I spend more time than I would like talking to students about a variety of issues that are simply out of their hands. If you’ve ever looked over one of the law school discussion boards, you’ll know what I mean. Issues that have no possible bearing on student success get very thorough discussion. I’m sure pop psychology would have a lot to say about student worries, but rather than diagnose I’d like to cure. Here’s a list of things that should not matter to you on the LSAT and that you should not spend any time worrying about after reading this post.
- Whether the February LSAT is harder. There is a strange mystique around the February test because the test itself isn’t released to test-takers. No, it is not harder, or easier, or different in any way. My understanding is that LSAC reserves the questions from the February tests to retool and use in modified form again. It does not impact the test-taker in any way.
- What the curve is for the exam. The curve for the test varies very slightly from test to test, meaning that a raw score of x would be a slightly different 120-180 score on different tests. LSAC goes to extraordinary lengths to reduce the amount of variance from test to test. Students sometimes want to try to piece together whether a particular test was harder or easier than “normal.” There’s simply no way that you’d be able to tell. Remember, each question has been used experimentally before.
- Whether you should submit an addendum about a low score. This is probably the one students lose the most sleep over. If you didn’t prepare long enough or had nerves and then improved on a subsequent test, your scores speak for themselves. Most things that might warrant an addendum (health problems) are issues that justify canceling a score — it’s better to cancel than to “see how you do” if you think it wasn’t your best.
The only things you can really control are your own expertise and preparedness to take the exam.
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