Advice on how to distribute prep time?

theycallmefoes
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 pm

Advice on how to distribute prep time?

Postby theycallmefoes » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:23 am

I’m prepping for June (already took October and December), and I've been having trouble deciding how to distribute my study time. I’m currently drilling LR (Cambridge PT 1-38 bundle), because LR has been my most inconsistent section (and is going to make or break my score, when it comes down to it).

But I don’t want to get rusty on LG either (usually -0 to -2), not to mention that I'm still not completely comfortable with it. Unusual/tricky games can stress me out, temporarily break my concentration, and really make me feel the time crunch, and I'd like to eliminate those worries.

How do you usually divide your time when dealing with 1 section that’s stronger than the others? Since my LG is pretty strong, I’m not sure how much time is necessary to iron out the last few wrinkles. A few possible scenarios:
- Do just a couple of LG daily while drilling LR extensively
- Drill both LG and LR daily but drill LR more heavily
- Drill only LR daily and do timed LG sections once a week

Also, when do people usually start with full PTs? I think the June study group has set the first PT day for February 6th, which is too early for me, but I would like to get started with that ASAP. The thing is, my impulse is to completely finish drilling LR first, but I’m afraid the drilling will require too much time, and I won’t have enough time to devote to PTs.

Thoughts?
Last edited by theycallmefoes on Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
warandpeace
Posts: 301
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:43 pm

Re: Advice on how to distribute prep time?

Postby warandpeace » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:45 am

tl;dr

if i were you, i wouldn't over think it. just drill what you feel like drilling, review your answers, study what you got wrong, then drill some more or drill in a different topic, rinse and repeat.

theycallmefoes
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 pm

Re: Advice on how to distribute prep time?

Postby theycallmefoes » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:14 pm

warandpeace wrote:tl;dr
I know, I know. Bad habit. Sorry. D:
if i were you, i wouldn't over think it. just drill what you feel like drilling, review your answers, study what you got wrong, then drill some more or drill in a different topic, rinse and repeat.
Objectively, I know you're right, but it's in my nature to over-think pretty much everything. Plus, the LSAT has become an obsession for me, so I fixate even more.

Honestly, I'd really appreciate it if people could humor me just a bit with these questions. As I said, I've already used up 2 of my attempts, so this last one is really it for me, and I need to nail it. It seems like no matter how much I prep, I always feel like something's getting shortchanged, like I'm making mistakes that I wouldn't have made if I just had a couple more weeks to prep ("if only I were a bit faster on this" or "if only I had done a few more of those"). I'm trying to develop a more structured study system to keep that from happening yet again.

And yes, I know that was also unnecessarily verbose. Here's the CliffsNotes version of this entire thread:
So, I was just hoping to hear some thoughts about how people divvy up their prep time among sections, when they start to PT (i.e., while drilling or after), etc.

Mik Ekim
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:06 pm

Re: Advice on how to distribute prep time?

Postby Mik Ekim » Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:04 pm

Here are some thoughts - I hope you find them helpful - because this is not your first time taking the exam, I am going to be blunt and honest - I hope you don't mind -

In planning your schedule, you want to work backwards from where you want to end up. What is it that you need in order to succeed on the LSAT at a high level? What is it you need to get out of your studies?

The amount of time that you spend studying has no direct impact on your overall score. What does impact your score is your skill set and your habits.

So, you want to plan your studies so that you can maximize the development of your skills and your habits --

You develop skills by gaining understanding of the test, learning strategies, and gaining experience -- but, more importantly, you develop skills when these components "link up" -- when your learning informs your strategies, when you implement strategies on problems etc.

You develop habits when you correctly apply skills over and over again.

In general, you want to develop skills before you develop habits, for obvious reasons.

It sounds like you have most of the skills that you need for LG, but not all, and that you mainly need to work on LG habits. It sounds like, for LR, you need to work on developing skills and habits (not sure what your RC situation is) --

So, with all that said, here's what I would suggest --

1) Focus on developing all of the skills you need -- be specific! Sit and write out all the skills (For LR, they might be "I need to identify conclusions, etc), then make sure you get the understanding, strategies, and experience you need to develop those specific skills. Don't just do practice set after practice set (which just mainly reinforces good and bad habits) - use the problems to develop specific skills.

