Category Archives: LSAT polls

Live #LSAT prep vs. online #LSATprep classes

I came across the article referenced in the above tweet. It’s an interesting read and includes:

But, I just can’t shake the feeling that my students would have been much better served in a more traditional face-to-face setting. So, sadly, I know that it is now time for me to put down my grading mouse and walk away from the keyboard.

To be fair, I’m confident that all students did learn something in the classes I have taught, but that doesn’t mean I should call the courses a success.

Let’s walk through many of the reasons for why I feel that education, including MOOCs (massive open online courses) and online distance learning, is travelling down a dangerously slippery slope.

The internet has made quality education available to anybody, anywhere, at any time. World class universities are making their courses available online. You may not get a degree for taking the course, but the knowledge is available. I would argue that the online world may be the best place to provide information. After all, the information can be read, read again and absorbed at your own pace. Too tired? That’s fine. Come back to it when you are feeling better. Don’t like the teacher? Fine, find another one.

More and more people are taking online LSAT courses. Some are opting to take online courses instead of live courses. This is a trend that is certain to continue.

LSAT prep is NOT the about providing information. It’s  about developing “reading and reasoning” skills that must be applied in a “high pressure” environment. Those who achieve the highest LSAT scores are those who are best able to apply the basic “reading and reasoning” skills consistently, effectively and quickly. In other words, LSAT prep is more like preparing for an athletic event. Is an online class or a live class the better environment to achieve this?

I would be very interested in your thoughts.

Poll – Meaning of the word "few"

Poll – Meaning of  the word “few”

Update 2011 – I just wrote a more extensive post on the use of LSAT quantifiers.

I just received the following email from  a student in my LSAT class:

“Hi John:

I have a question regarding the words few and some. In LSAT world are they of equivalent meaning.

I know some indicates, in numerical terms, 1-100.

But what would few be in numerical terms.


This is a difficult  and interesting question (by the way I doubt that  the answer  will  have  a  huge impact  on your LSAT test  score – so get  interested but not worried).

Here  is  the answer  that I am sending to  him:

Hello _____________:

That’s funny – sometime  else was  asking me that yesterday. Remember that when we interpret language on the  LSAT  we:

1. Work  with the  dictionary definition  of the word;

2.  Read in the context  of the argument;  and

3.  Interpret it in the most  minimal way that is consistent with both the definition and context.

Let’s try this (of  course  we  don’t have context here).

1. Definition: “a small  number – not many”

2. The question is: what  does  this  tell  us about a range  – minimums and  maximums.

First, “a small  number” would mean “at  least one”. I have never heard the word “few”  refer to “zero”.

(A portion  of “all” – example: A few  people  score  180 on the LSAT).

Second, could “few” ever mean “all”? Note that  the dictionary specifies “not many”. This  implies “few” would  not mean “all”. I am having trouble  coming up  with an example  where  “few”  would  mean “all”.

So, my vote  would  be that  “few” would  mean:

– a small number of a larger  group – at  least  one but  not all.

Finally – what does  “less  than  all”  mean? How does  “few”  compare to  “most”?

This is  an interesting question. Could “a small number” ever mean more than half?  The  English language is very contextual.  I  think  that it would  be  a  great  mistake  to decide  this outside the  context of  the  specific argument.  Remember that we  want  to  interpret language in a minimalistic way. If  you see the word “few”  in a logical  reasoning question or  answer choice – interpret  “few” in the most  minimal way that is  consistent  with the context  of  the  argument.

I would  welcome  other  perspectives on this.


I then thought that it might be  interesting to put together an “LSAT poll” on this question. I would  love your participation in the poll or  leave a comment  to this post  or  both.