Articles tagged "February LSAT"

4 Things to Do the Day Before the LSAT


Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - Four Things to Do the Day Before the LSAT by Matt ShinnersWe 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.

It’s the day before the LSAT, but every piece of advice out there says you should be putting the books down and relaxing. And they’re right–you absolutely should not be doing any work today, as there’s almost no chance it will help you on the exam tomorrow. You’re very unlikely to have a breakthrough that translates to a huge score increase; you’re much more likely to tire yourself out before the big game.

But I know you. You’re type-A. You’re going to do something today.

So here are a few things you can do the day before the LSAT without tiring yourself out.

Go Over Your Game Day Strategies

Are you hitting all four games, or are you going to focus on three and then pick up as many points as you can on the last one? Are you leaving the Match the Reasoning/Flaw questions until the end? Are you leaving the science passage for last, or are you tackling it first while you’re fresh?

Maximizing your score on the LSAT isn’t just about learning the logic; you also have to know how you’re going to approach the test to score at the top of your score range. You don’t need to get everything right to hit your target score (even 180s can come from a few errors). So go over the strategies you’ve already practiced that resulted in the highest scores.

Go Over Your Question Strategies

For the love of everything that is dear to you, don’t do a practice section the day before the LSAT. Don’t do questions. Put the book down–you’re as likely to freak yourself out over every mistake as you are to actually learn anything new.

However, spend some time thinking about your approach to the questions. For a Necessary Assumption question, what are some trends in the answer choices? For an Ordering game, what are the common wrinkles (3D, mismatch, etc…), and how would you tackle each one? Remind yourself of the process so that it’s fresh when you go in to take the test.

Prep for Test Day

Go through the LSAC list of what you need to bring and what you’re allowed to bring. Figure out how you’re getting to the testing center and how you’re getting home. You can make plans for after the test (since your friends and family probably want to see you again), but give yourself a few hours after the exam so you don’t feel panicked if the test goes long.

Additionally, find 5-10 LR questions and a game or passage to bring with you to the test center to warm up. Make sure they’re easy questions you’ve done before and you completely understand–this is just to get your brain shifted into LSAT gear. Be sure to show up a little early so you can walk through them quickly, and then toss them in the trash. It’s highly cathartic.


At this point, there are two things that will determine how well you do tomorrow: the specific questions on the test, and how relaxed you are. You already know all the logic you’re going to know, and the questions are out of your hands.

So focus on the one thing you can control—your mental state. Go for a jog, if that’s your thing. Enjoy massages? Schedule one. Watch a movie or some television. Get yourself mentally relaxed so that you don’t go into the exam more nervous than necessary.

Because you will be nervous. There’s no way around that, and there’s nothing wrong with it. But you’ve got this. Seriously, you’re ready. So use those nerves to focus yourself on the test, and good luck! 📝

Don’t forget that you can attend the first session of any of our online or in-person LSAT courses absolutely free. We’re not kidding! Check out our upcoming courses here.

Matt Shinners Manhattan Prep LSAT InstructorMatt Shinners is a Manhattan Prep instructor based in New York City. After receiving a degree in Biochemistry from Boston College, Matt scored a 180 on his LSAT and enrolled in Harvard Law School. There’s nothing that makes him happier than seeing his students receive the scores they want to get into the schools of their choice. Check out Matt’s upcoming LSAT courses here!

Breaking Down Law School Admissions with Manhattan LSAT and Admit Advantage Part II



Join Manhattan LSAT and Admit Advantage for the second installment of Breaking Down Law School Admissions, a free online workshop to help you put together a successful application.

No application is perfect, but you can take steps to mitigate negatives and emphasize positives. During the first half of this webinar, Admit Advantage’s Director of  Law Admissions will review how to deal with real-life negatives on your law school application.

Are you also getting ready to sit for the February 2015 LSAT? Veteran Manhattan LSAT instructor and curriculum developer, Matt Sherman, will focus on what kind of prep to do in the last weeks leading up to the test.  One of the key points here is to be prepared to adapt to little twists that you didn’t expect. Matt will teach you a hard  LSAT game where that’s important.  Detailed Q&A to follow.


