The Best Time to Read Blogs About LSAT Techniques and LSAT Prep (Hint, It’s Not the Night Before the LSAT)

Normally, this blog gets a fairly even distribution of reads between its principal categories, the LSAT, Law School Admissions, Beyond Law School and Becoming a Lawyer.  Not so during the few days before the LSAT, when LSAT prep traffic explodes relative to the other categories.  Similarly, Advise-In’s free white paper on the five major reasons why LSAT takers don’t get their highest score on exam day gets more downloads right before the LSAT.

Only one of my LSAT-related posts is designed to be read right before the LSAT, more as a reminder than new information.  One of the points I make in that post is that the day before the LSAT, you understand what you understand; this is not an exam for which trying to cram a bunch of new techniques down your throat the night before is likely to be much help.

I’m happy when people read the Advise-In blog, of course, and when prospective LSAT takers download my white paper.  I put a lot of thought and effort into them.  But I can’t help but feel a little badly for the legions of LSAT takers who apparently are looking for last-minute help.  It indicates that something is seriously amiss in how they’ve conceived and/or executed their LSAT prep.

I don’t get involved in the endless debates about what the LSAT tests, with one exception.  Unless you’re a flat-out LSAT genius (in which case you don’t need to be reading LSAT prep or LSAT technique blog posts), the one thing I know that the LSAT tests is your preparation, calm and composure under a little pressure.

Those are not unrelated.  Understanding the content of LSAT questions is of limited value if you aren’t able to execute what you understand under game conditions.  And that’s a matter of a steady, disciplined preparation.  You don’t win a game against experienced competition without practice and preparation, and the same is true of the LSAT.  Beyond a certain level, this exam isn’t about intelligence or understanding as much as it’s about doing what you know how to do without panic or diversion.

In turn, that’s largely a matter of earned confidence.  It won’t help you to be introduced to a miracle cure the night before the exam.  Even if it’s a miracle, the patient is just too far gone for the system to react well so soon before exam day.  Every technique on this blog should be second nature the night before the LSAT, not a new idea.

There’s one other thing the LSAT tests, and that’s the ability to plan and execute a short-range plan effectively.  And that’s an ability that prospective law students will have to have, partly in law school but even more in the practice of law.  Use your LSAT prep as a means to develop and further the skills you’ll need as a lawyer.  What value the LSAT itself has for you will be exhausted once you get into law school.  But if you approach the LSAT as a professional, not only will you get a higher LSAT score, you’ll also take another step toward becoming the professional that law schools and legal employers expect you to be.

~ by Kyle Pasewark at Advise-in Solutions on December 13, 2010.

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