Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

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Should I study the LSAT intensively + teach the SAT or Commit to Full-Time Research?

LSAT
4
36%
Research
7
64%
 
Total votes: 11

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thestalkmore
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Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby thestalkmore » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:11 pm

Hey everyone,

I'm a second semester Junior getting ready to apply, if everything goes as intended, in the upcoming fall cycle. I was confident that I was going to teach the SAT/ACT this summer and study intensively for the LSAT (I've got good softs already and a 3.9+ from a Top Public) but recent developments have thrown a wrench in my plans. I was recently nominated for a summer research fellowship and am in the running for another. This is good news but would require that I devote the large majority of my summer to full-time research, something I'm afraid will get in the way of my desire to study for the LSAT full-time.

So! Help me out! Which should I choose?
Last edited by thestalkmore on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DoktorZaius
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby DoktorZaius » Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:27 pm

Well it's hard to say, since I don't really know how important these research fellowships are to you. Obviously they would look great on a law school app, but the most important thing for you right now is to get an optimal LSAT score. If you have a 170+ with that killer GPA, you'll immediately win at life. In short, I'd say if you can 170+ on the LSAT while doing the fellowships, you should research away.

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OneSixtySix
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby OneSixtySix » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:58 pm

I wouldnt pass something worthwhile like that up just to study. I reckon you could balance the two, as many people working full-time 40-50 hrs/week do the same.

What happens if you decline the research position, study like crazy, burn out, and score a 155?

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kazu
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby kazu » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:04 pm

I agree.. sounds like a great opportunity, and a lot of people do make it work. And in the worst-case scenario you can retake in December, and still get your apps in early-ish.

Also, this thread needs a poll.

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thestalkmore
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby thestalkmore » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:47 pm

Thanks for the responses thus far.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:50 pm

Both? I don't see a reason to choose. Take a diagnostic to see how much you need to improve by. You might not have far to go.

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby Nom Sawyer » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:52 pm

thestalkmore wrote:Hey everyone,

I'm a second semester Junior getting ready to apply, if everything goes as intended, in the upcoming fall cycle. I was confident that I was going to teach the SAT/ACT this summer and study intensively for the LSAT (I've got good softs already and a 3.9+ from a Top Public) but recent developments have thrown a wrench in my plans. I was recently nominated for a summer research fellowship and am in the running for another. This is good news but would require that I devote the large majority of my summer to full-time research, something I'm afraid will get in the way of my desire to study for the LSAT full-time.

So! Help me out! Which should I choose?


you honestly only need either a month of dedicated study or 3~4 months of relaxed, spread out prep for the LSAT. So unless your fellowship literally takes up your entire vacation, it probably won't be too difficult to do both.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:57 pm

Are these research fellowships something you have a very strong interest in? If so, do them.

In terms of what is going to be best for admissions purposes, of course studying for the LSAT more will most likely be worth it. If you can find the time to do both, that would be the best case scenario. Keep in mind too, you can always decide to take a year off too. If you don't have adequate time to devote to the LSAT.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:00 am

Nom Sawyer wrote:
thestalkmore wrote:Hey everyone,

I'm a second semester Junior getting ready to apply, if everything goes as intended, in the upcoming fall cycle. I was confident that I was going to teach the SAT/ACT this summer and study intensively for the LSAT (I've got good softs already and a 3.9+ from a Top Public) but recent developments have thrown a wrench in my plans. I was recently nominated for a summer research fellowship and am in the running for another. This is good news but would require that I devote the large majority of my summer to full-time research, something I'm afraid will get in the way of my desire to study for the LSAT full-time.

So! Help me out! Which should I choose?


you honestly only need either a month of dedicated study or 3~4 months of relaxed, spread out prep for the LSAT. So unless your fellowship literally takes up your entire vacation, it probably won't be too difficult to do both.


It can vary greatly from person to person, but I actually recommend 3-4 months of dedicated study (and if a person can do more, then do more).

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby Kilpatrick » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:02 am

Why don't you study for the LSAT now and take it in June. Then you can still do the research in the summer. You should be taking the June test anyway so you can retake in September/October if you need to.

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby Nom Sawyer » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:03 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Nom Sawyer wrote:
thestalkmore wrote:Hey everyone,

I'm a second semester Junior getting ready to apply, if everything goes as intended, in the upcoming fall cycle. I was confident that I was going to teach the SAT/ACT this summer and study intensively for the LSAT (I've got good softs already and a 3.9+ from a Top Public) but recent developments have thrown a wrench in my plans. I was recently nominated for a summer research fellowship and am in the running for another. This is good news but would require that I devote the large majority of my summer to full-time research, something I'm afraid will get in the way of my desire to study for the LSAT full-time.

So! Help me out! Which should I choose?


you honestly only need either a month of dedicated study or 3~4 months of relaxed, spread out prep for the LSAT. So unless your fellowship literally takes up your entire vacation, it probably won't be too difficult to do both.


