June 2014 LSAT recap

A few dozen of my students took the LSAT on Monday, and here's what some of them are saying (names have been changed to protect the innocent).

Mark:  Overall I felt mentally prepared. I had practiced the routine three times last week, including some full-length tests in the building. It was also nice to see familiar faces in the testing room. The testing center posted signs for check-in no later than 12:20, and the proctors were friendly and orderly.

I only attempted three reading comprehension passages. The third was a rough one. There remains room for me to improve on this section.

As for games, it felt like a harder overall section than normal, starting with a slight grouping wrinkle introduced into game one, which I was hoping to have been a pure sequencing game. I don't remember anything about game two (maybe that was the sequencing game?). The third game had more valid grouping distributions than I was expecting due to the ability for some of them to be empty. I may have rushed some of my answers on game three in anticipation for a game four I thought I'd be able to get a handle on, but this game four turned out to have a totally unfamiliar set of rules. Ultimately I may have made a test-taking strategy error here.

For the first logical reasoning section I remember not answering as many questions as I would have liked. But I feel like I crushed the other two. Depending on which one was experimental, I'm hoping there's still a chance my equated score crosses the 160 mark. 

I guess we'll see...

This student was unusually well-prepared, after several months of studying. Note the "full-length tests in the building"... this student actually went to the testing center in the week before the test, sat down, and did full practice LSATs in order to get acclimated to the room. This strikes me as overkill, but overkill is exactly what you're up against when you're competing with a bunch of future lawyers. I could never be that diligent, which is why I am not a lawyer. Mark most certainly is.

Milly:  I had two logic game sections, one was standard and I finished before the 5 min warning but the other was bizarre. It was my last section in the test and the last set of questions really threw me off so I had to guess on the last two which I'm bummed about since I typically finish with time in lg. Ah well, guess that's why we get a second chance.

I'd be willing to be that Milly did better than she thinks. Even if the harder games section was experimental, guessing on two questions at the end of a section isn't going to make much of a dent in your score, assuming you got all the earlier ones right. Based on Milly's practice scores, I know she's capable of doing that.

Jane:  Games were super easy! I had a tough time with timing myself but that's okay. I think I did really well. USF was a great testing center. Super easy to navigate. They hardly checked out zip loc bags. Also I was a little but to nervous!! Overall I know I did well I just may want to take it again in September. We will see July third!!

Games were super easy? It's enough to make an LSAT teacher's heart swell with pride. Glad to hear positive reports from USF as a testing center... if you're in the Bay Area, I do highly recommend it as I've heard nothing but good things for years. (And it was the site of my 179 back in 2007, so there's extra good mojo there.)

Joe:  Had a huge headache from section 2.  Got two RC sections which I hate.. ( Had RC as section 1 – didn't like that either )

My LG was at the very last section. Was hoping it would show up at 3/4 so I could take a break from all the reading. Got to the last game with about 8 mins, but it threw me off a bit and had to guess on most.  The headache that went on for three hours didn't help much either.

I'm guessing high 150s / 160 max. Sept here I come :)

Proctors ( There were three of them ) were ok.  Seemed a bit lost themselves. One guy was standing right next to me for the first three sections, which got on my nerves a bit. Think that about summarizes my first LSAT.

Sucks about the headache. Kinda funny about the proctor standing over your shoulder.  Did you think about asking him to move? He could have said no, but that's probably the worst case... best case, he immediately moves and doesn't come back. Something to think about next time. Glad you survived your first attempt!

Elin:  I'm really not sure how I did! :/

I had two reading comp in the first 2 of the three sections (before the break) which really burned me out.. I had a really hard time focusing on the second reading comp section and found myself reading lines over and over.

And then I finished both LR sections pretty early which freaked me out a little bit because I'm normally barely finishing as time is called... so I'm worried I read through the questions too quickly and made careless errors. 

My games section was last and I finished it, BUT I definitely guessed on two of the questions in the last game. I thought the first and fourth games were kind of weird. 2nd and 3rd easy/ typical. I surprisingly had a hard time wrapping my head around the first game until about half-way through the questions... and then I realized it was really easy. But I think the time I spent on game 1 took away from time I could have spent on the last game. Once I finished game 1 I knew I had spent longer than I normally do so I felt like I was playing catch-up the entire rest of the section of games. 

I don't feel very confident about how I did. I normally feel more confident and I was just so tired and self-conscious I think I psyched myself out. I'm obviously going to wait and see how I did--- but I have a feeling I got a lower score than what I was averaging. GRR. 

I thought I would feel more relieved with the test being over but I feel almost more stressed out having finished it. 

