Some of you will take the LSAT in a couple of days. Some of you won’t. No one should suffer heart palpitations either way.
If you’re not taking the official test this week, you should be doing your regularly scheduled drilling, timed practice sections, and occasional full timed practice tests.
If you are taking the official test this week, it’s just one more day of LSAT stuff. Nothing different, nothing special. Don’t overthink it. Don’t overengineer it.
It’s just another practice test.
Law schools only care about your highest score. This provides a strong incentive for applicants to retake after scoring anything lower than their best. So if you’re taking the June 2021 LSAT, you should also be planning for retakes in August, October, and/or November.
If the June 2021 test doesn’t reflect your full potential, you’ll continue studying over the upcoming weeks and months for retakes later this summer and into the fall. In that sense, the June 2021 test is literally a practice test for your future attempts. It deserves no more respect than your typical LSAT study days.
You’ve been practicing regularly, right? You’ve been taking it seriously when you do? Good. Then this is just another practice test.
You will perform better if you don’t give the test too much power.
Ben and I have long given the advice that you should take the day off before the test so that you can avoid overdoing it and “rest up.” But lately I’ve been worrying that students take this advice to the extreme. We just had a long discussion about it on the Thinking LSAT Podcast.
When students are super precious about relaxation in the days leading up to the test, they are by definition doing something different from what they would do if this were just another practice test. Think about it. If you’re taking the day off of work, arranging a hotel room so you will have a quiet space for “the real test,” or intentionally tapering down your studies a week or ten days prior, aren’t you treating the test as if it’s something different and special? You’re relaxing as hard as you possibly can for the big scary official test that gets bigger and scarier the more you worry about it. Ironically, you might be setting yourself up for exactly the anxiety bomb you’re trying to defuse.
Results won’t come out for three weeks. You should be studying while you wait for your results.
It’s absurd that it takes three weeks for LSAT results—GMAT and GRE scores are instant, and have been for years—but that’s the world we live in. You won’t know for certain whether you killed it or got killed until scores are released on July 1. If you didn’t do your best, you’ll retake in August. You can’t afford to waste three weeks of study time while you wait for your results. If you want to take the day off after your test, that’s fine. But your competitors on the August exam will be using these days and weeks to study. So you should plan to get right back on the horse. This means that your official test can and should feel like just another practice test.
It’s not too late to withdraw.
With less than a week remaining, you’re either ready or you’re not. You’ll know you’re ready when you’re happy with the full range of your most recent five to ten practice test scores. For those of you who have been diligently preparing, go kill it this week. You’re happy with your range, and this is just one more practice test. Break a leg.
But if your practice test range—the entire range, not just your best one or two scores—doesn’t reflect your full ability, it’s not too late to withdraw. You won’t get your $200 back at this late stage. But it won’t count as one of your limited number of official attempts. It won’t show up on your LSAC record at all.
I will not judge you if you withdraw. I would, however, judge you for wasting an official attempt hoping for a miracle.
Whether you’re taking the official test this week or not, I wish you the best of luck with your ongoing LSAT studies. It’s a lot easier and less stressful than you think—and I’d like to show you in person. Come to the last session of my June 2021 LSAT Study Group. It’s free on Zoom at 7ET/4PT this evening. I’ll do my best to calm your last-minute nerves. All you need is a Demon Free account.