Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

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consideringlaw24

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Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby consideringlaw24 » Wed May 24, 2017 6:44 pm

Background: apply for 2018 cycle, planning to take the test in September then likely retake in December (see below). Was aiming for June but that wasn't going to work (also see below). Been studying since April.

I'm very interested in advice from people who studied for the LSAT after a significant time away from school. I have two degrees, but I've been working M-F 8-5 for seven years and I never spend an hour on something without taking a break and/or moving on to something else. Haven't studied for a test since 2008. (Also I'm 35 and have a preschooler. My energy is stretched really thin.)

My PTs and the chapters in my book (LSAT Trainer) show a clear pattern: start out with nearly 100% right, then end up with 100% wrong in the final 1/3 to 1/4 of a test. This is true regardless of which sections I start or end with. The material is fine, don't love it or hate it. So content doesn't seem to be my problem.

Things that I think are hindering me: having about 12 hours per week max for studying; being totally burned out from my job that I'm going to quit at the end of August; Mom Brain. I've cleared my schedule of everything that I can except the gym and yoga. I've cut out sugar and alcohol and other bad food habits. This is as good as it's going to get until the end of August.

So, what's my best plan for increasing my stamina, attention, and energy? Be more patient and accept that I've only been studying for 6 weeks? Slow down my pace and commit to fewer hours, accepting that I can't channel energy that isn't there? Take the September test knowing it might not be good enough but will be good practice? Skip September all together and put my eggs in the December basket after intensive Sep-Dec studying?

Appreciate any advice. Thanks.
Last edited by consideringlaw24 on Wed May 24, 2017 6:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jchance

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby Jchance » Wed May 24, 2017 6:46 pm

Wake up earlier, like 4-5am. You'll get used to the new sleeping pattern in 21 days and have much more energy.

lakers180

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby lakers180 » Wed May 24, 2017 6:48 pm

do 6-8 section pt's on weekends, that way when you do 4 it will feel easy. i did a couple of those before my lsat and it really helped i think

consideringlaw24

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby consideringlaw24 » Wed May 24, 2017 6:52 pm

Jchance wrote:Wake up earlier, like 4-5am. You'll get used to the new sleeping pattern in 21 days and have much more energy.


Unfortunately I already wake up at 5am. I get my kid ready and leave at 6:30 am for the preschool commute. Weekends I'm up at 5 too, our kiddo is an early riser. Also I've been doing it for three years and have never adjusted ;)

consideringlaw24

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby consideringlaw24 » Wed May 24, 2017 6:53 pm

lakers180 wrote:do 6-8 section pt's on weekends, that way when you do 4 it will feel easy. i did a couple of those before my lsat and it really helped i think


So that's like 4-5 hours of solid work each day, right? Only have 2-3 hours per weekend day. I could try to work in one more hour, and then maybe split it up throughout the day...
Last edited by consideringlaw24 on Wed May 24, 2017 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Platopus

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby Platopus » Wed May 24, 2017 6:53 pm

I would be cautious of blaming this all on stamina. To a certain degree, yes, stamina will cause you to perform worse. However, there are other factors to consider. 1st, LR sections tend to get harder toward the end. That is, the questions themselves are more difficult after question 15 or so. Additionally, time plays a factor. It's easy to blame it on stamina, when in reality it may be a timing issue. For example, if stamina were the only issue, I would expect you to do really well on the entire 1st half of a practice test (as in the 1st and 2nd sections you should get a most right) and then start to miss more questions in the later sections. Missing the 2nd half of the section seems to be more of a timing issue, where you just don't have enough time to read thoroughly and carefully or really diagram a LG like you should.

Focus on really nailing down timing. I would start doing sections untimed, and see if that impacts your score. In any case, the best way to combat stamina issues is by pushing through it, and really, really mastering the material. The more you can rely on "muscle memory" for the easier questions, the more time and focus you can dedicate to the harder questions.

As far as the overall energy thing, you either push through it or you don't. I hate to be blunt, but I study everyday after 9 hours of work, whether I want to or not. Obviously, having children affects when/how often you can study, but if you have the time, you need to use it.

edit: I think I misread your post, ignore like the 1st half of what I wrote.

