Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

taylorswiftfan
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Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby taylorswiftfan » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:04 pm

I'm sure there is already an older thread on this, but I wanted to get some more recent posts from people who have taken the LSAT already (and took it recently since I know rules change over time). I figured some other readers might benefit from knowing answers to my questions anyway... What are some tips for people taking the LSAT the day of?

How early did most of you get up for the exam (I'm obviously referring to those who took the exam in the morning)?

Coffee drinkers--did you still drink coffee the day of--and if you did, was it a bad idea? I'm a regular coffee drinker but I'm nervous about drinking it since I don't want to get up to go to the bathroom at some point during the earlier part of the exam!

Suggestions for hours of sleep per day for the days leading up to the exam..

When did the actual LSAT start (from the time you walked to the LSAT testing center to the time you sat down)? I heard it's good to bring a super easy practice game and reading comp to do in order to calm nerves...

Any suggestions for what you should do the day before the exam?

Are there assigned seats for the exam?

meegee
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby meegee » Tue Nov 26, 2013 8:07 pm

Check-in time was at 08:30. I was up at 06:00. I think I saw an article on Steve's LSAT blog saying it takes around two hours for your brain to "wake up."

I'm not a regular coffee drinker, but I drink it occasionally (I don't drink it everyday). I drank coffee the day of the test and was fine. But then again, I don't have issues with caffeine jitters and whatnot. Make sure you drink it early though, because coffee makes you pee (at least for me). I went to the bathroom twice before the test, and I still wound up having to go to the bathroom midway through (luckily I finished one of my LR sections a little earlier. I ran to the bathroom and back).

Get adequate sleep. I used the sleeping supplement melatonin a week leading up to the exam. This way I would know if my body would feel weird after using it. I didn't want to use it the night before only to wake up feeling different. I was fine. I ended up getting around 9 hours of sleep the night before. Try depriving yourself of some sleep two days before the test. That way when it comes to the night before, you won't have as much trouble falling asleep.

My test center was great, and the proctors were efficient. We started in less than an hour (somewhere between 30-45 mins). We had a slight hiccup because a couple of people checked-in last minute (I think someone arrived around 08:40) but it was smooth sailing from there. I brought one game, 10 LR questions, and one RC section to do for warm up. Some people will look at you and be like "wtf, last minute studying isn't going to help you." Ignore them and just do your warm up. A quick note about warm up material. You won't be able to bring them in once you enter the actual room. Also you're not allowed to leave (although our proctor was nice and let some guy go use the bathroom since not everyone had checked in yet anyway). Do everything that needs to be done before you enter the room.

Day before the exam should be relax day. Don't touch anything LSAT related. And don't try out any new foods, even if it's the day before.

There were assigned seats for my exam.

Here's a wiki (LinkRemoved) guide/review about testing centers. Check it out, yours might be on there and it can give you a heads up.

Budget more than enough time for the commute. If google maps says it takes 20 minutes to get there, leave an hour early instead. There wasn't any traffic for me (it was on a Saturday) but I did get lost due to the one way streets and finding parking. Mine also took place on a college campus, one that I had never been to before, so I got lost while in the actual campus trying to find the testing center/building. Luckily, I bumped into some other testers and they pointed me in the right direction.

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Jeffort
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby Jeffort » Tue Nov 26, 2013 10:21 pm

Don't deviate from applying the same steps in the same order to attack and solve questions from how you normally do them when practicing that works. Lots of people that score lower on test day than on their recent PTs do so because the extra stress and pressure of test day causes them to worry too much about timing and skip analysis steps to make sure they finish in time, which causes errors because of taking short cuts in the analysis to save time.

For some reason the time pressure on test day makes a lot of people make irrational decisions about what steps to actually use to solve questions and do them differently than the ways they learned how to do them. Basically, some people throw strategy out the window on test day and let base level instinct to race through everything as fast as possible take over, which leads to selecting many trap answers. Don't throw all the strategies and techniques you learned out the window on test day just cuz you feel more pressure to work quickly.

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OVOXO
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby OVOXO » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:57 pm

Took it in Feb and scored a few points below my pt avg (172 —> 165). What I learned? Focus on nothing else but the task in front of you. If it’s a game, go on and make the inferences and hypos you need to and attack the question. If it’s an RC passage out, get on with the active reading/understanding. if its an LR q, attack the q with the approach you used in all your prep.

If you prepared correctly and did as many PTs in as realistic conditions as possible, chances are, 99% of the questions on the test in front of you, you’ve seen already.

