Studying Twice?

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bernaldiaz
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Studying Twice?

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed May 04, 2011 10:41 am

I was wondering if anyone had ever studied extensively over two separate periods OR could see any merit to doing so. Here is my situation:

I am a sophomore. This summer I have a very light work load, and unfortunately did not get the intensive internship that I wanted. However, this does clear up a lot of time to study for the LSAT, which would be nice. I'm going to Cambridge in the Fall, and don't start until October so I thought that this year was almost tailored for me to study, as I could really focus on the test up until the test day.

Unfortunately, I found out that I will not be permitted to leave the orientation at Cambridge, which runs through October 1st, so I was a bit bummed about that. Also, my time at Cambridge runs through June 22, and since the grades carry over from Cambridge to my American uni, I really want to focus on my studies and therefore not take the Dec, Feb, or June LSATS.

This means that more than likely, I will be taking the LSAT my senior year in October. I won't get back after my junior year in Cambridge until June 22. Between that time and the October LSAT, I will need to focus on law school visits, applications, my regular course load, and probably an honor's thesis, all while trying to study for the LSAT. In my opinion, this is a less than ideal situation.

So, I thought about studying this summer even though I can't take the test this fall. If I took a class, don't some classes allow you take it again if you "are not ready" for the exam? Would I be able to take advantage of that, especially if I weren't entirely transparent with my original motives?

The major upside would obviously be that it would ease my study senior year, which I do not think would be adequate. Also, I find material easier the second time I visit it. For example, senior year of HS I found calculus difficult, but when I took it again at the college level it was a breeze. Anyone else feel this way? Have any opinions about what I should do? Any downside? I realize this is against the grain, so there probably will be people who don't think this is a great idea.

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northwood
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby northwood » Wed May 04, 2011 10:52 am

why dont you just wait until after your senior year to take and apply to law schools? Sure you will have to take a year off and get a job, but that way you can enjoy college- keep your focus on your grades and having fun- and if you decide to change your mind, you didnt waste any time or money? i mean if you want to take it now- go for it, but remember people change their minds about what they want to do with their life all the time, so dont worry about it yet.

bhan87
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby bhan87 » Wed May 04, 2011 10:58 am

You can take the LSAT while you're at Cambridge. LSAC has a foreign testing center in just about every country.

Also, studying for the LSAT is like mental conditioning. Just likw putting a large gap between marathon training, you'll be losing quite a bit if you split it up.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed May 04, 2011 11:01 am

bhan87 wrote:You can take the LSAT while you're at Cambridge. LSAC has a foreign testing center in just about every country.

Also, studying for the LSAT is like mental conditioning. Just likw putting a large gap between marathon training, you'll be losing quite a bit if you split it up.


I realize that I could take it at Cambridge, but I don't want to. I'm going through a special program at my university, and they have a system in place that converts the exam grades from Cambridge back to my GPA, and it's pretty harsh. The only way of even coming close to maintaining my GPA will be to work very hard. I don't see myself being able to prepare for the LSAT while also focusing on my work at Cambridge. The only time this would have worked was for the October test, but as I mentioned they will not allow me to miss the orientation.

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tmon
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby tmon » Wed May 04, 2011 11:02 am

If you're set on making this timeline work, it can be done. I'm relating it in my head to retaking the test, in a sense, because that's what I'm doing right now. I'd say you want to get as close to your target score as possible in the first round of studying so the second leg is just review and making sure you're consistently where you want to be score-wise. That's the ideal situation of course, but is entirely possible. You will need to review everything the second time to make sure you remember it all, but it's possible You sound pretty bright, so if you're sure about doing it this way don't let people talk you out of it.

FWIW, my second time studying has given me more improvement than the first time. The foundation I have, even in my problem areas are so much stronger than when I sat for the test the first time...and I think I owe part of that to some time off and letting it sink in.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed May 04, 2011 11:10 am

tmon wrote:If you're set on making this timeline work, it can be done. I'm relating it in my head to retaking the test, in a sense, because that's what I'm doing right now. I'd say you want to get as close to your target score as possible in the first round of studying so the second leg is just review and making sure you're consistently where you want to be score-wise. That's the ideal situation of course, but is entirely possible. You will need to review everything the second time to make sure you remember it all, but it's possible You sound pretty bright, so if you're sure about doing it this way don't let people talk you out of it.

FWIW, my second time studying has given me more improvement than the first time. The foundation I have, even in my problem areas are so much stronger than when I sat for the test the first time...and I think I owe part of that to some time off and letting it sink in.


