Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

TOMaHULK
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Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Mon May 10, 2010 1:54 pm

My first post here guys.

I've been lurking and reading, but now I need some advice.

June 7th will be my 3rd time taking the LSAT (please keep negative comments to a minimum), and I'm really pumped to do well.

Here's my issue: I work full time, and I'm also very into bodybuilding.

Generally I workout after work and then get home later in the evening. I've been trying to get studying in after my workouts, but the issue that I'm running into is that even when not working out (rest day) I'm a bit mentally drained/zoned out from work. For this reason I've really been trying to take advantage of Saturdays and Sundays, because I'm freshest then.

Let me say that I'm not a candidate for a "Top Law School" but I do intend to get into a law school and would like to increase my LSAT score.

The issue that I'm having with my workouts/LSAT prep is that logically you'd assume that I should just take a break from the gym and focus fully on my LSAT prep, however, the gym helps me a LOT with stress and generally when I've just left the gym my focus is pretty dead on. Also, I know that working out is supposed to help with Serotonin in the brain. I think evidence of this is felt by me weekly.

So what do you recommend guys/girls? I generally workout 4-5 times a week, and then have maybe 2-3 hours a night after that to study. I generally take Wednesdays off from the gym and would have 6 hours that day. And then of course the weekends.

Please note that I'm amp'd for this test mentally and motivationally, as I had fair improvement between my 1st and 2nd test scores (not high enough). However, I'd really appreciate negative advice be left out.

Figured if I want the best advice, that I need to come to the place where people are getting the best scores (Top Law Schools).

Thanks all.

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scgoaliface32
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby scgoaliface32 » Mon May 10, 2010 2:13 pm

I feel ya about the gym helping with stress and mental focus. I ended up taking the LSAT twice while working full time and keeping a gym sched. While studying for my first test I was taking a prep course twice a week right after work for 4 hours. Instead of working out the same time every day I'd try to make sure I got 5 days for about 2 hours whenever I could, either before work or late at night. It usually ended up that on days I had LSAT prep I'd either work out in the morning or after my prep class since I was already out, and take a rest day mid week depending on when I felt I needed it. On the weekends I'd study early then go to the gym around lunch and have the rest of the day off. Not that I was able to keep to it all the time but having a plan helped. I guess what worked best for me with me was just being flexible with when I worked out, but not how much, around a fixed study schedule. Good luck!

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Mon May 10, 2010 3:13 pm

I really appreciate your reply. It's good to know that I'm not the only facing this conflict.

Believe me, if I could just study all day, I would. But I can't. That is unless I want them to tow away my truck, take my apartment, and file bankruptcy. Before you have these obligations it's one thing, but once you have them it's another.

If someone was to ask me for similar advice and their hobby be "music or martial arts" (just some examples) I'd say "just take a break and focus on the LSAT prep." However, the gym and bodybuilding just seems a little different to me. It's truly a lifestyle and not just a hobby, and the overall effects "I feel" can help with and not allow me to get burnt out. But of course I'm biased :)

Good to know that somebody else was in the same boat, as I'm sure there's tons of people who are, and that I just don't know them. Obviously the easiest solution I see would be working out early in the morning, however, I've tried this before and I just don't get much use out of these early workouts, plus I think I'd still have to deal with the after work mind wondering.

I guess I need to see how it goes for a few days and if what I'm currently doing isn't working, just switch it up. I was going to try to hit logic bible books and several examples on Mon-Tues-Thurs-Fri, and on Wed (rest day) take a full test. Then take a full test on Sat, and one on Sunday (possibly).

I have a lot of Kaplan "mastery" and "pacing" books still from my Kaplan class (two years ago) and I'm going to try to use them too, although honestly I didn't get much use out of Kaplan. But yes, I know the feeling of working all day merely to find yourself in a 4+ hour course, and then to hear the instructor say "ya know when you guys get home you should be continuing your studying/practice each night." We were all like "dude, we can't even stay awake!"

