If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Evey
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If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby Evey » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:21 pm

Hi all. I dillydallyed (sp?) around here a couple years ago, but have taken my time thinking about the law school idea. Now I've graduated and am overseas teaching English. I definitely want to do this for another year or two and then do TFA, but law school is the end goal. My job here is completely stress free and leaves me with more free time than I know what to do with, so I would like to take advantage of this to prepare for the LSAT.

My question for those of you studying and those who have taken the test, how would you spend your time if you could dedicate upwards of two years to LSAT prep?

I'll be getting a Kindle for Christmas, so I'm uber excited to download (for free!) all of the classics I've always wanted to read. Aside from pleasure reading, I'm thinking things like the Economist and Smithsonian (which are also interesting), and informal logic would be beneficial, no? How far in advance would it be a good idea to start focused LSAT prep?

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dextermorgan
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:36 pm

Evey wrote:Hi all. I dillydallyed (sp?) around here a couple years ago, but have taken my time thinking about the law school idea. Now I've graduated and am overseas teaching English. I definitely want to do this for another year or two and then do TFA, but law school is the end goal. My job here is completely stress free and leaves me with more free time than I know what to do with, so I would like to take advantage of this to prepare for the LSAT.

My question for those of you studying and those who have taken the test, how would you spend your time if you could dedicate upwards of two years to LSAT prep?

I'll be getting a Kindle for Christmas, so I'm uber excited to download (for free!) all of the classics I've always wanted to read. Aside from pleasure reading, I'm thinking things like the Economist and Smithsonian (which are also interesting), and informal logic would be beneficial, no? How far in advance would it be a good idea to start focused LSAT prep?

What exactly would you do to prep? The issue with starting focused prep so early is that there is a finite amount of material available.

Evey
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby Evey » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:51 pm

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I realize there's only so much material out there, hence the secondary question of when to start focused study, by which I meant practice tests and bibles. Your question is more or less my question.

I know some have recommended reading scholarly journals and magazines to build up reading skills for RC. Usually when someone suggests that on TLS others reply that it would only help if done for long periods of time rather than the 3-6 months that it seems is average for people to spend studying. I have that long period of time, so I'm curious if people would suggest anything else to get my brain functioning the way it needs to for the LSAT.

cowgirl_bebop
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby cowgirl_bebop » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:54 pm

dextermorgan wrote:

What exactly would you do to prep? The issue with starting focused prep so early is that there is a finite amount of material available.[/quote]

This. There are only so many tests available. Im sure before 2 years are done you would hae finished them all and then what? And god forbid you need to study again for a retake.

If I could do it all over, I would have begun preemptive study for my December retake instead of just waiting for the end of October. I lost a few weeks that I really could have used. I also wish I had more time to learn games, because I always sucked at those. I have never finished a time games section in my life. It would have been nice if I had developed those skills more.

But oh welll. What's done is done. Im not taking it a 3rd time, so my Oct. and Dec. scores will just have to do.

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AreJay711
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby AreJay711 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:59 pm

You could start now with some formal logic if you wanted. It seems the consensus on TLS is 1 year is the max you need. There are some good guides on here.

jas5076
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby jas5076 » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:01 pm

Evey wrote:Hi all. I dillydallyed (sp?) around here a couple years ago, but have taken my time thinking about the law school idea. Now I've graduated and am overseas teaching English. I definitely want to do this for another year or two and then do TFA, but law school is the end goal. My job here is completely stress free and leaves me with more free time than I know what to do with, so I would like to take advantage of this to prepare for the LSAT.

My question for those of you studying and those who have taken the test, how would you spend your time if you could dedicate upwards of two years to LSAT prep?

I'll be getting a Kindle for Christmas, so I'm uber excited to download (for free!) all of the classics I've always wanted to read. Aside from pleasure reading, I'm thinking things like the Economist and Smithsonian (which are also interesting), and informal logic would be beneficial, no? How far in advance would it be a good idea to start focused LSAT prep?


