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Taking LSAT Inspiration From the Winter Olympics in Sochi

Unless you’ve managed to avoid television, social media and talking to anyone over the past few weeks, you know that the Winter Olympics are in full swing. Although the LSAT is far from an athletic endeavor, there are a number of lessons that LSAT students can learn from the athletes (and Bob Costas) competing in Sochi.

LSAT Inspiration to Take From the Winter Olympics I: Don’t get discouraged

One of the most popular images to come from the Winter Olympics is Ashley Wagner’s pouty face after receiving a lower than expected score in the women’s short program of the figure skating team competition. While I hope this is not the case, I’m sure many students probably make similar (albeit less dramatic) faces when they receive their LSAT practice test scores. However, like Wagner, these students should not be discouraged and should continue working hard. Virtually every law school nowadays takes into account only a student’s highest LSAT score, so there is no penalty to retaking the LSAT if things don’t ultimately go as expected. (I hope Wagner manages to win gold in another event so that this point is driven home…and go U.S.A.!)

LSAT Inspiration to Take From the Winter Olympics II: Reach for the stars

Cool Runnings is one of my favorite sports movies. Naturally, I was thrilled when I found out that a Jamaican bobsled team qualified for the Winter Olympics this year. The team members overcame their geographical disadvantages and followed their dreams to compete on the world stage. In a similar fashion, students should not be afraid to follow their dreams when it comes to the LSAT. Whether you score poorly your first time around or struggle mastering the concepts, there is no limit to the improvements that can take place if you put in the time and effort. No matter what your GPA may be or how smart you think you are, reach for the stars, work hard, and you will be rewarded. The LSAT is a test that can be learned.

LSAT Inspiration to Take From the Winter Olympics III: Don’t make excuses

One of the biggest disappointments for the United States in the Winter Olympics so far has been the speed skating team. Despite high expectations, no U.S. speed skater has managed to medal. After the first wave of disappointments, several skaters blamed their failures, at least in part, on their uniforms. After a costume change, the U.S. skaters still failed to make it to the podium. Unlike these athletes, if LSAT prep students do not perform well on LSAT test day or on a practice LSAT, they should not look for excuses; rather, they should analyze their true weaknesses and make a plan to overcoming any deficiencies.

LSAT Inspiration to Take From the Winter Olympics IV: It doesn’t take a miracle

In the 1980 Winter Olympics, the U.S. hockey team overcame the Soviet Union’s team in what is commonly referred to as the “Miracle on Ice.” A few days ago, the U.S. hockey team overcame Russia’s team in dramatic fashion. This time around, however, the win was not as unexpected–it was not the David and Goliath matchup from 1980. When students first encounter the LSAT, they may feel like the U.S. team facing the Soviet Union’s team back in 1980; they may think there is no chance of success without divine intervention. With training and preparation, the matchup between a student and the LSAT may become more akin to this year’s meeting of the U.S. team and Russian team — success will never be easy, but it will be entirely possible.

LSAT Inspiration to Take From the Winter Olympics V: Be prepared for anything

If you’ve been watching NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics, you probably saw Bob Costas’s nasty eye infection. I’m sure Costas, who has been covering the Olympics since 1988, was not expecting to suffer from the most widely covered case of pink eye in modern history when he arrived in Sochi. Despite his infection, he soldiered on for as long as possible before eventually being replaced. LSAT students should learn from his example and be prepared to persevere through anything. Whether it is unexpected difficulty on a particular section or a traffic jam on the way to their LSAT test center, students must roll with the punches if they want to make it through the troublesome path of studying for the LSAT. After all, there is no Meredith Vieira waiting to take the LSAT for you, so make sure you are ready for whatever comes your way.

If nothing else, just be glad that studying for the LSAT can be effectively accomplished in four months rather than over the course of the lifetime. That alone should give you inspiration to go out and “win gold” on the LSAT.