Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

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LS2013
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Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby LS2013 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:23 am

I just finished my first year at a well respected/ranked liberal arts college with a pretty good GPA. I only see my GPA going up as this year I focused a lot on getting my quantitative and science gen eds out of the way (not my strong points..).

I realize it's still pretty early in my college career, but is it advisable to start studying for the LSAT this summer? I have a part-time job, but my college does not start until mid September leaving me ample time to study..

Is this too soon? I talked to my advisor about this and he thinks that I may "burn out" if I start too early.. I also have internships planned for future summers so studying for the LSAT then would be difficult. Would it be advisable to start studying for the LSAT now, even if I don't plan on taking it until my junior year? Or if I study, and receive decent PT scores (165+) would it be to my advantage to take it sooner rather than later? Advice?

betsyanna
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby betsyanna » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:27 am

This is crazy. Spend max 4-6 weeks prepping for the LSAT right before you take it.

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TheTopBloke
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby TheTopBloke » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:30 am

No.

LS2013
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby LS2013 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:33 am

betsyanna wrote:This is crazy. Spend max 4-6 weeks prepping for the LSAT right before you take it.



From what I've already read on these boards, the LSAT is a very "learnable" test.. Consequently, the more time someone has to study, the better their chances at a great score.

Even if I should only spend 4-6 weeks max studying before the test, would it be in my advantage to start earlier rather than later?

Any more advice (especially from those who have been in similar positions) would be great!

thechee
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby thechee » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:36 am

I would say studying even before your sophomore year is too early. Summer after sophomore year? That might make sense, if you want to take the test in Feb/June of your junior year. I knew some folks that took a prep course during the summer after their sophomore year, took a break from studying, and then went back to it in the 1-2 months before the test.

I think taking the June test before the start of your senior year is a good bet, since you'll have an opportunity to retake in October, if necessary.

I disagree with the previous poster in that more than 4-6 weeks is not a ridiculous amount of time studying.

Keep in mind though, you're still just barely out of freshman year, so keep your options open. Don't put all your eggs in the law school basket just yet. Enjoy the liberal arts college experience, and keep an open mind to what other avenues of interest might come your way. If, 1-2 years down the road, you are still set on law school, dive in for some hardcore LSAT prep.

LS2013
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby LS2013 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:48 am

thechee wrote:
Keep in mind though, you're still just barely out of freshman year, so keep your options open. Don't put all your eggs in the law school basket just yet. Enjoy the liberal arts college experience, and keep an open mind to what other avenues of interest might come your way. If, 1-2 years down the road, you are still set on law school, dive in for some hardcore LSAT prep.


I almost completely agree with what you've stated.. However, I have wanted to go to law school for as long as I can remember and do not see that changing. Also, I have well respected internships already cemented (great softs!), for future summers which would leave me little time to study for the LSAT then. I don't really want to study for the LSAT during the academic year as I would like to devote as much energy as possible to achieving a high gpa.

At the very least, if intense studying for the LSAT this early is ridiculous, would at least familiarizing myself with the test's format help me? Has anyone ever been in a familiar situation?

thechee
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby thechee » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:54 am

Maybe this varies depending on the type of school that you're at, (I went to a top LAC), but I found that after a few years of dissecting dense academic prose, my analytical abilities improved significantly. When you've been reading dense books/articles for a couple of years, and are held eminently accountable by engaging profs, LSAT material is that much less of an adjustment. I doubt this outweighs your reasons for wanting to get the test out of the way, but definitely something to consider.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby Lawquacious » Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:59 am

Congrats on being ahead of the game.. When I was in undergrad I never even realized that my grades would be important one day in seeking out law school, nevermind contemplating what else I could do to prepare myself to take the next steps! It seems to me that the quality of your prep will be key, though allowing plenty of time to prep also is generally a good idea (IMO many people would indicate 3-4 months of intensive study is a good length of time, but if you start off with high practice scores you may need less time, or vice versa if you start off scoring a lot lower than you want to score). I don't think it would hurt to take a practice test or two now when you have some free time, but maybe intentionally holding off on serious study until you are actually about to take the test is a good strategy. That way you can really concentrate your study focus and not get discouraged by studying over a very long period of time without the pressure of the actual test to motivate you. I studied over a long period (on and off for 2-3 years); looking back, I did the best I knew how with studying, but I think if I were going to study for a retake I would have a more organized and time-limited plan (such as the study-guide Pithy Pike recommends/created on here), with a stronger focus on correcting my errors at depth (i.e. really coming to better understand my systematic errors). A focus on taking a ton of practice tests can be helpful to a considerable degree, but I think is not sufficient for really large score improvements. HTH
Last edited by Lawquacious on Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:07 am, edited 2 times in total.

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thecilent
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby thecilent » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:03 am

I would aim to take the test September or December your junior year. If you start prepping in like February, and intensely study during the summer, you should hit your peak around test day.

Keep your GPA up! Goooood luck

Tautology
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby Tautology » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:05 am

Studying is for the weak. Just do one practice test a week before to get your bearings.