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F458JE
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby F458JE » Mon May 10, 2010 10:01 pm

I do not really understand what you hope to gain from posting here. It does not help that you chose not to post your scores. If you have been studying exclusively on the weekends for the last five months, then you should be scoring at least in the 150's. If your not scoring that high, you might want to reconsider your options. You may take that as a negative comment, but its the truth.

It appears you clearly care more about working out and building muscles then you do about scoring high on the LSAT. You can easily cut down the time you are working out at the gym to free up time to study. These are things you have to learn to deal with, especially if you want to get through law school.

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lebob
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby lebob » Mon May 10, 2010 10:05 pm

F458JE wrote:I do not really understand what you hope to gain from posting here. It does not help that you chose not to post your scores. If you have been studying exclusively on the weekends for the last five months, then you should be scoring at least in the 150's. If your not scoring that high, you might want to reconsider your options. You may take that as a negative comment, but its the truth.

It appears you clearly care more about working out and building muscles then you do about scoring high on the LSAT. You can easily cut down the time you are working out at the gym to free up time to study. These are things you have to learn to deal with, especially if you want to get through law school.



generally speaking, F458JE, the profile score is supposed to be a REAL score.
i noticed your 175, and then i saw that it was PT score. save the spot for after you receive your october test score. no hate, just making a suggestion.

nrj1084
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby nrj1084 » Mon May 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Try to take the October test instead of the June test. That way, given your limited time each week, you can cover more study material. Work your way through some study books, then start taking practice exams frequently. On the days that you have a 6 hour study window, take a practice exam. Then spend the next 1-2 days analyzing the questions you got wrong. Keep on doing this until October.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 12:21 am

F458JE wrote:I do not really understand what you hope to gain from posting here. It does not help that you chose not to post your scores. If you have been studying exclusively on the weekends for the last five months, then you should be scoring at least in the 150's. If your not scoring that high, you might want to reconsider your options. You may take that as a negative comment, but its the truth.

It appears you clearly care more about working out and building muscles then you do about scoring high on the LSAT. You can easily cut down the time you are working out at the gym to free up time to study. These are things you have to learn to deal with, especially if you want to get through law school.


I've taken the real test twice before. And within studying for those tests, I have taken many many practice LSATs. I don't see how "it appears you clearly care more about working out and building muscles then youu do about scoring high on the LSAT." I'm asking for advice in order to focus more on the LSAT, and less on working out. As far as posting my score, as I just signed up today, I didn't even know about that feature of adding your personal info. And I won't post my score because it's really not any of your business.

If you don't want to give me advice, than don't. Your anger seems misguided and unnecessary. As far as your comment "If you're not scoring that high, then you may want to consider other options..." this is a pretty broad statement. I'm glad that you know the exact score that everyone needs in order to reach their desired goals. Thanks LSAT God.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 12:26 am

nrj1084 wrote:Try to take the October test instead of the June test. That way, given your limited time each week, you can cover more study material. Work your way through some study books, then start taking practice exams frequently. On the days that you have a 6 hour study window, take a practice exam. Then spend the next 1-2 days analyzing the questions you got wrong. Keep on doing this until October.


Thank you for your reply.

Right now I'm working through the Logic Bible and Logical Reasoning Bible on days that I'm working out (4 days a week). On Wednesday, my rest day, I'm taking a practice test. I'm going over that practice test on Thursday night. On Saturdays and Sundays I'm taking a practice test and going over the answers.

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Mattalones
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby Mattalones » Tue May 11, 2010 12:36 am

Dude, LSAT and full time work is tough. It is doable, though. You just have to do it in the right mind set. If you study when you aren't in the right mind set, then you'll be forming some mental space in which 75%-80% of your capacity is intact, and it can be associated with the test. You want to have positive associations with it. I don't know what time you work, but try getting up early for some cardio and breakfast before a study session. That is something that you can do before work. I have done that lots of times and I had to be at work AT 7:15am.