2) Then focus on developing habits by doing a ton of drilling of all three sections, and by taking full exams.

HTH and good luck.

theycallmefoes
Posts: 330
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:13 pm

Re: Advice on how to distribute prep time?

Postby theycallmefoes » Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:17 am

Mik Ekim wrote:1) Focus on developing all of the skills you need -- be specific! Sit and write out all the skills (For LR, they might be "I need to identify conclusions, etc), then make sure you get the understanding, strategies, and experience you need to develop those specific skills. Don't just do practice set after practice set (which just mainly reinforces good and bad habits) - use the problems to develop specific skills.
2) Then focus on developing habits by doing a ton of drilling of all three sections, and by taking full exams.

Hi Mike - Sorry for not responding all those months ago! I was sure I had replied, but obviously I was mistaken. D: Thanks for taking the time to reply - your advice is really solid for anyone prepping for the exam.

Anyway, I'm reviving this thread because I ended up withdrawing from the June exam - even though I was in my target range, I still didn't feel confident that I would nail it on test day and decided to postpone until October. At this point, I haven't done any prep work in the last 6 weeks (dealing with a family crisis), but I'm planning on getting back into the swing of things this Monday, and I was hoping I could get some more concrete suggestions about/examples of scheduling prep time/time management strategies.

[Feel free to skip this part - you can just go to the questions at the bottom, if you'd like.] Just to re-cap all of my prior prep (since last July): I've done the LGB and LRB in their entirety 3 times each and have skimmed them each an additional 2+ times. I've done MLR and MLG in their entirety once and have reviewed MLR 2 additional times and MLG 1 more time. I've also combined all the drills and games from LGB and MLG into packets (organized by type), which I've completed once (in addition to having done them while reading the books), but I also have several clean copies of each packet for further prep. From the Cambridge LR bundle (PT 1-38, organized by type) I drilled a significant number of each type (using Mike's advice about focusing on technique/strategy) but didn't get through every single question and didn't focus heavily on timing. I also drilled the Cambridge LG by type packets in their entirety once (recording the amount of time needed to complete each game), watched the 7sage video explanations for almost every game, and repeated the trickier and/or time-consuming ones. I've also done about 30 PTs (including untimed) - (and, yes, I know that, by now, I should have done them all, but I focused way too heavily on the books the first time around (October 2012) and waited until I had my score before deciding to take the December exam, at which point I had only an additional month to prep and emphasized drilling my weak areas to the detriment of doing timed PTs).

Anyway, what I'm asking about is this: Putting in the hard work has never been a problem for me - I'm very diligent about doing several hours of focused prep daily, but I have trouble developing a concrete plan to ensure I get through all the prep material that I have. (For example, sometimes I become too focused on one section to the detriment of another; or I underestimate how long it will take to complete the drilling, leaving less time for PTs; or I don't have enough time to go back and repeat old questions/games; etc.)

So, after quickly reviewing the guides, I'm planning on starting with a clean drilling slate next week. I need to get through the Cambridge bundles for LR (only level 1s and 2s for drilling) and LG (all) by drilling from both sections each day, and I need to do it with time to spare so that I have time to re-drill, re-drill, re-drill all questions/games that gave me even the slightest bit of trouble.

I'm trying to create a more concrete/structured schedule for the next 8+ weeks, and any and all answers, opinions, suggestions, life lessons, etc. to the following questions would be really quite helpful:
1). What do you think is the ideal amount of drilling per day (for LR and LG)? I'm actually curious about the specific numbers of questions you drilled daily in your own prep and also how much you would suggest for me.
2). How many full PTs per week? I'm thinking 2-3, if I start in the next couple of weeks, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.
3). What do you think is the best strategy for reviewing difficult questions and/or questions you missed? I'm really interested in hearing how you went about it, how much time you devoted to it, when you returned to those questions, what you did if you missed the same question a second time, etc.

Like I said, any and all help would be greatly appreciated!




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests