With roughly two months until the June 2014 LSAT, most of you will soon enter test-taking mode. You will probably take anywhere from 10 to 20 timed practice tests during that time, and - if done correctly - such a regimen will help improve your score. Not every score will be higher than the one before. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes, improve your stamina, and take it easy.

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Topics: LSAT Prep

On a long drive this week I enjoyed a marathon of Freakonomics Radio, one of the most interesting and informative podcasts around. So I begin this post with a massive hat tip to their 2011 show called The Upside of Quitting. That episode centered on the efficiency gained by knowing when to quit, even if doing so runs counter to a prevailing norm that quitting is somehow nearly always bad.

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Topics: LSAT Prep

I was recently asked about a specific question from the October 1999 LSAT (O99, LR1, #7) on our LSAT Discussion Forum. This question, known as Debbie's Magic Act, can be summarized as follows:

Debbie has a magic act where she identifies a card chosen randomly from a deck, without ever looking at the card beforehand. A skeptic examined the process, and conducted three separate tests. In the first test, he made a video of her selecting the correct card, and after examining it he determined she did not perform sleight-of-hand. In the second test he gave her his own deck of cards and she again succeeded, so the skeptic concluded it wasn't a stacked deck. In the third test, the skeptic selected the card on his own, and on that basis ruled out the possibility that a plant in the audience had been used. On the basis of these three tests, the skeptic concludes that none of the three methods—sleight-of-hand, stacked deck, or planted volunteer—had been used by Debbie to perform the magic trick. This stimulus is then followed by a Flaw in the Reasoning question.

The reason this question interests me is that a large number of students select the same incorrect answer, and are very confident they are correct even after reading the problem again. Even after looking at the right answer these students often do not necessarily understand where things went awry with the answer they chose. It's a tricky question! The trap used to create this confusion is one I sometimes refer to as the Natural Question Error, and the makers of the LSAT have preyed upon it in many Logical Reasoning questions. It's a type of Shell Game error, and if you study for the LSAT long enough, you will at some point make the very same mistake. So let's break this problem down and see how we can avoid this error. 

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Topics: LSAT Logical Reasoning, LSAT Prep

Many students preparing for the June LSAT are reaching a point in their studies where full, timed practice tests will soon become part of the routine. As such, it’s critical that test takers understand exactly how to self-administer a sample LSAT. So here I'm going to outline exactly how to craft the perfect practice test experience!

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Topics: LSAT Prep

I've written two posts on Logic Games recently, both in response to student questions, and this week I'd like to address a third question about games I was asked recently: how do you know when to move from your setup to the questions?

I should start by saying that it's a very contextual decision, in that some games (especially in recent years) have few inferences that can be made and you'll often feel as though you've discovered little in your initial setup--an unnerving situation, looking down and seeing a near-empty diagram--whereas other games may yield a lot of great inferences and it's worth your time to continue quickly noting them early on. So unfortunately there's not really a universal time limit or inference count that can be reliably used to make the transition from diagram to questions.

That in mind, when setting up games I do still tend to rely on two principles to alert me it's time to move to the questions:

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Topics: LSAT Logic Games, LSAT Prep

Still waiting to hear back from your dream school? You are not alone. This year, “rolling admissions” can just as well be called “crawling” admissions. We can only speculate as to the reasons why schools are taking longer than usual, but one plausible explanation has to do with the relatively unpredictable size (and qualifications) of the applicant pool. We all know that applications have been dropping since 2010, but there is a strong indication that they bottomed out last year, and are starting to recover from a five-year slide. The rate of decrease slowed in 2015, while the total number of LSAT’s administered in 2015-2016 increased for the first time since the 2009-2010 admissions cycle, by about 4%.

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Topics: Law School Admissions

The most memorable line from O.J. Simpson’s 1994-95 jury trial, other than the “not guilty” verdicts, was defense attorney Johnnie Cochran’s genius phrase, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” That clear, simple rule is widely thought to be a key factor in Simpson’s acquittal. In today’s post, we’re going to look at that statement and its circumstances in the context of the LSAT.

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Topics: LSAT Prep

Ten days ago the world lost a sporting legend, Johan Cruyff. If you've never heard the name before, you could be forgiven for thinking that he might be an old ship captain, or maybe some forgotten inventor. The name sounds a bit grizzly and angular, and would certainly fit a big game hunter or gold miner. He wasn't though—he was a world famous soccer player from the Netherlands. So, how could he possibly have any wisdom that applies to the LSAT?

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Topics: LSAT Test Mentality, LSAT Prep

In this LSAT Forum Post of the Day, PowerScore Course Developer and Senior Instructor Jon Denning replies to a student who had two questions on Jon's most recent blog article, detailing exactly what is meant by "rarity" on the LSAT, and how that impacts you as a test taker.

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Topics: Law School Admissions, LSAT Prep, LSAT Forum