Length of Preparation

Andrew_Elias
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:25 am

Length of Preparation

Postby Andrew_Elias » Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:35 am

I apologize if the following question has been answered and if this is a repost I will delete this thread. I graduate in June with my Bachelors and I do not see myself truly studying for the LSAT until then. I would like to give my complete and undivided attention when studying for the LSAT. My question is how long is enough?

Obviously, the generic response might be "until you feel ready," but I'm looking for your personal experiences. I read on the forum that June is the best time to take it. If that is the case then is one year to long to study for the LSAT? I'm worried about studying too long and just going insane.

Regards,
Andrew

User avatar
bizzybone1313
Posts: 996
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:31 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby bizzybone1313 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:20 am

Tag. Ill give u advice tomorrow. I wish i was u 4 yrs ago.

User avatar
RobertGolddust
Posts: 370
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:09 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby RobertGolddust » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:04 am

Yet to earn my bachelors degree, but I have been studying for two years, on and off, and the 170 still eludes me.

User avatar
barrelofmonkeys
Posts: 1906
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 6:41 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby barrelofmonkeys » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:14 am

It really will depend a lot on where your diagnostic lands. It could be that you have a lot of work to do, and it could be that you don't need to do all that much.

I personally found a couple of months of studying to be sufficient (though I guess I could have studied more).
I think wait until you graduate, take a diagnostic, see where you are, and then come back for some more targeted advice.

That said--don't be afraid to take time off between UG and JD to WORK. Real world experience is invaluable for about a zillion reasons.

User avatar
WaltGrace83
Posts: 719
Joined: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:55 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby WaltGrace83 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:00 pm

Many people will tell you different things so I can tell you what I have heard and experiences that I have encountered via other people:

I have a friend who studied for 2 months, got a 176, and is now at Yale. He started with a low 160s diagnostic.
I have another friend who studied from March to June and got in the 150s. Then from June to October and scored a 163. My guess? Her studying was NOT at ALL about how long she studied but rather about how EFFECTIVELY she studied. She seemed to basically just take PTs and do some light reviewing.
I tried to start studying in June for June '14. I was working too much. I was unfocused. I was exhausted. Then school happened and it only got worse. I am graduating in a few weeks and will have Devecembef 17 - June test to do NOTHING but study. I will work at a max 2 days a week at a very flexible job to make sure I can pay my bills but other than that I am dipping in my savings and really giving this my all.

My 0L suggestion coming from someone with little experience is this: this test is big. It isn't HUGE and it won't determine the rest of your life if you don't do as well as you want the first time. With that said, you need to take it seriously and really go in with the mindset that you will take it once, get a 180, and be done with it. I think it would be smart to graduate and then study. That GPA is gold if it is high enough. Before this semester, I had a decision to make and that was to keep my GPA where it was (above the 75% at every single school) and sacrifice a little bit of LSAT studying or to let my GPA slip below some school's medians and study for the LSAT. I chose the former. You have literally the rest of your life to study for the LSAT. You don't need to take it until you are absolutely ready and you definitely shouldn't. Go easy on yourself and don't kill yourself over it but give it your all when your time comes.

User avatar
objection_your_honor
Posts: 625
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:19 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby objection_your_honor » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:20 pm

Get a job (or don't) and plan on studying for at least 6 months.

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1897
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Jeffort » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:23 pm

Andrew_Elias wrote:I apologize if the following question has been answered and if this is a repost I will delete this thread. I graduate in June with my Bachelors and I do not see myself truly studying for the LSAT until then. I would like to give my complete and undivided attention when studying for the LSAT. My question is how long is enough?

Obviously, the generic response might be "until you feel ready," but I'm looking for your personal experiences. I read on the forum that June is the best time to take it. If that is the case then is one year to long to study for the LSAT? I'm worried about studying too long and just going insane.

Regards,
Andrew


The generic response is the best one since different people learn and improve at different rates. The amount of time that is sufficient for one person to achieve their goal isn't necessarily going to be the same for another person. Peoples starting score range and target scores differ from others and that also influences how much prep time is required for each individual. If you start in the high 150s and your goal is 165, it will take far less prep time than somebody starting in the 140s that is also aiming for 165+, same idea with other combinations of starting vs target score.

