LSAT Writing Section

LSAC has changed how the writing portion of the LSAT works. Students were finding it hard to concentrate on writing an essay after finishing writing the LSAT. Also, law schools really only need one sample of your writing to supplement your application. This has led to the change!

You will write the writing portion of the LSAT at a separate time after you’ve written your LSAT. You only need to write it once (regardless of how many times you write your LSAT). You can write it from anywhere that has internet access as long as you do it through their program. You can read more about it here: https://www.lsac.org/lsat/taking-lsat/about-lsat-writing

The writing portion is ungraded, but it does get sent along with your application. This section tests your ability to develop an argument, which is basically what law school is all about. You want to ensure your essay sounds polished and is an excellent example of your writing.

Tara offers remote lessons on the writing section, via e-mail, to help make sure you know how to write your argument properly and to ensure that your sample will be an asset to your application.

Help with the Writing section is a $100 flat fee with Tara. Also, help with writing your personal statement (for law school applications) is also a $100 flat fee if you’d like help with that as well.

The LSAT is going Digital

The LSAT is officially going digital in July 2019. That means if you want to write the traditional paper-pencil format you need to write your LSAT by June 2019 at the latest.

For the July LSAT, some test takers will still be given the paper-pencil format and the others will be given the digital format. This is to ease into the transition and to make sure there is no disadvantage for writing in the digital format. But, since this is the first digital test LSAC will allow you to cancel your AFTER you get to see your score. Which means this is a perfect time to write the test! If you don’t score as well as you’d like — CANCEL your score — and no law school will ever know what you scored! Also, to sweeten the pot, if you do cancel your score, then you will get to re-write the LSAT for FREE sometime anytime before April 2020.

To read more about this  – see what they have to say on the LSAC site: https://www.lsac.org/about/news/lsac-announces-digital-lsat-launch-schedule

Is the LSAT going digital?

Is the LSAT going digital? The answer is: NOT YET.

LSAC is starting to perform field tests for writing the LSAT on a tablet. They recently had their first field test in May 2017, where they got 2,000 students (students who plan to write the LSAT in the near future) to write an LSAT on a tablet. They conducted a second digital field test in October of 2017.

They still provided scratch paper for the games and there was a stylus pen provided as well so you don’t have to rely on touching the tablet with your fingers to select your answers. For the writing section, they attached a keyboard to the tablet so you could type your answer.

LSAC says it is still undecided if this will be something they will consider implementing in the future, but for now they want to see if it would be a viable option. In my opinion, if they are running these tests it seems likely that it is only a matter of time before they make the switch. It may take a few years before they actually implement it, but it is something to keep an eye on for the future. This would likely change how you study for the test and how you road-map your questions. However, this won’t be affecting any upcoming test writers!

You can read more about it at: https://digitallsat.lsac.org/pages/faq.aspx

LSAT NEWS: Unlimited LSAT Writings & New Test Dates

As of September 2017 LSAC is no longer limiting you to 3 writings of the LSAT per 2 year period. You can now write the LSAT unlimited times. This is big news, because it allows you write the LSAT more than once without fear of “wasting” your writings.

However, you have to remember that when you submit your law school applications the law schools can see how many times you have written the test. All of your previous writings get listed on your score report and are sent with your application. In Ontario, schools say they only consider your best score, but they will see your other scores. In the US, most schools average your scores, so if you plan to apply there you don’t want to write before you are ready.

I would still advise against writing the LSAT more times than necessary. You want to write when you are fully prepared and think you will do your best. But, this new policy should alleviate some stress, as you have more chances to write if you get overcome by test jitters/nerves and don’t reach your full potential.

You can see more about the policy on the LSAC site: https://www.lsac.org/lsacreport/may2017/news.asp#policy

The other BIG news for the LSAT is that LSAC is adding an additional test sitting for 2018. There will now be a July LSAT sitting in addition to the usual June, September and November sittings. For 2019, there will be even more sittings with a sitting in January, March, June, and July already listed by LSAC, and there will likely be the usual September and November/December sitting as well.

The added dates give you more chances to write. As always, you should start preparing early for the exam, but if you don’t feel ready by your target test date you will have more test dates than ever to choose from. This will help ensure you can write the test when you are fully prepared and reach your full potential!