Lets say you wanted to take the June 2013 Lsat and enroll in LS in the Fall of 2014, in that scenario I would start studying June 2012. I honestly think starting now or really doing anything would be a waste of time/material. If I were you the next year and a half or however long you decide I would take it easy, keep reading stuff which it sounds like you enjoy doing. Perhaps pick up some informal logic books, this will help prepare you for some of the stuff you will see without burning material. One year to study for the LSAT is a ton of time, especially if you have a decent base in informal logic and are a good reader

InLikeFlint
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby InLikeFlint » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:03 pm

Get really good at sudoku. Seriously.

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dextermorgan
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby dextermorgan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:06 pm

Evey wrote:Sorry, I should have been more clear. I realize there's only so much material out there, hence the secondary question of when to start focused study, by which I meant practice tests and bibles. Your question is more or less my question.

I know some have recommended reading scholarly journals and magazines to build up reading skills for RC. Usually when someone suggests that on TLS others reply that it would only help if done for long periods of time rather than the 3-6 months that it seems is average for people to spend studying. I have that long period of time, so I'm curious if people would suggest anything else to get my brain functioning the way it needs to for the LSAT.

Oh, I see. Probably the best thing you can do other than reading The Economist etc., is to read up on formal and informal logic. There are some great books, but I will have to find them.

As for when to start the hardcore prep, most people on here will say ~3 months before the test. Personally I am giving myself 6 months, which will allow me to take a virtual class, a virtual games-intensive class, and work through all the prep tests.

Edit: Here are some good ones: Logic Made Easy Being Logical

jerrymander
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby jerrymander » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:05 am

Never too early to start logic games. Do LGB and go through all the games from PTs 1-40. Multiple times. Write your own logic games. Just own that section.

As for the rest of it, just read and become intellectually curious. Read widely - philosophy, literature, history, politics. If you are smart, a good reader, and intellectually curious, you will kill the LSAT.

iceland
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby iceland » Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:51 am

Two years?!? That sounds dreadful and quite unnecessary.
Last edited by iceland on Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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robotclubmember
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby robotclubmember » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:21 am

jerrymander wrote:Never too early to start logic games. Do LGB and go through all the games from PTs 1-40. Multiple times. Write your own logic games. Just own that section.

As for the rest of it, just read and become intellectually curious. Read widely - philosophy, literature, history, politics. If you are smart, a good reader, and intellectually curious, you will kill the LSAT.


I think it's too early to touch the bibles, but you could get away with LGB, and just doing 1-40 over and over again. That would be decent practice.

I suspect someone may respond and say "That's a great way to ruin 40 PT's!" If you take the LG's 1-40, then you can't take any of those as full PT's, and many insist you need full PT's to study for the LSAT. I don't really think that's true. As long as you have saved maybe a dozen full PT's to do (which should be more recent, 50-6x, anyway), you are fine. You can do everything else in sections.

Other than that, I agree that sudoku is a good idea, and reading dense materials such as the Economist, Atlantic, etc., is a good idea. When you're a year from taking the test, then you can start thinking more seriously about how to prep. The only people who need a year are people who are really far behind or people who are going for a 180 and not a point lower. A full year is excessive and two years is, actually, fucking ridiculous. LSAT is adminstered in Asia, maybe you should just take it sooner if you have that much time? That would leave you ample time to retake as well. The real value in having all that time is having a huge retake buffer zone just in case.

jeremysen
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby jeremysen » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:27 am

Evey wrote:Sorry, I should have been more clear. I realize there's only so much material out there, hence the secondary question of when to start focused study, by which I meant practice tests and bibles. Your question is more or less my question.

I know some have recommended reading scholarly journals and magazines to build up reading skills for RC. Usually when someone suggests that on TLS others reply that it would only help if done for long periods of time rather than the 3-6 months that it seems is average for people to spend studying. I have that long period of time, so I'm curious if people would suggest anything else to get my brain functioning the way it needs to for the LSAT.



