Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

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ashca2014
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Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby ashca2014 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:08 am

Hey Everyone!

I took my first diagnostic practice LSAT yesterday, and I scored a 145. I was pretty bummed about it.

I was wondering if anyone could offer information on how much I can expect to improve before taking the real test in June.
I have been diagnosed with general anxiety, depression, and ADHD (I take medication for these issues), and I know that this can be a hinderance to my progress. However, I am very committed to improving and pursuing law school.

Would anyone who has been in a similar situation be willing to offer insight/advice? I would also like to hear from anyone who made significant improvements with a PT score that was particularly low. Thank you!

griffin3575
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby griffin3575 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:23 am

ashca2014 wrote:Hey Everyone!

I took my first diagnostic practice LSAT yesterday, and I scored a 145. I was pretty bummed about it.

I was wondering if anyone could offer information on how much I can expect to improve before taking the real test in June.
I have been diagnosed with general anxiety, depression, and ADHD (I take medication for these issues), and I know that this can be a hinderance to my progress. However, I am very committed to improving and pursuing law school.

Would anyone who has been in a similar situation be willing to offer insight/advice? I would also like to hear from anyone who made significant improvements with a PT score that was particularly low. Thank you!


Can't comment on your anxiety (though I have terrible test anxiety, if it's any conciliation) and depression, but I have had ADHD my entire life, and my diagnostic score was a 147. I put in 1 year or 1000 hours of self-study, and ended up with a 168.

It was probably one of the hardest things I've had to do academically, as I had a lot of other things going on simultaneously in UG, but it can be done if you're religiously committed.

Make use of TLS, free Manhattan LSAT forums, free 7Sage, make the LSAT your weird hobby, etc. Work hard and you can make huge gains. Good luck!

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ashca2014
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby ashca2014 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:41 am

griffin3575 wrote:
ashca2014 wrote:Hey Everyone!

I took my first diagnostic practice LSAT yesterday, and I scored a 145. I was pretty bummed about it.

I was wondering if anyone could offer information on how much I can expect to improve before taking the real test in June.
I have been diagnosed with general anxiety, depression, and ADHD (I take medication for these issues), and I know that this can be a hinderance to my progress. However, I am very committed to improving and pursuing law school.

Would anyone who has been in a similar situation be willing to offer insight/advice? I would also like to hear from anyone who made significant improvements with a PT score that was particularly low. Thank you!


Can't comment on your anxiety (though I have terrible test anxiety, if it's any conciliation) and depression, but I have had ADHD my entire life, and my diagnostic score was a 147. I put in 1 year or 1000 hours of self-study, and ended up with a 168.

It was probably one of the hardest things I've had to do academically, as I had a lot of other things going on simultaneously in UG, but it can be done if you're religiously committed.

Make use of TLS, free Manhattan LSAT forums, free 7Sage, make the LSAT your weird hobby, etc. Work hard and you can make huge gains. Good luck!


Thank you for your feedback! If you don't mind me asking, what sort of study schedule did you set up for yourself?

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leslieknope
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby leslieknope » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:42 am

I have ADD (inattentive, though, not hyperactive) and anxiety that latched onto the LSAT and made my life hell while studying, and I also got a 168. I'm not going to pretend it's not going to be hard- it is, and you're probably going to have to work harder for the same score, but it's doable. What I really recommend is giving yourself plenty of time, because for me it took a really long time until I was able to sit down and get through full PTs. Also try to take a June test so you have the option of retaking in October or December, just because I know that for me, taking the December test really added to my anxiety.

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Clyde Frog
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Clyde Frog » Thu Jan 22, 2015 3:59 am

Take l-theanine (suntheanine) with your ADHD meds to combat the test anxiety.

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:45 am

ashca2014 wrote:Hey Everyone!

I took my first diagnostic practice LSAT yesterday, and I scored a 145. I was pretty bummed about it.

I was wondering if anyone could offer information on how much I can expect to improve before taking the real test in June.
I have been diagnosed with general anxiety, depression, and ADHD (I take medication for these issues), and I know that this can be a hinderance to my progress. However, I am very committed to improving and pursuing law school.

Would anyone who has been in a similar situation be willing to offer insight/advice? I would also like to hear from anyone who made significant improvements with a PT score that was particularly low. Thank you!


Anxiety and ADHD aside, I went from low 150s to low 170s just by committing to a summer LSAT class and giving it 80% effort or so (I hate homework).