You can see more about the upcoming test dates at: https://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source/jd-docs/testdateweb.pdf

Upcoming 2018-2019 LSAT Test Dates – 5 exam sittings this year!!

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2018-2019 LSAT Test Dates:

  • Monday June 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm
  • Monday July 23, 2018 at 12:30 pm
  • Saturday September 8, 2018 at 8:30 am
  • Saturday November 17, 2018 at 8:30 am
  • Saturday January 26, 2019 at 8:30 am
  • Saturday March 30, 2019 at 8:30 am
  • Monday June 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm
  • Monday July 29, 2019 at 12:30 pm

** LSAC is adding in extra test dates for you to write the test. This is NEW for the 2018 year! This will make it easier if you end up needing to re-write the LSAT. – https://www.lsac.org/docs/default-source/jd-docs/testdateweb.pdf**

Upcoming 2017 LSAT Test Dates

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2017-2018 LSAT Test Dates:

  • Monday June 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm
  • Saturday September 16, 2017 at 8:30 am
  • Saturday December 2, 2017 at 8:30 am
  • Saturday February 10, 2018 at 8:30 am

These are the tentatively scheduled dates for the upcoming LSAT exams. Make sure to start your studying early so that you will be fully prepared for your test! Let us help you reach for that 180!

Logic Games Question 3 – June 2016 LSAT

The 3rd question was the hardest game on the June 2016 LSAT. Which has been the pattern on the last couple of LSAT’s. However, if there is one thing I have learned from teaching the LSAT it is that the LSAT likes to be somewhat unpredictable. So you can’t count on the 3rd questions always being the hardest. However, that said, usually the 3rd or 4th question is the hardest on the test, because they don’t want to completely un-nerve you from the beginning.

Question 3 was a pure sequencing question, which isn’t too common. And not only was it pure sequencing, but it was an “options game”. Which means the best way to attack this game is to solve it upfront.

The question starts off by telling us an antique dealer is going to auction 6 items one at a time over the course of 6 days. This could be a linear game or pure sequencing game based on the initial paragraph so I would start by setting up my game like this:

1

Then I would write out all of the rules like this:

2

Since the last rule has two different scenarios happening that can’t both occur at the same time I know I can split my game board into at least 2 different options, because one of them HAS to happen. Either, V –T – H or H – T – V

So I would start by testing out my options with the first scenario. I have two other rules talking about V and H so I will be able to combine my rules, because S must come before V. So I will have an order of 5 of my variables, BUT S cannot come first so I will have to add L before S to avoid breaking that rule.

Your drawing should look like:

3

Next I will test the other scenario starting with H – T – V because S still has to come before V I can combine those rules to make a diagram, which looks like this:

4

However, I do not need to put L First since H could be first in this scenario. So I will have to write out two different things happening for this option, because L could come before H or it could come after H. But, If I put L before H it will also have to come before S, because S is not allowed to come first and only L can go before S in this option.

My option should look like:

5

However, L could also come after H so I will have a third option. But this will trigger my first conditional rule of M also having to come before L. And since S cannot go first I also know H will come before S, since H is the only other variable that could have come first in that option.

So my drawing should look like:

6

And now I have figured out all of my options. I have a total of three different scenarios that could happen. So when I attack the questions I will just have to pay attention to which scenario I am in.

You should now have all the information you will need to attack the questions.

Formal Logic on the LSAT

Formal Logic is a set of rules for making deductions in an argument. When you use formal logic you transform arguments into mathematical-like diagrams. Below are 11 of the most common ways you will see formal logic appear in sentences on the LSAT:

  1. If A then B: A—> B

Example: If I go to the store then I will pick up milk

Go to store —> get milk

But, going to the store is just one way I can get milk. It is not the only way. I could get milk from a farm, etc. But, what I do know is that if I go to the store I will 100% get milk there.

  1. All C are D: C —-> D

Example: All flowers are pretty.

Flower —> pretty

Therefore, if you are a flower then you are also for sure pretty. However, there are pretty things that aren’t flowers, such as people, beaches, etc. So all you know for sure is that if it is a flower then it is 100% pretty. OR if it is ugly then it for sure isn’t a flower.

  1. Every E is F: E —-> F

Example: Every dog likes walks

Dog —> likes walks

Therefore, every dog in the world likes walks, but there can be other things or animals that also likes walks. You just won’t find a dog out there that doesn’t like walks, so if you find a creature that doesn’t like a walk it won’t be a dog.

