The BriefA Blog about the LSAT, Law School and Beyond
As the February 2013 LSAT approaches, a blizzard is striking the East coast. The LSAC rarely cancels tests, but this year the storm is severe enough that testing has been suspended at a few test centers.
Odds are, your test center is not affected. Be sure to monitor the official notice of cancellations here:
The LSAT does not appear to have announced what happens if your test is postponed, but from past experience they will contact you to schedule a retake in 1-3 weeks. If that happens to you, continue practicing as usual: timed practice tests are the best way to prepare at this point.
Looking for live LSAT classes in New York City or Boston? You're in luck! PreProBono, a NYC based 501(c)3 non-profit also founded by our co-founder J.Y. Ping, is offering weekend LSAT classes at various NYC and Boston colleges and law schools. 7Sage is proud to donate our curriculum and materials to PreProBono. The cost to you? $50 deposit, fully refunded upon successful completion of program. Successful completion of program means that you show up on time to the class you sign up for and stay for the whole time. If you can manage that, it's pretty much free. Can you manage that?
PreProBono Spring 2013 Schedule
Fordham University at Rose Hill - February 2-3
Baruch College - February 2-3
College of Staten Island - February 16-17
NYU Law School - February 23-24
Harvard Law School - March 2-3
Hunter College - March 30-31
Columbia Law School - April 6-7
Prep for LSAT and increase your LSAT score with the latest LSAT prep test!
LSAT PrepTest 68 from the December 2012 administration is now available for purchase through an instant PDF download. In addition to the PDF, you will also get individual video explanations that cover every single question on the test.
The early bird 43% discount ($16.99) is on through Sunday. After that, the price goes back to $29.99. Purchase LSAT PrepTest 68 and all video explanations here.
I just took PrepTest 68 (the December 2012 LSAT) under simulated testing conditions. I want to share some of my thoughts with you. This post will cover Logic Games for which I have already made the videos lessons (links below).
Stop reading if you haven't taken this prep test yet. It'll ruin the test for you.
LSAT 68 Logic Game Summaries and Video Explanation Links
Game 1 - A realtor is showing a prospective buyer seven houses. The first and second houses are shown in the morning. The third, fourth, and fifth are shown in the afternoon. The fifth and sixth are shown in the evening.
Game 2 - Five witnesses are scheduled to testify at a hearing. The hearing is scheduled on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Game 3 - A maintenance company is taking service requests. Their clients are Image, Solide, and Truvest. For each client, there are two service targets - one for website requests and one for voicemail requests. The service targets are set for either 3 days, 2 days, or 1 day.
Game 4 - An editor will edit seven articles. Three articles cover finance, three cover nutrition and one covers wildlife.
Games 1 and 2
The first and second games are standard sequencing and grouping games where much of the board can be determined. I made a few sub-game boards to better visually represent the placement of items on the game board. Both games were solved in about 5 minutes each with no errors.
Game 3 - Maintenance Company
Since the first two games were quick, I expected the third and fourth games to be harder. The LSAT did not disappoint. The third one was confusing. I had to read the stimulus a couple of times to figure out how to set up the game board correctly. The stimulus used a lot of referential phrasing ("clients" and "service targets") that made the it hard to follow. The first rule took about 4 or 5 re-readings to sink in. I thought pretty hard about what it meant for "website targets to be not longer than voicemail targets." As is almost always the case, the time invested up front was worth it. I split up the game board into a few sub-game boards. Even with the sub-game boards drawn out, I still had to redraw them next to most of the questions to avoid careless confusion. This game took about 10 minutes with no errors.
Game 4 - Editor, Very Difficult
Going into the fourth game with about 15 minutes on the clock was comfortable. Still, I wasn't fully prepared for how difficult it would end up being. After setting up the game board and writing down the rules, I stared at the nearly blank page for a couple of seconds. I was pretty sure there would be no point in trying to spilt the main game board up into sub-game boards. The rules were so open that I couldn't make any inferences and so I didn't know where to start. But with plenty of time left on the clock I just hit the questions hard and thought I would brute force my way through them.
That was risky. Most of the questions required a separate game board setup for each answer choice. That meant creating making up to 5 game boards for each question! That felt paralyzing. But you just do it. By the time I got to the last 2 questions, I was down to 2 minutes. Brute force is a highly time consuming strategy. For the second to last question, after spending about a minute on it, I eliminated the answers down to two. I had a strong feeling about one of them and just chose it so I could move onto the last question. I didn't prove it out. I just moved onto the last question. I got lucky and got it right.
With under a minute left for the last question, I looked at answers and guessed at which one of the five probably was right given what I knew about the dynamics of the rules. Before I could even prove my only guess at the correct answer, time ran out so I had to bubble in my choice. I got lucky again.
So, what's the take away? Two of these four games were hard. You have to be able to move through the easy ones very quickly to save up enough time to tackle the hard ones.
For more Logic Games explanations like these, hop over to our Logic Games page. There, we’ve recorded video explanations for every Logic Game going back over a decade. All in HD, with variable playback speed, and you get to ask questions. Oh, the best part: it’s completely free.
You’ve experienced panic during an LSAT. Your brain freezes, you can’t think, and you get questions wrong.
