The BriefA Blog about the LSAT, Law School and Beyond
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.
[Note: LSAC has stopped us from releasing our free logic game explanations as of November 15, 2019 (more details)]
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 :(
LSAT score conversions can seem intimidating at first. You have no idea what a raw score or scaled score means. Fortunately, it's not that tough. Soon you'll know exactly how to find out your score.
Each LSAT has about 100 or 101 questions. You get one point for getting a question right, and there is no penalty for guessing.
Your "raw score" is just the total number of questions you get right.
Converting Raw Scores To LSAT Scaled Scores
Your scaled score is a mark out of 180, and it's the one that counts. Law schools use this to compare you against students who wrote different LSATs.
Each LSAT has it's own formula for converting raw scores to scaled scores. You can find it at the back of the test.
Take your raw score, and look at the chart. There will be two columns: highest and lowest. These show the highest and lowest raw scores that let you get a certain scaled score.
If this sounds complicated, don't worry: Just find your number in one of the columns, then read the scaled score that's in the same row. That's your score.
Example: Finding a Scaled Score For The June 2007 LSAT
I'll give you an example using the June 2007 LSAT. Let's pretend you got the following scores:
- Logic Games: 14/23
- Logical Reasoning I: 18/25
- Logical Reasoning II: 20/25
- Reading Comprehension: 19/27
Add them up: 14 + 18 + 20 + 19 = 71
Then look at page 38, which has the scoring scale. You can see 71 in the "lowest" column. It's the lowest score you could get to get a 156 (not bad for a first score!). A raw score of 72 would also have gotten a 156. That's the "highest" raw score that qualified.
Believe it or not, you now know everything there is to know about calculating your LSAT score.
You're probably wondering what your score means, and what an LSAT percentile is. Stay tuned, that's a topic for an upcoming post!
For more detailed explanation of LSAT score conversion, check out this post.
Click here to use our LSAT score calculator to figure out your raw and scaled score.
We want to help you study for the December LSAT. So, we're giving away a a pair of free LSAT courses. The contest is open until Midnight, October 19th.
Grand Prize: LSAT Premium course - $349 value
Runner-Up Prize: LSAT Complete Course - $179 value
These courses will teach you everything you need to get a good score in December.
You get one entry just for signing up. But you can increase your chance to win by sharing....you like sharing, right? For every friend you get to enter, you get ten additional entries.
You can share via Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or URL once you sign up.
Here are our best LSAT Blog posts, all in one place.
- Blind Review - How to Review LSAT Questions
- Components of an LSAT Logical Reasoning Question
- 19 Common LSAT Argument Flaws
General LSAT Info and Tools
- Why You Must Skip (some) LSAT Questions
- Free LSAT Practice Materials
- Free LSAT Prep Tools
- LSAT Books
Reading Comprehension might feel impossible to improve at. Either you read well, or you don't, right?
While a lot of students find it tough to get better at LSAT Reading Comprehension, don't let that stop you. There are ways to get better at RC.
The video above gives you an Introduction To Reading Comprehension. For more RC tips, check out the Memory Method for Reading Comprehension.
Material Covered In The Video
- New, unfamiliar, boring subject matter and vocabulary
- Familiarity with subject matter matters
- Be well read
- Focus, Focus, Focus!
- Ask questions
- Piece information together as you read
- Use your imagination
- Anticipate the direction of the passage
How they lose you
- You fall asleep
- Referential phrasing
- Modifiers/embedded clauses
- Push back/connect the dots
Things they care about
- Main point/conclusion
- Factually accurate?
- Correct emphasis?
- Author’s attitude or tone
- Facts, details
- Can you clearly recall the facts with accuracy?
- Can you push out inferences from these facts and details?
- Passage structure
- Relationship between the paragraphs
- The flow of concepts/ideas
- Relationship between the paragraphs
- Different arguments, different view points
- Clearly distinguish
- So many words!
- Humanities, Law, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences
- Last passage packed w/questions – 7 or 8
- Practice skipping questions for time
- Focus spending time upfront on the passage
- Wrong answers are time sinks