Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

enigma09
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Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby enigma09 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:59 am

For those of you who have studied abroad (in a country that speaks a language other than English) the summer before taking the LSAT, are there any tips you could share with regards to maintaining your mastery of the English language? I'm in a Spanish speaking country this summer and plan on taking the LSAT come October, but I'm a little worried about losing some of my English proficiency after a couple months of talking/thinking in Spanish. I know that might sound a little far-fetched to those of you who haven't spent an extensive amount of time studying a foreign language, but it's a real fear of mine, and I can't afford to lose any precious seconds in reading comprehension or logical reasoning simply because my English skills have deteriorated.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby LSAT Blog » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:09 am

enigma09 wrote:For those of you who have studied abroad (in a country that speaks a language other than English) the summer before taking the LSAT, are there any tips you could share with regards to maintaining your mastery of the English language? I'm in a Spanish speaking country this summer and plan on taking the LSAT come October, but I'm a little worried about losing some of my English proficiency after a couple months of talking/thinking in Spanish. I know that might sound a little far-fetched to those of you who haven't spent an extensive amount of time studying a foreign language, but it's a real fear of mine, and I can't afford to lose any precious seconds in reading comprehension or logical reasoning simply because my English skills have deteriorated.


I kinda know what you're talking about. When abroad in a non-English-speaking country for a few months, I tend to speak English using simpler words and have more of that tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon where more advanced vocabulary words don't come to mind quite as readily.

I wouldn't say that comprehension itself changes, though.

Either way, you said you're taking it in October. Hopefully, this means you'll be doing most of your LSAT studying over the summer. This will prevent any potential comprehension issues from arising.

Basically, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

-Steve

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Canarsie
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Re: Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby Canarsie » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:32 am

I recommend, no matter where you are, a solid 3 months for you to study. In addition, I have read studies which actually recommend taking a standardized test in another language (English) during or immediately following a stay in a country which speaks another (Spanish). I can't find any right now, but I know it was in reference to the SAT.
Last edited by Canarsie on Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Canarsie
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Re: Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby Canarsie » Wed Jun 02, 2010 11:33 am

PLEASE make that "don't recommend" in the last sentence!! The studies do not recommend doing it. Sorry.

tipler4213
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Re: Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby tipler4213 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:40 pm

I wouldn't do it. I was planning on doing it and started taking practice tests while I was in France speaking French all day every day, and my scores were abysmal in comparison to those I took just before I left and just after I returned. I think its easy to underestimate how much speaking and reading in a foreign language consistently can affect your comprehension skills. I would recommend waiting and taking it the following offering where you can study and speak in English for months beforehand.

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lebob
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Re: Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby lebob » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:46 pm

i studied abroad a few years back, and planned on studying while i was abroad
i cheerfully packed up all of my lsat books and material, landed in the new country...and never touched them again.

i would be more worried about being able to devote enough time and focus on lsat preparation - which is why i recommend not doing it.
honestly, the language deterioration thing is secondary.

you're studying abroad, and able to devote many hours to the LSAT each day? i doubt it --- too many schedules, class trips, random chill with your buddy nights, etc etc.

enigma09
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Re: Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby enigma09 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:44 pm

Thanks for the advice so far. I, too, am studying in Madrid and speaking Spanish all day, every day. I've already studied for the LSAT for about a month (having read the LRB and LGB), so I'm more worried about the language deterioration than prep time.

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Canarsie
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Re: Studying for the LSAT while studying abroad?

Postby Canarsie » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:17 pm

If you want to counter the language deterioration and this is your only option, I'd recommend continuing to prep in Spain for two reasons. 1) Prep = good. 2) It keeps your mind focused on English, and especially on LSAT-language English. But if you see your PT scores decreasing you may want to consider taking it after a length of time in an English-speaking country. Just my two cents.




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