LSAT Test Day Horror Stories


Over the years, I’ve had lots of experience with the LSAT. It’s been an uncomfortably large part of my life, even. As prep for the October LSAT really gets into swing, here are some true stories about what you’re all looking forward to: LSAT test day. Make of them what you will.

1. What does it mean to pass the LSAT?

Our first story comes from one of my own experiences taking the LSAT. After keeping us outside for an hour waiting for a fax from LSAC that never came, the proctors finally seated us in a big law school lecture hall. While going through the test day instructions, one proctor repeatedly said that they were being strict only because they needed to follow the rules, and “we really hope you all pass.” Again and again, “we really hope you pass,” while every single test taker in the room pulled an eye muscle from rolling them too hard. Proctors may hold all the power on test day, but that doesn’t mean they have a clue. Fortunately, the job is easy enough that they usually don’t screw it up too badly. You can control only your own performance, so don’t let small stuff like whether the proctors even know what the LSAT is get to you. They just need to time the sections accurately.

2. Retake?

This spring, one student of mine had practice test scores in the low 170s on her last few practice tests. The day after the June LSAT, she emailed me asking for suggestions on how to study for a retake. Though she didn’t seem to think the LSAT went horribly or anything, that doesn’t really speak confidence. Scores came out a few weeks later, and it turns out she got a 180. It’s hard to judge how you did on test day. Good thing she didn’t cancel.

3. The LSAT makes me sick.

There are plenty of stories about unwanted test day bodily emissions, and vomit seems to be an especially popular way to blow off test day stress. A friend of one of my students was unfortunate enough to take the LSAT in the same room as someone who just couldn’t hold it in. That’s bad enough but not particularly notable. What’s worse is that this friend was directly in the splash zone. Yes, she was vomited on while taking the LSAT. So what did she do? Cancel on the spot, then go home and take an hour-long scalding shower and scratch off a layer or two of skin? No. She powered through it and finished the test. Nailed it, too. When your proctor’s sniffles or loud shoes annoy you, remember this story.

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