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December 2009 LSAT recap


Note: Due to my long-suffered case of litigaphobia I will not be discussing any answers or deductions in this post, so please refrain from commenting on them as well. Though we’d all like to be lawyers, defending yourself against LSAC wouldn’t exactly be a good way to start.

Within the first ten minutes of walking into my testing center, a tingling sensation began creeping up my spine. I paused, and using morse code, deciphered what my overworked and extremely irregular pulse was telling me. If my knowledge of code is at all correct, I am quite certain my body was saying: “What the hell are you doing to me?? I feel like I just did enough meth to make it through the Tuesday afternoon shift at a strip club in Barstow.” In response, I began a dazzling, rhythmic display of finger tapping (to the dismay of just about everyone sitting anywhere near me) to remind my body exactly why I decided to re-take the LSAT four years after scoring a 172 in October 2005.

I see two major reasons for putting myself through this ordeal for a second time. The most obvious is that as most of you probably know, your LSAT score will only remain active for 5 years. Since I have spent the vast majority of that time teaching for Blueprint and getting weird with strangers around the world, I realized that I better keep an active score on record to re-pack my law school parachute when I decide to apply. An additional reason is that in the strange and mysterious community of Blueprint instructors, my 172 just wasn’t what it used to be. I am beginning to feel like Howard from The Big Bang Theory. What good is a Master’s Degree from MIT if all of your buddies have PhDs? So to finally earn a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T around here, I throw myself once more unto the breach.

But anyways, on to the nitty-gritty. Not to be confused with the itty-bitty-kitty-committee.

Section one: Logic Games

There must be a God up there somewhere because this section was not too terribly difficult, with no stand out performances. First up we had a combo game (I know, right?), though the game wasn’t nearly as bad as you might expect. It was in fact an awful lot like the hotel and restaurant combo game from lesson 11 for all you Blueprinters reading this. Next up was a game about law firms sharing office space over three floors, an unstable multiple grouper. In this section, the third game was certainly the bitch, spelled with a capital B. An in and out game with a deceiving number of involved players made for some tricky deductions, but knowledge of the In and Out grouping relationships made it manageable. Last there was a 1:1 ordering game with something about cities I think, with largely restrictive rules that amounted to umpteen scenarios, so plug-and-chug it went.

Fairly Arbitrary Level of Difficulty: 7/10
Totally Arbitrary Rate of My Success Getting Lucky at the BP After Party Tonight: 9/10
Realistic Shot of Convincing Someone Into Any Extracurricular “In And Out Games”: 4/10

Section two: Logical Reasoning

This is where it really hit me. Tummy grumbling, nose running, eyes watering, and the damn near soul-crushing reality of missing my first question. For whatever reason, this section gave me heaps of trouble. Like, ‘no occifer I has not been drinkin’ trouble. From what I can remember, this section had a decent mix of questions, though it was dominated by the usual spread of Flaw, Strengthen, and Soft Must Be True. In my opinion the Weaken questions held the standout difficulty, and the ratio of assumption questions tilted toward almost even between Sufficient and Necessary. As far as content, all I remember was a Flaw question giving anarchists a bad name and some terrible questions involving global warming/carbon dioxide levels. Apparently the LSAT isn’t up to date on the recent absence of evidence shenanigans, but I predict a Flaw question on the topic in the near future…

Difficulty: 9/10
Times I legitimately thought about using my freshly sharpened #2 to impale my left eyeball: 2
Questions that had me humming Rancid and Bad Religion for the rest of the test: 1

Section 3: Logic Games

I must have been a very good boy recently (read: not a chance). With two games sections in the first half of the test, I was back on my feet and cruising steadily. Evidently not all my classmates felt the same. This section contained some mysterious ordering game involving hauling stone or ditch digging or something, and it was apparently intriguing enough to cause one kid in my room to leave the test during the section, presumably to put his newly learned construction skills to work in the dirt lot across the street. I just hope nobody ended up in the ditch. It’s not clear whether this was the experimental section, but if it were, it’d be a shame, since it was by far the easier of the two games sections on my test.

Difficulty: 6/10
Score of the Florida-Alabama SEC championship game at half: 13-19 ‘Bama. Suck it, Tebow.

Section 4: Reading Comprehension

I have to say this section was a pleasant surprise. For those of us playing the home game and taking recent practice tests, the subject matter for the comparative reading passage should sound very familiar. The idea of the utility of parallel computer systems in solving complex problems that occur in the natural world is taken directly from the September 09 exam. Hate to play the proverbial player-hater for Riley’s crystal ball predictions, but the comparative was not only simple but contained eight questions for maximum funsies. In the future, let’s stick to more ambiguous, horoscopic type predictions: There may or may not be around 100 questions on the next exam or someone will ask some incredibly stupid question. For example, in my testing center there was a school crest on the wall, with the founding date of 1949 A.D. Brilliant dude asks (aloud, to no one in particular): What do you think the AD means? Really, dude? What does it ALWAYS mean?? The ultimate irony was that the testing center was a Catholic university…

As for the rest of the section, there was a pretty reasonable legal passage about wanting to emphasize more on statutes. This was followed by a gem about sculptures that was quite nasty. The section ended with a five question, five-seven minute passage about the costs and benefits of being a total dick to strangers in something called the Ultimatum Game.

Difficulty: 7/10
Probable split if I played the Ultimatum game: 90/10 and I buy the first beer

Section 5: Logical Reasoning

Maybe I was still relishing in the idea of swindling my way into some deliciously unfair free cash, but this section seemed like a breeze compared to the first LR section. A preponderance of Explain questions (love that shit), and no more of the figurative bitchslapping I endured at the hands of Weaken questions throughout section two. From the consensus I’ve gotten from my students who also did work this morning (we DOES work, son), regardless of what numbered section it was, there was clearly a lighter LR portion. I remember some question asking us to explain why people are idiots and see the same stupid plot in movie after movie. Another was a Must Be True that placed actors, athletes and businessmen in a room. I don’t remember what they were doing in there, but it probably involved hookers and blow. All in all, a smooth transition into a (predictably) ridiculous writing sample about amateur theater group and out the door we went.

Difficulty: 6/10
Reading level of my elderly, immigrant proctor: Fourth grade, tops.

Now if you don’t mind, I think it’s time to leave you. It is 3:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, December 5th and I have one more game to finish. It’s a very simple 1:1 ordering game. Two hands, two 40oz beers, and the beers must be drunk consecutively. So long and good luck!