So the idea came to me in the shower, as all good ideas do. Something about the nakedness and isolation or something, maybe.
If I’m going to take the LSAT again, I’m going to do it right. No running out of time on sections. No half-assed prep. No leaving the testing center thinking holy shit I could’ve done so much better.
Because the thing about the LSAT is it’s not hard. I mean, it kind of is. It’s designed to weed out the fuckheads and shitbrains and people who are for whatever god-given reason just not meant to be lawyers. (Tangent: unfortunately there are a plethora of law schools out there eager to accept the fuckheads and shitbrains so long as the check clears). But ultimately it’s just a long multiple-choice test, consisting of 100 questions and 100 correct answers that are 100% correct and 400 incorrect answers that are 0% correct.
And it’s not an IQ test, either. Some nerds get a higher diagnostic score than other nerds, sure, and some nerds have to study more diligently than others to get the same score, but that’s only because all nerds approach the test with unique background skill sets. E.g. some come into it with a strong understanding of conditional logic and some have no idea what conditional logic is.
But everyone can learn what conditional logic is. It’s a skills test, not an intelligence test, is the thing. And that fundamentally shapes how I have to think about it. A pianist must master the piano before playing Carnegie Hall. To play a show with only having a vague understanding of what notes compliment one another, or with muscle memory that is anything less than masterful, would be foolish. Similarly, I must go into the testing center in three months as a fucking disciple of the craft. A skilled virtuoso. A beastmaster. Otherwise, why am I going in at all?
I used to think that if I got X score, that meant I was smart. That my intelligence would somehow be validated. I’ve since come to realize how naive and ultimately fruitless this way of thinking is. For example scoring a 168, as I did last September, doesn’t mean I’m smarter than 95.5% of people. It just means I scored better than 95.5% of all test-takers on that specific test. That’s it. That’s all. And to extrapolate anything else from that number would be a shameful example of faulty inductive reasoning.
And even if it did mean that somehow, in some objective capacity, I was more intelligent than most people, so what? Big fucking whoop. Who gives a shit? I’d still have to wake up tomorrow, put on my shoes, and try my hardest not to be an asshole. Virtue and happiness are disinterested in intelligence.
If I get a 170+ on the Sept. 2017 LSAT, it won’t be because I am naturally gifted in some certain capacity. It will be because I’ve spent the previous three months working my ass off. It’ll be because I put in the time. (Tangent: I think this the benefit of high school sports. Sports instill at a young age certain truths that are, as I’m coming to realize, not only important to recognize, but fundamental components of human existence).
This is what I was thinking about in the shower last night. Actually it’s something I’ve been thinking in the shower most nights since last September.
I am committing, here, right now, to make a LSAT journal, with daily entries detailing my experiences studying for LSAT. Examples of the things I hope to write about: general anxieties w/r/t the test, patterns in study habits, diet and mental and physical well-being, notes on why I’m missing certain question types, and the minutiae of a certain question I got incorrect.
This journal will help hold me accountable for my studying–for my skill-building–as well as help me flesh out my thoughts.
I will not walk out of the test center in September thinking about what could have been.