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November LSAT Predictions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Sorry, Mariah, it’s not the holiday season just yet—it’s LSAT time! As always, here are some thoughts on what to expect for the upcoming test.

Logical Reasoning

Over the last few LSATs, the logical reasoning (LR) section has been relatively ho hum. You can expect mostly easy-medium questions during the first half of the section, with the difficulty ramping up around questions 10 through 16. Depending on how many questions you are aiming to attempt,  keep this difficulty in mind to inform your timing strategies. If you’re trying to get to everything, you want to finish those first 10 questions quicker so you save more time for the more difficult and time-consuming questions later. If you don’t think you can get to every question adequately, you may want to think about throwing out a couple of questions between 16 through21 (which is generally the peak of difficulty on LR), and spend more time making sure you get those easier questions right. The end goal is to get the most questions right, so find that sweet spot between efficiency and accuracy.

You can expect around 3–5 questions that lend themselves to conditional diagramming, including a couple principle questions tasking you with applying a general principle to a specific set of facts. You can also expect a big dose of weaken, necessary, and flaw questions. On the vast majority of LSATs, over half of the logical reasoning questions contain flawed or invalid arguments. When working through these questions, be precise in identifying what those flaws are before diving into the answer choices.

Reading Comprehension

Reading Comp (RC) has been fairly predictable on the past few tests as well. You’ll get exactly one comparative passage, which focuses on the similarities and differences between two passages.  You can also expect at least one (likely two) antithesis passages, and then likely a thesis passage.  Difficulty also tends to go from least to most difficult, so keep that in mind when debating how to tackle the section. When I took the test, I spent about 30 seconds scanning the passages to see if there was anything that seemed particularly difficult or was a topic I didn’t care for, and left that to the end.

Substantively, the LSAT likes to mix up the passages. You’ll likely get a science passage, liberal arts passage, and I’m feeling an art history passage for this test. You can get a pretty good sense of what the questions on a given passage will focus on based on the primary structure of the passage. If it’s a thesis passage, the questions are likely going to be more detail-oriented and less about the viewpoint. For antithesis, synthesis, and comparative passages, I would expect multiple questions on how the viewpoints compare. See if you can get a sense of what the subject of the passage is and how many potential viewpoints there are in that first paragraph.

Logic Games

There have been no huge surprises on the last few LSATs in logic games, either  I would expect a grouping game, ordering game, and combo game to make up three of the four games.  That fourth game is a wildcard, but you can bet that the LSAT will include at least one game that has an extra wrinkle to it. Maybe they add tiers to one of the games, maybe they want you to assign a leader of one of the groups, or perhaps they ask you to repeat your ordering setup.  Worse yet, they could throw the dreaded neither game at you.

While it’s tough to anticipate exactly what these wrinkles will look like, you can expect the hardest game with these added elements in the second half of the test. As with RC, the difficulty generally increases from game to game. If there is a game with an unusual or unexpected element, your general job and the way you make deductions remains the same.  Start with identifying any ordering and/or grouping elements in the game to construct the base of your setup just as you would if those added twists weren’t there. Then determine the best way to keep track of that extra info on your setup. The general rule is that you want somewhere on your setup to keep track of all the information they tell you is important, either in the intro to the game or in the rules.

Final Thoughts

The last few days of studying is all about final touches, and not about reinventing the wheel.  You want to review your strategies for each question, passage, and game type so you can anticipate what your game plan should look like before diving into answers, and how to evaluate answer choices that seem similar. What you don’t want to do is a ton of high or highest difficulty practice that can tire you out or demoralize you before test day.  You’ve put in the vast majority of the work already, so trust your progress and approach on test day! If all else fails, go with your gut and move to the next question, because each question is only worth one point. If you’re stuck, there’s likely an easier point out there for you to get, so go out and find it!