June 2013 LSAT postmortem, part II

Yesterday I shared some notes from students who sat for the June 2013 LSAT. Today, I got an email from a student who thought the test was "pretty straightforward" but might cancel anyway. (Odds are, I'll beg him not to.) I also have a description of Hastings as "heinous" and another favorable report from San Francisco Law School. Here we go!

I'd agree that this test leaned towards the easier side. I had LG LR LG RC LR, and with the Games being my strongest, I don't feel like I fucked them up too bad. I would guess I'd land around a 19 give or take on them, which is where I was testing. (Finish 3 slowly, maybe scoop up a couple on the 4th game.) The second game included the "which rule, if substituted for”¦." skip question at the end of the second section-- which I thought was rude.

Rude? Only if you're unprepared, which this student obviously wasn't. The type of question we're talking about goes something like "Which of the following rules, if substituted for the rule that A is before B and C, would have the same effect as that rule." I agree that these questions are evil, but they are actually to your advantage (relative to the competition) if you simply skip them outright. Let the other suckers waste time on a question that tends to be both more difficult and more time consuming than any other type of Logic Games question. It's only worth one point! Skip it outright and invest that time in the rest of this section. It sounds like that's exactly what this student did, and she found the section overall pretty easy. I'm excited to see her score.

This same student, who was taking the test for the third time, had some expert advice about San Francisco test centers:

I also took it at Hastings, which for lack of a more articulate way of explaining it, was fucking terrible.

I'd done SFSU for December and Feb, which was far much more efficiently run. At Hastings, no one was let into the building until 12:30. Being that it says "Arrive no later than 12 at the testing site" on the ticket and you've got a bunch of type A anxious fucks who arrive up to an hour beforehand, it seemed just plain mean to make everyone wait outside the site, protected by a pissed off rent-a-cop, as the minutes ticked by and they let everyone in a little after 12:30. 

In addition to that, they made everyone go up the flight of stairs to the 2nd floor (where your classes were last year) as a mass check-in right in front of the elevators by last name. The line was 20 minutes, it was likely a fire hazard with that many people crammed into the stairwell, and it made the Southwest Airlines cattle-call boarding system seem luxurious. 

It was heinous. SFSU, while it has crappy buildings and tiny desks, had each individual testing class of 11-15 or so individually checked in and ready to test on time. Huge difference. Recommend any facility to your students other than Hastings. 

Done and done. If you want to wait outside on McAllister Street for an hour before the LSAT, and/or if you enjoy being crammed into dark stairwells, Hastings is the place for you. No? Well, here's another vote for San Francisco Law:

I think the LSAT went pretty well for me. I took it at SF Law and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone. The check-in was quick and easy (we started the test right @1:00), it was very quiet because they only offer night classes in the summer, proctors were very relaxed although that may just have been mine. I really hope I don't have to retake it but if I do I would definitely go there again.

And here's that student who's considering canceling his score. What would you do?

I had LG, LR, LG, RC, LR. I thought the logical reasoning and games were pretty straightforward. The second game though on the second section of the logical games seemed to be a little tricky. About logical reasoning, I felt it was pretty smooth. It had a lot of agree questions. The reading comprehension was kind of odd, in the sense that the topic of the passages was just different from the ones before. Overall, I thought it was a pretty fair test. However, after the test, I just felt that I could have done better and it wasn't my best out of all. So I am thinking of canceling the score as well. 

But, for my first ever LSAT test, it was a good one as I gain confidence that I could master it with more practice :)

Yesterday, I advised a student to cancel her score on the basis of a Logic Games "blank." Here, I have to go the other way. "Pretty straightforward"... "pretty smooth"... "pretty fair test." That doesn't sound like a disaster... it sounds like this student probably did very well! Furthermore, this student doesn't yet have a score on record. Remember, schools really only care about your highest score. Even if this student is going to take the LSAT again in October 2013 or December 2013, he should still keep this score. The only possible reason to cancel here would be ego. But there are tons of reasons not to cancel: What if October and/or December turn out to be duds, for whatever reason? Imagine if the student cancels, and then for the October 2013 LSAT he gets sick, or his car breaks down, or what if the October test is simply harder than this one? He'd be setting himself up for an all-or-nothing December 2013 LSAT, which seems like a scary proposition. Most importantly, think about the upside: What if it turns out that he did better than he thought on the June 2013 LSAT? If he cancels, he'll never even know his score. If it turns out that he did really well, he might be done with his LSAT experience. I'm glad he's enthusiastic about continuing to practice, with hopes of "mastering" the test, but he's already been prepping for quite a while. Since he had a mostly positive experience at the test, I really think he needs to keep his score.

Keep the letters coming, this is fun!