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LSAT and staying alive

You study and take practice tests and do well. Then the LSAT rolls around and … your hands sweat, you breathe heavily and think you might pass out. Or worse.

Anxiety is as much a part of the LSAT as the $165 fee you pay for the privilege of sitting for the exam. And why wouldn’t it be? There’s a lot riding on the results.

Unfortunately, anxiety can get in the way of your ability to perform at the highest level, causing you to have to re-take the test or enroll at a fall-back school. It’s enough to make you wish you were dead (well, not really, but it can be overwhelming).

Luckily, the issue of “test stress” has been well-examined by the good people at the Law School Admissions Council and others who’ve taken the test (and experienced the associated angst). Here’s some advice from the experts to help you minimize your stress levels as you prepare for and take the LSAT:

  • Sleep

As you’re prepping for the test, you might be tempted to pull all-nighters. Don’t. Make a diligent effort to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Sleep deprivation is no joke. It can cause you to lose focus, develop a negative attitude and (worst of all) make careless errors.

  • Exercise

A little internet research will give you access to study after study that prove exercise has the ability to help you learn and remember more effectively. So even when you’re in the thick of studying for the LSAT, get out and get your body moving. Take a walk, hit the treadmill or do some jumping jacks. Your mind and your muscles will both thank you for doing so.

  • Give yourself a break

No one is capable of studying nonstop, not even Albert Einstein, who was an avid sailor. Doing something other than studying will help you relax, put things in perspective and return to your studies recharged and ready to learn.

  • Wake up early … and read something

On the day of the LSAT, get up early and read something—anything. Studies have shown that reading something (the newspaper, your favorite blog, junk mail) jump-starts your brain.

  • Have a strategy

No one should go into the LSAT without a strategy. Know what you’re plan is—and then execute your plan. If you need help coming up with a strategy, consider hiring a tutor to help you.

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