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aboutmydaylight
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby aboutmydaylight » Wed Nov 27, 2013 6:21 pm

Got up at 6:30. I actually thought the test was at 8AM until pretty much the night before so I was already prepared to sleep around 9. Took some melatonin and got a solid 10/11 hours. This is important for me because I really can't function on low sleep hours and I really like sleeping.

I'm not really a regular coffee drinker but I had been drinking a cup of black coffee each morning for like 3 weeks before the test. Honestly I feel like it helps me focus as I'm pretty conditioned to taking it before a workout/something important that morning. I don't get jitters and I don't really have test day anxiety so the caffeine isn't really a negative for me. Had breakfast and a cup of coffee the morning before the test. Went to the bathroom before I left at around 7:45. I already knew the testing center and how long it would take me and all the things I needed were prepared the night before. Got there at around 8:15, read a bit on my phone and then went in.

You can't bring a practice test unless you plan on doing it before you sit down as its not permitted inside the testing center. We started basically at 9 exactly.

taylorswiftfan
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby taylorswiftfan » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:50 am

Thanks for all the responses. Very helpful. I hope we get more responses to to this thread since I am always curious to hear varied input on people's experiences and advice on the days leading up to the lsat and lsat day itself.

I just realized that I will not be allowed to drink water during the exam (except for during the break), which has me worried. I will have to make the adjustment because I like drinking sips of water when I'm studying (I just drink water more often in general throughout the day than most people I guess?). I also am a coffee drinker so I guess I will have to drink it earlier so I don't have to go to the restroom during the exam!

I froze and got all nervous during a PT so I am hoping that better not happen on test day. Has anyone had a bad experience with the test takers in your lsat room? I've heard crazy stories about how one guy was freaking out during the exam and how distracting it was for the test taker. I am going to try to stay calm and stay away (or stay focused at least) from super anxious and nervous people on test day!

$alty
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby $alty » Thu Nov 28, 2013 11:05 am

I got up at six. I'm also a coffee drinker and had my cup immediately when I woke up (before showering, etc.). I think this helped as I peed at least twice at the center within 30 minutes of going into my testing room.

Also -- I found it impossible to have no nerves on test day. The best thing you can do is boost your confidence with thinking back to your prep. For example, I took back to back PTs in loud coffee shops w/ 175+ scores and kept reminding myself of that as they were passing out test books.

You should have a warmup routine, but I liked watching a 30 minute TV show over breakfast (I did this on test day as well). Good way to wake you up and get your brain going, but you're not using too much energy.

Like others have said, when taking the test just attack everything as if you were taking a PT. Nerves are real, but hopefully you can shake them in the first section.

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Fianna13
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby Fianna13 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:42 pm

Jeffort wrote:Don't deviate from applying the same steps in the same order to attack and solve questions from how you normally do them when practicing that works. Lots of people that score lower on test day than on their recent PTs do so because the extra stress and pressure of test day causes them to worry too much about timing and skip analysis steps to make sure they finish in time, which causes errors because of taking short cuts in the analysis to save time.

For some reason the time pressure on test day makes a lot of people make irrational decisions about what steps to actually use to solve questions and do them differently than the ways they learned how to do them. Basically, some people throw strategy out the window on test day and let base level instinct to race through everything as fast as possible take over, which leads to selecting many trap answers. Don't throw all the strategies and techniques you learned out the window on test day just cuz you feel more pressure to work quickly.


Read it and memorize this. This applies particularly well on LR. And it is the reason so many people got a lower score on the real thing than their PT average, myself included.

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patfeeney
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby patfeeney » Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:14 am

My big strategy was this: treat test day like you would a marathon. Like, an actual running marathon, not just a "mental test."

In the two or three days before the test, start eating healthier. Cut out the crap food, focus on the whole grains, lean proteins, some light unsaturated fats, fruits, etc. Eat balanced.
The day before the test, I chugged water. Chugged it. I drank as much as I could without getting sick, which is too much. At 8pm the night before, I stopped drinking anything.

When I woke up in the morning, I had a protein bar and 1/4 cup of water, to wet my throat.

I normally drink a lot of water, and when I get even slightly dehydrated I get a really severe, distracting headache. Chugging all the water I could the day before gave my body more than enough fluids to work with on test day, with the added bonus of having peed all the excess out before hitting the test center, so the worst thing I had to suffer from was a dry mouth. I barely needed to go to the bathroom during the break.

Really, proper dieting the week before is key. I also recommend cutting out alcohol as much as possible. I didn't drink more than a beer or two a night for the month and a half before the test. As a college senior, this meant almost becoming a total social pariah. As a person who got a 174 on the first take, I can't say these methods are guaranteed, but from what limited results I have they seem to have worked.

dosto
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Re: Test day tips from people who recently took the LSAT?

Postby dosto » Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:39 am

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