Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

lsat_hopeful
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby lsat_hopeful » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:26 pm

I'd like to hear (possibly from re-takers who've experienced test day, or jeffort, bpshinners, and thelsattrainer, etc who have had more experience with the LSAT) - what are some things that come up on test day that we should be prepared for? (and as a follow-up: what's the best way to prepare for them?)

Thanks.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby Nova » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:30 pm

have you visited the class rooms you will likely take the test in yet?

sometimes desk space, seating, or lighting sucks

Its good to check into that ahead of time

dosto
Posts: 784
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:50 am

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby dosto » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:32 pm

.
Last edited by dosto on Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

lsat_hopeful
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby lsat_hopeful » Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:36 pm

dosto wrote:Are you asking about on the actual test, or everything else (i.e., test center, proctors, etc...)?


Not limited to either.

I'd like to hear about the actual test since I know people experience both a jump and drop in their score on test day, so I'm interested in what factors affect that.

And I'd like to hear about the "everything else" - I don't want to go there unprepared. I've been reading TLS posts frequently to get a good idea of other people's experience/advice, but I just want to do my best to know what to expect so that I'm prepared to respond to it. (I am usually calm anyways, but it doesn't hurt to have a strategy/approach for the best way to handle different situations that can come up, especially more common ones).

User avatar
ScottRiqui
Posts: 3640
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:09 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby ScottRiqui » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:26 pm

Show up at the test center early. On the day of my retake, all of the normal parking had been taken over for a football game, and there was construction that required an extra-long walk around the building to get to the entrance.

User avatar
Brettanomyces
Posts: 410
Joined: Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:08 am

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby Brettanomyces » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:34 pm

I'd expect to be nervous. I didn't sleep much the night before my test, so I would have liked to have taken more PTs on just a few hours of sleep, instead of being completely refreshed and energized all of the time.

ScottRiqui wrote:Show up at the test center early. On the day of my retake, all of the normal parking had been taken over for a football game, and there was construction that required an extra-long walk around the building to get to the entrance.


I ran into a similar situation--more specifically, I didn't know that I could park next to the test center, so I parked far away and had to walk quite a bit. I think this helped more than it hurt (of course I was super early). I felt more awake than when I first pulled into the parking lot.

062914123
Posts: 1846
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 2:11 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby 062914123 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:03 pm

.
Last edited by 062914123 on Thu Jul 03, 2014 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

meegee
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:00 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby meegee » Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:35 am

Visit your testing center beforehand. This is something I wish I had done because I got lost on test day. Although I still arrived around 45 minutes before check-in time, it sucked being all nervous because I couldn't find the correct building. Also visit the testing center for reasons stated by bee.

Develop a calming ritual/routine. I was nervous before I even set foot in the classroom. I became even more nervous when I was seated. Deep, calm, and slow breaths helped to slightly alleviate my anxiety. If you're religious, there's no better time to pray than now. I'm not religious, but there were several occasions where I muttered under my breath: "Grandpa, ancestors, please help get through the next couple of hours. I need your help to score XXX." Do whatever it is that you need to do. I also played/rubbed my necklace a lot. Whether it be meditation beads, calming beads, or swirling your pencil, sometimes it helps to perform some arbitrary action that draws attention from your mind to keep your sanity in check.

Usually you'll have some extra time during the portion where you fill in your information. Use that to make sure all your pencils are sharpened, your eraser is good to go, and that your watch + pencil sharpener are strategically placed. There were some kids that forgot to bring a pencil, most of them had 2-3, but I was that one kid with six sharpened pencils laid out on the table. One for each section, and another backup in case one of them catches on fire mid-section. I didn't use my pencil sharpener, but it was good to know that it was there should I need it.

Fuck everyone else. Tune them all out. That chit chat before the test about how long you studied for the LSAT? Yeah I don't care, go away. Some random chit chat during break, including people trying to figure out which section was the experimental? Fuck off, I don't wanna hear it. For me at least, it helped to imagine that it was just me, the proctor, and the test.

Finally, confidence is what will really help you on test day. Walk in with the mentality that you're going to score a 180, and you're just here for formalities: "I'm gonna get a 180 anyway, but just so that it's on the record, I'll go ahead and sit this test."

lsat_hopeful
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby lsat_hopeful » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:37 am

meegee wrote:Visit your testing center beforehand. This is something I wish I had done because I got lost on test day. Although I still arrived around 45 minutes before check-in time, it sucked being all nervous because I couldn't find the correct building. Also visit the testing center for reasons stated by bee.

