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Take a full time job offer, or study for LSAT June exam?

TheoryandPracticeTheoryandPractice Alum Member
edited March 2017 in General 1008 karma

I had been studying part-time for the LSAT since last September (10 hours a week) with the goal of taking it in June this year. My full-time fellowship just ended 3 weeks ago, and since then, I have been studying full-time.
I just got a full-time job offer that is scheduled to start in 2 weeks, if I were to take that job offer.
(The job is supposed to be 9-5, but emotionally draining)

Right now, I think I have a pretty good hang of LR (missing 0 to -1 per section)
RC - I think I need to refine some more strategies, but not sure how long that would take. Currently missing anywhere from -0 to -5. It's inconsistent because I don't think I have a good hang of it yet.
LG- I just started to seriously study LG about 2 weeks ago. I am still in the beginner- intermediate stage.

Basically I feel pretty comfortable with RC and LR, but not LG at this moment.

After beginning to study full-time 2 weeks ago, I have been studying 8 hrs per day for 5~6 days a week.
I am wondering if now till June is plenty of time to master LG. LG is my most troublesome section, mainly because I have focused on LR and RC a lot more. Also, although I didn't take the diagnostics test, LR and RC were sections that I felt comfortable with even from the start; LG not so much. Would 2 and a half months be plenty if I were to just focus on LG every day for 5+ hours? I am utilizing the fool proof method. My goal is to score 175+.

I am asking this because if 2 and a half months is not enough anyways, then I might as well take the job offer and take the LSAT in September. I think the worst case scenario is studying full-time for the LSAT till June, don't feel prepared, and push it back till September without a job.

I am tutoring on the side and am making a living for myself as I am studying full-time right now, but I am a bit fearful of going without a full-time job for 6+ months...

What are your thoughts?

Comments

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    Hmmm... I can see how this can be a really hard decision. Congrats on your LR/RC improvements. LG will come with some consistent practice and time.

    First, understand that regardless of whether you take the job or not you don't have to and shouldn't take the test until you are ready. By ready = average score over last 5 test +3 or so points above your ultimate goal.

    I think your idea about just trying to study full time and push back until September or whenever you are ready.

    Work experience is also a great thing as a law school soft! So there's another possible advantage of taking the job. I guess what type of job it is and whether it's in a field you might be interested in post-law school might affect your decision too.

    I'll admit though that if I could financially swing 6 months to LSAT study full time, I would do it. I actually am doing just that myself.

    Good luck with whatever you decide :)

  • Colin1485Colin1485 Legacy Member
    108 karma

    Not to be a dream killer or discredit your aspirations but reassess your goals. Do you really want to go to law school? Do you really want to be a lawyer? Are you willing to incur the debt and be in a profession where you may be coming out $200k in the hole, while making $45k a year starting out? Do you have attachments or family responsibilities that you are not willing to put on the back burner for 3 years? Otherwise, Do you really want it?

    The LG section is learnable. Brute force and repetition is key for us who may not be blessed with the intuitive foresight to pass the section perfectly on the first try. Read the powerscore lsat logic games bible, do the fool proof method, try to memorize 5 logic games a week & Take as many pretests as possible.

    Considering Law schools weighs the lsat so heavily in acceptance process & tuition discount - I would take a moment to think on the decision of taking away time from studies. Your 2 months out from the test, I say finish the race hard and study full time! You may surprise yourself and heck, live with no regrets! The full time job can come after if its just about making extra money on the side. If it is an issue of not being sure about the profession - go shadow some lawyers in your area. Like Alex mentioned, you may have to push the test off to September. Its not unheard of for people to be working full time, taking the test, going to law school and graduating/ passing the bar. It's all about your desire and drive.

    Not knowing your financial situation or your desire to be a lawyer; I would say reassess your goals, if you really want to be a lawyer - put in the effort for the lsat score. Just my two cents - good luck!

  • TheoryandPracticeTheoryandPractice Alum Member
    1008 karma

    Hey thanks everyone :) Just wanted to write to muster the courage to face the uncertainty that comes with LSAT prepping. I'm gonna try study full-time and give my best for the June exam.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @TheoryandPractice said:
    Hey thanks everyone :) Just wanted to write to muster the courage to face the uncertainty that comes with LSAT prepping. I'm gonna try study full-time and give my best for the June exam.