Breaking Down Law School Part II: Addressing the Negatives in Your Application  & Strategy for the February LSAT

Monday, January 12 (7:30 – 9:30 PM EST),  Meets ONLINE 

Sign Up Here

Tackling the LSAT: Experimental Section Q&A


As you hit the home stretch of your preparations for the upcoming LSAT, you should be considering how to keep yourself in the best possible state of mind before and during the exam. One major area of consternation, confusion, rumor, and anxiety centers on the Experimental Section. To be perfectly frank, this section is something you just shouldn’t think about a great deal, but that’s easy to say and terrifically hard to do, so let’s break down the facts about this legendary section. Once you know what is true and what isn’t, make the choice to simply put it out of your head until the exam is finished!

Experimental Q&A

Q: Wait, there are FIVE sections?

A: While the published PrepTests contain four sections (2 Logical Reasoning, 1 Reading Comp, 1 Logic Games), all official administrations of the LSAT will contain a fifth section — the experimental section. This section will not count toward your score, nor will it be released if/when the exam is published. Remember, February exams are typically undisclosed (i.e., no sections will be available for review when scores are released).

Q: Why are they doing this to me?

A: Well, like so many irritating things in life, it’s not really about you. The LSAC needs data on the difficulty level of questions and sections they are currently writing and plan to use on future exams. Where better than to get that data, then from all of you willing test subjects! So, while your performance on the experimental has no affect on your score at all, the LSAC is still very interested in the results for their own construction of future LSATs. This is the way that the LSAC is able to “pre-equate” each administration of the LSAT and ensure that scoring is fair and even-handed across multiple administrations.

Q: Where will it show up?

A: The conventional wisdom used to hold that the experimental section would only appear in one of the first three sections. Up until a few years ago, that was true, and as a result test takers could sometimes use the ordering of their sections to determine (usually after the fact) which section must have been their experimental. At the very least, they could be certain that their final two sections would be scored.

However, beginning with the October 2011 exam, some test takers have received exams with an experimental section in one of the final two sections of the exam (sections 4 or 5). So you can no longer simply trust your section lineup to tell you which section is experimental. You need to give every section your best effort.

Bottom line: in the current LSATs, the experimental can potentially show up in any section!

Q: What will it look like?

A: The experimental could be an extra section of any of the sectional formats. So, you might find yourself with 3 sections of Logical Reasoning, or 2 sections of Logic Games, or 2 sections of Reading Comprehension. One of these may sound like a dream come true, and one may sound like your own personal nightmare, but unfortunately, you can’t sign up for your preferred experimental format–it’s randomly assigned and you may have a different experimental format than your neighbor. You need to be mentally prepared for any lineup.

The experimental section will look and feel just like any other scored section. It has to, or the LSAC wouldn’t be able to gather useful data from your performance on it. Occasionally test takers report seeing slightly different wording on questions, or unusual question types, but those things appear just as frequently in the scored sections, so they are not a reliable indicator of which sections will be scored and which one will not.

It may feel easier than other sections, or harder, or exactly on par. Experimental sections range the gamut in difficulty levels, as do scored sections. Also, a particular exam might have an above average difficulty Logic Games (scored) section, and a below average difficult Reading Comprehension (scored) section, or any other combination. Don’t assume in the middle of a particularly difficult section that it must be the experimental, and decide to not give it your all!

Q: So how am I supposed to figure out which section is the experimental??

A: Well, during the exam, you aren’t. Seriously, since the LSAC can’t just scan your brain (yet), they are very invested in you performing at your peak during the experimental. As a result, they aren’t interested in making it easier for you to figure it out during the exam.

And what would you do if you figured it out? Take a nap? First, that’s probably not a great idea even if you were able to identify it accurately–keeping yourself mentally limber and active is more valuable. But consider the absolutely devastating consequences that would follow if you incorrectly concluded a particular section was experimental and decided to take that nap. Those costs are entirely too high, and whatever minimal benefit you might have gotten from a break is not worth that risk.

Q: But I heard you can figure it out by….

A: Probably not. Whatever rule you heard has exceptions, and you might fall into them. Do you really want to risk your score on that?

Q: So, what’s the upside?

