How to avoid LSAT burnout
- Jul 21, 2010
LSAT burnout is a serious disease with any combination of the following symptoms:
- Pure hatred of the test and everything associated with it
- Dropping preptest scores
- Practice that doesn’t seem to go anywhere — you don’t feel yourself improving, and there’s no upward movement in scores
It’s important to distinguish burnout from two other distinct phenomenon: plateauing and laziness. Every student has a natural ceiling past which no amount of studying will move his/her score. This is why the world isn’t full of 180 scorers that started in the 140’s. This is natural; if you’re feeling very good in practice and scores just aren’t going up, you may be reaching this point. Congratulations – reaching your maximum score on a regular basis is the goal of studying. Laziness is what it sounds like — you’re just not working hard enough.
Students who are suffering burnout are usually doing so because they are working on the LSAT too much. A past student of ours was working a demanding full-time job, coming home, exercising, working on the LSAT for several hours, and then going to bed, each and every night. However, he took Saturdays off, and did a full preptest on Sunday. His Sunday scores were significantly higher than any of his other tests. See the pattern?
The lesson is that each person only has so many high quality hours in the day. Burnout is hard to avoid if you are working on the LSAT during low-quality hours. Students that have full-time jobs should consider taking every few nights off.
This is also why it’s so critical to start studying early. Students that try to cram a complete course of studying into 6 weeks or less simply won’t have enough high-quality hours in the day to make it work.
Hear that, October test-takers?
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