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Don’t Sweat Your First Practice Exam Score

It’s just a starting point. The real work begins after that exam.

So you’re studying for the LSAT. Perhaps in one of Blueprint’s classes. That first practice exam: ouch. Now you’re wondering what’s in store. How will things ever get better?

The whole point of studying for the LSAT is to improve your score. Your first practice test is nothing more than a measure of where your underlying skills stood before you started studying. The act of taking the test didn’t change anything. Whatever went well on the test reflected skills you already have and what didn’t revealed what you have left to learn.

So while that first practice exam score may be painful to look at, don’t let it get you down. With time and effort you can improve that number. All the first practice LSAT test does is measure where you are right now. This, in turn, allows you to measure your progress later.

Wishing things were different doesn’t help change anything. Your first score may be an uncomfortable reality, but it’s reality nonetheless. The one thing that will change it? Putting in the time studying. Use your first score as motivation. The rest is up to you.

I’ve seen students make tremendous improvements. One student went from a 144 on Practice Exam 1 to a 178 on the real LSAT. While I have to admit that’s an exceptional result, not a typical one, it’s possible.

If I had to generalize about the students who have made such leaps, I’d say they share two qualities. The first is putting in the hours. It’s not even so much about the sheer number of hours as it is about putting in time almost every day. The second quality is leaving ego out of it. These students were willing to admit to themselves and others when they didn’t understand something to their satisfaction. These two things, of course, don’t guarantee a huge increase. But it’s a good place to start.

So don’t let your first score get you down. Don’t judge yourself for it, either. Getting impatient with yourself won’t help. Your score on Practice Exam 1 reflects how good you are at the LSAT right now, and nothing more. As you learn and practice new skills, you’ll get better. That’s the whole point.