Regarding your anxiety and ADHD, I suppose the most relevant factor would be to consider how this has affected your test-taking ability in the past. Think AP/IB exams, SAT, ACT, college finals, etc. If you've always been unable to excel on tests due to these issues, that probably doesn't bode well for the LSAT. If you've routinely overcome the issues in the past, I'd wager you can overcome them for the LSAT as well, and improve a solid 15-20 points over your cold diagnostic.

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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby GreenTee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:27 am

.
Last edited by GreenTee on Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:42 am

GreenTee wrote:I self studied my way from upper 140s to upper 170s. I have severe testing anxiety, and I was diagnosed with ADD as a teenager. It can be done, but it will likely be the most difficult thing you've ever done in your life. Took me almost a year and a half of really intensive prep (about 30 hrs/wk on top of a FT job).


:shock: :shock: Bravo, sir. Really.

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ltowns1
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby ltowns1 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:00 am

ashca2014 wrote:Hey Everyone!

I took my first diagnostic practice LSAT yesterday, and I scored a 145. I was pretty bummed about it.

I was wondering if anyone could offer information on how much I can expect to improve before taking the real test in June.
I have been diagnosed with general anxiety, depression, and ADHD (I take medication for these issues), and I know that this can be a hinderance to my progress. However, I am very committed to improving and pursuing law school.

Would anyone who has been in a similar situation be willing to offer insight/advice? I would also like to hear from anyone who made significant improvements with a PT score that was particularly low. Thank you!



I'm in the same boat. I've been studying for about a year, and it is one of the hardest things you will ever do. I've gone to the hospital several times early on in my prep for anxiety. Now I'm able to manage it, but it was a serious process. You can do it, but you have to be selfish. Don't listen to family who put pressure on you to take it, listen to yourself and take it when you're ready. I would recommend, like everyone else that you take it june just so you can take a couple more times if you don't get the score you want. Secondly, just make sure you realize the LSAT does not have to be aced on the first go round. You can cancel the score if need be, or even if you take the score and you're not pleased with it, you can always take it again without penalty from an admissions council. They know it's a high stakes exam. This was a big part of why i began to relax. Also, you gotta to make sure you know the material very well!! For anyone who takes the LSAT preparation is key, but that only gets amplified when you have anxiety. Finally, here is a great blog I found on overcoming test nerves/anxiety that really helped me, hopefully it can help you and others as well! Good luck!

http://blog.pickcrew.com/under-pressure ...
Last edited by ltowns1 on Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:20 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PhilippeStandingOnIt
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby PhilippeStandingOnIt » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:02 am

PM Sent.

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brusselsprouts
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby brusselsprouts » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:11 am

There's a lot of good advice here, so I'm sure you realize that it definitely can be done. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety years ago, and have been fortunate to not be suffering very much lately. Regardless, for me one of the biggest things I had to (and am having to) work through is simply confidence. When I let the questions get the best of me I seriously struggle, but if I feigned confidence and now it's mostly genuine confidence. My cold diagnostic was 151..I'm testing for the first time in Feb, so I can't speak to my overall improvement yet, but my last PT was 170.

Besides a great study plan, I think one of the things that has helped me most is taking days for self-care. I've still spent days just netflixing or being with friends, and I still go out drinking for celebrations. I think if I were to give these things up for studying I'd sink into a serious depression. Especially with with (I work FT, it's a bummer), you need to create some balance when tackling this test.

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PhilippeStandingOnIt
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby PhilippeStandingOnIt » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:39 am

PhilippeStandingOnIt wrote:PM Sent.

Well, it's been sitting in my outbox for 45 minutes. Eventually there will be a PM.

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Shakawkaw
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Shakawkaw » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:46 am

This thread is silly. America is overmedicated. That's why we're lagging behind China and every other country. POTUS should have addressed these issues in his SOTU address. But of course he's a pill pusher, with his socialist reforms and "Obama-care." Stop being a conformist and a beta.

THANKS OBAMA.

/thread

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PhilippeStandingOnIt
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby PhilippeStandingOnIt » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:54 am

Shakawkaw wrote:This thread is silly. America is overmedicated. That's why we're lagging behind China and every other country. POTUS should have addressed these issues in his SOTU address. But of course he's a pill pusher, with his socialist reforms and "Obama-care." Stop being a conformist and a beta.

THANKS OBAMA.

