Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Liebestraume
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Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby Liebestraume » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:43 pm

I am a current high school senior with plans to attend law school (although yes, I admit that I'm too young to know anything for sure), and I recently bought two books of released LSAT exams. Originally, I just bought them because, what with Borders closing down, the books were on sale, and I thought I'd save them for my college years.

Now that I'm looking at my schedule, though, I've realized that this summer may be my best opportunity to start prepping. Once I begin college, after all, I'll be busy with classes and extracurriculars, and I'll also be pursuing internships for each summer.

Should I start prepping now? Is there such a thing as "too early" when it comes to prep? Did anyone on here start the summer before college?

I ask this mainly because my parents started me on SAT prep when I was 9 years old. To be fair, I thought it was tons of fun at the time, but in retrospect, I think I should have spent my time doing more "normal" things for that age.

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powerlawyer06
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby powerlawyer06 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:47 pm

Liebestraume wrote:I am a current high school senior with plans to attend law school (although yes, I admit that I'm too young to know anything for sure), and I recently bought two books of released LSAT exams. Originally, I just bought them because, what with Borders closing down, the books were on sale, and I thought I'd save them for my college years.

Now that I'm looking at my schedule, though, I've realized that this summer may be my best opportunity to start prepping. Once I begin college, after all, I'll be busy with classes and extracurriculars, and I'll also be pursuing internships for each summer.

Should I start prepping now? Is there such a thing as "too early" when it comes to prep? Did anyone on here start the summer before college?

I ask this mainly because my parents started me on SAT prep when I was 9 years old. To be fair, I thought it was tons of fun at the time, but in retrospect, I think I should have spent my time doing more "normal" things for that age.


Nope. True gunners start prepping in Middle School. You are behind.

But seriously, yes this is way too early. You won't retain the information long enough for it to be useful. Go have fun in UG and stay away from the advice on this site until the middle of your junior year.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:48 pm

The main issue is that the score expires after 5 years, so if you end up deciding to take time off before law school, your score will expire. I know of someone who did poorly freshman year of college, spent part of the summer really prepping for the LSAT, hit a score somewhere in 177-180 and turned his grades around for sophomore-senior year and ended up going to HLS.

Take a proper timed diagnostic and see where you're at.

You shouldn't be prepping years in advance of taking the exam. However, if you're already close to 180, then I don't think it'd hurt. If you're already in the upper 160s or higher on the diagnostic, it might not hurt to put in some time this summer. If you can manage to PT in the upper 170s by the end of summer, sure why not just bite the bullet and take it. Don't take it if you don't get there, and if your diagnostic is too low, then no.

HawksJetsFalcons
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby HawksJetsFalcons » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:49 pm

Lol

Do well in school, party your ass off, gain some meaningful internships/work experience, and come back to this site in 3 years.

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ladybug89
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby ladybug89 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:51 pm

SAT prep and LSAT prep are very different. When studying for the LSAT you don't EVER want to use made-up problems, which is acceptable when studying for the SAT. So the issue - besides the obvious stuff other people are saying - is that you don't want to use up the good materials this early in the game. You'll absolutely have time to study while doing an internship (unless you do ibanking or something like that, but even then it's probably ok) and during school.

I'd say start studying ~6 months before (i know some people who started a year before, and it worked for them, but don't start sooner than that).

Focus on getting rockin' grades in college and doing things that are worthwhile. Don't think about the lsat for 2-3 years.

tomwatts
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby tomwatts » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:14 pm

As someone who has done LSAT pretty long-term (I "studied" for the LSAT for about a year and a half before I took it for the first time), I can say that you can mess around to your heart's content if you enjoy it (and a lot of people find the LSAT quite fun), but you have to make sure that you're having fun. If you're just getting sick of it and burned out, it's horribly counterproductive.

Actually, if you want to have a little taste of LSAT before you get down to real studying (some years from now) or want to do really long-term studying, I'd recommend starting with fake LSAT questions. Real LSAT questions are great for actual practice when you're getting ready for the exam, but if you just want to see what the thing is like and get a little bit in the mindset for a test that you're not going to be taking for years, do some fake questions. Save the released questions for when you're actually studying.

And yeah, unless you're 100% sure that you're going to graduate early or something, you don't want to take the test until the end of your second year of college at the earliest.

flpackerfan
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby flpackerfan » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:22 pm

It is too early to start serious prepping by taking practice exams weekly and that sort of thing. You'll run out of material to work with if you start years ahead of time.

However its never too early to hone the skills that will be tested by the LSAT.

The easiest way is just take UG classes that will challenge your reading comprehension and critical thinking skills. Formal logic is a great course, it will help with the logic games and the logical reasoning section.

Some people recommend playing sudoku, it apparently helps with the logic games section. I'm sure this forum is filled with millions of suggestions like that.

GraniteState
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby GraniteState » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:29 pm

Liebestraume wrote:I am a current high school senior with plans to attend law school (although yes, I admit that I'm too young to know anything for sure), and I recently bought two books of released LSAT exams. Originally, I just bought them because, what with Borders closing down, the books were on sale, and I thought I'd save them for my college years.

Now that I'm looking at my schedule, though, I've realized that this summer may be my best opportunity to start prepping. Once I begin college, after all, I'll be busy with classes and extracurriculars, and I'll also be pursuing internships for each summer.

Should I start prepping now? Is there such a thing as "too early" when it comes to prep? Did anyone on here start the summer before college?

I ask this mainly because my parents started me on SAT prep when I was 9 years old. To be fair, I thought it was tons of fun at the time, but in retrospect, I think I should have spent my time doing more "normal" things for that age.