Also, what you are trying to do requires a superman schedule. When I was pulling stuff like that, I'd be up at 3:30am-4:00am for a jog, breakfast, yada, yada ... all showered up and studying by about 5:00am. That gave two or so hours of super fresh, super alert time for gettin' to it. Then, the day starts, and I'd work from 7:15am - 6:00pm (once or twice a week as late as 10:00pm). After that was gym, eat, bed, repeat. I wouldn't do shit on saturday, though. Needed to take a mental health day. You are going to have to pull something like this to be happy with your results and maintain your lifestyle. Good luck.

nrj1084
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby nrj1084 » Tue May 11, 2010 12:41 am

Is there also any way that you can trim some time off your workout? Maybe by trying to have less down time between sets, etc.? Maybe incorporate more high intensity interval training? Even if you could save just 45 minutes per gym visit, that can translate into at least one additional 35min timed section that you could take each day.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 12:49 am

Mattalones wrote:Dude, LSAT and full time work is tough. It is doable, though. You just have to do it in the right mind set. If you study when you aren't in the right mind set, then you'll be forming some mental space in which 75%-80% of your capacity is intact, and it can be associated with the test. You want to have positive associations with it. I don't know what time you work, but try getting up early for some cardio and breakfast before a study session. That is something that you can do before work. I have done that lots of times and I had to be at work AT 7:15am.

Also, what you are trying to do requires a superman schedule. When I was pulling stuff like that, I'd be up at 3:30am-4:00am for a jog, breakfast, yada, yada ... all showered up and studying by about 5:00am. That gave two or so hours of super fresh, super alert time for gettin' to it. Then, the day starts, and I'd work from 7:15am - 6:00pm (once or twice a week as late as 10:00pm). After that was gym, eat, bed, repeat. I wouldn't do shit on saturday, though. Needed to take a mental health day. You are going to have to pull something like this to be happy with your results and maintain your lifestyle. Good luck.



Exactly the type of info I was looking for when posting this topic.

Thanks you.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 12:52 am

nrj1084 wrote:Is there also any way that you can trim some time off your workout? Maybe by trying to have less down time between sets, etc.? Maybe incorporate more high intensity interval training? Even if you could save just 45 minutes per gym visit, that can translate into at least one additional 35min timed section that you could take each day.


True. I was thinking about going from maybe 4 days a week, to just 2 full body days. Obviously two extra days, or maybe 12 extra hours a week will help.

Also, do you believe in the method of doing certain sections of the real LSATs one at a time for practice and maybe a full length less often?

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Mattalones
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby Mattalones » Tue May 11, 2010 1:01 am

TOMaHULK wrote:Exactly the type of info I was looking for when posting this topic.

Thanks you.

No problem ... I appreciate the gratitude :D

Best of luck to you

nrj1084
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby nrj1084 » Tue May 11, 2010 1:01 am

TOMaHULK wrote:
nrj1084 wrote:Is there also any way that you can trim some time off your workout? Maybe by trying to have less down time between sets, etc.? Maybe incorporate more high intensity interval training? Even if you could save just 45 minutes per gym visit, that can translate into at least one additional 35min timed section that you could take each day.


True. I was thinking about going from maybe 4 days a week, to just 2 full body days. Obviously two extra days, or maybe 12 extra hours a week will help.

Also, do you believe in the method of doing certain sections of the real LSATs one at a time for practice and maybe a full length less often?



Doing as many full length practice exams AND going over each one thoroughly is a must imho. But if you want to spend some days practicing certain question types (LG/LR/RC), then I feel that doing 35 minute sections of that question type helps internalize the ideas/concepts.

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Knock
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby Knock » Tue May 11, 2010 2:34 am

Take steroids. Less time in the gym = more time to study.