/thread


I suspect you're correct that America is over-medicated. And although you didn't say it directly, I will concede that ADD/ADHD is over-diagnosed. But that doesn't mean that it isn't real for some of us. So unless you also happen to be a doctor, buzz off. Some of us are trying to be helpful here.

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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby GreenTee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:00 pm

.
Last edited by GreenTee on Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Shakawkaw
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Shakawkaw » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:25 pm

PhilippeStandingOnIt wrote:
Shakawkaw wrote:This thread is silly. America is overmedicated. That's why we're lagging behind China and every other country. POTUS should have addressed these issues in his SOTU address. But of course he's a pill pusher, with his socialist reforms and "Obama-care." Stop being a conformist and a beta.

THANKS OBAMA.

/thread


I suspect you're correct that America is over-medicated. And although you didn't say it directly, I will concede that ADD/ADHD is over-diagnosed. But that doesn't mean that it isn't real for some of us. So unless you also happen to be a doctor, buzz off. Some of us are trying to be helpful here.


I don't see how most responses have been helpful, aside from telling OP that he's not alone. He asked for ways to improve on his performance in spite of his issues with anxiety and ADHD.

But, this:
GreenTee wrote:Obvious troll is obvious.

GreenTee
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby GreenTee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:44 pm

.
Last edited by GreenTee on Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Quippy
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Quippy » Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:46 pm

ltowns1 wrote:
ashca2014 wrote:Hey Everyone!

I took my first diagnostic practice LSAT yesterday, and I scored a 145. I was pretty bummed about it.

I was wondering if anyone could offer information on how much I can expect to improve before taking the real test in June.
I have been diagnosed with general anxiety, depression, and ADHD (I take medication for these issues), and I know that this can be a hinderance to my progress. However, I am very committed to improving and pursuing law school.

Would anyone who has been in a similar situation be willing to offer insight/advice? I would also like to hear from anyone who made significant improvements with a PT score that was particularly low. Thank you!



I'm in the same boat man. I've been studying for about a year, and it is one of the hardest things you will ever do. I've gone to the hospital several times early on in my prep for anxiety. Now I'm able to manage it, but it was a serious process. You can do it, but you have to selfish. Don't listen to family who puts pressure on you to take it, listen to yourself and take it when you're ready. I would recommend, like everyone else that you take it june just so you can take a couple more times if you don't get the score you want. Secondly, just make sure you realize the LSAT does not have to be aced on the first go round. You can cancel the score if need be, or even if you take the score and you're not pleased with it, you can always take it again without penalty from an admissions council. They know it's a high stakes exam. This was a big part of why i began to relax. Also, you gotta to make sure you know the material very well!! For anyone who takes the LSAT preparation is key, but that only gets amplified when you have anxiety. Finally, here is a great blog I found on overcoming test nerves/anxiety that really helped me, hopefully it can help you and others as well! Good luck!

http://blog.pickcrew.com/under-pressure ...


(Sorry in advance for the novel). I'm in this exact situation and I think the bolded point is the most important thing to remember. You can absolutely improve - you just have to make sure to give yourself plenty of time. It can be really frustrating if people tell you to "just get it over with" but don't let anyone else set your timeline - only you know how much time you need and you might not even know until you've gotten through a substantial amount of study material.

I took it in September after studying seriously for about a month and, while it ended up being a disaster score-wise, the experience of taking it was really helpful (I was an idiot and I didn't cancel but it should be a comfort to know that you have that option). Since you're planning on taking it in June, remember that you can still retake in October. That should take some of the pressure off.

Another thing - and I'm not sure if this is universal for people with ADHD but it might be helpful - is that it's ok to take time off to process information. After the September test I realized that I process things really slowly and some of the LSAT stuff took longer to click. It can be stressful to take a few days off when you feel crunched for time, but it's made a huge difference for me. Not only does it give my brain a chance to catch up, but it also keeps me grounded in reality. When you start to have weird dreams about diagramming logic games, it's time to step back for a few days!

Basically, be patient with yourself. Try to see every mistake as an opportunity to improve (7Sage's blind review is a great way to facilitate this mindset). And remember that the LSAT is completely learnable and every additional point is worth its weight in gold so don't settle and don't let anyone rush you.

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ashca2014
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby ashca2014 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:15 pm

Shakawkaw wrote:
PhilippeStandingOnIt wrote:
Shakawkaw wrote:This thread is silly. America is overmedicated. That's why we're lagging behind China and every other country. POTUS should have addressed these issues in his SOTU address. But of course he's a pill pusher, with his socialist reforms and "Obama-care." Stop being a conformist and a beta.

