If you are going to be taking the LSAT, and you are planning to do any preparation, practice tests should be a part of your plan. Here are a few ways to make sure that you get the most out of your practice tests:
1) Turn your practice test into a group activity. Getting together with even one additional person can help to ensure that you take it more seriously. Taking practice tests with others can make it more likely that you’ll actually do it, and that you’ll keep yourself honest with timing and completion.
2) Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Many students create a grand plan in which they begin their conceptual practice with an eye toward mastering the test before taking their very first practice exam. Don’t do this. Make practice tests a part of your preparation from the outset—that way you can develop your endurance, pacing, and conceptual grasp as you go.
3) Get used to distractions. Some students take all of their practice tests in a hermetically sealed chamber, and then they are surprised when they are thrown off by the wheezing proctor or the squeaky desks at the test center. Try taking your practice tests at the library, or even a coffee shop, so that you can acclimate yourself to potential distractions early in the game.
4) Have some consideration for the future version of you who will eventually be sitting for the real test. The more practice tests you get through as you prepare, the better off you’ll be when the big day comes.
5) Don’t put too much pressure on your scores at the beginning. Even if your early tests don’t go as well as you might hope, they will be immensely helpful in the long run. Think of your early tests as endurance and pacing workouts—as you progress, and your endurance improves, the tests will increasingly come to provide conceptual review as well.
(See more on practice tests and tracking in our free help area).
Photo: "Scarborough-North Bay" courtesy of Phill Green