This past Monday, thousands of test takers across the US and Canada took the June 2013 LSAT (many international test takers took the exam on the same day, but such students are generally given a different test, to avoid sharing of information across different time zones). How was the exam? It appears that the test was easier than most expected, with some notable features:
- The section opened with a predictable game about six books, widely thought to be extremely easy. The second game revolved around trucks delivering juices and snacks to four schools. That game-if diagrammed correctly-should have given you no trouble at all. Some test-takers referred to it as “cake”, probably because they noticed the incredibly restrictive nature of the rules.
- The last two games were somewhat harder, but not anywhere near the level of difficulty seen in recent years. One was a game involving six petri dishes placed on 3 shelves; and the other one was a game requiring you to assign several paralegals to three different cases. Neither game would qualify as “killer” by any stretch of the imagination.
- The Reading Comprehension passages varied in difficulty considerably. The first one – about small-scale farming – was an easy read; however, the questions were numerous and some were challenging. The comparative reading passage (about “nonobvious” patents) was widely considered to be the most difficult one in the test. Its difficulty resulted from the fairly abstract, technical wording of Passage A. The other two passages focused on the revival of various outdated photographing techniques, and on the dodo bird (a medium-difficulty Science passage).
- Considering the “new normal” for challenging Reading Comprehension sections on the test, this one was exactly as expected.
- The second logical reasoning section was, by most accounts, more challenging than the first. This was apparently due to a few challenging questions involving complex causation (El Nino), probabilistic reasoning (winning the lotto), and conditional reasoning (publishing important books).
For most test-takers, the experimental section was either the first or the third section in the test. Most reported that the experimental Logic Games section (containing a bizarre game) was significantly more difficult than the scored one. The inverse appears to have been true about Reading Comprehension: many reported completing the experimental RC with a few minutes to spare, but not the scored RC section.
So, what does it all add up to? We predict a curve of -11 or -12 at best, with a number of students predicting a -10 curve (to obtain a 170). Stay tuned!