How Do I Manage LSAT Stress?
While studying for the LSAT, it’s almost impossible to do so without stress. However, you do not need to allow it to become overwhelming. In this post, we cover how to help alleviate LSAT stress through simple actions before the test!
How Do I Manage LSAT Stress?
1. Give yourself enough time to prepare.
A great way to manage LSAT stress is to make sure that you’ve set proper expectations before you start studying. If you set unreasonable expectations, you are only putting more pressure on yourself. For example, if you have procrastinated until the month before the LSAT, and need to fit all your prep in, you are obviously going to feel pressured. In fact, one of the primary reason students tell us they feel LSAT stress is exactly because of this scenario. They feel like they don’t have enough time to fully prepare, and become overwhelmed by the size of the task.
So, make sure you are reasonable with your goals. If you do not think you’ll be able to prepare in the time allotted, aim for a different administration. It’s much better to take a later LSAT fully prepared. That way, if you run into any issues, you won’t need to worry about a looming deadline over your head. No one studies at their peak level under tremendous pressure, so make sure you are honest about what you can spend studying before you commit to a date.
2. Study under testing conditions.
As much talk as there is about the difficulty of the LSAT test-to-test, a lot of LSAT stress comes out of feeling uncomfortable under the testing constraints. This is another huge cause of LSAT stress. Students feel rushed when they first start studying if they time themselves. They then get into a study rhythm, and don’t work under testing constraints until right before the LSAT. At this point, they are trying to deal with the stress of the upcoming exam and their new testing restrictions. This is a lose-lose situation.
To avoid this, make sure you study and practice under testing conditions. Time yourself during every practice session once you are familiar with the material. The more timed runs you do of LSAT section, the better prepared you are for test day. In addition, if you run into any unexpectedly difficult problems on test day, you’ll be well-versed in working through them under timed conditions.
3. Prepare for a surprise.
Another huge cause of LSAT stress is fear that a surprise question or section will derail an otherwise score. LSAC does create a challenging test, and there is no guarantee that any section will absolutely hold to previous iterations. This worries many students because they don’t want to freeze under pressure. They worry that, if they didn’t see something before sitting for the LSAT, they won’t know how to work through it on test day.
The best way to alleviate this LSAT stress is to challenge yourself with a wide array of LSAT material. Every disclosed previous LSAT is availabe for purchase somewhere. Track down as much of this material as you can afford, and work through it. If you prepare with a broad swathe of previous LSATs, chances are test day won’t hold as much potential for surprise.
4. Remember it’s just a test!
It’s hard to see this when you are in the thick of LSAT stress, but try to put your worry into perspective. If you do not do well on the LSAT, you can always retake it. It may delay your acceptance to law school, or you may need to rethink your law school targets. However, these are both things that time and patience can deal with. Neither means you won’t ever go to law school. You just may need to change your plans slightly. Don’t put too much pressure on any one LSAT test. There’s always another a few months away!
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