The Morning Cometh: The October 2011 LSAT Aftermath

Ah, the morning after the LSAT. You’d be excited about the prospect of a day without LSAT prep, if only you didn’t have that hangover keeping you down. So what was the overall feeling? Is it a celebratory hangover, or a hangover of shame?

All in all, it seems as if it was a fairly straightforward, though difficult, LSAT. From most reports, the experimental sections were more difficult than the scored sections, which is nice in the, “Oh thank God that’s not going to factor into my score” way, yet frustrating in the, “Why did they have to shake my confidence with such a hard section” way. There were a few questions that seemed to stick out as being hard, but nothing crazy. The LSAC did seem to continue its trend of making principle questions turn on seemingly unimportant words (see the psychotherapy via radio question from a few years ago); this time, it reared its head on a question about practical jokes.

The games seemed to trip people up the most, though almost everyone I talked to thought they were fair. Grouping and ordering games abounded, though the third game took particular flak from most of my students. Books and bikes, topically, were not the friend of my class.

As far as reading comprehension, again, most felt it was fair, yet difficult. A passage about Dostoevsky was time-consuming and difficult, but Dostoevsky’s awesome, so who cares? And for those of you who find Russian literature boring, at least it wasn’t on Kate Chopin. I actually had several students comment on enjoying the RC passages, which almost never happens. That’s a good sign, and hopefully a trend that continues into the future.

So, in short, it seemed to be a fair test, but difficult at the same time. People complained about their performance, but no one complained about feeling tricked or being thrown for a loop by a question, game, or passage. I feel this is a trend on the LSAT recently – straightforward questions that fall neatly within the standard types, but with more precise requirements for the correct answer – and I think it’s one that’s much welcomed. Most students I know would rather feel like something is hard than tricky, and that’s where the test seems to be headed.

So congrats to everyone who took the exam and feels good about it. Everyone else, there’s always December!

21 Responses

  1. Ljmoney1001 says:

    I wonder what the 160 cut off will be… Im hoping for 72 raw score..I consistently scored in the 165 range on proctored practice tests but I’m worried the game section could have knocked me down to a 159! This three week wait is torture! I did great on LR, it almost seemed too easy- I predict a -2/3 on each LR section and a -5 on RC. I usually do well on RC but this time the questions felt a little different- I’d be happy with a -5 or less on RC. That would allow me to miss 2 games and land over 160 but that’s only if I did as well on LR as I think I did.

    What’s everyone’s feeling on the curve? Will orbs consistent with the last 3 or 4 exams?

    • Daniel says:

      I know a lot of people canceling their score… I see it as a bad thing because their bad score could have helped the curve. Most of them did not even bubble a lot in like crazy people. I felt bad for them. Hope every one did well… I am still hung-over!!!!

      • Others canceling their score has absolutely no effect on the curve. The test isn’t curved around everyone’s performance on test day – it’s curved around those who took these questions as their experimental sections.

        So the curve was set before you walked in the door – no amount of canceling is going to change that!

        I also personally don’t see an unusual amount of people canceling their score on this one, based on my purely anecdotal evidence.

  2. marta says:

    Friend took it. She had two RC’s, said first RC was very difficult, and I think she said it was the first section as well. Any clues about which was experimental? She cant remember which one had Dostoevsky and which had Bee’s (maybe). She said overall not a bad experience, wasnt too shook up. She said she would be surprised if she got less than 160

  3. Amy says:

    I feel confident about the LG and RC, but I had 3 sections of LR. I didn’t bother with thoughts about which one was experimental, but I feel the first two were my best. After the break, my endurance kept slipping every now and then, so I’m not certain about that last LR section.

    I wish I knew which one was the experimental.

    • Hey Amy,

      One of those first two was the experimental, sorry to say. I can’t narrow it down for you more than that, however!

      What I can say, though, is that one of the scored sections was mentioned as being noticeably harder than the other. Most said this was because of several very long questions that ate up time.

  4. ljmoney1001 says:

    It seems as though the general consensus is that LG was pretty difficult. I was in a study group with two guys that always finished game sections with ten minutes to spare and usually -0 or -1. I was never that gifted at games. At the break I asked by buddy what he though and he said he had to guess on 3 questions and that he found it very challenging. I spent too long on game 1- the questions were more time consuming than usual. Game 3 of course was horrible and I skipped a few questions on each. LR was very easy form me thank God and RC was not too bad. With RC the passages were well structured but the questions were the tricky part with similarly worded answer choices with subtle nuances.

    • Yep, exactly what I’m hearing. Also, that’s a trend we’re seeing on the LSAT for RC, so good to see it’s holding up! As I said, I’d rather it be hard than tricky!

  5. ljmoney1001 says:

    I’m hoping that the cut of raw score for a 160 is 72 or 73 correct like it has been over the past 4 tests. Is there anyone out there that took the June that feels this test was harder? Is there anyone who though LR was challenging?

    • I have heard some people say this was harder than June. I’ve also heard that there was 1 challenging LR section – mainly because there were many long stimuli and timing became an issue.

  6. LS says:

    Oh man, I forgot about that practical joke question until now. I remember I had it narrowed down to two very similar answers and I wasn’t able to figure out for sure which was right. I need to stop reading LSAT recaps; it’s making me way more nervous than I was after the test!

  7. ljmoney1001 says:

    Haha- I remember that one too, I think the answer negated the first condition but fulfilled the second condition and there for was correctly categorized. I hope this isn’t to specific.

  8. ljmoney1001 says:

    Mr. Shinner,

    As far as LSAT trends go, do you have any opinion on Raw Score cut offs? For the 160 score? In the last 5 years the cut off has not been over 75.. is it reasonable to believe this will hold for this last test?

  9. PoopSandwich says:

    Hey Mr. Shinners,

    If the LSAT curve is really predetermined prior to a test, why are tests in some months (relatively) consistently easier. Leaving aside December 2005, December’s curve has been substantially easier than has June’s over the past decade or so.

  10. LG says:

    So what I am hearing is that if I had two LG sections and one seemed to be pretty easy for a “average” (that is granting myself a nice term), then the harder one was the non-experimental game section?

  11. LG says:

    Thanks matt. It was the tougher one for sure

  12. ljmoney1001 says:

    Hello Matt,

    As far as LSAT trends go, do you have any opinion on Raw Score cut offs? For the 160 score? In the last 5 years the cut off has not been over 75.. is it reasonable to believe this will hold for this last test? I understand if you don’t want to speculate.

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