“Should I do a set of warm-up questions the morning of the LSAT? Just to get into the right frame of mind?” This is a question that comes up often among test-takers. The idea is that by doing questions prior to the start of the exam, you’ll hit the ground running. Thus, setting you up for the best possible score. In theory, it sounds like a good idea. But does it really work? Should you try it?
The answers are sometimes and maybe. Some people are naturally slow starters! After taking several practice tests, if you notice that your performance in the first section of the exam is lower than the remainder, this might be you. If it is, then you’re a perfect candidate to use the warm-up strategy. However, not everyone is a slow-starter. Mental energy is so precious during the LSAT, so you may want to conserve it all for questions that count. Only implement this approach if you find that practice proves you need it or that it helps in a demonstrable manner.
Determining the Best Strategy
When first implementing this strategy, don’t start with a lot of questions. Doing a full game, a full passage, and 5-10 LR questions expend a significant amount of mental energy. We recommend starting small. 2-3 LR questions and maybe one game or passage depending on your weaknesses. See if that is enough to get your mental engine going. If not, add a few more questions until you’re able to start the test at full throttle. Use your practice tests as a proving ground for whether you need to use this tool. If you do, use it to figure out how many questions are required to get on track.
Warming up sounds pretty beneficial! We know that it’s an integral component of athletic performances, so shouldn’t everyone need to warm-up before the LSAT? Well, most obviously is that your mental muscles are different than your physical muscles. However, the real reason is that many people already walk into the LSAT jacked up and ready to go. Warming up then burns off that useful energy. Events that are high-pressure tend to get the mental juices flowing for many people. By the time they arrive at the test center, they’re already ready to tack the test on. This leads me to my final point. If you arrive at the event too jacked up, then doing some practice questions can actually help. It allows you to calm down and get you in the flow.
Choose What Feels Right
So, warming up is helpful for some test-takers, but not others. If you are a slow starter or if you are prone to high excitement, maybe try a few warm-up questions on a practice test. See if it helps stabilize your performance. If it does help, practice a few times to find the right number of pre-test questions. Need more advice on what to do on the morning of the LSAT? Here’s a great resource for you to use.