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Making Yourself as Calm as Buddha for the LSAT

Making Yourself as Calm as Buddha for the LSAT

Here at MSS, we’re fairly open-minded. I think, based on an informal poll of one person, that we all voted for Proposition 19 (except me, because I don’t vote). I’m pretty sure that we have more bearded employees than any company in the LA area outside of those that grow marijuana. I even live with a girl who has a toaster that plays the Winnie the Pooh song.

So I want you to understand that we’re not an outwardly judgmental people when I say this: I’m sort of appalled by students using non-prescription beta blockers. has a this-week-in-no-shit post concerning college and high school students taking beta blockers to calm themselves down prior to the standardized tests, big performances, or any kind of high pressure situation. Beta blockers help to keep your body from pumping adrenaline and generally just keep you as cool as a cucumber.

First, I want to direct your attention to Trent’s blog post from the early days of MSS where he tackles the dangers of so-called smart drugs (and really, any drug that hasn’t been sufficiently scrubbed of side effects). Generally, just some good reading, a lot of which I will echo here.

Beta blockers basically (at least as far as I can figure out from a quick google search) inhibit your fight-or-flight mechanism. Naturally, as we all can see, the real danger is that if there is a bear attack in the middle of your LSAT, and you’ve downed a beta blocker cocktail, your ass is going to be grass.

But what really weirds me out, as a dyed-in-the-wool lazy bastard, is why anyone in their right mind would take a drug with the potential side effect of heart failure to be calmer during the SAT. Or the LSAT. Or whatever. I understand that every day walking down the street involves a constant assault of threats that could potentially end your life (trucks, homeless people, Taco Bell), I just don’t get why anyone would add more on top of the pile to be calmer for a test. Not smarter. Calmer.

Before you start throwing back a potent mixture of adderall, beta blockers, and Nyquil to really get that edge on standardized test day, you should probably consider the idea that maybe, just maybe, studying effectively for it will mitigate a lot of the nervousness that you feel. I can’t talk too specifically about the SAT, because that was eight years and many beers ago, but as I’m currently indentured to an LSAT company, I’ve got a pretty good idea for how to make sure you don’t have nerves on test day: get so badass at the test that the LSAT needs a stiff glass of Scotch before you walk in to the test center.

The LSAT is not an intelligence test, it’s a hard-work test. Trying to skate around that will apparently leave you extremely calm with a slightly elevated chance of heart failure and a pretty weak LSAT score.

And alopecia. Which is hair loss. Which, as a guy in the middle of his own personal recession, is something I think we all should avoid at all costs.