Elin says she suspects she scored worse than her recent PTs, but I'd caution her to take a big grain of salt with her own predictions. LSAT students are notoriously bad at predicting their own performance. Next time you do a practice test, see if you can predict your score before you score any of the sections. If you nail it within two points, I'll buy you a beer.

Marjory:  I got two reading sections within the first three.... felt pretty hurt. The games ended up as my last section, the first game was harder than I expected. I completed the first three games if I remembered correctly.

Sounds like a lot of folks got an experimental RC... this would be the worst case for me, personally, because the RC is such a boring grind. Why can't they throw me a bone and include some passages about something that really interests me, like gangsta rap from the 1990s? I would rock that shit. Great job on getting through three games!

Angela:  I thought it went really well, no surprises or unusually difficult sections. I would recommend future students registering to take it at USF. The building was really nice, lots of light and space. They split up the rooms so that they were not too crowded. One of the proctor's phones went off a few times but other than that it went smoothly. It was also encouraging to see lots if familiar faces from your prep class there. As for the test I happened to have two logic games sections. One section  was ridiculously easy that it seemed almost too good I be true and the other was slightly more difficult. I am curious to know which was the experimental section because I couldn't tell.

I'll leave any "which section was experimental" speculation to folks who aren't as afraid of the LSAC as I am; I do not want to anger the LSAC overlords. Sounds like you did well if the second section was only "slightly more difficult"... congratulations! Again, funny about the proctors being the only ones who cause noise and distractions. This is a fairly consistent feature of the test. Good times!

Maggie:  Alameda testing site had no problems.  Easy parking, no problems with room, exceedingly lenient proctor allowing in and outs/extra bathroom break.  No other classes were in session so it was quiet.  Although, if classes were in session the day of a test (fall test?) I'm not sure this site would be ideal.  There were less than 50 people so things moved quickly.

Test itself went really well, I feel better about it than any practice test so far!  I'm cautiously optimistic that I scored somewhere between 164-169.  If there is a healthy "curve," there's even a teeny, tiny chance I may have cracked 170.  It's extremely unlikely, 166 or 167 is my realistic prediction, but I'm just thrilled to know I didn't crash and burn.

Logical reasoning was fairly standard.  There was an extra question on one section, otherwise no curve-balls.

Reading Comp was also standard, managed to finish the whole section.  Having pre-existing knowledge of the topic in the last passage was very helpful.  It was kind of a common concept, but for younger people, non-Americans, or folks who hate politics/economics I can see how they might have struggled to grasp the subject matter fast enough to finish.

Games was...unique. ( I actually had two LG sections, but with some sleuthing I'm 90% sure I figured out which was real vs experimental.  The experimental section was the one section I did not do well on and it was a relief to find out it didn't count.  Super happy I didn't freak out or mentally give up after a rough section.)  The real games 1-3 were not hard.  But game four was RIDICULOUS.  The internet is already freaking out about it.  I found game 4 to be much harder than the infamous mauve dinosaur game, but mercifully this beast came as the last question.  Never figured out how to set it up.  Not possible to grind it out.  I bet there is a simple, elegant way to do it, but I had no clue.  Two Q's on game four were doable with just the rules, but the other three Q's were total guesses.  However, I think it may have worked in my favor.  I crushed two of the games and used spare time to go back and nail an earlier substitution question/double check answers.  I think I got solid 20 on the LG which I'm fine with.  I'm hoping that the LSAT people will curve or "equate" this test generously, given that most 170 scorers probably imploded on game four.  But that's probably wishful thinking considering the dinosaurs test was scaled harshly.

Saying June 2014's Game Four was harder than June 2009's infamous mauve dinosaurs game is a very bold statement... I look forward to getting my hands on this test in July! Sounds like anything over 20 points on this section is an extremely solid performance. Thanks for the tip about Alameda... I will file this away and see if I can corroborate it with reports from future administrations.

Jill:  I think I hopefully did okay--definitely felt a lot more confident than the time I cancelled so not planning on cancelling again. :) I took the test at McGeorge, which went pretty smoothly. Same goes for when I took it there before. The first two games I thought were pretty painless. The first one looked difficult upon first glance since it was grouping and sequencing but turned out to be pretty easy with all the rules that were given. I got to the last one a little bit after the five minute marker but didn't finish it--it was, to be expected, the most difficult!

Don't cancel! Ever! There's no point. You've already paid your money. You've already sat for the test. It still counts as one of your three attempts if you cancel. You won't find out your score if you cancel, and you might have done better than you think. In any case, schools really only care about your highest score. Do not cancel!

Thanks for all the reports. I look forward to hearing your scores in July!