Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

twiffy
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Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby twiffy » Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:34 am

So reading through this forum, it seems as if the majority of people study for only a couple months but study 15-20 hours a week. I was wondering, is this the absolute best way to study or is it just because people simply don't have time to devote more than a couple months?

For example, i was planning to take the LSAT next June which is about 10 months away. However, I'm going to be in my last year of undergrad, and I'm on the quarter system which means my spring finals coincide with June LSATs. I'm going to have to do all my LSAT studying along with my school work; there's absolutely no room for me to devote a month or two right before June to study like crazy. (you lucky bastards on the semester system getting out early may :/)

Now my question:
would it be a bad idea to start studying now and study through the entire school year but only a couple hours a week? Is it possible that studying less intensively but for a longer period of time not as efficient? has anyone else had experience studying slowly but steadily vs. studying 20 hours a weeks for 2 months?

PS. i'm aiming for a 170+

Ruthie
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby Ruthie » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:52 am

IMO, this totally depends on you and your study structure, but I would caution slightly. Some people can study for months and just keep going, but many people cannot maintain focus for 10 months. I think you run the risk of bruning yourself out, or only half-assing the material because you have so much time. I'd take a diagnostic, take some time throughout the year to practice logic games, and review the language. Then I would really buckle down the last few months before the exam.

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bdeebs
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby bdeebs » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:47 am

I was still figuring out if I wanted to be a lawyer when I started preping for the LSAT, so I had the luxury of time to postpone taking the actual test. I ended up accidentally adopting a similar strategy. I started in June 2011 and ended up taking the test in June 2012. I think if you want to spend some more relaxed months figuring out the ins and outs of the tests and becoming decent at taking timed tests, that has the potential to be effective. However (and this is based purely on my own experience as a test taker), I believe that most people will need to have at least a month of more intense study before the test to make sure you're mentally prepared, comfortable with all of the strategies you adopt, and to sharpen your intuition.

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Scotusnerd
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby Scotusnerd » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:49 am

It depends entirely on your personal style. Some people are comfortable studying 10-12 hours a day. Does that make them a better test-taker? Maybe, maybe not. Only if they put in enough time and learn the material.

Figure out what works for you, rather than worrying about what works for others.

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cahwc12
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby cahwc12 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 11:29 am

I budgeted around 300 hours from January to June. I was pting in low-mid 170s but scored 168 on test day.

Decide on a target score, what you think you need to do to get that (amount of PT + review + drilling/etc) and then divide that by the number of days until test day. If you don't feel comfortable with that number, either lower your expectations or delay your test date.

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espressocream
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby espressocream » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:41 pm

Quarter system blows. On it as well.

I started studying in January (about 10/week) and some weeks I had to take off because of finals...was PTing upper 160s by test day, 162 on the actual test...
that being said - Start in December during winter break (ours is about 6/7 weeks) and then keep going on the weekends and days you don't have a lot to do. PM me if you have any questions about studying on the quarter system/scheduling - it is significantly different from the normal semester system, and by significantly different I mean that it sucks more than anything you'll do in your college career.
In retrospect I wish I had just taken it in October, because my grades did take a hit. Studying over the summer is so much nicer with not having to worry about tests every 5 weeks. Also much less stressful.

bp shinners
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby bp shinners » Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:51 pm

If you're going to go on a more lax study schedule than the norm, I would recommend at least two days a week with 4-5 hours of study. This will be to increase your endurance as far as thinking about the LSAT is concerned. Without getting used to dedicating your brain to logic for that period of time, you might have a bad test day when you run out of brain juice during section 3.

twiffy
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby twiffy » Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:50 am

espressocream wrote:Quarter system blows. On it as well.

I started studying in January (about 10/week) and some weeks I had to take off because of finals...was PTing upper 160s by test day, 162 on the actual test...
that being said - Start in December during winter break (ours is about 6/7 weeks) and then keep going on the weekends and days you don't have a lot to do. PM me if you have any questions about studying on the quarter system/scheduling - it is significantly different from the normal semester system, and by significantly different I mean that it sucks more than anything you'll do in your college career.
In retrospect I wish I had just taken it in October, because my grades did take a hit. Studying over the summer is so much nicer with not having to worry about tests every 5 weeks. Also much less stressful.


You have a 6 week winter break? Ugh I only have 3. i guess the only perks of being on the quarter system is not having to sit through 16 weeks of a terribly boring class. Thanks for the advice though :)

the thing is, i don't want to leave it to October because i want to leave room for a retake in case i do badly.

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espressocream
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby espressocream » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:24 am

twiffy wrote:
espressocream wrote:Quarter system blows. On it as well.

I started studying in January (about 10/week) and some weeks I had to take off because of finals...was PTing upper 160s by test day, 162 on the actual test...
that being said - Start in December during winter break (ours is about 6/7 weeks) and then keep going on the weekends and days you don't have a lot to do. PM me if you have any questions about studying on the quarter system/scheduling - it is significantly different from the normal semester system, and by significantly different I mean that it sucks more than anything you'll do in your college career.
In retrospect I wish I had just taken it in October, because my grades did take a hit. Studying over the summer is so much nicer with not having to worry about tests every 5 weeks. Also much less stressful.


You have a 6 week winter break? Ugh I only have 3. i guess the only perks of being on the quarter system is not having to sit through 16 weeks of a terribly boring class. Thanks for the advice though :)

the thing is, i don't want to leave it to October because i want to leave room for a retake in case i do badly.


Our school calender revolves around ski season.
I wish I was kidding.


I was the same way, and now I am retaking in October. Start in December and you should be able to pace yourself well.

Bgibbs
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Re: Length of time spent studying vs. intensity of studying

Postby Bgibbs » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:36 am

The real answer is that it depends on where you are scoring, what you want to score, and how quickly you grasp the test. My suggestion would be to get a diagnostic score and then go from there. Chances are that Kaplan has a day on your campus when you can take a proctored exam for free which is a good starting point. I'm not saying take their course (I'd recommend self-studying for most) but it's good to have a score you can build from in an environment similar to the one you'll have on test day.

After that some people simply grasp the concepts on the test easier than most, and this will dictate your studying time. My suggestion to you would be, even if you decide against studying right away, to get yourself familiarized with Logic Games (I've heard that the Powerscore Logic Games bible is excellent for this). There is no reason why you shouldn't be going -0 to -2 by test day as they can be solved. You just have put in the work and understand the techniques needed to answer them.




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