Working and LSAT

lsatextreme
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Working and LSAT

Postby lsatextreme » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:19 pm

So I'm sure this is a topic that's been beaten to the death, but I am also someone who works full-time and tries to study for the LSAT during whenever free-time possible. I usually only have time to drill sections at a time instead of taking 4 sections straight or 5 section with break tests, and I just have to ask, for those with experience with both, do you guys see much of a difference between your performance, say if you did a PT with 4 sections separately throughout the day(or maybe 2 sections in a row at most) vs doing 4 section straight/5 section with break?

I guess the biggest factor to consider is fatigue and I try to take alll my full lengths on weekends and I'm just scared that I haven't been able to get as much in as I would have liked

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mr_toad
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby mr_toad » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:23 pm

I work 10-12 hour days myself and study about an hour each night, which might involve bible drills or doing 1-2 sections. My full 5-section PT scores that I do Saturday and Sunday mornings at the proper time, i.e. starting at about 9 am, are actually higher by about 3-5 points on average than PTs that I take in the evenings or late at night. I think you might be surprised at how much easier it is to take a test when you haven't worked all day, plus, at least for me, my first section is usually the one where I miss the most relative to my average for that section. If I take four sections separately, I get four "first-section scores", whereas if I take five in a row with proper timing and breaks, it actually works in my favor. Sorry for the tangential discussion, but it might help your analysis of your own situation.

lsatextreme
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby lsatextreme » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:27 pm

that's actually encouraging to hear, I was expecting the exact opposite due to fatigue but I guess on game day I should be pumped with adrenaline anyhow. I guess it does help that I have taken this test twice already so I kinda know what to expect, but yea, I actually avoid taking full length PTs after I come home from work bc I know I'm fatigued enough to not be able to do my absolute best, so I just push myself to do section drills at most. I'll have time to do 3 more full length tests before the real deal so I guess I shouldn't be too worried about getting the experience in.

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lennonist
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby lennonist » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:29 pm

lsatextreme wrote:So I'm sure this is a topic that's been beaten to the death, but I am also someone who works full-time and tries to study for the LSAT during whenever free-time possible. I usually only have time to drill sections at a time instead of taking 4 sections straight or 5 section with break tests, and I just have to ask, for those with experience with both, do you guys see much of a difference between your performance, say if you did a PT with 4 sections separately throughout the day(or maybe 2 sections in a row at most) vs doing 4 section straight/5 section with break?

I guess the biggest factor to consider is fatigue and I try to take alll my full lengths on weekends and I'm just scared that I haven't been able to get as much in as I would have liked


let me put it this way:

Before I quit my job: highest scores in mid-160s
After I quit my job: highest scores in mid-170s

Fin.

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mr_toad
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby mr_toad » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:33 pm

Must be nice, although if I didn't work I'd obsess even more about it. However, would be nice to have the next eight days to really hit it. My work is actually getting crazier every day, so LSAT in the evening is a nice break. I'm one of those weird ones who'll miss it when it's over.

lsatextreme
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby lsatextreme » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:36 pm

mr toad, if you don't mind me asking, how are you averaging?

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mr_toad
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby mr_toad » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:41 pm

I assume you're asking score averaging:

Last five morning scores (PT range of 48-58): 177, 180, 179 172 (PT 57... meh) 177
Last five evening scores (same PT range roughly): 170 171 171 174 175

Needless to say, I look forward to my Saturday / Sunday mornings, but I still do PT sections in the evening; I figure it's good practice to do them after a full day of work (which involves tons of thinking and analysis) to mimic possible tiredness if, for instance, I don't sleep well the night before, etc. Plus, right now, any practice = good practice, in my book.

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kaftka juice
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby kaftka juice » Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:41 pm

i've found when i do broken up lsats i tend to do better on the sections i'm good at (lr and lg) and worse on the section i'm bad at (rc :x ). it helps me to be in complete test mode and have some confidence from the other sections to tackle the rc section. consequently, my scores tend to be higher when i break up the sections (better at 3 sections and worse at 1 is a net gain, for those of you who may not be ip).
also, i am a morning person, so after i switched around my work schedule to work only evenings/nights, my scores also improved. i don't even take pt anymore unless i start them before 10am (trying to emulate test day). i'm not sure how much flexibility you have with your work schedule, but if you have any ability to take one in the morning, maybe starting at 8am until 11am, DO IT.

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crysmissmichelle
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby crysmissmichelle » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:16 pm

work full time. . . .17 month old baby . . .

I stay late at work to get to take practice tests.

