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LSAT study period

leo187umleo187um Posts: 425Registered User Member
edited January 2007 in Law School
Do you guys think a whole summer (3 months) is enough time to study for the LSATS, or should I study more? Im planning on taking a course.
Post edited by leo187um on
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Replies to: LSAT study period

  • GoldenBear10GoldenBear10 Posts: 296Registered User Junior Member
    i would say you need more time

    im a freshman in college planning on taking the test in the spring semester of my junior year and i have just started studying for it. im probably gonna study about 30 minutes a day for the next 1.5 years and then start studying 1-2 hours a day for the last 6-9 months. my cousin who is at yale law said he started 3 years before the test and he increased his score 27 points to a 178.

    although i think some people on this board would disagree with what my cousin did
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    It depends on how well you're doing and how well you'd like to do, obviously.

    I spent 3.5 weeks because I was happy with my score at that point. Others will take longer to get their score up that high. Take a diagnostic, and see how it's going. And don't hesitate to put it off once or twice if that's what you need to do.
  • makalikamakalika Posts: 71Registered User Junior Member
    Because the test strives to be similar year over year in difficulty and nature (otherwise comparing scores would be useless and the purpose of having it would be negated) a monkey would have to bang its head pretty hard to NOT drive the score up to nearly perfect after 4 years - no offense. Its just you put enough of the questions in front of yourself and you will inevitably start to see the patterns....after 4 years you wont only see the patterns but should be able to click it all togethor within the 35 min time frame which is the other kicker for most.

    Take care however, because the LSAT is changing drastically next year (relatedly, I think this change is motivated by the growing number of students who are actually offsetting the spread of scores by spending an inordinate amount of time training for the test rather than actually using the test as a tool to measure their actual logical thining skills) - and will probably change a second time before 5 years have passed. First, in 2007 instead of 2 Arguments sections, there will be 1 Arguments and 1 Short Reading Comp section. So if you've been studying, prepare to adjust your strategies to include this major change. Secondly, it looks like the writing sections - which currently is considered the "half hour to happy hour (by many)", ungraded, final section of the LSAT, will become graded in coming years. That is a more difficult change to make administratively than the first, so it will probably be more than a couple years away but today's freshman and younger may encounter this change when they get ready to matriculate as well.....

    Oh yeah - and I would say 6 months will get you to a good place on the LSAT if you have an uninterrupted steady, but reasonable, study routine. If you have interruptions or gaps in your studying due to a month of senior project or whatever, you will need to add time to ensure best results. To much over that and I have to agree with other posters....its overkill and near perfect scores wouldnt be a true relection of your abilities...I'll admit the admissions committees will never know the difference, so there will be some who use this to their advantage...but you have to think, what quality of law student/lawyer am I going to be if I have to spend 4 years learning how to logically interpret some short reading passages and arrange a group of objects in order according to a well defined set of rules? If your taking 4 years to do this....you may want to explore other career paths that you are better suited for...
  • sallyawpsallyawp Posts: 2,059Registered User Senior Member
    For some people, 3 months or 3 weeks studying is sufficient. Others may need more time (though the idea of studying for years on end is truly laughable to me -- there just have to be more constructive uses of one's time). You know yourself best, and you know what studying methods work best for you. Take a practice test and see how you do. If one or more areas of the test seem particularly difficult for you, then take more time to study. If you do well and just need to hone your skills, then take as little time as you think you need to do well under the time pressure of the test.

    Just because one studying method has worked for someone or even many people over time does not necessarily make that the best way to study for you.
  • leo187umleo187um Posts: 425Registered User Member
    thanks for the replys. Where should I go to take a practice test?
  • sallyawpsallyawp Posts: 2,059Registered User Senior Member
    You can get a copy of an LSAT practice test from LSAC. You do the test on your own.
  • makalikamakalika Posts: 71Registered User Junior Member
    You can also take a diag with the Princeton Review for free...I'm not familiar with what the other companies offer...
  • stacystacy Posts: 1,097Registered User Senior Member
    I did the princeton review diagnostic, then spent about 3 weeks studying hardcore (mostly logic games, but also a bunch of full-length tests) and improved 4 points. how long you'll need depends on how much you want to improve (taking into account the fact that it's a lot easier to move up from a 150 to a 155 than a 170 to a 175), how many hours a day you'll work productively, and how many areas you really need to focus on (ie, if you're getting perfect reading comp scores, then you'll need less time than if you need to improve all 3 areas).

    you should also realize that most people score lower on the real thing (not by much--maybe ~3 points?) than they do on the practice test...probably due to nerves. So hopefully by the time you're done studying, you'll be getting scores on previously administered tests that put you somewhat above the medians for the schools you hope to attend.
  • GoldenBear10GoldenBear10 Posts: 296Registered User Junior Member
    I know a lot of people on this board think its kinda ridiculous to spend almost one's whole undergraduate career studying for the LSAT, however i dont think its a bad idea. Using my cousins example who jumped up 27 points to a 178 over 3.5 years of studying (although the first 2-2.5 years was only .5-1 hours a day), i do think that it is a good idea for someone to study as long as they deem necessary to achieve the score they want. I mean, with his original score of 151, he had almost no chance of getting into a top-25 school, but now hes at Yale. So, i think if someone is motivated enough to spend that much time studying, then they deserve the score they recieve.

