Live from the December 2013 LSAT

I'm starting to get reports from today's official LSAT. Short summary: Easy games and "bitch-ass RC." I'll share more as I learn more, but here's what I've heard so far:

High scorer (170+) Claudia offered a section-by-section report:

RC: Was easier than I was expecting, but this may be because the last practice test I took had a pretty hard RC. The passage topics were extremely familiar....one passage about an artist, one about a scientific topic (mirrors & reflections), etc.

LR: I had three sections, but didn't get any sense of which one was experimental. I finished 2/3 with enough time to double check answers, and corrected at least one mistake, which made me feel good. There were some difficult questions, as usual, but none that made me totally say "WTF."

LG: Went pretty well, although not perfect. The games themselves were relatively straightforward; I remember one grouping game, one putting-things-in-order game, and one putting-things-in-order game with an extra variable thrown in. (I.e. books that are read in a particular order, and some are summarized while others are not). Can't remember the 4th. There were at least two difficult "rule substitution" questions that I had to make slightly rushed educated guesses on at the very end. Maybe luck will be on my side and I will have made the right choices on those.

Others have reported difficult RC (more on that later) so it sounds like Claudia knocked it out of the park.

Quick note here about those "substitution" questions on the Logic Games. These questions sound like "which one of the following, if substituted for the rule that X must be before Y, would have the same effect in determining the order?" This is a relatively new type of question on the LSAT, and I highly recommend skipping them and coming back to them at the end of the section. (I've been yelling a lot lately about how these questions strike me as unjust, because it's such a huge advantage to people who know that they should skip them. Dear LSAC:  Why would you reward people for being able to afford a fancy tutor like me?)

Anyway, apparently this test had two of those questions, one at the end of Game 1 and one at the end of Game 3 (confirmation needed.) As it turned out, one of these questions was fairly manageable and one was quite hard. Still, since it's impossible to predict which of these questions will be hard and which will be easy, it's best to save them for the end of the section. That's exactly what Claudia did, and it seems to have served her well.

Jermain, who I mentioned in a post last week, sent me a text message that said simply "I think I crushed it!" This, of course, made my day. He'd had a couple of bad practice tests in the week prior, so it was great that he was able to put those behind him and let all his hard work pay off. It's been a long process for Jermain, and his success is very well deserved.

Here's a note from Jermain's study partner, Jessica.  She was also retaking the test:

I just finished the test and I feel great!!! I did my absolute best and I feel really, really great about it.  [This time] I changed a few minor study habits that made a world of difference (as well as studying with Jermain!).  I just wanted to let you know that I have been consistently been scoring between 151-155 (which is awesome in my book) and I feel so great about the test today!!!  Thanks for never giving up on me and never letting me give up on myself!

A solid study partner is invaluable as you prep for the LSAT. For the price of a coffee or a beer, you've got someone to help motivate you and also to help teach you things about the test (even if you're teaching them, you're still learning). And it's obviously a lot more fun with a buddy.

Last one for this post:

Hey Nathan, I bet you've heard about the bitch-ass RC section this time around.  But otherwise, I feel better this time around for the other sections.  Luckily, RC was my last so the difficulty didn't trip me up for later sections.  I'll keep ya posted.  --Hywote

Multiple students have reported novel wording in some questions on this test's RC, and everybody has mentioned a difficult "mirrors / light perception" passage number 4. As long as they saved the toughest passage for last, it sounds fair to me. But I can't wait to get my hands on this test and see for myself.

If anybody remembers the specific wording of any of those strange-sounding RC questions, I'd love to year them! And I'd love to hear whatever else you have to report about the test. Please leave a comment!