Studying for the LSAT can be an incredibly rewarding experience. You put in the work and effort to achieve your goal score to get into your dream law school, and seeing that payoff in practice, and in reality, is a wonderful feeling. By the same token, this process can be extremely stressful and oftentimes frustrating when that work doesn’t seem to be translating into progress. One experience that many students struggle with is having a really bad practice test, especially as it gets closer to test day. Even if you have an overall upward trajectory, the mental impact of a significantly below average score can be jarring. Students begin to wonder if the progress that they made was legitimate, or if they are bound to repeat a bad result on test day. These thoughts are all normal and if you ever find yourself in this position, here are some steps to help you rebound.
This might seem like this doesn’t mean much, but we argue that this is the most important step of all. This test is hard, and you have taken the time to try to tackle this head on where most people will not. That alone is an impressive feat. Running into an occasional issue, hitting a wall, and making mistakes will happen because the test is designed to be extremely challenging. While a bad test will be frustrating, it’s important to remember that it is only one test, it’s normal, and it doesn’t mean you are not capable of achieving your goal.
2. Remember the progress you have made.
When students score a below average score, they start to feel like maybe their previous practice tests results can just be chalked up to luck. The issue with that idea is that it’s extremely unlikely that you’ve had a long lucky streak, and it’s significantly more likely that those were well earned scores. In order to perform well on test day, you need to be confident in your abilities, and this one result shouldn’t put a damper on otherwise good results.
3. Learn from it.
The next step is going back to the test and learning everything you can from it. At the end of the day, progress comes from making mistakes and falling short, and these situations provide a wonderful opportunity to find out where you still might have some weak points. Was it an issue with sleep the night before? Was there a question type on the test that you still need to work on? Whatever it is, it is worthwhile to take the time to reflect on what went wrong so you don’t repeat these mistakes on test day!
Overall, the goal is to process what happened emotionally, figure out how to best improve from the test, and get right back into it. You can only hit your goal score if you keep on moving, so don’t let one bad test keep you from it!