Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Time to allot for studying  (Read 2469 times)

xander787

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Time to allot for studying
« on: September 07, 2013, 10:27:59 PM »
First of all, I really hope this post is correctly placed and I'm not asking a question that has been answered hundreds of times already. If I am in the wrong place I'd appreciate a referral to a forum better suited for my question.

A little bit about me: Iím about to go into my first year at UCLA, currently declared as an Electrical Engineering major, but over the last year or so Iíve taken a pretty big interest in applying to law school after undergrad, and thus, have been doing quite a lot of research on the law school applications process and the LSATs. Iíve done a lot of research on study plans, information about the LSAT, and have even taken the June 2007 practice test to see where I currently falls. On the practice test I scored a 166, My end goal, as Iím sure is the same as many othersí, is to get that score to the mid-to-high 170s by the time I decide to take the test.

I wanted to ask about how much time to allot to studying for the LSAT. Iíve seen study plans/schedules of various lengths on sites like the lsatblog and elsewhere, but have heard differing opinions on long-term vs shorter term studying. Some have said that long-term studying can help to really set in all the information while others, such as the writer at lawschooli.com, have suggested that 3-4 months is the optimal time and anything in the longer term can have a negative impact on retention (I also wonder about the limited number of preptests available to study from having to be spread over longer periods of time). Does anyone have an opinion on this and a suggestion on the optimal amount of studying time?

Thanks so much for any and all input!

Miami88

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
    • View Profile
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2013, 10:21:35 AM »
I'd say you take the test whenever you feel most prepared - no sooner. That will probably be, in terms of practice time, very different for each person. I'm not sure where lawschooli.com got their info from, but there are plenty of people - myself included - who have continued to score higher, more consistently with more time. I actually read somewhere that some LSAC rep said he recommends at least 6 months of study.

I spent about 2 months drilling technique/method until I was consistently scoring 180s on un-timed tests. I did not plan that, it just so happened to take me that long to get there. I then took 2-3 months to transition into timed tests and then another 2 months to transition to exact test conditions. By test day, I had taken just about every single test available and did not run out of tests. Remember, you MUST review every single test - in some cases multiple times.

I ended up scoring within my average LSAT PT band - albeit in the lower end of it.

Good luck!

Citylaw

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 311
    • View Profile
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2013, 12:00:29 PM »
If I am reading your post correctly then you are a Freshman at UCLA. If that is the case do not worry about the LSAT until your junior or senior year of college for several reasons (1) You need to focus on getting a solid GPA (2) Have fun in College (3) Your LSAT score will expire by the time you can even apply and (4) by the time your a junior or senior in college you may have no desire to attend law school. (5) The LSAT is not going anywhere don't rush into it best time to take it assuming you even still want to attend law school is the summer of your Junior Year.

Overall right now don't worry about your LSAT it is to early in the game and you can score a 180 on your LSAT, but if you neglect your undergrad studies and finish with a 2.1 GPA your SOL. Additionally, you can retake the LSAT, but you cannot change your undergrad GPA so focus on getting the best grades you can now and worry about the LSAT later it is not going anywhere.

Your enthusiasm is great, but if your only a freshman college it is misplaced and you need to focus on what you are doing now particularly if this is your first month or so in college many students have a poor first year in college, which later impacts their grad school opportunities don't let them happen to you because you were to busy studying for the LSAT.

Good luck with everything and if law school ends up being what you want in a few years I wish you the best.

mrshello

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2013, 07:44:19 PM »
I'd say you take the test whenever you feel most prepared - no sooner. That will probably be, in terms of practice time, very different for each person. I'm not sure where lawschooli.com got their info from, but there are plenty of people - myself included - who have continued to score higher, more consistently with more time. I actually read somewhere that some LSAC rep said he recommends at least 6 months of study.

I spent about 2 months drilling technique/method until I was consistently scoring 180s on un-timed tests. I did not plan that, it just so happened to take me that long to get there. I then took 2-3 months to transition into timed tests and then another 2 months to transition to exact test conditions. By test day, I had taken just about every single test available and did not run out of tests. Remember, you MUST review every single test - in some cases multiple times.

I ended up scoring within my average LSAT PT band - albeit in the lower end of it.

Good luck!

