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The LSAT Lurks Around the Corner: How to Prepare

  • by Colin Elzie
  • Jan 28, 2010
  • General LSAT Advice, LSAT

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The LSAT is a mere week away.  What does this mean for you?  Well, if you’re not taking it, then nothing.  But if you are, you’re probably freaking out a bit, regardless of how prepared you may be.  If you haven’t studied at all then you have good reason to be pissing yourself, because you’re probably going to get hosed.  So good luck on the guessing.  For everyone else: you’re ready, but your nerves are probably trying to sabotage any confidence you may have.  So let me lay out some rules for this final week to keep the demons at bay.

First of all, read the excessively detailed rules about what you can, can’t, must, and musn’t bring.  Centers vary on how stringently they enforce some of the regulations, but err on the side of caution and follow them to the letter.  You don’t want to throw away your law school chances because your phone went off.

Get together a warm-up packet.  This should be maybe 10 easy LR problems and a pretty simple game.  They should be photocopied, because you’ll have to throw them out before you go into the testing room.  Doing these practice problems right before you report to the testing center should get the gears going and make section 1 less of a shock.  But make sure you’re actually doing the work, not just looking at work you’ve already done, or you won’t really reap the benefits.

Do a run through of your testing center.  This should ideally be at the same time you’ll be going on Saturday.  Make sure you know alternate routes in case of construction or something, and find many different parking options.  Find the exact room you’ll be reporting to.  The less you have to fret about on Saturday, the calmer you’re going to be.

DO NOT kill yourself studying, which you will almost certainly feel the burning need to do.  Most people have this feeling that, since the LSAT is so important, they should be doing a ton of work.  And that was true up until now, but it’s time to pull back a bit.  While frantically doing logic games until five in the morning may make you feel like you’re actively doing something to help yourself, I assure you that you’re not.  By now you probably have the concepts down pretty solid.  Which is great.  So don’t do any 12-hour study marathons.  That will just burn you out, and that will cause you to do poorly on Saturday.

One test per day is plenty.  Try to take it around nine in the morning to make it like the real thing.  Also try to take it in a fairly quiet environment.  Sparsely populated libraries are a good idea, but you should avoid remaining in your comfort zone at home.  You might end up sitting next to someone who has a cold or mumbles or is tapping his foot, and then there is the sound of pages flipping and erasers frantically erasing that you’ll inevitably have to deal with, so taking your practice tests in an utterly silent place might make the real thing a bit of a shock.

After you take your test, go over your misses and figure out why you missed them – try to determine why you liked the wrong AC, and why it’s wrong, as well why you didn’t like the right AC, and why it’s right.  Then go out and enjoy the afternoon.  Avoid activities like weeping.

Wake up at the same time every day this week as you’ll be waking up on Saturday.  You want to adjust your internal clock to the point where the early morning no longer feels early.  I know it seems strange to go to bed at 10:30 if you’re not the kind of person who gets excited about new Ensure flavors, but believe me, you’ll regret it if you don’t.

Don’t do any LSAT work on Friday.  Seriously.  Nothing.  You’re not going to learn anything new or have any crazy epiphanies in the final 24 hours, so the best way to ensure a good day on Saturday is to spend all day Friday watching movies, going to the gym, masturbating, stuff like that.  I recommend doing all three at once so that you’re nice and tired that night.  I can’t tell you how many people develop acute insomnia the night before the test.  For Friday working out is a good idea.  Caffeine is not.

Then comes the big day. Make sure you have a good breakfast and pack a good snack. You’ll need both. Wake up earlier than you need to. If you have access to a girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/prostitute, get yourself some intimate time. In all seriousness I know more people than I can count on my fingers who have used this strategy with great success. There’s nothing quite like a good grope session to make you feel like a million bucks.

Then take the test, and do well.  You’re ready, you’re prepared, you’re almost done.

Lastly, make sure you have a 36-pack of Hamm’s in the trunk because you’re going to need it.

Good luck.

Don’t drink and drive.

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