It can vary greatly from person to person, but I actually recommend 3-4 months of dedicated study (and if a person can do more, then do more).


eh 3-4 months of dedicated study to me would mean you'd be out of PTs 2 months in... I guess it does depend on where u start and what you are aiming for tho.

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thestalkmore
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby thestalkmore » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:07 am

Richie Tenenbaum wrote:
Nom Sawyer wrote:
thestalkmore wrote:Hey everyone,

I'm a second semester Junior getting ready to apply, if everything goes as intended, in the upcoming fall cycle. I was confident that I was going to teach the SAT/ACT this summer and study intensively for the LSAT (I've got good softs already and a 3.9+ from a Top Public) but recent developments have thrown a wrench in my plans. I was recently nominated for a summer research fellowship and am in the running for another. This is good news but would require that I devote the large majority of my summer to full-time research, something I'm afraid will get in the way of my desire to study for the LSAT full-time.

So! Help me out! Which should I choose?


you honestly only need either a month of dedicated study or 3~4 months of relaxed, spread out prep for the LSAT. So unless your fellowship literally takes up your entire vacation, it probably won't be too difficult to do both.


It can vary greatly from person to person, but I actually recommend 3-4 months of dedicated study (and if a person can do more, then do more).


This is my general understanding. My softs are good by reasonable standards (leadership, competitive extracurriculars, research, internships, and a wacky unique one) so I don't think I NEED this project or these grants to make me a viable candidate in the softs region.

On the other hand, I have no idea how well I'll score on the LSAT. I tend to test well, and consider myself a smart cookie, so I think that a 175~ should be doable if I apply myself. It seems that it might be unwise to sacrifice ANY time for studying on the LSAT when a 173+ makes me a near lock at at least H.

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thestalkmore
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby thestalkmore » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:10 am

Kilpatrick wrote:Why don't you study for the LSAT now and take it in June. Then you can still do the research in the summer. You should be taking the June test anyway so you can retake in September/October if you need to.


I haven't opened a prep book yet. I think I have the capacity to score well but don't want to sacrifice a great score because I didn't allocate enough time to studying. If I score poorly in October I still can either retake in December or, more likely, retake in February/June and apply the next cycle.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:15 am

Nom Sawyer wrote:eh 3-4 months of dedicated study to me would mean you'd be out of PTs 2 months in... I guess it does depend on where u start and what you are aiming for tho.


Yeah, people's definition of "dedicated" can differ. I've had students who have been "dedicated" for 1-2 months, yet have only taken 5 PT's in that time span.

I personally probably was not as dedicated as I should have been throughout the process, but I made up for it with spreading the study time over a long period of time.

thestalkmore wrote:This is my general understanding. My softs are good by reasonable standards (leadership, competitive extracurriculars, research, internships, and a wacky unique one) so I don't think I NEED this project or these grants to make me a viable candidate in the softs region.

On the other hand, I have no idea how well I'll score on the LSAT. I tend to test well, and consider myself a smart cookie, so I think that a 175~ should be doable if I apply myself. It seems that it might be unwise to sacrifice ANY time for studying on the LSAT when a 173+ makes me a near lock at at least H.


You really need to take a timed PT and see where you are before setting expectations. If you start out in the 150's, you're going to need at least 2-3 months (probably more) to try and see if it is possible to get to the mid 170s. If you start out at the mid 160's, you might only need a month or two of dedicated study to get there. Keep in mind, mid-170's might not be reachable for everyone.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:46 am

Seriously, just print out the free test they have online and do a full self-proctored exam this weekend. Take a look at what some of the questions are like(from another test, not the full one you're doing) before hand. Completely 100% cold is silly--it takes time the first time you encounter an exam to even read the directions and adjust to what's occurring that won't cost you time even the second time around. Then, come back to this thread and talk.
If you're in the 150s or lower, you're looking at significant prep time and perhaps should start before the summer.
If you're in the 160s, doing it alongside your intensive research should be just fine.
If you're in the 170s(this happens!), then obviously you can do it alongside research.

I still think that it'll be ridiculous to turn down an amazing opportunity just to study for the LSAT when I think you can probably do it concurrently, especially since you have tested well in the past. It's not like the MCAT, which definitely requires extensive prep. I'm a good test taker and an experienced test taker(I counted... I took 19 standardized tests in high school of the PSAT, SAT, SAT II, AP, etc. variety) and found prepping for the LSAT to not be too time intensive. If you're also a good test taker, prepping alongside your internship might be really really feasible.

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Olive
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Re: Summer Job + LSAT or Intensive Research

Postby Olive » Fri Mar 12, 2010 1:52 am

Will you be able to be flexible with your research (ie. set your own schedule, etc.?) I did research, plus a part time job last summer while I was studying for the LSAT. I didn't find it difficult to manage, but mostly because my research schedule was so flexible. Either way, I don't think you should pass up the research opportunity. Taking a diagnostic soon can also help you assess how much effort you will need to improve your score.

Good luck!




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