This past Sunday was an exciting day for motor racing fans. Two of the year’s most prestigious races — the Indianapolis 500 and its much richer European cousin, the Monaco Grand Prix — were held on the same day. Monaco was pretty disappointing, but the Indy 500 delivered drama, excitement, and a few lessons for June LSAT test-takers.
LSAT Prep Lesson I to Learn From the Indy 500: Walk the track before race day
Many of the top drivers in the Indy 500 will walk the track before any racing goes down so they can get to know the track better, feel more comfortable, and spot any potential problems. You should do the same with your LSAT test center. Before LSAT test day you should visit your LSAT test center to locate exactly where your exam will be; find the bathrooms, check out the classrooms, and do some studying there, if possible. Being in a familiar environment on LSAT test day will help relieve some of your anxiety.
LSAT Prep Lesson II to Learn From the Indy 500: Don’t experiment on LSAT test day
The drivers in the Indy 500 use the same fuel, the same tires, and the same car in the race as they did in all their practice sessions. Likewise, for you, there’s no room for experimentation on LSAT test day. Oatmeal with fruit is a high quality fuel, but if you’re not accustomed to such a breakfast, it’s not a good idea to put it in your tank on LSAT test day. Surprising your body with all that fiber could lead to a disaster.
LSAT Prep Lesson III to Learn From the Indy 500: You’ve been here before
On race day, nerves run high. The pros keep their cool by focusing on the fact that they have performed the required skills many times before. After all, the race is all left turns. To rookies the LSAT seems unpredictable and therefore incredibly intimidating. But, the pros know better. The LSAT is pretty much all about making deductions, and describing or operating on arguments. You’ve performed these tasks plenty of times before, and the actual LSAT will be more of the same, so try to relax.
LSAT Prep Lesson IV to Learn From the Indy 500: Focus on what’s in front of you and let go of the past
Every driver makes mistakes. They may miss the racing line on a corner, or they may touch the wall a bit. But the pros focus on the turn that’s in front of them, and not on their past mistakes. Likewise, you will have a question or two you will feel like you could have missed, or maybe a few that took too much time, but you should give the question that’s in front of you your complete attention.
LSAT Prep Lesson V to Learn From the Indy 500: Practice your pit stops
The top teams in the Indy 500 spend a lot of time practicing their pit stops. You should do the same with the breaks you get between LSAT sections. You need to change your pencil, reset the timer on your analog wristwatch, and take a deep breath or two to clear and clam your mind. I’ve proctored tons of practice LSATs and I always see students forgetting to reset their wristwatches. A bad pit stop can really affect your performance, so make sure you get your pit routine down.
LSAT Prep Lesson VI to Learn From the Indy 500: There’s always the next race
Racecar drivers aren’t defined by their failures, but by their successes. Tony Kanaan will always be remembered for his gutsy and brilliant win at this year’s Indy 500. Nobody really cares that it took him 12 tries to win the race. Likewise, these days, almost all law schools only care about your highest LSAT score (even the ones that claim otherwise). If it turns out that you aren’t happy with your June LSAT score, there’s always the October LSAT.
LSAT Prep Lesson VII to Learn From the Indy 500: The right way to celebrate
After the LSAT you should go out and celebrate. I recommend celebrating in the style of the Monaco Grand Prix, that is, with champagne and supermodels. But there’s nothing wrong with celebrating in the style of the Indy 500 and just pouring some milk all over yourself. No, wait; there might be something wrong with that.