    Makalika.....while i respect and appreciate your comments, i strongly disagree with your statement that the LSAT has some sort of correlation to what kind of a lawyer one will become. In fact, most of those students who get 180's are bound to be some of the worst lawyers because those kind of people tend to be reclusive and antisocial. And what kind of a "good lawyer" has those characteristics?
  • unbelievablemunbelievablem Posts: 1,185Registered User Senior Member
    i just wonder -- don't you think that a college senior/junior is more likely to do better on the lsat than a college freshman simply by virtue of increased maturity, increased learning at a higher level, more reading of complex materials etc -- so that you can't really say that there wouldn't have been a significant point improvement with less time spent actually focused on lsat studying? i just don't think its valid to assume that what you get when you take a practice exam at age 17-18 necessarily reflects what you would get 3 years later.

    i would really hope that the goal of ultimately applying to law school doesn't cause students to lose sight of what their 4 years of college has to offer in and of itself -- and quite honestly, spending .5-1 hour a day for three years studying for the lsat just doesn't seem to be the best use of ones college years.
  • unbelievablemunbelievablem Posts: 1,185Registered User Senior Member
    most of those students who get 180's are bound to be some of the worst lawyers because those kind of people tend to be reclusive and antisocial.

    i have to wonder at the basis for this statement since i knew several kids in law school who had gotten the highest possible scores on their lsats and they were charming personable people who ended up being successful.

    i am NOT arguing that there is in fact a correlation between lsat scores and one's likely success as a lawyer (other than the fact that those with high lsats are more likely to attend top law schools which in turn open more career options) -- but i do question this statement of yours.
  • sallyawpsallyawp Posts: 2,059Registered User Senior Member
    I couldn't agree with you more, unbelievablem.
  • makalikamakalika Posts: 71Registered User Junior Member
    Well I don't think that there is any reason to believe that a high LSAT score points to antisocial behaviors....the LSAT doesnt even test content knowledge people, lets remember that....getting a high LSAT does not imply that you stayed in your room and memorized math formulas and chemistry principles, etc etc (like the MCATs require)....it just shows that you are able to think logically (in a technical-truth-table-analytical type way, not loosely as is often meant in the colloquial use of the word)....the absence of any content knowledge requirement to the test is actually a big part of why I think its amazing that you would take 4 years to study for it....

    Study for sure, cause you want to make sure that you are familiar with the language and truly understand what the questions, as they are constructed, are asking you...but I'll never be an advocate for a 4 year preparation cycle...
  • GoldenBear10GoldenBear10 Posts: 296Registered User Junior Member
    Everyone on this board is saying how a 3 yr study plan is such a waste of one's undergrad years, but spending .5-1 hour a day is not that big of a deal, especially considering it helps most people increase their score. If the LSAT is the single most important factor in law school admissions (and at most top schools that i am aware of, this is the case), then why not spend a few years preparing for it? Makalika said only a monkey who banged his head "very hard" could not achieve a perfect score after 3 years of prep, and if that is indeed the case, then why not? With a perfect LSAT score and a decent GPA (3.6+), you are pretty much assured admission to one of the top 5 schools. And for those of you who think there are better things that you can do with your time than prepare for arguably the most important test in your academic life, i ask what may that be? If you really can achieve a perfect score after 3 years of prep and (almost) guarantee a spot at a top law school, then why not? Instead of wasting time on the internet or on the TV (as most undergrads do, including most of you guys), why not prepare for an extremely important exam?
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Posts: 11,964Registered User Senior Member
    While I can't speak to law schools, I certainly think that there are situations in undergrad/other professional schools where it's possible to overachieve and screw yourself over.

    For example, say a stupid kid spends six years prepping for the SATs. He scores a 2400 where his "actual" score under a normal study plan would have been, say, 1900. Say, for example, he's admitted to UC Berkeley on this, where his 1900 would have sent him to UC Irvine instead.

    He is at the bottom of the class at UC Berkeley, scores atrocious marks -- because, after all, he's not that bright -- and no graduate school or employer is ever interested in him because his GPA is a 1.7.

    In our alternate universe, say he attends UC Irvine, where his SAT score is quite comfortable in their (hypothetical) range, and he does well there, scores a 3.5 GPA etc.

    Who has better job prospects -- the kid who shafted himself by exploiting a flaw in the admissions system but couldn't "fool" the next step, or the kid who worked reasonably, went to a lower-powered school, and continued to achieve at about his expected level?

    * * * *

    Now, I understand that this scenario leaves plenty of room for argument. For example, sometimes doing EVEN BETTER can get you into an easier AND better school, or even a pass/fail one. Sometimes there's a big enough drop that you'd have been better off doing poorly at school A than doing well at school B. Etc. etc. The most important point, of course, is that you can always turn down a school that admits you, but the problem here is that you're never really sure where you actually belong.

    I don't mean to claim that my scenario is normal. Only that it's a possible side effect of overstudying for one aspect of the admissions process.
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