Colin Elzie

Back before I came to my senses, I wanted to go to law school. I initially took the LSAT in 2005, and I was hooked. That last sentence does not, strictly speaking, have any truth to it. But after not knowing what to do with with a German major from Cal, I somehow wound up teaching the damn thing. Which has been great, because it allows me to get by working 15 hours per week and waking up at two in the afternoon every day. This causes some people to assume I smoke a lot of weed, and I feel like I’m missing a big opportunity by not being a pothead.

I often find myself asked the question, “Colin, with such a great LSAT score, why aren’t you going to law school?” To which I usually respond, “Leave me alone, Mom.” This is usually followed by a plethora of follow-up questions, mostly revolving around why I can’t be more like my brother.

Due to a personality flaw I have yet to identify, I actually enjoy taking the test. This is partly because the LSAT is quickly turning me into an encyclopedia of the most random facts imaginable. I’m like a walking sack of Snapple bottle caps. I can tell you anything you want to know about dinosaurs, Thurgood Marshall, or peat bogs. Seriously. (Did you know you can buy peat in gas stations in Scotland?) Also, the LSAT and I share a deep hatred of astrology.

My blog will be about whatever strikes me as interesting at the moment, and how I can jimmy that into some sort of LSAT relevance.

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Colin Elzie, Resident LSAT Nostradamus

A new year is on the horizon, and with it will come thousands of law school hopefuls, countless hours of LSAT study, and widespread feelings of fear, anger, and eventual triumph. So assuming we’re not all dead in a week after the Mayans murder us in our sleep, what joys will 2013 hold for those of us in the LSAT world? Here are our entirely unscientific, wholly speculative predictions:

Four New LSATS

We’re really going out on a limb here, but there will be four administered LSATs in 2013 – February 9th, June 10th, October 5th, and December 7th. As always, the June test will be administered at 12:30pm for all the sane people, while the other three will start at 8:30am for those of a more masochistic persuasion.

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Beloved Christmas Characters Take the LSAT

Christmas is around the corner, but if you’re reading this, then the visions dancing through your head are probably more centered around logic games and less around sugar plums. It doesn’t seem quite fair that you should be holed up studying for the LSAT while everyone else enjoys the holiday season, but once this is over, you’ll have the greatest gift of all – a beautiful new LSAT score. But until that happens, let’s stop and consider how Christmas’ cavalcade of characters would score on the LSAT.

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February LSAT Advice From December LSAT Test-Takers

Just a couple days ago, thousands of students sat for the December LSAT. And as they await their LSAT scores, the LSAT wheel now turns to focus on those taking the February LSAT. But you winter babies would do well to learn from the trials of your December brethren. Here are six pieces of advice December LSAT students would give February LSAT students.

February LSAT Advice From December LSAT Test-Takers I: Schedule out your LSAT study time

People studying for the December LSAT faced a number of obstacles – working around Thanksgiving, dealing with college classes, etc. February LSAT students are no different. You have to plan out your LSAT study time in advance, because if you’re a student you’ll already have to be working around finals, and there’s also Christmas and New Years to contend with.

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Cyber Monday Purchases You’ll Need for the December LSAT

It’s Cyber Monday! Which, let’s be honest, really is just an absolute nothing of an event. You can get online deals that are slightly better than the online deals you can normally get? Hooray!

But if you’re the kind of person who was excited for Black Friday, you’ve probably already spent a lot of money you don’t have on stuff you don’t need. So why not spend a little more on stuff you do need? Here are some deals on items you’re going to need for the December LSAT this weekend. Just make sure anything you order online is guaranteed to arrive before Saturday.

Cyber Monday Purchase for the December LSAT I: Watches

There’s a million of these on Amazon, so if you want something nicer than an eight-dollar piece of junk from Target, now might be the time to buy.

