Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

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GoldenGloves
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Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby GoldenGloves » Wed Mar 09, 2011 12:33 am

Hi everyone, I wanted to make a thread that collects stories on burnout in order to possibly help others avoid or comeback after the process. I originally planned to take the October 2010 exam but experienced major burnout as a result of juggling a full course load, work, & serious focus on LSAT prep. As the October date got closer, I found myself wanting to cram more & more, even though my mind was warning me to take a break. Eventually I found my score steadily decreasing despite increased studying. I ended up rescheduling to take this June because I had to take a final exam during the Saturday of the December date.

I wish I had advice to offer others at this point; even now I remain a bit demotivated for the exam. My hope is that sharing experiences & suggestions will make others aware of how detrimental this can be. Let's discuss it.

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minnbills
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby minnbills » Wed Mar 09, 2011 2:26 pm

I burned out for the Oct. test as well. I went ahead and took it anyways, and paid the price.

My advice is this: if you're getting too frustrated, take some time off from it.

In sports, if things aren't going well the remedy is usually to get pissed off and just push your way through it. I think with academics in general, the right approach is to take some time off and cool down.

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OnlyLivingBoyinNY
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby OnlyLivingBoyinNY » Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:15 pm

I have been studying for several hours every day, and it really seems like my test awareness is dulling, particularly on LR. Anyway, I am going to take tomorrow off and only do a little on Saturday, if any. I am feeling really burned out right now, as I have been studying practically every day for a few months now.

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leche
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby leche » Fri Mar 11, 2011 12:56 am

Everything I read said "Don't practice the day before the test, and take it easy the whole week leading up to it." But I had already been hitting the books so hard it just felt wrong to not be studying. I also thought, "Maybe others burn out, but I'm strong and smart enough not to." Nope! The whole week leading up to it I was doing 6-8 timed sections per day, and watched my scores get lower and lower. The day before the test I got my lowest PT score yet, and went into the test with a defeatist attitude. My actual score ended up even lower than every single PT I took.

Needless to say for June I'm gonna cool it significantly. This time the day before I am going to relax, maybe get a massage, eat some chocolate, and definitely not open an LSAT book. I've heard others attribute their 170+'s to being well-rested and confident, and this time I'd like to be amongst them.

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99.9luft
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby 99.9luft » Fri Mar 11, 2011 1:02 am

leche wrote:Everything I read said "Don't practice the day before the test, and take it easy the whole week leading up to it." But I had already been hitting the books so hard it just felt wrong to not be studying. I also thought, "Maybe others burn out, but I'm strong and smart enough not to." Nope! The whole week leading up to it I was doing 6-8 timed sections per day, and watched my scores get lower and lower. The day before the test I got my lowest PT score yet, and went into the test with a defeatist attitude. My actual score ended up even lower than every single PT I took.

Needless to say for June I'm gonna cool it significantly. This time the day before I am going to relax, maybe get a massage, eat some chocolate, and definitely not open an LSAT book. I've heard others attribute their 170+'s to being well-rested and confident, and this time I'd like to be amongst them.


+1

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OnlyLivingBoyinNY
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby OnlyLivingBoyinNY » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:40 pm

OnlyLivingBoyinNY wrote:I have been studying for several hours every day, and it really seems like my test awareness is dulling, particularly on LR. Anyway, I am going to take tomorrow off and only do a little on Saturday, if any. I am feeling really burned out right now, as I have been studying practically every day for a few months now.


Just an update: I had been feeling the burnout on LR, in particular. It got so bad that I had -6 on an untimed section on Thursday. I took the entire day off yesterday--I did a little studying for school, some research brainstorming with a student of mine, and then an evening of a few beers and some tv. Today, I got my first -0 on LR, and -0 on LG--both timed. I think taking the day off really helped me collect my thoughts and regroup.

suzige
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby suzige » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:04 pm

Ugh.... I was so burnt out before Feb. 2011. Didn't help that some family stuff was going on around test time, too. Looking back, I should have canceled. I am so embarrassed by my score because I know I can do so much better. :oops:

The thing about me is that I get so obsessed with doing better that I can't relax. I did like three practice exams the week before the LSAT. Even my parents were concerned bc the weekend before they came up to visit me and I was a mess.

