The June 2014 LSAT was given on Monday, and while specific information about the test content is tightly guarded, we’ve still heard from a number of students, and I’ve read numerous accounts of the exam online, so I want to pass along their impressions.
The general consensus of most students with whom I’ve spoken is that the test was, in a word, tough. That’s not to suggest that any LSAT is easy, and admittedly people are always prone to hyperbole in the days following the exam (“hardest LSAT ever!” and “worst day of my life!” are just a few of the quotes I’ve heard since Monday), but this test seems to have been particularly difficult for two reasons, as I’ll outline below.
First, Reading Comprehension was reportedly extremely challenging, with the Comparative Reading passage about progressive vs flat taxes apparently causing the most problems. That’s a real surprise, as Comparative passage sets are frequently the easiest on the test!
For those with experimental Reading Comp, the real section contained not only the flat tax Comparative, but also passages on regulating the excavation of Mali sculptures (law passage), and forest fire prevention. The experimental Reading can vary in content from test to test, but a number of students have reported theirs contained a passage discussing Mexican-American proverbs.
The other source of difficulty was Logic Games. This is less surprising in a sense, as Logic Games are the weakest area for many (arguably most) test takers and so they often cause problems, but also somewhat unexpected, since the difficulty was primarily the result of a bewildering Game 4. Many people posting in online forums and on message boards are describing it as “unlike any other game [they] have ever seen!” and noting that they were unable to answer even a single question with confidence! Having to simply guess on the final five questions of the Logic Games section was an incredibly demoralizing moment for many people, and I imagine it’s weighing heavily into score cancellation decisions.
Fortunately, it sounds like Game 4 was actually a Pattern Game (or at least contained very similar elements), so PowerScore students were at a tremendous advantage when they encountered it, as we cover Pattern Games at length in our courses and books! So, while admittedly unexpected, with the right preparation test takers were still able to attack this challenging game successfully.
Also fortunate was the near-universal feeling that games 2 and 3 were very straightforward, so hopefully that eased the pain of the last game somewhat.
As a final note on Games, I’ve heard some grumbling about the convoluted language in the first game, as well, but by nearly all accounts it was a breeze compared to the final game people faced on Monday.
Logical Reasoning is always the most difficult section to assess, but compared to the strangeness/difficulty of the Games and the denseness of RC, most test takers felt LR was the easiest part of this test. Good news considering that’s 50% of your final score!
So in conclusion, the June 2014 LSAT followed recent trends—balanced LR, increasingly dense RC, and somewhat unpredictable Games, where rare types are making reappearances (i.e. the Circular Game on the February 2014 LSAT)—and presented some difficult elements, but for well-prepared test takers there was nothing overly problematic. In short, a tougher-than-average test, primarily due to the one-two punch of Reading Comprehension and Logic Games, that will hopefully yield a friendly curve when scores are calculated.
Have questions? Please post them below!