Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

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dba415
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Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby dba415 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:02 pm

Hey guys, I am thinking of taking a semester off at my University. I might be taking a couple classes at a community college but either way it will still delay my graduation by a semester (would graduate december 2012).

I'd also be working an internship part-time in an unrelated field which I started this summer and they asked me to come back in the Fall. In order to graduate on time AND get my LSAT studying done, I wouldn't be able to be interning.

The main idea though is to devote time to studying for the LSAT. I have been told by my friend who scored a 178 that studying is all about repetition, and of course having more time would do that.

I am planning on taking the October or December LSAT, and I know that by doing this I am putting enormous pressure on myself to be able to score in the 170+ range (got a 155 on diagnostics) and at this point I kind of got lazy and have barely studied at all this summer (I am not even done with the logic games bible and it's been what 2 months now).

That's the ONLY studying I have done^^^...so yeah, I'm leaning towards doing this but any comments and advice would be helpful.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:41 pm

I don't see any point. Plenty of people, including me, juggled school, studying for the LSAT and other extra-curricular activities.

I jumped from a 157 diagnostic to a 173 in June after studying for a few months. I honestly don't see the point. Just make a schedule for yourself, stick to it and you will be fine.

confusedlaw
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby confusedlaw » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:45 pm

went from 158-167 while studying in schools, if you make a schedule you will be fine, but yoiu must stick to it as much as you can
I would study when i was early for classes, if class got out early, and any time i could
i was also working 5 days a week while studying and it was possible

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kapital98
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby kapital98 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:51 pm

As long as you can manage your time well you should be fine. If you do go to school make sure to keep your credit load and extracurricular activities light (ex: 12-13 credits.)

P.S. Starting now with a solid game plan is a great idea. You can't cram for the LSAT. Just make sure you don't burn out during the next 4 months :)

09042014
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jul 16, 2011 8:26 pm

I don't think it's possible to study more than 3 hours a day. Just don't overload your schedule.

dba415
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby dba415 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 2:46 pm

Thanks for the advice, I just have a hard time focusing and motivating myself it seems like. I guess I would rather do "fun" stuff and keep pushing LSAT studying back.

I additionally don't want to overload myself, so at this point I have narrowed it down to 2 options.

1. Take a semester break, study for LSAT, work, take couple classes at CC but delay my graduation.
Pros: Easier to manage time, internship experience, get paid too, who wouldn't want another semester in college as undergrad?, could lead to higher LSAT score and higher GPA due to community college courses, a break from school before starting law school could be welcome.
Cons: Delay myself for 1 year.

2. Take no break, study for LSAT, and not go to work.
Pros: Can graduate on time and overall enter the workforce earlier
Cons: LSAT might not be as high, some cost savings

So therefore, option 1 is a serious option for me right now and I have been debating this for days now.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:27 pm

Option one sounds way better. I studied off and on for an extended period of time (more on than off) and it paid off for me. 155 diagnostic-->174 final LSAT score. I also took the LSAT twice before I was ready and regret doing so (I doubt think it had a huge effect on my cycle, but it may have played a role in the outcome at a couple of schools).

You still need to realize you need to stop slacking off and start as soon as possible though. If this plan just turns into you pushing back studying for a long time, then it's a huge fail of a plan. Make a plan and stick with it. Studying as much as possible on a test like the LSAT is a huge advantage. You may reach the occasional plateau, but keep the work up and your score can usually continue to get higher.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:30 pm

If you can develop a coherent response to your scenarios listed above in 35 minutes or less, you'll have the LSAT writing sample down.

Seriously, plenty of us worked full time while studying and did just fine. Taking a semester off to study sounds like a convenient excuse to take a semester off.

Edit: If you can take full advantage of the internship while cutting back the school schedule and studying for the LSAT, do that.

flexityflex86
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby flexityflex86 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 3:45 pm

Hawkeye Pierce wrote:I don't see any point. Plenty of people, including me, juggled school, studying for the LSAT and other extra-curricular activities.

I jumped from a 157 diagnostic to a 173 in June after studying for a few months. I honestly don't see the point. Just make a schedule for yourself, stick to it and you will be fine.

OP: I can see a point of doing it. Not everyone jumps 16 points after just a few months. Hawkeye has special gifts that not everyone has. Also, I think a lot of people downplay how much they work/study to seem smarter. I'm not saying Hawkeye does that, but OP should know that the vast majority of people don't do this after only a few months.

That said, schools will ask about your taking a semester off, and you better not say it was to study for the LSAT as this will definitely get a "wtf" reaction. It also wouldn't seem wrong to assume at that point you'd take a semester off of LS for the bar.

dba415
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby dba415 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:02 pm

Schools will ask why I took a semester off? Would that be seen as a negative? Many people don't graduate in 4 years though.

dba415
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby dba415 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:07 pm

oh, and another thing, I recently computed that if I take 9 hours of classes at community college in the fall, I could take 15 hours in the spring of 12 at my uni, then I'd only have 6 hours left which I can take in the summer and fulfill my requirements.

I currently have 30 hours left to graduate.

So, I guess another question would be, can I apply to law schools for the fall of 12 knowing that I will finish my degree requirements during the summer beforehand?

bp shinners
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Re: Taking a semester off to prepare for LSAT

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jul 18, 2011 12:04 pm

dba415 wrote:oh, and another thing, I recently computed that if I take 9 hours of classes at community college in the fall, I could take 15 hours in the spring of 12 at my uni, then I'd only have 6 hours left which I can take in the summer and fulfill my requirements.

I currently have 30 hours left to graduate.

So, I guess another question would be, can I apply to law schools for the fall of 12 knowing that I will finish my degree requirements during the summer beforehand?


You should write an addendum explaining the semester off. Most schools won't care as long as you can form a coherent, non-LSAT reason (such as the internship).

You can apply as long as you'll finish the UG classes and receive your degree prior to starting law school.




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