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December 2010 LSAT: What to do if…

December 2010 LSAT: What to do if…
I get a lot of questions on the blueprint twitter, the discussion board, or on this here blog concerning contingencies. What do I do if I I’m not ready come test day? What do I do if I get hit by a truck on the way to the test center? What do I do if I contract a venereal disease?

These are all important questions, so let’s tackle them one by one.

1. What do I do if I’m not ready on Saturday? Easy answer: don’t take the test. A lot of people feel the need, after studying for two to three months, to just get a score. This is a tremendously bad idea if you’re not ready. If you haven’t put in the work, or if you haven’t studied as effectively as you could have, or if you just need more time to study, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by taking the test on Saturday. It is much much worse to have a bad score than to have an absence on test day. As far as we’ve learned, it’s better to have an absence than a canceled score as well, so all things being equal, if you’re not ready, don’t even show up.

2. What do I do if I get sick? This is a bit more murky, and depends on how sick, but I’d lean toward the same exact answer as above. I’ve heard of too many people who did significantly worse than they’d been practicing because of an illness. If you’ve got a sniffle, then you might feel safe taking the test. But if you’re running a fever, or have a headache, or have come down with a really itchy crotch, think about taking the absence.

3. What do I do if I wake up late? Depending on how late, just calm down and get to your test center. Sometimes, the test officials won’t be as strict as you’d expect, and you’ll still be able to get into your center. If you wake up at ten o’clock though, just find some football to watch.

4. What do I do if I get a speeding ticket on the way to the test center? No one’s actually asked this ever, but it happened to me. Generally, CHP officers aren’t total jackasses, so if you explain that you’re trying to get to a test that will get you into law school, you’ll probably have a halfway decent chance of him/her letting you go.

5. What do I do if I feel I did horribly on the test? This gets a lot of people. Everyone feels they did horribly after the test, and most people at least consider the option of canceling right then and there. DO NOT do this. You have til the following Friday to make your decision about canceling and you should really take the time. Make sure you do a realistic assessment of which questions you got right, and which you got wrong, and if anything went abnormally awful in comparison to your practice tests. If nothing did, then stop being a whiner and take your score like a champ.

6. What do I do after the test? Drink. Heavily. And tune into the MSS for some after-test analysis.