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Your Task in the Final Weeks of LSAT Prep: Stay Motivated

The June LSAT is less than two weeks away.

Done freaking out yet? No? OK, I can wait.

Good. Now that you’ve calmed down (it only took you 10 minutes of breathing into a paper bag – I can assure you that’s completely normal), let’s talk about the perfect storm of bad that’s probably hitting you right about now.

Most LSAT prep students hit two walls at the same time.

The first is the wall of panic. When the LSAT gets this close, almost every student feels like they’re in no way prepared for the exam, and there’s no way that they can possibly get to a comfortable place by the time LSAT test day rolls around on June 11.

The second wall is what we call LSAT burnout. By now, you’ve put in a ton of hours studying, and you’re seeing LSAT logic games in your dreams. This is, to put it lightly, disturbing. Your brain is shouting at you to stop picking up that LSAT book, and all you want to do is everything except the LSAT.

Obviously, hitting these two walls at the same time in your LSAT prep creates problems. You want to study because you want to feel prepared, but you don’t want to study because your brain is sick of this stuff.

So how do you push through until LSAT test day? Here are a few tips:

1) Realize that everyone studying for the LSAT is in the same boat. Just knowing that you have company can sometimes make LSAT prep a bit more tolerable. Everyone at this point is feeling pangs of uncertainty about their LSAT preparation. Everyone is burned out on the LSAT. You’re not the only one. It’s normal.

2) Take some time off. Yes, this might make your anxiety worse. However, your brain is much like the muscles in your body in that it needs time off in order to recuperate. You wouldn’t go to the gym and bench press for four hours every day; why should your brain be able to handle the equivalent?

Take a day off and eat some brain-friendly foods (nuts, greens, lean proteins). Do a little mental cross training with a puzzle of your choice (either crossword or jigsaw). Do something you enjoy. Do anything, and then come back to the LSAT. Sometimes that day off not only rejuvenates your will to study, but also allows your brain to synthesize some of that info you’ve been cramming into it so that you see an LSAT score improvement.

3) Know that the LSAT is, in one way (and probably only one way, unless you’re doing it wrong), like having a kid: no one feels 100% ready for it. There’s always going to be that nagging doubt that you should have prepped more. There’s always that little voice that says you could do better with more time. There’s always that fear that you’ll get a horrible logic game, and you’ll miss a huge deduction.

I felt it. Everyone else I know felt it. Just accept it.

That’s not to say that you should think you’re prepped when you’re not. Look at your LSAT practice exams, and ask yourself if you’d be happy with that LSAT score on game day. You’re unlikely to see a huge jump, so if you’re practicing below where you want to be…

4) Realize there’s always the October LSAT. With the new LSAC policy, you can withdraw up until midnight before the LSAT. You should make your final call that day. But October will still put you ahead of the curve as far as getting your law school application in, so it’s an option you should consider. Again, though, not until the day before the LSAT. Otherwise, you’ll view it as a safety net. And the LSAT is a no safety net kind of test.