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  • Test Anxiety and the LSAT

    October 1st, 2010, 3:51 pm

    The October LSAT is almost upon us. You’ve spent months poring over logic games and you’re probably really nervous.  You’ve heard enough at this point about test strategy. I’d like to talk about test anxiety.

    Recently I was helping my 6th grade daughter study for a math test. Although she’s usually pretty Zen-like, she became overwhelmed by the amount of material confronting her.  Before long, her focus had shifted from long division and decimals to performance.  “Mom, what if I don’t do well? What if I get a bad grade?!”  That was it — the train had left the station. The more she panicked the less she was able to concentrate on the problems in front of her.

    You’re probably thinking that a 6th grade math test can’t be compared to the LSAT. After all, the LSAT will play a huge role in where you’ll be admitted! Well, you’re right about that, but I think there’s a life lesson here from the annals of 6th grade math. Test anxiety is about as helpful as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    I’ve seen my share of well-prepared students stumble on LSAT day due to nerves, and I don’t want it to happen you.  So, here’s some practical advice along with some food for thought. I hope you find it helpful.

    First, don’t listen to the talk on the street.  So much of it isn’t accurate. I’ve heard things like “the February test is the easiest” and “peoples’ scores always go down the second time.” Not true! If you listen to your neighbor you might believe that everyone but you has been scoring in the 170 range on practice tests. Also not true. Read the rest of this entry »