I intend to work on LSAT-related materials everyday. 2 fully timed test every week. Working with specific sections and where I went wrong on other days. Also, working with BenchPrep online LSAT prep program. In essence, I intend to work on the LSAT an hour or an hour and half on "light" days and full tests and two hours additional review on "weekends." I'm working to break into 170 this December  (UPDATE: I initially said I was gonna take it this October) and my diagnostic (under real time and conditions) is 147. 

Miami88

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 153
    • View Profile
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2013, 11:00:18 PM »
Going from 147 to over 170 is ambitious to say the least. I'm not saying its impossible - but you may find a month to be a little bit of a time crunch. If you truly think you can do it - id consider post-poning the test until February, or even June. If you don't think that is realistic, then take the test when you feel completely ready...

Good luck!

livinglegend

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
    • legalmatch
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2013, 08:47:38 PM »
I agree with Miami and hopefully you get a 170, but that is in the top 10% of LSAT takers and those who actually show up to the LSAT are college graduates that are motivated enough to get into law school. So it is the top 10% of tough competition.

Additionally if your diagnostic was 147 odds are with proper studying you can get between a 154-158, which is sufficient to get admitted into an ABA law school. If you get an ABA law school you can succeed as a lawyer and 90% of active lawyers did not attend the top 10% of law schools.

Do everything you can to score as well as possible, but do not get to discouraged if you score under 170. Almost every LSAT taker does.

Good luck with the test.

mrshello

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2013, 09:44:19 PM »
Going from 147 to over 170 is ambitious to say the least. I'm not saying its impossible - but you may find a month to be a little bit of a time crunch. If you truly think you can do it - id consider post-poning the test until February, or even June. If you don't think that is realistic, then take the test when you feel completely ready...

Good luck!

Hi Miami,

Thanks for the message. I am so sorry to have posted October .. I meant December (I got my 2 rowdy nephews of which one is 7 an one is 2 last night while typing!)  to take the LSAT. After reviewing my mistakes on my cold diagnostic, I actually improved my new test to 155, which is not bad but still gotta drill on LR and Reading a little bit more and possibly working a section a day on "light" days or during lunch breaks at work.


mrshello

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2013, 09:47:30 PM »
I agree with Miami and hopefully you get a 170, but that is in the top 10% of LSAT takers and those who actually show up to the LSAT are college graduates that are motivated enough to get into law school. So it is the top 10% of tough competition.

Additionally if your diagnostic was 147 odds are with proper studying you can get between a 154-158, which is sufficient to get admitted into an ABA law school. If you get an ABA law school you can succeed as a lawyer and 90% of active lawyers did not attend the top 10% of law schools.

Do everything you can to score as well as possible, but do not get to discouraged if you score under 170. Almost every LSAT taker does.

Good luck with the test.

Thank you! Sorry for the confusion, I actually meant the December LSAT. For now, I am trying to see if I can achieve a few (3-5) points more every test for September (since I have a lot of time off from work this month!) and hopefully steadily improve for October. I thought that if by November 4 (the regular deadline for lsat registration), I should have a few points around 170 (give or take) so that I can determine if I should go ahead and register or not.

livinglegend

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
    • legalmatch
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2013, 01:27:10 AM »
I wish you the best hopefully you get a 170, but again most people have their limits and odds are no matter how much you study you won't get a 170. The same way no matter how much I work out and play basketball Lebron James will be better than me.

There are just limitations so do your best for 170, but don't be discouraged if you don't get there. Good luck.

Maintain FL 350

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 686
    • View Profile
Re: Time to allot for studying
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2013, 12:30:27 PM »
It's very difficult to predict what your LSAT score will be this early in the game. When you are a week or two away from the real test, and have been consistently scoring in the same range for a while, then you'll have a better idea.

It's unlikely that you'll increase 3-4 points with every administration of the exam. The thing about the LSAT is that it gets exponentially harder to gain points the higher you go. In other words, going from 155 to 160 is a big leap, but going from 160 to 165 is even bigger. Far fewer people will score 165 than 160, and only a fraction of all applicants will score above 170.

You would have to be making huge statistical leaps forward to consistently increase your score towards 170. In short, it's a lot harder than it sounds. 

Additionally, it seems that most people score lower on the actual LSAT than they did on practice exams. I think most people find that they plateau within a 3-5 point range. I had a friend who scored 174 on the LSAT, but even his diagnostic was something like 165.

I'm not saying it's impossible, just that you should understand the statistical improbability of going from 149 to 170, and make a backup plan accordingly. Think about other options just in case you don't score 170, and other schools you may want to apply to.