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How much does being tired actually affect one's ability to effectively answer questions?

combsnicombsni Free Trial Member
edited July 2016 in General 652 karma
I have noticed a dip and performance when I am tired. I'll misread a weaken question, have trouble with conditional reasoning, amongst other things, when I am tired. As I mentioned the other day, my last practice test was a 158 and I know that isn't great but I shouldn't have struggled with simple weaken questions. In most subjects, one can push through being tired and I don't want to go to bed. Any advice on preventing a dip in performance?


  • 342 karma
    I know I personally struggle with this so I try to study during times I know I have more energy which is typically 6:30-9:30 at night for me. I have also really started focus on diet & exercise to just give me overall more energy. It's holistic but since I changed my diet to whole foods and a lot of water o feel better and can study better. Good luck!
  • combsnicombsni Free Trial Member
    652 karma
    Thanks, it's frustrating because I know I should go to sleep but with 10 weeks before test day, I want to soak up as much as possible
  • leejayleeleejaylee Alum Member
    218 karma
    Big deal, huge deal, absolute make it or break it for some people. You know yourself better than anyone. I have days where I start reading the questions but realize I'm not even taking in any of the information. Rather, I'm just literally reading the words off the page.

    Any tips on preventing a dip in performance due to tiredness? I recommend not studying when you can't attain information on a page.

    For example, personally, if I get 4-5 questions in a row incorrect, it is usually a sign of tiredness/lack of concentration. Instead of trying to rush and get other questions correct to make up for my mistakes, I take a breather, rest a bit and come back to it full force. Whether this rest is an hour, few hours, or even a day.

    I know there are days where you just can't seem to remember anything, or do the basic steps to solve simple weakening questions. If you've been studying for a while, you won't forget something you've been studying over one day. Take a little break, enjoy a nice cup of tea or smoothie, and get back into the grind after =). We're all human after all!

  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11542 karma
    I made a thread about this, "the water thread" to be exact. Drink plenty of water, incorporate it in your daily routine, and workout. You don't have to train to be an Olympic athlete, even walking a mile or so does wonders to your mental health :)
  • allison.gill.sanfordallison.gill.sanford Alum Inactive Sage
    1128 karma
    As much as possible, you should simulate the test day environment by taking PTs in the morning after you've been up for a few hours. Lots of people who take PTs in the afternoon (the worst time!) or evening deal with fatigue issues that you wouldn't feel if you took it earlier in the day.
    And of course you need to get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is similar in the brain to intoxication, so unless you want a drunk LSAT score, you should be sleeping 7-9 hrs the night before (I was an RA in college and I had to attend the drinking seminar sponsored by the science dept every year...).
  • Ron SwansonRon Swanson Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    1650 karma
    Imagine being drunk and taking an LSAT...

    I think I'd make it to like question 3, get sidetracked, then order pizza
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    In short - a lot. Also dehydration and general malnutrition will affect your performance. Make sure you're getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need and doing at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day. I know it's hard, but watch the difference you feel.
  • Nanchito-1-1Nanchito-1-1 Yearly Member
    1761 karma
    If I don't sleep I lack motivation, and cant activate hunt mode as easily. If you cant sleep look up asmr on youtube and you'll sleep like a baby. I stopped taking melatonin because it gave me some really weird dreams.

    @BruiserWoods can you give us a weekly diary of what you eat and do at the gym? I want to be like you.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27726 karma
    This seems to have been covered pretty thoroughly, but just to reinforce, being well rested is an enormous factor. At this points in my studies, I really feel like this is one of the most significant factors which determines my PT scores. When I can maintain razor sharp focus, I score consistently in the mid - high 170s. When I can’t, my score drops 5 or 6 points. I took one a couple of weeks ago when I was exhausted and I missed some easy lobs on LR and I dropped a game which I never do anymore. I attribute it to being tired and getting frustrated. I started out okay; but as my energy level dropped, I gave out and lost focus. By the end of section 3 my level of performance had dropped significantly. On sections one and two, I went -2. On section three, I went -5 (and 4 of those were on the last 5 questions). And on section four I again went -5.

    So yeah, sleep and keep yourself sharp!
  • BruiserWoodsBruiserWoods Member Inactive ⭐
    1706 karma
    @nanchito sure! Haha I'll start keeping track for y'all. I have an IG that accounts some of the stuff if you wanna follow it @gymllama
  • allison.gill.sanfordallison.gill.sanford Alum Inactive Sage
    edited July 2016 1128 karma
    @"Ron Swanson" lol maybe we should grab a drink + pizza together post LSAT for you!
    @"Cant Get Right" yeah it so important at that phase, you're battling for every correct answer and each right or wrong choice weighs in so heavily on your ultimate score... way to track the holistic essential strategies.
  • theLSATdreamertheLSATdreamer Alum Member
    1287 karma
    I feel like partaking in these discussions keeps my life focused on the lsat and in turn i study more, and yes i agree being rested is huge, my last pt i got a 156!slept did the BR and got a 169... If you have trouble sleeping just study the reading comp section that always knocks me out lol
  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma
    Hey @combsni When I took the June exam, I was running off of 2 hours of sleep and I significantly underperformed. I made the mistake of having burning myself out previously by taking around 60+ exams and BRing them within just over a 3 month span. As obvious as it sounds, you're best off doing what you ever you can try to get good quality sleep the night before. If you are restless at night, you may want to consider melatonin pills, which modulates your sleep cycle. Also reduce blue light exposure from laptops or cellphone screens before your sleep as well.
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