February 2010 LSAT Recap

mss-lsat-blog-answers

Disclaimer I:
Apparently, LSAC regulations dictate that I refrain from dispensing any details regarding Saturday’s hateful exam (crazy, right?), so I am limiting my discussion to generalities and I would advise those who post, if and when you do, to follow suit and do the same.

The Morning Before

For me, getting through the morning before the LSAT was the worst part of the exam. For those taking the LSAT in Pasadena, CA the weather decided to match the excitement and so it rained cats and dogs. Seriously, I could barely see the car in front of me swerving through the 110 freeway. And of course, since it was the day of the LSAT—the exam that made you give up dieting, facebooking, quitting smoking, The Big Bang Theory (or whatever inferior show it is that you watch); the exam that determines the rest of your life—everything felt personal, and a small part of me (maybe a big part of me) wanted to accidentally intentionally ram my Toyota into the side of the road and have an awesome excuse for missing the LSAT that I’d describe as a great tragedy in my addendum. Though I managed to squish the urge and arrive at the test center safe and sound, the raindrops felt uncannily like hail as I walked in, and everyone I saw looked infinitely smarter and taller, better looking and better prepared than me. By this time, I had to face the fact that I was nervous as hell and tell myself to get an effing grip.

I found my seat smack-dab in the middle of the back row. Our proctor announced that we wouldn’t be starting until 9 and then began reading the droll instructions—write your name in the…(you know how it goes so I won’t bore you with a play-by-play). Finally, after a wait that was all too long but over all too soon, the test began.

The LSAT

Section 1: LR

After the test, all of the logical reasoning sections meshed into a blur. From what I can remember, there were a few more Resolve questions than I’m used to and a few more necessary questions toward the beginning rather than the end, but all in all, I don’t remember finding anything in this section too out of the ordinary. With a no-surprises section under my belt, things were looking up.

Section 2: LG

But then, I met this exam’s logic games. This section killed me.

It started out innocently enough: a grouping game where classes went in either first or second semester, an unstable in and out with, I think, types of trees, and then a tiered ordering that undermined my existence.

Two people, Taylor and someone else whose name I think started with a Z, were paired with activities. There were your standard rules about ordering but some weird rules about Taylor and Z. I tried to retain Matt’s advice on tiered ordering (look for big deductions!) in my head but I couldn’t sense anything but the infinite number of profanities going off in my head and my heart, that felt like it was about to leap out of my throat. For the life of me, I couldn’t find the deduction. When maybe 10 minutes had past, I found out why. I had misread an ordering rule. NOOOOOOOOO.

After this little discovery, I probably should have just skipped this game and moved on to the 1:1 ordering at the end. But did I? Not so much. The result? Not so good. Because of this game, I am now one of the many people seriously considering cancelling their score. Fortunately though, I hear that I wasn’t the only one who felt destroyed by this game. So for others out there considering cancelling because of this game, keep that in mind.

Section 3: LR

Still recovering from the terribleness that was Section 2, I must have read the first question at least three times, but Section 3 in and of itself was not so bad. There was a principle/application stimulus I don’t see very often. (I think it was this section. And I want to say I saw more than one.) But apart from that, nothing that struck me as odd or difficult.

Section 4: RC

Finally! Sanity. There’s nothing like an interesting passage about Charles Darwin in the context of the scientific community or a passage about a feminist writer and the framework of her written word that gets you as submerged in the LSAT.

Section 5: LR

For the last and final section with only 35 minutes of real thinking left to go, I reached deep down into the depths of my inner Yoda and pulled it out of me. I heard that some people found this section to be more difficult than the other LR section. I personally didn’t find that to be the case, but there was a weird flower/dinosaur extinction problem that threw me off for a second. That there was another problem about the extinction of dinosaurs wasn’t so weird as the question prompt. Seeing the word “explain” in the question made me immediately label the question as an Explain question, read the stimulus, and hit the answer choices, but I couldn’t find anything I liked. After re-reading the prompt, I discovered that it was a weakening question (note to all – know what you’re looking for in the answer choices!). Again, I think this problem was in this section but could be mistaken.

Well, that’s all folks! I hope you all did well. For those of you who didn’t and ultimately end up cancelling within the next few calendar days, who knows, I may see you on the 110…

21 Responses

  1. amy says:

    totally agree on the games. it was my first section and threw me off. trying to decide what to do next =/

  2. MJ says:

    Don’t beat yourself up too much over not getting to the 1:1, I was having trouble with the tiered ordering and thus decided to see what game 4 was, I was happy when I saw it was 1:1 so I attempted it… unfortunately it wasn’t your run of the mill 1:1. The rules weren’t your typical 1:1 ordering rules and it took me about 11 minutes to get through it (usually takes me 5-6 min). This game was doable, but it was definitely the hardest 1:1 I’ve seen.

