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Official LSAT PrepTest February 1997

LSAT Blog Official PrepTest With Explanations February 1997This post is Part 2 of the "Secret PrepTests" series. The series starts with "The Case of the Secret LSAT PrepTests."

In this post, I find LSAT prep companies claim to provide students with the February 1997 LSAT. However, LSAC claims that it's not available for licensing. I go on to discuss a few possible explanations for these differences and reflect on their importance.

What Prep Companies Say:
The LSAT prep companies take advantage of their unique access to PrepTests. Here's what several large prep companies say. All emphasis is added.
1. "We license all of the available LSAT tests, so you will have access to all of the LSAT questions since 1991...We have every single released LSAT since the June 1991 LSAT...including the February LSAT administrations from 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000..."

2. "Our Full-Length course includes every currently licensable LSAT question...practice exams included in the Weekend Course materials are....Feb97..."

3. "We do provide students with every released question, through our practice exams and the questions we use in our course materials..."

4. "[W]e have every released LSAT on file...That includes the tests that you mentioned [February 1997 and SuperPrep]..."

5. "[E]very question ever released from LSAT (sic) is included in our materials...We do offer the Feb. 1997 test...If it's been released by LSAC, you're going to have it in your hands..."

The difference between released and licensable is the February 1997 LSAT.

Released means the exam was available at some point in time.

Licensable means LSAC currently grants the right to reprint it.

What LSAC Says:

The LSAC publications dept. representative, said via email, "We haven’t included [the] Feb 1997 [LSAT] in the licensing program."

Why wouldn't LSAC want prep companies to use it?

I suspect LSAC prefers that students pay $18 for LSAC's ItemWise, the online version of the February 1997 LSAT. LSAC originally sold it as the "Official LSAT PrepTest with Explanations," which is now out of print.

However, as you saw above, prep companies claim to provide students with, or give them access to, the February 1997 LSAT.

In an attempt to figure out this puzzle, I've looked over the coursebooks from a couple of these prep companies. In doing so, I found specific copies of questions from the February 1997 LSAT, so at least some of the companies that claim to provide it aren't lying.

In the spirit of the LSAT, I will treat this as a Logical Reasoning "Resolve the Paradox" question. A few potential explanations come to mind:

1. The prep companies reprint these questions without LSAC's knowledge and pay no licensing fees for them at all.

2. The prep companies reprint these questions with LSAC's knowledge, but LSAC doesn't care. Perhaps LSAC makes enough from other licensing fees to look the other way.

3. Both LSAC's representative and the licensing policy are incorrect, and the Feb 1997 LSAT is, or has been, available for licensing by prep companies.

Prep Companies Pay:
$0 = if LSAC doesn't license these exams, which seems to be the case.


$3 = I'm guesstimating, but this is the cost to license each of the SuperPrep exams (as I learn in Part 4), which are from the same time period.

Students Pay:
$18 for online-access only (impossible to print or resell), but it includes LSAC explanations.

Why You Should Care
The exam is fairly old, so like PrepTests 1-6, 8, and 17, it's certainly not necessary. However, the cost is unreasonably and inexplicably high. At the very least, the cost should be lower, and the exam should be printable. Again, it's the principle of the thing.

Read on for Part 3, "Cost of LSAT PrepTests | Prep Course vs. Self-Study."


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  2. I found the logical reasoning sections of this particular test way more difficult than the those in the most recent prep-tests. Is it just me? I just have the answers to the questions and not the explanations so it adds to the frustration...

  3. Did this test have LR sections that contained percentages, proportions, or statistics flaws within them?

  4. Had no idea this test was contraband, but hey I just got a 174 on it!

    And yeah I felt like the LR q's are definitely a step up in difficulty compared to recent tests. Went -5 on the first LR and -2 on the second.

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