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Decision time help

TheoryandPracticeTheoryandPractice Alum Member
edited May 2017 in General 1008 karma

Hi everyone,

When I started to study for the LSAT, I was originally planning on taking the June exam, but I wasn't making enough progress on LG and thought I would postpone to September. Even just 3 weeks ago, I was hitting -8 on LG. I don't know what happened, but I woke up one day and things started to "click" : now I am somehow managing -2 per section. I thought it was a fluke, so I PT-ed about 6 sections and they all average about -2-3.

Now I'm in a dilemma: I only have less than a month left till June but I've only taken 4 full, timed PTs (just here and there in between to evaluate progress.) I was saving PTs 40s up for later. (I've used maybe like 5 PTs past 40s to get myself acquainted with the more recent PTs).

So my question is: should I start full, timed PTing NOW?On the one hand, I am scoring only 2~3 points below my target score, and if I want to take the June exam, I guess now is the time to start taking the full, timed PTs. Perhaps, I can reach my target score by June by doing so.

On the other hand, I want to really take the time doing more drills. I am still incorporating some concepts and playing around with some strategies in LR and RC. I definitely know the concepts well, but I haven't mastered them. I don't want to move onto the full, timed PT until I feel extremely comfortable with each section. I recently bought the Manhattan Prep books and am finding them pretty helpful in mastering the concepts and strategies. I originally wanted to finish the books first before full-on PTing. I think I need at least a couple of more weeks to really incorporate the concepts.

I think I can score close to my minimum target score in June, but I don't think I would reach my full potential by then. Or who knows? Maybe I will after a full-month of PTing? It's really hard to predict how much I'd improve in a month. Should I take the risk?

I'd ideally wait till September, but given my sleep cycle and insomnia, June is a much better option for me.
Sleep cycle is brutally hard to change for me. Even if I practice sleeping at 10pm and waking up at 5~6am for 2 months, I sort of already know that I won't be able to fall asleep the night before the exam day. Exercise doesn't work. Melatonin doesn't either, and neither does Nyquil.

I'm a bit wary of waking up at 6am to take the 8:30am exam.

So hard to decide... Only if the September exam were also held at noon...


  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    Hmm... If you have legit insomnia problems, I would see a doctor. I think I've mentioned this on here before but that's exactly what I did.

    I'm happy things are starting to click and I think you have the ability to really exceed your goal if you take your time and take the time to incorporate the necessary strategies that work for you.

    I don't think you'll be able to get enough practice tests in before June, but definitely by September/December.

  • jaefromcanadajaefromcanada Alum Member
    315 karma

    Hey dude,

    I've been keeping up with your RC posts and general advice. It's been a great help to me.

    A popular and perhaps more cautiously pragmatic approach would be to postpone to September. However, here's another way to look at June. As I'm shooting for June, I find myself leveraging the date as a motivator. I like having my life compartmentalized. Knowing that I'm going to take in June has helped me remind myself to stay on track. I've also made corresponding changes in my life (quit my job) which has enabled me to do this. I don't know where you're at in terms of external commitments, but if June is doable, given the sleep troubles that you may have, perhaps you can leverage the date to your advantage to push forward in your prep.

    One thing I've been noticing about this journey is that progress is non-linear. I can't tell you whether you will be good or not for June in terms of your target score. However, if you've made this much progress, perhaps beginning to lightly PT to gauge where you're at would be a good course of action to decide whether or not you're going to take in June.

    I've made huge mistakes throughout my prep. The gravest mistake was taking too many PT's at the beginning (I started doing 3 PT's a week right after CC because I thought that's what I was supposed to do). Given that, I feel like I made noticeable progress in LR especially, through my PT and BR experience. Another huge part of PT'ing that you can't get from drilling is the time pressure and test taking strategies. So, it's a delicate balance between not too many PT's and getting enough exposure/learning from them.

    All and all, my humble advice is to give PT'ing a shot, shoot for June, and postpone if necessary.


  • Achen165Achen165 Alum Member
    656 karma


    I very much understand your dilemma, but I think that it would be in your best interest to postpone until September. I have a horrendous sleep schedule and regardless, the night before any big exam, I am quite lucky if I can get 3 hours of sleep in spite of all efforts. Consider the likelihood of pent up anxiety before the June exam--- that although the exam starts 4 hours later, will you be unable to sleep knowing that you are taking the LSAT's? As someone with chronic sleep issues, anxiety is what keeps me awake. I wrote in February and hardly slept before exam because I simply couldn't fall asleep until about 4 am, and was wide awake at 6 am, way before my alarm clock.

    I think that it may be in your best interest to postpone. You wouldn't want to regret all of the things you hadn't studied yet, or in for a surprise on test day, such as a LG type you aren't all that familiar with and miss your mark goal score completely. I am a firm believer that you should write when you are fully prepared, even though you may just want to get it over with. There are also ample contributions to scoring lower on exam day than with PT's so I'd advise working to score above your goal score if possible in order to get the score that you want, and for a better piece of mind on test day. Including the fact that I felt tired after the third or fourth section, and my pacing dipped slowly as my test fatigue increased. If you are set on June, though, you should begin PT-ing full tests and BR to ensure that you are ready. You may even want to do 2-3 full PT's to see where you are before you make your decision. Best of luck.

  • tanes256tanes256 Alum Member
    2573 karma

    @TheoryandPractice This isn't about your primary concern but I wanted to comment on the insomnia. I too had issues with insomnia for years. I started out taking Benadryl and any other sinus/allergy meds and started abusing them. I then started taking all kinds of melatonin. I tried different brands and doses but nothing worked. I then started taking Tylenol PM. After some time I reluctantly moved on to Ambien. Ambien worked but I hallucinated, had no dreams and was just generally "foggy" all the time. I also believe it affected my memory so I stopped taking it. I did a Google search and found an essential oil, sweet marjoram. It worked for me instantly. I initially looked for something for snoring and found that I was falling asleep without taking the Tylenol PM. At first I thought I was just getting lucky but I did another search and found that the oil is used for both. I've been using it in a diffuser for about a month and I've stopped taking the Tylenol PM and any other supplements completely. You can also take a few sniffs in each nostril. Google it and seen what you think. I found it at a health food store. I think it was $8-$9. Also, you seem like you've got more in you to reach your goal score so I would put off June.

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