LSAT burn out is a special kind of problem to have. It affects only the most motivated student, and that’s what makes it so dangerous.
The student wants to do well so much that they’re willing to do anything to get their score. But anything isn’t always good. Working on LSAT every day for 8+ hours sounds like it would hypothetically lead to score improvements... but in practice it can lead to score decreases. Weird, right?
This is because that level of intensity isn't something people can handle long term. We're human beings, not study bots. In the spirit of humanity, I present to you:
The Burn Out Rules: Your Top 5 Ways to Make the LSAT Not Suck
More days, less hours
More days, less hours is by far the most effective guard against LSAT burnout. Be the tortoise, not the hare. Slow and steady wins the LSAT race.
Allow yourself double the amount of time (in weeks, not hours) you think you’ll maximally need to achieve a goal. Then if you achieve your goal early, you’re ahead of schedule and you’re less likely to settle for a performance you don’t want because you’re “behind.”
If you’re working on the LSAT for greater than five hours a day for more than 2-3 days in a row… you’ll probably burn out. You need a light day in between these long days to recover. Generally, 1.5-3 hours per day is the most sustainable maximum. When you go significantly over that on the regular, you’re in major burnout danger.
Take an off day (or week)
Your brain and body need off time to let these concepts sink into your subconscious. This is especially true of LR and RC. Study-life balance is key to keeping the test in perspective and building the skills you need to succeed on the test. Take 1-2 off days per week minimum.
Like a fine wine, LR and RC get better with age. My students who study for longer periods of time with multiple long breaks are always the most natural at LR.
LG is like the fine wine that you left open on the counter next to the toaster oven. It definitely doesn’t get better with age. Always keep your games fresh.
If you don’t take days off, you start to get a little crispy after awhile. I once tutored the LSAT for 97 days straight with no days off. That was only somewhat a good idea. Even I get LSAT crispy when I haven’t seen the sun for that long.
Have a life
You know how you have no life when you’re cramming for finals? You can get away with that because cramming is necessarily for a short period of time.
Burnout happens when you act like a crammer, but then cram for waaaay longer than a crammer would. Maintaining the cramming intensity for longer than a few days at a time will make you look like this:
But you don’t want to be a sleepy puppy on the day of the test. Maybe other times, but not on the day of the test. That’s why you have to have a life. Do as I say, not as I do.
How does one have a life? Do the things you like to do! Things like exercise, seeing friends, binge watching Stranger Things, and eating ice cream.
Beneficial parts of having a life:
- seeing the sun
- people who don’t stress you out
- mild-to-vigorous movement of the body
Having a life activities do not include:
- infinite scrolling --> trances are not having a life
- hunching in front of a laptop --> your posture is already bad enough from LSAT
- opening a checking account --> you actively know they’re trying to trick you the whole time, too much like the LSAT
Choose sleep! Do the rest of the task tomorrow!
There are about a million articles out there about the physical and cognitive benefits of sleeping a decent amount. I instruct you to type “sleep” into Google right now if you doubt me on this.
Never take two practice tests in one day
Taking two practice tests in one day is a dangerous habit. Don’t waste time and irreplaceable materials cramming.