Nebby

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby Nebby » Wed May 24, 2017 7:00 pm

Horny goat weed

consideringlaw24

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby consideringlaw24 » Wed May 24, 2017 7:04 pm

Platopus wrote:I would be cautious of blaming this all on stamina. To a certain degree, yes, stamina will cause you to perform worse. However, there are other factors to consider. 1st, LR sections tend to get harder toward the end. That is, the questions themselves are more difficult after question 15 or so. Additionally, time plays a factor. It's easy to blame it on stamina, when in reality it may be a timing issue. For example, if stamina were the only issue, I would expect you to do really well on the entire 1st half of a practice test (as in the 1st and 2nd sections you should get a most right) and then start to miss more questions in the later sections. Missing the 2nd half of the section seems to be more of a timing issue, where you just don't have enough time to read thoroughly and carefully or really diagram a LG like you should.

Focus on really nailing down timing. I would start doing sections untimed, and see if that impacts your score. In any case, the best way to combat stamina issues is by pushing through it, and really, really mastering the material. The more you can rely on "muscle memory" for the easier questions, the more time and focus you can dedicate to the harder questions.

As far as the overall energy thing, you either push through it or you don't. I hate to be blunt, but I study everyday after 9 hours of work, whether I want to or not. Obviously, having children affects when/how often you can study, but if you have the time, you need to use it.


Thanks for the response. You make a good point about the difficulty of the material. I'd read somewhere that the difficulty was randomly assigned, but I guess maybe that isn't the case. As for timing, I definitely do better untimed, no question. I am really slow, but I do much better. I think I also just don't "get" the LSAT. I was fortunate to study formal logic in school for a few years, but because it related to a larger issue I was able to apply what I was doing and make it meaningful. Perhaps I'm expecting the LSAT to be meaningful instead of just being a test. I should make some sort of chart or diagram showing sections and subsets and whatever to give it some meaning for me. I deal with lots of red tape at work and that helped me adjust to the red tape as well.

As for studying whether you want to or not: sure, that's a reasonable approach. You build a routine and expose yourself to the material over time. It's just going to take much longer to get good than it did when I was 25, I think. I expect to go in being really good, so I might be shooting myself in the foot there as well. It's all a taster for law school I suppose.

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MercW07

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby MercW07 » Fri May 26, 2017 10:12 am

If stamina really is your problem try getting 8 hours of sleep a night. My biggest fear when I started studying is that I would get home from work tired and not want to study, but adjusting my sleep schedule has made this a non issue. Id also recommend watching what you eat. I adjusted my diet a little over a year ago (way before I started studying) and its amazing how much more energy I have now compared to when I was stuffing my face with cheeseburgers every day.

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it's allgood

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Re: Tips to increase stamina for people who've been out of school for a while?

Postby it's allgood » Sun May 28, 2017 10:36 am

consideringlaw24 wrote:Background: apply for 2018 cycle, planning to take the test in September then likely retake in December (see below). Was aiming for June but that wasn't going to work (also see below). Been studying since April.

I'm very interested in advice from people who studied for the LSAT after a significant time away from school. I have two degrees, but I've been working M-F 8-5 for seven years and I never spend an hour on something without taking a break and/or moving on to something else. Haven't studied for a test since 2008. (Also I'm 35 and have a preschooler. My energy is stretched really thin.)

My PTs and the chapters in my book (LSAT Trainer) show a clear pattern: start out with nearly 100% right, then end up with 100% wrong in the final 1/3 to 1/4 of a test. This is true regardless of which sections I start or end with. The material is fine, don't love it or hate it. So content doesn't seem to be my problem.

Things that I think are hindering me: having about 12 hours per week max for studying; being totally burned out from my job that I'm going to quit at the end of August; Mom Brain. I've cleared my schedule of everything that I can except the gym and yoga. I've cut out sugar and alcohol and other bad food habits. This is as good as it's going to get until the end of August.

So, what's my best plan for increasing my stamina, attention, and energy? Be more patient and accept that I've only been studying for 6 weeks? Slow down my pace and commit to fewer hours, accepting that I can't channel energy that isn't there? Take the September test knowing it might not be good enough but will be good practice? Skip September all together and put my eggs in the December basket after intensive Sep-Dec studying?

Appreciate any advice. Thanks.


6 weeks with the schedule you have been putting in really isn't that much time. I would see how you are doing in another 6 weeks -- work on timing and also do drills. But really once you have the basics down, taking timed PT is what helps the most (at least for me). Perhaps try 1 timed PT per week and review it and do drills during the week. For me, I did not see progress until I started doing regular PTs and made typed pages with the questions I was missing to review. It seems like you have trained your brain for the easier questions but have work to do for the harder ones--typing those out and reviewing them could help with training your brain for the harder questions.



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