I know that you all have been waiting with bated breath for the continuation of my analysis of how the Lost castaways would fare on the LSAT. Without further ado…
John Locke: 159
Background: No, he isn’t the 17th century British empiricist risen from the dead. Nor is there much reason to believe that he bears any important resemblance to the author of The Two Treatises of Government and An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. His pre-crash life was mundane and quietly tragic. He only met his birth father when the man tricked Locke into giving him his kidney. He was paralyzed before the plane crash, only to mysteriously recover on the island. He was employed as a regional sales manager for a box company (hand me a gun now, please) and before that as a building inspector. There’s no suggestion that Locke attended college.
LSAT Analysis: Though not formally educated, Locke is clearly intelligent and has substantial problem solving skills. He can track anything on the island, was the one who originally found and opened the ‘hatch’, built a battering ram that looked like it was torn from Da Vinci’s notebooks, and made glue out of sap. The guy is a bald MacGyver.
Locke’s case demonstrates that the LSAT doesn’t test intelligence. He’d suffer on the reading comprehension, getting some questions correct but missing others. He’d get the common-man logical reasoning questions right, but would get hurt on the more technical issues of quantification and modality. He might do very well on ordering games that involve spatial relationships, but grouping would hurt him. Nevertheless, he’d have an impressive showing for someone of such meager resources.
Sun Kwon: 157
Background: It’s always the quiet ones. The daughter of a rich Korean industrialist, Sun married the penniless Jin. She covertly learned English from a bald rich Korean guy who attended Harvard (who would have knocked out a score in the 170s without trying, btw…) Sun’s demure and attractive in that dignified Asian way, but she’s also relatively resourceful and knows more about plants than anyone should. She started the garden on the island, and assisted Jack with the ill. Generally, Sun’s shown the penchant for picking things up quickly and quietly.
LSAT Analysis: She’s proficient in English, but not fluent, which suggests that reading comprehension would be tough for her. She’d rock the games and she’d likely do well on logical reasoning, in particular the less language intensive, more analytic questions. Had she not been financially cut off from her father for running off with Jin, she’d likely take Blueprint, in which case she’d be pushing the upper end of the 160s.
Jack Shephard: 168
Background: He’s the guy women dream of bringing home. Before crashing, (but after his stint as the de-facto patriarch on Party of Five), he was a successful spine surgeon who turned his father in for ethical violations. Jack married a patient, who left him because “he’d always need something to fix.” (total hollywood fantasy, btw…) Once on the island, he immediately became the leader of the group without campaigning for the job, and has saved everyone’s life on the island at least once. He’s essentially, George Clooney on ER, but set in the jungle.
LSAT Analysis: Being chief resident at a major LA hospital generally entails that one was an MCAT assassin. Jack went to Columbia (where he was claimed to graduate a year early, even though that doesn’t really happen in medical school) and aced his courses. He’s been a star his entire life and simply won’t except mediocre results. He’d do well.
But we should remember that the MCAT and LSAT draw from different skill sets. The MCAT is a test primarily of substance (biology, chemistry, etc…) that pertain to medical practice. The LSAT is a test of method that doesn’t rely on specific knowledge, but rather on certain cognitive procedures. Jack’s an alpha and he’s really bright, but that doesn’t entail a 180. He sometimes goes off half-cocked, failing to sufficiently think matters through. He’s a bright guy, but we’ve never seen deductive reasoning on his part that would justify much above a 168.
Sayid Jarrah: 164
Background: He fought in the Gulf war, but for the other guys. That’s right, Sayid was formerly with the Iraqi Republican Guard, where he tortured people until the US military converted him to torture his own. But he’s more than just a mean guy with a pair of pliers. Sayid is something of an engineer. He’s the one who repairs radios and antennas (and a particular music box). He’s also particularly industrious, giving one the sense that he could survive in almost any environment.
LSAT Analysis: He’d own the games and fare pretty well on the logical reasoning (especially those questions that required diagramming and formal deduction). His downfall would the reading comprehension. English is not his first language, and although he’s fluent, there’s no evidence that he’s an avid reader. Still, he’d definitely score in the top ten and perhaps even the top five percent.
Danielle Rousseau: 176
Background: Yes, calling her “Rousseau” is another crime against the history of ideas, as she was neither a key figure in the enlightenment nor the author of The Social Contract. But she’s survived on the island for a long time, and at this point is out-of-her-mind insane. Her child was stolen from her by The Others and she’s lived in a makeshift bunker, alone, for years. Nevertheless, she can set the most ingenious traps you’ve ever seen (many involving a doll and a cargo net), and can track anyone.
LSAT Analysis: You’re wondering how she could possibly attain such a high score, but you have to think about the demographics of people who score in the 170s. As a group, they’re not supermodels, or even socially adroit people. In general, they tend to be socially awkward at best and downright crazy at worst. In other words, Danielle. If nothing else, she’s clearly had time to study (that’s just mean), but also has uncanny focus. We’ll never quite know how, but when she busts out a 176, we’ll be afraid, but not surprised.
So what does this tell us about LSAT preparation? Not a whole lot. Except that the LSAT tests a specific set of reasoning and doesn’t care if you’re thin, or glamorous, or a surgeon. You need to be able to evaluate arguments quickly and assimilate passage information. Which is learnable with practice, even if you did get the swine flu.
Article by Trent Teti of Blueprint LSAT Preparation