Statistically speaking, most of your friends aren’t going to law school, and – for better or worse – know very little about the LSAT. Sure, they may have heard you muttering something nonsensical about mauve dinosaurs, but they probably thought you were crazy (which is par for the course… why else would you go to law school in the first place?). If you’re taking the LSAT soon, chances are you are about to start a prep course, or some sort of a self-study plan. You will be MIA for most of November. Come Thanksgiving, you will be faced with a dilemma: either skip the holiday entirely to catch up on your homework, or show up with a pencil and a notepad, offering to make a seating chart for all of your extended family members. Either way, people will be worried.
So, here’s a list of 7 things you’re likely to hear over the next two months, and the appropriate responses to each:
1. Why are you studying so much? Isn’t this just like the SAT?
Your response: because it’s only the most important exam in my entire legal career, and no, the LSAT is decidedly not like the SAT. College and law school… two different things. (If they don’t believe you, give them a copy of the mauve dinosaur game that you carry around with you for this particular occasion, and watch their brain explode.)
2. I’ve heard the LSAT is an IQ test. You can’t really study for that, can you?
Your response: The LSAT is not an IQ test. If it were, the LSAC would be out of business. Double-digit score increases are possible with proper preparation and the right approach. In many ways, the LSAT is more like a language test than an IQ test, and the more fluent I become in its language and reasoning, the more my score will increase.
3. Fine, but do you really need to go to class tonight? 🙁
Your response? Yes, I really do. I paid good money for this class and I want to make the most of it. Sure there are online recaps for each lesson, which are great but obviously don’t provide the same interactive experience I get inside a real classroom. Plus, my instructor will miss me.
4. Go to class then. I’ll still text you while you’re in class and make sure you know just how much fun we’re having without you.
Your response: Doesn’t matter, because my phone will be off. My instructor said that phones are evil, plus it’s kind of rude, not to mention expensive… every minute I spend texting you is worth $0.34. So, unless you pay me to text you, I’m not doing it.
5. What about tomorrow? No class right? Let’s go get wasted/high/whatever.
Your response: Tempting, but I’ll pass. I have 150 pages of homework to do by Thursday, and I need all the brain cells I have left. See, e.g. mauve dinosaur game. Even if I show up to every single class, my score won’t magically improve by some intellectual osmotic pressure. Homework is where it’s at.
6. So lame. What about the weekend?
Your response: I’ll be taking a practice test on Saturday morning, and another one on Sunday morning. I’ll spend my afternoons reviewing my mistakes. And no, I can’t go out Saturday night because I need 8 hours of sleep. It sure sounds lame, but let me quote you a recent research published in the NYTimes (because, obviously, quoting the NYTimes is super cool and not lame at all):
“Some of the most insidious effects of too little sleep involve mental processes like learning, memory, judgment and problem-solving. During sleep, new learning and memory pathways become encoded in the brain, and adequate sleep is necessary for those pathways to work optimally. People who are well rested are better able to learn a task and more likely to remember what they learned.”
Apparently, the effects of sleep deprivation can last for awhile, and are not easy to fix: even if I manage to sleep for 8 hours the night before the test, prolonged periods of sleep disruption (e.g. partying on weekends) can impede my ability to concentrate, to read closely, and to analyze information creatively. Hope you understand.
7. Is this really worth it?
Your response: SO worth it!