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Predictions for the February 2012 LSAT

Just like that, the February LSAT is upon us. Rumors abound before each test administration, but there’s something especially dark and mysterious about the February test. It’s not released. Students get a score yet no explanation of how they fared. You know that empty feeling that you get when a girl doesn’t call you back after your first date? You thought it went well. You know she doesn’t agree. But you have no explanation for why. That’s the February LSAT.

In my circumstance, however, the February LSAT is an amazing gift. I get to make predictions about a test that will never see the light of day. If I predict that more than a handful of Logical Reasoning questions will investigate the relationship between kitty litter and global warming, no one can prove me wrong. If I claim that mapping games will make a triumphant return, any evidence to the contrary will never surface. I have never felt such freedom.

So let’s do this:

1. Logic Games on the February 2012 LSAT

The games on the December LSAT were very standard: easy 1 to 1 ordering, moderate tiered ordering, in and out grouping with scenarios, and another 1 to 1 game with a twist. Nothing groundbreaking.

Here is a quick outline of the important deductions:

• In the second game, one variable had to occur three times over a span of six slots. When that happens (as it has before), it’s important to note that the variable in question must always occupy either the first of sixth slots (or both).

• In the third game, there was a classic “love” relationship – you either get both of us, or neither one. Since it was a grouping game with only two options (in or out), this set up two nice scenarios.

• The fourth game presented a wording trick. It was a basic ordering game, but one of the variables took up two consecutive spots. Thus, the variable in the fourth slot might actually be the third variable in the sequence.

Granted, these deductions sound much easier out of context (and without the crushing weight of a ticking clock and your future riding in the balance). However, games have been very consistent lately, so expect more of the same on Saturday. Look for common game types and familiar deductions. You aren’t doing anything new – they just want you to believe that.

2. Logical Reasoning on the February 2012 LSAT

The love affair continues with principle questions – there was a gaggle of them on the December LSAT. Remember that the basic idea, regardless of whether the principle is found in the stimulus or the correct answer, is to match the principle with a specific case.

Being hungover at work will result in one getting fired. Javon, despite protestations from his friends and his liver, drank eight shots of tequila on Tuesday night. Thus, Javon will soon be filing for unemployment. That’s a match.

As much as we LSAT instructors love to sing the praises of diagramming, it seems to have taken a back seat on recent exams. Look for a few sufficient questions that require you to locate a missing conditional premise, but diagramming should be scarce otherwise.

Topics likely to appear:

• Alligators
• Seasonal affective disorder
• Spider monkeys
• Bacteria in kitchen sponges

3. Reading Comprehension on the February 2012 LSAT

The Reading Comp section of the December LSAT was widely regarded to be the most difficult section. This has happened numerous times over the past decade, but it generally doesn’t happen on two consecutive LSATs. So don’t take it easy or anything, but I think you can expect a slightly easier set of passages.

My guess is that the comparative passage will come early in the section (second, let’s say) and it will have lots of questions (8, perhaps). Make sure to note points of agreement and disagreement between the speakers – those questions can burn huge amounts of time if you aren’t prepared.

4. The February 2012 LSAT Curve

The curve in October was pretty nice. The curve in December was downright lovely. Things will probably tighten up a little bit. Good old LSAC doesn’t like you thinking that you can get off that easy. My guess: -12 for a 170 and -25 for a 160.

That’s all for now. Even though these predictions will never be reliably verified by the release of the February LSAT, hopefully they will calm your nerves in the few days remaining before the test.

Sure, the test isn’t released. But it doesn’t have to feel like the nightmare first date scenario. It could feel something like the famous soccer scene from Superbad. “We could be that mistake.” When you receive your score, you might have something amazing happen. You won’t know why or how, but that will be just fine.