ADD and not sure what to do...

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nonpareilpearl
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ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby nonpareilpearl » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:25 pm

I've been studying for the LSAT for months now and I just can't seem to fix this issue. The issue? Timing. Especially on the LG and RC sections. It's less noticeable on the LR sections because each question is a distinct "thing" so it caters to my attention span better. The LG and RC sections are painful because my brain is distracted by everything, but those sections require serious concentration. I can do very well on those sections even if I add just an extra 5-7 minutes at this point (I think it's worth noting that my timing has slowly improved since I started prepping), but obviously that won't help me on test day (Feb). Does anyone have any advice? Tips/tricks that they use to help stop everything (flickering lights, an animal outside, whatever...) from completely derailing their thought processes?

Thanks for any input :)

MrAnon
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby MrAnon » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:34 pm

why do you want to go to law school so badly if you are having all these problems with the admissions test? This is only the beginning. Why not find a profession you are better suited toward? There are things you can do that capture your attention constantly. Police office might be one. Embarking on a career where you sit at your desk 99% of the time seems like a recipe for disaster.

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glewz
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby glewz » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:35 pm

nonpareilpearl wrote:I've been studying for the LSAT for months now and I just can't seem to fix this issue. The issue? Timing. Especially on the LG and RC sections. It's less noticeable on the LR sections because each question is a distinct "thing" so it caters to my attention span better. The LG and RC sections are painful because my brain is distracted by everything, but those sections require serious concentration. I can do very well on those sections even if I add just an extra 5-7 minutes at this point (I think it's worth noting that my timing has slowly improved since I started prepping), but obviously that won't help me on test day (Feb). Does anyone have any advice? Tips/tricks that they use to help stop everything (flickering lights, an animal outside, whatever...) from completely derailing their thought processes?

Thanks for any input :)


LR: Practice finishing the first 10 problems at roughly 1 min a piece. (sometimes they throw in a super tough one in there, but you can do it for the most part) After this, progress to finishing the first 15 probs in 15 mins.

RC: Structure the essay into things you can remember - the key thing is that you Know where everything is, not that you have memorized the details. Remember where lists are + key points in the argument. If there are 2 sides of an argument/situation, make sure you are aware of both + where to find everything.

Practice RC every day until you can semi-predict where the passages are going. (e.g. if they talk about an environ problem in the intro, it's usually gonna be followed by "humans are the cause" or "impact of the env problem")



The LR technique is not for everyone - in my opinion, only if you are on the brink of 170 and/or aiming for 180.


Edit: and Good luck on this

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msproct
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby msproct » Wed Jan 05, 2011 11:54 pm

I have ADHD.. although I don't feel like it has affected me as much as it did as an adolescent in my adult life. I got medication especially for this test. Started it about 30 days before the test so that it would take effect.

I would highly recommend doing the same and if possible at your testing center ask to sit some place that will minimize the sounds you hear and all the distractions you could see.

kcdc
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby kcdc » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:09 am

MrAnon wrote:why do you want to go to law school so badly if you are having all these problems with the admissions test? This is only the beginning. Why not find a profession you are better suited toward? There are things you can do that capture your attention constantly. Police office might be one. Embarking on a career where you sit at your desk 99% of the time seems like a recipe for disaster.


Well that's not helpful at all.

I have ADD, and it's worst when I'm bored, like during reading comp. I improved my timing by making sure that I was reading ACTIVELY. My timing was terrible on RC and it was because I had to go back and re-read so many times after drifting off.

I love logic games, so I have too many timing issues with this section. Just practice as much as possible and make sure you know all of the game types.

Oh, and for the record, it's not a coincidence that people with "ADD" have higher IQs. We need to be engaged and challenged, and when we're not, we can't pay attention. We're perfect for law school.

MrAnon
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby MrAnon » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:23 am

Look all that is fine. I don't have to understand ADD in order to understand that if you have trouble with the LSAT then you are probably going to have difficulty with law school and many of the demands of the profession. They are not so dissimilar. Sure there are plenty of people with low LSATs who did well in law school but typically they ended up at law schools where the entire student body had low LSATs so the competition is even.

MrAnon
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby MrAnon » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:32 am

99% of law school does not count. That part, I admit, is nothing like the LSAT. But no one is measured on that part of law school. It all boils down to test day--how quickly can you "get it" in a time limited and pressure filled environment. And again, you are measured against those around you. You need the same skills to succeed. The only difference I know of is that the LSAT can be gamed easier through repetition.

