Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
Bonzeye

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Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby Bonzeye » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:21 pm

I am roughly halfway through my Freshmen year of college, and I'm wondering if now would be a good time to start studying. I am interested in scoring a 170+ (my target is a 173), so I understand that a lot of studying will be necessary. My diagnostic score is okay, but there's plenty of work to be done. If I studied consistently starting now, I could take the test partway through my sophomore year. This would allow me to get a year or two or work experience before the score expires. And a retake would push that time window back further, giving me more time to get work experience.

The main reason I am hoping to starting preparation "early" is because with family responsibilities, school, and work, I will never have more than 1 or 2 hours a day to put into the LSAT. Given this, it seems like starting early is the best way of getting the prep I need. However, it's my understanding that most people recommend prepping during your junior/senior year, if not much later. What do you guys recommend?

objctnyrhnr

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby objctnyrhnr » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:16 pm

Bonzeye wrote:I am roughly halfway through my Freshmen year of college, and I'm wondering if now would be a good time to start studying. I am interested in scoring a 170+ (my target is a 173), so I understand that a lot of studying will be necessary. My diagnostic score is okay, but there's plenty of work to be done. If I studied consistently starting now, I could take the test partway through my sophomore year. This would allow me to get a year or two or work experience before the score expires. And a retake would push that time window back further, giving me more time to get work experience.

The main reason I am hoping to starting preparation "early" is because with family responsibilities, school, and work, I will never have more than 1 or 2 hours a day to put into the LSAT. Given this, it seems like starting early is the best way of getting the prep I need. However, it's my understanding that most people recommend prepping during your junior/senior year, if not much later. What do you guys recommend?


What is your major?

Bonzeye

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby Bonzeye » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:28 pm

objctnyrhnr wrote:
Bonzeye wrote:I am roughly halfway through my Freshmen year of college, and I'm wondering if now would be a good time to start studying. I am interested in scoring a 170+ (my target is a 173), so I understand that a lot of studying will be necessary. My diagnostic score is okay, but there's plenty of work to be done. If I studied consistently starting now, I could take the test partway through my sophomore year. This would allow me to get a year or two or work experience before the score expires. And a retake would push that time window back further, giving me more time to get work experience.

The main reason I am hoping to starting preparation "early" is because with family responsibilities, school, and work, I will never have more than 1 or 2 hours a day to put into the LSAT. Given this, it seems like starting early is the best way of getting the prep I need. However, it's my understanding that most people recommend prepping during your junior/senior year, if not much later. What do you guys recommend?


What is your major?


English. Currently sitting on a 3.94, if you were wondering how my LSAT prep would affect my grades.

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Wild Card

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby Wild Card » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:42 pm

No, it took me three years of serious study, after I graduated, to get a good score, and it wasn't good enough in the end. I wish I had another year.

jsnow212

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby jsnow212 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:56 am

Make sure GPA takes priority over LSAT. You have time after UG to study for the LSAT, but the GPA is permanent.

FWIW, I do think it is too early because you are bound to run out of practice materials if you study for 3 years. Further, I wish you stated your diagnostic score. If you scored in the high 150s/low 160s, you don't really need that long to study for a good score.

If you do decide to start now, I would keep it to 1-2 sections per week w/review and ramp up as you get closer to senior year (assuming you are going the K-JD route).

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Dcc617

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:25 am

Yes obviously too early. Chill out.

AJordan

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby AJordan » Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:40 am

I also think it's too early but since you're not going to listen I would advise that, since you're starting out, focus exclusively on LG. It will allow you to scratch that preparation itch while burning material that, over time, is still valuable on retakes since all games but the absolute toughest tend to blur together in the memory. Learning how to go -0 on LG is a prereq to a 173 so it's not like you're wasting time.

Bonzeye

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby Bonzeye » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:40 pm

jsnow212 wrote:Make sure GPA takes priority over LSAT. You have time after UG to study for the LSAT, but the GPA is permanent.

FWIW, I do think it is too early because you are bound to run out of practice materials if you study for 3 years. Further, I wish you stated your diagnostic score. If you scored in the high 150s/low 160s, you don't really need that long to study for a good score.

If you do decide to start now, I would keep it to 1-2 sections per week w/review and ramp up as you get closer to senior year (assuming you are going the K-JD route).


My diagnostic was a 157 (I missed 15 in the logic games section).

I'm not interested in studying for three years, regardless. My plan was to get the test taken care of by the end of sophomore year. This would allow me to focus more on developing a few softs and getting some good internships/work experience before I finally apply. I am not planning on the K-JD route.

QContinuum

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:28 pm

Bonzeye wrote:
jsnow212 wrote:Make sure GPA takes priority over LSAT. You have time after UG to study for the LSAT, but the GPA is permanent.

FWIW, I do think it is too early because you are bound to run out of practice materials if you study for 3 years. Further, I wish you stated your diagnostic score. If you scored in the high 150s/low 160s, you don't really need that long to study for a good score.

If you do decide to start now, I would keep it to 1-2 sections per week w/review and ramp up as you get closer to senior year (assuming you are going the K-JD route).


