Articles published in February 2012

Manhattan LSAT Student Dispatch: Studying the LSAT Abroad


World, meet St. John.

St. John (yes, that is his real name!) is a Manhattan LSAT self study student who will be spending the next several months studying (cough cough) in the Netherlands. In addition to having the time of his life in Europe, St. John is preparing for the June LSAT, which he will be taking somewhere over there.

Lucky for us, St. John has agreed to share some of his adventures on our blog.  So without further ado, I give you the first installment of our ‘Student Dispatch’, by guest blogger St. John:

Away We Go

Hello World! My name is St.John (pronounced sin-gin), a junior at the University of Connecticut (pre-law honors, economics, philosophy, etc), and although I’m sure most of the readership of this blog is not interested in my resume, if you’d like a copy of my CV I’ll send it to you! The reason that I’m writing for the Manhattan LSAT blog is that over the next six months, I’m going to be studying in the Netherlands. I also plan on studying for (and taking) the June LSAT while I’m here, using the Manhattan LSAT curriculum to prepare. I will likely be taking my exam in Europe somewhere(there is not a testing center in the Netherlands!), and I look forward to sharing tales of my trials and tribulations along the way with you all. Read more

An LSAT Night Out


This past weekend, I had the pleasure of spending an evening with the Manhattan LSAT crew. In case there is any lingering doubt as to our nerdiness, let it be known that–at a bar–we collaboratively (1) calculated our life expectancies (mine was 71, for the record–though a psychic once told me 87, which I’m sticking with because I find her more credible than scientific probabilities), and (2) held an impromptu haiku competition.

The latter activity inspired this week’s post, in which (get ready) I will publish for the first time ever read, seen, or experienced, my original LSAT haikus. Whether it refreshes your memory of test strategy, triggers horrific flashbacks, or inspires an ill-informed decision to ditch law school and become a mediocre poet, I hope you enjoy. Some feedback on which is best, or a few poems of your own are strongly encouraged!

On Logic Games:
Xavier is in
only if Olga is out.
The boat is quite small.

On Reading Comprehension:
The author agrees
that the passage is too long.
Fire the editor.

On Logical Reasoning:
O, argument core!
Premise. Conclusion. What else?
Gap. Blank. Missing. _______.

On the essay:
Alas, dost though read
the essay? A fallen tree
no one hears fall, it.

Mary Adkins is one of Manhattan LSAT’s 99th percentile rock star instructors based out of New York City. She’s also available for Private Tutoring, both in NYC and Live Online.

Planning for the June LSAT and Beyond

June LSAT cat

To Infinity, and Beyond!

Two of the more common questions asked by future LSAT takers are: 1) “When should I begin studying for the LSAT?”  and 2) “How long does it typically take to prepare for this exam?”

The answer to these basic (yet extremely important!) questions provides a ‘jumping off point’ for folks and helps them plan their lives (or lack there of) during the months spent prepping for the LSAT.

If you are planning to take the June 2012 LSAT, I’ll save you the drama of the rest of this post: it’s time to start studying now! Get started with a diagnostic test. This will give you a great sense of where you are, although you should not get discouraged if you score well below the national average (151) your first time. If you don’t know much about the exam, you should read our intro guide or attend one of our free workshops (available in NYC and Live Online). For the rest of you thinking a bit more long term, read on…

Read more

Helpful LSAT Timing Exercise: The Time Shave


NOTE: This is the first of many posts by one of our most beloved teachers, Mary Adkins. A graduate of Yale Law School, Mary is one of Manhattan LSAT’s 99th percentile rock stars based out of New York City.

The February LSAT is over and done! You know what that means. One: Mardi Gras. Two: folks–February test refugees and otherwise–are gearing up to prepare for the June exam. As we enter the beginning of this study season, I want to share a tool that might be useful to those of you facing a particular breed of LSAT challenge.

