The Week Before The LSAT
June 1, 2009
LSAT Test Day is right around the corner! This is when tensions get high and the pressure of taking the exam can start to take its toll on test takers. That stress, however, can only impede your final preparations. That being said, here are a few don’ts to avoid as game day approaches.
1. Don’t take a full-length exam every day from now until the day before the test.
This leaves less time for a more analytical approach to studying. Simply taking exams and looking at the scores will do little to improve your performance. Instead, you need to spend time reviewing each test you take to understand what you did wrong and what you need to do to get better. Without that understanding, your score is unlikely to get better on the next test.
Even if you do review your test every day, that’s still about six or more hours of studying in one day. That can get exhausting and potentially lead to burnout. Plus, it leaves little or no time to focus on practicing on any specific concepts that troubled you on the exam. If you know what’s giving you trouble and you don’t take the time to work on it, then it’s probably going to give you trouble on the next exam, too.
You can’t always assume that problems will just fix themselves from one test to the next. That’s why you need to take an extra day or two between tests to work on concepts individually – whether it be specific question types or improving pacing within one particular section.
2. Don’t work on only the most challenging questions.
The more challenging the questions, the more likely you are to get those questions wrong. Sure, it’s great when you get those questions right. However, getting them wrong is still frustrating – even if they are more difficult. And, if you get too many wrong, you lose sight of what’s important – all the questions you would get right.
You have to remember that your score is dependent on getting questions right, not just getting hard questions right. If you focus only on the stuff giving you trouble, you’ll have a hard time building momentum and you’re more likely to enter the test discouraged about your weaknesses rather than encouraged by all the progress you’ve made. Spend some time reviewing your strengths and make sure that you end your studying on a positive note. Nobody wants to go into Test Day having blown the last question in practice.
3. Don’t study hard the day before the test.
It’s okay to take some time early in the day to get in some last minute review or work on a few strengths to give yourself a confidence boost. However, by the time dinner is done, the books should be hidden and all you should be worried about is making sure you have everything you need for day ahead – your pencils, your admissions ticket, directions, etc. Don’t let the day before the test be stressful in any way, shape or form. Relax. You’ve put in a lot of hard work. Let it all pay off with a great score the next day.
Good luck to everyone taking the exam. And, on behalf of all Kaplan LSAT instructors, please e-mail us after you’ve taken the exam and when you get your LSAT scores back. We really look forward to hearing from all of you.