There are just under three weeks until the October LSAT. Whether you have been studying since last year or just last month, here are specific steps you can take in the next few weeks to maximize the time left before the test.
• Analyze your current strengths and weaknesses on the LSAT. While you only have a few weeks until test day, you do still have time to brush up on question types that are giving you trouble. One option, a few hours of personalized one-on-one tutoring that address your specific areas of concern, can lead to a score increase of three to five points.
• Take one five-section practice test (including an experimental section) and do the writing section at the end to simulate the real experience. After that, take four-section practice tests so you maximize your exposure to the most important parts of the test.
• Whenever possible, take practice tests in a setting similar to what you will experience on test day. Sit at a desk or table instead of your couch or bed. Try to find a quiet environment, but not one that's completely silent, as you will need to adjust to the sounds of paper shuffling, coughing, and sniffling by people around you at the exam.
• If you are applying to law school this fall, try to make significant progress on your law school applications this week so that you are not rushing to finish essays the night before the LSAT. This is especially important if you are applying early decision, in which case you will be submitting your application soon after the LSAT. After this week, take a break from your applications until after the LSAT.
[Read more about applying early decision to law school.]
• If you have any additional questions about how to solve certain puzzle types or analyze certain passages, ask an LSAT tutor or teacher, or try to research the answer. You do not want to go into the LSAT feeling confused or unsure, as your lack of confidence will show in your score.
• If you tend to have anxiety in standardized testing environments, practice some relaxation techniques such as visualization and breathing. Consider trying yoga or meditation classes to learn new ways of easing tension. Even if you are feeling nervous, always maintain a positive attitude.
• If you are still waiting on any recommendations, get in touch with your recommenders this week. Thinking about your application should not distract you during the exam.
[Avoid these law school recommendation mistakes.]
• Treat your body right this week. Staying up late to study more with not increase your score, so make a concerted effort to sleep at least eight hours every night. Also, try to eat a nutritious, well-balanced diet every day, and get regular exercise. Being healthy and alert on test day will help you stay focused throughout the exam.
• Repeat your test-day routine every morning this week. Set your alarm for the same time that you will wake up on the day of the LSAT, and get ready and make breakfast just as you will on Saturday. On a few of these mornings, take a full practice test at the same time as the actual LSAT will be administered. On another morning, go to the testing center to be sure you know exactly where it is, where to park (if you are driving), and how long it will take to travel there.
• The day before the LSAT, give yourself a break from practice tests and do something you enjoy to take your mind off the exam. Of course, you do not want to stay out late at night, but you could spend the day reading in a park or go to a movie.
• Make some fun plans for the week after the LSAT to remind yourself that life does go on after this test. Having something to look forward to will also help you relax during the exam.
Do you have any other plans for the next few weeks? Let me know in the comments, Tweet at me at @StratusPrep, or E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, send me your admissions profiles and any general law admissions questions to be featured in next week's edition of Law Admissions Q&A.