  1. No G are H: G —> ~H

Example: No fish can fly.

Fish —> can’t fly

Therefore, if you are a fish then you 100% cannot fly. However, if you can’t fly that doesn’t mean you are a fish. You could be a person, and people can’t fly either. All we know for certain is if you can fly then you aren’t a fish.

  1. Only I are J: J —> I

Example: Only Zombies eat brains.

Eat brains —> Zombie

Therefore, if you eat brains then you must be a zombie. However, being a zombie doesn’t mean you have to eat brains. You could eat only hearts perhaps instead. On the other hand, if you find yourself eating a brain then you are 100% a zombie.

  1. K only if L: K —> L

Example: Kelly will go to the movies only if Laura goes too.

Kelly movies —> Laura movies

Therefore, if you see Kelly at the movies then Laura must be there as well. However, Laura can go to the movies without Kelly. But, if Laura does not go to the movies we 100% know Kelly is not going either.

Tip: Replace the “only if” with “then”. Statement will read if K then L. What follows the “if” goes on the left side of the arrow and what follows then goes on the right side of the arrow.

  1. The only M are N: M—-> N

Example: The only people who eat brains are zombies.

Person who eats brain —> Zombie

Therefore, once again if you find yourself eating brains then you must be a zombie. But, as a zombie you don’t have to eat brains you can snack on other things.

  1. No O unless P: ~P —> ~O (O –> P)

Example: No dessert unless you finish your dinner

Don’t finish dinner —> no dessert (dessert—> finished dinner)

Therefore, if you do not finish your dinner then you do not get dessert. However, if you finish your dinner that doesn’t mean you for sure are having dessert. Perhaps you are full and you don’t want dessert anymore. The only thing that statement tells us is if you are eating dessert then you must have finished your dinner.

Tip: Replace the “unless” with “if not” and then read the statement starting at the “if”. If not finish dinner then no dessert (~finish dinner —> ~ dessert). What follows the “if” goes on the left side of the arrow and what follows then goes on the right side of the arrow.

  1. No Q without R: Q —> R

Example: You won’t get a 180 on the LSAT without studying

Got a 180 on LSAT —> studied

Therefore, if you scored a 180 on your LSAT then you must have studied. It is impossible to get a 180 on the LSAT if you don’t study. However, studying doesn’t guarantee that you will get a 180 on the LSAT unfortunately.

  1. S if but only if T: S <—> T

Example: You will feel rested tomorrow if but only if you go to bed by 10 pm.

Feel rested tomorrow <—> bed by 10 pm

Therefore, if you feel rested tomorrow then you went to bed by 10 pm. And if you went to bed by 10 pm then you will 100% feel rested. These phrases: “if and only if” and “if but only if” means the relationship between the two variables goes both ways.

  1. U is always V: U —> V

Example: Ursula is always a villain in the little mermaid.

Ursula —> villain in little mermaid

Therefore, if you are the sea-witch Ursula then you are 100% pure villain. If the character isn’t a villain in the movie then that character cannot be Ursula.

Upcoming 2016 LSAT Test Dates

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2016-2017 LSAT Test Dates:

  • Monday June 6, 2016 at 12:30 pm
  • Saturday September 24, 2016 at 8:30 am
  • Saturday December 3, 2016 at 8:30 am
  • Saturday February 4, 2017 at 8:30 am

These are the tentatively scheduled dates for the upcoming LSAT exams. Make sure to start your studying early so that you will be fully prepared for your test! Let us help you reach for that 180!

December 2015 LSAT – Game #4 – Volunteers and Committees

This is the other game from the December LSAT that some people found difficult. This game was a defined grouping game that if set up correctly was not too difficult, but the way the game starts out it might lead you into a different set up.

First we have 5 volunteers H, J, K, M and N being assigned to 3 committees, X, Y, Z and then these volunteers will each hold a position on the committee L, S, T

The basic set up for the game is:

IMG_7556

Not:

IMG_7557

You do not want to put the positions held as a static variable, because then you cannot add a volunteer onto a committee unless you know their position. And it is possible you won’t know there position but you will know which committee they are on so you want to leave the option open to record that.