Down The LSAT Timing Rabbit Hole

Recently, I worked with a student who came in every week reciting the same outcome of her practice. Whenever she did sections untimed, she rocked them. She scored in the 160s, her goal range, and did so consistently. But as soon as she set the clock, her score plummeted fifteen points–consistently. The kicker? She wasn’t even taking that much more time when she wasn’t on the clock.

This student–we’ll call her Charmayne–needed to trim about eight minutes off her logic games section and ten minutes off each logical reasoning section. So pacing was something to work on, sure. But it was clear that the extra time wasn’t the only source of her higher scores (and that lack of it wasn’t the only source of her lower scores). When she felt herself on the clock, she’d snap into panic mode, abandon or forget strategies, and fly through the test wildly. Picture a woman in a blindfold, swinging her arms to try to hit cartoon As, Bs, Cs, Ds, and Es swarming around her. (For the record, this creepy nightmarish image is mine, not hers.)

It occurred to us that one reason she was having a hard time improving her pacing was the paralyzing anxiety she felt as soon as the virtual LSAT proctor entered the scene.

Together, we came up with the Time Shave. Read more

Final Countdown to the February LSAT: 4 Last Minute LSAT Tips


With less than 48 hours remaining before the February LSAT, we have some helpful advice on what can (and cannot) be done at this late stage in the game, as well as some mantras for test day.

Get your mind right. It can be rather tempting to start down some  last minute LSAT rabbit holes. This close to test day, it is helpful to adopt somewhat of a  “what’s done is done” attitude. For example, there are likely some game types that you simply are not going to get any better at between now and Saturday – and that is OK!  So long as you’ve been consistently hitting or exceeding your target score on your latest timed practice tests without a mastery of those game types, you should see similar results on the real thing. Accept that you’re not going to get that 180, and start to focus on all of the success that you ARE going to have on test day as opposed to worrying yourself in to a frenzy over those sections of the test that have continually thrown you off after months of hard work.

Get off the sauce. This may seem painfully obvious, but steer clear of the alcohol or any other mood/behavior altering substances for the next few days. Start (or continue) exercising (exercise is linked to neural growth ya know).

Admit it: the LSAT is damn hard! Unless you’re scoring well-below the national average of 151, chances are that if you think a question on the exam is difficult, just about everyone else in the nation does too! Yes, there will be some super geniuses  out there who won’t, but if we stick to thinking about rest of the mere mortal population, admitting that this thing is difficult can go a long way in easing your tensions. If it’s a tough question, lots of people will get it wrong; the question is whether you’ll get it wrong and waste a lot of time on it. Don’t get stuck on the mud on a question you were never going to get right, and cost yourself precious time that you could have been using to nail the questions that come easier to you.

Warm yourself up on test day. Since your brain is a muscle (and since it is unlikely to be accustomed to working hard on a Saturday morning), be sure to give it a proper warm up before you sit down to tackle the first section of the LSAT. I would advise arriving at your testing location at least 40 minutes early. Before you enter your testing center, do an easy-ish game that you’ve successfully completed several times before. This method of warming up is exponentially better than using section 1 on the real thing!

Good luck on Saturday – and be sure to remember what you can and cannot bring in with you to your testing center.

INFOGRAPHIC: What You Are Allowed on Test Day


Fresh from the M LSAT Lab of Geekyness, an infographic with loads of info on the February LSAT, including what you can and cannot bring with you. Enjoy, and good luck on Saturday!!

Are You Ready for the February LSAT?

The February LSAT: Why it’s Good, Why it’s Bad, Why it’s Not as Ugly as You May Think


Manhattan Prep LSAT - The February LSAT: Why It's Good, Why It's Bad, Why It's Not as Ugly as You May ThinkWe incorporate the latest discoveries in learning science into our LSAT course to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your prep. Want to see? Try the first session of any of our upcoming courses for free.

I know what you’re thinking: aren’t all LSATs a pain in the neck? Touchè—you got me there—but the February LSAT can be a particularly baffling proposition for law school hopefuls. There are several reasons for this… Read more