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nonpareilpearl
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby nonpareilpearl » Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:56 am

kcdc wrote:I have ADD, and it's worst when I'm bored, like during reading comp. I improved my timing by making sure that I was reading ACTIVELY. My timing was terrible on RC and it was because I had to go back and re-read so many times after drifting off.


This is my problem exactly. I can't retain my focus throughout the entire passage. I've tried setting little alarms (like a kitchen timer) to go off every few minutes to try to counter the drifting, but it's really difficult. I do the same thing - rereading the passage because I can't stay focused on the first pass. This costs me big time. Similar issue with LG, except it doesn't manifest in the same way (of course).

I've been trying a few different ways of reading actively, mainly different ways of marking the passage to make it easier to locate things, but I still wind up 3ish questions over time (on average). Right now if I try to move too much faster I seriously sacrifice accuracy, which means my net result is still the same. :(

Was there anything in particular you did when marking/reading the passage to help you stay actively engaged?

Thanks everyone for all the responses, btw :D

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SemperLegal
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby SemperLegal » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:18 am

MrAnon wrote: There are things you can do that capture your attention constantly. Police officer might be one. Embarking on a career where you sit at your desk 99% of the time seems like a recipe for disaster.


LoL. There are few jobs more boring and filled with mindlessly sitting around than 99% of LE.

However, you MAY have a valid point despite the ironic example.

MrAnon
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby MrAnon » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:37 am

Look as hard as it is to believe and as much as people want to deny it, LSAT is a measure of law school ability and both LSAT and law school ability are a measure of attorney success. Sure there are people who beat the odds at all levels but for the vast majority of people, bad LSAT = bad law school experience = lousy professional experience. There are also many people who did poorly on the LSAT and had lousy law school experiences who excel at mediocre attorney jobs that are not particularly challenging and do not involve a lot of thought. While it may not be true that good LSAT guarantees success at any level, we are trying to help the OP, who is complaining that he/she has trouble focusing on the admissions test because of flickering lights and a dog barking somewhere outside the test room. My advice is not to drop a hundred grand if these most basic of issues are going to be such a negative draw on test performance. My advice is to find something that suits his/her particular skill set. But go ahead and push law school for ADHD kids all you want. Seems like it is the obvious choice.

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eandy
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby eandy » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:39 am

OP, have you tried talking to a doctor about medication? When I'm medicated I LOVE the RC section because I suddenly find the sections almost problematically interesting. I like to read, though.
If you don't want medication, you could try mouthing the words. It looks really stupid, but when I really can't focus it really helps me tune everything irrelevant out.

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eandy
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby eandy » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:40 am

MrAnon wrote:Look as hard as it is to believe and as much as people want to deny it, LSAT is a measure of law school ability and both LSAT and law school ability are a measure of attorney success. Sure there are people who beat the odds at all levels but for the vast majority of people, bad LSAT = bad law school experience = lousy professional experience. There are also many people who did poorly on the LSAT and had lousy law school experiences who excel at mediocre attorney jobs that are not particularly challenging and do not involve a lot of thought. While it may not be true that good LSAT guarantees success at any level, we are trying to help the OP, who is complaining that he/she has trouble focusing on the admissions test because of flickering lights and a dog barking somewhere outside the test room. My advice is not to drop a hundred grand if these most basic of issues are going to be such a negative draw on test performance. My advice is to find something that suits his/her particular skill set. But go ahead and push law school for ADHD kids all you want. Seems like it is the obvious choice.

:roll:
The LSAT is not the end all be all, especially since OP's score doesn't indicate his/her ability to even take the LSAT. OP probably needs medication or some type of other treatment to reach his/her full potential, and there is NOTHING wrong with that. You are so obviously a 0L...stop trying to tell OP what law school exams are like.

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Adjudicator
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby Adjudicator » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:41 am

Perhaps Adderall would help. It seems to be quite popular with non-ADD folks. Never tried it myself.

noname12345
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby noname12345 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:52 am

WOW... Betasteve, with 15,000 posts you have way too much time on your hands. Do you post on the TLS forums all day?
How about you find something more constructive to do with your time instead of arguing with others on forums.
.... LOL.... how the heck do you accumulate 15,000 posts..... I think it's safe to assume that you have no life and you are a sad lonely human being. :)

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Vincent Vega
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby Vincent Vega » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:55 am

ADHD is a false condition. It's.Not.Real.