Thank you for your reply. I definitely think it will be important that if I study this summer to get as close to my target score. This bolded part is something that I really thought would be an advantage. Did anyone else who retook, and therefore studied twice, have a similar experience? Like I said, sometimes after taking a break and revisiting a subject I am able to make gains that I couldn't the first time when I was so caught up in the material.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed May 04, 2011 1:39 pm

To rephrase an important element of my question and make it applicable to more people:

For those who retook the LSAT for any reason, did you find the experience of having already studied once beneficial and were you able to make further gains or at the very minimum return to your previous level when you restudied?

futurelawstudent1
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby futurelawstudent1 » Wed May 04, 2011 8:39 pm

I've done something pretty similar to what you are suggesting.

For the past several summers, I've had a ton of free time, which I have used to study for the LSAT. I started doing so after graduating from high school and am now, like you, a rising junior.

My studying consists almost entirely of doing preptests timed and untimed. I've now become very familiar with the LSAT and tend to score no lower than 175 on timed PTs. I also have a lot of confidence in my ability to do well on the LSAT because it's almost second nature by now. Best of all, I've had no stress while studying because I didn't begin my studying mere months before the test, which is what most people do.

In short, I think your idea is great. Use your free time this summer to study for the LSAT and read a lot. Come next summer, you'll begin your preparation already being very familiar with the test and performing at a high level.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed May 04, 2011 8:54 pm

futurelawstudent1 wrote:I've done something pretty similar to what you are suggesting.

For the past several summers, I've had a ton of free time, which I have used to study for the LSAT. I started doing so after graduating from high school and am now, like you, a rising junior.

My studying consists almost entirely of doing preptests timed and untimed. I've now become very familiar with the LSAT and tend to score no lower than 175 on timed PTs. I also have a lot of confidence in my ability to do well on the LSAT because it's almost second nature by now. Best of all, I've had no stress while studying because I didn't begin my studying mere months before the test, which is what most people do.

In short, I think your idea is great. Use your free time this summer to study for the LSAT and read a lot. Come next summer, you'll begin your preparation already being very familiar with the test and performing at a high level.


Ah, I am quite jealous of you. I wish I had your foresight. Have you ever taken a class, or just with the amount of time you had were you able to do it on your own?

futurelawstudent1
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby futurelawstudent1 » Wed May 04, 2011 9:14 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:
Ah, I am quite jealous of you. I wish I had your foresight. Have you ever taken a class, or just with the amount of time you had were you able to do it on your own?


I haven't taken a class and am not planning to. I did, however, use Kaplan's test explanations as well as Manhattan LSAT's forum.

A benefit of preparing early is that you can approach the test from a more theoretical perspective, and you'll have more time to deeply analyze the LSAT. Conversely, if you begin studying a few months the test, you'll inevitability become rushed and have to focus more on rote learning.

Also, some people might warn that you'll run out of preptests if you begin preparing early. For me, this hasn't been an issue because there are over 60 preptests available and even when I have retaken a test, I've usually forgotten all of the questions and answers (and I have quite a good memory).

pontificator
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby pontificator » Sat May 07, 2011 12:05 pm

I have been wondering the same thing recently.

I'm in a very similar situation. I'm also a sophomore, and funny enough, I will also be in the UK.

My tentative plan is to use the free month I have this summer to undergo a rigorous period of study.
I'm going to act as if I would be taking the test at the end of the month, and see how high I can get my score in that one month of study.

My thought, like yours, is that even if I dont 'remember' what I studied a year later, my mind will have been 'broken in' so that I am able to be more effective when the time comes to really go for it.

The only thing is, I'm not sure exactly how to use the month. I may try following the 1 month guide on this site:
http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/p/month-ls ... plans.html

Does anyone have any suggestions? Is working through the bibles a realistic goal for a one-month period?

pontificator
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Re: Studying Twice?

Postby pontificator » Sat May 07, 2011 1:06 pm

futurelawstudent1 wrote:
bernaldiaz wrote:
I haven't taken a class and am not planning to. I did, however, use Kaplan's test explanations as well as Manhattan LSAT's forum.

A benefit of preparing early is that you can approach the test from a more theoretical perspective, and you'll have more time to deeply analyze the LSAT. Conversely, if you begin studying a few months the test, you'll inevitability become rushed and have to focus more on rote learning.

Also, some people might warn that you'll run out of preptests if you begin preparing early. For me, this hasn't been an issue because there are over 60 preptests available and even when I have retaken a test, I've usually forgotten all of the questions and answers (and I have quite a good memory).


I really like the idea of being able to analyze the underlying formulations of the test. Perhaps I should not just do a rogue study regime this summer.

Roughly how many many untimed tests did you take before you began timing yourself?




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