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Giving Thanks to the LSAT (and Our LSAT Prep Students)

In case you’ve had your head in LSAT prep books for so long you haven’t had a chance to look at a calendar, Thanksgiving is Thursday. And this year, there’s plenty to be thankful for.

For those of you who sat for the October LSAT like I did, you can be thankful for having that delightful experience behind you. For the December LSAT test-takers out there, you can be thankful for the fact that it’ll all be over in less than two weeks. And we can all be thankful for the remake of Red Dawn opening this weekend, only in theaters. It truly is a joyous time.

What about us LSAT instructors? Well, we have plenty to be thankful for, too. First and foremost, we’re thankful for the LSAT. We know, we know. How could anyone be thankful for the LSAT’s existence?


Four Common Characteristics of an LSAT Veteran

Veterans Day was yesterday, and people all over the country took the time to honor those who have served. We shouldn’t forget that servicemen and women are the real heroes, and they really do put our own LSAT prep concerns into perspective. We may already know what the characteristics of actual military veterans are, but what makes an LSAT veteran?

Characteristic I of an LSAT Veteran: Increased (Mental) Strength

When you first start studying for the LSAT, the subject matter can seem pretty pointless and arbitrary. But what LSAT veterans often notice is that the skills that they learned for the test are not only retained, but also useful. It’s easier to spot bad arguments in everyday life, and your general level of comprehension is higher when encountering dense texts.

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The Toughest Questions From the October 2012 LSAT

Now that the dust has settled from the release of the October LSAT (as well as its LSAT scores), it’s time to take a look at the actual meat of the test. There were a number of different questions that people struggled with, but I probably heard more complaints about the following three than any others (excluding the zones game and !Kung reading comp). We can’t reproduce the questions in full, so if you took the October LSAT look at your test PDFs to follow along.

Toughest October 2012 LSAT Question No. 1: LR 1, #13

Building material controversies. It doesn’t get much more exciting than this. In this question we learn that there’s some rogue construction material called papercrete. Most builders think it’s no good for big buildings.

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Under Closer Inspection: The October 2012 LSAT

If you took the October 2012 LSAT, you should have gotten an email today from LSAC SCORE with the subject line “Your October 2012 LSAT Score.” LSAC may have its faults, but not being explicit ain’t one of them. And once you click on that email, as I’m sure most of you have, there it is. Three little numbers saying how you did on the test. Then, if you’re like most people, it’s straight to the bottle, either to celebrate or to grieve.

(If you haven’t gotten your October LSAT score back it’s probably because they lost your test, or because they’re waiting until the end to give out all the really bad LSAT scores.)


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Halloween Horror: LSAC Not Releasing LSAT Scores Today

Hurricane Sandy might be gone, but its effects are certainly still being felt. We in New York City are still learning how to live without the subway and reliable internet and microwave ovens, which isn’t really living at all. But it’s not just the east coast that’s getting screwed by mother nature.

It’s even affected the LSAT.

LSAC’s Newtown, Pennsylvania, headquarters were apparently squarely in the path of Sandy, putting the Council out of work since Monday. LSAC says it plans to open back up tomorrow.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means you’re going to have to wait even longer for your October LSAT score.

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October LSAT Horror Story: The Man With Mono

Halloween and LSAT score release day are next week, which means now is as good a time as any for an LSAT horror story. I’ll get this haunted hayride started with my recent traumatizing encounter with the October LSAT:

It was a dark and stormy night… scratch that, it was an overcast and gloomy morning. I normally wake up around noon, but the piercing alarm shook me from unconsciousness at the crack of dawn, which, boys and girls, is quite terrifying. It wouldn’t have been so bad had I gone to bed early the night before, as I always tell my students to do, but I had been fighting mono for about three weeks, and had spent the previous night tossing and turning in a pool of fever sweat.

After stumbling into the shower and getting dressed, I took my temperature. It was a relatively low 100 degrees, but I was still in no condition to take one of the most feared standardized tests known to man.