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Studying while working full time?

Determined_Determined_ Monthly Member
in General 710 karma

Hello everyone!

I am a prospective applicant and plan on taking the LSAT next year. My goal is to score in the high 160s, low 170s as of now. If you worked and studied full time, I'd appreciate it if you would be willing to share how you stayed diligent with studying and working full time and achieving your score goals (especially if there are busier months in your field of work than others and how you managed working around that).

Thanks!

Comments

  • dicino63dicino63 Monthly Member
    142 karma

    I have worked full-time while studying for the LSAT since February (before that I worked part-time and was a full-time student). Trust me when I say, it's hard. What's helped me is creating a study schedule. Here's an example of one of my weeks:
    Monday-LG Section (including BR and explanation videos)
    Tuesday-LR Section (including Camo Review and explanation videos)
    Wednesday-Drill LR Weakness (problem sets w/ explanation videos)
    Thursday-RC Section (including Camo Review and explanation videos)
    Friday-Drill LR Weakness (problem sets w/ explanation videos)
    Saturday-RC Section (including Camo Review and explanation videos)
    Sunday-Full PT plus non-scored, experimental section (using Camo Review for LR/RC and then fully BRing the LG) and explanation videos
    Now, I definitely don't stick to this schedule all the time. If I have time during work (since I'm approaching the slow season), I'll either drill a few problem sets or attempt to take a full section. I've even been known to take a whole PT during a slow Saturday. Simply having my schedule written down motivates me to stick to it, and I try my best to finish things during work if I can so I can relax at home. I went from a 165 in January to now consistently scoring 171. It's a slow process.

  • Determined_Determined_ Monthly Member
    710 karma

    @dicino63 thank you so much for explaining this! if u don't mind me asking, how did you use your time efficiently? did you study at say 6 AM and then after work? did you find yourself spending more days studying a single section type rather than doing this schedule of a new section type every day? I'm transitioning from full time study to working too

  • 271 karma

    The morning is the best time. Take advantage of the energy. Set an early alarm and get it done.

  • caylee.scottcaylee.scott Member
    2 karma

    For me it really helped that I worked from home, so I could study during lulls. But I essentially shut down all other parts of my life. Almost every moment I wasn't working I was doing something LSAT related. I agree with the other commenter that you need to make a schedule for yourself and stick to it. I hired a tutor so he was helpful in keeping me accountable, but setting a realistic schedule for yourself that you know you will stick to is paramount. The other thing that held me accountable was the fact that I had to succeed no matter what. Law school is my only plan for when my work contract is up, so I had to make sure I was putting in all the effort I could to score my very best. I willingly sacrificed my personal life to do this. There might be a better work/study/life balance than what I came up with, but I just did what I felt was right for me. Also, my state has continuously been hit hard by COVID so I was less inclined to be out anyway. Aside from studying during lulls, I did dedicate specific hours to just studying the LSAT. I, like the other commenter, studied in the mornings before work because I knew I would be too drained after work to accomplish anything. My tutor forced me to take one day off from work and studying. I resisted it at first but I found that, that one day reset actually really helped me stay focused on the other days and sort of let the information sink in. Hope all of this helps!

  • ME_V_LSATME_V_LSAT Alum Member
    edited September 2021 1449 karma

    I am a parent working full time. I study 6 days of the week between 4:30/5 AM and 8 AM (before work and before my child wakes up). I get up at 4 AM, drink coffee, workout, then do mindfulness to get my brain focused. I take at least 1 day off per week. I also squeeze in time during the work day when possible. I started out my LSAT journey scoring in the 140s and now I am scoring on PTs in the high 170s consistently (I took the August exam and will find out my score tomorrow). I find those early hours of the morning are the best time to study. My mind is most fresh and ready to absorb new information and the unpredictable craziness of the work day hasn't begun. I know these are unusual hours, but it's possible to stick to this schedule. It gets easier with practice. I find myself looking forward to my early morning study sessions. Good luck to you!

  • dgomez96dgomez96 Monthly Member
    18 karma

    I am currently working full time and have been studying to take the LSAT in November. I would recommend taking advantage of the study schedule. I printed my study schedule out and check off the lessons as I am going. I have been studying at least 2 hrs after work and dedicate most of my weekends to studying. I agree with all of the comments above as well. Also, remember to take care of yourself with hobbies, working out etc. so that you don't burn yourself out. Good luck!

  • alex.valdez1998alex.valdez1998 Alum Member
    7 karma

    Hi there! Let me start off by saying that working full time and studying for the LSAT is NOT easy. However, if you're able to nail down a solid schedule, you will be just fine. For example, I work full time as a Paralegal and study in the mornings from about 6 AM - 7:30 AM then again from around 8:30 PM - 10 PM. On Saturdays I usually try to chunk out about 4 hours of my morning to study. (This is probably the most important part of my studying practice!)

    I usually take off Saturday nights and do some very light/if any studying on Sundays. I'm a big believer in taking at least one day off to let your brain rest. Just know you're not alone and you got this!

  • GoatAdvocate_0L_SLSGoatAdvocate_0L_SLS Alum Member
    264 karma

    @wadduppeeeeeps said:
    Hello everyone!

    I am a prospective applicant and plan on taking the LSAT next year. My goal is to score in the high 160s, low 170s as of now. If you worked and studied full time, I'd appreciate it if you would be willing to share how you stayed diligent with studying and working full time and achieving your score goals (especially if there are busier months in your field of work than others and how you managed working around that).

    Thanks!

    The first step is to set realistic goals. I can't say that I would recommend studying more than 20 hours a week, especially if your job is mentally taxing. The goal is to learn and improve, not burn out as soon as possible.

    I studied in 4-hour blocks, 5 days a week. I tended to study M/W/F/Sat/Sun. On Tues/Thurs I would NOT study; I would relax and engage in my hobbies. Additionally, I went to the gym Tues/Thurs/Sat/Sun.

    Each time you study, you need to have a clear objective. For example, on Sunday I would take a PT. On Monday, I would BR and do an in-depth review of all the questions I missed. On Wednesday, I worked on a problem set of the LR question types I missed as well as a timed LG section. On Friday, I would finish the LR problem set and then do both a timed RC section and a timed LG section. On Saturday, after reviewing all the sections I completed the day before, I again took timed RC and LG sections.

    I found that it wasn't the case that I didn't have enough time so much as it was the case that I needed to prevent burnout by NOT studying as often as possible. (I can't stress enough how devastating burnout can be to your performance and motivation generally.)

    Your needs and situation may likely be different than mine. I'm lucky to have a job that respects the work/personal life division, so when I leave the office, that's it - nothing follows me home. I was also very open with my boss about my LSAT preparation. As a result, he's been patient and understanding when it came to requests concerning PTO/my workload. I encourage you to communicate your needs to your employer as well.

  • dicino63dicino63 Monthly Member
    142 karma

    In response to your other comment:
    Of course I don't follow this schedule exactly; some days, I simply cannot bring myself to do an RC section, but an LG section doesn't seem so bad. I don't typically spend all day on one section, since I get bored easily, but I'll sometimes do two of one section type in a day, sandwiched between some other problem sets or something. I am very much not a morning person, so if I'm not studying while I'm at work, it's typically after work while my boyfriend makes dinner.

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