In May of 1945, Frank H. Bowles wrote to the then President of Columbia Law School, John Stalnaker and asked for the creation of a “law capacity test.” He had six criteria: (1) a high predictive value defined as a correlation coefficient of .70 or higher, (2) a “discrete measure of capacity for law study insofar as that capacity can be isolated,” (3) high reliability, (4) no more than one and one-half hours in length, (5) sensible and observable relation to the study of law, (6) “results easy to interpret,” and (7) low cost.
Though you LSAT takers will now scoff at many of these criteria, it’s interesting to see how far the LSAT Test has come. No more than one and a half hours?!? Add on two more hours and you’re where we are now!
Okay, that’s enough venting for today. Let’s move to our topic at hand. So I’m a huge scheduler. It’s pretty annoying actually. I have a whiteboard schedule on the door of my room, a Harry Potter calendar [yeah, that’s right!], a pocket moleskin calendar that’s always in the purse I carry and my Gmail calendar that is color-coded and synchs to my phone. Okay, so you don’t have to be as crazy as I am, but, I encourage you to keep a calendar/schedule near/above your study area.
Here are some ideas for your LSAT prep schedule:
1) Color Code: I know it may seem silly, but color coding helps you visually see all the different things you have to do, whether it’s practice Logic Games, Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, or taking a Diagnostic Exam. Also, colors are proven to make people happy and you’re in no position to flag away endorphins!
2) Be Realistic: One of the biggest mistakes I see in my students’ study schedules is that they are very unrealistic. You can’t schedule ten straight hours of LSAT studying without any breaks. You’re not a robot. You’re not boring. Why would you think you could sit in one place for ten hours and read logic statements without losing focus?!?
3) Schedule Breaks, Lots Of Them! This goes with the above rule. Being realistic means knowing your limits. Schedule in lots of breaks between sections and never skip your fifteen-minute break between section three and four.
4) Pick a Couple Things You Can’t Live Without: Everyone has some hobby or passion that they can’t do without. Whether it’s working out, an afternoon nap, baking, seeing your significant other, playing with your kids, shooting some hoops or watching your team play, remember to keep some semblance of your lovely pre-LSAT life to give you some balance. You’ll go crazy without your few scheduled moments of happiness.
You don’t have to go overboard with it, but it’s important to keep the days and the time you have left studying in perspective. Write it out, change it and manipulate as you need. Personalize your schedule to your study needs and to your test date. Soon, we’ll discuss important changes you should make to your schedule as the test approaches.