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The Morning Cometh: The October 2011 LSAT Aftermath

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Ah, the morning after the LSAT. You’d be excited about the prospect of a day without LSAT prep, if only you didn’t have that hangover keeping you down. So what was the overall feeling? Is it a celebratory hangover, or a hangover of shame?

All in all, it seems as if it was a fairly straightforward, though difficult, LSAT. From most reports, the experimental sections were more difficult than the scored sections, which is nice in the, “Oh thank God that’s not going to factor into my score” way, yet frustrating in the, “Why did they have to shake my confidence with such a hard section” way. There were a few questions that seemed to stick out as being hard, but nothing crazy. The LSAC did seem to continue its trend of making principle questions turn on seemingly unimportant words (see the psychotherapy via radio question from a few years ago); this time, it reared its head on a question about practical jokes.

The games seemed to trip people up the most, though almost everyone I talked to thought they were fair. Grouping and ordering games abounded, though the third game took particular flak from most of my students. Books and bikes, topically, were not the friend of my class.

As far as reading comprehension, again, most felt it was fair, yet difficult. A passage about Dostoevsky was time-consuming and difficult, but Dostoevsky’s awesome, so who cares? And for those of you who find Russian literature boring, at least it wasn’t on Kate Chopin. I actually had several students comment on enjoying the RC passages, which almost never happens. That’s a good sign, and hopefully a trend that continues into the future.

So, in short, it seemed to be a fair test, but difficult at the same time. People complained about their performance, but no one complained about feeling tricked or being thrown for a loop by a question, game, or passage. I feel this is a trend on the LSAT recently – straightforward questions that fall neatly within the standard types, but with more precise requirements for the correct answer – and I think it’s one that’s much welcomed. Most students I know would rather feel like something is hard than tricky, and that’s where the test seems to be headed.

So congrats to everyone who took the exam and feels good about it. Everyone else, there’s always December!

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