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How to Have a Successful LSAT Testing Experience

Part of the LSAT For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Doing well on the LSAT requires preparation. To optimize your test-taking experience and get the best score possible, follow these tips for registering for and studying for the test, getting your mind and body prepared, and exercising specific strategies while taking the test.

Before the test:

  • Register ahead of time — at least two months before the test date — because some test centers fill up quickly. Check the Law School Admission Council website for official regular and late registration deadlines.

  • Start studying early; don’t wait until the night before the test. Master the strategies for each test section and solidify them by inundating yourself with practice exams.

  • For at least the three nights before the test, get a consistent seven to eight hours of sleep every night.

  • Make sure you’re familiar with the test location. Take a practice drive to the site on the same day of the week and at about the same time as when you’ll be heading to the exam. Check out the traffic, potential construction zones, and available parking.

The night before:

  • Set your alarm (or two); give yourself enough time to get there.

  • Plan and prepare your breakfast for the next morning. Combine complex carbs and protein to get and stay energized for the test.

  • Assemble the following supplies in a clear, 1-gallon zip-lock bag and place it next to the door or in your car so you don’t forget it:

    • Admission ticket with a recent (within the last six months) 2-inch-x-2-inch passport-type photo of you

    • Driver’s license or other official photo ID (such as a passport)

    • Water or other beverage in a container that holds a maximum of 20 ounces

    • Several sharp No. 2 pencils, a hand pencil sharpener, and a big eraser

    • A snack for the break

    • An analog watch (no digital watches allowed) that doesn’t beep or make other noises and has a second hand

The morning of the test:

  • Get to the testing site early enough to park and find your room without panicking.

  • Visit the restroom before testing starts.

  • Place your sealed zip-lock bag with the acceptable contents under your seat.

  • Welcome the confidence and adrenaline boost you feel as you anticipate the test; both will keep you alert and focused throughout the exam.

During the test:

  • Answer every question — there’s no penalty for guessing.

  • Fill in the bubbles completely.

  • Keep track of your time.

  • If you get stuck, guess and move on.

  • Maintain focus, even if you’re bored out of your mind.

  • Take an occasional short break (no more than ten seconds, though).

After the test:

  • If you want to cancel your score (only if you have a really good reason), do it before you leave the test center or within six days of your test date.

  • Wait for your score to arrive; use this time to research law schools or work on other application components such as crafting a personal statement or requesting reference letters.

  • Repeat the LSAT if necessary.

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