    I think that's an awesome decision! Always remember that law school isn't going anywhere -- at least no the ranked accredited ones, lol. You do seem to be on a very good roll so perhaps taking in June might be the correct decision. As Colin said above me, it's all about how bad you want it.

    As far as LG use the 7Sage CC to learn to basics, do the drills, and then fool proof the games. I am constantly doing as many games as I can. Over and over. Re watching the videos. It is extremely time consuming, but eventually you feel it all "click" so to speak. What really helped me was mastering the easiest games. Most of the harder games use the same skills and inferences. So if you can get fast and accurate with solving the easier ones that will give you ample time to finish the harder one(s) LSAC has been throwing at us.

    Good luck prepping and always feel free to reach out if you need another friend to just talk about problems with or complain about the 40 hour study work week. ;)

  • TheoryandPracticeTheoryandPractice Alum Member
    edited March 2017 1008 karma

    Thanks so much Alex!
    Yeah my goal is to review (and try to memorize) 5 logic games a day and solve another 5. Total 10 a day till June. Hopefully this works.
    I purposefully started with LR and RC (mostly LR) first, because I wanted to give each section my undivided attention. Now that I have LR under my belt and RC (sort of... still getting there), I will just devote to LG and see what happens. :)

    Thanks!

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited March 2017 23929 karma

    @TheoryandPractice said:
    Thanks so much Alex!
    Yeah my goal is to review (and try to memorize) 5 logic games a day and solve another 5. Total 10 a day till June. Hopefully this works.
    I purposefully started with LR and RC (mostly LR) first, because I wanted to give each section my undivided attention. Now that I have LR under my belt and RC (sort of... still getting there), I will just devote to LG and see what happens. :)

    Thanks!

    Of course! Happy to be of any help :) I think you'll find that if you stick to doing 5-10 games a day and fool proofing them you will be a master in no time! June may be a real possibility for you. Good luck on all your future lsat success :)

  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    3112 karma

    Not to be contrarian, but if your goal is 10 hours a week, I think you can do it with a 9-5. I get about 3 hours a day on week days and about 5 hours a day on weekends (often times more) working full time. Taking one day off, (almost always a weekday unless I am on a break) comes out to about 20+ hours a week. Is it difficult? Yes. Would I prefer not to wake up incredibly early to study? Without a doubt. What I am trying to get at is that it is possible. Yes, a large part of it does depend on how much YOU can do with an emotionally draining job, which is why I advocate for super early studying. But I don’t necessarily feel that with a 9-5, having a job and studying are mutually exclusive.

    I know this is late, but I hope it helps!

  • Mellow_ZMellow_Z Alum Member
    edited March 2017 1997 karma

    Piggy backing on what JustDoIt said above; I think studying 10-20 hours a week with a full time job is definitely doable. Now, if your job is regularly requiring 20/30 hours OT in addition to your regular 40 hr/week commitment, that would start to get hairy. But if you work 9-5 you should have plenty of time to fit it in. You could do 7p-10p or even 7a-8:30a/8:30p-10p and still fit 15 hours during the week (plus up to another 15 hours on weekend depending on your commitment.

    I'm currently aiming for 3/4 hours per weeknight and then anywhere from 5-10 hours per weekend day depending on how motivated I am or how I'm feeling. I take a day off when I have social plans or when I start feeling overwhelmed and bogged down.

  • TheoryandPracticeTheoryandPractice Alum Member
    edited March 2017 1008 karma

    @Mellow_Z @JustDoIt
    Thanks y'all for the comments!
    I have worked from 9-5 and have tried fitting in 20 hours. I can do it, technically speaking, but I realized that I retain info and make necessary connections on what I've learned a lot more efficiently when I study full-time. I know some of you can absolutely do well studying part-time.
    I think I have a limited mental and physical capacity to do both; My brain thrives when I devote to one thing one at a time.

    But yeah, if anyone else is considering studying full-time, just think about what you know about yourself, what conditions make you thrive/ disable you. I think it all depends on each person. Another factor to think about is how long you can concentrate. I have no problem studying 8+ hours a day. (my undergrad major and masters was on political theory, so I am quite used to reading dense materials for an extended period of time.) What I need is long, uninterrupted hours. If some of you get burnt out studying 3~4 hours a day, and need some external stimulus to help you concentrate, then having another job might actually be helpful.

