LSAT Kung Fu Blog / It's February LSAT Week!

It's February LSAT Week!


It’s LSAT week! The February 2014 LSAT is literally one week away!

What a time to be alive! The air is buzzing with possibility - the time for greatness is upon us now.

If you’re one of my students, then I know you’re ready for the test. Now, let’s make sure you’re also ready for test day. Let’s take a minute and walk through expectations, what to bring and what to leave, and then we’ll close out this post with some words of encouragement.

First: What to bring on LSAT-day.

It helps to have a list that you can check off - we’ve split ours into three parts.

Part One. The things you must have.

  • your driver’s license
  • your test-day ticket from (print it the night before the test)
  • 12 sharpened #2 pencils (no mechanical pencils are allowed!)

Part Two. The things you should also have.

  • a small bottle of water
  • a snack for the break (a banana and a granola bar)
  • an analog wristwatch (no digital timers are allowed!)​

Part Three. The things you may have.

  • tissues (if you’re prone to sniffles)
  • tylenol (take a preemptive dose if you’re prone to tension headaches)
  • highlighter (though why anyone would want to switch between pencil and highlighter and back again during a test is beyond us)

And then, there’s the things you’re not allowed to bring:

  • mechanical pencils
  • digital timers
  • earplugs
  • cell phones
  • weaponry​

This week, make sure you get to bed early and wake early, even if that’s not your normal habit. Make sure you eat healthful, balanced meals at regular intervals. Make sure that you get some exercise and some fresh air.

Carve out some time to drive to your test center, so you know for sure how to get there, where to park, how long it takes to get from your car to the test room, where the room is, what it looks like inside. Take a seat in the room. Look around. This is your house. Nobody fucks with you in your house.

On the day before the test, try to relax. Some of you won’t be able to relax without doing some LSAT work. No matter how you do it, just give yourself a moment off. Gather your resources - the fight is coming.

On the morning of the test, eat a good breakfast (I suggest oatmeal! It sticks to your ribs. Also, fold in some currants and freshly diced peaches, drizzle the whole thing with just a taste of blackstrap molasses. Whole wheat toast beside it, with a thin smear of rich sweet butter and a glass of orange juice squeezed just before being poured into your glass, just for you by someone who loves you. That’s not breakfast - that’s a full life).

Here’s a suggestion for planning your final-week prep:

Every day, plan for two possible study sessions; one in the morning, and one in the evening. These will be short sessions - one or two test sections for each session.

View each session as an opportunity to succeed - it’s not a learning exercise anymore. In the morning, take a section (or two back-to-back). Grade them. If you do well (and at this point, you know what “well” means for you), then relax; you're done for the day! Spend some time reviewing any misses, but reward your performance with a pat on your back - you’ve earned it.

If, however, you do less than your expectations, remind yourself that the evening will bring another chance for success. Spend some time thinking about where your mistakes came from, and re-confirm what you will do in your evening session to overcome. If your evening session goes well, reward yourself with a frosty beer and get a good night's sleep. If your evening session goes poorly, remind yourself that tomorrow will give you the chance for redemption. Study your miscues, and plan for a morning session that will erase the bad performance of the night before.

The next day, repeat these exercises, keeping your focus on gliding through the work, knowing that success brings rewards and failure brings the opportunity for future success.

On the morning of the test, expect that there will be nerves, and maybe moments of full-on panic. Congratulations; this means that you are human. The test is a big deal, and you know it, and your body knows it, too.

You cannot stop the nerves by asking them to leave, but you can trust your training, know the nerves are coming, watch them come toward you, move over you, and pass. The nerves do not define you - what you do in their face is what says who you are. This is a chance for you to rise to the occasion, to meet the moment. Make yourself proud.

And that’s your next week. Now, a few words just for my students, in whom I am tremendously pleased, of whom I am incredibly proud.

Just a couple of words for you today. Call it a reminder:

Saturday belongs to you. You get to decide how your day goes. You cannot entirely choose the content of your day, but you are in charge of the quality and tone of your time. You have the tools to do good work, and you have the talent and you have the commitment, and you will succeed. You've worked hard to be able to do something you're proud of, and now the chance is at last upon you.

So this week, take a moment to look back. Remember how far you’ve come. Then, turn your eyes forward and let’s make this final push. Envision all you can do. Everything you see, you can accomplish. See yourself out-thinking, out-working, out-performing everybody else. You’ve got the training. You’ve got the dedication. You own this week. You own the whole experience, so make it good.

Saturday morning, you will shine. Saturday morning, you will rise to the moment. It's a big day, Saturday, and it gives you a big opportunity. Be calm, be brave, and know that you can do anything - everything - you need to do.

This week belongs to you, so go and take what is already yours.

I'm proud of you,