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Studying with Victoria: Taking a Beating, Courtesy of Old Mr. LSAT


Well, it’s been about four days since practice exam number 3, aka, the once in a blue moon test, and I’m still tending my wounds. I was on the receiving end of an epic beat down, LSAT style. We’re talking swaths of logical reasoning and logic game questions gone wrong, a few questions left blank, the riding of the Four Horsemen, and the end of the world. Ok, maybe not those last two. I know I’m being a bit overdramatic, but everything seems dire when go time for the October test is T minus 37 days away. Take some advice from Douglas Adams though: “Don’t Panic!”

Thankfully, class is like my very own Hitchhiker’s Guide to the LSAT. Last session, we went over the once in a blue moon test (aka the “LSAT of Equivocations and Double Negatives,” as it was named in class because practically every flaw in it was an equivocation and it had so many double negatives that it made the English language beg for mercy.) It also featured a couple logic games that seriously crawled out of the depths of Hades simply to ruin your day.

Despite all of this test’s bells and whistles, I was most shocked at how my own simple mistranslation of a rule ruined an entire logic game for me. It was like this one time in my first semester of Greek where I mistranslated a single verb and had to ask my professor why the Persians were eating the Greeks. Maybe that was funnier in context and in Greek, but you learn something new every day. The ancient Persians were definitely not eating the Greeks and “neither-nor” statements use an “and” sign not an “or.” Good things to remember.

We also talked about how to use our copious amounts of time to study (suddenly 38 days feels like a really long time). Study as if you were actually taking a test and time your sections so that you can get a sense of pace. Apparently this will lead to some sort of internal clock in sync with LSAT sections. On the great scale of clocks, this one ranks somewhere below your body’s circadian rhythm and somewhere above the alarm clock you hit the snooze button on five times this morning. Think of it as your new (yet kind of lame) superpower! You won’t be saving the world in a spandex costume anytime soon, but at least you’ll be able to know if you’ve got five minutes or five seconds left.

Speaking of alarm clocks, I’ve started timing myself with one of those kitchen timers where you can hear the ticking. This seems to make me even more stressed out because I can actually hear my 9 minute reading comprehension section ticking away steadily, but it definitely gives me a sense of accomplishment when I can finish that section with time left over and one or none wrong.

To those of you who didn’t bomb the last test, congrats! But to my fellow students who got owned, all is not lost. A bad logic game can ruin your section, but not your spirit. A bad practice test does not a poor student make. Now is not the time to despair. There will come a day when the courage of men fails—oh wait, that’s from The Lord of the Rings. Now is the time for calm and concentrated efforts at improving, for studying intelligently. We’ve progressed from hitting things blindly with sticks. Now, it’s time to start sniping.