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F458JE
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby F458JE » Tue May 11, 2010 8:43 am

TOMaHULK wrote:I've taken the real test twice before. And within studying for those tests, I have taken many many practice LSATs. I don't see how "it appears you clearly care more about working out and building muscles then youu do about scoring high on the LSAT." I'm asking for advice in order to focus more on the LSAT, and less on working out. As far as posting my score, as I just signed up today, I didn't even know about that feature of adding your personal info. And I won't post my score because it's really not any of your business.



It is hard to give someone advice when they do not give any information about what areas they need help with. All you said in your original post is that you love going to the gym and work full time. You are taking the test for the third time, apparently what you did before to prepare did not work. It would help if you told us how you studied before.

What are your study habits?

What sections give you the most trouble?

What question types do you get wrong more than others?

motiontodismiss
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby motiontodismiss » Tue May 11, 2010 8:50 am

I would say you should drop everything and study for the LSAT but I guess that's not the answer you're looking for.

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Mike12188
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby Mike12188 » Tue May 11, 2010 8:58 am

I tried to drop everything, but after a week of not going to the gym my scores began to drop and I couldn't stay focused for a whole prep test. I suggest not completely dropping the gym but def. cutting down, there's no need to work out everyday, aside from the weekends you should at least get in 2 more days with the LSAT during the week.

NonTradHealthLaw
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Tue May 11, 2010 8:59 am

Though my time is spent on the roads (marathon training) rather than in the gym, I'm in the same boat, Tom. I think other posters have been providing valuable advice. For this last month before the LSAT, treat your gym time as a taper or maintaining phase rather than a building phase. You don't necessarily need the same time or intensity - you'll be able to recoup any minimal atrophying afterwards.

Other suggestions would be to read the PSBs during any cardio, download LSAT prep podcasts for your listening "enjoyment" rather than pump music, take advantage of any 15-20 minute breaks in the day to re-run a logic game or two, or perhaps the best advice anyone gave to me - cancel cable for this last month to limit your outside distractions.

Ultimately, unless you have a competition coming up, treat the gym as a respite rather than a 3rd job. I fully understand your need for the endorphins, but remember it's just one more month of sacrifice.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 10:02 am

Knockglock wrote:Take steroids. Less time in the gym = more time to study.


:lol: Bodybuilders don't like to be associated with this word :wink:

Plus, I'm way to straight laced for that. LOL

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 10:16 am

F458JE wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:I've taken the real test twice before. And within studying for those tests, I have taken many many practice LSATs. I don't see how "it appears you clearly care more about working out and building muscles then youu do about scoring high on the LSAT." I'm asking for advice in order to focus more on the LSAT, and less on working out. As far as posting my score, as I just signed up today, I didn't even know about that feature of adding your personal info. And I won't post my score because it's really not any of your business.



It is hard to give someone advice when they do not give any information about what areas they need help with. All you said in your original post is that you love going to the gym and work full time. You are taking the test for the third time, apparently what you did before to prepare did not work. It would help if you told us how you studied before.

What are your study habits?

What sections give you the most trouble?

What question types do you get wrong more than others?


Ok, let me try to answer your questions the best I can.

When I 1st took the test, I just got some practice test and went into the library every few days for about a month and a half, and I took the practice test. Things looked realy good from the 1st test I took, onward. I was doing well. I took the real thing and my score was at least 14 points lower than I had been getting on my practice test. I think my practice test at the time were either Princeton Review test or Kaplan test, but it's certain that they were actual previous taken LSATs. I think they were a lot easier than the real thing. Obviously this hurt my confidence.

2nd test, I decided to do the "right thing." And I enrolled in Kaplan. I went to the 2 night (4 hour per night) course, and I think there were also some weekend meetings to take practice test, etc. Surprisely enough, my 1st practice test in Kaplan (the one they give you to start off) was the exact same score I scored on my real LSAT, 2 years before that. That being said, I determined that the material I had used to study for the 1st one was garbage.

