What to Do the Day Before the LSAT

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Congrats! If you’re a February 2018 LSAT taker, you’ve made it to the finish line of your LSAT prep. You registered for the exam, you made your way through those practice tests, and you’ll never look at “if…then” statements the same way again. Now you’re probably wondering, what should I do in these final 24 hours before my exam? Here are some tips for what to do, and what not to do, on your very last day before the LSAT.

Do prepare everything you need for your arrival at the test center. If you haven’t done so already, you absolutely want to use today to put together your Ziplock baggie of test-day supplies, including your printed admission ticket, your ID, some number 2 wooden pencils, an analog wristwatch, and everything else you’re allowed to have at the test center and nothing at all that you aren’t allowed to take with you. You should also have a great idea of how you’re getting to the test center, where you park, and any other element of getting there that has the potential to cause you a bit of stress tomorrow. Basically, you want to take care of everything now, so there’s nothing extra to concern you on the morning of the exam.

Do NOT study. I mean it! If you were running a marathon tomorrow, would you be using the night before to push your muscles to the limit on a nice long “practice” run? Of course not. Just like a marathon, your practice is behind you now, and your brain needs today to rest and prepare.

Do keep your mind occupied. The day before the exam should be as low-stress as possible, but it can be difficult to keep from dwelling on the LSAT if you decide to spend it watching your favorite movie for the 15th time. A better option would be to catch up with some friends who you know will boost your confidence and provide a little extra support today. Or you can work on a low key activity that you already excel at, whether it be cooking, playing an instrument or underwater basket weaving. Find something else to focus on that you know will make you feel great.

Do NOT get a mani-pedi. This one may be debatable for those who find spa-day activities particularly relaxing, but this is an example that can show how you really need to find the relaxing pre-exam activities that are right for you. Consider my own experience of getting a manicure/pedicure the day before the LSAT: this was my idea of trying “self-care” the day before my exam, since nail salons were not in my usual routine. But once I was there, I was squished into a giant green chair, trying to keep from moving any of my hands and feet, and trying even harder to keep my composure as I became more and more overwhelmed by the incredibly important test looming over me. Super relaxing, right?

Do get to sleep at a reasonable time, eat well, and stay hydrated. You know what your ideal routine looks like for a restful night of sleep. This probably isn’t going to be the most restful night you’ve had, but it’s time to stick with what works for you, whether that’s reading a chapter of a book, powering down all devices 90 minutes before bedtime, or getting rocked to sleep by the muffled cries of your neighbors fighting next door. Eat what you like to eat. Keep your drinks low on alcohol content and caffeine.

Do NOT pick up a totally new routine for the day before the test. That means you should NOT try to go to sleep at 6pm and lie awake for 8 miserable hours. You should NOT try that new raw vegan diet that you heard was great for test performance. And you should NOT go for the unidentified green juice your friend swears by, when you’ve been surviving on Diet Coke your entire life. Now isn’t the time for trying anything new that your body isn’t used to, because you don’t want it to translate to an upset stomach halfway into your exam. Stick with the best version of your own routine, and strive to make yourself into a fitness guru starting on Sunday if you’re so inclined.

The bottom line for the day before the LSAT is to take care of yourself, but to make sure that you’re doing it in that way that makes sense for you. After all, you made the commitment to your law school goals, you put in the time and effort to study for this test, and on test day tomorrow, you’ll be ready to demonstrate all of your new skills on the LSAT.

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