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March 10, 2009

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Here are some general tips leading up to (and including) test day for the LSAT:

  • Practice. If you get used to taking the test, then the real day will seem less intimidating. Find a quiet place and lots of practice tests and take them in real time. You'll get a feel for where you need work and where you need to budget your time more efficiently. "Just make sure you get recent testing materials, as [the test has] changed in the last few years," advises one graduate.
  • Get lots of sleep the night before the test. It's unlikely that any last-minute cramming is going to make a difference, but getting a good night's rest will. Prepare everything you need -- even the clothes you're going to wear -- the night before and go to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • Stay calm. Work at a steady pace and keep an eye on the clock. If you find yourself panicking about one question, then skip it and move on to the next one quickly. "Don't get bogged down," warns one test veteran.
  • When in doubt, guess. Use a process of elimination: if you can eliminate one answer, then your best bet is to guess among the rest. Don't leave any row of bubbles blank -- even if you haven't read the question yet!
  • Read efficiently but quickly. For the reading comprehension sections, learn to read relatively quickly, gleaning the main points and argument that the author is trying to make. Then go to the questions and see what answers you can eliminate. Don't get slowed down reading the passages too thoroughly.
  • Become familiar with the test formats. The game section usually has a limited number of game types. Taking a course that enables you to identify the type of question should help you figure out what answers the examiners are looking for. Similarly, the logical reasoning section usually has a limited number of types of questions. If you can identify the type of question, then you're less likely to feel anxious and overwhelmed.

Finally, remember -- the LSAT is not a test of creativity. It is a standardized test that follows a strict format. Learning and understanding this format is your best weapon against the test.

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