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jayn3
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby jayn3 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:09 am

grades >>>>>>>>>>> lsat until february of your junior year at the earliest. obviously plan to take it at a good time for you, but remember that work experience is a valuable soft. i would say that a high UG GPA from an older candidate with work experience trump an okay GPA/marginally higher LSAT from a young candidate.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:10 am

Cilent21 wrote:I would aim to take the test September or December your junior year. If you start prepping in like February, and intensely study during the summer, you should hit your peak around test day.

Keep your GPA up! Goooood luck


Yeah I took it September my Junior Year and considered myself to be way ahead of the game, and don't see any real rationale for taking it any earlier. If you're going to study this summer, then plan to take it your sophomore year, not your junior year. I found taking it at the beg. of my junior year ideal--I had all summer to prep(and wasn't doing anything important that summer anyway) and then I could focus strictly on school my junior year. I didn't have to stress about the LSAT at all as my peers started fretting about how to start prepping.

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thecilent
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby thecilent » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:13 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Cilent21 wrote:I would aim to take the test September or December your junior year. If you start prepping in like February, and intensely study during the summer, you should hit your peak around test day.

Keep your GPA up! Goooood luck


Yeah I took it September my Junior Year and considered myself to be way ahead of the game, and don't see any real rationale for taking it any earlier. If you're going to study this summer, then plan to take it your sophomore year, not your junior year. I found that after taking the LSAT I became much more intensely aware of the impending admissions process for senior year and had it sort of hanging over my head junior year. On the bright side, I didn't have to stress about the LSAT at all as my peers started fretting about how to start prepping.


Taking it sophomore year can be bad for two reasons I think:

1) I think you really do get a little boost from being more mature and having developed a few skills from college coursework

2) I think you can burn out from the admissions game. And taking it your soph year could make you stop caring a little quicker..

I'd still recommend early Junior year.. Even if you have an internship, it's still wayyy possible to prep right

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Veyron
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby Veyron » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:16 am

LS2013 wrote:
betsyanna wrote:This is crazy. Spend max 4-6 weeks prepping for the LSAT right before you take it.



From what I've already read on these boards, the LSAT is a very "learnable" test.. Consequently, the more time someone has to study, the better their chances at a great score.

Even if I should only spend 4-6 weeks max studying before the test, would it be in my advantage to start earlier rather than later?

Any more advice (especially from those who have been in similar positions) would be great!


Don't let the naysayers fool you, you may reach plateaus in your studying but even more studying will get you past them. You are wise to begin so early.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:19 am

Cilent21 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Cilent21 wrote:I would aim to take the test September or December your junior year. If you start prepping in like February, and intensely study during the summer, you should hit your peak around test day.

Keep your GPA up! Goooood luck


Yeah I took it September my Junior Year and considered myself to be way ahead of the game, and don't see any real rationale for taking it any earlier. If you're going to study this summer, then plan to take it your sophomore year, not your junior year. I found that after taking the LSAT I became much more intensely aware of the impending admissions process for senior year and had it sort of hanging over my head junior year. On the bright side, I didn't have to stress about the LSAT at all as my peers started fretting about how to start prepping.


Taking it sophomore year can be bad for two reasons I think:

1) I think you really do get a little boost from being more mature and having developed a few skills from college coursework

2) I think you can burn out from the admissions game. And taking it your soph year could make you stop caring a little quicker..

I'd still recommend early Junior year.. Even if you have an internship, it's still wayyy possible to prep right


Yeah I'll admit I feel burnt out from admissions and my cycle hasn't even started. Hasn't hurt my schoolwork or anything, just my quality of life. TLS is obviously also part of the problem.

I recommend summer before junior year, just saying that if OP *insists* on starting now, he should plan to take it sooner rather than later, lest one burns out on the LSAT entirely.

In response to the maturity/skills argument, that depends entirely on the person. I know someone who took it in beg. of his sophomore year who slam-dunked it(177-180 range) and I did just fine taking it at 19 as well.

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thecilent
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby thecilent » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:27 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Cilent21 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Cilent21 wrote:I would aim to take the test September or December your junior year. If you start prepping in like February, and intensely study during the summer, you should hit your peak around test day.

Keep your GPA up! Goooood luck


Yeah I took it September my Junior Year and considered myself to be way ahead of the game, and don't see any real rationale for taking it any earlier. If you're going to study this summer, then plan to take it your sophomore year, not your junior year. I found that after taking the LSAT I became much more intensely aware of the impending admissions process for senior year and had it sort of hanging over my head junior year. On the bright side, I didn't have to stress about the LSAT at all as my peers started fretting about how to start prepping.


Taking it sophomore year can be bad for two reasons I think:

1) I think you really do get a little boost from being more mature and having developed a few skills from college coursework

2) I think you can burn out from the admissions game. And taking it your soph year could make you stop caring a little quicker..

I'd still recommend early Junior year.. Even if you have an internship, it's still wayyy possible to prep right


Yeah I'll admit I feel burnt out from admissions and my cycle hasn't even started. Hasn't hurt my schoolwork or anything, just my quality of life. TLS is obviously also part of the problem.

