Category Archive: Odds and Ends

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The Declaration of LSAT Independence

Earlier this week, LSAC released the June LSAT scores, effectively releasing those who took the exam from having to worry about they did over the holiday weekend. How sweet!

For many of you, the June LSAT will mark the last time you are forced to take a test without earplugs or carry a Ziploc bag with 3 or more non-mechanical no. 2 pencils. How… sad?

In honor of the 4th of July, we here at Blueprint LSAT Prep have penned a ‘historical’ document for those who’ve taken the LSAT and are declaring themselves free of its harsh rule.

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Building the Ultimate LSAT Transformer

With the new Transformers movie coming out today, Blueprint LSAT Prep upper management tasked me with an all-important mission:

“Design a Transformer capable of battling the LSAT!”

I have to admit, I was nervous. I really didn’t know a lot about the franchise, so I Googled the $H!T out of “Transformers,” then pitched some ideas to my girlfriend who likes almost everything I come up with. So now I introduce to you, a robot, in disguise, built to wage war…against…the LSAT…(dramatic pause)…CONTRAPOSITRON!!!!

Any LSAT test-taking Transformer must have a sweet name and a cool power to go along with it. Contrapositron fills the bill. She (yes, she) has the power to determine the logical equivalent of a conditional statement. She slays the Logical Reasoning sections, flipping and negating sufficient and necessary conditions with robotic flair.

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An LSAT Fairy Tale to Help You Live Happily Ever After

Once upon a time…on National Tell a Fairy Tale Day

In the story of Hansel and Gretel, the two siblings survive their temporary enslavement and attempted cannibalism by a sugar-wielding witch and return home to their father, who had much regretted his decision to leave them in the woods to die (twice).

“Just because I abandoned you in a forest in the hopes of liberation from your voracious resource consumption, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you,” he assured them.

“It’s okay,” said Gretel. “We know you were doing your best as a dad. Let’s just move on. Can we get takeout?”

And they all lived happily ever after.

But how did those happy lives unfold? Did Hansel and Gretel go through a gawky pre-adolescent phase?

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Why the LSAT is a Terrible Valentine

It’s brainy, articulate, and financially successful, but don’t be fooled. The LSAT would be a crappy valentine.

Here are a few reasons why the LSAT should stay at home by itself on February 14.

Why the LSAT is a Terrible Valentine I: It won’t make you feel pretty

At the start of your date, the LSAT will ask to see your photo ID and a horribly bland recent passport photo of you. No matter how gussied up you got that night, it will only think of you as you look in the fluorescent lighting of these somber bureaucratic snapshots.

Why the LSAT is a Terrible Valentine II: It is inappropriate

The LSAT will make you pay no less than $165 for this night of romance, and it will make you swear never to repeat anything it says to another living person. If that doesn’t make you feel dirty, well…

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Drawing LSAT Prep Inspiration From Classic Christmas Tunes

You probably don’t know that when I’m not teaching LSAT prep, I’m a freelance musician. Which means that my last few weeks have been full of corporate holiday parties, not-so-corporate holiday affairs, and, well, you get the idea. And lots of Christmas music. And the LSAT.

So I thought it might be nice to draw lessons for LSAT prep over the next week from Christmas songs. Expect strained analogies to follow.

“The Christmas Song” is often associated with Nat King Cole, but it was written by Mel Tormé (like many of the composers of Christmas songs, he was Jewish). The song’s opening reference to chestnuts roasting on an open fire has a lesson for those studying the LSAT. Roasting chestnuts require care and attention. If you get distracted for too long, you’ll end up with burnt chestnuts.

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The LSAT (And Chinese Food) Is Like a Box of Chocolates

Last week, I wrote about the thrill of success when studying for the LSAT or speaking Chinese (and, as it turns out, I’m defining “success” quite loosely here). Sometimes, you’ll experience that exhilarating moment where you take a leap and it turns out that you can fly – you get -0 on a Reading Comprehension passage for the first time, or you do ten Necessary questions in a row and get them all correct.

I wish, for your sake and for mine, that LSAT prep was always about such happy moments. However, that is not the case – as you probably know, LSAT prep is not all sunshine and roses. Sometimes it will be full of small victories and triumphant moments, but…

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LSAT Prep Instructor Abroad I: China and LSAT Logic Games

As my students, friends, and dedicated stalkers know, I recently returned from a solo trip to China. While there, I was reminded of the similarities between the LSAT and life – the laughter, struggles, blood, sweat, and tears. (Okay, hopefully your LSAT studies haven’t involved any of those things.)

If you’re finding yourself surprised that the LSAT applies in any way to real life (besides in matters of determining whether Uma or Thomas plays baseball third), read on:

Celebrating the small victories

Although I took a few semesters learning the language back in college, Chinese falls squarely into the category of things you must use or lose.

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Tales From the LSAT Crypt II: Dreaded Experimental Sections

Halloween is finally here, which means you can enliven your LSAT studies by wearing your costume to the library while you’re studying tonight. Since you’ve got the LSAT on the brain, perhaps you’ll dress as a mauve dinosaur or Thurgood Marshall (although, in light of recent news regarding celebrities’ ill-advised Halloween costumes, this might be a good moment for a little reminder).

However, if you want to dress up as something that will really strike fear into the heart of anyone else studying for the LSAT, allow me to suggest dressing as another common LSAT bogeyman (other than LSAT Logic Games): the dreaded experimental section (dun dun dun!).*

Tales from the LSAT Crypt II: The order and type of the experimental section

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How I’ve Been Holding Up Since My Breakup with the LSAT

I started teaching the LSAT in 2008. I stopped in 2013. I’ve been LSAT sober for four months.

In my five years of teaching this most wonderful of tests, I got to know it pretty well. Between classes, tutoring, and manning the email helpline, I worked with literally thousands of bright-eyed students (well, they started bright-eyed, anyway). I’ve done every single modern LSAT question. Even the rare out-of-print ones, even the awful ones from the early 90s that made people seriously reconsider going to law school. I’ve done most LSAT questions multiple times, and many of them many, many times. I’m pretty sure I could recreate the mauve dinosaur game from memory. I can certainly tell you all about Noguchi’s positive light sculptures. And I’ll never forget about the possible link between curing herpes and smoking pot.

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Blueprint LSAT Instructor Get-to-Know: Southern California II

With most of Blueprint LSAT Prep’s summer courses getting started this weekend, it’s time to wrap up our ongoing LSAT blog series, Blueprint LSAT Prep Instructor Get-to-Know.

We’ve had a lot of fun. It all started with New York LSAT prep instructorsMatt Shinners, Christian Benante, and Andy Kiersz. Then we learned about Boston and Washington DC LSAT prep instructors Laura Santoski and Mark Salvador, followed by Steve Homola, Patrick Moore, and Adam Kravatz in Chicago, Miami, and Philadelphia. The next installment highlighted Texas LSAT prep instructors Jessica Jackelen, Mark Kao, and Sam Huang. Then we checked out Bay area LSAT prep instructors Aaron Cohn, Nick Rey, Phil Belleau, and Ben DeGolia, followed by Phoenix, San Diego, and Seattle LSAT prep instructors Dylan Gadek, Nick McIntosh, and Yuko Sin.