other words, you performed fine in undergraduate), then you may just need to acclimate. Practice by taking times practice tests. Repeat. Keep repeating. Get a comfort level. Once you get more used to taking it in a structured and timed environment, it should get easier and get you used to the real thing.

Next, remember that you can always re-take it. Try and take some of the pressure off of you. You will certainly get some answers wrong- and that's okay! Just keep going on.

If these steps do not measurably help with your stress level, talk to a professional about what other factors might be at play.

Title: Re: Reading Anxiety
Post by: Citylaw on August 25, 2015, 01:43:06 PM
As Loki says you can retake with no repercussion as far I am aware schools have done away with averaging scores.

As to the reading anxiety it is a different kind of test than what most undergrads are you used to. In undergrad you basically learn information and regurgitate it, but the LSAT, law school and the legal profession is not really regurgitating facts it is learning to analyze issues with a few facts quickly.

As an example gay marriage was a recent Supreme Court decision there is no dispute about the facts. The lawyers all agreed on who was involved in the lawsuit, what the issue was etc, the lawyers had on both sides had to use these facts and analyze them to create an argument. 

Just as in a law school exam you will essentially be given a fact-pattern such as this. The exam Obama gave to his students at U of Chicago in 1996. http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/files/conlaw3.obama.1996.fall.pdf  . These facts are completely made up, but you will use what you learned in class to offer analysis to the questions. Reciting a list of the cases you read during the year or the facts of those cases on the test would result in an F.  Instead in the first fact pattern involving a lesbian couples right to children and state action you will have to apply the 14th Amendment, fundamental right cases etc that you learned to the situation then do an IRAC, which will result in a conclusion either for or against the couple (you will not be marked down for saying they should have the kid or not you simply make an argument and reach a decision." My favorite quote from BarBri was that one of two lawyers in every case is wrong, but if you don't make an argument then your in trouble. 

Then when you are an attorney a client will come to your office with a problem. Their problem is unlikely to fit any fact pattern you learned in law school, but you will hear their issue and apply the law as you know it. For example a client comes into your office saying the City will not let him do his Monthly Muslim Midnight marches through the residential neighborhood in the fictional City/State of Wazoo that Obama made up.

You will know Freedom of Religion exists, but you will also know there are time manner and place restrictions on the exercise of speech-religion etc along with a few other things I have long since forgot since Con-Law 2 I read Obama's Con-law 2 exam and now just realized how much I had forgotten : (

The point of all this is that law school and the legal profession is different. There is no "right answer" learning to obtain facts and analyze them very precisely is what the LSAT tests and it is not a fact driven test such where they ask questions with black & white answers. I.E. Who was the First President of the U.S. there is no debate on that question and that is the type of fact driven scenario most students are used to including myself before law school.

So you are right to be anxious it is a nerve wrecking test, but it is only the first step. Study, practice and do as well as you. Do not put unrealistic expectations on yourself I am sure I and everyone else on this board would love to see you get a 180 on it, but there is a 99% chance that is not going to happen. Instead you will study and I would your score will be somewhere between 150-160, which can get you into a number of law schools, but 99% of lawyers did not get a 180 or attend Harvard or Yale Law School so you have to be willing to accept that. Study your butt off get an LSAT score see what your options realistically are then make a decision to attend law school, forget law school, or retake the test, but step 1 is taking the first test.

I have seen so many people talk about law school and put off the LSAT and their life for years and now that I am 32 many of those people I went to undergrad with never ended up taking the LSAT let alone attending law school, but they put their lives on hold for 4-5 years thinking they weren't quite ready for the test. Meanwhile I took it and I did not set any records on the LSAT, but I did well enough to get into an ABA school with a solid scholarship and passed the bar first time. I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I took the steps necessary and didn't overthink the process. I hope you will do the same and wish you the best of luck.



Title: Re: Reading Anxiety
Post by: dubyrog on February 08, 2017, 08:46:16 PM
I enjoy reading too but I do get reading anxiety while preparing for LSAT. I was very nervous initially but I think I am getting better now.