Articles published in August 2009

LSAT Help: Diagnose This Student’s LSAT Problems


Lots of people struggle with the LSAT, but few take the time to figure out what the real problem is.  For each of the following scenarios, try to assess what the test-taker did wrong before reading further.

Scenario 1: Logic Games: An Unconditional “Must Be True” Question
The test-taker has notated all the constraints for the game correctly and made a few initial inferences. The second question is an unconditional “must be true.” He looks at choice (A), and doesn’t see why it should be true or false. He looks at (B) and feels the same way.  Looks through his diagram and notes again but  can’t make a determination. The element mentioned in answer choice (C) isn’t even on his diagram! He starts to panic, and thinks of going back to answer choice (A) and starting over, or double-checking if his diagram is correct…

What do you think? What did this test-taker do that was so wrong? Don’t read ahead until you have a guess. Read more

Reading Comprehension: Your Opportunity to Lap the Field


If you’re an LSAT forum poster/reader, you know that the good majority (almost all, in fact) of content-related LSAT posts focus on Logic Games and Logical Reasoning. This makes perfect sense. It’s easy to submit a post about a setup for a tough logic game, and it’s very easy to discuss the underlying logic present in one short LR question. LG and LR questions come in nice, neat packages. They are forum-friendly. Additionally, future LSAT test-takers seem to see and appreciate the immediate impact of a well-designed setup or a clever way to think about a piece of LR logic. The payoff is quick, and often immediate.
Reading comprehension, on the other hand, is messy. In order to have a serious, in-depth discussion about an RC passage, everyone in the conversation needs to be coming directly from a focused read of the passage. It doesn’t work to try to remember back to the passage, or to read a quick summary. For this reason, not many like to talk about it or ask about it. It’s inconvenient. Furthermore, there never seems to be a quick, easy payoff when it comes to RC. There’s not one inference that can be made to change confusion to understanding, there’s no quick gimmick that can be posted concisely to help someone become a better reader. There’s simply no quick fix, no immediate gratification. So why spend time on it? Most people don’t.
These are the people you are competing against. The better you do relative to them, the higher your LSAT score. Make their RC weakness your strength and you’ll put yourself in a position to gain upwards of 4 raw points on the field. Before you decide to make RC your LSAT version of a powerful forehand, you need to be in the right mindset. Read more

Top 5 Tips for Entering Law School Students


The first year of law school has been built up to near-legend.  Journals, grades, awards, and job prospects often are determined in your first year, leaving you not a whole lot of time to get settled.  Here are Manhattan LSAT’s  5 Things to Remember from those who have been through the halls of legal academia and lived to write about it:

1.     More is not better.  On your way to class your first week, you will almost certainly see your fellow students carrying around many books aside from your shared case law textbooks.  Law outlines from Emanuel’s, Gilbert’s, and other study aid companies will abound, and you will think to yourself, “Hmm, I wonder if that outline is better than what I’m studying from?  Maybe I should pick that up at the book store.”  Before you know it, you’ll find yourself in a study supplement arms race, and your room will be filled with a stack of outlines in addition to your textbook and your notes.  Do not succumb to this temptation!  You’ll likely find that your notes are the best resource.  Outlines and tests from your professor’s past classes, which your school’s law library will generally have on file, are also very useful.  At most, pick up one commercial outline you like for each subject (they’re all the same anyway).  A big stack of outlines will only distract you and wind up gathering dust in the homestretch. Read more