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Symptoms of Burnout and Performance Decrease

DontPay4LawSchoolDontPay4LawSchool Alum Member
in General 566 karma

Hi all, I am unsure if I am going through a natural digression from my typical performance or if it is a symptom of burnout. I have recently began to do considerably worse on PTs and sections, although if feel that I still understand the material fairly well. I will say that I have been getting less sleep than usual recently, but I am not convinced that is the only reason for my atypical performance. What are the symptoms of burnout and how do you treat it while not being entirely absent from studying? Does this sound like a natural progression in scoring that everyone goes through?

Comments

  • zoomzoomzoomzoom Alum Member
    462 karma

    It sounds like you are exhausted and burned out. I can attest because I have been there. While my understanding of the test had grown, my scores would dip simply because I was tired and exhausted.

    One thing I hope you remember is that the LSAT is a unique skills test. It is not like much of your college exams where you regurgitated formulas and specific history facts. For those exams, if you take time off, it is indeed possible you could do worse just because those are memory dependent.

    The LSAT is different. In order to do your best, you have to feel your best. Proper sleep (7-8 hours), a good diet, solid exercise, and a fresh mentality could seriously do wonders for your performance.

    If you really care about improving your scores, rest and relaxation is critical. Doing more when you are at less than your best will only hurt you in the long run.

    Trust the work you put in and take it easy for a bit. No LSAT thinking for a few days. It's like riding a bike. You don't just forget it after a few days of not riding it.

  • Burt ReynoldsBurt Reynolds Alum Member Sage
    952 karma

    I went through a similar period. Here's how I would assess if it's burnout or a digression:

    If your BR score is staying where it was prior to this PT stretch, then you're still understanding the material. Either (A) you're burnt out or (B) your strategy, or lack of strategy, is really hurting you under timed conditions.

    If you BR score is dropping as well, then you're likely digressing. Dive into the analytics and see what problems are giving you the most issues. Consider taking a few days to nail down these questions (i.e. extra review, problems, cc lessons) before taking another PT.

    Just my opinion - best of luck!

  • DontPay4LawSchoolDontPay4LawSchool Alum Member
    566 karma

    @oychoi79 said:
    It sounds like you are exhausted and burned out. I can attest because I have been there. While my understanding of the test had grown, my scores would dip simply because I was tired and exhausted.

    One thing I hope you remember is that the LSAT is a unique skills test. It is not like much of your college exams where you regurgitated formulas and specific history facts. For those exams, if you take time off, it is indeed possible you could do worse just because those are memory dependent.

    The LSAT is different. In order to do your best, you have to feel your best. Proper sleep (7-8 hours), a good diet, solid exercise, and a fresh mentality could seriously do wonders for your performance.

    If you really care about improving your scores, rest and relaxation is critical. Doing more when you are at less than your best will only hurt you in the long run.

    Trust the work you put in and take it easy for a bit. No LSAT thinking for a few days. It's like riding a bike. You don't just forget it after a few days of not riding it.

    Thank you for taking the time to answer. I agree with you 100%. I can't help but worry, given I will be taking the August administration, that I would be wasting precious days leading to the test. Is there simply more benefit to completely quitting studying for a few days than just drastically reducing how much I study for a few days?

    @"Burt Reynolds" said:
    I went through a similar period. Here's how I would assess if it's burnout or a digression:

    If your BR score is staying where it was prior to this PT stretch, then you're still understanding the material. Either (A) you're burnt out or (B) your strategy, or lack of strategy, is really hurting you under timed conditions.

    If you BR score is dropping as well, then you're likely digressing. Dive into the analytics and see what problems are giving you the most issues. Consider taking a few days to nail down these questions (i.e. extra review, problems, cc lessons) before taking another PT.

    Just my opinion - best of luck!

    Thank you for this input! I will take a look at my BR scores and assess where they are. It does appear that I have done a bit worse on some of my previously best question types. Maybe I have ignored some of these areas in favor of the harder ones?

    P.S. I saw your last discussion post about your score, congrats!

  • Burt ReynoldsBurt Reynolds Alum Member Sage
    952 karma

    @DontPay4LawSchool - thanks!

    That definitely happened during my studies; the LSAT can feel like whack-a-mole. Often when we focus on our weaknesses, we forget about maintaining our strengths!

  • Austin.hutchinson1Austin.hutchinson1 Monthly Member
    98 karma

    Just sub "legal writing" with "lsat prep" and it works:

    "Finally, regardless of its cause, the most important thing about
    burnout is that it can sometimes be countered by a strong support
    system. You do not have to go through it alone. Regardless of when or
    how burnout happens to you, let yourself be angry and frustrated and
    then reach out to the Legal Writing community to help you get
    through it. I used to hear people say that all the time when I first
    started teaching. I was horrified at the suggestion that I should waste
    the time of far more experienced members of the Legal Writing
    community with my little gripes. But as I have gotten to be one of
    those members, I will tell you that this community absolutely wants
    to provide help and support. Every Legal Writing colleague I have met
    genuinely welcomes the opportunity to provide help or support to
    anyone. So if you are reading this and are struggling to keep your head
    above water and need some advice, or if you just want to vent, please
    contact me (really, I’m not kidding, send me an email any time) or
    someone else in our community. The one thing that has kept me sane
    when I have felt burned out by the stresses that being a Legal Writing
    professor can bring is reaching out to the people all around me who
    are willing to help me through it. We have all had victories and
    struggles. Sharing them and realizing I am not alone has been critical
    to keeping the light bulb of my love for Legal Writing shining brightly
    all these years. So even though it is real, to take liberties with Maya
    Angelou’s incredible words, burnout doesn’t frighten me at all. "

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