Which one of the following titles best states the main point of the passage?

(A) How To Nail the LSAT on the First Try
(B) The Top 10 Best Mountains in Canada
(C) How the LSAT Causes Premature Aging in Students
(D) Miley Was Right—It’s All About the Climb
(E) Scrambling in Flip Flops and A Blind Fold: A Comprehensive Guide

     After I graduate in April, I’ll look back on my last year as “The Year of the LSAT” (the Law School Admission Test). My summer of work and sun and the outdoors was punctured by LSAT review on my lunch breaks, my first month back at school was a blur of school and practice tests before my actual test at the end September, and the rest of the semester was interrupted by never-ending study sessions after receiving my less-than-competitive score. The LSAT has seeped its way into every facet of my life. I recently took a Harry Potter quiz to find out my Patronus, and I found myself rushing through the questions, trying to finish the quiz within the time limit—except, there was no time limit. My brain is now simply conditioned to complete any multiple choice questionnaire under LSAT conditions. Nice.

     A prospective student’s admission to law school is almost entirely dependent on their GPA, LSAT score, and personal statement. Personally, I’m relying on getting a good LSAT score to compensate for my not-horribly-low-but-not-incredibly-high-just-kind-of-below-the-competitive-standard GPA. This means that I absolutely need to rewrite the LSAT (cue “Hello Darkness My Old Friend”). Admittedly, it’s difficult to hear about friends and cousins and neighbours who nailed the LSAT the first try. Sometimes, it seems as if I’m the only one who didn’t score well on their first attempt. And as tempting as it is to wallow in self-pity, I know it’s not true—I know several people who are writing the LSAT for their second and third times.

     Since I’m relying on a good LSAT score to balance out my GPA, I feel the pressure to do well. It’s like I’m at the bottom of some ridiculously high mountain, and the score I need is at the very top. Some days, it feels like the mountain is on fire and I’m wearing flip flops and a blind fold. Other days, it feels as if I’m wearing incredibly supportive hiking boots and cruising up the steep slopes while admiring the views.

     Whenever I get overwhelmed by the LSAT, I find it helpful to talk to other people. It’s astonishing how many other students are struggling with similar feelings of self-doubt and uncertainty.

     If I’m not testing well, why am I even thinking about writing the LSAT? Do I even want to go to law school? What if I study for months and my score doesn’t improve? What do I do then?

     One conversation I recently had with my friend who’s also rewriting the LSAT was particularly helpful in addressing some of my fears. It helped me realize that it was perfectly normal to have these doubts, and that it’s okay to write the LSAT and be interested in law school for reasons other than strictly practicing law. Essentially, the conversation helped ease the feelings of loneliness that came along with the stress of the LSAT.

     Studying for the LSAT has made me a better student. It’s taught me how to focus and present arguments in a clear and logical manner. More importantly, it’s taught me how to persevere even when the Reading Comprehension passages seem to be written in Ancient Greek and the logic games resemble a form of cruel and unusual punishment. I may rewrite the LSAT and eventually go to law school, or I may find another mountain to climb. Regardless, studying for the LSAT has taught me to persist; whichever mountain I climb, I know the view at the top will be worth the hard work.

     I have met exceedingly able students who have done exceedingly well on SATs or MCATs or LSATs. I have also met students who have been exceedingly able students, yet have not done well on either SATs or, later, MCATs and LSATs. I have met students who have done the reverse – acquitted themselves exceptionally well on SATs and MCATs and LSATs, but have not followed through with a good academic performance. I have met students who don’t do so well in either category, as ongoing students or on these tests, yet who have impressed me as utterly extraordinary human beings with moral and reflective qualities any profession, one would think, might profit by having.

—Robert Coles, 1984



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