Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

msmith19
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Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby msmith19 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:08 pm

Hi guys,

Need some serious advice here. I think I am having symptoms of burnout but I am very reluctant to put down studying for a while this close to the test.

My scores have gone: 169, 171, 174, 171, 172, 174, 171, 170, 169, 167, 168 (most recent). I know that the variation in these scores isn't that much, but I notice my LR scores going way down (from 0 to -3 per section, to consistently -2.5 to -4). My RC and LG scores have probably improved slightly, because I have been drilling them heavily. What also contributes to my concern of burnout is how I feel during tests and during the day. Very tired and zoned out. During the tests I don't feel that sharpness that I think I once had and notice that I am starting to get most questions with long stimuli and ACs wrong (such as parallel and principle) because I am unable to even grasp what the question is saying.

I feel like with my understanding of the sections and practicing under time and improving my endurance, I should be shooting into the low-mid 170s consistently but instead I am regressing. Is it time to take a break? How long is recommended especially this close to test date?

Thanks!

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Tom Joad
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Re: Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby Tom Joad » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:09 pm

Were you taking old tests before and now taking newer ones? The newest ones are harder.

msmith19
Posts: 38
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:33 pm

Re: Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby msmith19 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:14 pm

Those have been 52+ to 65 in various orders. Yes, I understand that some parts (especially LR) of the newer tests might be harder and that may be an alternative explanation. I am doing a PT every second day and reviewing/drilling on off-days. I see some people doing that here without problem, but I am starting to wonder if this is affecting my focus, endurance and acuity.

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TopHatToad
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Re: Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby TopHatToad » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:20 pm

Sure, I'd say take the break. At this point, the conservative play is to make sure you retain the scores you've been getting, rather than improving on them to, say, a 175. A couple days off from testing isn't going to kill you, and you very well might come back refreshed and improved.

Doctor's orders: 3 days completely off from LSAT. Pop back into it refreshed, and taper down your studying from then until the 6th. Best of luck!

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05062014
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Re: Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby 05062014 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:30 pm

I have only been taking two 5 section PTs a week for the past 3 weeks. Balancing classwork, trying to get at least an hour of exercise in a day, and watching my diet have yielded lower levels of stress over this test than when I was taking 4-5 PTs a week or drilling intensively each day all summer. There are at least 3-4 days a week where I am just thinking about ways to get ready without actually studying the material. For instance, I rarely read books before and during lsat prep (let alone read with a critical eye), but now, I have started reading books for class trying to find main points, perspective shifts, tone, etc. and my RC scores have improved from it. Researching for my cognitive psych class has allowed me to use my new found lsat LR skills in the context of real life issues.

There are a lot of less brain melting ways to improve on this test. Old tests are a good indicator of your abilities but they need not be all that you use to hone those abilities - especially if you're feeling burnt out.

Cinderella
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Re: Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby Cinderella » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:39 pm

Your progression looks very much like mine did 3 years ago when I took the LSAT. I did not take a break. On the real thing, I had trouble focusing, ended up freaking out, and I cancelled. I then plowed through 3 more months of studying without much of a break. I did decent on the test, but I in retrospect I think I would have done better if I had just chilled out.

I wish I had had the wherewithal to take a break. The LSAT is a skills test. You have the skills. There's really no need to keep plowing. Take some time off. Taper down the studying. Consider not taking anymore full tests (one of the reasons I freaked was that my declining scores effected my confidence).

Best of luck to you.

oblig.lawl.ref
Posts: 232
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:28 pm

Re: Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby oblig.lawl.ref » Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:43 pm

Your progression is very similar to mine when I took the test about a year and a half ago. I started regressing about 2-3 weeks out from the test. I can't remember exactly but I think I really slowed down my studying schedule the last 1-2 weeks and I'm pretty sure I spent the last 3-4 days doing my best to forget the test entirely.

I broke my own personal best--which was on an older practice test. I absolutely shattered my record on a newer practice test.

In sum, if you're like me not only will slowing down not hurt you--it could help you. Could even help a lot. IMO burnout is a very real thing.

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Zensack
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Re: Burnout? Advisable to take a break this close to test day?

Postby Zensack » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:08 pm

Sounds to me like fatigue is an issue (if you have to ask, it usually is). Taking a day off would probably help you out.




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