If you continue to gather anecdotal evidence of individual timelines that worked for different people, you will find a wide range of timelines across the spectrum from very little prep time up to many months and even a year or more for others.

The only way to really figure out how much prep time YOU will personally need is to get started, see what level you are at in the beginning and how quickly you actually do improve once you start seriously prepping and putting in the time and effort. Until you get started and see your rate of progress, there is no reliable way to predict what your learning curve/rate of improvement over time will actually be, so you have to be somewhat flexible with your plans and start prepping early enough to allow for enough time to achieve your goal score for the cycle you want to apply in in case you need to re-take the LSAT to achieve a score you need for your target schools.

In short, get started, figure out your current ability range, compare that to your target score, make a study plan, get going with it, keep track of your rate of improvement and make study plan/timeline adjustments as your actual rate of improvement materializes into tangible results.

062914123
Posts: 1846
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:11 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby 062914123 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:44 pm

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby bp shinners » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:10 pm

bee wrote:
barrelofmonkeys wrote:It really will depend a lot on where your diagnostic lands. It could be that you have a lot of work to do, and it could be that you don't need to do all that much.

I personally found a couple of months of studying to be sufficient (though I guess I could have studied more).
I think wait until you graduate, take a diagnostic, see where you are, and then come back for some more targeted advice.

That said--don't be afraid to take time off between UG and JD to WORK. Real world experience is invaluable for about a zillion reasons.

this is basically the best advice we can give until you have a diag score in hand. if i were you i'd graduate, study hard during the summer, take oct, apply, and spend the rest of the year working.


Anyone else notice several posters sign up today and start posting legit questions, then signing off with a valediction and their name?

To OP - for most people, somewhere between 2 and 6 months. A small handful will reach their potential in less than that time; some will take more.

Andrew_Elias
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:25 am

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Andrew_Elias » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:43 pm

Everyone,

These are great responses and I am very appreciative. It is true the timelines vary from each individual. I'm actually interning right now at a law office as a paralegal while finishing up school. Since this is my scenario as of now I'm not able to give the LSAT the attention it deserves. I was thinking about working (part time) after I graduate and studying for the LSAT. I do have a very naive question so forgive me.

Most of you are referring to a diagnostic. Is this a practice test I can buy somewhere? or are you referring to something that is official from LSAC?

I do have the 2014 LSAT prep book from Kaplan that has three tests included. I've only read through the introduction since I do not want to study for the LSAT on and off. I do not see that as a good study habit for something so important.

Regards,
Andrew

062914123
Posts: 1846
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:11 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby 062914123 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:48 pm

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Andrew_Elias
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:25 am

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Andrew_Elias » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:48 pm

objection_your_honor wrote:Get a job (or don't) and plan on studying for at least 6 months.


I definitely will after I graduate. I cannot apply to a law school and show I did nothing for six - eight months. I may do volunteer paralegal work, but I'm not sure. Everything I've been reading on the forums makes it seem like working in the law environment does not make that much of a difference when applying. If it does, it appears to be very minimal.

Andrew_Elias
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:25 am

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Andrew_Elias » Mon Nov 25, 2013 10:50 pm

bee wrote:
Andrew_Elias wrote:Everyone,

These are great responses and I am very appreciative. It is true the timelines vary from each individual. I'm actually interning right now at a law office as a paralegal while finishing up school. Since this is my scenario as of now I'm not able to give the LSAT the attention it deserves. I was thinking about working (part time) after I graduate and studying for the LSAT. I do have a very naive question so forgive me.

Most of you are referring to a diagnostic. Is this a practice test I can buy somewhere? or are you referring to something that is official from LSAC?

I do have the 2014 LSAT prep book from Kaplan that has three tests included. I've only read through the introduction since I do not want to study for the LSAT on and off. I do not see that as a good study habit for something so important.

