Studying for the LSAT with Your Full, Busy Life
- Apr 21, 2017
As an LSAT instructor, I frequently field questions from LSAT hopefuls who are wondering how to balance studying for the LSAT with their busy schedules.
After all, studying for the LSAT is essentially a part-time job on top of all your normal activities—if you’re in the live Blueprint class, for instance, you’re probably spending 8-12 hours per week in class, and that’s not even counting the time you spend doing homework.
I can certainly relate—when I started studying for the LSAT, I was working a full-time summer internship at NYU Law. The fact of the matter is that I did not have much free time during that period: I’d wake up, go to work, and spend a half-hour studying during my lunch break. After work, I’d either go to my Blueprint class or, on non-LSAT days, make dinner before some post-meal studying. I’d also usually spend at least one weekend day either in LSAT class or studying (taking a practice test or just doing drills, full sections, etc.).
Sound like fun? It wasn’t, particularly! But I was able to study for about two-and-a-half months, take the LSAT, and be done with it (you know, other than the subsequent teaching and tutoring and so forth).
So, now let’s talk about you. You’re a busy individual who #doesitall, and you’re wondering how to incorporate studying for the LSAT into your already packed schedule.
1. Find time wherever you can
Pre-LSAT, that half-hour lunch break was normally only long enough for me to step outside and get a light sheen of sweat from the NYC summer humidity. While studying for the LSAT, the break was actually very helpful for getting through my homework between classes. Look for those pockets of time in your day, and try to use them more productively. Each session might feel short, but the time spent adds up quickly.
2. Take advantage of apps
One of the great things about the modern age is that there’s an app for literally everything, including the LSAT. In the past, maybe you would have killed time playing Candy Crush or scrolling through Instagram, but those days are behind you and you have a new BFF: the LSAT.
And yes, there are LSAT prep apps! If you’re a Blueprint student, you should absolutely download the Blueprint mobile app so that you can access your account and personalized homework questions. And even if you’re not a BP student, there are apps that allow you to, say, complete Logical Reasoning questions on the go. Long commute on the train? Whip out your app! Waiting at the DMV, or your doctor’s office, or for a flight? Again, plenty of time to get through some quick questions.
3. Extend your study schedule if necessary
Students often ask how many total hours they should expect to spend studying for the LSAT, which I find very difficult to answer because it’s highly variable depending on goals, starting points, quality of study time, and so forth. That said, I’d guess that most people spend a bare minimum of 100-150 hours studying for the LSAT, and there are certainly people who spend much more time than that.
If your schedule is totally free aside from LSAT studying, you might be able to complete that 100 hours in a couple months. But if you’re only able to squeeze 10-20 hours per week of study-time out of your schedule, then you’re going to need to stretch out your studying over more months. That’s not a bad thing, but it does mean that you’ll need to take your existing commitments into account when deciding which LSAT administration you’ll take.
In summary, preparing for the LSAT when you have a million other things ain’t easy, but it’s certainly doable. Use your time wisely, plan your study schedule accordingly, and you’ll be fine.
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