— LSAT PREParation (@LSATPreparation) February 2, 2013
The February 2013 LSAT is exactly one week away. For most LSAT takers, the word “LSAT” has become synonymous with the word “anxiety”. What do people feel anxious about? People taking the February LSAT typically suffer from “heightened” LSAT anxiety for two reasons:
1. It is the last (the word is “last” and not “LSAT”) test they can take in the current application cycle; and
2. I suspect that February testing pool includes a much higher percent of people who have already taken the LSAT. The problem with retaking the LSAT is that:
You are taking the LSAT already knowing that you have underperformed. The knowledge that you have “underperformed” once is not helpful to you. It is not good for your confidence.
The two requirements for being “LSAT Prepared”
1. You must actually be prepared.
2. You must believe/feel that you are prepared.
The requirements are equally important. To use the language of the LSAT: each of these two requirements is a “necessary” but NOT “sufficient” condition.
Some thoughts on each.
1. You must actually be prepared
When it comes to the #LSAT people are better being very proficient with a small number of skills than inefficient with a large number
— LSAT PREParation (@LSATPreparation) January 22, 2013
You are one week away from the test. You are familiar with the test. You have done a number of practice LSATs. At this point you should NOT try to actually learn anything else. You should reduce the number of things you think about. You should focus on a smaller number of basic principles that are always relevant. For example, all LSAT questions require you to determine “what” you are being told and the reason for that message. Focus on less! Focus on what you are most certain of! Don’t exhaust yourself by thinking about an endless number of categories of questions (which are irrelevant). The LSAT is a test of “reading” and “reasoning” with the information you read. No more and no less. Learn to see all questions as an exercise in:
A. What am I being told in the LSAT passage/question?
B. What is the justification for what I am being told?
C. What am I being asked to do with that information?
You will “actually” be prepared if you can do those three things.
2. You must believe that you are prepared.
Henry Ford was fond of saying that:
“Whether you think you can do or think you can’t do it, you are right.”
Yes, your “mindset” and your attitude are important. Your “mindset” is largely a function of your level of anxiety. When it comes to “anxiety” there’s good news and bad news:
The “anxiety” bad news:
Too much anxiety will make it hard for you to have the calm and relaxed state of mind that you need to perform well.
The “anxiety” good news:
A certain amount of anxiety is required for you focus and and stay focused through the duration of the LSAT. If you aren’t worried, why would you care enough?
It’s interesting to me that at least two LSAT prep companies have (this week) issued “bulletins” which focus on anxiety and attitude.
First on “anxiety” – LSAT Freedom:
The February LSAT is a week away, if you are feeling anxious, here's some quick tips http://t.co/QoSJQKxO
— LSAT Freedom (@LSATFreedom) February 2, 2013
Second on “attitude” – Powerscore:
— PowerScore Test Prep (@PowerScore) February 1, 2013
I agree. “Your attitude will determine your altitude” and you level of “anxiety” will influence your attitude. So to take a common LSAT reasoning pattern:
Your attitude will determine your altitude;
Your anxiety will determine your attitude
Therefore, your anxiety will determine your altitude.
You will feel less anxiety if you focus on fewer concepts!
When it comes to the LSAT, your goal is to:
— LSAT PREParation (@LSATPreparation) January 31, 2013