Here is the best way to go about it:
(1) Take a practice test to see where you suck.

(2) Begin initial preparations for the area(s) you suck in.

Doing a ton of LG this early is pointless if all you really need is a few months prep. For me, had I started LG prep so early, I would have run out of materials - I tend to do games in 6-7 mins a piece, and I find them much more interesting/easy, so I do a ton of them at a time.

Early prep for LG: Sudoku if you are already doing okay in that section. Start doing LG seriously if you sucked badly on your practice test - some people who aren't good at LG need to do All the LG problems more than once...and that can take a year if not more.

RC: It's gotta be more than reading the Economist, although that's a way to start..I guess. If you're gonna read any articles, make sure you get in touch with remembering/testing yourself about its key points. I'd recommend doing a few RCs a week if your practice test sucked in this area. If the test didn't suck here, then stick with Economist.

Evey
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby Evey » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:21 am

robotclubmember wrote:
jerrymander wrote:LSAT is adminstered in Asia, ...


Who said I was in Asia? :P

Thanks guys. Looks like it will be lots of sudoku and reading for me :)

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: .

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:27 am

.
Last edited by SchopenhauerFTW on Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rinkrat19
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:10 pm

If I had two years, I'd wait 20 months and then start studying.

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3|ink
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby 3|ink » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:13 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:If I had two years, I'd wait 20 months and then start studying.

I thought of writing something like this, but this is a much better way of putting it.

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The Gentleman
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:19 pm

Spending more than 6 months on LSAT prep is counterproductive IMHO. Although keeping your brain in shape by reading and doing puzzles would be a good use of your time.

jerrymander
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby jerrymander » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:26 pm

robotclubmember wrote:
jerrymander wrote:Never too early to start logic games. Do LGB and go through all the games from PTs 1-40. Multiple times. Write your own logic games. Just own that section.

As for the rest of it, just read and become intellectually curious. Read widely - philosophy, literature, history, politics. If you are smart, a good reader, and intellectually curious, you will kill the LSAT.


I think it's too early to touch the bibles, but you could get away with LGB, and just doing 1-40 over and over again. That would be decent practice.

I suspect someone may respond and say "That's a great way to ruin 40 PT's!" If you take the LG's 1-40, then you can't take any of those as full PT's, and many insist you need full PT's to study for the LSAT. I don't really think that's true. As long as you have saved maybe a dozen full PT's to do (which should be more recent, 50-6x, anyway), you are fine. You can do everything else in sections.

Other than that, I agree that sudoku is a good idea, and reading dense materials such as the Economist, Atlantic, etc., is a good idea. When you're a year from taking the test, then you can start thinking more seriously about how to prep. The only people who need a year are people who are really far behind or people who are going for a 180 and not a point lower. A full year is excessive and two years is, actually, fucking ridiculous. LSAT is adminstered in Asia, maybe you should just take it sooner if you have that much time? That would leave you ample time to retake as well. The real value in having all that time is having a huge retake buffer zone just in case.


Good points. Actually, just take the LSAT whenever you have a good ~6 month window to prep. Your score is good for ~5 years, so no problem in taking it early, if that's when you have time.

For reading material, I do not think the oft-cited Economist and Atlantic are dense enough. It's great reading, but for LSAT purposes, academic journals are probably better.

mrwarre85
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby mrwarre85 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:29 pm

InLikeFlint wrote:Get really good at sudoku. Seriously.


This.

bigkahuna2020
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby bigkahuna2020 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:04 pm

Apply one year earlier.

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lifestooquick
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby lifestooquick » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:07 pm

Get those logic games books by PennyPress :) I've done these my whole life and I swear it made the logic games on the LSAT easier. They are definitely different but doing the PennyPress ones will get you in the right frame of thinking.

Also, sudoku and dense reading is TCR.