Develop a calming ritual/routine. I was nervous before I even set foot in the classroom. I became even more nervous when I was seated. Deep, calm, and slow breaths helped to slightly alleviate my anxiety. If you're religious, there's no better time to pray than now. I'm not religious, but there were several occasions where I muttered under my breath: "Grandpa, ancestors, please help get through the next couple of hours. I need your help to score XXX." Do whatever it is that you need to do. I also played/rubbed my necklace a lot. Whether it be meditation beads, calming beads, or swirling your pencil, sometimes it helps to perform some arbitrary action that draws attention from your mind to keep your sanity in check.

Usually you'll have some extra time during the portion where you fill in your information. Use that to make sure all your pencils are sharpened, your eraser is good to go, and that your watch + pencil sharpener are strategically placed. There were some kids that forgot to bring a pencil, most of them had 2-3, but I was that one kid with six sharpened pencils laid out on the table. One for each section, and another backup in case one of them catches on fire mid-section. I didn't use my pencil sharpener, but it was good to know that it was there should I need it.

Fuck everyone else. Tune them all out. That chit chat before the test about how long you studied for the LSAT? Yeah I don't care, go away. Some random chit chat during break, including people trying to figure out which section was the experimental? Fuck off, I don't wanna hear it. For me at least, it helped to imagine that it was just me, the proctor, and the test.

Finally, confidence is what will really help you on test day. Walk in with the mentality that you're going to score a 180, and you're just here for formalities: "I'm gonna get a 180 anyway, but just so that it's on the record, I'll go ahead and sit this test."


haha, you are way too awesome. I'm right there with you - there's no such thing as being over-prepared (in reference to the pencil catching on fire). And I love that "fuck everyone else" mindset - because at the end of the day, your mindset really makes an impact on whether or not you achieve your true potential as opposed to missing a few more points than usual.

And I will have to rewrite your advice in that last paragraph so that I can let it really sink in. That's the mindset I want to have on test day.

Thanks for your insight.

lsat_hopeful
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby lsat_hopeful » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:51 am

meegee wrote:Visit your testing center beforehand. This is something I wish I had done because I got lost on test day. Although I still arrived around 45 minutes before check-in time, it sucked being all nervous because I couldn't find the correct building. Also visit the testing center for reasons stated by bee.

Develop a calming ritual/routine. I was nervous before I even set foot in the classroom. I became even more nervous when I was seated. Deep, calm, and slow breaths helped to slightly alleviate my anxiety. If you're religious, there's no better time to pray than now. I'm not religious, but there were several occasions where I muttered under my breath: "Grandpa, ancestors, please help get through the next couple of hours. I need your help to score XXX." Do whatever it is that you need to do. I also played/rubbed my necklace a lot. Whether it be meditation beads, calming beads, or swirling your pencil, sometimes it helps to perform some arbitrary action that draws attention from your mind to keep your sanity in check.

Usually you'll have some extra time during the portion where you fill in your information. Use that to make sure all your pencils are sharpened, your eraser is good to go, and that your watch + pencil sharpener are strategically placed. There were some kids that forgot to bring a pencil, most of them had 2-3, but I was that one kid with six sharpened pencils laid out on the table. One for each section, and another backup in case one of them catches on fire mid-section. I didn't use my pencil sharpener, but it was good to know that it was there should I need it.

Fuck everyone else. Tune them all out. That chit chat before the test about how long you studied for the LSAT? Yeah I don't care, go away. Some random chit chat during break, including people trying to figure out which section was the experimental? Fuck off, I don't wanna hear it. For me at least, it helped to imagine that it was just me, the proctor, and the test.

Finally, confidence is what will really help you on test day. Walk in with the mentality that you're going to score a 180, and you're just here for formalities: "I'm gonna get a 180 anyway, but just so that it's on the record, I'll go ahead and sit this test."



http://imgur.com/lfBWIUX

User avatar
Howl
Posts: 293
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:11 am

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby Howl » Sun Dec 01, 2013 12:09 pm

lsat_hopeful wrote:I'd like to hear (possibly from re-takers who've experienced test day, or jeffort, bpshinners, and thelsattrainer, etc who have had more experience with the LSAT) - what are some things that come up on test day that we should be prepared for? (and as a follow-up: what's the best way to prepare for them?)

