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How the LSAT is Like the World Cup


The U.S. Women’s National Team found a perfect way to celebrate America’s birthday – by crushing Japan to win the World Cup for the first time in 16 years. In honor of the team’s accomplishment, here are a few ways in which the LSAT is like the World Cup.

1.) There’s a lot of competition

When you take the LSAT, you don’t have to compete against anyone else, but you do have to compete with yourself. The test-preparation process is a grind; it gets boring and unpleasant pretty quickly. When I prepared for the LSAT, I would constantly try to one-up myself – I would try to complete every practice set and every practice exam more quickly and accurately than the last. The more I practiced, the better I got, and the more intense my “competition” became. Consequently, my preparation technique was analogous to the increasingly difficult rounds in the World Cup tournament. Obviously, this style of preparation isn’t for everyone, but it is one way of trying to make the process more bearable.

2.) Preparation is everything

As in every sport, soccer (that’s right, soccer—the United States gets to call the shots for a little while, none of that “football” nonsense) is all about practice and repetition. The athletes on the USWNT train intensely and constantly refine their skills in preparation for the World Cup. In order to succeed, the players all need to excel in their respective roles, and the team needs to develop its strategies for set pieces. Similarly, LSAT test-takers need to spend a lot of time – albeit less time – getting in “game-shape” for the exam. Students need to understand, practice, and refine their methods so they are prepared for whatever the LSAT throws their way. Without intense, dedicated, and focused practice, it is very difficult to overcome the obstacles that you’ll face in taking the LSAT.

3.) Mistakes can’t be undone

If you watched England’s semifinal match against Japan, you saw the game end on a heartbreaking own-goal. England’s defender positioned herself well to clear the ball, but she couldn’t quite get it over the goal. Had she managed to get the ball out of play, time would’ve expired just a few minutes later and the game would’ve gone to penalties. Unfortunately for the English team, there was no way to undo or re-do that costly play. The LSAT is similarly unforgiving. If you misunderstand a passage or fail to correctly diagram a game during the test, you can’t go back and try again later on. This point should reaffirm the importance of preparation and practice – obviously you can’t control everything, but to the extent you can, you should master the methods and skills necessary to make the most of your one shot on test day.

4.) Never give up

Four years ago, I remember watching the USWNT falter in the World Cup final against Japan. The U.S. players, many of whom are still playing for the national team, looked defeated and discouraged. But four years later, against the same opponent, those same players were more than capable of prevailing. They never gave up, and their perseverance paid off. If you perform poorly on the LSAT, you will probably experience a similar sense of defeat and discouragement. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait four years to get another shot at success. Just remember to stay the course – as long as you maintain a positive attitude and work hard to remedy any shortcomings, there’s no reason you can’t master the LSAT the next time around.

That’s all for now. Congratulations to the USWNT! Learn from their example, and I have no doubt that you’ll be able to achieve your target score on the LSAT.