Hello to all of you out there who are in the trenches of LSAT preparation. You have a week and a half before test day, and if you are taking the actual LSAT at Pepperdine on June 7th, then I will see you there. I will be the guy in the nose and mustache disguise in an attempt to throw off my tens of fans across the Southland. Imagine that one of your professors told you that an exam was still 11 days away. Plenty of time, right? Alas, as you have heard, the LSAT is not like other exams in college. They say you can’t cram for it, because it tests a skill and a specific way of thinking and not a set of facts or concepts. I tend to agree with this sentiment, but I also think that 11 days is an eternity. As Rubin tells Josh in Road Trip, “I can teach Japanese to a monkey in 46 hours.”
If you have not been attending class or doing the homework for these last 2 or 3 months, you are not going to just “learn the LSAT” between now and June 7th, and if you do, then you shall be forever known as Doogie Howser, J.D. However, if you have been working hard and have a good grip of the main concepts, I think that big strides can still be made. If you are feeling demoralized, well, suck it up, skippy, and let’s start getting down to business. Some sacrifices will need to be made over the next week and a half. Here are my top five:
1) Only watch the 2nd Half of Lakers Playoff Games. Eastern Conference Finals Games shall be ignored:
I grew up in LA, and the start of summer means watching the Lake Show march through the playoffs and contend for a title. Typically, I won’t miss more than 2 or 3 games in an entire Lakers post-season. Over the last two weeks of LSAT prep, I am trading in basketball games for logic games. What a hero I am. In all seriousness, when you factor in commercials, you can get three full sections done before Charles Barkley is liquored up for his halftime analysis.
If you are not a basketball fan, then substitute your favorite TV show, add it to the DVR, and watch it on June 8th.**
2) Replace TMZ and ESPN.com with the International and Opinion sections of The New York Times:
I’ve made this suggestion before on this blog, but I really think this will help you out on reading comp. I’m not talking about reading the headline stories of the newspaper and keeping up with current events. You should probably already be doing that as you enter your mid-twenties. I’m talking about the obscure stories that you really don’t want to read, but that contain a lot of information and make complex arguments. You should be an expert on Peruvian foreign policy in no time! I certainly don’t want to read these, but you know what else I don’t usually want to read? Reading Comp passages. As far as giving up ESPN and TMZ for a couple weeks, I think I’ll be okay. After the LSAT, I will certainly find the Lakers and Celtics in the NBA finals and Lindsay Lohan will still be the most worn-out looking 24 year-old in recent history.
3) No big nights out/mind-bending hangovers:
Summer is right around the corner, and the upcoming three-day weekend inevitably brings text message invites to Las Vegas. I am beginning to sound like a concerned grandpa, but I really would not go out and get hammered at any point between now and the LSAT. That being said, I would argue that it is still a good idea to go out and have a couple of drinks with friends or maybe hit-up a nice Memorial Day BBQ. Locking yourself in a room with stacks of reading comp passages for 11 days can only end in violence. What I am simply suggesting you avoid are any nights where you can only remember 5 or 6 frames, you lose your wallet, and you have to create one of those annoying facebook groups requesting your friends’ phone numbers because your phone was “stolen.”
One of the main reasons against having one of these nights (besides the damage to your liver) is that it leads to something else you want to avoid/sacrifice these next two weeks…
4) No worthless, lazy, Sundays
I feel like a hypocrite writing this, because I am no stranger to a nice relaxing Sunday. This coming Sunday, I am going to wake up early and try to get a good 4 hours of high quality LSAT studying done before heading off to a BBQ. Again, this is no heroic act, but it is certainly tempting to sleep in late, squeeze out a few practice problems, and then go off and enjoy the weekend. Again, just think of how good you’ll feel when you rock the LSAT on June 7th, giving you the entire summer to be proud of yourself. Or to retake the course. But definitely one or the other.
5) This blog
[Editor’s Note: In the original draft of this post, Rod did not write a fifth update, which we found interesting, since his title remained “Top Five Sacrifices Before the LSAT”.]
I really want to know how studying is going out there for all of you, and I hope that you are finishing strong, not like this guy.
**Disclaimer: At Blueprint, we understand if you had to watch the LOST finale to prevent people from ruining it for you the next day. However, during that 9 1/2 hour television event, you could have improved your score by at least 5 points before Jack killed the black smoke.