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Study Schedule with Full time Job

Any advice/tips are welcomed. I am trying to find a schedule that will stick, so I'm not making up things as I go and I'm getting the most out of my study time. What works best for you guys? Thanks a lot!


  • Law and YodaLaw and Yoda Alum Member
    edited September 2021 4289 karma

    There’s something about the silence at 4am, no birds chirping, no sounds of traffic, no random sounds that family members make in the house. I get up at 4, read the news or a chapter in a book until 5am then workout until 6am. All this puts me in the proper headspace to study from 7-9am before work. I’ll find time sometimes at lunch, and again at the end of the workday usually 6:30-8:30pm. Fortunately I’m not commuting but when I was I’d study on my two hour commute(if you are commuting try to build a habit of doing some LG or an LR set of 5-10Q).

    What’ll work best is creating a routine, ironing out the kinks until you’ve built a habit and mindset that carries you methodically day in and day out. Find what hours your mind works best and build around it.

  • earplaw47earplaw47 Core Member
    58 karma

    8 to 6 work. then quick dinner and gym. 1 or 2 hours of lsat in the night time. take it 1 day at a time instead of forcing yourself, so you know what yo uneed to work on. I have improved my score 4 points in the past 2 weeks while working full time and hope to get to 170 in the next few months

  • skiman2020skiman2020 Member
    145 karma

    for some people they might be able to do more and some people might be able to do less but after a couple months of studying I found out that after 4 hours my concentration starts to dwindle and instead of just trying to cram everything in my head for as long as possible every day, I committed to studying every day for 4 hours. with that being said because of my work schedule I either have to get my studying done before 3 pm or start after 8 pm and I would have 2 days off in the week. for those days that I worked I structured it so that I was able to study for 4 hours and still have stuff to do like work out and other housekeeping stuff. and for the days that I don't work I make sure to study for 5 or 6 hours for one day and for the other day I had off from my job I take the day off from studying too because I didnt want to burn out.

    all of this leads me to two points:

    1) know what your limits are when it comes to how long you can last for high quality studying to avoid burnout and to assure you're getting the best possible study time for the day, everyone is different and I think knowing that limit can really be used to your advantage rather than just trying to do as much as you can everyday until you can't take it anymore

    2) on your days off of work pick one to do something you love, I know at least for me because I work full time I don't have much time to do stuff I really like to do and adding LSAT prep on top of that it even leaves me less time, so really committing to having that one day off both work and LSAT prep does wonders to keep your head on straight at least in my opinion.

    also, making sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep helps a ton and keeps me feeling energized while trying to juggle a full time job and effective LSAT prep.

    hope this helps.

  • firstgenlaw-1firstgenlaw-1 Member
    245 karma

    Hi! Full-time worker here, though I work from my home office so I'm not sure how relevant this can be for you. I've been studying for the LSAT since January and took it in June but scored below my testing average so am taking October again. I started getting up at 5:00 am, taking one hour to go walking with a coffee in hand and listening to a book, then I come home, eat breakfast, meditate, and study from 7 to 10 before I start working. I even talked to my boss about started the work day later so I can have more time. I'm a paralegal and they were happy to make it work. At lunch and in the evening I squeeze in more studying if I'm feeling up for it, but usually I leave it to walking my dog or spending time with my husband. I do go to bed pretty early around 9 every night but working early has really helped me.

  • angelaylee97angelaylee97 Member
    226 karma

    Totally agree with @"Law and Yoda" I feel more focused early in the morning after the gym. I have to get to work at 9am, so I usually get up at 4:30, go straight to the gym, come home get ready and shower by 6:30am. Then I study from 6:30-8:45. Then during my lunch breaks at work, I'll watch J.Y's videos on the wrong answers from my PrepTests. When I get home around 6pm, I'll unwind and get to studying around 6:30, and I'll study again from 6:30pm-9:00pm. From 9:00pm-11:00pm, I cook dinner, prep my lunch, and get ready for bed. Not going to lie, it took me a while to get accommodated to this schedule because I was always so tired after work, but you just have to get used to it. This study schedule helps me to get in as much studying time as I can throughout the day.

    edited September 2021 1532 karma

    hi there! My diagnostic was in the 140s and I just scored a 180 on the August 2021 exam.

    This is the schedule that worked for me as I was balancing a full-time job, parenthood, and LSAT studying.

    Mindset: I reframed this arduous LSAT prep process as something that would prepare me to excel in law school while being present for my children. I knew that this test was challenging me to grow in ways I needed to grow as a future law student. Once I mentally detached from the score, the process of growth became more enjoyable.

    My schedule: The best hours for me to study are between 4:30 AM and 8 AM. A top lsat score was my #1 goal so I scheduled my studies for a time of day when I was least likely to be interrupted, which is those early morning hours (before work and before my son wakes up). I’ve done this routine since December 2020 and it has served me very well.

    Pre-Study Morning routine:
    1. 4 AM - wake up; I program the coffee the night before to brew at 3:59 AM, so the fresh smell of coffee wafting from the kitchen helps me get going. I also put my alarm across the room so no matter how tired I am, I have to get out of bed to turn it off.
    2. Read: I spend a few minutes reading a good book and drinking a large cup coffee (let me know if you want any good book recommendations that will aid your studies - I can provide a list). Reading good books about how our brains work and how to build good habits helped me keep my sanity and stay focused on the process of becoming a better student throughout this journey.
    3. Workout - short but sweet. A fast run or high intensity lift. I recommend the book “Spark” which explains the science behind why exercise primes our brain for learning and focus.
    4. 15-minute mindfulness exercise (breath based) which focuses my attention. Here's a helpful guided mindfulness exercise that helps you focus your brain:

    How I Study:
    - Study sprints: I study 6 days per week for 4-6 focused periods of 45-minute sessions or “study sprints” each day.
    - Quantity goals: I do 4 sprints before work and 2 during breaks in the work day (the latter doesn't always happen).
    - Breaks: I take 10-15 minute breaks between sessions. I find the breaks essential to keeping up my energy throughout the day, especially during those days when the pregnancy fatigue was hitting me hard.
    Plus breaks help refresh my brain periodically so I can reattack those really tough LSAT topics and questions.
    - Once the work day starts: What I don't finish before my son wakes up, I try to squeeze in during lunch time, his naptime, or quiet moments at work. (I got a promotion at work the day after I took the August LSAT, so this must've worked!)
    - deadline: I aim to have my studies done before the end of the work day at the latest, so that I can be present for my family in the evenings.

