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balancing work/study..

iasdkadfg-1iasdkadfg-1 Member
in General 121 karma

Those of you who have managed to study while working full time.. how long did it take you to reach your dream score? any tips/advice on time management/ study schedule?


  • Lady MayLady May Core Member
    16 karma

    I understand your plight. I just got off work (0400-0000). I'm tired with a major headache. I ran a bath grabbed some food, and told myself it WILL be worth it in the end!!! The time management piece is difficult, some days I'm on track with the suggest course schedule other days I can only review the Quizzes. On off days and the weekends I push ( by reviewing and acquiring the new skills).
    You have got this and will have success.

  • angelaylee97angelaylee97 Member
    226 karma

    I have been studying consistently for about 8 months now. I work full-time while finishing up my undergrad as well. I am still working towards my dream goal, but my score has improved 18ish points from my diagnostic score. It's really about the discipline and commitment. As soon as I get off from work, it's study time for me. I also put in time on the weekends and get in as much practice as I can. Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. It gets hard sometimes, but you just have to do it. My schedule gets extremely busy, but I have my ipad handy, so whenever I am just sitting down or have time to spare, I will do my blind review or watch videos on the questions I missed from PT.

  • Be_of_good_cheerBe_of_good_cheer Alum Member
    68 karma

    Not that I've achieved my dreamscore yet, but work FT and study PT about 15-20 hours week. Actually look forward to the study time in the morning before work, trying for 2 hours prior to starting at 8pm. Some morning I only get 1/2 hour or an hour. Weekends are much better. 2 hours in morning Sat/Sun and then other activities around house, 2 hours in evening. It's not a bad routine, just have to be precious with your time. Everyone has the same 24 hours per day, it's just how you use it.

  • brookegojazzbrookegojazz Core Member
    360 karma

    I work FT (h.s. teacher) and have a kid. I started studying in summer 2019 and finally reached my goal scores consistently this past summer. So it took 2 years and about 10-25 hours of studying a week, depending on how much time I had. I went from 151 (diagnostic)-176 (best, avg. 172/3) in that time.

  • swanganieswanganie Yearly Member
    edited August 2021 294 karma

    I feel you; I've also been studying for several months while working a fairly demanding full-time job and am now in the drill/PT phase. Lots of great tips above.

    What has helped me is to 1) build a study calendar upfront with weekly and long-term goals, 2) set aside specific times for study and rest, and 3) actually log my hours to stay accountable. The calendar is nothing fancy. Short-term goals, for example, for the next 4 weeks, I might set a plan do LR on Monday, LG on Tues, full PT on Wed, etc, and generally aiming for 1.5-2hr per workday. Long-term goals, I work backwards from my target exam date and set 4-6week blocks to ramp up to full PTs. I wish

    We should also expect that applying to law school as a full-time professional is just gonna be challenging and to cut ourselves some slack. I also have a demanding home life, so I plan Sundays as my rest days and try to do nothing LSAT related. At most, this is the day where reset and reevaluate my study habits/progress, look at where my weak spots have been over the past 1-2 weeks, and often incorporate tips from successful students from the 7Sage podcast (highly recommend). Overall, investing in setting a routine upfront has done wonders in maintaining my sanity. Good luck!

  • zoomzoomzoomzoom Member
    462 karma

    Something I want to encourage people that I wish I had known at the beginning of my prep is to figure out what it means to study smart and not study hard. This is critical especially if you are trying to balance work and study. Let me explain...

    Mike Kim elaborates on this in The LSAT Trainer about the purpose of good habits. Good habits are what will help you succeed on the exam more so than hard work.

    The LSAT is a unique skills test. It tests very specific skills on each of the sections. That means if you can hone those skills in the time that you do have, then you are much better off than pounding away on questions.

    For example, Logical Reasoning tests your ability to figure out why an argument is bad. Rather than doing 20 questions hurriedly in 2-3 hours that you do have and being like: "Nice, I got the correct answer here!" or "No, I got this wrong. Ugh!" your time would be better spent on just 5 questions and really sitting on how to break down the stimulus. What is the conclusion? What are the premises? What are key words in the conclusion that don't show up in the premises? What assumptions is this argument making? Why is this the correct answer? Why are these the incorrect answers?

    Even 1 hour spent figuring out the above and then storing them into the correct habits will GO FAR and AWAY at helping you be better at the LSAT then pounding away on questions for however much time you have.

    Good LSAT studying is about quality, not quantity. You can succeed on less time if you know what you need to do to develop those good habits. Why? Because the same LR question types show up, the same flaws, the same game types, the same passage types and so forth. Everything repeats so wouldn't it be worth your time to figure out the correct way to consistently get to the same answer over and over?

    If you are short on time, I encourage you to spend some time actually thinking about these things. I promise you that if you really do think about the specific skills you need to hone, you will save a lot of time, money and even heartbreak in preparing for this exam.

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