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Finding an LSAT-Life Balance

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If you’ve been studying for the LSAT for a while now, you may be starting to feel the strain. Let me lay out a scenario for you…Your brain is in manic LSAT-mode all the time and you can’t ever relax. You see the Matrix, but it’s not green 0s and 1s – it’s embedded conditional statements and unstated assumptions.

I hope this doesn’t sound too familiar, but I suspect most people go through at least a few weeks of this while preparing for the LSAT. Those of you who are feeling drained, don’t register for the GMAT just yet. There are a few things you can do to regenerate.

1. Take Breaks

First, it’s okay to take breaks. Be cognizant of diminishing returns. Sometimes your brain is so maxed out that nothing will be gained from forcing yourself to do 10 more practice questions. Quality trumps quantity; it’s more important to learn from the practice LSAT questions you do than to get through as many of them as possible. So take a day or two off. This is not only healthy but also strategic.

Weightlifting analogy: you don’t build new muscle during your workouts. Your body builds muscle on recovery days.

2. Make Time for Physical Health Checks

It’s also a good idea to carve out time for the things that support your physical health. Skipping the gym to do extra LSAT questions may feel like the responsible thing to do, but getting exercise is actually incredibly important for brain function, and investing in your health will keep you from burning out. You can’t study well on pizza eight days in a row.

And forget pulling all-nighters; make sure you’re getting enough sleep! Sleep helps you memorize and recall information.

3. Check Your Mental Health

You are not your practice score. Remind yourself why you are doing this and that you will get through it. And take a break to do something that will recharge your emotional batteries — dance, see a friend, have dinner with your family or read something fluffy for once. While we love a good social media scroll, getting your body moving and reconnecting with a loved one will probably help more.

4. Don’t Panic If Your Practice Score Plateaus

As for your practice score, focus on what your results tell you about your strengths and weaknesses rather than what law schools they would get you into. It’s completely natural for scores to plateau or even dip. When you learn dozens of new tools at once, it takes a while to make them work for you.

5. Make It Fun

Lastly, get and stay competitive. Think back to all the sports clichés about pain and gain, heart and endurance. See if you can trick yourself into enjoying the fight. There’s pleasure in running 26 miles – for some people anyway. There’s pleasure in Logic Games, too.

Easier said than done, of course. But try not to get discouraged, build in some balance, and keep working hard. And seriously, forget about business school. The math on the GMAT is not fun.