Matt Shinners’s 2013 December LSAT Predictions

BPPshinners-lsat-blog-2013-december-lsat-predictions
I’m just now recovering from my turkey-induced coma (and Wild Turkey-induced hangover), and that can only mean one thing: It’s time to make some 2013 December LSAT predictions!

Let’s peek inside the closet to see what crazy presents the LSAT is hiding for this holiday season.

2013 December LSAT Prediction I: Logic Games

The October 2013 LSAT featured a killer game (movie theater scheduling) and three standard games. This seems to be an emerging trend for the LSAT – moderately difficult games, with a really hard one thrown in.

I’d expect that trend to continue. Look for one game to have a complex combination of elements not usually seen together, or to feature complex rules. Expect the other three to be easy to set up, but have a few hard questions thrown in. And expect one of the two easier games to feature an absolutely killer rule replacement question (but don’t forget to check each answer against your elimination answer to quickly get through it).

Crazy Prediction: Menu items

2013 December LSAT Prediction II: Logical Reasoning

We’ve had a number of pretty standard LR sections recently. We’re also coming off of an LSAT with a hard game and a killer first passage.

So I’m predicting that we’ll see comments about a more difficult LR section than normal.

This usually means that there will be several questions where there are two or three answers that all seem right (hint: they’re not). They’ll turn on a small trick – a single word that makes all the difference. Expect some convoluted language (think trillions-of-humans-in-space difficult) and some tricky prompts.

But, at the same time, expect large number of questions with the standard difficulty. They can’t make them all hard!

Crazy Prediction: Board games

2013 December LSAT Prediction III: Reading Comprehension

Two (three?) words for 2013 October: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Ouch.

The last LSAT started off with a killer Reading Comp passage. It was a science passage. It featured words that no one can pronounce. It was long. It was dense.

It was hard.

Additionally, the comparative passage was no walk in the park. Together, these made for a killer section.

So you can all breathe a sigh of relief. I’m expecting this to be a standard RC section. Nothing too easy. Nothing too hard. Expect it to be unremarkable.

Crazy prediction: 19th-century politics

2013 December LSAT Prediction IV: The LSAT Curve

RC and LG sections create the biggest swings in points. If you misunderstand an LR stimulus, you get a question wrong; do the same for a passage or game and you lose 5+ points.

With easier RC and LG sections, I expect the December LSAT curve to be both less forgiving and tighter.

Let’s call it -10 for a 170; -26 for a 160; and -39 for a 152.

2013 December LSAT Prediction V: Specific Predictions

2013 December LSAT Logic Games:

• Menu items
• One extremely hard question per game
• A “completely determined if” question

2013 December LSAT Logical Reasoning:

• Board games
• A “flaws” question
• Fewer logical force keywords (“most”, “some”); more words that hint at logical force (“independent”, “irrelevant”)

2013 December LSAT:

• “Boss” Tweed
• An arts passage
• Strengthen questions

13 Responses

  1. Jarrett says:

    If you’re right about the December 2013 curve, this would make the first time since 2005 that the December administration of the LSAT has witnessed a tighter curve than its preceding October counter-part. And only the fourth time in modern LSAT history, the other two examples being the December 1993 and December 2003 exams.

    Even the former is debatable, as the “December 1993 curve” is, in fact, nothing more than the one used for its re-administration in September 1995. So, it’s entirely possible that the original December 1993 LSAT featured a curve more in line with the October 1993’s -15 curve for a 170.

    In light of this history, why do you think December 2013 will buck the trend and not increase (or remain constant) in logical difficulty as reflected in the scoring scale?

    • Matt Shinners says:

      Because the LSAC doesn’t set out to make certain tests have certain curves relative to others, and I feel any analysis in that regard is, most likely, just a coincidence. So when I make these predictions, I look at what I think is going to happen based on the difficulty of the preceding test, and not on historical trends over the history of the exam.

      Could I be completely wrong? Wouldn’t be the first time! :)

  2. Jarrett Ezekiel Reeves says:

    My bad. the December 1997 scale featured a curve for a 170 two questions tighter than the October 1997 administration, going from -16 to -14. So that makes three confirmed times the December exam has featured a tighter scoring scale since 1992: December 1997, December 2003, and December 2005 (with December 1993 being an unconfirmed possibility).

  3. Claudia says:

    Thanks for the predictions! I fear LG games even more than ever now. I have a feeling we’ll get something similar to the dinosaurs or the zones games.

  4. Alfonso Alfaro says:

    I just need it to be Saturday already. NEED. TO. BE. PUT. OUT. OF. MISERY. kthx.

  5. Emily says:

    Any clue as to which of the two reading comp passages were experimental? Thanks!

    • jenkins says:

      It wouldnt be a passage that was experimental, but an entire section of the test. . . For example, my test had 3LR, 1LG and 1RC. One of those LR sections was experimental.

  6. Autumn says:

    An [EDITED BY MODERATOR] passage- this happened.

  7. Autumn says:

    I see my previous comment was too revealing and had to be moderated- forgive me. Instead, let me say some of your predictions are startlingly accurate. And I can’t decide if I aced or bombed the test.

  8. Ladida says:

    From what I have been hearing so far, the dec test was very similar to the oct test in difficulty – even a memorable difficult passage in the real rc.
    I took prep test 70, and took the dec test; they seem to parallel each other in intensity.

    I would maybe guess -12?

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