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March 13, 2015

Number of LSAT Test-Takers Increased in February 2015

The Law School Admission Council just released the number of February 2015 LSAT-takers, and it's quite a surprise.

After over four years of (virtually) steady decline* in the number of LSAT test-takers, the number has increased significantly. Specifically, it increased by 4.4% year-over-year - from 19,499 to 20,358.

Many prospective law school applicants have been dissuaded over the past few years by news about changing prospects in the legal market. Three years ago, the number of LSAT test-takers actually hit a 10-year-low.

Now, suddenly, things appear to be moving in the opposite direction - at least to some extent.

Why?


My guess is that many prospective applicants now believe that it will be easier to get into law school because it is less attractive to others. In other words, the decline in law school applications (and news about this decline) has actually led to an increase in the number of LSAT-takers (and may eventually lead to an increase in the number of law school applicants.

I believe that, by now, most LSAT-takers and law school applicants applicants are aware of the risks involved in taking on law school debt, given the current employment landscape. However, some may believe they are exceptions to the rule, and/or that the decline in applicants will make it easier to get into a higher-ranked law school.

For many recent college graduates (especially those majoring in the humanities), there still aren't a lot of great employment options. Given the ease of securing government loans for higher education, the number of law school applicants may actually rebound as people knowingly go to law school, despite awareness of the risks involved.



*While the number of LSAT-takers also increased year-over-year in February and December 2014, those changes were within what most would probably consider a reasonable margin of error - only 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively. See the full chart from LSAC here:



March 10, 2015

Should Law Schools Drop The LSAT Requirement?

LSAT Blog Should Law Schools Drop LSAT Requirement
I was just interviewed on Huffington Post Live about some recent changes in law school admissions, along with Elie Mystal of Above the Law and Kyle McEntee of Law School Transparency.

March 6, 2015

Law School Addenda Quick Tips



LSAT Blog Law School Addenda Quick Tips
The below excerpt with quick tips on law school optional essays and addenda is from A Guide to Optional Essays and Addenda.

February 19, 2015

How to Get a Perfect Score on LSAT Logic Games

This LSAT Blog post lists all the Logic Games-related blog posts you should read toward the beginning of your prep.

I've listed them in the specific order in which you should read them, along with the relevant Logic Games you should complete from LSAT PrepTests 52-61.

Use my LSAT Logic Games Cheat Sheet as a quick-reference, and you can use my Logic Games Guide and Mastering Logic Games for extra LG guidance and a focus on question-solving strategies.

Also consider doing some sudoku puzzles. They're a nice break from actual LSAT Logic Games, but they still allow you to practice LSAT-style deductions. This game is good, too.

This is all meant to accompany the initial Logic Games portion of my LSAT study schedules, while giving you more specific guidance on when to read which blog post and when to do each Logic Game.

Enjoy!

February 18, 2015

Becoming an LSAC Test Specialist: Job Posting

Ever wondered how someone becomes an LSAC Test Specialist? I've conducted several interviews with a former writer of LSAT test questions, and, in them, he does talk about his background a bit.

However, I recently came across a job posting from LSAC. They're looking for a new test specialist to join their team. While it might be considered a conflict of interest to write test questions and then take the exam itself, if you're not sure about law school, this could be an alternate career path.

I'm including the job posting below.


February 17, 2015

LSAC Bans LSAT PrepTest PDF Sales

LSAC Bans LSAT PrepTest PDF Sales
Unfortunately, some bad news for LSAT test-takers:

I recently learned from LSAC that they are putting an end to LSAT PrepTest PDF sales.

This isn't a joke, and it's not an early April Fools' prank.

LSAC recently made some changes to its licensing policy for 2015. Because I sell LSAT PrepTest PDFs to the general public, I received word of these changes.

Via email, LSAC wrote to licensees:

Attached is our revised Rights Management Document regarding electronic distribution of LSAT content to your program students and the general public. All renewing and future licenses must comply with this policy.  
One important and necessary change is our preference that you do not use/distribute PDFs. [emphasis added. However, if you are able to demonstrate that PDFs can be made secure when sold to your course registrants only, it is possible we would approve this use.

In other words, LSAC will not allow licensees to sell LSAT PrepTest PDFs to the general public any longer. This change will go into effect as licenses come up for renewal. LSAT Blog's license expires this coming Monday, March 23rd, so if you want to buy LSAT PrepTest PDFs, get them now.

LSAT PrepTest 74 Explanations Available for Instant PDF Download

Complete explanations for all 4 sections of LSAT PrepTest 74 (December 2014 LSAT) are now available for instant PDF download. Both Logical Reasoning sections, the Logic Games section, and the Reading Comprehension section have been fully explained.