A: Well, the fact that the experimental section could be anywhere, and anything, can be a valuable psychological tool for test day in limited circumstances. Let’s say you just got the Logic Games section to end all Logic Games sections, and you are feeling downtrodden, demoralized, and discouraged. But the proctor is telling you to pick up your pencil and start the next section. You have to pick yourself up and brush yourself off and GET BACK IN THE GAME!

How do you do it? Lie to yourself. Tell yourself that the section you feel like you just bombed was TOTALLY the experimental, OBVIOUSLY. Make yourself believe it. And get back to business. Who knows? It might even turn out to be true!

Q: So, for the most part, I should just ignore the fact that there is an experimental, and treat this like an exam with 5 scored sections?

A: Exactly!

3 Musts to Read/Watch Before Saturday’s Test


LSAT-february-datesLSAT countdown week! When it comes to final tips, we’ve got you covered. Here are a couple of posts to check out before you freak out.

1. LSAT Cheat Sheet. Wish you could take a cheat sheet into the exam? Of course you do. But since you can’t, do the next best thing: make one anyway, then review it before. More here.
2. Final Dos and Don’ts. It’s not too late to make smart decisions on how to spend your last 48 hours. Here are some ideas.
3. Think about the end goal. Once upon a time, this guy took the LSAT. Fast forward to last week. His 2-minute video aired during Super Bowl halftime in Georgia and is being called the “most insane Super Bowl commercial ever made.” Dream big, guys. You could be next.

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

The LSAT Scores Are In!


I NAILED the logic games!!

As I am sure all of the December LSAT takers are keenly aware of, the LSAC has recently released the scores from the December exam. Took them long enough, right?

Despite our best efforts to lobby the LSAC to present the scores to each recipient the way Olympic Figure Skating scores are shown (you know, complete with flowers, teddy bears, applause from adoring fans, etc.), the reality of getting your score back often differs from our gold medal fantasy.

Perhaps along with a standing ovation you were expecting a better score. Fear not, we are here to help. Attend our free online Review Class in which two of our 99th percentile instructors will review some of the tougher Logic Games from the exam, teach helpful strategies for solving such ridiculous questions, and go over the options available to those of you considering whether or not to re-take the LSAT exam (and here’s a discussion of whether to re-take in February to get you thinking ahead of time). If you were less than satisfied with your score, canceled your score, or are curious about a few of the harder questions from the Dec. 2010 exam (i.e. you’re a fellow geek), this online workshop is where you need to be tomorrow night.

Unlike the Olympics, the free Review Class will be held online, so it is not necessary for you to be located in a certain geography to attend. For more information, please click here. Hope to see you there!

Should I Re-Take the LSAT in February?


Good question! First off, we’ll be discussing this in our upcoming workshop in which we’ll review the December LSAT.

If you’re just looking to take an LSAT, it doesn’t matter which one you take — just take it after you’ve prepared!  But if you already have taken the LSAT and are wondering whether to re-take, there’s a lot more to say.  The question of whether you should re-take in June, Sep/Oct, or Dec  has one set of answers.  If you are wondering whether to re-take in one of those non-February months, take a look at some previous posts – should I re-take the LSAT & how to improve your LSAT score.   But for February you get a special set of answers just for you!

In general, the answer is NO.  Here’s why (and thanks to Ann Levine for some help on this one):

1. It’s hard to improve an LSAT score significantly in one month. Caveats: if you truly had a bad day on test day, and having such a day is completely out of the ordinary for you, sure, a re-test could conceivably show serious improvement.  But, so you know, most people don’t improve that much.  For example, the average person who re-takes the LSAT with a score between 150 and 160 improves only 2.4 points on the re-take (and the re-take improvement gets worse as you go up the score ladder).  For most people, those 2.4 points are not enough to significantly alter your application — and for most folks, those 2 and almost a half points definitely do not warrant a re-take because . . . Read more

Is the February LSAT Harder?

Chill Out

Chill Out


Stop worrying about this sort of stuff — get back to studying for the LSAT.  While you’re at it, don’t worry about:

1. When your experimental section happens (sometime in the first 3 sections)

2. Whether it’s a good testing center.

3. The curve this year.

4. Whether to start with (A) or (E).

5. All questions emanating from reality shows, unless it’s an LSAT-related show, which to my knowledge, has not yet been developed.

With love . . .