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Pressure from other people to rush to take exam when you need longer to prepare

lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
in General 5244 karma

What are some tactful responses you have given to friends and family about this? Thanks!

Comments

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    I can relate. I don't think there is anything you can do. Others have preconceived notions, and they are unlikely to change their beliefs. Some people might get the hint you don't want to discuss the subject any further, but family can be stubborn.

  • inactiveinactive Alum Member
    12637 karma

    Just straight up ask them why they're so keen to see you fail. That's what I did when I was pressured to speed up my studies, shut up my family real quick.

  • thisisspartathisissparta Alum Member
    edited October 2017 1363 karma

    My parents have been relatively understanding on this matter. That said, they did initially want me to attend law school by the time I turned 22 (i.e., this year) so it did take me some time to convince them that I wanted to take a year or so to study for the LSAT and sit for the test only when I was PTing in my desired range. I explained to them that this was not a test that one should EVER rush into, primarily because one cannot possibly fathom the kind of doors a high LSAT score can open up for an individual.

    Also, I made them read this from J.Y.'s first few lessons:

    "Anyway, the important thing is that you plan to spend way more than 3 months training. A year is reasonable. Look at it rationally. Which is weighed more heavily in law school admissions, GPA or LSAT? Of course the LSAT. Yet, you spend 4 years on your GPA but, what, only 3 months on the LSAT? How the hell does that make any sense? Do you even know how important the LSAT is? It makes or breaks your application. End of story. If I'm telling you that you need to spend a year, only a year, to realize your maximum potential on the LSAT, you should be thinking this is a fucking bargain. Because it is. You're getting a great deal. And I haven't even counted the tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships.

    The LSAT is a test of skills. Your skills in parsing difficult grammar. Your skills in conditional logic. Your skills in causation logic. Your skills in argument evaluation. These skills, like all skills, require time to take root and grow. You have to actively cultivate these skills. You have to train. A necessary ingredient is time. There is simply no substitute. You need time."

    That, and every now and then I show them snippets of the webinars the Sages have posted about their score increase.

    I do want to add the caveat that you should make sure you're not JUST studying for the LSAT if you plan to study for a year or more. Make sure you're working and/or doing volunteer work. I think the primary worry for most families stems from their concern about the uncertainty of the near future for their child. If you can show that you're not "aimless"/"doing things" (outside of the LSAT), I think one can relieve a lot of their worries.

  • J_ClarksonJ_Clarkson Alum Member
    585 karma

    I like that one, Dillon. I may have to use it sometime.

  • TheMikeyTheMikey Alum Member
    edited October 2017 4196 karma

    Sit them down and have them do a full PT under timed conditions, and when they see what you are up against they may say "oh".

    This is of course assuming they don't get a 180 their first PT or just do extremely well in general, haha.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    "Slow and Steady wins the race"

  • Paul CaintPaul Caint Alum Member
    edited October 2017 3521 karma

    People don't get how hard the LSAT is. Just don't pay them any mind.

  • OlamHafuchOlamHafuch Alum Member
    2326 karma

    @TheMikey said:
    Sit them down and have them do a full PT under timed conditions, and when they see what you are up against they may say "oh".

    This is of course assuming they don't get a 180 their first PT or just do extremely well in general, haha.

    This is awesome, though they might still underestimate the time it takes to prepare properly.

    What @thisissparta suggests is a great idea, too.

  • NovLSAT2019NovLSAT2019 Alum Member
    620 karma

    You should print out 18-4-19 and make them do it under a minute.

  • hibster95hibster95 Legacy Member
    41 karma

    I have been struggling with the same thing. My family wants me to attend law school as soon as possible. For them, all the time I've spent studying and working part-time (at jobs that don't require me to have a college degree) is a waste. My family also feels the need to have their kid be better than their friends kids. What has helped me convince my family is the "lose the battle, win the war" mentality. Yes for a year or two I will be a post-grad bum. But eventually I'll be scoring at my desired range and get into a better law school. For me, it also helped when I updated them about how studying is going. They could see I wasn't just "wasting" my time but actually studying and working really hard.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    Mine were a little skeptical (perhaps reasonably) of my studying nearly full time over the summer (the KJD version of your problem). But, I was living with them, so I did all my studying at our dining room table where they could see me studying. Therefore, they knew I was doing something productive (regardless of whether they thought it was likely to work out).

    I also let them know how valuable each point increased on the LSAT is. In hindsight, neither of them has any doubt that my 8 point increase was worth the time spent studying.