  3. Riley says:

    Tough games could equal a lenient curve. However, since it is a Feb test, we will never really know…

  4. Arsine says:

    I did the 1:1 game first. it did take me a while but if it makes you feel any better, the rest of my three games didn’t go too well. i mean, they really didn’t go well.

    and i felt rushed through the games and all the sections to be honest.
    i just hoped whatever i guessed on i did right.
    Was your desk 4 by 4 inches too?
    some people walked out during mine. it made me feel only slightly better.

    Riley, we won’t even know if there was a curve?! that’s just not fair!

    I’m thinking of canceling my score, too. =/
    or i’ll just take it again. yay.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Well… I did manage to memorize the game setups/rules… I tried re-assessing them later and even after the stress of “my life will be over if I don’t do well” is over, I still think they are a departure from your “run-of-the-mill” games.

  6. DH says:

    Ah the games, i didn’t find them to be excessively difficult as time-consuming. I also opted to hit the fourth 1:1 ordering game before the third. All the optional rules made it difficult to pin anything down and killed my time. I remember making hypos for each answer choice at some points and didn’t even get to the third game =/ also, passages about feminist novelists whose ideas about feminism are analogous to her work as an interior designer wasn’t getting me going either.

  7. MJ says:

    I agree with you DH, the games were only difficult because each question required a great deal of work. I also think the first passage about that stupid architect/designer/writer was the most difficult but the other ones were relatively simple… BTW Matt, your voice was in my head during the necessary and sufficient questions, “I’m fucked unless” seemed to be pretty fitting.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I found the games very time consuming as well. I skipped the third also and did the fourth, and then had to guess on 4 questions on the third game. Not good. To cancel or not to cancel….

  9. JS says:

    Same. I found the games to be particularly hard on this test. And I was scoring 100% in games in most of my practice diags! I misread a rule in the last game (I did the games in order of: 1,2,4,3) and had to self-correct in a panic, which ate up probably 12 minutes. By the time I got to game 3, I was bubbling in D-D-D-D-D….

  10. Cam says:

    Do any of you remember how many questions were on each section? I feel like I may have only bubbled in 100 answers….

  11. Anonymous says:

    Thank god I did it in December. -14 curve=170 (my score).

  12. Laila says:

    I had two games sections! I did okay on one of them and great on the other but I cannot remember which one was which :( The reading comp section was my last and put a damper on the entire exam for me because I ran out of time and didnt get through all the questions on the last passage.

  13. Arsine says:

    on the games, i skipped a LOT more than 4 =/
    ok, now i’m beginning to have doubts as well…

  14. Bryan says:

    You guys do not worry about the curve for the Feb LSAT as I am sure it will be just as generous as it was for the December LSAT.

  15. Tim Janas says:

    My experimental section was reading comprehension. Literally, the driest and most time-consuming passages I have seen in probably over 85 practice tests. There was a science passage regarding C. diffusa plants and they all had extremely similar species names and it totally threw me off. I was really glad that it was my third section and was followed by a break. Anyone else think this experimental section was overly ridiculous?

  16. Josh says:

    I had the LR, LG, LR, RC, LR arrangement for my exam. I can’t think of an example of a question in the first LR section, but my second LR section had a somewhat odd question around #18, asking to describe or explain(I can’t remember which one) the situation. Does this ring a bell to anyone who didn’t have three LR sections?

  17. […] taking the LSAT, there are more and more victims of PLWD. We have all just gone through a majorly traumatic experience, so now the question looms: what […]

  18. Graham says:

    I think my section went RC, LR, LG, RC, LR…may be off, but two RC…I blew through the first RC, was really easy, finished with like five or more minutes. The games were a bitch, I only did three (once I knew I was not hitting my 8:15 mark I just decided to slow down and go for 100% of 3 instead of 50-60% of 4–besides the guessing will get me at least one of them I should think). The LR was pretty easy, finished that one. The next RC was certainly more difficult, still finished, but nowhere near as easy as the first one. The last LR my brain was tired (could only manage 4 hours of restless sleep before I was up by 5 am) and I just could not get to the last 2 or 3 questions. All in all, I think there will be a decent curve. I hope LSAC steps out of its comfort zone and makes the second RC the experimental, but alas, they will not.

  19. christina says:

    I think my first section, LR, was the experimental section because it was EVIL. It was very different and complex compared to the other sections. It really messed my mind up for the second section, LG. I couldn’t concentrate and had to read it over and over. It didn’t help that the damn proctor was talking and scribbling loudly on her desk!!! (LR, LG, LR, RC, LR) I am praying for a generous curve!!!!

  20. Jeremy says:

    Tim Janas — you sure that was the experimental section? I hope so!
    The explanation of the games section in the post sounds identical to my thoughts. The third game killed me.

    Now, I don’t believe the LSAT is curved versus other test takers the day of, but rather it is designed to be equally difficult each time it is administered. The questions, by some experimental method, are curved beforehand or something like that.

  21. […] taking the LSAT, there are more and more victims of PLWD. We have all just gone through a majorly traumatic experience, so now the question looms: what […]

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