LSAT Trends & Predictions 2021-2022
- Nov 03, 2021
- Analysis of Previous LSATs, LSAT predictions, LSAT trends
Gather ‘round, gather ‘round. It’s time for Blueprint’s LSAT prognosticator* to once again gaze into the misty aura of her crystal orb and perceive the Truth**. Since the introduction of the three-section Flex test—and the current three-section plus an experimental variation—your humble prognosticator has taken time to reconnect with the mystical plane and gather some data. Let’s all take a moment to breathe in the scent of tea leaves and heavily annotated spreadsheets, clasp our hands together, and dive in.
*Picture a hunched-over figure draped in a blue blanket with hastily sewn-on star and moon-shaped patches. There may or may not be a droopy conical hat involved. A wispy, white fake beard is definitely present.
**Note: “Truth” should be read here as “complete speculation based on a combination of statistical analysis, general vibes, and way too many hours spent trying to get into the mindset of the nerds-in-chief at LSAC headquarters.” Predictions are not guaranteed, but rest assured that if she is right, our prognosticator will not shut up about it for months.
November 2021 LSAT Predictions
- • Logical Reasoning: Expect to see a lot of the Operation Family, particularly Strengthen and Weaken questions —and maybe a few more diagrammable arguments across the section than usual.
- • Logic Games: Tiered Ordering games are likely to make an appearance and perhaps, a dreaded rule substitution question.
- • Reading Comprehension: One passage each on the law, a natural science, the arts, and a social science, as usual. Watch out for a passage on a “harder” science like physics—it’s been too long since one has shown up to darken our collective doorsteps…
Let’s start with what we know, based on breaking down the released three-section exams LSAC has so generously given us.
So, what does this mean? Well, let’s compare it to what we knew about the LSATs of relatively recent yore (which is to say, data from June 2017 through November 2019 LSAT dates). For the sake of not making anyone do more math than is absolutely necessary, these numbers have been divided by two so we can make easier comparisons between the two-LR old tests and the one-LR modern version.
So, what can we gather from this? On a larger scale, it looks like Implication family questions, particularly Soft Must Be True questions, might be getting a bit less common overall. Operation family questions seem to be swooping in to fill the gap, with a particular focus on Weaken questions.
But, really, things generally seem to more or less line up with what we’ve always expected from the Logical Reasoning sections. Our old faithful Parallel and Parallel Flaw seem to be showing up once per section each, as they’ve always done. Necessary and Sufficient questions are as common as they’ve always been, and the distributions among the Characterization Family also seem pretty stable.
Now, it would be something of a fallacy to use a sample size of three to draw absolute conclusions from, but what kind of prognosticator wouldn’t wildly speculate based on the scant data available? After giving the ol’ crystal ball a good whack, I feel comfortable speculating on some things that are a bit less data-driven.
After a run of relatively few Implication questions, expect to see some more diagrammable statements appearing throughout the section. A diagrammable Sufficient question isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, and a diagrammable Strengthen Principle or Parallel question is a near-certainty.
I predict that causation will continue to be a major factor in increasingly common Strengthen and Weaken questions. I’d also bet my extremely fancy wizarding hat on an extra Resolve or Explain question showing up.
And finally, even with Flaw question numbers holding steady, expect to see more questions that demonstrate flaws that don’t necessarily fall into one of the common fallacies. Identifying assumptions is a vital skill, even outside of Necessary and Sufficient questions.
Hot study tips for the Logical Reasoning Section:
- • Brush up on ways to support and attack causal arguments.
- • Make sure you feel confident in your ability to pull apart conditional statements.
- • Practice identifying assumptions in Flaw questions.
- • If you’ve got some extra time, why not try a few extra Resolve or Explain questions.
Logic Games have made their presence felt very clearly over the past few released exams, showing up twice for Experimental sections, plus their usual once-per-test appearance. That has allowed your diligent prognosticator to make some educated predictions for the upcoming exam.
First, the once-reliable single 1:1 Ordering game per section rule may not be as steady as we used to think. This type of game, although still common, can’t be treated as a given anymore. If one does appear, expect some sort of twist—a circular formation, particularly complex conditional rules, or possibly an unusually large block.
Tiered Ordering games, on the other hand, have been ascendant, showing up in each of the graded sections once and sprinkled liberally throughout the experimental sections. Underbooked and Overbooked games have both continued to be the proverbial middle children of the Ordering Game world, but the ever-trustworthy crystal ball appears to be hinting at one of these types appearing on the November exam.
In the realm of Grouping and Combo games, trends remain somewhat cloudy. Unstable games have undoubtedly been on the rise, but the spirits (read: vibes) seem to indicate that a Stable grouping game is a bit overdue for an appearance. An In & Out element also seems distinctly possible, though whether in its own game or as a feature of a Combo game is left up to the fates.
If you’ll graciously allow this humble prognosticator to make one final Logic Game prediction: the likelihood of seeing a Rule Substitution question is high. This type of question, though notorious for being a pain in the rear, is ultimately as learnable as any other question type. Pay attention to your deductions, and practice, practice, practice.
And, if worst comes to worst, remember all questions are worth one point each. If you feel yourself spending too much time on the Rule Substitution or any question, you can always move on to the next one. Just be sure to make a guess!
Hot study tips for the Logic Games Section:
- Put some extra time into Tiered Ordering games.
- Try to find some games with Rule Substitution questions to practice, just in case.
Ah, Reading Comprehension. The section that even the darkest corners of the magical world hesitate to spend time with. Luckily, on the prediction front, Reading Comp has been remarkably stable over the years, including on the most recent released exams. We can expect to see one passage each on the law, a natural science, the arts (broadly described), and some subset of a social science. As always, one passage will be comparative and I, regretfully but confidently, predict this section will bring the most hardship to test-takers.
The specifics about upcoming passages are unclear even to the most diligent of prognosticators, but a passage on a “hard” science topic, perhaps something under the physics umbrella, seems likely. I’m also feeling…something in the realm of visual art for the comparative passage. Perhaps it’s just a personal fondness for Yayoi Kusama, but contrasting, though not completely contradictory, views about the use of space and public interaction with art seems like a promising topic.
But let’s not get too bogged down in the specifics of passage topics. As we all know, by far the most important part of understanding a Reading Comp passage is identifying how many points of view are present, and tracking how those different viewpoints break down on the issues discussed, whatever topic those issues may be on. Plan to spend some quality time working through passages with secondary structures — particularly those with extensive secondary structures.
And with that, it’s time to shed my wizardly robes and cap and don my regular nerd ‘fit once more. Your humble prognosticator and the rest of us at Most Strongly Supported will see you on the other side of the exam to celebrate, commiserate, and/or curse the very name of LSAC.
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