  • SamiSami Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    10700 karma

    @lsatplaylist said:
    What are some tactful responses you have given to friends and family about this? Thanks!

    I just do what I want and ignore them. Probably not a healthy way of dealing with this but I have found emotionally its pretty hard to deal with "oh what's taking you so long?" and "why don't you just go to University of Austin?". I definitely miss talking to them but I have realized at this point I am happier not having to deal with this. I know they love me and at the end If I am happy with my life they will be happy for me. :)

  • btsao650btsao650 Alum Member
    254 karma

    This is probably my new favorite thread. It's nice to know other people are going through or have previously gone through the same thing!

    My approach is to be as ambiguous possible whenever family asks me about how my studies are going. I don't tell them specifically what I'm studying or where I'm PTing because that just makes them more nosy and anxious. I just tell them things are going great and that's that. I've even gotten to the point where I don't discuss with anyone besides my spouse on where I'm planning to apply. The less external pressure you have weighing on your shoulders, the better you can focus on the things that actually matter with your studies.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    Thanks for the comments; this has been an ongoing issue and this discussion is very helpful. I like the idea of asking if they'd like to try a test. I tried showing the freely available June 2007 test to someone who doesn't seem to have even looked at it beyond a glance; other people have said, that's ok, don't send it. It's been a bit of a tough one, because I think it's good to mention to people sometimes that you want to move forward in your career, but then they're like when, and it's like, I don't know yet, but I'm hoping for the next cycle.

  • Trust But VerifyTrust But Verify Alum Member
    427 karma

    There's a book by Dr Henry Cloud titled "Boundaries"

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    I recently saw that book in a bookstore.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    edited October 2017 23929 karma

    I presented the facts and figures, explained the importance of the test, and that's about it. No need to be overly diplomatic with the people who aren't going to listen on things this important. I think my loved ones know I'm a well-reasoned guy.

    It's kind of one of those things where uninformed people's opinions don't matter a whole bunch. Or at least they shouldn't. This test is THE most important part of applying to law school. Full stop. I get if your parents are still supporting you and you want to be respectful, but at the end of the day, you're an adult and that respect needs to be reciprocated.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    Yes, focusing on the facts has helped and I plan to mention them again if there's a need for this.

  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma

    For me the best argument has been, would you prefer me to take out $150k plus in loans that will take 10 plus years to pay back or spend an extra year studying and go for free (or close to it)?

  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3674 karma

    @Sami said:

    @lsatplaylist said:
    What are some tactful responses you have given to friends and family about this? Thanks!

    I just do what I want and ignore them. Probably not a healthy way of dealing with this but I have found emotionally its pretty hard to deal with "oh what's taking you so long?" and "why don't you just go to University of Austin?". I definitely miss talking to them but I have realized at this point I am happier not having to deal with this. I know they love me and at the end If I am happy with my life they will be happy for me. :)

    Ditto. @Sami I tell everyone bye Felicia and keep moving studying and staying motivated is already hard enough:-/

  • mzoodlemzoodle Legacy Member
    226 karma

    Keep in mind the following: 7Sage greatly benefits from encouraging students to take a long time to study. The longer the student studies with 7Sage, the more money the company makes.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @lsatplaylist said:
    Thanks for the comments; this has been an ongoing issue and this discussion is very helpful. I like the idea of asking if they'd like to try a test. I tried showing the freely available June 2007 test to someone who doesn't seem to have even looked at it beyond a glance; other people have said, that's ok, don't send it. It's been a bit of a tough one, because I think it's good to mention to people sometimes that you want to move forward in your career, but then they're like when, and it's like, I don't know yet, but I'm hoping for the next cycle.

    Hi again,
    I just don't know how good an idea this confrontational challenge to your family to take the test is. You might have some sense for their abilities or might not.

    If you had issued this challenge to me you would have likely been rattled by my 168 totally blind first take of the 2007 test. I ended up needing to spend a full summer studying logic games to retake the score I got after a couple weeks of intense study before the February test, but if they do remotely well it probably won't help your case since they won't automatically see why improving your score is both hard and attainable.

    While I was obsessively studying logic games, my sister took a section to see what the fuss was about. She scored better than me on it. Now I believe that particular section suits her and know it is my weakest, but it still rattled me and made me question how much time I was putting into my retake.