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inchoate_con
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby inchoate_con » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:07 am

MrAnon wrote:LSAT is a measure of law school ability and both LSAT and law school ability are a measure of attorney success. .... But go ahead and push law school for ADHD kids all you want.


Let me guess... you're an "0L."

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Beast15
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby Beast15 » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:42 am

Why do flamers always flock to ADHD threads? Annoying.

kswalters
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby kswalters » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:06 am

I had similar issues while taking PTs before the Dec test. I never felt confident, because my mind would drift. However, and I can only speak for myself, I went into the test feeling confident and walked out even more confident. Many ADHD people excel when it actually counts. So on test day you might surprise yourself.

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Jeffort
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby Jeffort » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:20 am

To the OP and anyone that is or thinks they are ADD/ADHD, check out:

http://www.addforums.com/

There is a TON of information and resources there as well as thousands of ADD/ADHD members that regularly (and sometimes obsessively - duh, ADD/ADHD crowd) post about their experiences. It will surely give you a much better perspective and much better input about dealing with the condition than you will get here from a bunch of hyperactive super competitive overachiever 0L's who think they know everything and want to argue everything until the cows come home.

That forum has a much more 'supportive', less argumentative and competitive spirit to it than you will find in a pre-law/law school forum since its focus is not on competing against other members, but rather is about sharing with, supporting and helping other similarly situated people through the journey.

MrAnon, I kind of see a few points you are trying to make that might have a little merit. If somebody is totally derailed from being able to read and answer multiple choice questions just by a subtle flickering of a fluorescent ceiling light or distant dog bark, then yeah, untreated that person would have big problems in LS just trying to read the assigned cases.

However, you are way out of your league with your overgeneralized and ill-informed conclusions about ADD/ADHD people, what they are and are not capable of and what type of work and pursuits are more/less suitable to their ADD/ADHD brains. Hyperactive ADD/ADHD people are attracted to and swarm to demanding intellectual careers and pursuits like law school just like flies are attracted to sh_t. It's a way to keep the constantly active mind in need of stimulation well fed.

Boredom is one of the worst enemies of a true ADD/ADHD mind. With LS and the law, there is no shortage of things to do, new information to read, learn and process, lots of things to bounce your attention around on, etc. It's almost like ADD/ADHD heaven with a never ending supply of stuff to think about!

I'd bet that a significant proportion (larger than in the general population) of the regular active posters here as well as the high LSAT score achievers are ADD/ADHD.

OP: If you are going to seek professional treatment (which you should), make sure to find and go with a specialist, there are good reference lists on the addforums site, and DO NOT try to play doctor to yourself and self-medicate. Good luck.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby ScottRiqui » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:27 am

MrAnon:

I would think that how well the LSAT predicts success in LS (and beyond) would depend on exactly *how* you're losing points on the test.

Let's say that two people both miss 18 questions on the same LSAT and receive scores of 165. One person finished every section with time to spare, but missed their questions because they didn't understand the problems, made bad inferences, mis-read passages, etcetera. The other person regularly ran out of time to the tune of 3-4 questions per section, but had near-100% accuracy on the earlier problems that they weren't forced to guess on before time ran out.

Would you still consider these two identical scores to be "equal" in their predictive ability? I probably wouldn't.

TyrodTaylor
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby TyrodTaylor » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:39 am

