It's frustrating and disorienting not to know how the Flex test will be scored. The LSAT is stressful enough without worrying about a new format.
But, the truth is, you've already been given the best converter in existence from the LSAC itself: the regular 4 section PrepTest. Take 4 section PTs. That will be the best predictor of how you will do on a 3 section Flex test. On test day, frame the loss of 1 LR section to yourself as a treat: 1 fewer stress inducing nerve-racking task to do.
We've debated creating a "Flex score converter" and a "Flex PT" and we've been hesitant to do so because of how speculative it would inherently be.
The truth is that only LSAC can create a "Flex score converter" or a "Flex PT." LSAC has not given any significant details on how they will score LSAT Flex. Anything we try to do on that front will necessarily be guesswork and misleading.
Having said that, we made this "Flex Score Estimator" based on requests by students to see what their score would be if LR, RC, and LG were weighted the same. Feel free to play around with it and don’t take it seriously!
On today's episode David Busis, Partner at 7Sage Admissions Consulting, speaks with Rob Schwartz, Assistant Dean of Admissions at UCLA School of Law.
On today's episode, J.Y. speaks with Riley, AllezAllez21. In eight short months, Riley improved his diagnostic LSAT score of 160 to a 177. They speak about Riley's background in debate and endurance sports and the advantages they brought to his LSAT prep. They also speak about the importance of mantras and doing untimed sections in the beginning stages of prepping to provide a solid theoretical foundation.
On today's episode, J.Y. speaks with 7Sager AccountsPlayable, David, who scored a 174 on his LSAT.
David is currently a 1L at Harvard Law School but gaining admissions was not straight forward. He had to apply twice. They speak about what the process was like, among other things related to LSAT prep and law school admissions.
In today’s episode, J.Y. speaks with 7Sager Josh, Can't Get Right, who improved his LSAT score from a 152 diagnostic to a 176.
Josh studied for the LSAT for over two years and took the LSAT four times with scores of 163, 162, 170, and finally 176.
Josh talks about just how much work it took to improve his score and the different strategies he employed, including filming yourself taking live sections and reviewing the footage to find inefficiencies in approach.
Usually, when you take an LSAT, you will get your score report back along with the entire test you took. That means you’ll get to see not only your LSAT score, but also the actual questions you attempted to answer on test day. You can look at your score report, analyze the questions you missed, and review it like you would a PrepTest. These are the disclosed LSATs.
With a disclosed LSAT, on score release day, you’ll get the following from LSAC:
- Your scaled score (120 – 180)
- Your raw score (0 – 100)
- Your percentile (0% – 99.9%)
- A copy of your answer sheet
- A copy of the test you took with every single question in it
However, some LSATs are not disclosed. When the test is nondisclosed, you won’t get the test back when you receive your score. That means you can't see where you made mistakes.
On score release day, you’ll only get the following from LSAC:
- Your score (120 – 180)
- Your percentile (0% – 99.9%)
Obviously, it’s a drawback of taking the nondisclosed LSAT that you can’t review the questions you missed. Indeed, you won’t even know which questions you missed.
How many LSATs are nondisclosed?
In the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean in 2018–2019, three LSATs are nondisclosed.
- June 2018
- July 2018 (nondisclosed)
- September 2018
- November 2018
- January 2019 (nondisclosed)
- March 2019 (nondisclosed)
In addition to the three above, LSATs taken outside the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean are always nondisclosed. These tests are often referred to as international tests.
Are international nondisclosed tests different?
For example, students reported that the June 2018 LSAT in Asia (nondisclosed) used the same test as the February 2015 LSAT (nondisclosed) in North America. The December 2017 LSAT in Asia and February 2018 LSAT in Europe was also the test used for the February 2013 LSAT (nondisclosed) in North America.
The LSAT is a standardized test for admission to law schools in North America (and a few schools in Australia), so it's not supposed to vary by region. International tests often use previously administered nondisclosed LSATs (such as February tests in North America).
Why are some LSATs nondisclosed?
LSAC says, "LSAC discloses some but not all tests because it is necessary to have some nondisclosed test forms available for emergencies and special uses."
It is a way for LSAC to keep some test forms for future uses. For example, there are sometimes make-up tests for people who couldn’t take the LSAT due to some natural disaster, and according to some students’ reports, previously administered nondisclosed tests are used in make-up administrations.
How should I prepare for nondisclosed tests?
In exactly the same way as you would for any LSAT. There’s nothing different you should do for nondisclosed tests.
What is the “experimental” section?
The LSAT is composed of five multiple choice sections, but only four are scored. Those four sections include two Logical Reasoning (LR) sections, one Logic Games (LG) section, and one Reading Comprehension (RC) section.
The remaining section is the experimental section, which can be an LR, LG, or RC section. Crucially, that section does not affect your score.
On 7Sage’s Forums and elsewhere, you’ll see people refer to that section as “fake” to distinguish it from the four “real,” that is, scored sections.
Given that there are always one RC, one LG, and two LR sections that determine your LSAT score, if you see an extra section - for example, you see two RC sections - you can rightly infer that one of them is experimental or “fake.”
How can you find out which section is experimental?
You can’t. So don’t bother.
When you are taking the test, you might think, “Wait, another LG section? And this flowers game... it’s so weird. I’ve never seen anything like this before. Must be experimental.”
You could be right or you could be wrong. My point is: don’t think about it. Your suspicions will only divert your valuable attention and other mental resources away from the far more important task at hand: taking the LSAT.