    What you need to get across is that LSAC made this test to test ability and resist being improved on, but that in a way they messed up. The test is learnable, but it's difficult. Most people are phased by the difficulty, but those who perservere and improve their score can, through their sheer stubborness, end up paying thousands of dollars fewer in tuition at the same schools or get into schools with radically different employment outcomes. Unless you are likely to make hundereds of thousands of post tax dollars in the time you spend improving your base score then it is likely worth studying. Just hammer that message in over and over.

    Good luck!

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @mzoodle said:
    Keep in mind the following: 7Sage greatly benefits from encouraging students to take a long time to study. The longer the student studies with 7Sage, the more money the company makes.

    Presumably, you are asserting that the general advice given to study for a long time is suspect because 7 Sage profits based on it. Interestingly the same "argument" could be made about studying at all.

    First off, does 7 Sage profit from people spending longer studying? The answer is yes, up to a point. The starter course which is what I used and some of the others do expire. But, once a student buys the ultimate package I believe they have access forever.

    Now I think @"Dillon A. Wright" is paid in some capacity as an administrator by 7 Sage, but none of the other people who posted above are. So either the rest are misleading you out of a desire to share their misery or they have all been duped/brainwashed by the arguments of the core curriculum. That seems far fetched to me, but it may be possible.

    So seeing the whole 7Sage community as fruit of a poisoned tree so to speak, I assume you would check to see what the attitude of people not influenced by 7Sage think. Perhaps, the toplawschools forums would be a good place to go. No one there is being paid, but they will tell you a retake is worth it.

    But, the real solution here is that instead of focusing on the motive of the source of an argument you should evaluate the argument.

    After all we have an empirical question. Is studying for the LSAT for a long time worth it? 7sage says that the return on investment from time spent studying makes it worth it even if it takes a year or longer.

    So you need a few pieces of information to evaluate the argument. How much is the economic cost of time spent studying? How many points of increase can the reasonable person expect in a year of studying with 7Sage? What is the financial benefit of that point increase?

    The economic cost of time spent studying is comprised of two main components: the literal cost of the 7Sage prep course and other materials and being a lawyer earning a salary one year sooner. Now the first part depends on what package you buy. The cheap end would be $170 the starter course + the cost of obtaining practice tests (this is what I paid). The expensive end would be the ultimate package. That cost is tiny compared to potential gains. The second is your estimated after tax salary as a lawyer going to law school with your present lSAT score less the additional expenses of life lived as a lawyer. If you were in big law this would be from a pre-tax salary of $160,000. If not, it would likely be calculated based on a pre-tax salary of $60,000 if we are being optimistic. This is the result of the bimodal distribution of lawyers incomes. Very few people are positiones to go to schools which virtually guarantee them a spot in big law before studying the LSAT for a year. Those schools would be the Top 6 or maybe 14. People retaking with a score of 170 or higher might fit this bill.

    Now what is the expected gain in points from studying for a year with 7Sage. I gained 8 points in 3 months, but probably got a little lucky. There might be official 7sage data on this or you might get a better idea from the broader forums, but let us assume 8 points in a year is reasonable for the reasonable person. I know from data on lawschoolnumbers.com that those 8 points make me competitive for full tuition scholarships at schools where I previously had a 50/50 shot of admission. This varies somewhat with which schools you look at, the initial score, and your GPA. However, 8 points will often move you from below the 25th percentile to the 75th or above.

    This brings us to the third piece. What is the expected return from the point increase? Realistically, you will have a choice: go to a school you already probably would have gotten into with a scholarship greater than $100,000 or forego that scholarship money to get into a higher ranked school with better career options which you value more than the scholarship. These options could be financially better (Big Law) or judged as better in prestige or how much change they allow you to make in the world. But we know they are worth $100,000 because you forego the scholarship for them.

    Time for the benefits - the costs.
    About $100,000 - (the post tax salary of a lawyer with your goals who is at the best school you can get into with your pre-studying for a year score + the cost of 7sage and the practice tests)

    Now obviously the assumptions here are fairly wild guesses. 8 points is my increase from 3 months not the average person's increase in a year. I don’t know for sure that the return will be $100,000 from it. I think from lawschoolnumbers that it will be closer to $150,000, but we'll never know for sure since I won't apply with my initial score. The post tax earning of a lawyer are difficult to calculate since we don't know what job you will have. The only concrete number is the smallest one, the cost of literally preparing for the test. Nonetheless, what should be clear is that unless you are likely to be in big law with your present LSAT score (never really a favtor for me since I want to do public interest law) the equation is going to come out overwhelmingly positive. That is the benefits of studying will dramatically exceed the costs.

