You know it, I know it. We all know it. It is less than a month until the LSAT. What if I were to tell you that you could get an extra TWENTY DAYS of studying, in addition to seeing one of the most beautiful places on Earth? “I would be interested, Rod, verrrry interested.” There is a way. You have until midnight eastern time (that’s 6:00 PM for you Hawaiians out there) on May 16th to change your testing location. Now I’m not talking about switching your location from downtown LA to the Inland Empire (though that would be exciting, and scenic), I’m talking about packing up that suitcase with some flip flops and dingo repellent and heading to New Zealand to take your LSAT. And here are 5 undeniably awesome reasons why:
1) They take the upcoming LSAT on June 27th, a full 20 days later than us “Yanks.”
2) I have an extra bottle of dingo repellent if you need it
3) New Zealand is one of the most relaxing, picturesque countries in the world, and the birthplace of Flight of the Conchords.
4) Rumor has it that there are no timing restrictions, and test-takers start and stop each section with the rhythm of the waves.
5) Rumor also has it that your test is proctored by a sea turtle.
Okay, so you are not going to shell out $7,000 to put this plan into action (put your credit card down, girl/guy in Malibu) but you have to admit that this sounds pretty damn great right about now. All of us currently enrolled in a Blueprint class are in one of two boats (damn logic games have infiltrated my brain).
#1: You have decided not to take the June LSAT, and to postpone until the fall. This is usually a result of not being able to fully commit to the class for whatever reason. If you have been working your butt off, I personally would not recommend this, because you are only putting your anxiety on layaway.
#2: You are still on track for the June test and you are starting to feel the pressure. Your remaining study time can no longer be measured in months, and you can feel the test date approaching, like an angry, logical wildebeest, or a silent, dinosaur-obsessed assassin (pick your metaphor).
Now a week ago, I got a 165 and was pretty pleased with my result and my prospects for improving even further. Yesterday, I launched an empty Gatorade bottle at a wall, and later flipped the bird to a slow driver in a ’84 Toyota Corolla because he swerved in front of me. He also was not a day younger than 90 years old. I fully realized my bad behavior when my friend in the passenger seat, succinctly and fully appropriately looked at me and said:
“Taynes…what the F—?”
Now, it had been kind of a long day, I had not had any exercise in almost a week, and I was about to crack open a set of 10 logic games that I had set aside to do as practice. I’m glad my friend had such eloquent and carefully selected words of wisdom for me, because I realized what was happening. My first mistake was that I was starting to micromanage my LSAT studying, making a list of what sections I should be working on for pretty much every day in the 3 weeks leading up to the LSAT. That is pretty ridiculous. I also realized that I needed to continue to do normal things like get to the gym, play some basketball with friends, etc. etc. Sometimes you have to decide to shut the engines down, even if it is just for a day or so. If you don’t make time for these things, you will eventually launch things at walls. Write that down.
( if No Exercise —> Launch Bottle )
( if No Launch Bottle —> Exercise )
Another motivational tip (“Who the f— are you, Taynes, the Tony Robbins of LSAT prep?”) is to imagine how good it will feel when the test is over and you hit your target score. You also know how strangely satisfying it will be to hear others complain about LSAT studying this summer while you kick it on the beach with your friends, your new sea turtle buddy, and your 170.
Now there are undoubtedly some people out there who haven’t had any small freak-outs and are still cool as a cucumber, but I suspect most of you can relate to a few pre-test jitters. I think it is important to note that on test day, all of the security, administrative procedures, and extra restrictions are obviously designed to prevent cheaters, but they are also designed to add to your anxiety and rattle you, in effect testing your ability to work well under pressure. Test day will likely be like playing a road game, so it’s best to expect the worst possible conditions and still be able to rock the exam. In other words, you want to get all the Gatorade-bottle throwing out of your system now, because it will only work against you later.
Or just go to New Zealand. I mean, how often to you get to have a SEA TURTLE proctor your exam. See you there.