How to Control Nerves on the LSAT

The LSAT is a rigorous examination that makes most students nervous. The combination of how difficult the test is and how much it can change a person’s life if they don’t do well on it make this exam an intimidating experience. However, there are ways to control nerves while taking the LSAT. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 different methods of controlling nerves while taking the LSAT so you can perform at your best.

Managing your nerves has been shown to improve a test taker’s performance on the test. Being nervous, on the other hand, has been shown to have a negative impact. That’s why it’s important to stay calm and collected, even if you are nervous.

If you feel your nerves getting the best of you, try one of these five relaxation techniques to help control them while taking the LSAT:

1) Deep breathing

If you are feeling nervous, try deep breathing. Deep breathing is a great way to calm your nerves while taking the LSAT because it has been shown in studies that controlling how much oxygen goes into your lungs can have an effect on how well you perform during stressful situations.

2) Progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that requires you to tighten different parts of your body, hold it for several seconds and then relax. This will help physically calm your nerves because the tension in your muscles can be an outlet for how nervous you feel on test day. If this doesn’t work try tightening and releasing each individual finger or toe.

3) Anchoring

Anchoring is a technique that allows you to associate feelings of calmness with something else, like taking deep breaths. During the test, try using your thumb and forefinger (or any two fingers) to create an “A-OK” sign. Then when you’re feeling anxious or nervous remind yourself how good it felt during practice.

4) Positive Self-talk

Positive self-talk is one of the most important tools for controlling nerves. Remind yourself how well prepared you are by thinking positive thoughts about how confident and capable you feel. Remember that everyone feels nervous before a test, especially tests as difficult as the LSAT, but your score doesn’t have to be affected by it!

5) Avoid Negative People & Situations

Do your best to avoid negative people or situations that could cause you stress. If you’re not sure how far this might go, take an example of how certain friends are always late to events and plan ahead by telling yourself “I won’t be able to talk to so-and-so before the LSAT because this is how they always behave,” and remind yourself it’s not a big deal.

There are many tactics you can use to remain calm while taking the LSAT, but these are just the ones most test takers have found success in. Remember to stay positive and trust your abilities.

How to Mentally Prepare for the LSAT

Studying for the LSAT isn’t just about building proficiency at answering each question type within each section. It’s also about being mentally prepared and calm during the entire process. 

Students may spend months or even years studying for the LSAT. They’ve taken many practice exams and consider themselves to be well-prepared for the exam. However, on test day, not everyone reaches their full potential. This is usually owing to a lack of mental preparation on the part of some test takers.

Here are some ways you can become mentally prepared:

Manage anxiety levels

Pinpoint what is causing the anxiety. Are you scared of getting a low score because you feel you haven’t studied consistently? Is there a particular section you feel you’re weak at? Are you unsure what to expect because this is your first time taking the test? By figuring out what is the source of your stress, you’re able to address it to raise your confidence levels. 

Visualize acing the LSAT

The power of visualization is incredibly powerful because it allows you to practice how you’ll react in various test-taking scenarios before it actually happens. Plus, it helps you familiarize yourself with the future circumstance before it happens so you’ll feel less nervous when the actual test is happening. Lastly, it forces your brain to focus on the positive instead of the negative. 

Don't spend all your time studying

It might seem counterintuitive to make time for other things in your life, such as hobbies, leisure, and socialization, but it’s important to have balance. 

The LSAT isn’t a race; it’s more of a marathon. It takes time to master the material, so don’t burn out early. Your favorite hobbies might also be quite beneficial for you. When it’s time to study, this will keep you refreshed, focused, and energized.

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