Many of you are probably stressed out about your imminent LSAT exam, and I understand. But rather than focus on the negative, I’m going to get in the Thanksgiving spirit and talk about the aspects of the LSAT for which I am grateful.
(I had a really difficult time cutting this list down, so bear with me if your favorite parts of the test aren’t included on here. </sarcasm>)
1. The Writing Sample
Including the writing sample at the end of the LSAT is downright sadistic. After what, for many, is the most intellectually grueling and stressful experiences of their lives, students are asked to spend an extra half hour handwriting an answer to a ridiculous prompt, which admissions officers may or may not ever actually read. (I know, I should tell you how I REALLY feel…)
However, I’m still thankful for two things about the writing sample. First, there is no wrong answer. As long as you have a cursory understanding of the two options presented in the prompt, you can choose either side without fear of answering wrong. Second, it is ungraded. No matter how illegible your handwriting or ridiculous your reasoning, the writing sample will have no impact whatsoever on your final score. Taken hand-in-hand, these two points at least take some sting out of the experience. As long as you don’t draw offensive pictures—and I know exactly how tempting it is to put a stick-figure flipping off the reader—the writing sample cannot hurt you (apart from leaving lasting psychological scars).
2. The Experimental Section
I’m not done complaining about the LSAT; I think the experimental section is almost as sadistic as the writing sample. The difference between a five-section LSAT and a four-section LSAT is huge. A four-section test is like getting slapped, whereas a five-section test is like getting punched in the face: it is much harder to take and even more unpleasant. Furthermore, calling it an “experimental” section always made me feel like some unwitting guinea pig, helpless to the whims of the omnipotent, malicious test-makers—a rodent in the hand of an angry god.
But, even with the experimental section, there is something to be thankful for—at least there’s only one. The LSAT could include any number of experimental sections. After all, the experimental section is ungraded, so there’s no real cost to piling them on. The test-makers could’ve chosen to put two experimental sections, so that students would have to to take two of every section and there would be some symmetry, but they didn’t. Small blessings.
3. There’s No Math
In one my first law school classes, my professor told us that most people are in law school because they’re “afraid of blood and numbers.” I guess that means I should also be grateful there’s no blood on the LSAT, but I will stick to giving thanks for the lack of math.
At my family’s Thanksgiving dinner, my mom always makes us say three things we’re grateful for. If your family has a similar tradition, I hope this posts gives you some ideas. If not, I hope you can just let your heart rejoice at the many wonderful aspects of the LSAT!