The Abyss wrote:BP Ben,
I am currently in the drilling phase of my studying, and I am taking the June LSAT. My question is this: What is the maximum amount of drilling per day that you would recommend? I plan on drilling LR everyday and alternating LG and RC, so I'll be drilling two sections everyday. Is 50 LR and 10 games too little? Too much? Just right? I have anywhere from 2-4 hours every weekday and up to 9 hours on the weekend for studying. I've been stuck in a rut of consistent 163-165 PT scores and want to commit the next 2-3 weeks to intense drilling to fix foundational issues.
Well, that all depends on you, Abyss. But I've seen your posts in the June thread, and I know you're very serious, so I'll give you the Platinum Plan:
Rather than laying out hard numbers for hours and drilling volume, I'm going to ask you to think about your prep conceptually as a series of cycles, or thresholds. The most effective study regimen, IME, is one where you gradually increase the intensity until you reach your limit, push slightly beyond it, and then allow yourself to recover. The amount of time each cycle takes to complete depends on your level of endurance and mental discipline at this point in your prep. The result should be that those two measures of strength increase after every recovery period, making it harder and harder to reach your breaking point in each successive cycle. You'll also probably see your biggest score jumps at the beginning of each cycle, after the rest period ends and your light phase begins. The recovery is where the magic happens.
So start with a low intensity week. Maybe 2 hours of drilling/weekday and a PT or two on the weekend. Then turn up the heat gradually. Around week 3, you'll hit maybe 4-5 hours/weekday and as much as you can handle on the weekend. (Again, the actual amount depends on your level of endurance/mental discipline at that point in your prep. Don't push too far too quickly, or it will take much longer to recover.) Once your head hurts and you can't see straight, prep one more day at max intensity, and then take ~3-5 days (maybe a whole week, if you can spare it) entirely off. Don't skimp on the recovery period. That's the whole reason you do this--the recovery is when you actually make progress.
When I was at the peak of my training, the most I drilled was around 100 LR, 16 passages, and 16 games in a day. You probably won't need to go much further than that. At the beginning of a light week, it was maybe 15 LR, 2-4 passages, and 4-6 games in a day, just to ease back into it. Obviously you can (and should!) adjust those numbers based on your relative strengths and weaknesses. For me, a passage took a lot
more energy than a game, so if I was going for a light day, I would keep the RC to a minimum. But on a hard day, RC would be the focal point.The main thrust of this post is really just about the mindset: Push beyond your limits, and then recover. Rinse and repeat until 180.
I know this advice is a little bit unconventional. People don't tend to think about LSAT prep this way. But in my experience, getting better at the LSAT is less about learning and more about training. It's much closer to an athletic event than it is to a test. How long can you focus intensely on this dense passage? How fast can you solve this complicated logic puzzle? How efficiently can you break down the core of this argument? To do this really well, you need strength and skill above all else. Train with that mindset, and you'll make an enormous amount of progress.
Best of luck! Feel free to post here with any questions you have along the way.