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
The very existence of the experimental section on the LSAT is scary to many students. It could be any type of section, in any order, and you won’t know whether any section is experimental while you’re doing it. In previous years, you could at least be sure that it would be one of the first three sections – but since the 2011 October LSAT case, when some test-takers had the experimental section as their fourth section, that’s no longer the case. When it comes to the experimental section these days, all bets are off. What could be scarier than that?
The good news is that there are some things you can do to mentally prepare for the experimental section on the LSAT. For one thing, as you know, tests that are released by LSAC have only four sections (because, of course, the experimental section has been removed). You can simulate the full experience of taking a 5-section test by adding a random section from a different LSAT to some of your practice tests. Better yet, have a friend do it (a good friend who won’t judge you for being nerdy) – that way you truly won’t know what to expect for your experimental section.
Secondly, let’s say that LSAT Reading Comprehension is your weakest section, and you’ve been having nightmares for weeks about having an experimental RC section or even – gasp! – the experimental RC and real RC back-to-back on your LSAT. Just like when you hear a spooky noise in the night, the only way to subdue this fear is to tackle it head-on by grabbing your flashlight and investigating. So line up a couple sections of your least favorite section type and do them in whatever order sounds most onerous for your next LSAT practice test. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.
The bottom line is that everyone who takes the LSAT has to deal with an experimental section, and everyone has different preferences – you might be dreading an extra LSAT Logic Games section, while the person next to you is hoping desperately for the same thing. You can’t avoid it, but you can be ready for it, so invest some mental energy in thinking about the experimental section.
*If you do manage to dress up as an experimental section, please send us pictures. Please.