    So if you doubt 7sage because a couple of the people here have a profit motive as a result of being paid LSAT experts then by all means go to a source of information without the problem or just evaluate their arguments critically. But whatever you do, don't assume their advice is inherently wrong just because it sometimes benefits them.

    7sage employees would all also advise that you not take the LSAT without studying at all. They might make money off you studying. But hopefully you can see that the advice would still be correct.

  • keets993keets993 Alum Member 🍌
    6045 karma

    I took the test before I was ready, partly because of that pressure. What's really annoying is that everyone somehow magically knows someone who took the LSAT and did well, so they feel compelled to tell you that their other friend passed and is attending x law school. At a certain point, it's you writing the test and investing the time and money; it doesn't matter what other people think. Only people who have studied for the LSAT understand what you're going through, which is why the 7sage community is particularly helpful.

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9356 karma

    @mzoodle said:
    Keep in mind the following: 7Sage greatly benefits from encouraging students to take a long time to study. The longer the student studies with 7Sage, the more money the company makes.

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/bothered.gif

    I completely agree with @"Seeking Perfection". Nobody is saying this because he/she wants 7sage to make more money.....

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    @tringo335, I recently saw a car with stickers spelling "Bye Felicia." :)

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    @stepharizona said:
    For me the best argument has been, would you prefer me to take out $150k plus in loans that will take 10 plus years to pay back or spend an extra year studying and go for free (or close to it)?

    This is a great approach. Thanks. I'm going to take a similar approach in conversations.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    @seekingperfection, Thanks for the comments. Have you ever facilitated a webinar on here?

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma
  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    @"Alex Divine" Great comment: "It's kind of one of those things where uninformed people's opinions don't matter a whole bunch. Or at least they shouldn't. This test is THE most important part of applying to law school."

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @lsatplaylist said:
    @seekingperfection, Thanks for the comments. Have you ever facilitated a webinar on here?

    No, I never got quite that deeply invested in 7sage. I used it for the length of the starter course plus one purchased test. And I just let my 7sage subscription lapse(after my successful retake) so I don’t imagine I'm probably headed in that direction either.

    That said I fully attribute the gains I had on the LSAT to implementing the Pacifico method of foolproofing logic games and to all of the 7sage logic games explanations. So the combination of an urge to give back a little with continued comments and the desire to procrastinate rewriting my personal statement keeps drawing me back here.

  • bethbethbethbeth Legacy Member
    23 karma

    I agree with the comments here. I would also remind pressuring parents or significant others that if you do well on the LSAT, you can get more scholarship money. If you make it concrete and about money, it may be easier for them to understand why you want to do well.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    Dont take the pressure too literally or personally. Your loved ones are coming from a place of love and want to see that you aren't merely spinning your wheels and wasting your youth. In your discussions with them, seek first to understand where they are coming from before being quick to defend your points first, however valid they may be. Hopefully being empathetic will help them open their minds and they will listen to you about the realities of LSAT and law school. Best of luck

  • tanes256tanes256 Alum Member
    2573 karma

    @lsatplaylist ask them if they're going to pay your tuition? Lots of ppl can go in and score a 140! I've also had someone sit down and do LG. It took them 20 mins to do the first question, not the whole game! No more pissy comments from him. Ppl have no clue what the test is like. They seem to think you're going in regurgitating something you've been studying. Wrong! I think a lot of us have dealt with it. I've even had coworkers comment, "It ain't that much studying in the world!" My reply was, "Am I hurting you by studying on my lunch break?" I also said, "I'd rather not be stuck here with you the rest of my life." I'm sure they had a few choice words for me later but they don't bring that crap to me anymore. Forget what everyone has to say. Do you!

  • tams2018tams2018 Monthly Member
    edited October 2017 727 karma

    @TheMikey said:
    Sit them down and have them do a full PT under timed conditions, and when they see what you are up against they may say "oh".

    This is of course assuming they don't get a 180 their first PT or just do extremely well in general, haha.

    This is very accurate. I got a girlfriend of mine to read one short passage from the LR section and her eyes crossed from the dense reading. She wished me great luck!

    LSAT questions: Automatic nag repellent from friends and family.

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Alum Member
    5244 karma

    Yes, @tanes256, this sums up a common myth: "They seem to think you're going in regurgitating something you've been studying. Wrong!" Thanks for the comment.

  • Frenchy555Frenchy555 Alum Member
    edited November 2020 378 karma

    I usually start explaining groups 1 and 2 of conditional logic indicators. After you've completely lost them you get to say something like "yeah, that's one of the simple concepts"

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