You’re actually experiencing the fight or flight response. This is a mini-meditation exercise to teach you how to kick your body out of that, and get back to answering questions. But first, a bit about the fight or flight response.
The Fight or Flight Response
So, as humans, we’re all equipped with a sophisticated system to deal with sudden threats. Suppose a bear appeared in front of you when you went out to lunch. Here is what you would do, without thinking:
1. Freeze. It’s actually the freeze-fight or flight response. Predators are attracted to motion, freezing hides you. This also prepared you for your next action. Your brain assesses whether to attack the threat, or flee.
2. You hold your breath. This helps you freeze, and gives you a burst of strength when you exhale. You’ll recognize this added force if you’ve ever done heavy weightlifting.
3. You shut down non-essential body functions. Digestion is all well and good, but it won’t help you fight a bear. That gets shut down, along with several other non-crucial body functions, such as higher order logical thought.
Oops. Unfortunately, a tough LSAT question triggers this same stress response, and exactly the same effects occur. If you ‘panic’ during the LSAT you’re experiencing an evolutionary reaction utterly unsuited to your current situation. You can’t punch logic games, or run away.
Fortunately, there is a way out. Breathing is quite something. It’s the one autonomous bodily system (happens without thinking) that we can also control. And it’s a crucial part of the fight or flight response.
The Mini-Meditation Exercise
Taking deep, conscious breaths acts as a manual override switch to the fight or flight response. ‘It’s ok brain, not a bear. At ease.’ You literally can’t be stressed if you take a series of deep breaths. So here’s the protocol:
1. Close your eyes
2. Take 5-10 deep breaths, slowly, in and out, until you feel relaxed.
3. Breathe through your stomach. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system and heightens the effect.
4. Focus on the breath entering and leaving your nostrils. A common meditation technique, among other things, this removes the stressful incident from our thoughts.
This whole process takes 10-15 seconds. The increased mental awareness of returning to a normal, logical mind state more than makes up for the few seconds spent.
If you liked this article, you'll probably also like our tips for combating LSAT anxiety.
Congratulations to everyone who took down the LSAT last Saturday. For everyone who has their sights on the February and June LSATs, without further ado, it is time to reveal who won LSAT Premium.
The winner is... Deep Brar! Congratulations. We asked Deep if he had anything he would like to say:
"Wow! Thank you so much for this! I've been trying to study for the LSAT on my own and have been struggling a bit, but now that I have access to all of these amazing resources in the LSAT Premium course I feel like I should have no problem at all :)" - Deep Brar
So many of you accumulated tons of entries by spreading the word that we had four times more entries than the last time we ran this! That clearly couldn't go unacknowledged, so we decided to award a copy of LSAT Complete to whoever managed to score the most entries.
Now, the award for Most Prolific Propagation goes to Corey Varma. Congratulations Corey! Corey also had a few words to share:
"From free Logic Game explanations to awesome pro-tips and everything in between, you guys are the best!" - Corey Varma
If you didn't win, fear not. You can still get an LSAT course for less than a third the cost of the other guys.
Good luck everyone!
Tomorrow, the biggest challenge will be psychological. Stay calm and collected and you'll get the LSAT score that you've been getting on your timed LSAT PrepTests.
If you have any last minute questions, concerns, or just want to chat, we will be on this post until 1am. Hit us up!
Ever get that deja vu feeling when you do a Logic Game? Like you've done a game like that one before? That's because most Logic Games are very similar to each other. You can get better by mastering the games one type at a time.
Download our Logic Games Cheatsheet to see how we categorize the Logic Games from LSAT PTs 35-50.
Are you getting ready to take the February or June LSAT next year? Enter to win a free LSAT Premium course! This contest is open everyone, including students already enrolled in a 7Sage course.*
This contest ends at 11pm ET, December 2nd, which is after the December LSAT. If you are taking the December LSAT, and haven't done so yet, enroll in a course, or get supplementary materials, so you'll be ready to crush that LSAT.
Pro-tip: There are plenty of extra entries to be had! You get 13 more entries for following the simple steps, one more entry for every person that clicks on one of your links, and FIVE(!) extra entries for every person who enters the contest with your custom link. Follow the steps, spread the word, and you will rack up tons of extra entries to get a better chance at winning :D
* If you are already enrolled in a course, then the prizes as are follows:
- If you are already enrolled in LSAT Complete and win the contest, then you win a free upgrade to LSAT Premium.
- If are already enrolled in LSAT Premium and win the contest, then you win explanations to LSAT PrepTests 66 and 67, and one hour of private tutoring.
- If you are already enrolled in LSAT Ultimate and win the contest, then you win the mystery prize.
The registration deadline for the December 2012 LSAT is October 29th. That's this Monday. Don't forget to register.
If you're on the fence about a retake, don't wait to get your scores. Register now. If you don't need to retake, you can get a partial refund. This is important, it's worth losing a small fee to be sure you're registered. The refund deadline is November 9th, 2012.
There is a late registration deadline on November 9th, but it's more expensive and there's no guarantee you'll get a seat.
The December 2012 test date is Saturday, December 1st.
Have you ever missed a registration deadline? Let us know in the comments!
p.s. I actually missed an LSAT registration deadline myself once :(