The rules for the game are:

If N —-> N
_______L

M = exactly 1 committee

K = Y and ~Z

J = Ys and ~X and ~Z

So when you plug the original deductions into your diagram it should look like this so far:

IMG_7558

But now that you know J and K cannot be in Z that means the remaining 3 volunteers H, M and N have to be in Z. And since N is there, N has to be the leader.

And since M can be used only once, we now know there is no M in X and Y.

This means there is no J and no M on committee X, so that means N, H and K must be on committee X, with N being the leader again.

So that leaves either H or N being on committee Y, with most of the positions remaining unknown. However, just note that if we knew N was on committee Y, since N is always the leader we would be able to deduce that K would have to be T, but since H/N could be there we can’t make any further deductions.

Your final diagram should look like:

IMG_7559

QUESTIONS:

18. For committee Z we know it is made up of N, M, and H, with N being the secretary. So quickly scan to see if an answer has those 3 and has N being the leader. Only choice E has this. So E is correct and then we can quickly move on.

19. If K is the T for two committees that means K is the T for committee X and committee Y. If you add that into your diagram and make your deductions you will see that H has to be the S for committee X since all the other positions are now filled, And that the remaining H/N in committee Y is the L. and then committee Z is unchanged.

Your diagram should look like:

IMG_7560

This means that each of the following could be true except: C – because H cannot be the treasurer of X, as you can see from our diagram H must be the S for committee X

20. Must be true except means: we should be able to figure out the answer by looking at our original deductions. By looking at the answers this leaves us with B. H does not have to be assigning to Y. It is possible H is assigned to Y, but it is also possible that spot could be filled by N. That means this B does not have to be true.

21. If K is going to be the leader for one of the committees that committee has to be Y, because the only other committee that K is on is committee X, and N is already the leader for the committee. So if K is the leader for committee Y that means the last volunteer on the committee has to now become H, because if it was N then N would need to be the leader, but the leader position is now being filled by K.

Our diagram should now look like:

IMG_7561

So the amount of positions is fully determined for B – only committee Y, as you can see from the diagram. We still do not know the positions of the other committees.

22. To know what type of answer we need to find for determining the positions of everyone on every committee we need to think strategically. First off, we don’t know if committee Y has H or N, so we would need an answer that would force one of them on committee Y. Also, if we knew one more persons position on each committee we could figure out the third position by process of elimination and solve the whole game. So we need to see which answer does that.

A) H is the leader for one committee. This forced H to be the leader of Y and then we would know K is the T for committee Y, but we still would have no idea of the positions of the other people on committee X and Z. So this answer is out.

B) H is the secretary for two committees, well H could be the S for X and Z and then we would have no idea still if H was on committee Y or if N was. So this answer is out.

C) H is the treasurer for all three committees. This means H is on committee Y and is the T, so then K becomes the L. And since H is the T on X, that means K now becomes the S on X. And since H is the T on Z, that means M is the S on Z, so we would know everyone’s role. This is the right answer! Your diagram would look like:

IMG_7562

D) K is the T for two committees would give us the same diagram as #19, and as we can see we still had a lot unknown. So this answer is out.

E) Nash is the leader for all three. Means N is the L on Y as well so K would be the T, but we would not know the roles of the volunteers on the other committees still so then this answer is out too.

23. This is the substitute a rule question. It tells us that we need to find a new rule that could replace the rule stating that M is only assigned to one committee. So to figure out how to replace it we need to consider how this rule affected our original diagram. Since we figured out that M was on committee Z by default, because K and H couldn’t be there, we would need a rule that would force M not to be on committee X and Y.

A) H is on more committees than M. Well this would leave the possibility open that M could go on two committees since it is possible H is on all 3. This would change our game so A is out.

B) J must be on more committees than M. J can only be on one committee, so that would mean M would have to be on 0, which would change our original game as well, so B is out.

C) K must be on more committees than M. Well K must be on 2 and can only be on 2, since K cannot go on Z, so then that would force M to only go once or 0, but M cannot go 0 anyways because M gets forced onto committee Z, so this works!

D) M must be on more committees than H. This is out because H goes 2-3 times! and M can’t go more than that! M needs to go only once.

E) Nash must be assigned to more committees than M. N goes 2-3 times, so once again this would make it possible for M to go 1-2 times, which  would be too many! So this answer is out as well.

 

I hope that made the game seem a little easier for everyone!!!