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rinkrat19
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby rinkrat19 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:22 pm

mrwarre85 wrote:
InLikeFlint wrote:Get really good at sudoku. Seriously.


This.


I was good at Sudoku and still sucked (like -8, -9) at LG at first. Got it down to a -1 on the real thing with Logic Games for Dummies and a lot of PTs. Maybe sudoku gave me some general mental agility that allowed me to learn LG pretty quickly (7 wks study), but it definitely didn't make me an LG savant.

z0rk
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby z0rk » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:47 pm

I'd take all of the above-referenced advice with a grain of salt and obviously look at your own studying skills objectively. It is certainly true that there is limited materials for LSAT prep, and given the rigor of your study schedule you could burn through it all within a matter of a few short months. However, as someone who has been working full time and just took the LSAT in December, I would say that you should plan for a longer window of study time than you initially think you need. The proper amount of study time varies per person, and it all depends on how well you focus and how much time per day you can devote.

To share my own study experience, I studied for the LSAT between my Junior and Senior years of undergrad. I registered for the October 2008 LSAT and had to take an absent for a variety of reasons. Two years later, after graduating and securing a rigorous job as a civil litigation paralegal, I was finally able to take the test. My practice tests in 08 when I could study for 5+ hours a day were mid to high 160s. My practice tests now when I could devote 1 to 3 hours a day were a full ten points lower. It's clear to me that I probably needed more time to study, and given my reported score for december I may have to retake the exam.

The bottom line right now is that you have time on your side, and you should work to keep it that way. Google some LSAT study timelines, there are a number out there that map 1 year vs. 6 months vs. 4 months vs. 3 months, etc. Consider if the lengthier schedules will work for you, and maybe consider taking a diagnostic right now to see if you want to start prepping today or wait a few months before starting an intense study schedule.

You mentioned doing Teach For America in your post. I most certainly would think you CANNOT do a good job studying for the LSAT in your first two years of teaching.

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dextermorgan
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby dextermorgan » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:14 pm

z0rk wrote:I'd take all of the above-referenced advice with a grain of salt and obviously look at your own studying skills objectively. It is certainly true that there is limited materials for LSAT prep, and given the rigor of your study schedule you could burn through it all within a matter of a few short months. However, as someone who has been working full time and just took the LSAT in December, I would say that you should plan for a longer window of study time than you initially think you need. The proper amount of study time varies per person, and it all depends on how well you focus and how much time per day you can devote.

To share my own study experience, I studied for the LSAT between my Junior and Senior years of undergrad. I registered for the October 2008 LSAT and had to take an absent for a variety of reasons. Two years later, after graduating and securing a rigorous job as a civil litigation paralegal, I was finally able to take the test. My practice tests in 08 when I could study for 5+ hours a day were mid to high 160s. My practice tests now when I could devote 1 to 3 hours a day were a full ten points lower. It's clear to me that I probably needed more time to study, and given my reported score for december I may have to retake the exam.

The bottom line right now is that you have time on your side, and you should work to keep it that way. Google some LSAT study timelines, there are a number out there that map 1 year vs. 6 months vs. 4 months vs. 3 months, etc. Consider if the lengthier schedules will work for you, and maybe consider taking a diagnostic right now to see if you want to start prepping today or wait a few months before starting an intense study schedule.

You mentioned doing Teach For America in your post. I most certainly would think you CANNOT do a good job studying for the LSAT in your first two years of teaching.

That's exactly the reason I decided to give myself six months to prep, instead of the usual three. With a full-time job it just isn't possible to complete the amount of prep I want to do without burnout in three months. Overall I think six gives me much more time to take my time, master concepts and really analyze every question I get wrong.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: If you had 2+ years to study/prepare, what would you do?

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:15 pm

mrwarre85 wrote:
InLikeFlint wrote:Get really good at sudoku. Seriously.


This.


+1

I'm awesome at sudoku now and feel it would have really come in handy in the LG. I'm only sorta joking...




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