Want to Improve Your LSAT score? Don't Be a Bill

The LSAT can be fun. And yes, making it fun will make you better at it.  

Students really underestimate how much their attitude about the test affects their score. Behind work ethic, attitude is probably the single biggest determining factor of two things:

  1. How much you improve
  2. How close to your real test will be to your practice test average

I’m making a huge claim here, and I’d be a hyprocrite if I didn’t at least attempt to provide some premises.

So let’s imagine two identical students for a second. We’ll call them Bill and Will. Both students have four months to study. Both students have a diagnostic score of 145 and want a 165+ on the test so they can have a shot at UCLA. Both students study on average two hours a day, five days a week. They use the exact same study materials.

Goofus and Gallant, the original Bill and Will

These are the differences between Bill and Will.

When they wake up in the morning:

  • Bill curses another day wasted on that life-ruining test called the LSAT.
  • Will doesn’t even think about the LSAT.

When they sit down to study:

  • Bill thinks, “This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. I want to be doing literally anything else. All I want is a root canal right now. All I want is to be in a fistfight on the subway right now.”
  • Will thinks, “Oh, cool, today’s an LR day.”

 When they approach a new question:

  • Bill thinks, “Ugh, why am I wasting my time with this.”
  • Will thinks, “Another fun riddle to puzzle out.

When they get a question right:

  • Bill thinks, “Yeah, whatever it doesn’t matter anyway since it’s not the real test.”
  • Will thinks, “Awesome!”

 When they get a question wrong:

  • Bill thinks, “I WILL BURN THIS BROKEN SYSTEM TO THE GROUND”
  • Will thinks, “Huh, that’s weird. Let me figure this out.”

 When they walk in to take the test:

  • Bill thinks, “I just want to be done with this stupid test. I have to not screw up so I never have to waste my life doing this again.”
  • Will thinks, “I want to get in there and show what I can do.”

Who do you really think is going to do better?

I know who does better because I've tutored Bills and Wills for years. Will always does better, even if Bill is smarter and works harder. Will does better. Bill's intelligence and work ethic are capped by how he feels about the test.

How many NBA champions out there hate basketball? You may claim that's a false analogy; people choose to play basketball. It's not a gatekeeper; no one chooses to take the LSAT (*furiously raises hand and is ignored*). But the point stands regardless of the choice. What we care about is excellence, and excellence cannot be achieved when you're cursing every moment you spend pursuing the activity you're trying to become excellent at.

So you have to decide, do you want to indulge negative emotions or get the highest score you're capable of? Because you can’t do both.

Hopefully, I can convince you one day that the LSAT actually is fun/awesome/the best. But first, you have to believe that the change in mindset is actually worth it. Your score will thank you later.