One of the most common requests I get from my students and blog readers is for explanations of particular LSAT questions.

Although I'll explain any question in my LSAT tutoring, there's a limit to the amount I have time to write down.

Fortunately, I just learned that fellow LSAT tutor Graeme has written complete explanations for every question in all sections of LSAT PrepTest 74 (December 2014 LSAT). Not only do these explain why the right answer is right, but they also discuss why each wrong answer is wrong.

Get explanations for all 4 sections, or just get explanations for specific sections by clicking the relevant links below:

(explains both Logical Reasoning sections)



Want to know more? Get further details on these Logic GamesLogical Reasoning, and Reading Comprehension explanations.

***

PrepTest 74 is the most recently released LSAT, so it's the best reflection of the LSAT's current state. It's especially crucial for anyone preparing for the June 2015 LSAT and beyond to thoroughly study this exam. The LSAT evolves over time.


February 10, 2015

LSAC Not Reporting Old LSAT Scores

I just received the following announcement from LSAC:

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING LSAT SCORES EARNED BEFORE JUNE 2010 
As of July 1, 2015, LSAC will no longer provide scores older than five years plus the current testing year either to law schools or to candidates. Scores earned prior to June 1, 2010 will neither be reported to law schools nor available to candidates. Prior to July 1, test takers with scores earned prior to June 1, 2010 may use this link to determine the best way to obtain a copy of their older score(s) for their records.

Law School App Explanation Statements


LSAT Blog Law School App Explanation Statements
The below excerpt on "explanation" statements, a type of optional law school application essay, is from A Guide to Optional Essays and Addenda.

February 6, 2015

February 2015 LSAT Score Release Dates

LSAT Blog February 2015 LSAT Score Release Dates
UPDATE: Scores were released on Monday, March 2.

Good luck to everyone taking the February 2015 LSAT!

The February 2015 LSAT scores / results are scheduled to be released via email by Tuesday, March 3, 2015, so you'll have to wait for your LSAT score.

However, the scores usually come out a bit earlier than scheduled.

Let's look at the trend over the past several years (click to enlarge):

February 4, 2015

Why LSAT PrepTest Scores Fluctuate

Many LSAT test-takers think everyone has one "true" LSAT score, just like everyone supposedly has one "true" IQ score. Of course, taking an IQ test at age 20 and age 50 would likely generate different results. But I'd imagine that even taking two IQ tests a week or a day apart would likely generate slightly different results.

So, why do so many people think they should keep getting approximately the same LSAT score when taking timed LSAT PrepTests before Test Day?

This idea may have something to do with intuitions about grades, but even grades aren't necessarily constant. While people tend to be jealous of the person who "gets straight A's," I can't think of someone who got only As. I often got As, but I also got A-s and even (gasp) B+s.

For some people, this comes from the idea that the LSAT is a test you can study for, and improve on. "I've studied my way to a 170, so that's now my true score. How could I possibly get significantly lower scores? Am I getting dumber?"


Reasons your LSAT scores can fluctuate:

People often fail to consider that there is an element of randomness involved on standardized exams.

-With a limit on the number of questions that can be asked, some concepts that you're good at might not appear, leading your score to be lower than it would've been otherwise.

-A concept that doesn't always appear might show up on your test. If it's something you're shaky on, again, your score might end up being lower than it would've been otherwise.

As always, the safest course of action to guard against unanticipated low scores is to learn everything. No easy answers here, sorry.

Some other factors that lead to score drops - burnout, sleep deprivation, stress, and poor health. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat well, and get moderate exercise. This stuff really makes a difference.


February 2, 2015

New LSAT SuperPrep Book from LSAC

LSAT Blog New LSAT SuperPrep Book LSAC
Coming soon: A new LSAT SuperPrep book from LSAC

LSAC has announced that in Spring 2015, it will release LSAT SuperPrep II: a new LSAT book containing LSAC-written explanations for LSAT PrepTest 62 (December 2010 LSAT), LSAT PrepTest 63 (June 2011 LSAT), and a "never-before-disclosed test form."

Up to this point, LSAT SuperPrep was only book containing LSAC-written explanations for full LSAT PrepTests. That book contains the February 1996 LSAT, February 1999 LSAT, and February 2000 LSAT (PrepTests A, B, and C, respectively).

I'll update my day-by-day LSAT study plans to reflect the release of the Official LSAT SuperPrep II once LSAC releases it.

Aside from the SuperPrep books, you can get explanations for LSAT PrepTests here on LSAT Blog. There's a big list of them in Best LSAT Prep Books.