Regards,
Andrew

a diagnostic is any (preferably modern) OFFICIAL test that you take cold (without any prior studying). its a baseline and usually gives a good indication of how much/how long you'll need to study in order to reach your target score


Is this explained in the forums somewhere? I do not want to beat a dead horse, but I'm still not understanding. Are you suggesting I enroll and take the LSAT to get a baseline? I'm not aware of any other "official" tests.

I forgot to mention I will definitely be enrolling in a LSAT prep course, but I would like to know where I stand.

062914123
Posts: 1846
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:11 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby 062914123 » Mon Nov 25, 2013 11:43 pm

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
nachosrgood
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby nachosrgood » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:22 am

bee wrote:
Andrew_Elias wrote:
bee wrote:
Andrew_Elias wrote:Everyone,

These are great responses and I am very appreciative. It is true the timelines vary from each individual. I'm actually interning right now at a law office as a paralegal while finishing up school. Since this is my scenario as of now I'm not able to give the LSAT the attention it deserves. I was thinking about working (part time) after I graduate and studying for the LSAT. I do have a very naive question so forgive me.

Most of you are referring to a diagnostic. Is this a practice test I can buy somewhere? or are you referring to something that is official from LSAC?

I do have the 2014 LSAT prep book from Kaplan that has three tests included. I've only read through the introduction since I do not want to study for the LSAT on and off. I do not see that as a good study habit for something so important.

Regards,
Andrew

a diagnostic is any (preferably modern) OFFICIAL test that you take cold (without any prior studying). its a baseline and usually gives a good indication of how much/how long you'll need to study in order to reach your target score


Is this explained in the forums somewhere? I do not want to beat a dead horse, but I'm still not understanding. Are you suggesting I enroll and take the LSAT to get a baseline? I'm not aware of any other "official" tests.

I forgot to mention I will definitely be enrolling in a LSAT prep course, but I would like to know where I stand.

theres not really a tls encyclopedia of this stuff, but i'd suggest reading through the stickied posts at the top of the LSAT forum and browsing through a few threads to better inform yourself about the test and prep.

you do not have to enroll/sit for an actual lsat. lsac releases all official lsats after they've been administered. you can purchase them in pdf form here: http://www.cambridgelsat.com/. you can also buy them in paper form direct from lsac, but i'd suggest buying the pdfs so that you can retake the tests as many times as you wish. there are currently 70+ official lsats that have been released by lsac. taking these tests, or "pting," will basically make up the core of your prep.

to take a diagnostic, get yourself an official preptest and a timer. you get 35 minutes per section, with a 15 minute break between the 3rd and 4th sections.

before you spend $$$ on a prep course, make sure to do research on tls. there are some pretty terrible ones and some pretty good ones.


LSAC offer 1 test for free, the June 2007 test, which could be your diagnostic.

http://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source ... ptjune.pdf

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:44 am

OP: as others have acknowledged, it's different for each person. I would plan for at least six months if I were to do it all over again, and I would make sure that I was studying the right way.

bee wrote:there are currently 70+ official lsats that have been released by lsac. taking these tests, or "pting," will basically make up the core of your prep.

I think this is bad advice. OP, your prep should not primarily consist of PTing. Your prep should primarily consist of both drilling and PTing, with comprehensive, close, careful review of your mistakes and overall approach. You must be self-aware and self-critical.

062914123
Posts: 1846
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:11 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby 062914123 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:05 am

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Yazzzay
Posts: 257
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:08 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Yazzzay » Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:23 am

Well if you have been glancing at the prepbook from Kaplan (which I recommend not even using, try out Powerscore), then you'll understand there are 3 sections to the LSAT. You are going to have to understand all the question types in these sections and drill them, which you can find packets here:
http://www.cambridgelsat.com/bundles/lo ... g-by-type/

There are other sets on the site as well for the other sections. Then, like someone said before, I think the core of your prep is definitely Preptests, which you'll really get into once you finish drilling.

Start with a diagnostic and go from there!

User avatar
bobtheblob916
Posts: 49
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:50 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby bobtheblob916 » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:20 am

In addition to all this advice, I'll tell you what my pre-law advisor told me: Treat the LSAT like a part-time job. Put at least 20 hours a week into it, and make sure you study every day (or at least every weekday).

