Whether to Study the Day Before

Do you plan to / did you study the day before the LSAT?

Yes - a lot
5
8%
Yes - a little
26
41%
No
33
52%
 
Total votes: 64

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northwood
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby northwood » Sat May 21, 2011 11:12 pm

Keep up your routine int he final weeks before the test. Go to bed, wake up around the same time( you should be doing this now), and if you normally do something every day- do something every day. If your prep routine had you do a pt, review, rest then another pt- then schedule the pt so that the actual test fits the plan.
For me- i always did some sort of LSAT study every day. the day before I just went over a section of LR, LG, and RC and made sure to hit the question types that I felt rusty with first- and saved the confidence boosters for last- and for the morning of. If I wanted to use my notes, i did, but I didnt grade anything. The key is to go into the test feeling confident that you will do your personal best.

By the way- dont talk to anyone walking in or during the break. Some people will play mind tricks to stump you, and others will be flipping out ( especially during the break). You need to remain focused and confident- if you see someone you know and want to talk about the test- tell them to meet you at the neighborhood bar for drinks and a light meal afterwords. ( btw- the test is at noon, so you should be getting done right around happy hour!!). If you put in the time and effort- you need to realize that you willl reap those rewards on game day!( and then reap the rewards of your hard work when you apply-and get into your top choice, and be offered a scholarship to boot!)

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sat May 21, 2011 11:19 pm

northwood wrote:Some people will play mind tricks to stump you, and others will be flipping out (especially during the break).

I remember a guy in my 1L section bragging that he paid another dude $100 to register for his same test date, go to the exam, and then fake a "heart attack" in the middle of it to freak everyone else in the room out, while he kept right on trucking.

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Cupidity
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby Cupidity » Sat May 21, 2011 11:22 pm

Gideon Strumpet wrote:
northwood wrote:Some people will play mind tricks to stump you, and others will be flipping out (especially during the break).

I remember a guy in my 1L section bragging that he paid another dude $100 to register for his same test date, go to the exam, and then fake a "heart attack" in the middle of it to freak everyone else in the room out, while he kept right on trucking.


Hah, wow! Because with the 60,000 students taking the test world-wide, I'm sure throwing off 15-20 of them really helped the curve.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sat May 21, 2011 11:24 pm

Cupidity wrote:Hah, wow! Because with the 60,000 students taking the test world-wide, I'm sure throwing off 15-20 of them really helped the curve.

Yeah, I want to believe he did it more for the lulz, but considering the sort of people that you meet in law school, I'm afraid the alternative is more likely.

d34d9823
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby d34d9823 » Sat May 21, 2011 11:59 pm

Forget the day before. I found that I needed 2-3 days of rest to do my best on PTs, so I didn't take a PT Wednesday-Friday before a Saturday test. It worked fairly well - I scored one point below my ideal score.

I used the time to go over all my past tests and find flaws in my thinking / methods I needed to remember for test day. Of course, when I actually took the test, I was so nervous I forgot most of it, but I still feel like it was a good use of time while I was letting my brain rest.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sun May 22, 2011 12:31 am

Cartman wrote:For someone taking the LSAT, your reasoning is horribly flawed. If one day will do nothing, this does not mean that going two or three days back (or 500 days back) will also do nothing, simply because you are adding one day each time. 1 day really may not do much, but a couple of months sure will (and a couple of months can be broken down into adding single days.) Some part of me wonders why no one pointed this out yet?

You may want to reread the post.

More generally: a lot of people have been saying things like "just do what's best for you" or "it's common sense, stupid," or something similar. But how do you know what is best for you? I think most people just do the same thing for every test. I always study hard the day before, and I do well enough, but perhaps I would have got better scores if I was better rested. I honestly don't know. Even if you broke your pattern once or twice, that might not tell you much - lots of factors contribute to test scores.

I was hoping there might be some literature or studies on the topic, or at least that people would have interesting anecdotal evidence. People have posted some helpful information here, so thank you. I'm sure it will benefit a few people beyond me.

theaether
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby theaether » Sun May 22, 2011 12:37 am

I'm taking a full 5 section PT the day before. I don't get fatigued at all taking 4 PTs a week in addition to 4 timed sections on the off days, so that's not a factor. I just want to stay in LSAT cognitive mode up until the test ends.

Look at your own test results. Are you scoring higher on the day after a day off or, higher on back to back to back tests? For me it's generally the later, so why would I not strive to emulate that pattern the day before the test?

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sun May 22, 2011 12:48 am

theaether wrote:Look at your own test results. Are you scoring higher on the day after a day off or, higher on back to back to back tests? For me it's generally the later, so why would I not strive to emulate that pattern the day before the test?

I agree that's helpful information, but it provides a fairly small sample size for a significant decision - especially because lots of factors contribute to individual LSAT scores. I thought this might be a way to increase the sample size, vicariously. Thanks for your information.

Gideon Strumpet
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sun May 22, 2011 12:54 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:More generally: a lot of people have been saying things like "just do what's best for you" or "it's common sense, stupid," or something similar. But how do you know what is best for you?

