Last-minute LSAT Tips

    LSAT Prep

    3573644189_4fde8bbb9e_zThis afternoon, tens of thousands of test takers around the world will sit for the June 2015 LSAT. We've long expressed our admiration for the June administration (seriously!), so for those of you taking the test today congratulations, you're in excellent, and enviable, company.

    And it's for you that I write this post. Below is a small sampling of advice that I feel will serve you well as you continue to prepare for the LSAT; it's almost certainly too late to meaningfully improve your conceptual understanding of the test, however that doesn't mean steps can't still be taken to positively affect your experience in the hours and days ahead. You can't cram for the LSAT, but you're not altogether impotent either.

    Get your head right

    Mentality comes first. At this point, the single biggest factor in your performance is your mindset, so it's imperative that you attack the test with the proper attitude and expectations. Take a moment pre-test to watch a comprehensive discussion of test mentality. In short, what you anticipate of your test day is likely to become reality, so do everything you can to anticipate success.

    Eliminate uncertainty

    The day of the LSAT is no time for surprises, so ensure that you're entirely familiar with the do's and don'ts of test day. No one takes this test entirely certain of what's ahead, but any mysteries that need not remain mysterious should be addressed accordingly.

    Don't cancel

    June is unique. The wonder of a Monday afternoon administration aside--and let's not overstate the benefits of sleeping in--June allows test takers to get a tremendously early jump on applications. Months, in fact. If there's even an outside chance of exploiting that lead, you have to take it. So I recommend you give a potential score cancellation decision another long, hard look before pulling the trigger.

    Take notes

    No, not during the LSAT, but as soon as you exit the test center write down every detail you can recall about the test itself. This serves two purposes. First, it will make it much easier to identify the Experimental Section--and in so doing the four that count--post-test. If you know, for instance, that your Logic Games in section 2 began with a game about jugglers, and the games in section 4 started with song titles, then a bit of casual online research will reveal immediately which of those sections was encountered by students with only a single set of games. That, then, is the "real" section. Ditto Reading Comp and, albeit sometimes less patently obvious, Logical Reasoning. And knowing what was scored goes a long ways towards estimating outcomes.

    Second, test takers who well remember what they just experienced tend to score closer to their desired goal, as memory seems to be a reliable litmus test for engagement and, not surprisingly, aptitude. Leave in a near-total haze (the fugue state so frequently characteristic of LSAT victims) and it bodes poorly for outcome. Simply put, clarity speaks to conquest.

    Wait

    But wait wisely. June 2015 LSAT scores are officially scheduled to be released on Tuesday, July 7th, however most scores are released a few days earlier than expected. In fact, we predict them to be released as early as Friday, July 3rd. So while there's inevitably an unavoidable delay in discovering your results, it shouldn't be quite as lengthy as LSAC suggests.

    Don't waste the summer

    I so badly wish this was about lazy days lounging in sunshine, but what I really mean is you should capitalize on the head start inherent to a June score. Nearly every law school begins accepting applications in September, so you have about two months from the time you receive your score until the time schools will look at it; use that time wisely! Get your entire application in order--personal statement, letters of recommendation, transcript(s), and all the rest--and have it ready to go when schools are open to receiving it. Rolling admissions isn't the punishing scenario it once was, but earlier is still markedly better and a June LSAT fulfills that beautifully.

     

    This is all to say that there's more to test day, and application in general, success than problem sets and practice tests. Capitalize on the things you can still purposefully, positively, impact, and you're that much closer to the LSAT as a treasured memory.

     

    Questions? Thoughts? More to add? Let's hear it! 

    Photo "Target »» 0o.o0 ««" courtesy of Erika.