I recommend summer before junior year, just saying that if OP *insists* on starting now, he should plan to take it sooner rather than later, lest one burns out on the LSAT entirely.

In response to the maturity/skills argument, that depends entirely on the person. I know someone who took it in beg. of his sophomore year who slam-dunked it(177-180 range) and I did just fine taking it at 19 as well.


Yeah, I mean I agree with everything you said. The whole maturity thing is just a generalization.. I took it at 20 and did fine. But even I'm a little burnt out from the admission game, so it can def happen,

But yeah, either way OP.. Plan to take it whenever you have enough time to really dedicate a few months..

nickwar
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby nickwar » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:34 am

You're awesome, bro. Don't worry about anything in life except the LSAT.

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thecilent
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby thecilent » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:39 am

Also:

More thank likely, this late late in the game, they are out of $$$.

Wait and re-apply as early as possible next year if $$$ is a major concern.


How are you giving out this advice, but also posting this question in this thread? Weird

LS2013
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby LS2013 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:58 am

Cilent21 wrote:Also:

More thank likely, this late late in the game, they are out of $$$.

Wait and re-apply as early as possible next year if $$$ is a major concern.


How are you giving out this advice, but also posting this question in this thread? Weird



Like I said earlier in this thread, I've done considerable reading in these forums (and actually, for quite some time..). So I know the mantra quite well: retake the LSAT and re-apply. I just haven't seen a lot of answers regarding my question.... hence this post.

Thank you everyone who has offered me constructive advice!

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thecilent
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby thecilent » Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:00 am

LS2013 wrote:
Cilent21 wrote:Also:

More thank likely, this late late in the game, they are out of $$$.

Wait and re-apply as early as possible next year if $$$ is a major concern.


How are you giving out this advice, but also posting this question in this thread? Weird



Like I said earlier in this thread, I've done considerable reading in these forums (and actually, for quite some time..). So I know the mantra quite well: retake the LSAT and re-apply. I just haven't seen a lot of answers regarding my question.... hence this post.

Thank you everyone who has offered me constructive advice!


?? Have you spent anytime in the LSAT Prep forum? ALso, there's lots of decent LSAT prep articles that can give you a timeline of when to start studying..

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Patriot1208
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby Patriot1208 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:45 am

You should study around 4 months hard. But studying during an internship is not hard if you aren't lazy. I am interning 30+ hours, taking a class, and doing LSAT study 20+ hours.

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Veyron
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby Veyron » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:32 am

nickwar wrote:You're awesome, bro. Don't worry about anything in life except the LSAT.


If you ignore the sarcasm, this is actually really fucking credited. One point can mean tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money or admission instead of rejection. What could be more important than that?

crossingforHYS
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby crossingforHYS » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:37 am

LS2013 wrote:
thechee wrote:
Keep in mind though, you're still just barely out of freshman year, so keep your options open. Don't put all your eggs in the law school basket just yet. Enjoy the liberal arts college experience, and keep an open mind to what other avenues of interest might come your way. If, 1-2 years down the road, you are still set on law school, dive in for some hardcore LSAT prep.


I almost completely agree with what you've stated.. However, I have wanted to go to law school for as long as I can remember and do not see that changing. Also, I have well respected internships already cemented (great softs!), for future summers which would leave me little time to study for the LSAT then. I don't really want to study for the LSAT during the academic year as I would like to devote as much energy as possible to achieving a high gpa.

At the very least, if intense studying for the LSAT this early is ridiculous, would at least familiarizing myself with the test's format help me? Has anyone ever been in a familiar situation?

I was and I began EARLY like sophmore summer early ....and then spent a year/year and a half on and off studying...I only improved with time so...

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TommyK
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby TommyK » Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:14 pm

Pithy's guide suggests you plan to study for about three months. This is also about the amount of time that the typical prep courses last. I'll defer to the wisdom of crowds on this - it's hard to stay motivated beyond a typical three months for something like this.

Have you considered doing softprep in the interim? And later on, you can actually begin doing the regimented studying? That way, you're learning some of the skills you need and feel like you're making some progress, but also don't risk getting burnt out prior to your test.

What I mean by softprep would be developing some of the skills you'll need. I hear reading dense articles help - subscribe to things like The Economist, read academic journals, etc. Pick up a book on logic and fallacies like Asking The Right Questions. It won't be intense prep, but if you don't have logic classes in your background and not predisposed to thinking like that naturally, it will introduce you to fallacies and get you in the mode of reading and thinking critically. You'll be able to pick up much more quickly the logical reasoning section, which counts for 1/2 your score.

Good luck. Nice job starting early and recognizing the immense gravity of the test.

pelmen74
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Re: Sophmore in college studying for the LSAT???

Postby pelmen74 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:44 pm

From my experience, I started looking at the LSAT fall of junior year but only started hardcore studying (1-1.5 hours per day) over the summer. I wound up running out of practice tests 2 days before the september LSAT. Furthermore, I maxed out late August. You can learn to do the LSAT but you can only learn it so much, you will reach a plateau at some point. Starting this summer WILL be too early for you.




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