    A productivity tool that helped me:
    - I use the productivity tool to help me plan each study session. It challenges you to set up the steps of your studies prior to beginning and harness anxiety to help you perform at your best.
    - I do 2 minutes of mindfulness before I started each study session. It helps my brain fully engage with the material.
    - I also would never have my phone on me when I study.

    Small reward:
    - I had a calendar for each month above my desk and added a sticker to it every time I finished a study session. It was a fun, small reward! Whenever I started doubting I was putting the effort in, I would look above my desk and see the evidence of all my work right there in front of me. It helped me avoid getting into an "all or nothing" mindset and celebrate the small wins along the way. There were countless days where everything went wrong (a trip to the ER, unexpected house guests, crazy work deadline, sick baby, no childcare due to COVID) and I only got in 1 or 2 quality study sessions. But I made it my mission to get 1% better each day and never miss a study session 2 days in a row (I got these ideas from James Clear's book (,aps,169&sr=8-1).

  • ah2cpah2cp Core Member
    38 karma

    I studied for the LSAT while working full time as a paralegal and taking classes full-time (online). I have never been the most structured person, and am not a morning person in anyway.My strategy was just go to home after work everyday, sit myself down in front of my desk and not really move. I would do what school work needed to be done, and then move on to the LSAT. I started with the PowerScore books and those were great because I was able to set timelines of about month for each book. Then about a month and half out from the test I started taking PTs every Saturday and Sunday and blind reviewing them. The following week I would drill whatever points I was weak on, and just keep repeating that. I would suggest if you're doing it on that schedule of just taking PTs on the weekend to start earlier than a month out, and giving yourself plenty of time before the test. All in all, I studied under circumstances they really don't advise for 7 months, and just got a 166 which I am really proud of myself for! Its hard, but completely possible. I also feel like having other things, like work, will make you even more focused when you do use your study time. I get idle and distracted easier when I have too much time on my hands, so actually doing all of these things at once was better for me because you are kind of forced to be firing on all cylinders. You've GOT THIS!

    (Ps, I am not a morning person and definitely did not workout during this time, but I also had school going on so I'm sure you'd be able to be a little more healthy than me lol!)

  • laurennnnlaurennnn Member
    86 karma

    I am not an early early bird and don't commute (thanks, Covid), but I typically do 6:30-8:30 on weekdays, then run with my dog 8:30-9:30, then start work. If I can squeeze in another hour at lunch or after work I do! And then I try to get in two good 4-hour chunks on Sat Sun.

  • Ajahna94Ajahna94 Member
    223 karma

    Thank you all for the advice!!! It helped alot!!!!

  • Future_EsqFuture_Esq Member
    edited September 2021 66 karma

    I struggled with this when I first started studying. One thing that helped me was actually writing out tasks on calendars. I have three calendars on my wall above my desk at home. I'm taking the LSAT in November so I wrote a plan for September-November that way I could clearly see when I'm behind or ahead and how much time I have before test day. I study only after work Monday-Friday from 5pm-9pm or 10pm (the time I stop studying depends on the material but I go no later than 10 usually) and most of the day on Sunday (again depending on the material). Luckily I work from home so if needed I can sneak in studying during the day if I am not overly busy or in meetings. Also, I recommend having a rest day so you don't get burned out. While I was working on learning the basic concepts, I only had one rest day (Saturday). Now that I'm just working on practice tests and refreshing the areas that I'm struggling with I have 2 rest days. My schedule for taking practice tests is as follows:
    Monday rest
    Wednesday-go over BR from Tuesday
    Friday- go over BR from Thursday and refresh on any areas that I'm still not understanding.
    Saturday-Rest/work on app materials

    I've seen a 10 point increase in a month since starting this routine, and I have about 2 months left. I'm looking for at least another 5 point increase in my PT scores which I can probably exceed if I stay focused for the next two months. Good luck on your LSAT journey!

  • Hi! I work from 7-3:30 daily. What worked well for me was studying after work from like 4ish-10. Make sure to get some free time in your days, self-care is important. Good luck!

  • mesposito886mesposito886 Member
    254 karma

    I've mostly studied after work (9:30 am to 5:30 pm) although I'm aware that doesn't always work for everyone. I'm also not sure when you're planning on taking the LSAT, but if you start quite far out from the test you may find that studying for less time each day is more sustainable. I'm taking the test for a second time in October, but when I first started studying in the spring I promised myself for at least 30 minutes of quality studying time each weekday (I often did more just because whatever I was working on took longer than expected). Knowing that I had a smaller window to fit in my studying kept me more focused as opposed to my first time studying 2 years ago, when I used to spend more time fantasizing about everything I'd do as soon as my 2 to 3 hours were up than I did trying to understand the test.

  • Ajahna94Ajahna94 Member
    223 karma

    Thank everyone so much for all the advise! @Future_Esq I will try this schedule! Haven’t really seen anyone do this, but it seems like a good fit for me.

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