Scoring your first practice LSAT can be terrifying. Your initial LSAT score will probably be much lower than you were ready to deal with emotionally. I’ve had students who refused to score their first practice LSAT out of fear. But there’s really nothing to be afraid of.
What the LSAT Measures
Students who score poorly on their first practice LSAT will often think something like, “My friends and family must’ve been lying to me; I’m really kind of an idiot.”
The LSAT isn’t measuring how smart you are. The LSAT is measuring how good you are at a very narrow range of reasoning skills. Think of it this way. You can be an amazing athlete, but if you don’t have much experience with ice-skating, odds are you’ll look a bit unathletic on the ice.
With a bit of practice, you’ll get much better LSAT scores.
What Your First Practice LSAT Score Means For The Future
Good news: your first practice LSAT score isn’t a good predictor of your best LSAT score.
I’ve seen students go from the 140s into the 170s. I’ve also seen students languish in the 160s for far too long. How likely you are to finish all of your LSAT prep homework, and how good your attendance is, are much better predictors of your best LSAT score.
So, don’t try to guess your best LSAT score from your first practice LSAT score.
What Improvement To Expect
You will probably not improve very much, if at all on your second practice LSAT. Your score might actually fall.
During your LSAT prep, you’ll learn brand new ways of thinking about the world. Initially, this will slow you down, but it should make you more accurate. If your accuracy is going up for the question types that you’ve covered up to that point, then you’re doing just fine.
With your fourth practice LSAT you should start seeing improvements in your score.
What To Do Outside of Class and Homework
To do well on the LSAT, you need to study hard, but you also need to manage your stress. You probably know what works for you. However, if exercise and healthy eating aren’t part of your de-stressing regiment you should definitely add them. Make time to workout every day. You don’t have to get a sick pump at the gym. A quick 15 minute run will do.
So don’t let a low practice LSAT score freak you out. Commit to a study schedule, don’t miss any classes, and workout. You’ll do much better by the end of your LSAT prep if you don’t let lower-than-expected practice LSAT scores get you down.
Good luck with your LSAT prep!