Articles published in November 2009

December LSAT – Final Tips

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The LSAT is less than a week away, and people are often asking for final tips about test day.  Here’s my best of:

1.  Easy does it. Don’t take any full preptests within the last two days.  The brain is a muscle, let it rest.  Take a few timed sections each day up until 3 days before the LSAT, a couple untimed two days before, with a bunch of review of work you’ve already done.  And the day before just re-do LSAT sections you have already done.  On the morning of the LSAT, re-do one easy logic game on your way to the test center to get your brain moving.  Caveat: if you know you’ll do better with momentum, go right ahead and get momentumming and go crazy on the LSATs the week before.  Some people like to do a six-section LSAT a week before test day to make 5 sections seem easy.

2. Pack-up the night before. Get all your pencils sharpened, print out the ticket (and make sure your printer doesn’t cut off any part of the ticket), and find that analog watch your dad gave you years ago.  Make sure you know how to get to your testing center – there’s nothing worse than freaking out on your way to the test.  Plan to arrive early and to enjoy a coffee outside while you do a warm-up section, or a crossword puzzle or something that is fun and slightly intellectual. Read more

June 2007 LSAT Video Explanations

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We’re very excited to announce that we have posted video explanations for the June 2007 LSAT logic games.  You can see them here: //www.atlaslsat.com/logic-games-recordings.cfm or on You Tube – //www.youtube.com/user/atlaslsat#p/u.  Dan and Mike put a lot of time into coming up with truly useful recordings.  Granted, we’re much more about teaching — i.e. making students think — than presenting solutions, but when you’re studying, it’s obviously useful to see how someone else solved a game (particularly how one of our super nerdy curriculum developers did it).  If you’d like to see explanations for the entire game, check that out on our forums: //www.atlaslsat.com/forums/

For our students, we’re developing video explanations for some of the toughest games in our course HW.  Unfortunately, we have to restrict those to our students in order to respect LSAC’s copyrights.

The June 2007 LSAT is a great way to get your feet wet with the LSAT.  However, make sure you take it under timed conditions!  If you’d like to get a copy, as well as some of our resources associated with that test (including a spreadsheet that will analyze your answers), take a look here: //www.atlaslsat.com/lsat-practice-test.cfm

Have fun and good luck!

What makes for a good LSAT Teacher?

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One of the most interesting parts of my job is to watch candidates audition.  I’ve written previously about our audition process:

first stage – phone interview –  knocks out about 30-40%,

second stage – online audition – knocks out about 70% of those who make it there

third stage – in-person audition – knocks out about 90% of those who make it there

In case you’re auditioning or just curious, I’ll tell you the top three reasons we reject teaching candidates:

1. Lectures. Folks who have taught for other test prep companies usually lecture instead of teach.  This makes sense since many of them have mostly taught in large lecture halls, where Socratic teaching isn’t necessarily practical.  But, with our small classes, we need folks who know how to teach through questions and discussion.   We have a bunch of reasons why we think lectures are not effective for mastering the LSAT; for one, students don’t have to do a lot of work during a lecture.  More on this later . . . Read more

LSAT Weaken Questions – Logical Reasoning

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Weaken questions can operate in a few different ways. Let’s look at some examples.

Sep 09 Exam, Section 4, #2

Here’s the basic logic given in the argument:

You can always keep your hands warm by putting on extra layers of clothing (clothing that keeps the vital organs warm).

THUS, to keep your hands warm in the winter, you never need gloves or mittens.

This argument is a sound argument – no flaws or assumptions. If you have another option for keeping your hands warm, then you never truly need gloves or mittens.

In this case, the correct answer actually attacks the main premise. The correct answer says that sometimes (when it’s really really cold) putting extra layers of clothing on actually is not enough to keep your hands warm. Notice how this contradicts the premise. So, to weaken an argument you can attack a supporting premise.

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LSAT Classes in Irvine and in San Diego

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We’re very excited to announce that we’re launching classes in Irvine and in San Diego this month!

If you’ve poked around on our site, you know that we are VERY picky about who we hire.  In the final stage of our 3-stage audition we fly each candidate to NY, even putting him or her up in a hotel (not the W or some other shmancy place, but DEFINITELY something with a door that locks and a bed with at least one pillow 🙂 ).  I bring this up because in this rather costly stage we reject over 90% of candidates — and that’s after the first and second stages, which have knocked out about 30 and 50 percent respectively of the folks who reach each of those (and all of that is after a resume filter eliminates a bunch).  When you pay one of the highest salaries in the industry, you get to be choosy.

My point?  We’re very excited to have found Matt Sherman, a seasoned pro.  He even started his own successful LSAT prep company at one point — writing the books, curriculum, etc.  He knows the LSAT like he knows the back of a grape.  (Read his bio and you’ll get that reference.)

So, Southern California, prepare yourselves!  We’re landing and we expect you to do some work.  Look here to sign-up to see what Matt is all about: www.atlaslsat.com/lsat-locations.cfm