Thanks.


2 of your least favorite sections back-to-back

A super hard experimental. Don't let a super hard section throw you off your game, even though at the time it will feel like the real one and that you just bombed the test. Just focus on doing well on each section; worry about what might have been an experimental later.

User avatar
chem!
Posts: 9384
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:03 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby chem! » Sun Dec 01, 2013 1:02 pm

Dress in layers that can be easily added/removed. Be prepared for proctors who whisper loudly, people who sniff repeatedly, or emergency vehicles to drive up with sirens. Stick a couple of Advil/whatever in your pocket in case you get a headache.

I took a long walk around the neighborhood before the test and then walked laps inside the building before the test and during the break to work off some of the nerves. If you're a nervous pee-er, be prepared for your bladder to be your worst enemy.

lsat_hopeful
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby lsat_hopeful » Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:33 pm

chem! wrote:If you're a nervous pee-er, be prepared for your bladder to be your worst enemy.


haha, I don't generally have this issue, but I will keep that in mind. Also, walking around the neighborhood sounds like a good idea to gain some familiarity with the area and feel more relaxed - I may do that prior to test day since I'm planning on checking out the testing site this week anyways. Thanks!

oh also, walking laps during break sounds like a great idea as well! I think it'll be helpful in terms of refreshing after a long period of sitting down.

User avatar
Jeffort
Posts: 1897
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:43 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby Jeffort » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:06 pm

The unexpected thing most likely to turn into your own worst enemy on test day is your own mind if you let stress and fear takeover.

You need to be prepared to deal with your own mind to keep it preoccupied and calm during the long wait before section one actually starts instead of stressing and obsessing about the test while you wait. It is a long time from when you get in line to check in and when section one starts, and what your mind does and thinks about during that period that seems like forever plus another hour can and will influence your attitude and confidence when the test begins. You need to keep control of your thoughts and not let them go into bad places that will just stir up extra stress and anxiety.

Instead of obsessively thinking about the LSAT and constantly reviewing strategies, LSAT info, things to do/not to do, what if scenarios, etc. in your mind while you wait, you should try to keep your mind calm and distracted from thinking and stressing about the test. If you keep going through possible scenarios, thinking about various what ifs, wondering if you studied enough, etc., it just creates a vicious cycle of you getting more and more stressed out and nervous. Listening to others talk about the test, how much they studied, etc. or talking with others about this stuff is a great way to just get more freaked out.

Keep your mind distracted and try not to think about the test during the wait. Calm solitary meditation thoughts can help, or telling jokes to people in line can be a good way to distract yourself and kill time. If you want to be evil, start spreading rumors in line about some weird new game type or whatever BS you make up on the spot to see how people react. Just somehow keep your mind distracted from stressing and obsessing about the test. Visualize rainbows and unicorns if you must!

Also, once the test begins, don't let the extra pressure of having a bunch of people in the same room rapidly working away on the sections cause you to feel like you should speed up your pace to keep up with others in the room. You'll hear people frantically flipping pages, scribbling notes, grumbling noises, etc. and get the feeling that others are going faster than you and that you should speed up. Don't listen to that instinct! It will encourage you to skip steps to go faster simply because you hear other people in the room doing things that make it seem like they are going faster and somehow doing better than you. Don't worry, they aren't doing better! That type of environmental peer pressure is part of what causes a lot of people to deviate from strategy and go down a few points on test day. They skip some important steps, like verification steps to make sure you have good reasons to eliminate contender answers, didn't misread something in the question and other steps to keep a faster pace and end up making some dumb careless mistakes in the process.

DO NOT let the extra pressure of test day cause you to deviate from going through the full step by step processes you know you should do with each question to make sure you analyzed everything thoroughly before making a final answer. This is perhaps the biggest thing to pay attention to on test day, not letting the game day pressure throw you off your normal strategies and routines that have been working on PTs. You have the same 35 minutes per section on test day to do all the normal steps you've been doing during PTs, don't let the extra pressure to go fast cause you to get careless. Deviating from normal strategy because it is test day and you get the strange idea that 35 minutes on test day is somehow shorter than 35 minutes when taking PTs and then think you have to skip steps to finish in time is how people make dumb costly mistakes on test day, especially in LR sections since good traps are super easy to fall for when trying to go extra fast.