+1 about doing better on later sections of the test. The first section tends to be my lowest and my score gets better as I go.

I do think that I will do better on test day because I won't be flat exhausted (hopefully) when taking it in the morning. (though I took the test once before and the baby, 3mnths old at the time, literally cried all night and I slept less than 3 hrs :/ )

I have been taking 5 section tests when time allows just to remind myself how it feels. . .but it's not a lot different than the 4 section ones. . . .

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crysmissmichelle
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby crysmissmichelle » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:18 pm

Oh, and my worst practice test so far was when I took one at home and the baby cried in the next room for random parts of two sections of the test and my husband WOULDN'T TAKE HER OUTSIDE TO PLAY!

I got a 161 that day and almost wrung my husband's neck.

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mr_toad
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby mr_toad » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:21 pm

So it won't bother you when the completely unprepared 2/3 of the LSAT room starts crying in unison when they hit the games section for the first time in their lives... I'd say you have a strong advantage!

lsatextreme
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby lsatextreme » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:28 pm

if I can somehow translate my avg section drill scores into the respective sections of a full test, I think I'd be satisfied with the score, but I guess I was afraid the whole won't necessarily have the characteristics of its parts (haha)

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2014
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby 2014 » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:34 pm

If you have a child I can understand lack of time for practice tests, but just full time work?

Between volunteer commitments, part time work, and school I am never home before 6 which equates to a full time job and I have time to take practice tests in the evening.

What's wrong with taking a PT from 7:30 - 10, grading it, reviewing a bit, then calling it a night?

lsatextreme
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby lsatextreme » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:49 pm

well if i really pushed myself I could be taking PTs after work, but I know I'm fatigued since unfortunately, I don't receive a full time salary without showing some results and effort, so when I get home I'm noticeably tired. I have tried taking a full PT after work but I noticed the next morning I am even more tired. I'm the type of person where fatigue just kinda accumulates and compounds over to the next day so if I try to pack too much in a day, I'll wake up the next morning essentially needing coffee to even get my brain up and running

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Cromartie
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby Cromartie » Thu Sep 30, 2010 3:53 pm

mr_toad wrote:I assume you're asking score averaging:

Last five morning scores (PT range of 48-58): 177, 180, 179 172 (PT 57... meh) 177
Last five evening scores (same PT range roughly): 170 171 171 174 175

Needless to say, I look forward to my Saturday / Sunday mornings, but I still do PT sections in the evening; I figure it's good practice to do them after a full day of work (which involves tons of thinking and analysis) to mimic possible tiredness if, for instance, I don't sleep well the night before, etc. Plus, right now, any practice = good practice, in my book.


I have similar trends. On average, I perform better on the PT's I take on Sunday mornings when I'm fresh off the weekend compared to those I take on Wednesday evenings after 10-12 hours at work. My job entails a lot of heavy mental lifting, so by the time I get home, my brain pretty much starts going on shutdown mode. I also do 1-3 PT sections on nights when I'm not doing full PT's.

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mr_toad
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby mr_toad » Thu Sep 30, 2010 4:34 pm

The question of individuals' tiredness at night depends greatly on the person and the job (hah, take that tautology). I know, I know. Obviously. But to the person who gets home at 6 and has time to take a prep test, that's cool (and this is not a slam; for all I know, your day might start at 5 am and if so, I tip my hat to you). But I'm in the boat of the person above who works 10-12 hours a day. When you do that, you don't get home at 6, or, if you do, you're home at 6 after a 9 hour day and still have 1-3 hours of work to do in the evening. So I completely get why said person doesn't want to or just plain can't take a (whole) PT. For myself, it would be work from 8a-8/9p, then PT 9p-11.30p... Whether or not I would get anything out of it is debatable. For me, the more serious issue is the effect this has on the next day. As above poster wrote, the tiredness accumulates (Before anyone jumps in and says maybe this should be a sign of impending doom in a world of law where the very best jobs are the ones that are going to work you 10-12-plus hours a day on average, yeah, it's scary. I think about it. And yes, I'm posting at work. It's a long day, but breaks are self-organized. I'll enjoy it while I can).

aleighp
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby aleighp » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:28 am

