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Standardized Test Showdown

I hope you would never experience this, but the sad truth is you may come across an “off day” every now and then where you find yourself unmotivated to study the LSAT (hard to believe, I know). If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, I would suggest you find your inspiration in an unexpected place – the GRE. I had the misfortune of taking the GRE last week and never before have I been so thankful to teach the LSAT. Few things in life help you appreciate what you have, more than seeing how bad it is elsewhere (like how 10 minutes of Everybody Loves Raymond makes Modern Family seem like a masterpiece of modern television cinema).

And you should consider yourself similarly lucky – of all the standardized tests, you are fortunate to be faced with the LSAT and not some other standardized scrapheap. If you were able to read about anything, a RC passage about Marie Curie’s discovery of polonium would probably rank low on your list (although dinosaurs, dark matter, and Thurgood Marshall are a completely different story), nonetheless the challenges of the LSAT need to be viewed in their proper context.

When compared with other standardized tests you may have had to take, the seemingly untamable logical beast begins to appear more like a timid Chihuahua than a ferocious Pit-bull. 15 minutes of GRE vocab flashcards would leave anyone longing to read a complete sentence, even one about Marie Curie (much less Pterodactyls and Platypuses). And if you thought keeping the inverse (negated but not switched) and the converse (switched but not negated) separate was difficult, try distinguishing between unnecessarily outdated words that only ostentatious academics use, like cachinnate (to laugh loudly) and calumniate (to slander) (although to be fair, I did discover a few gems like malinger). And we haven’t even broached the realm of other tests, like the MCAT, with its organic chemistry and molecular cell biology (thank god I can’t stand hospitals).

The fact is, while other tests force you to memorize obscure knowledge (promptly to be forgotten over post-test “celebration”), studying for the LSAT teaches you a fundamental skill – critical thinking – something much in need in this era of Fox News Fallacies. So next time you consider skipping LSAT homework, think of those unfortunate multitudes stuck studying a lesser standardized tests, and count yourself lucky to have the LSAT.

-Written by Nick Rey, Blueprint LSAT Instructor