User avatar
chem!
Posts: 9384
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 8:03 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby chem! » Sun Dec 01, 2013 8:54 pm

lsat_hopeful wrote:
chem! wrote:If you're a nervous pee-er, be prepared for your bladder to be your worst enemy.


haha, I don't generally have this issue, but I will keep that in mind. Also, walking around the neighborhood sounds like a good idea to gain some familiarity with the area and feel more relaxed - I may do that prior to test day since I'm planning on checking out the testing site this week anyways. Thanks!

oh also, walking laps during break sounds like a great idea as well! I think it'll be helpful in terms of refreshing after a long period of sitting down.

Well, I meant my neighbourhood, but the point is to get some endorphins going. :)

lsat_hopeful
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:08 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby lsat_hopeful » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:21 am

Jeffort wrote: If you want to be evil, start spreading rumors in line about some weird new game type or whatever BS you make up on the spot to see how people react. Just somehow keep your mind distracted from stressing and obsessing about the test.


I'm gonna try this. (jk). But telling people jokes in line sounds like a lot of fun, I might try that. Thanks!

User avatar
OVOXO
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2013 1:01 pm

Re: Expecting the Unexpected on Test Day

Postby OVOXO » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:54 pm

Jeffort wrote:The unexpected thing most likely to turn into your own worst enemy on test day is your own mind if you let stress and fear takeover.

You need to be prepared to deal with your own mind to keep it preoccupied and calm during the long wait before section one actually starts instead of stressing and obsessing about the test while you wait. It is a long time from when you get in line to check in and when section one starts, and what your mind does and thinks about during that period that seems like forever plus another hour can and will influence your attitude and confidence when the test begins. You need to keep control of your thoughts and not let them go into bad places that will just stir up extra stress and anxiety.

Instead of obsessively thinking about the LSAT and constantly reviewing strategies, LSAT info, things to do/not to do, what if scenarios, etc. in your mind while you wait, you should try to keep your mind calm and distracted from thinking and stressing about the test. If you keep going through possible scenarios, thinking about various what ifs, wondering if you studied enough, etc., it just creates a vicious cycle of you getting more and more stressed out and nervous. Listening to others talk about the test, how much they studied, etc. or talking with others about this stuff is a great way to just get more freaked out.

Keep your mind distracted and try not to think about the test during the wait. Calm solitary meditation thoughts can help, or telling jokes to people in line can be a good way to distract yourself and kill time. If you want to be evil, start spreading rumors in line about some weird new game type or whatever BS you make up on the spot to see how people react. Just somehow keep your mind distracted from stressing and obsessing about the test. Visualize rainbows and unicorns if you must!

Also, once the test begins, don't let the extra pressure of having a bunch of people in the same room rapidly working away on the sections cause you to feel like you should speed up your pace to keep up with others in the room. You'll hear people frantically flipping pages, scribbling notes, grumbling noises, etc. and get the feeling that others are going faster than you and that you should speed up. Don't listen to that instinct! It will encourage you to skip steps to go faster simply because you hear other people in the room doing things that make it seem like they are going faster and somehow doing better than you. Don't worry, they aren't doing better! That type of environmental peer pressure is part of what causes a lot of people to deviate from strategy and go down a few points on test day. They skip some important steps, like verification steps to make sure you have good reasons to eliminate contender answers, didn't misread something in the question and other steps to keep a faster pace and end up making some dumb careless mistakes in the process.

DO NOT let the extra pressure of test day cause you to deviate from going through the full step by step processes you know you should do with each question to make sure you analyzed everything thoroughly before making a final answer. This is perhaps the biggest thing to pay attention to on test day, not letting the game day pressure throw you off your normal strategies and routines that have been working on PTs. You have the same 35 minutes per section on test day to do all the normal steps you've been doing during PTs, don't let the extra pressure to go fast cause you to get careless. Deviating from normal strategy because it is test day and you get the strange idea that 35 minutes on test day is somehow shorter than 35 minutes when taking PTs and then think you have to skip steps to finish in time is how people make dumb costly mistakes on test day, especially in LR sections since good traps are super easy to fall for when trying to go extra fast.



As always, Jeffort nails it on the head.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: etramak, Exabot [Bot] and 2 guests