Don't actually take the LSAT more than a few years before you graduate from college, or you risk a short window in which the score stays valid. You don't want to limit your options between college and law school, even if you think now you'll want to go straight (sorry--I don't know you, maybe you really can plan that far with certainty, but that's my advice).

If you're really curious, download an old test from the internet and take it cold. Get acquainted with the format, see how you do, etc.

Pick a time when you'll have few commitments (a lazy summer, long winter break, etc) and take a class if you can or get a book and spend as much time with it as you can. Plan on taking the real thing on the heels of that study period--don't get rusty.

You're not done studying until your best section is Logic Games. Trust me on this.

One more thing: if you're so serious about studying for the LSAT that you're here when you're still in high school, seriously consider the risk of running out of "real" LSAT questions and sections, I.E., ones that have appeared in the actual test and weren't just made up by Princeton Review. I only studied for a few weeks, but if I'd retaken with more time to prep I think I could have run out.

Edit to add: plan on taking your mandatory UG math class before the LSAT. I didn't, but I ended up spending half a semester on formal logic after the LSAT, which was a missed opportunity.

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mottainai
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby mottainai » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:40 pm

Don't bother studying for the LSAT just yet.

If you're really itching to prep for the test, take some logic classes/read a book on formal logic and work on reading other dense material. Philosophy texts are always a good idea. This will indirectly help you when you begin studying for the LSAT and give you a proper foundation to build upon.

bhan87
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby bhan87 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:53 pm

Come back with straight As in college then we'll discuss prepping. If you get any Bs and you're wasting time prepping for the LSAT, you really are hurting your chances more than helping.

Remember, the ratio is 4 As to 1 B to maintain a 3.8, which is where you want to be for T14 (note: if you have HYS ambitions, you need to maintain a much crazier ratio of 10 As to 1 B to meet their median of ~3.9)

GraniteState
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby GraniteState » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:22 pm

bhan87 wrote:Come back with straight As in college then we'll discuss prepping. If you get any Bs and you're wasting time prepping for the LSAT, you really are hurting your chances more than helping.

Remember, the ratio is 4 As to 1 B to maintain a 3.8, which is where you want to be for T14 (note: if you have HYS ambitions, you need to maintain a much crazier ratio of 10 As to 1 B to meet their median of ~3.9)


True, but also, until you've had a few semesters of college and tried the LSAT, don't get your heart set on any school or any three schools. There are a lot of good schools. There are TLSers who think there are only 14 schools, or even only 6 schools, but 3 is pushing it.

bhan87
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby bhan87 » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:29 pm

GraniteState wrote:
bhan87 wrote:Come back with straight As in college then we'll discuss prepping. If you get any Bs and you're wasting time prepping for the LSAT, you really are hurting your chances more than helping.

Remember, the ratio is 4 As to 1 B to maintain a 3.8, which is where you want to be for T14 (note: if you have HYS ambitions, you need to maintain a much crazier ratio of 10 As to 1 B to meet their median of ~3.9)


True, but also, until you've had a few semesters of college and tried the LSAT, don't get your heart set on any school or any three schools. There are a lot of good schools. There are TLSers who think there are only 14 schools, or even only 6 schools, but 3 is pushing it.



Shoot for the sky and even if you fail, you'll land among the stars. OP: there will be plenty of time to study for the LSAT later. Focus on getting on a 4.0 so you don't have to limit your choices later (lots of people on this forum will tell you they wish they took their GPA more seriously). A 3.5 is considered honors by some, but it's mediocre at best for the top schools

bp shinners
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:58 am

Way too early to start. I find that most people can reach their potential (or at least approach that limit) with a 3 month study schedule, as long as they have a plan of attack and put in an appropriate amount of time. Some people will take a longer approach because of work (which shouldn't be an issue for you, as you seem to be looking to go straight through) or because they want to eke out those last few points.

Just focus on maintaining a high GPA and enjoying your college experience. And, if you do have HYS ambitions, don't freak out over a B. I was accepted at Harvard with a *shocker* C on my transcript.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby Eichörnchen » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:18 pm

:shock: :shock: You're a teenager. Go be one. Forget about the LSAT for now and remember it during college after you've gotten stellar grades and actually figured out what you want to do with your life.

Should I start prepping now? Is there such a thing as "too early" when it comes to prep? Did anyone on here start the summer before college

No.Yes. Noooo the summer before college was spent roadtripping with my boyfriend and not even thinking about graduate school. I do not regret this.

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incompetentia
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby incompetentia » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:37 pm

People need different amounts of time. However, past 4-5 months you're starting a little too early, in my opinion.

I started studying for the October 2010 test at the end of August, and I still went +12 on my diagnostic (attending T6).


Besides, four years ago was even before I switched to my previous major (before I decided I wanted to go to law school). Lots of things change in even one year. Pace yourself.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Is it possible to start prep "too early"?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:12 pm

mottainai wrote:Don't bother studying for the LSAT just yet.

If you're really itching to prep for the test, take some logic classes/read a book on formal logic and work on reading other dense material. Philosophy texts are always a good idea. This will indirectly help you when you begin studying for the LSAT and give you a proper foundation to build upon.

This. It really helps. The RC section especially depends on skills you can't learn in a few months. Start reading and working to understand difficult, theoretical pieces of writing as soon as you can. Philosophy is especially helpful because it is abstract and difficult, but emphasizes arguments.

There's a reason LSAC advertises for new staff in the publication Jobs for Philosophers every year.




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