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imj345

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I have 2 years to study...
« on: December 05, 2009, 07:04:39 PM »
Hello all-

I have about 2 years to study for the LSAT.  That's a LONG LONG time obviously.  Ive always planned on going to law school (tossed around PhD a bit too, though), so I know that my decision on whether to go or not will remain pat for those 2 years.  The reason why I have 2 years is because I decided to go into the Marines after college (I sorta believe in that whole 'serving your country' type thing).

Other stats:
-3.8 GPA from humongous state school with Intl Relations major, Econ and History minor
-Marine Corps intelligence 2007-2012
-24 years old

If I can get at least a 168-170 or so, I think I should be competitive in T14, but prob not HYS.  Im hoping my Marine Corps experience will help push me over the fence, if I were to land on one.

Tell me what you think about my approach:

I basically plan on studying a little bit every day (or maybe every other day) rather than waiting 1.5 years and trying to cram like most people seem to do.  I will also be quite careful not to burn out.  Taking a week off here and there.

I recently took a practice test and scored about 85% on each of the sections.  I took about 37-40 minutes on each section, which I realize is over the 35 minute limit, but I just wanted to get a baseline.  Plus, while I was taking the test, my dogs were running around acting silly, I got 1 or 2 texts, etc, so there were some distractions.

Prior to the test, I studied a bit: Skimmed through the logic games bible.  Did about 5-10 questions from each section.

Overall, I am quite happy with my performance thus far.  I figure if I dedicate 30 minutes or so a day for the next 2 years, I should easily be able to break 170.  Who the hell knows, though.

-imj




imj345

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 08:33:26 PM »
Absolutely valid point.  Perhaps I'll scale back my plans a bit, and only study periodically.  Once every week or two for about an hour.  My goal is to have the LSATs (particularly the logic games) become second nature. 

However, I dont think I'll run out of material.  If I take a test now and then again in 9 months (let alone 24 months), it'll basically be like taking it for the first time.  May even help to compare the scores from the same test today vs X months from now.

imj345

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 12:15:16 AM »
Yeah, 85%.  Like I said, they were untimed and I did each section independently, with 10-30 min between sections.  It wasnt a serious attempt to get a baseline.  I just started doing problems to see what was what.  But I eventually added up my scores:  83% correct on the LG and 85% on the AR and RC.  It was test #12. 

And if what you say is correct about the 178+, then I'd pretty much poo in my pants.

Thanks for the tip about the other bibles. It would be a shame to overlook the other 2 sections.

j_chouu

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 12:15:53 AM »
If I were you, I'd just start reading case books or some academic literature. This way you'll just strengthen your natural ability to read possibly boring material of a higher reading level than your typical novel. IMO, reading comp is the hardest to get better at, because there are fewer strategies, and there is such a big variety of ways to write essays and such. that said, good luck with it

sychaeus36

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2009, 09:00:25 AM »
I'll trade my aptitude for reading comp for anyones LG ability. ;D

Doodsmack

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2009, 09:13:54 AM »
Personally, I would forget about the LSAT for the next 1.66 years. 4 months or so is all you need to study and improve substantially. People who want to start studying years in advance, and gear their reading habits and even college major towards the LSAT, because they've heard so much about how hard and important the test is, imo are misguided. I improved 24 points in a period of about 3 months taking a total of 15 practice tests. If you're scoring 85% on each section, even if you're taking extra time, 4 months will be more than enough.

imj345

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 09:47:55 AM »
All good advice, thank you, all!

I think what I may do is just end up taking the exam sooner rather than later.  Perhaps in the fall prior to the admission cycle.  Right now I have a pretty strong desire to study, and I'd like to use that momentum.  Also, if something goes hay-wire on the test, itd be nice to have that cushion.  Plus, you really dont know what schools to be checking out until you take the LSATs, so my aimlessly meandering researching through schools ranked #100  through HYS could get a bit of direction.

So I think I'll study for the next year or so and take the test next fall or winter.

To me, the reading comp is by far the easiest.  And the AR is a close second.  I have 0 concern about those.  To me, the LG is the only thing that seems at all imposing.  And even those I think will become much much easier with experience.

ryanjm

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2009, 06:26:40 PM »
All good advice, thank you, all!

I think what I may do is just end up taking the exam sooner rather than later.  Perhaps in the fall prior to the admission cycle.  Right now I have a pretty strong desire to study, and I'd like to use that momentum. 

That's a good idea. If you've got the itch to study, might as well start now, go full steam ahead, and see how you do on full-length practice exams after you've studied. After you've done like 15-20, and you're happy with your score, take the real thing. If not, keep studying. But like some have already said, either start and do it now, or wait till around 4 months before you plan to take it. Stringing out your study over 2 years would be bad I think.

j_chouu

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Re: I have 2 years to study...
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009, 07:47:52 PM »
hey, also I'm not sure if you're a morning person, but from what I know, the LSAT is administered in the afternoon for the June tests. For non morning people, this is HUGE. I scored some of my highest scores in the evening, whereas when I wake up, and there's no blood circulating to the head, my focus wasn't as good.

Also, you may want to consider taking ginko biloba and omega 3 for the 3-4 weeks prior to the test. may or may not work, but at the very least i felt the placebo effect.