Last minute LSAT tips - September 2017

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It’s already here—the September 16th LSAT!! Some of you are maybe a tiny bit anxious. Here are some tips to calm you down and keep you focused on a successful exam performance.

  • 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 can’t stop yourself quite yet, promise yourself you’ll stop by Wednesday. And I strongly advise that you NOT take another practice test this week—it’s not likely to end well, and it won’t do anything positive for your test prep. Rather, it’s time to get your mind and body in shape.
  • No more alcohol for the week! No matter how many back-to-school events are planned.
  • Get plenty of sleep, all this week. If you’re not a natural morning person, try to go to sleep early every night this week, and try to get up earlier to help yourself acclimate.
  • Eat well (but nothing you haven’t tried before that might upset your stomach). Eat 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 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.
  • 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 receive scholarships from). All 200-odd of the ABA-accredited law schools will give you the education you need to go on to be successful attorneys. 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 the application process. You will have plenty of time starting next week to turn to all that. Worrying about it this week will not improve your application in any way at all. Focus on the LSAT
  • Be kind to yourself. Banish all the negative thoughts about yourself, and psych yourself up for a great test performance. There are proven correlations between a positive mindset and better performance on tests like this (and the opposite is true too). So when you find yourself talking internal trash about yourself, just stop. Turn it around, and pump yourself up instead.

Here’s to kicking some LSAT butt on Saturday! Go UMass!