Graveyard shift - adjusting to 8:30 AM test?

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bearedman8

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Graveyard shift - adjusting to 8:30 AM test?

Postby bearedman8 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:14 pm

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Last edited by bearedman8 on Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rupert Pupkin

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Re: Graveyard shift - adjusting to 8:30 AM test?

Postby Rupert Pupkin » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:39 am

Wow that is definitely a tough shift to make, but I think its doable. I think 1 or 2 days you are going to have to sacrifice in order to make that shift.

Since you would want to warmup the morning of pre-exam, I would assume you would want to be up around 5ish. I wouldn't take a PT necessarily every day unless you are feeling up for it, but you should definitely, read dense material and drill in the AMs (at minimum) to warm your mind up. Also i recommend working out in the AM (of some sort) this helps wake your mind up and makes the sleep schedule transition easier since your out of bed immediately and woken up. I wasn't on quite the shift you were, but I am someone who typically studies at night and doesn't wake up super early and doing this helped me. I think a huge part of it is just commitment and motivation for you the next few days. Coffee, I'd imagine, is going to be your best friend ! Haha

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floatie

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Re: Graveyard shift - adjusting to 8:30 AM test?

Postby floatie » Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:26 pm

I used to work night shifts (11pm-7:30am), and while I haven't had to shift for the LSAT (thank goodness) I did for finals and such when I was in school. This isn't the healthiest thing in the world, but there were a lot of times where I took 5 hour energy or a similar non-coffee source of caffeine. Again - NOT healthy, and definitely NOT something to do for long, but I found that it made me super alert for like 5-6 hours after I took it in a way that coffee didn't do, which was enough to get myself through a final with my mental faculties in check. If you're going to use anything besides coffee to help you stay alert, make sure you try it before Saturday. Also - cold showers can also be your friend, too, especially the morning of to get you awake and out of bed. Make sure you have a substantial enough breakfast to get you through the test, but don't eat enough to make you drowsy. Bring a high-protein, low-carb snack so that you aren't having a sugar crash halfway through section 4. This was all stuff that worked for me whenever I had to put my circadian rhythms through the ringer, but of course, do what'll work for you!

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Blueprint Mithun

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Re: Graveyard shift - adjusting to 8:30 AM test?

Postby Blueprint Mithun » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:29 pm

bearedman8 wrote:Hey everyone,

I work nights so I usually get to bed around 5-6 AM. Thankfully, I have the next 10 days off. I'd like to adjust my sleep and study schedule as much as possible in the next 10 days so that I'm taking the exam when I'm feeling at 100%.

I took a practice test today under test day conditions (8:30 AM and everything) and scored within my usual variance, but I felt like my concentration and memory were absolutely terrible throughout it all. On review, every question that I missed in LR was from a very dumb or unusual mistake. I'm very consistently -0/-1 in combined LR, but I went -4 today and all of those answers I chose were so obviously wrong when I reviewed later in the day.

What should I do in the next 10 days to adjust to having to take the exam at 8:30? I'll be trying to adjust my sleep schedule as much as possible. What time do you all think would be best to go to bed/wake up at? Should I take a PT every morning to try to adjust my mind to that early morning schedule, or will that just fatigue me? I'd hate to underperform on test day simply because the exam was at 8:30 and not later in the day. I'd love to hear your recommendations. Thanks you very much!



That's definitely a tough situation, but I think you might be able to adapt faster than you might think. Definitely fix your sleep schedule so that you're waking up around 7 or 7:30. Start doing all your prep in the morning - I wouldn't suggest a PT everyday, as that is pretty intense, and you should prioritize getting rest at this point, as well. But on off days, do sections and other practice methods, like question sprints.

Don't forget - it's still the same test that you've been practicing for so long, and you're still just as skilled at it as you ever were. Get some consistent morning practice and a few PTs to help your body adjust, but don't overthink it.

Csta5315

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Re: Graveyard shift - adjusting to 8:30 AM test?

Postby Csta5315 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:00 pm

floatie wrote:I used to work night shifts (11pm-7:30am), and while I haven't had to shift for the LSAT (thank goodness) I did for finals and such when I was in school. This isn't the healthiest thing in the world, but there were a lot of times where I took 5 hour energy or a similar non-coffee source of caffeine. Again - NOT healthy, and definitely NOT something to do for long, but I found that it made me super alert for like 5-6 hours after I took it in a way that coffee didn't do, which was enough to get myself through a final with my mental faculties in check. If you're going to use anything besides coffee to help you stay alert, make sure you try it before Saturday. Also - cold showers can also be your friend, too, especially the morning of to get you awake and out of bed. Make sure you have a substantial enough breakfast to get you through the test, but don't eat enough to make you drowsy. Bring a high-protein, low-carb snack so that you aren't having a sugar crash halfway through section 4. This was all stuff that worked for me whenever I had to put my circadian rhythms through the ringer, but of course, do what'll work for you!


This is great advice. My boyfriend would take practice tests using 5 hour energy and he said that it really helped keep your mind energized and focused throughout the test. I started PTing again today after a week off and felt the lag after section 3. Taking another test tomorrow and will be giving 5 hour energy a shot! (no pun intended) 
As for the graveyard shift, I think you have a great tactic of taking 10 days off before the exam to get yourself back to a "normal" sleeping pattern for the test. I too work late nights so I can empathize with your struggle. I find that the best thing is to to wake up early even on my days off even if I am tempted to sleep in.



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