Thoughts on Improving LSAT scores: 67th to 88th percentile

Hi John,
If you can pass on the following words to the students.

 Hi Guys,

By now you are under a ton of stress and maybe you are worried about previous scores or you have not written the LSATs yet at all.

Here are some ways of thinking about it I found very helpful.

First, I divided my anxiety into two categories.

On the one hand, I was anxious in general, psychologically anxious, stressed about how many things could go wrong etc.

On the other hand, I was anxious about my ability to take the test. I got in the 67th percentile the first time and I needed to do better b/c of my inconsistent BA grades. I was worried about time, comprehension, ability, everything having to do with the nuts and bolts of taking the test.

Let’s tackle the first issue:

Meditate! Realize that you cannot predict the future and you have to live with anxieties but as I can attest, having a calm mind is probably 3/4s of the battle.

I basically mediated all the time. I focused on my breathing, on my stomach expanding and contracting, sitting cross-legged, and would do sessions of different lengths all the time. I did guided meditations I found online and I prayed a lot for peace and clarity of mind, and though I’m sure many people don’t pray — I found (and continue to find) it incredibly useful.

I read only fiction at night, interesting and challenging fiction before bed, which helped me gain confidence that I could handle heavy and dense passages. I wouldn’t recommend it if you are not an avid reader, it might just be frustrating, but I would read some fiction at night, anything that will give you pleasure and keep your mind active without overwhelming it.

I meditated the day of the test. I wrote at Osgoode and it took forever to get in and all these things went wrong and I had to go to the bathroom but I just meditated and while everyone’s anxiety around me increased, mine decreased.

Second issue:

1. You know a lot more than you think that you do. Trust your mind. It already knows the answer in the sense that every answer has to be possible to solve, and since every answer is just a ladder up from the bottom wrung, the wrung of “what-you-know-for-sure”, then actually it’s all about common sense, basic logic. This brings me to my second point here.

2.  Listen to John and FOCUS ON WHAT YOU KNOW FOR SURE. I guarantee that if you just focus on what you know, the answer illuminates itself. Approach it like building a ladder of certainty. If one wrung is for sure, it leads to the next wrung that is for sure and upwards, so that even when you are asked what could be the answer, you will see clearly what could be the answer.

My best advice is clear your mind of fears. They are a waste of time and make the ladder awfully difficult to see. It’s like trying to find a map on a wall of graffiti. So do yourself a favour and clear your mind so that you can just focus on what you know for sure, and build up.

Best of luck — hope my mixed metaphors didn’t get in the way of the message I am trying to convey.

And as a final note of inspiration, I was able to get in the 88th percentile on my last test, which helped get me into law school at Dal. I’m here now, and I can tell you I “knew” no more on the last test than on the first, in fact less in some ways. All I did was get rid of the junk in my head, followed the directions in the question and focused on the certainty ladder:)