User avatar
Otunga
Posts: 1317
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:56 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Otunga » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:38 am

I think for most people 6 months is necessary for 170+, given that most people do not appear to have diagnostics of 160+. For those that do, I think under six months, perhaps even 2 months as someone cited an example of earlier in the thread, is sufficient for 170+. By and large, though, 6 months is probably necessary to max out your potential.

I scored 149 on my diagnostic and 168 in Oct. I started studying in April, not really knowing what I was doing. Then I got Manhattan materials and really got into the 7sage videos starting in June, and the summer made up the core of my prep where I acquired strong fundamentals of the test through drilling the Cambridge packets, reviewing and PTing. Looking back, I believe I PTed too much and the positive effects of reviewing were mitigated because I was overly concerned with what I was getting on the PTs rather than introspectively analyzing why I was getting things wrong, and due to that, whatever habits I established, good or bad, stayed with me. I'm retaking in Dec but doing more of the introspective analyzing stuff and PTing more sparingly. The point is not to get too fussed over what your scores are, and especially if you're plateauing, it's to your benefit to scrutinize your mistakes and your disposition while PTing as opposed to just taking more PTs desperately pursuing a better score.

Essentially, I believe if you start prepping around May (following exams and whatever), then you should aim to hammer down the fundamentals during May-July through drilling and through working through the reputable prepbooks. Then you have August and September to PT and do extensive review. Doing all that would allow you to take in Oct. Depending on if you're good with 5 months prep, then it's a good option. If not, you have the opportunity to take in December and have 7 months of prep. However, with the latter option, you wouldn't be able to retake and apply for that year's cycle. But if you're in no rush, then Dec is a great option.

blackbirdfly
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:04 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby blackbirdfly » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:58 pm

Just remember that what matters most is how hard you study. It's about forming habits. I could be off on this, but I believe 6 months of intense, focused study is better than a off/on, half-assed 12 months schedule.

Andrew_Elias
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2013 3:25 am

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Andrew_Elias » Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:36 pm

This thread has definitely provided a different outlook on how I will approach preparing for the LSAT. The Kaplan book that I own explained practice tests as something that should be done in moderation. The book in a way suggests taking a test in the beginning, half way point, and before the actual LSAT.

I really want to understand the concepts and I believe if I focus on that than my score. I should be able to score high or at least good enough to get into a top 15 school(maybe). I would rather study for six months than a whole year. I see 20hrs a week of studying as very doable since I do not plan on working full-time after I graduate.

You all have been very helpful and I appreciate your honesty. I will definitely post here once I take a baseline test to create a plan of action on how to attack the LSAT. Also I'm extremely scared and nervous lol, but I will not give up.

Cheers!

User avatar
iamgeorgebush
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:57 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:19 pm

Kaplan books are great as kindling, but not much else.

User avatar
Wrong Marx
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:25 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby Wrong Marx » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:50 pm

Length doesn't matter. It's what you do with it.

At least, that's what those who study for only a couple of weeks say.

User avatar
nachosrgood
Posts: 104
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:41 pm

Re: Length of Preparation

Postby nachosrgood » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:52 pm

Andrew_Elias wrote:This thread has definitely provided a different outlook on how I will approach preparing for the LSAT. The Kaplan book that I own explained practice tests as something that should be done in moderation. The book in a way suggests taking a test in the beginning, half way point, and before the actual LSAT.

I really want to understand the concepts and I believe if I focus on that than my score. I should be able to score high or at least good enough to get into a top 15 school(maybe). I would rather study for six months than a whole year. I see 20hrs a week of studying as very doable since I do not plan on working full-time after I graduate.

You all have been very helpful and I appreciate your honesty. I will definitely post here once I take a baseline test to create a plan of action on how to attack the LSAT. Also I'm extremely scared and nervous lol, but I will not give up.

Cheers!


Glad we could help.

In case you haven't read the following thread. Do so thoroughly, collection good to great advice:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=200917

edit: read the study plans the first post links.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 5 guests