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Matt Riley’s October 2012 LSAT Predictions

It’s that time of year again. The LSAT countdown is on. 72 hours. 71 hours. 70 hours. 69 hours…

There are thousands of students around the country who are filled with anxiety about this Saturday’s LSAT. And, as always, there are thousands of students who would love to know what is going to appear on it.

That’s where I come in.

Over the last few years, I have made various predictions about upcoming LSAT administrations. Some rather obvious, some utterly ridiculous, some right on the nose.

With the October LSAT three days away, here we go again.

October 2012 LSAT Predictions: Logic Games

Game #1: I don’t think the section will start with a straight 1:1 ordering game. That will be saved for later. Rather, I am expecting a simple in-and-out logic game. It will be unstable, and the only trick will be making a few deductions about grouping relationships. (Blueprint LSAT Prep students should be thinking of stalkers, love, hate, and babies.)

Game #2: There’s our friendly neighborhood 1:1 ordering logic game. Seven variables into seven slots. Just watch for conditional rules (if A is before B, then…) or more complicated ordering rules (A is before B or C, but not both).

Game #3: This is where you will find the beast of the test. The crystal ball is telling me that it’s gonna be an underbooked grouping game. Keep track of the variables that can appear more than once, and watch for scenarios.

Game #4: The section will wrap up with one more ordering game. My money is on tiered ordering, but an overbooked ordering game wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Ridiculous Prediction: One of the games will be about dolphins. Not the awful football team from Florida, but the kind that can bounce a beach ball on its nose.

October 2012 LSAT Prediction: Logical Reasoning

There haven’t been too many surprises in recent Logical Reasoning sections. Students have generally found them to be average in difficulty and not too lengthy. That trend is likely to continue.

First, expect a lot of Sufficient questions. If you don’t know how to find an assumption that will leave you with a valid argument, you are going to be in trouble. Also, if you eat a breakfast burrito before the LSAT, you are going to be in trouble.

Second, expect a lot of principle questions. You should know how to use a general principle to support a specific conclusion, and you should know how to identify a general principle that underlies an argument. You should also have some principles in your own life, but that’s not important for Saturday.

Third, watch for lots of exclusivity fallacies. One way need not be the only way. Simply because one explanation doesn’t work, that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be another, better one. Two options might be assumed to mutually exclusive, or not mutually exclusive, and both can be errors. These issues arise not just in Flaw questions, but also Strengthen, Weaken, and Assumption questions.

Ridiculous prediction: There will be questions about tire manufacturing and bluegrass lawns. This is why Wikipedia was invented. Read up.

October 2012 LSAT Prediction: Reading Comp

It’s going to be boring and you will be forced to read about subjects about which you have absolutely no interest. That doesn’t count as a prediction? Fine.

Many recent passages have included Strengthen and Weaken questions, which used to be rather rare. Make sure to apply the same strategies that you use when solving Logical Reasoning questions (alternate causes, falsifying assumptions, etc.).

The comparative passage will pop up somewhere in the middle of the section, let’s say third. It will contain at least seven questions and be heavy on details, so it might be a good idea to get this passage out of the way early.

Ridiculous prediction: The most riveting passage will be about revisions to the tax code. Get pumped.

That’s all for now. Make sure to check back with our instant recap on the LSAT blog after the test for student reactions.

Best of luck from all of us at Blueprint.