LSAT Diary: Procrastination and Scheduling Study Time

LSAT Diary Procrastination Scheduling Time Study
This LSAT Diary is from Jasmine, who's studying for the December 2014 LSAT. Below, she shares her LSAT studying experience.

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Please thank Jasmine for sharing her story below in the comments!

Jasmine's LSAT Diary:

Hello! I’m Jasmine, a 22-year old, recent grad from DePaul University who is studying for the December 2014 LSAT. The path that’s led me to studying for the LSAT and writing this entry has been unexpected and I am definitely curious to see where it ultimately leads me. Since pre-school, I wanted to be a doctor. At that age, I knew that the two big – i.e. only – professions were being a doctor and a lawyer. My aunt was already a lawyer so I chose doctor.

Some mild background: Being a doctor – an OB/GYN, to be exact - was the only thing that I wanted to do for the next fifteen years of my life. My mom asked me what my plan B was. I had no plan B. That was it. After enjoying biology/pre-med for a year and a half but questioning if that was what I was to do in life, I told my parents that I wanted to change my major to my passion: education. My mom, the kindergarten teacher and participant in the huge 2012 CPS strike, was the first to kindly spike that idea right out of here, as did my dad who recommended communications since I’d always been great at reading and writing.

After one eye-opening semester as a communications major, I transferred to a bigger school with a journalism program and enjoyed great academic success and a plethora of remarkable opportunities at DePaul University. After two years, an internship with them, starting the dual degree program to get my Masters in Journalism and writing extensively for the award winning school newspaper, the DePaulia, I graduated in June 2014 summa cum laude.

After this accomplishment, I really just wanted to sleep for a month but my dad recommended that I diversify my degrees and get my Masters in Law. I thought about it for a while but what really stuck with both of us was that during a walkthrough at ABC 7 Studios in Chicago a year earlier, two employees, including a producer, told me that I should go into law instead of broadcast journalism. A producer at the number one news station in the nation’s third largest market was advising me to go into law. With these considerations and others in mind, I visited John Marshall Law School (JMLS) and learned that it would be better for me to just go for my J.D. if I had any inkling at all that I would like to practice law.

I have an inkling that I’m going to fall in love with law. Now I’m studying for the LSAT.
Since I was pre-med for most of my life, I spent most of my days speculating about the MCAT. As a journalism major, there were no major tests, only articles, reels and experience. Now, in just a month, I’ve been thrown back into the world of life-changing standardized tests. My first step is studying was to Google LSAT. I came across Steve’s blog and looked over the LSAT study plans and learned about what this test would take. I decided to check out Princeton Review’s “Cracking the LSAT 2015” from the library which was a miracle in itself since all the September LSAT takers had absorbed everything else. So I gradually worked through that. However, by the time I’d received the opportunity to take a mock LSAT at JMLS, I had only gotten through the arguments section. Flipping through the Logic Games section of the book while on the bus on the way to the exam, I realized I was a little bit over my head.

I greatly appreciated the mock LSAT as it was my first full, real interaction with the test. It gave me the whole experience and at the end, I knew what I did well on (reading comprehension, the essay), what I needed to improve on (logical reasoning), and what I without a doubt needed to buckle down on because I bombed it (logic games, all the logic games). We self-scored and it looked like I was playing connect the dots with my highlighter.


Additional thoughts from my first mock LSAT:

-35 minutes is not as long as I thought it was

-Reading Comprehension reminds me of 7th grade ISAT. I’ll be okay.

-Why is there construction outside when I’m trying to test myself into a T1?

-I don’t have test anxiety; I just don’t know what logic game are.

-The 15 minute break is so that you can put your life back together.


My score was average, a 150. Not horrible, I guess. We all have to start somewhere. I could soon tell that even with my background in research and analysis, the LSAT was a more nuanced beast. I love etymology but the LSAT requires me to parse language in a different way. Pieces that I could usually glide over now make the difference between getting a question right or wrong. I am currently training myself to identify every subtlety of an answer choice.

There are two obstacles to my studying. The first is my procrastination, a horrible habit that I am desperately trying to kill before law school begins. A current law school student “highly, highly, highly” recommended an LSAT prep course to me and since the LSAT was so not on my radar, I instantly checked it out. I know that Steve has a different relationship with prep courses but I am the type of person these courses are made for. The course carves out eight hours a week where I am receiving instruction on LSAT prep. I need the structure, I admit it. After that, it’s my responsibility to designate the rest of my time to getting the score I want. This I can do.

My other obstacle is my schedule. I am on the Board of Directors at my church and have numerous responsibilities as the communications specialist which includes running the social media accounts, managing the website and other administrative duties. We are currently in the middle of an intense emergency fundraiser and in terms of the communication effort, this was basically my personal project. With two weeks before our deadline, I want to say it’s winding down but it’s about to intensify. I am also the assistant secretary for a new federation. I am the busiest unemployed person I know.

Studying for the LSAT is a huge test of my work ethic. I am primarily applying to Chicago-based law schools such as University of Chicago, Northwestern, JMLS, Kent, DePaul and others. I am aiming for the highest score possible and the similar LSAT preparation tactics that I see among people who scored a 180 on the LSAT are that they 1) made studying for the LSAT their life and 2) they dedicated a LOT of time to understanding why every single answer is right or wrong.

Graduating summa cum laude was not easy by any stretch of the imagination so I know what it means to put in work – and to subsequently have it pay off. However, I still have those procrastination tendencies that I’m battling. Sitting for hours and pouring over answer choices is not what I’d love to be doing in these last days of fall but getting rejected from my dream school because of the LSAT is definitely not what I’m trying to do. I’m not going to stand in my own way. The LSAT will become a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.

Between my truly busy schedule, the ghost of my procrastination, and what I know I need to do to score as possible, I have much to accomplish between now and Saturday December 6, but I know that my faith in God and my drive to succeed will undercut everything and bring me to where I need to be.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’ll go through this journey with me!

Photo by bobaubuchon



2 comments:

  1. Great insight! How long have you been studying?

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    Replies
    1. Hi! I have been studying since about the last week of August. That's around when I got my first books from the library. I spent a bit of time in them. Subconsciously, I think I was waiting for this prep course, which was starting at the end of Sept., to be my savior and there was probably a little fear of the unknown.

      But now I'm getting into studying and there really is nothing to it but to do it. If I want the score, I'll have to work for it! It's great to finally be doing so.

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