Last minute LSAT tips - January 2019 edition

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First week of the Spring semester and last week before the January LSAT - what a combo!

Here are some last minute tips for those of you taking the test this week.

  • First off, it’s time to taper off from studying — there’s not much more that studying and/or practice can do for you now except make you more stressed out and tired. If you really can’t resist taking one last practice test in the next few days, know that it’s quite possible your score might dip down from your prior scores, and that would be a sign of nerves more than anything else. Don’t let it rattle you. Think of it as a reminder that it’s time to get your mind and body in shape.
  • No more alcohol for the week!
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat well (but nothing you haven’t tried before that might upset your stomach!). Have breakfast Saturday morning, and bring a snack for the break. Don’t forget to hydrate — this is a physical endurance event almost as much as a mental one, and your body needs fluids.
  • If you’re not a regular coffee drinker, Saturday morning is not the time to start! Shaky hands aren’t good during the exam.
  • Make sure you know in advance exactly where you need to be on Saturday and how you’re getting there (and where you’ll park, if applicable). These are not things you want to worry about on the day of the test.
  • Keep an eye on the weather reports and take them into account for your travel time! As of right now, there’s rain predicted midweek, but Friday and Saturday look clear, in New England at least. LSAC generally only cancels the test for really severe weather—in the unlikely event the latter does happen, LSAC will notify you directly.
  • Don’t forget to breathe. I mean this literally. During the exam, tension can make your breathing patterns irregular, and interrupt the normal oxygen flow to your brain. Every 15 minutes or so, take a quick break to breathe deeply a few times and get your body back on track.
  • Stretch. See above – this will get the oxygen and blood flowing again.
  • Relax. I know you’re rolling your eyes at this one. But the truth is, this test does not determine the outcome of the rest of your life. At most, it helps determine which law schools you have a likelihood of getting admitted to or getting scholarships from.  All 200 (or so) of the ABA-accredited law schools are good schools that will give you the education necessary to go on to be a successful attorney. They take you down different routes to that ultimate goal, but not “better” or “worse” ones (or at least, “better” or “worse” isn’t a function of median LSAT scores).
  • No, I really mean it, relax. The other thing you need to relax about right now is the rest of your application materials. This week is about the LSAT; you can turn to the rest after Saturday. Scores won’t be available to the schools until mid-February, so you still have a couple of weeks to finish your personal statements, resumes, and other application materials. Application volume has increased this year, but the admission season still seems to be stretching out similarly to the past few years, so you’ve still got a little time. (And if you’re taking this January test in anticipation of applying next fall, you get to take a much longer break after the test.)

Good luck to all of you!