Optimizing your LSAT score requires walking into the test mentally ready and prepared for optimal performance. The following tips will help you get there!
Get Familiar with Your Test Center
In order to remove as much uncertainty as possible on test day, take a trip to your test center at some point before your scheduled LSAT date.
Going through the motions of going to the test center, parking (if you drive), understanding the building configuration, and seeing the set-up of the room (if you are allowed in the building) beforehand will provide you with familiarity with your surroundings and set you at ease during your actual commute to take the test.
Adjust Your Diet to Maximize Brain Power
Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, proteins, whole grains, vegetables and fruits containing Vitamin B, and a healthy intake of water will make sure your brain is operating at its sharpest capacity. Here’s a recommend mini-menu leading up to the test:
- Dinner the night before the test: omega-3 fatty fish (or lean meat) with spinach or broccoli, and potatoes or a few pieces of whole grain bread.
- Remember to drink plenty of water!
- Try to have your dinner at least two to three hours before you go to bed to ensure a good night’s sleep without an overly full stomach.
- Breakfast the morning of the test – eggs, oatmeal (or whole grain cereal, or a piece of wheat toast with peanut butter), and fresh fruit or juice.
- Also, beware of coffee or other caffeinated drinks before the test as they tend to have the same detrimental effects as sugar, with unpredictable boosts of energy/jitters followed by crashes and fatigue.
- Avoid potential disaster by eating for your brain for at least a few days leading up to the test so you’re sure that you won’t have any unpleasant reactions to foods that you may not normally consume.
Decide if You Are Going to Do Warm-Up Questions Ahead of Time
Warming up sounds pretty beneficial, and we know it is an integral component of athletic performances, so why isn’t it that everyone needs to warm-up before the LSAT? Well, most obviously is that your mental muscles are different than your physical muscles. But, the real reason is that many people already walk into the LSAT jacked up and ready to go, and warming up then burns off useful energy.
Pressure-packed events tend to get the mental juices flowing for many people, and by the time they arrive at the test center they are already prepared to hit the ground running. Which leads to a key point: if you find that you arrive at the event too jacked up, then doing a few practice questions can actually help calm you down and get you in the flow.
So, warming up is helpful for some test takers, but not others. If you are a slow starter, or if you are prone to high excitement, maybe try a few warm-up questions and see if it helps stabilize your performance. And if you do find it helps, practice a few times with it to find the right number of pre-test questions to take.
Visualize Yourself Attaining Your Target Score
Visualizing a positive testing experience is a key component to success on test day. Many professional athletes report that they spend the moments before their game visualizing key plays and eventual victory. Famous actors tend to visualize perfect performances and even future award shows. And some of the most successful people in history attribute their outstanding accomplishments to visualizing them ahead of time.
Henry David Thoreau, a famous American writer, once said: “The secret of achievement is to hold a picture of a successful outcome in mind.” The same is true for your performance on the LSAT.
Prior to test day, imagine yourself taking the LSAT and knowing how to solve every question, correctly applying the strategies and techniques you have learned, and avoiding the answer choice traps that appeal to less savvy test takers. Visualize yourself finishing each section before time is called, feeling confident in your responses and in your abilities. Think of what it would feel like to receive a 170, 175, or 180! Finally, imagine telling your parents, teachers, and friends about your achievement.
It may seem silly at first, but visualization is a time-tested practice utilized by the most successful people in the world, and it should feature prominently into your pre-LSAT routine.
Relax and Think Positively!
It is detrimental to cram information before the LSAT. While doing a practice problem or two the day before or the morning of the LSAT can be a healthy exercise for some students, trying to force a bunch of new strategies and practice tests into your study routine late in the game can only hurt.
So, the day before the exam, we recommend that students enjoy some much-deserved relaxation at home or with friends/family. And avoid negativity! Avoid people or places likely to bring you down or make you anxious about your upcoming test performance.
Questions about the days before you take the LSAT? Feel free to reach out to us directly at www.powerscore.com!