Coffee! Coffee NOW!
If you’re registered for the December LSAT, I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that test day is fast approaching. By this point, you should be about done learning new material and shifting fully into practice mode. We’ve discussed how to spend your time during these critical final weeks, but here are some pointers to keep in mind for your mental health:
Track your practice test scores, but don’t freak out too much about any swings.
In an ideal world, your score would jump five points on every practice test you ever take. However, as the last few weeks months have proven, the world in which we live is far from ideal. The fact is that there will be fluctuations in your practice test scores – hopefully they will mostly trend upward, but you’ll also have off days in which your score dips by several points or more.
An unusually low practice test score is not, by itself, a cause for concern – everyone has off days. Your best course of action is to try to figure out what negatively affected your score. Were you tired or stressed? Did the order of the sections mess you up? Did you have more difficulty than usual with one of the sections or question types? If you can identify a reason for the test outcome, then make a plan to avoid similar situations in the future, whether that’s eating a hearty meal before your practice tests or doing a million Reading Comprehension sections in a row until you’re totally comfortable with back-to-back RC.
And if you can’t figure out why your score dipped, that’s fine too; sometimes these things just happen. Either way, give yourself as much time as you need to properly review the test, and then jump back in the saddle (or get back on that bike, or whatever other go-get-em metaphor you prefer).
Give yourself some breathing room.
The final few weeks before the LSAT can feel like a sprint, but you want to make sure you’re not burning yourself out. Giving yourself a day off from studying every now and then (or even just an evening off) will help you stay focused and keep you cool as a cucumber.
Take at least a few of your practice tests in conditions as similar to Test Day as you can manage.
A big part of how well you perform on the big day is confidence, and one way to build your confidence is by making test day feel as familiar as possible. A great way to do that is by recreating test-day conditions as closely as you can. For instance, if you normally take your practice tests in the quiet seclusion of your bedroom, take at least a couple tests in a library – you want to make sure you’re used to having some ambient background noise, since there will be plenty of other people shuffling papers, erasing things, coughing, etc. on test day. Try to take at least one of your practice tests early in the morning, and make sure that it’s a full five-section test (you can just grab a random section from a different practice test to simulate the experimental section).
The last weeks before the LSAT are a mental game as much as anything else, so make sure you’re staying focused, but don’t let anything rattle you too much. You’ve been working hard, and all that hard work is about to pay off, so breathe!