The September LSAT is a little over a week away and a lot of my clients are starting to feel the pressure. Here are some things to keep in mind as you approach the exam date:
1. Have you prepared adequately? If you’ve spent 6-12 weeks steadily preparing, taking practice exams, fixing your mistakes, and you’ve seen at least some improvement since the first test or two, then you’re probably ready for the exam.
2. Are you disappointed with your practice scores? Ask yourself why you’re disappointed. Is it because you really liked the way a 165 sounded and your practice exams are steadily in the high 150s? Giving yourself a “goal score” is not a reasonable way of approaching this test. If you’ve prepared for the exam, take the exam.
3. Thinking about not taking the test or cancelling your score? Most schools are looking at the highest of multiple scores so there is almost no downside to taking it. If you’re scared of being labeled by your LSAT score, remember this is not a number that you’ll ever have to tell anyone about during job interviews. It’s not going to be engraved on your tombstone. It’s just an admission test and while you’ll have to craft a strategy for yourself (picking the right schools for you) based on this exam outcome, it’s not (despite what others might have you believe) the overall determining factor for your entire career and future.
4. Are you just not the best standardized test taker in the world? It’s totally ok. Really. You’re not alone. Do the best you can and work with it. I have clients who initially get into schools where their LSAT is far from being the best and they still graduate near the top of their classes. Also, I have clients who are initially somewhat limited by the LSAT in deciding where to apply but then they transfer to top law schools after earning solid grades during their first year.
Yes, the LSAT is serious. Yes, it is weighted pretty heavily in the law school admissions process. But don’t let the goals that are right for someone else determine what you expect of yourself. I have clients with 170 LSAT scores who are still upset they didn’t get a 174; they are just as upset as people with a 146 who didn’t get the 150 they hoped they would.
Whatever your score is, you’ll craft a strategy for success. Be confident in your own abilities and you will go far.