February 2016 LSAT First Impressions

    LSAT Prep

    The test is over, and you've earned a beverage!The Saturday administration of the February LSAT is now over, and across the country test takers have gone online and provided us all with their views of the exam. Collecting those insights gives us a reasonable estimation of how the test went and which sections were real. Of course, we are not allowed to say anything too specific about the exam—LSAC is serious about test security—but we'll try to give you enough information here to allow for an informed perspective on what was scored and what was experimental.

    Also, we ask that you please be considerate of disclosure rules in the comments below. It's fine to note general impressions about the test, or to speak of actual topics encountered like the subject of a game or passage, but anything more detailed than that is asking for trouble (so no answer choice discussions, for example).

    Now, to the test.

    Let's start with Logic Games. From what we're seeing, the real Logic Games appear to be as follows:

    • Game 1 was about a furniture sale, with lamps, tables, etc. being sold over the course of three months, which sounds like a Linear/Grouping Combination game
    • Game 2 was about three artists ordered into five spots, making it a Linear Game with Numerical Distribution elements
    • Game 3 was about six people going to conferences in London, Madrid, and Paris, so likely a Grouping Game that also had some Numerical Distribution features
    • Game 4 was about the ordering of books on a bookshelf. People are reporting that this was a Sequencing Game with a lot of rules.

    Of course, with Febrary LSATs being nondiclosed we may never know for sure (it's possible LSAC chooses to release the test at some point in the future, but it'll be years before they do, if it happens at all), so we can only report what we're hearing, and it's possible that early feedback is slightly off. Fortunately though it sounds like a pretty standard section of LG, a huge plus for test takers out there who struggle with games or were fearing another rare type making an appearance.

    We've also gotten some info on the experimental games, which seem to have included the following types:

    • Four people each bulding two types of cabinets
    • Four racehorses at various racing locations over several months
    • Professors teaching different subjects
    • Photographs being arranged in sequence
    • A realtor visiting five out of a possible seven homes
    • Train/rail stations being closed (also described by some as "Rail yards closing")
    • Eight elevators being fixed over four days

    In Reading Comprehension, we know that the following passages were on the real section (although not necessarily in this order): 

    • A diversity passage about a female sculptor of mixed African-American and Native American heritage
    • A law passage on workplace ethics and employee rights (worker and employer representation)
    • A comparative passage discussing urban "smart growth" and suburban sprawl
    • And a science passage concerning shrubs/hedges aging (the fourth passage, it seems)

    By all accounts, the high level of complexity typical of recent Reading Comprehension passages was evident here. As long as you were mentally prepared for a challenging RC section, this test was quite predictable and certainly not out of the ordinary.

    We have less information at this point about the experimental Reading Comprehension passages, but the following appear to have been tested:

    • A passage about Indian-African fusion
    • A passage dealing with money and happiness
    • A Science passage about volcanoes
    • A passage on jazz and Latin music
    • And a passage concerning Native American languages

    Logical Reasoning is notoriously difficult to gauge given how many questions there are relative to games or passages, but from what we've heard the following topics were real (keep in mind that I'm more reluctant to call this list certain):

    • Moths and bats making sounds ("tweek tweek" sounds, apparently)
    • Physics and psychology
    • Intentionally creating art
    • Burglars with the initials G and S
    • Intention pollution
    • Outdoor exercise versus a treadmill
    • Absinthe
    • A gala for music awards
    • Laughter and social bonding
    • High cholesterol
    • Rat fleas
    • Electronic toll systems
    • Vital interests
    • Broca's area and bilingualism
    • Altruistic behavior
    • Expanding downtown area
    • Damming a river
    • Desire and beliefs
    • Redefining church
    • Bacteria and fungi
    • Wolves and wolf subspecies
    • Bay leaves
    • Skin disorder (cancer)
    • Plastic bottle reduction
    • Legislators voting for unfavorable bills
    • Bilingualism
    • Cell phone insurance deductible
    • Food not being hunted by some people (this is likely a question about Neanderthals)
    • A spaceship/machine indicator light (possibly "a blue/green light" as reported by some)

    On the experimental side for LR, here's what we've seen so far:

    • An animal with thin skin whose mother keeps in a pouch for warmth
    • Elephant breeding
    • Ballerinas
    • Turbines

    So hopefully that helps in the real vs. experimental consideration, a crucial distinction for those on the fence about canceling their score.

    As far as the scale is concerned, chances are it won't be overly generous. One frequently used measurement of scaling is the number of questions you can miss to achieve a 170, and past scales have ranged anywhere from -8 to -14 for a 170. We suspect that the February LSAT would come in around -11 or -12. However, because this is a non-disclosed test, we won't know what the scale was for many years (and possibly never). So, this is speculation that cannot be confirmed anytime soon. 

    And certainly we'd love to hear more! If you have any additional comments or questions please post them below, and congratulations to everyone who took the test this weekend. It's time now to have a beer or six, or just Netflix and chill. You'll have your results before you know it!

    Photo "Small Jack Daniels" by Albert Luo.