If you grow an aversion to even looking at anything LSAT-related, it's time to take a break. Don't force yourself too much. It'll backfire.

Come my retake, I'm taking a week or two to just chill before the test. And, give myself some lengthy breaks during prep. I think I gave myself maybe a handful of days through three months of prep plus classes, plus an internship. I think I even did some prep on Christmas. Ya.... def. shot myself in the foot.

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solotee
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby solotee » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:40 am

leche wrote:Everything I read said "Don't practice the day before the test, and take it easy the whole week leading up to it." But I had already been hitting the books so hard it just felt wrong to not be studying. I also thought, "Maybe others burn out, but I'm strong and smart enough not to." Nope! The whole week leading up to it I was doing 6-8 timed sections per day, and watched my scores get lower and lower. The day before the test I got my lowest PT score yet, and went into the test with a defeatist attitude. My actual score ended up even lower than every single PT I took.

Needless to say for June I'm gonna cool it significantly. This time the day before I am going to relax, maybe get a massage, eat some chocolate, and definitely not open an LSAT book. I've heard others attribute their 170+'s to being well-rested and confident, and this time I'd like to be amongst them.


The week before the Sept. 09 exam, I got one of my lowest practice test scores. After that exam, I took it real easy and did light studying up until the actual exam date.

Taking the time off helped me score into the higher end of my practice test scores.

If you feel burn out coming on, the best thing you can do is drop everything for a day or two. Don't even think about the LSAT, and don't look at it like you're wasting precious time by not studying. Instead, you're investing in yourself by taking time off. When you come back to studying, you'll notice the difference between a fresh perspective, and a sluggish one.

Good luck! I'm finishing my first year in law school and still remember the pains of the LSAT. Law school is so much better than studying for the LSAT!

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northwood
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby northwood » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:43 am

+1 to the advice about stepping away from the test for a bit.

I would also suggest building in days off in your study schedule. Not just one day off a week, but a block of 2- 3 days where you schedule in something fun to do ( like golf, or beach volleyball). Make sure to be flexible in your study schedule. If you feel as though you need to be doing something- then do a super easy game or 2. However- like any muscle you need to give your brain a rest. Re charge it with nutricious food. Confidence is key on this test!

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GoldenGloves
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby GoldenGloves » Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:31 pm

suzige wrote:The thing about me is that I get so obsessed with doing better that I can't relax.


I can definitely identify with this feeling. I read something, i believe on LSAT blog, about guilt & the LSAT. Once you start to feel guilty for not studying, then Steve said there could be a potential problem. I read it several months ago & thought to myself, "wow, that seems a bit extreme." Now though, I see why it's so important to take every precaution.

suzige
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby suzige » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:52 pm

GoldenGloves wrote:
suzige wrote:The thing about me is that I get so obsessed with doing better that I can't relax.


I can definitely identify with this feeling. I read something, i believe on LSAT blog, about guilt & the LSAT. Once you start to feel guilty for not studying, then Steve said there could be a potential problem. I read it several months ago & thought to myself, "wow, that seems a bit extreme." Now though, I see why it's so important to take every precaution.


If you have a link to that, please share.

It's easy to beat yourself up about the LSAT. Did it to myself many many times during prep, before the actual test, and DEFINITELY after. Went into a slight shock when I saw my feb. score... haha wasn't expecting it to be in the email itself :x

d34d9823
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Re: Burnout: Past Experiences & Advice

Postby d34d9823 » Sun Mar 13, 2011 3:54 pm

Everyone burns out during studying. You'll see your scores start to drop. When that happens, stop and take 2-4 days off. Start again. No problem.

On the real test, you should not take PTs or do anything more strenuous than going over concepts during the last few days before the test, for the same reason.




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