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Studying with Rod: Practice LSAT 2, Wednesday Morning Quarterback

BPPmss_strategyYou are literally minutes away from the actual LSAT. Thousands of minutes, of course, all of which make up 32 days (now change your underwear). As your instructor likely told you as you prepared for Practice Exam #2, there is plenty of time to improve your score, and that some scores will actually decrease at this point in the course. If you’re like me, these claims were met with distrust and seemed to be part of some sort of reverse psychology technique designed to preemptively ward off the freaked out students. It’s a good thing that the LSAT rewards this type of paranoia and extreme skepticism. You’re on the right track, congratulations!

So, last Saturday I settled into my seat in Westwood to take Practice LSAT 2. I was actually feeling pretty great, partly because my Lake Show advanced to the second round of the playoffs in dramatic fashion the night before and partly because I actually felt like I knew what I was doing this time around. Four hours later, I eagerly opened up my laptop to score my exam and play the LSAT version of “Monday Morning Quarterback”. Not being a fan of cliche metaphors, I put on my high school football helmet and proceeded to crack open the test to see what I missed. Let’s go section by section, and then culminate by dramatically revealing my actual score.

Logical Reasoning: (46/50) 92%.

“F#$k off, Taynes!”, you likely say. I like logical reasoning, and I don’t care who knows it. Maybe I have ADD, but these little blurbs of hilarious banter and fallacious arguments are right up my alley. It is a good thing that LR questions compose half of the test, but I can’t neglect the fact that I am shooting for a 170, and doing well on LR will not be enough. I missed a Describe question about Senator Strongwood in Section 1 (#5), but I attribute this to being caught off guard and amused that a Senator whose last name is StrongWood would exclaim “Hooray!” when trying to defeat a piece of legislation.

I missed 3 LR questions in Section 3, one of which (#24) was about lead seals in the Byzantine Empire. I truly have no recollection of answering this question, so I likely was running out of time, skipped to #25, and then answered C to #24. To be fair, I have read the question again, and still don’t know what the hell they are talking about and I still can’t visualize a lead document seal. Good thing there is only a small chance that they will ask about lead seals on June 7th, and if they do, it will certainly go down as one of the great coincidences in history. Now, I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but Section 5 went well — very well. I nearly swept the section, messing up only on the last question, #25. This question was about magic cornmeal that made oysters vomit sand. I am not exaggerating, that is exactly what it was about. Even though that sounds gross, I like seafood and since it was the last question on the exam, I was starving. I mean, I would have eaten the regurgitated sand at that point.

Reading Comprehension: (23/27) 85%

I answered the first 12 questions correctly (about a passage and a half). It is important to note that I did not bring a watch, a timer, or even a special 35 minute hourglass (business opportunity?). I falsely assumed that there would be a nice middle-school-style clock at the front of the room that would keep me on track, but there was no such luck. I remember feeling like I was going through the passages with a fine comb and answering for accuracy, but then I felt like I was running out of time — and I was. I got to the last passage with about 5 minutes left, and I was literally horrified to find that the passage was about egalitarian educational opportunities of nineteenth-century French women, and not, say, Blackjack. I took a quick glance at the general structure and dove right into the questions, while my right leg tapped the floor uncontrollably, undoubtedly annoying the girl sitting next to me. I answered 4 of 6 correctly, which is not bad considering the first 3 passages went well. However, I do not want to get into that situation on test day, when there is added pressure.

Logic Games: (13/23) 57%

And there is the turd in the punchbowl (as they say). My logic games section did not go well. The first game, which was one-to-one ordering, actually was somewhat time consuming because there were more rules and variations than usual. I actually swept the third game about planting North American trees in a couple of parks, answering all of the questions correctly in only about 6 minutes. The bad news was that those were the last 6 minutes I had, and I quickly jotted down “C” for all of the questions in the last, most challenging game. This strategy did not pan out.

FINAL SCORE: 165

I was actually pretty surprised with my score considering that I skipped an entire logic game. My strong LR performance definitely compensated in the end (**Disclaimer: After you take the actual LSAT your “strong LR performance” will never compensate for anything ever again). I was pretty happy with my score, and it was actually relieving to know that there is one section that is glaringly weaker than the others, because I have a very good idea what I need to focus on. Trent has also promised to throw a piping hot latte in my face for every LG question that I miss from here on out. My face will surely be scalded, but I might just hit my target LSAT score…

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