I also work full time. I took the test last Dec. and did not do well at all (didn't think I had to study that much, never did a full test, did hardly any timed test sections...stupid!!).
I started studying hard for the Oct. 2010 test about two months ago, studying 4-5 (sometimes 6) days a week. It has been hard to work and study, but I've somehow managed to do it - even when I'm drained after working all day and don't think that I can do anything, let alone take a PT, once I start the PT I get into it. My schedule is: get up at 6:15, drive 45 min. to work, start work at 7:30 and go until about 4, drive home for 45 min. I either take a timed section or two before dinner, or if I'm starving I eat first. I've been taking an entire timed test (4 sections in LSAC's actual books) every weekend for the past 1 1/2 - 2 months. I tend to do better during the week when I take just 1-2 sections, but my weekend full test score is only 2 or so points lower. The frustrating part is that I cannot get above 158-160, with only one full test at 162 (this is a 11-15 point improvement over last year's Dec. LSAT score, so not bad I guess). The sucky thing about being so close to the Oct. test date is that I have been extremely busy at work the past two weeks and have had to leave at 5 several days instead of my 3:30 or 4, and have only been able to get two nights of studying in this week. I can't take any time off work number one because I have a lot to do there, and I need the money. I'm not sure what I'm going to do for this last week - I will for sure take an entire timed test on Sunday am, and will probably study a few sections at most 3 nights next week.
I also have a dog and a boyfriend (basically husband) I live with - so I have to figure in walking the dog and hanging out with the boy. I was trying to go to the gym every night too, which went down to a few nights a week, but that got tossed out of the window really quickly, and so I have gained a few pounds in the past few months :(
Speaking of work, I'm here and need to start!

krad
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby krad » Fri Oct 01, 2010 3:09 pm

One week from tomorrow we can all resume our normal lives full of 10 hour days with NO STUDYING! Let's use that to help get us through the next week : )

I too have found that my PT scores (5 section) on the weekend mornings are higher than my weeknight PT (4 or 5, depending on my workday) scores. I'm hoping that bodes well for the test morning!

Anyone else have to factor in work travel as well? I spent a work week in WY last week, talk about tiring. Travel, conference all day for 5 straight days, email/other work in the evening, communicate with boyfriend, then PT...

Here's to making it work around full work days, significant others (luckily mine's in residency and previously battled the MCAT), and some semblance of a social life!

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crysmissmichelle
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby crysmissmichelle » Fri Oct 01, 2010 6:15 pm

mr_toad wrote:So it won't bother you when the completely unprepared 2/3 of the LSAT room starts crying in unison when they hit the games section for the first time in their lives... I'd say you have a strong advantage!


Yeah, I swear, I don't think my score would have been that low if it was ANYONE else crying. . .but I kept thinking something was really wrong and it was actually a lot more distracting than I expected.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Sat Oct 02, 2010 11:32 am

I took a prep course this summer while I was working full time (45 hours/week).

It IS possible, but it is also difficult. Finding time to do my homework/other study was very hard, and I ended up being a serious weekend studier. Over about 3 months I went from a 157-166 on PTs both proctored and done at home. After I stopped working, I only had to study and go to classes. My score has increased from a 166 to a 174 on my last PT.

Long story short: it is doable, but it is hard. You are going to have to sacrifice sleep and your social life if you are going to get what you need done. And I would suggest you make sure to take some breaks in your study schedule when/if you get burned out. I flamed out once or twice and just had to step away.

Good luck!

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northwood
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby northwood » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:12 am

i work 8-6 monday thru sat. I took a course over the summer. Its really all about dedicaiton and mind over matter. For me, i bookmarked 8-11 as lsat monday- friday, and 1-6 on sunday ( let myself out sat nites) You'll find out that once you get a routine, its easy to study, although taking a test in the am is hard to schedule. make sure to schedule time out from this, so you dont get burned ( i burned out 2 times this prep).
early in your prep work on timed sections, slowly increase the number of sessions you do in one sitting until you can do 3 without a break. then go to 4 section tests, and finally 5

for me, i dont allow myself a break during a 5 section pt. I know there will be one on oct 9th, but i want to compensate for nerves, and other distractors.

dtubin
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby dtubin » Sun Oct 03, 2010 1:29 am

I will not be working during my LSAT prep. My buddy did and it affected his score a lot. I have a lot of time to put aside for the LSAT and some 13/hr paying job isn't going to get in the way of me making it big.

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mikehoe
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Re: Working and LSAT

Postby mikehoe » Sun Oct 03, 2010 2:01 am

i work a fulltime 9-5 job also. i'm taking a blueprint class, and the class meets once during the week at night and once saturday morning. i had a hard time studying. i would say outside of prep class, i studied about 3 hours per week, Now that the LSAT is coming up in october, i decided to not take it this time around. i also live with my girlfriend in which i give a good amount of time to. Hard stuff




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