Category Archives: The LSAT Simplified

How long should you prepare for the LSAT?

 

When Should You Start Preparing For The LSAT?

Although this is the  way the  question is usually asked, there are  really two questions:

First, how long should you prepare?

Second, during what period of time should you prepare?

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Pre-LSAT Prep – Getting The Most From Your PREP Experience

 

Your LSAT Test Score

What does your LSAT score  measure? Your LSAT test score is a measure of how well you answer LSAT questions (on that particular test day). What does  a high LSAT score mean? A high LSAT test score means  that the person reads well. It is probable that a low LSAT scorer does not read well (although there are a number of other factors that might contribute to a low score). This makes sense because the LSAT is a test of how well you apply your reading and reasoning skills to LSAT questions. In a previous post, I suggested that the LSAT should be called the “R.E.A.D.” test (Reading Effectively and Deducing).

The Two Kinds of LSAT Preparation

“Formal LSAT preparation” = the process of specifically learning to improve the application of your reading and reasoning skills to actual LSAT tests, for the purpose of achieving your maximum  LSAT score

“Informal LSAT preparation” = the process of improving your general level of reading and reasoning skills so that you are starting your “Formal LSAT preparation” from a higher general level of reading and reasoning Continue reading

Thoughts on LSAT Preparation – How To Choose LSAT Answers

How To Choose LSAT Answer Choices  – Different Strokes For Different  Folks

 

This blog post was  motivated  by a discussion with Kyle Pasewark  of Advise  In Solutions.

When it comes  to LSAT Prep, are you better off:

“Working hard” or “Hardly working”?

When it comes to LSAT preparation, some people “work hard” and some people “hardly work”.  The horrible reality is that often the people who  “hardly work” do better than the people who  “work hard”. This seems unjust. There are a number of possible reasons for this. It is important that you not only work hard but that you work effectively.

In the first of this series  of  “Thoughts On LSAT Preparation”  posts I introduced the “READ” objective. Because the LSAT is a test of reading and reasoning, the LSAT should be thought of as the “READ” test. “READ” is an acronym that stands for:

“Reading Effectively And Deducing”

In teaching my own Toronto LSAT preparation courses I have  noted that people  have more  trouble understanding information than reasoning with that information. Continue reading

Thoughts on LSAT Preparation – Categorization of LSAT Questions

The categorization of LSAT questions and the “READ” objective


The categorization of LSAT questions is the “rage” in LSAT preparation books and LSAT courses. The prep industry behaves as though  the goal is to complicate  the LSAT. The “National Anthem of LSAT Prep” is:

“The more categories of questions you can identify the higher your LSAT test score.”

According to conventional wisdom  (much of it reinforced by the official LSAT publications) there are:

– four categories  of  LSAT Logic Games.
– a large number of specific types of LSAT Logical Reasoning questions including: assumptions (both necessary and sufficient condition types), inferences, parallel  reasoning (conditional statement based and others), flawed arguments, verbal exchanges, necessary and sufficient conditions, etc.
– approximately six categories  of Reading Comprehension questions Continue reading

Thoughts on LSAT Preparation – Simply, Simplify, Simplify

“READ Effectively ” – “LSAT Simplicity is virtue”


In my last  “Thoughts on LSAT Preparation” post I suggested that the LSAT should  be called the “Read” test. “Read” is an acronym for:

“Reading Effectively and Deducing”

In this post  I will suggest  the  most important principle for effective reading on the LSAT.

I received the following email from a student in a recent course:

“Hi John:

LSAT school was a blast.  It helped me improve one of the areas I had been struggling w/ at the start my LSAT preparation – logic games.  But the most important lesson I learned from you course was that when it comes to answering the questions, LSAT simplicity is virtue.”

When it comes to the virtues of “simplification”, Kyle Pawewark points out on his LSAT Blog:

[…] Your preparation should be focused on simplicity, which will increase your accuracy and your efficiency.  See our blog post, “Three Keys to Success on the LSAT: Simplify, Simplify and Simplify.” […]

http://advisein.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/success-on-the-lsat/ Continue reading

Thoughts on LSAT Preparation – Let’s call it the “READ” test

Renaming The LSAT – Let’s call it the “READ” Test


Principle: The best acronyms should be descriptive acronyms!

What does the acronym “LSAT” stand for?

LSAT is an acronym that stands for “Law School Admission Test”.

The LSAT is:

– a four letter word;
– a barrier between you and the law school of your choice (or perhaps any law  school)
– a standardized test (every test taker gets the same questions);
– a multiple choice test (rewarding answer identification first and understanding second);
– a long test;
– a test administered under strict time constraints;
–  an important test Continue reading

The Secret Language of The LSAT (Not) – LSAT Quantifiers

The Secret Language of The LSAT (Not) – LSAT Quantifiers


It’s important that LSAT courses, LSAT tutors and third party LSAT books justify their existence. Therefore, LSAT courses and books focus on every conceivable aspect of the LSAT.

The bottom line is that the LSAT is a test of reading and reasoning in context.  High LSAT test scores require effective reading and  a heightened awareness of language.  Given that the LSAT is a reading test, difficulty is to be presumed. There are certain instances where language distracts test takers, creates huge anxiety, and provokes endless discussion. One such area is the use of “quantifiers” on the LSAT. Here is an email that I received from a student:

“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.

Cheers,”

(Those interested in my response are invited to see:

http://lsattoronto.wordpress.com/2010/02/02/lsat-poll-meaning-of-the-word-few/)

Who could have imagined that a Law School Bound student, would be interested in this question?

What is a quantifier?

Even if you have not heard the word (it sounds boring), you can probably figure it out. It seems to be based on the word “quantity” which means “how many”.  A “quantifier” is a word that that describes “how many” or “what proportion”. Quantifiers are common in everyday language. Here are some examples: “all”, “none”, “most”, ”many”, ”few”, “several”, “some”. These words are so common on the LSAT that at least one (that means a minimum of one, but does not preclude all) scholar has written an essay about the use of quantifiers on the LSAT. For your reading pleasure I refer you to:

http://nlp.stanford.edu/projects/nlkr/scoper.pdf Continue reading