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How much time have you/are you willing to devote to this test?

Excellent.FondueExcellent.Fondue Alum Member
edited March 2021 in General 273 karma

I've listened to J.Y.'s excellent podcasts with high-scoring 7Sagers. I've been amazed by the amount of dedication all of these 7Sagers interviewed have shown, and I greatly admire the fact that some of them studied for this test over a period of 1-2 years or more. I think the perseverance all these people have shown is incredible.

In Episode 1, Josh (Can't Get Right) improved from a 152 diagnostic to a 176, taking the test 4 times with his scores being 163, 162, 170, and 176. This process took 2 years and some months.

In Episode 38, Sami went from a 152 to a 173, taking the test 7 times. Sami studied over a period of 3 years.

In Episode 39, Rochisha improved from a 164 to a 174, also taking the test 4 times. Rochisha studied for 2 years.

I myself have been at this test for quite some time now. In total, I have studied for this test for over a year now. I scored a 169 and I'm aiming for a score in the mid-170s to high-170s. I've been BR-ing consistently in the low-170s and mid-170s. LG is still my weakest section, though I have work to do in all 3 sections.

Given that I am not a North American test taker, there are fewer tests available to me and more time between each test. I wasn't fully focusing on the test the whole time. Some weeks I've gotten to study 30-something hours, most weeks at least 15-20 hours, and some other weeks no studying at all.

I was planning on applying this year, but I am considering waiting another year to apply while I continue to work and try to retake my test for a higher score. Given my personal timeline, if I were to retake the test, I would have to wait to apply in the fall of 2022 instead. My plan would just be to study part-time while I work since I'm already at a very high level in terms of my knowledge.

I love studying for this test and I have learned so much. I feel like I continue to learn a lot from it every single day. Just in terms of enjoyment and growth, I wouldn't mind spending even more time on this test. I'm very proud of the work I've put in and where I've scored, but I definitely feel like I could do even better and hit my target. For me, it feels like it's just execution that's missing, that I need to work on.

But another part of me also wonders if this is too much time to spend on a test. I wonder if I've been too focused on this one thing for too long now, and whether it would be a good idea to just apply to law school now and see where I get in, even though my current score-GPA combination is likely not good enough for my top choice schools.

For those of you who have studied for a longer period of time (i.e., at least 1 year, if not more), perhaps retaking the test a few times, how long have you studied for? How long do you plan on studying for? What were your reasons for studying for such a long time? Do you find this investment of time and energy worthwhile?

If you studied for the test for more than a year, how did you maintain a healthy relationship with this test? As J.Y. said in one podcast, a lot of high-scorers are very meticulous and even obsessive about this test. I find that I am like this too. But I also know that a healthy balance is important. How did you deal with the mental part of it all? How do you get back up after not getting the score you wanted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6... times?

I also know that, from an outside perspective, it can seem extreme to friends and family who do not have a great understanding of this test and the law school admissions process that someone is studying for a standardised test for such a long time. It might seem quite over the top to them, especially if they don't understand the difference that just a few points on this test can make. How did you explain your time commitment to friends and family? How did you manage this part of the equation?

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