In May, many of you may find yourselves either in the midst of Finals Week or having just finished your finals. With the extra stress and time constraints that accompany such a time, you have probably seen your best laid plans for consistent LSAT preparation wane at the very least over the past couple of weeks or have even seen it become nonexistent.
This is not an uncommon problem. Most (but certainly not all) LSAT takers are undergraduate students at the time they sit for their LSAT. And, most of these students are on a semester system in terms of scheduling. This places the June LSAT,, about a month after most students complete finals. While this is certainly convenient for taking the LSAT, it can become a nightmare for preparation, especially for those who have attempted to get out to a good start two to three months in advance.
In many of my June classes that begin in March and April, I see lots of students do just that. They begin their preparation strongly, keeping up with homework and outside material throughout the first few lessons. But just about the time we hit mid- to late-April, and just as students are finally diving into their practice tests, Finals Week bears down: final exams require studying, end-of-semester papers and group projects need to be completed. This diverts much of students’ time and energy into their academic work and away from their LSAT preparation often until early to mid-May. All of a sudden, the test that was two months away is now less than five weeks off. This can add up to feelings of guilt and anxiety that further compound the already daunting task of getting ready for June.
The point to this tale is that this is all perfectly normal. This experience is common, and these feelings are natural, especially for the June LSAT. Not only that, but it’s also probably a good idea to let school divert your attention at least a little bit during this time. After all, the LSAT, while important, is not the only thing that matters in your application. Grades are still critical, and many students are currently finishing their junior year, which still leaves time to affect that GPA, both positively and negatively.
The key, however, is to be ready to go as soon as finals end. Fear not, for even though five weeks sounds intimidating, the end of school related obligations allows for more distraction-free preparation. For those who finished finals last week, don’t rest too long. Now is the time to catch up on any outstanding lessons and homework. For those who are still finishing up this week (first of all, good luck!), look to hit the ground running as soon as finals are over.
For those students in an In Person PowerScore course, focus on catching up through the first eight lessons especially. Much of the core material can be found in these lessons, and they are the critical lessons to complete prior to your assault on practice tests. There is a lot of pressure at this point to take those practice tests, but laying a firm groundwork of the key concepts first is essential to improving your score. And, even though we are down to less than five weeks before June, some of our thoughts from eight weeks out are still applicable.
Finally, it’s a good idea to keep some of the future test dates in mind, especially the potential academic impacts from their timing. As we’ve mentioned on this blog recently, there is very little downside these days to retaking the test to achieve a higher score.
So, once again, good luck this week on Finals (and for those who have already finished, good luck on those grades)! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.