The experimental section could appear as your first, second, third, fourth, or fifth section. So treat every section like it’s real.
The LSAC says, “Identification of the unscored section is not available until you receive your score report.” However, after the test, you can come to our Forums and through a process of cross referencing against many students' reports, identify which section was real and which was experimental. For example, if you had two LG sections, you know one of them was fake. But you don’t know which one. Was it the one with the flowers or was it the one with the planets? On the Forums, you're bound to encounter someone else who had only one LG section. That means their LG section was the real section. They’ll say something like, “Thank God I only got one LG! It was about flowers.” Now you can infer that the planets section was experimental.
Why does the experimental section even exist?
According to the LSAC, the experimental section “typically is used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms.”
It is a way for the LSAC to test new questions to ensure fairness and comparability across different LSAT administrations.
How come PrepTests only have four sections?
Each PrepTest (PT) consists of only the scored sections from the actual administered LSAT. Since the experimental sections are not released, they do not make it into the PrepTests.
How can I get a five-section PrepTest to train my stamina?
To get a five-section PT, you have to “sacrifice” another PT. You can randomly pick a PT, print it out, and split it up into its four sections. Then you insert one of those sections into whatever PT you're going to take to make a five-section PT.
I'll answer with something cryptic, which the rest of this lesson will further explain: you're making a bad assumption. You're assuming that you will actually get everything you answer correct, which is, for 99.99% of the people, false.
The way you want to approach your LSAT is to embrace a principle borrowed from Economics: the low hanging coconut.
Imagine you're on a desert island and you're thirsty. The only source of potables is coconut water. But, coconuts grow on the top of some really tall trees. How do you get them?
Let's pretend there are exactly 25 equally sized coconuts. You need to get at least 20 of them within 35 minutes to not die of thirst (yeah, they're, um, really small coconuts), but it'd be great to get all 25. Sound a little familiar? Haven't we all been trapped alone on a deserted island dying from thirst with coconuts as our last salvation? At least emotionally? Figuratively? Just me?
Anyway, let's walk a little closer to the tree. Or, actually, just you. I'm only there with you as an apparition, narrating this because you're hallucinating from thirst.
The first thing you notice is that the tree is really tall. There are lots of coconuts at the top, but hey! Look! Around the trunk, there are 12 of them just lying there, like idiots. Oh stupid coconuts, what joy you bring! Scoop them up quick before you start to think that we're actually talking about coconuts instead of questions on an LSAT section.
That took no time at all! What will we do next? Let's have you shake the tree to see if any will fall down, eh? I mean why wouldn't you. So, you shake and shake and lo and behold, 7 more delectable coconuts drop down from the tree. Great, we're at 19 coconuts! And we still have 10 minutes left. Now what?
There are 6 coconuts left in the tree and you still have 10 minutes to get as many as you can. There is only one thing left to do: climb. This is time consuming and the results are uncertain because you probably suck at climbing trees. And coconut trees... are an absolute nightmare. Instead of branches for you hold onto, they have perfectly smooth bark. But, lucky for you, some of the coconuts hang lower than the others! So, you climb a couple of feet, and grab the lowest hanging ones first. Then, you climb a bit higher to get the harder to reach ones near the top. The 10 minutes evaporate like drops of coconut water on hot sand and you manage to score 4 more coconuts for a total of 23/25. Not bad.
These are macadamia nuts, which are delicious nuts. A coconut is also delicious, but is not a nut.
Now, to bring the analogy home, imagine each of those 25 coconuts had a number on them, 1-25, like the LSAT questions are numbered 1-25. The ground-lying-coconuts, those 12 easy to get coconuts, are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 12, 13, 14, 21, 22 and 25. Those 7 medium difficulty, shake-me-loose-coconuts, are numbered 5, 7, 10, 11, 17, 19 and 24. Those 6 difficult-to-get-way-up-on-the-top-of-the-stupid-tree coconuts are numbered 9, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23. The way you approach your LSAT sections ought to mirror the way you approach your coconut collecting. Get the easiest ones first! Save the harder ones for later. This way, you ensure that each incremental minute of time you spend on answering a question is spent on the lowest hanging question, the easiest coconut. This must become a habit.
On V-Day, you'll certainly be hit in the face with a couple of ridiculously hard coco... I mean questions. The worst thing for you to do is to be stubborn. You just knocked out questions #7 and #8, easy. Now you see coconut #9 hanging on top of the tree and you spend 30 seconds reading it to realize that you have no clue how to get it down easily, except to climb. Don't climb. Move on. To spend the next 3 minutes climbing up to the top of that tree to collect coconut #9 while coconut #13 is just lying there on the sand is foolish. It's not worth it. It'll cost you too much, even if you get #9 right.
In addition to overpaying for that question in terms of time, you will also be overpaying in terms of psychological strength. You may freak out once you realize what a bad decision you just made. "Arg! That was 3.5 minutes on 1 question and I still have 16 questions left." I'm also assuming the best case scenario where you actually get #9 right - a big assumption, since you tend to miss hard questions. But even if you get it right, you still lose. You shouldn't have gone for it until after you finished up gathering the easy to get coconuts first. Every question is worth 1 point anyway! Why would you risk not having time to do an easy question in order to attempt a difficult question?
When you're taking your timed practice LSATs, learn to intentionally skip questions that you suspect may be "out of your league." Cut your losses and move on. Don't try to fix one mistake with an even larger mistake.