  • Mellow_ZMellow_Z Alum Member
    1997 karma

    @TheoryandPractice I definitely agree. It isn't for everyone. You/whomever obviously know your mental limitations and capacity better than anyone. If you have the means (financially) to study full time, I would say it's going to yield the best results. @"Alex Divine" has recently started down the "full time study" path, so he can likely speak of the immense benefits more than I can. I can only sit on the sideline and dream of doing that :tired_face:

  • TheoryandPracticeTheoryandPractice Alum Member
    edited March 2017 1008 karma

    @Mellow_Z
    It isn't easy to study full-time due to financial reasons. I am tutoring on the side to make it happen. I was very lucky to get a tutoring job (via skype) that pays very well. (not much time commitment, no stress, and I'm actually teaching active reading, which helps me to consolidate RC strategies) But this is obviously not a permanent solution...
    Also, part-time studying isn't for me for sure, but it can def. work for you.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @Mellow_Z said:
    @TheoryandPractice I definitely agree. It isn't for everyone. You/whomever obviously know your mental limitations and capacity better than anyone. If you have the means (financially) to study full time, I would say it's going to yield the best results. @"Alex Divine" has recently started down the "full time study" path, so he can likely speak of the immense benefits more than I can. I can only sit on the sideline and dream of doing that :tired_face:

    Yeah, like mentioned above not all 9-5 jobs are equal. For example, I've worked 9-5 at a hobby store selling YuGiOh and Magic The Gathering cards as my first job. I'm sure I could have studied afterwards because the work was mostly just customer service and all that.

    My job now (Friday is my last day and I have court for a ticket tomorrow, so technically only 3.5 days left!) The benefits I am hoping to see from it will be more that I can mentally focus on the task of getting good at the LSAT. I'm someone who knows myself well enough to know that I like to study hard, long, and during the day. Not a night and not after a 14 hour day. Also when you have to read what feels like RC passages all day the last thing you want to do when you get home is study.

    I think another big advantage is that you can really optimize your study habits. Wake up and have a routine that can mirror what your test day will be like. Also, I don't imagine I'll never be pressed for time like I am now or have this feeling inside -- guilt essentially -- that I could be working on something for work instead of studying. In short, I'm really looking forward to just being able to dedicate let's say from 8am-3pm or 4pm daily to LSAT prep. I think being able to study full-time puts you on a roll being that it can be a main focus now.

    Like I said though, I'll be working part time doing a few projects. I think there are definitely a few dangers depending on the type of person you are: For example, if you lack a certain discipline it may be too easy to stay in bed until 11am and always tell yourself "tomorrow I'll get to it..."

    One of my friends has been studying for the CPA exam now for a while and he suffers from that problem. Idle hands are the devil's play thing.

  • Mellow_ZMellow_Z Alum Member
    edited March 2017 1997 karma

    I think when you get into the stages of PTing is where you will see the biggest advantage of studying full time. If you are taking a test on any date besides June, you should prepare to PT at 8:30 am. Wake up at 6 (or whatever time), go through your daily routine (shower, eat, practice a LG set or something to stimulate your mind maybe), maybe even drive to the test center if its empty and feasible, and take a PT. EXACTLY like on game day. That way you aren't caught off guard and you will be relaxed and in your element since its basically habitual at that point. I wish you the best of luck in your studies.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @Mellow_Z said:
    I think when you get into the stages of PTing is where you will see the biggest advantage of studying full time. If you are taking a test on any date besides June, you should prepare to PT at 8:30 am. Wake up at 6 (or whatever time), go through your daily routine (shower, eat, practice an LG set or something to stimulate your mind maybe), maybe even drive to the test center if its empty and feasible, and take a PT. EXACTLY like on game day. That way you aren't caught off guard and you will be relaxed and in your element since its basically habitual at that point. I wish you the best of luck in your studies.

    Yeah, this is one of the greatest advantages of not working full time I am looking forward to. I already wake up at around 6:30 so If I can get ready, eat, and shower and be studying by 8am I will be very happy. I can get into a "flow" mode where 8-noon goes by quick. Take a break., then study again from like 1 or 1:30 to 4 or so. I think consistency is so underrated. I think it is why college students can study somewhat effectively as opposed to those who have jobs with unpredictable hours. I guess I'm just someone who likes to have my day planned and certain goals set.

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