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Don't Wait For Things To Be Perfect

I have discussed many times before in previous posts in my blog and on Instagram that you don't want to just immediately jump into practice tests straight from the beginning of your studies. This is because you likely don't yet have the fundamentals and strategies down to properly evaluate your practice tests and improve at the LSAT. Just taking practice tests doesn't give you the ability to fully comprehend the question in front of you and recognize patterns within individual question or passage types. Sure, you may still improve, but it may take you much, much longer.


But there are also people on the other end of the spectrum. For example, one of my students (let's call her Annie) was very bright and she was on a mission to conquer the LSAT. She worked extremely hard and completed all the homework I assigned her...except for taking practice tests. One week, she couldn't take it because she panicked during a section and gave up in the middle of the test The next week, she was too tired. The week after that, there was construction going on nearby and it was too noisy for her.


On top of that, she often felt like she wasn't quite "ready" to take the practice test. She felt like she needed to master every single concept before taking her next exam.


But here is what it all really boiled down to--fear. Fear of not seeing progress. Fear of suddenly seeing a massive drop in her score. Fear of all the hard work amounting to nothing. Fear of that one question type she struggled with showing up on the practice test.


As you might have guessed, that fear trickled over into the actual LSAT. The official exam kept getting pushed back because she didn't feel prepared enough. I had to have a sit down discussion with her to help her overcome this deep-seated fear. Eventually, she mustered up the courage to take the test and ended up exceeding her target, but it took a little longer than it needed to.


My point is this--don't wait to have everything lined up perfectly before you take a practice test. A practice test is intended to gauge progress, not perfection. Don't get me wrong--you should try to master things before moving on. But not everything needs to be mastered. It is still beneficial to take a practice test every now and then to stay familiar with the pacing and endurance aspect of the test. Like I mentioned in my post Why Your LSAT Performance Fluctuates...and What to do About it, don't give individual practice test scores too much weight. Look at the overall trend instead, as we all have our off-days.


Also, once you commit to starting a practice test, finish it! Maybe section 1 was a nightmare, but you would have done great in sections 2-4. Don't give up once a section or question becomes difficult, because you won't be able to do that on the actual LSAT. Treat it like the real thing. Besides, pushing through despite being discouraged will make you a more tenacious and focused test-taker. And if there are sudden noises or distractions, that doesn't mean the practice test has been wasted. You can use these practice tests to get used to potential distractions. After all, you might have some unforeseen things happen on test day. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable! In a weird way, having these distractions on practice tests are opportunities, not drawbacks. They allow you to figure out how to adjust if something happens on the day of the actual LSAT. Try to shift your mentality in a way that is more conducive to your success.


After you mastered a few concepts, it's time to schedule an exam. Take it, analyze it, and move on. Don't let your fear of the LSAT cripple your progress!


This applies not only to practice tests, but to LSAT prep in general. Don't wait for the conditions to be perfect before you start studying. I often see people skipping a day because it was too loud in their apartment, they didn't have enough time, or they are waiting for a specific day to start. The unfortunate reality is life will throw us curveballs. Don't let that get in the way of your studies. Even if you are only able to study a little bit, that's okay! And if there are distractions, try to find somewhere more suitable for you to start studying. The time to start is now.


Stay motivated!


Sincerely,

Cho

Impetus LSAT




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