Here's the problem with this thread: Everyone who replies is either going to tell you what they plan to do, or what they did. They decided to do what they did (or will do) based on their own common sense about what works for them. Hence, you're getting nothing from this except each person's opinion of what's best for them.

In the end, this thread has added nothing of objective value to anyone's decision on this question; and you're left with nothing but your own opinion of what's best for you. There is no objective measure of anything, anywhere that is going to help you "decide" whether studying or not studying the day before is a more effective strategy. There is also no reason to believe that there is a more effective strategy generally; only what works best for each person based on their habits and behavior in test taking.

And this is not a "significant decision"; it's the opposite of that. It's a trivial, common sense question, with a common sense answer, where neither alternative is likely to have any significant impact on your outcome.

So, do what everyone else does: Do what works for you.

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Cartman
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby Cartman » Sun May 22, 2011 1:04 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Cartman wrote:For someone taking the LSAT, your reasoning is horribly flawed. If one day will do nothing, this does not mean that going two or three days back (or 500 days back) will also do nothing, simply because you are adding one day each time. 1 day really may not do much, but a couple of months sure will (and a couple of months can be broken down into adding single days.) Some part of me wonders why no one pointed this out yet?

You may want to reread the post.

More generally: a lot of people have been saying things like "just do what's best for you" or "it's common sense, stupid," or something similar. But how do you know what is best for you? I think most people just do the same thing for every test. I always study hard the day before, and I do well enough, but perhaps I would have got better scores if I was better rested. I honestly don't know. Even if you broke your pattern once or twice, that might not tell you much - lots of factors contribute to test scores.

I was hoping there might be some literature or studies on the topic, or at least that people would have interesting anecdotal evidence. People have posted some helpful information here, so thank you. I'm sure it will benefit a few people beyond me.


Don't need to reread the post. You stated that if one day doesn't matter, then why should the day before that, or the day before that. Taken alone, one day may not matter. But if you get into that reasoning that you claimed is "ad infinitum," then you'll end up with months of wasted time on your hands, which certainly will affect your score! We don't live in a vacuum where you can make the infinite regression reasoning and take it seriously. You should know that if you look at it that way for an extended period of time (read: more than a few days) then you're just wasting time.

As for the question "But how do you know what is best for you?" I would suggest thinking back about previous big tests you have taken, such as final exams or the SAT. If you studied hard the day before the exams and did well, then keep at it with the LSAT. If you studied hard the day before and ended up exhausted and burned out on the day of the test, then don't!

Or

Take a practice test a day for a few days and see how the last one you did went. If it went really well, then perhaps you do just fine taking tests days in a row and you're probably safe to study the day before. If you find out that your score went down (which it seems like happens with a lot of people) then maybe you should give yourself a break the day before.

I hate to sound like a dick but a lot of people are giving you the SAME ADVICE because it's the right advice! There is no general rule of thumb about whether or not you should study the day before, it really depends on what works for YOU.

And now that I've written this all out, I see that sir Gideon Strumpet here has summed it up pretty goddamn well. Once again.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Sun May 22, 2011 1:19 am

Cartman: Your response assumes I was endorsing the reductio argument. I wasn't endorsing it, I was using it to point out a flaw in someone else's reasoning. That was why no one commented on the argument before you.

Gideon Strumpet: suppose most people who study the day before average significantly below their best PT score, and most people who take a day off get around their best PT score. That would be objectively helpful information. Or suppose most people doing PTs find they get better PT scores if they take a day or two off beforehand - even that would be objectively helpful, to a degree.

Admittedly, it's not likely we'll get something so comprehensive here, but that doesn't mean the information posted is worthless.

I am quite surprised that you don't think that being in a better condition for the test could make a difference of a point or two, but I don't know how to rationally dispute that point.

Gideon Strumpet
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 10:31 am

Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby Gideon Strumpet » Sun May 22, 2011 4:34 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:I am quite surprised that you don't think that being in a better condition for the test could make a difference of a point or two, but I don't know how to rationally dispute that point.

I don't think that anyone other than you can know what will put you in a better condition for the test. As a practical matter, I also think it's true, generally, that doing a practice test the day before, or not doing it, will not have any significant, predictable, detectable effect on your score; especially compared with all the other variables that can change your performance on test day. I do think a departure from your usual routine, that puts you in a state where you feel ill-prepared, anxious, shaken, uneasy, incomplete, unsatisfied, unhappy, or out of your comfort zone, could have an effect. And that's as good a reason as any to just stick with what you've always done before, as long as it's always worked for you.

shoeshine
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Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby shoeshine » Sun May 22, 2011 4:44 am

Don't study the day before. Relax.

jortiz682
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2011 6:21 pm

Re: Whether to Study the Day Before

Postby jortiz682 » Sun May 22, 2011 7:34 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:
Cupidity wrote:I spent 3 days doing 3 full diagnostics per day and one thing I noticed was this, my score each day would go up by the third test, but I would lose some gains the next morning.

Wow - 3 PTs per day! You obviously have a lot more stamina than me.

Interesting, though - I would have imagined your scores would go down. Perhaps I'll try 2 PTs a day next week.


You must be using drugs. Not that there's anything wrong with that (Seinfeld). 3 5-section or 4-section? Damn. Either way.




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