My diagnostic was a 157 (I missed 15 in the logic games section).

I'm not interested in studying for three years, regardless. My plan was to get the test taken care of by the end of sophomore year. This would allow me to focus more on developing a few softs and getting some good internships/work experience before I finally apply. I am not planning on the K-JD route.

Taking the LSAT too early is not the best idea because the score expires. LSAC only produces LSAT reports up to June five years before an admissions cycle (so a score from June 2013 is the oldest acceptable score for the current 2018-19 cycle). So if you take the LSAT as a sophomore (i.e., by May 2020), then that LSAT will only be valid through the 2024-25 cycle. And you wouldn't even graduate until May 2022 at the earliest, so you'd be "burning" two years of your LSAT score validity window for no purpose. That constrains your future flexibility should you (rationally) not wish to retake the LSAT due to your score expiring. Especially if you take longer than 4 years for college, as is not uncommon (e.g., you decide to change your major, pursue a joint degree, or take some time off during school to, say, volunteer on a presidential campaign, pursue an internship, work abroad, etc.). And maybe after graduation you'll land a consulting, or ibanking, or advocacy or policy gig you really like, and you might want to spend a few extra years on the job gaining experience before diving back into law school.

I also feel that, generally, LR/RC skills slowly improve organically over the course of college. That may be another point in favor of delaying taking the LSAT.

Bonzeye

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby Bonzeye » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:51 pm

QContinuum wrote:
Bonzeye wrote:
jsnow212 wrote:Make sure GPA takes priority over LSAT. You have time after UG to study for the LSAT, but the GPA is permanent.

FWIW, I do think it is too early because you are bound to run out of practice materials if you study for 3 years. Further, I wish you stated your diagnostic score. If you scored in the high 150s/low 160s, you don't really need that long to study for a good score.

If you do decide to start now, I would keep it to 1-2 sections per week w/review and ramp up as you get closer to senior year (assuming you are going the K-JD route).


My diagnostic was a 157 (I missed 15 in the logic games section).

I'm not interested in studying for three years, regardless. My plan was to get the test taken care of by the end of sophomore year. This would allow me to focus more on developing a few softs and getting some good internships/work experience before I finally apply. I am not planning on the K-JD route.

Taking the LSAT too early is not the best idea because the score expires. LSAC only produces LSAT reports up to June five years before an admissions cycle (so a score from June 2013 is the oldest acceptable score for the current 2018-19 cycle). So if you take the LSAT as a sophomore (i.e., by May 2020), then that LSAT will only be valid through the 2024-25 cycle. And you wouldn't even graduate until May 2022 at the earliest, so you'd be "burning" two years of your LSAT score validity window for no purpose. That constrains your future flexibility should you (rationally) not wish to retake the LSAT due to your score expiring. Especially if you take longer than 4 years for college, as is not uncommon (e.g., you decide to change your major, pursue a joint degree, or take some time off during school to, say, volunteer on a presidential campaign, pursue an internship, work abroad, etc.). And maybe after graduation you'll land a consulting, or ibanking, or advocacy or policy gig you really like, and you might want to spend a few extra years on the job gaining experience before diving back into law school.

I also feel that, generally, LR/RC skills slowly improve organically over the course of college. That may be another point in favor of delaying taking the LSAT.


I am aware of the 5 year period, and I understand that I would be burning two years. I suppose I didn't really consider the possibility of delayed graduation or working for longer before applying. The main issue is that I go to a random state school and I'm majoring in English. There's a fairly low possibility of me finding something INCREDIBLY interesting to do before law school. My school just doesn't have the connections for campaigns or prestigious internships. Chances are, I'd rather go to law school than work for more than a year or two doing... whatever. Regardless, I'll probably take your advice just to be on the safe side.

QContinuum

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Re: Is Freshmen year too early to begin prep?

Postby QContinuum » Sun Mar 17, 2019 6:16 pm

Bonzeye wrote:I am aware of the 5 year period, and I understand that I would be burning two years. I suppose I didn't really consider the possibility of delayed graduation or working for longer before applying. The main issue is that I go to a random state school and I'm majoring in English. There's a fairly low possibility of me finding something INCREDIBLY interesting to do before law school. My school just doesn't have the connections for campaigns or prestigious internships. Chances are, I'd rather go to law school than work for more than a year or two doing... whatever. Regardless, I'll probably take your advice just to be on the safe side.

Best wishes! As a side note, as far as campaign volunteering goes, school prestige doesn't really play a huge role. For gubernatorial or presidential campaigns, even Harvard undergrads who volunteer (and I'm sure there will be a bunch next year in the runup to the 2020 elections) are going to be slotted into fairly low-level roles, absent some serious family connections. Student volunteers may be able to land more substantive roles in local elections.

Also, don't forget to use college as a chance to explore your interests. If you've ever wanted to learn more about architecture, or geology, or theater, or business, or [insert field]... now's the time to try it out. Check out this recent TLS thread: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=300385. Don't make that poster's mistake! You may actually surprise yourself with what you discover. Personally, as a college freshman, I'd never have predicted I'd go into law. Back then I was 200% committed to going to med school.



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