Two weeks in front of the LSAT, test-takers understandably start to feel a little nervous. If you’ve properly prepared for the test, your nerves should be more in anticipation than fear. It’s time to consolidate what you’ve done and fine-tune it; it’s not time to innovate or develop entirely new strategies. If you need to do the latter, it may be because you haven’t done what you need to have done up until now, and you might consider whether the June test date is the right one for your to obtain your best LSAT score.
The reason is integral to the demands of the LSAT. A test-taker needs to have two related but distinct abilities. First, you have to understand the content of the test—what you are supposed to do to get the correct answer on any question. The second element is test-taking. Understanding
what you are supposed to do doesn’t help you unless you can actually do it.
It is shocking how many points people leave on the table not because they don’t know what to do but because they don’t do it consistently. Equally shocking is that very few LSAT prep programs (to my knowledge, none other than Advise-In) focus on test-taking at all. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t use any LSAT prep programs when I prepared for the LSAT and it’s why Advise-In programs put a lot of attention and labor into test-taking.
And this is why consolidation and fine-tuning should be the principal foci of the last couple of weeks of preparation before taking the LSAT. You should have been paying attention to both understanding and test-taking all the way through your preparation, but the emphasis changes over time. When you start, you have to focus more on understanding content and the proper process for getting to the right answer.
But by this point, you should be clear on content—how to recognize what type of question you have in front of you and the steps you use to attack it so that your process yields the correct answer. You can fine-tune some of that in the last couple of weeks but your understanding of content should be firm.
What the last few weeks of LSAT preparation should be focused on is test-taking, consolidating what you know and executing it efficiently. If you’re not in position to shift emphasis, you may not be in position to take the test to obtain your highest LSAT score.
You should also be getting yourself into your exam week schedule—to the extent possible (it’s not always possible to do it perfectly, since you may have a job or classes or exams), you want to get into a routine that you will follow through to test day, so the same meal times, same bedtime and wakeup time, same preparation times, etc. You want test day to feel, as much as it can, like just another day, when you can go in, show what you can do and walk out with your best LSAT score.
by Kyle Pasewark at Advise-in Solutions on December 10, 2018.