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Happy Birthday, Samuel L. Jackson (and the LSAT)

  • by Robert Seaney
  • Jan 10, 2015
  • Entertainment, LSAT

The LSAT is celebrating its 67th birthday this year, and so is Samuel L. Jackson. Both have retained their signature eccentricities, while also adapting through the decades. What follows is a brief genealogy of their intertwined histories…

The modern LSAT originally had roughly fifty Logical Reasoning questions, broken into two sections; four different Logic Games, each with about 6 questions; and four long passages for Reading Comprehension, also with around 6 questions each.

In 2006, however, just as Mr. Jackson was famously declaring that he had had it with “these muthaf******* snakes on this muthaf***** plane,” LSAC decided they didn’t like having these muthaf******* passages all the muthaf***** same. So in June 2007 the LSAT mixed it up, and switched out one of the long Reading Comp passages for two short comparison passages, which test the reader’s ability to identify points of agreement and disagreement.

In recent years, LSAC has also taken to switching up the section order on different copies of the exam, so that a test taker’s section order doesn’t match his or her neighbors’. Little known fact: the change was brought about to prevent malfeasance, after a proctor suspected answer sharing between test-taker “S.L. Jackson” and his seatmate. The proctor demanded that the gentleman sitting next to Jackson tell her if the two had been cheating, to which Jackson famously bellowed, “Does he LOOK like a SNITCH?!”

Outside the scope of these more concrete reforms, the LSAT has also undergone some subtle changes throughout the years. The Logic Games appear to have shifted slightly away from In and Out Grouping Games; we’re starting to see some trickier Ordering Games replace them. These shifts make it important to stay on top of the most recent study materials, and to take newer Practice Tests where possible. That might mean paying more than you would for the dusty 1997 study guide you found at the garage sale, but it’ll pay off dividends down the line. The path of the righteous student is beset on all sides by the inequities of poor materials and evil study habits, but following these practices will steer you straight.

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