I ended up getting 2 points higher on my 2nd LSAT, than I got on my first, and on my 1st Kaplan Diagnostic. We would meet for class, and then I'd obvious go through the lesson book, and through practice test on my own during the days we didn't meet. Note: I didn't use the pacing/mastery book and I still have those.

I knew that Kaplan had a rule that if you didn't get an increase or didn't like your score, then you could take again, but after contacting them they said "well, you did have an increase, so you can't take it again for free." And I figured that I didn't want to pay again, even if discounted it was still over 1k, for a course that didn't seem to help me. My thoughts are that their method kindda overcomplicated things (i.e. jumping around from one RC game to another, and then having to refresh your memory on the RC situation again, etc.).

Now I am working through the bibles. I had these last time but didn't think I needed them due to all the material we were covering at my Kaplan course. I think I'm going to just workout 2 days a week now, instead of the usual 5 days (note: I usually do just cardio on Sunday). What this will do is give me 4 days on the weekdays (maybe 5 hours a night) PLUS 2 full days on the weekend. It's cutting my gym time by like 66%. I will take practice test and review the incorrect/correct answers, and work through my bibles. I will also use the pacing and mastery books by Kaplan as more practice. Note: When I took my first practice test this time, it was a point higher than I scored on my last LSAT, so at least I haven't taken a step back. And then I find out yesterday that the watch I was using is FAST, and I really had more time on the test than I used. So I need to get a new one and enjoy the full 35 mins. (SRS)

Thanks for you advice. Sorry if I came off as unappreciative, but I thought you were bashing me for no reason. :wink:

Also, can you multi quote on this forum or no?

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 10:19 am

motiontodismiss wrote:I would say you should drop everything and study for the LSAT but I guess that's not the answer you're looking for.


Not necessarily, as I said I think I'm almost going to cut it back completely.

Interesting question: I spoke with an attorney that's kindda a family friend last night. He's also the head of a large thinktank, and teaches law. He said that I shouldn't worry about studying when I'm tired, etc, because the LSAT is a measure of aptitude and it wouldn't really help anyways. But I know friends that have gone up like 20 points on the LSAT.

What do you all think of his statement?

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 10:22 am

Mike12188 wrote:I tried to drop everything, but after a week of not going to the gym my scores began to drop and I couldn't stay focused for a whole prep test. I suggest not completely dropping the gym but def. cutting down, there's no need to work out everyday, aside from the weekends you should at least get in 2 more days with the LSAT during the week.


Yea, I agree. Starting today I think I'm going to change my schedule and get my butt home after work and take a practice test (this time with a watch that works :lol: ) and then go over the answers and work some more through the linear games in the bible tonight. I've done some pretty extensive research on critiquing my schedule/gym routine and I don't think I'll lose much progress with a system I've developed.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Best time management tactics for LSAT prep with FT job/gym?

Postby TOMaHULK » Tue May 11, 2010 10:24 am

NonTradHealthLaw wrote:Though my time is spent on the roads (marathon training) rather than in the gym, I'm in the same boat, Tom. I think other posters have been providing valuable advice. For this last month before the LSAT, treat your gym time as a taper or maintaining phase rather than a building phase. You don't necessarily need the same time or intensity - you'll be able to recoup any minimal atrophying afterwards.

Other suggestions would be to read the PSBs during any cardio, download LSAT prep podcasts for your listening "enjoyment" rather than pump music, take advantage of any 15-20 minute breaks in the day to re-run a logic game or two, or perhaps the best advice anyone gave to me - cancel cable for this last month to limit your outside distractions.

Ultimately, unless you have a competition coming up, treat the gym as a respite rather than a 3rd job. I fully understand your need for the endorphins, but remember it's just one more month of sacrifice.


You're right. I agree.

Props to people on here being real and not just giving me the advice I want to hear. But at least I know that some of you train and can understand my situation.




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