Last night before…

Tomorrow’s LSAT and then my week long vacation!

The nice folks over at PowerScore highly suggest taking the day before the test off and doing something you enjoy instead. Having done this once before, and also recognizing that if I don’t have it now, no amount of last minute cramming’s really gonna make much of a difference, Margot and I decided to visit a street fair and walk around our old neighborhood instead. After I woke up this morning and completed my first long run since the Brooklyn Half-Marathon of course…if there’s anything that keeps my mind clear and my nerves steady, it’s running. 🙂

To be honest, I’ve been ready to take it for the past two or three weeks, so I’ve simply had to pursue a “maintenance” plan in order to keep it in my brain through tomorrow. For those who don’t know, the LSAT is a test that consists of the following qualities:

  • Tests your reading comprehension and ability to ascertain abstract concepts like how the author “feels” about the topic or a particular point in the passage based on his/her word choice and/or overall tone in the passage. Other items can include what was the main point the author was driving at, and hey, if you were going to give this rather nebulous bit of text a title, what would it be?
  • In a section known as “logic games” (officially called “analytical reasoning”) it will set up something like a fruit-eating scenario and tell you certain things that you must remember at all times such as: 1) if Kay eats the apple, then Larry eats the orange; 2) if Larry eats the orange, then Nina does not the banana because she thinks it’s gross; and 3) if Kay does not eat the apple, then Peter eats the banana. You got all that? Okay, now you need to tell me what must absolutely happen if Nina eats the banana. [hint: every rule has a contrapositive, and for #2, that is if Nina eats the banana, then Larry does not eat the orange; furthermore, if Larry does not eat the orange, then Kay does not eat the apple, etc…]
  • You will not be tested, in the least, on your ability to practice law or be a lawyer.
  • There will be an “experimental” section that will try out new ways to screw with your brain (because that’s what LSAC likes to do) that will not be counted against your score, but you’ll have to do it anyway. Also, this section will be one of the first three sections, and you will be expected to keep your wits about you for the final two sections because those definitely count. And no, LSAC does not pay you for this; consider it your community service for the month.
  • The word “statute” will not appear (okay, most likely won’t appear anyway…) on this test. You will not read a single statute on this test. This is not about testing you trying to be a lawyer, remember?
  • You will be asked to read numerous random arguments about anything from the process of photosynthesis to whether or not the town’s proposal to ban a hotdog eating contest should be implemented. Most of these will be an argument of some kind (e.g. there will be a main conclusion and then underlying premises of some kind that hopefully back that conclusion) though some will not be. You must now strengthen this POS argument, or perhaps further weaken it because it sucks lots, OR even better, you’ll have to identify a similarly bad argument (e.g. “parallel”) from among the 5 answer choice paragraphs that do wonders for your ability to stay within the 35 minute time limit for that section.
  • And last but not least, you’ll be asked to provide a writing sample (in pencil…bleh) after you’ve finished your five 35 minute sections of fun (of which, remember, only four will count). This sample may be used by law schools looking at your application; it may not be. It certainly doesn’t count for or against your score, but hey, it’ll be fun! I promise!
Yes, I’ve taken this test before. Over 5 years ago in fact, which means my score expired and I have to do it again. However, I’d argue that even if one had not taken this test before, they should be able to come up with the characteristics I outlined above, with varying levels of snark of course, because they should have been studying and practicing up to this point. If not, well, not my problem and hey, you’ll benefit me in the curve, so have at it! Tomorrow’s plan is this (thank all that is sacred for the 1 pm start time tomorrow): wake up around 8ish, shower, breakfast, 1 or 2 logic games, a couple of logical reasonings, and perhaps a reading comp passage if I have time before jumping on the train with plenty of time to spare and a ride up to Fordham. Check-in time is 12:30, and at that point that’s all she wrote. A final note: why on earth did I need to print out a 2×2 inch photo of myself as I will appear on test day, affix it to my admission ticket, AND provide my driver’s license and be thumb-printed? The 2×2 inch photo requirement is apparently new, but I’m not exactly sure why it is necessary given that my official state driver’s license plus thumb print will be taken…I’m trying to take the law school admissions test here. If I was THAT good at faking my identity and/or committing fraud, do you really think I’d be looking into the legal profession right now? Next stop after the LSAT? Most likely the beach. I have a serious vacation that’s calling my name here.

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