THANKS OBAMA.

/thread


I suspect you're correct that America is over-medicated. And although you didn't say it directly, I will concede that ADD/ADHD is over-diagnosed. But that doesn't mean that it isn't real for some of us. So unless you also happen to be a doctor, buzz off. Some of us are trying to be helpful here.


I don't see how most responses have been helpful, aside from telling OP that he's not alone. He asked for ways to improve on his performance in spite of his issues with anxiety and ADHD.

But, this:
GreenTee wrote:Obvious troll is obvious.


First of all, I am female.

Secondly, you are clearly narrow minded and immature. I provided a few legitimate tidbits about my situation in an effort to obtain some advice from those who may have had similar experiences. You are entitled to your beliefs about the way Americans deal with mental health issues and psychiatric care...but to generalize every person and story you come across only serves to demonstrate your callous ignorance. You know nothing about my family history, childhood experiences, etc.

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:17 pm

ashca2014 wrote:First of all, I am female.

Secondly, you are clearly narrow minded and immature. I provided a few legitimate tidbits about my situation in an effort to obtain some advice from those who may have had similar experiences. You are entitled to your beliefs about the way Americans deal with mental health issues and psychiatric care...but to generalize every person and story you come across only serves to demonstrate your callous ignorance. You know nothing about my family history, childhood experiences, etc.

The poster was being hilarious, not serious. Satire much?

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fats provolone
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby fats provolone » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:18 pm

you don't know me!

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ashca2014
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby ashca2014 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:34 pm

Lieut Kaffee wrote:
ashca2014 wrote:First of all, I am female.

Secondly, you are clearly narrow minded and immature. I provided a few legitimate tidbits about my situation in an effort to obtain some advice from those who may have had similar experiences. You are entitled to your beliefs about the way Americans deal with mental health issues and psychiatric care...but to generalize every person and story you come across only serves to demonstrate your callous ignorance. You know nothing about my family history, childhood experiences, etc.

The poster was being hilarious, not serious. Satire much?


I see. You might be surprised how often people in my situation are met with attitudes exactly like that, by people who delude themselves into believing they're just offering some "realistic compassion."

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Quippy
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Quippy » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:37 pm

Sorry, just thought of a few more things. 1. Start out taking tests untimed and don't time yourself until you're consistently reaching above your target score. If you're not yet able to get the score you want without time restrictions, you won't be able to reach it with them. Timing just adds pressure and anxiety, which are distracting. You'll get quicker as you become more familiar with the test so don't worry about it in the beginning.
2. After you've started timing your tests, try to train yourself to finish sections in fewer than 35 minutes so that you know you can complete sections even if your mind wanders. I've been seeing an ADHD coach (lol) and he said that it's actually good to give yourself 1 minute breaks throughout the test (the proctors really breeze through sections so you barely have time to reset your watch, let alone prepare for transitions). If you find that little breaks help you, it would be good to factor that into your timing.
3. Later on, try adding an extra experimental section (for endurance training).
4. Most importantly, take tests under the most realistic conditions possible. Don't give yourself long breaks or snacks until the "real" break time. Figure out what foods give you enough long-term energy. Take some tests in all sorts of places so you can be prepared for the worst.

TL;DR Try to prepare for every possible negative scenario so you can figure out how to work through distractions and that should help you feel more confident going into the test.

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Lieut Kaffee
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby Lieut Kaffee » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:38 pm

ashca2014 wrote:
Lieut Kaffee wrote:
ashca2014 wrote:First of all, I am female.

Secondly, you are clearly narrow minded and immature. I provided a few legitimate tidbits about my situation in an effort to obtain some advice from those who may have had similar experiences. You are entitled to your beliefs about the way Americans deal with mental health issues and psychiatric care...but to generalize every person and story you come across only serves to demonstrate your callous ignorance. You know nothing about my family history, childhood experiences, etc.

The poster was being hilarious, not serious. Satire much?


I see. You might be surprised how often people in my situation are met with attitudes exactly like that, by people who delude themselves into believing they're just offering some "realistic compassion."

Understandable. If you re-read the the joke I think you'll pick up on the over-the-top clues this time around.

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ashca2014
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Re: Anxiety+ADHD: Realistic Expectations for LSAT?

Postby ashca2014 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 2:38 pm

Thank you to everyone who offered serious responses! I appreciate the advice...and encouragement is always helpful in my book. ^_^




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