I am severely ADHD, I have been taking high doses of ritalin, adderal, concerta, etc since I was 5. I am currently on the maximum dose of concerta allowed. I had always gotten extended time on tests in high school, but when I got to college I was sick of having that crutch. I knew it would not benefit me in the long run. I understand that it is tough knowing that you can do so much better with a few extra minutes. I normally test in the mid-low 160's and with 5 extra minutes on each section i can get in the 170's. But I feel like that is the way for most people. It snot that we dont comprehend the material, its the factor of time that is key in the LSAT. So you must practice getting faster. Know your good pace. I always see how long the first 8 questions take, then 15, then 22. Then after that, if I have 5 minutes left I am golden. Know where the hard LR questions are. normally in the teens and early 20's. If you dont see the way to the solution immedicately or very quickly, just skip it. There are normally easier questions ahead. For RC, I would sayacting as if you are interested in the subject helps, and maybe refocusing just for a second after every paragraph to think about "what did I just read?, what kind of argument is being built? How does this relate to the rest of the passage" Try to understanad the passage as a machine , each part serving a purpose. You know the first question will be about the main point of the passage, so answer that in your head as you read it. LR is still difficult for me to time. Ive only ever had one perfect section, but I will never get below 20 right. Just takes practice. DO as many prep tests under timed conditions, and give yourself a days rest every now and then. I got to the point that the day before the test, I did two timed tests under conditions in a row, one after the other. And I can assure you that I have a very very severe case of adhd. It can be done. you need to want it though.

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Teoeo
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby Teoeo » Thu Jan 06, 2011 9:45 am

MrAnon wrote:Look as hard as it is to believe and as much as people want to deny it, LSAT is a measure of law school ability and both LSAT and law school ability are a measure of attorney success. Sure there are people who beat the odds at all levels but for the vast majority of people, bad LSAT = bad law school experience = lousy professional experience. There are also many people who did poorly on the LSAT and had lousy law school experiences who excel at mediocre attorney jobs that are not particularly challenging and do not involve a lot of thought. While it may not be true that good LSAT guarantees success at any level, we are trying to help the OP, who is complaining that he/she has trouble focusing on the admissions test because of flickering lights and a dog barking somewhere outside the test room. My advice is not to drop a hundred grand if these most basic of issues are going to be such a negative draw on test performance. My advice is to find something that suits his/her particular skill set. But go ahead and push law school for ADHD kids all you want. Seems like it is the obvious choice.



This is an incredibly simplified view of things. You really should be careful not to give advice unless you actually know something about an issue. Anyone who reads your comment can instantly tell that you are a 0L that doesn't know what he is talking about.

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Teoeo
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby Teoeo » Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:58 pm

betasteve wrote:I am adhd and landed biglaw from a lower T1... I know.. it's an awful choice and I am doomed, but hey.. what can I do now?


I actually think that a lot of the top students have ADD (hopefully I will be one of them if I ever find out what my god damn grades are). Gratz on biglaw btw.

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3|ink
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby 3|ink » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:51 pm

MrAnon wrote:why do you want to go to law school so badly if you are having all these problems with the admissions test? This is only the beginning. Why not find a profession you are better suited toward? There are things you can do that capture your attention constantly. Police office might be one. Embarking on a career where you sit at your desk 99% of the time seems like a recipe for disaster.

This was a fucking stupid response.

OP - Just read a lot. I have ADHD and that is how I am preparing for law school. I'm not sure if ADHD affected my score, but it may have. I scored well below my best, but most people have that problem.

rachellynne
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Re: ADD and not sure what to do...

Postby rachellynne » Thu Jan 06, 2011 3:58 pm

nonpareilpearl wrote:
kcdc wrote:I have ADD, and it's worst when I'm bored, like during reading comp. I improved my timing by making sure that I was reading ACTIVELY. My timing was terrible on RC and it was because I had to go back and re-read so many times after drifting off.


This is my problem exactly. I can't retain my focus throughout the entire passage. I've tried setting little alarms (like a kitchen timer) to go off every few minutes to try to counter the drifting, but it's really difficult. I do the same thing - rereading the passage because I can't stay focused on the first pass. This costs me big time. Similar issue with LG, except it doesn't manifest in the same way (of course).

I've been trying a few different ways of reading actively, mainly different ways of marking the passage to make it easier to locate things, but I still wind up 3ish questions over time (on average). Right now if I try to move too much faster I seriously sacrifice accuracy, which means my net result is still the same. :(

Was there anything in particular you did when marking/reading the passage to help you stay actively engaged?

Thanks everyone for all the responses, btw :D


I did the same drifting-off, rereading a million times, then running out of time thing. What I started doing that helped me get through RC without losing focus was that after every 2-3 lines, I'd make a margin note about what those lines said. Didn't have to be too detailed or anything because nobody was going to see or read it but me. A lot of my margin notes were like "art = good" or "pollution sucks". That way I only had to focus on a few lines at a time, and if I *needed* to go back to the passage to find something, my margin notes made it a lot easier to find where I needed to go.




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