Each week, we analyze a movie that illustrates a logical fallacy you’ll find on the LSAT. Who said Netflix can’t help you study?
2013’s Gravity, also known as Neil Degrasse Tyson’s Film Fact Check, is a science fiction thriller from the mind of Alfonso Cuaròn. While not as scientifically rigorous as his earlier film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (NDT said, and we quote – “I have never seen a film with such obvious attention to scientific detail.”), Gravity did receive plaudits from the astrophysicist for the many things it got right.
Sadly, logic wasn’t one of them. Read more
Every week we bring you a new movie that teaches us about a logical fallacy you’ll find on the LSAT. Who says Netflix can’t help you study?
Wait a minute, Matt – don’t tell me there’s a logical fallacy in Return of the King!
Do you work for a non-profit? How about promote positive social change? Manhattan Prep is honored to offer special full tuition scholarships for up to 16 individuals per year (4 per quarter) who will be selected as part of Manhattan Prep’s Social Venture Scholars program. The SVS program provides selected scholars with free admission into one of Manhattan Prep’s Live Online Complete Courses (a $1299 value).
These competitive scholarships are offered to individuals who (1) currently work full-time in an organization that promotes positive social change, (2) plan to use their degree to work in a public, not-for-profit, or other venture with a social-change oriented mission, and (3) demonstrate clear financial need. The Social Venture Scholars will all enroll in a special online preparation course taught by two of Manhattan Prep’s expert instructors within one year of winning the scholarship.
The deadline is fast approaching: July 6th, 2015!
This is going to be a short post. It will also possibly have the biggest impact on your study of anything you do all day (or all month!).
When people ramp up to study for the LSAT, they typically find the time to study by cutting down on other activities—no more Thursday night happy hour with the gang or Sunday brunch with the family until the test is over.
There are two activities, though, that you should never cut—and, unfortunately, I talk to students every day who do cut these two activities. I hear this so much that I abandoned what I was going to cover today and wrote this instead. We’re not going to cover any problems or discuss specific test strategies in this article. We’re going to discuss something infinitely more important!
#1: You must get a full night’s sleep
Period. Never cut your sleep in order to study for this test. NEVER.
Your brain does not work as well when trying to function on less sleep than it needs. You know this already. Think back to those times that you pulled an all-nighter to study for a final or get a client presentation out the door. You may have felt as though you were flying high in the moment, adrenaline coursing through your veins. Afterwards, though, your brain felt fuzzy and slow. Worse, you don’t really have great memories of exactly what you did—maybe you did okay on the test that morning, but afterwards, it was as though you’d never studied the material at all.
There are two broad (and very negative) symptoms of this mental fatigue that you need to avoid when studying for the LSAT (and doing other mentally-taxing things in life). First, when you are mentally fatigued, you can’t function as well as normal in the moment. You’re going to make more careless mistakes and you’re just going to think more slowly and painfully than usual.
Second, your brain continues to form new memories as you sleep. When you are trying to remember a bunch of new rules or solution strategies, you need good sleep to help cement that information in your long-term memory. In particular, when you’re studying a bunch of new things at once, you need your memory to make strong and distinct memories. Otherwise, your memory won’t be able to retrieve what you need, or it’ll mix up multiple memories—and that obviously isn’t what you want to happen on test day.
Many people aren’t getting adequate sleep even when they’re not taking on a challenge like the LSAT, and their lives are messier as a result. Make sleep a priority. Your brain will thank you.
Stick to your normal exercise routine, whatever that is. For some people, that means walking to do all of your errands and carrying things home, or cleaning the house. Some people play sports. Others hit the gym multiple times a week.
The point is to keep doing what you normally do; don’t try to increase your study time by taking away from your second-best recharge time (after sleep). Exercise helps you to get rid of stress and generally gain a boost of energy. There’s even a two-for-one bonus: regular exercise helps you sleep better at night.
A bonus piece of advice. I started this post talking about giving up some regular social activities to make time for studying. You are going to have to make some sacrifices, of course, but don’t become a hermit. You do need breaks and you do need to keep up with your social connections. When I’m studying intensely, my rule is that Friday is a no-study zone. That day, I take a break and do something that I want to do.
(Friday also becomes my “substitute” day if I’m burned out earlier in the week and want to skip a day of study. That’s fine—but then I lose my day off on Friday. Sometimes, this motivates me to push through when I’m feeling that I want to blow off my studies for a day. Other times, I do decide to study on Friday instead; if I’m willing to do that, then I know my brain really does need the break right now.)
Good luck and happy studying!
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
Are You Prepared for Law School Admissions?
Join Manhattan LSAT and Admit Advantage for a free online workshop to help you put together a successful law school application.
This workshop will discuss how right personal statement can make all the difference in your law school applications. Even applicants with great LSAT scores and a high GPA need top-notch personal statements to set them apart from the pack. Admit Advantage’s Director of Law Admissions will teach you how to make the best impression with your personal statement.
Are you also getting ready to sit for the December 2014 LSAT? Veteran Manhattan LSAT instructor, Brian Birdwell, 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. Brian will teach you a hard LSAT game where that’s important. Detailed Q&A to follow.
Breaking Down Law School: Writing a Standout Personal Statement & Strategy for the December LSAT
Thursday, November 13 (8:00 – 10:00 PM EDT)
Sign Up Here
1. #whereisthesun #Ibrokemypencilsharpener #dreamedaboutanaloguewatchescomingtolifeandbitingme
2. Do lawyers put colorful balls in buckets in 8 min increments? #justcurious
3. Told my BF all the assumptions in his argument. He said assuming makes an ass of u and me. I said that has assumptions too #whatsbecomeofme
4. Don’t use webMD while studying for the LSAT. #hives #cancerorjustanxiety?
5. The individuals who construct standardized tests are called psychometricians. The psycho part fits.
6. My life has come down to a test that makes me crazy. #notmymarriage
7. Is it too late to be a doctor?
8. Dear Friends: I miss you. #waitforme #onedaywillhavealifeagain
9. I now read and respond to emails in 1 minute, 20 seconds or am filled with shame. #LSATsymptoms
10. Maybe there are some good logic games tactics in this pint of mint chocolate chip?
11. “How’s studying going?” If I get asked it again I am going to break a non-mechanical pencil.
12. Which argument is parallel to the parallel zits on my upper lip due to stress? #cannot
13. Some people cry when they fall in love. I just did my first logic game without missing any and cried. #nerdlife
14. I wish I had a nickel for every time I have said “practice test” in the last 3 months.
15. Good morning everyone else up at 7am on Sat. to take the LSAT. Let’s do this y’all. #EXPERIMENTAL SECTION #PLEASEDONTBEREADINGCOMP
Do you work for a non-profit? How about promote positive social change? Manhattan Prep is honored to offer special full tuition scholarships for up to 16 individuals per year (4 per quarter) who will be selected as part of Manhattan Prep’s Social Venture Scholars program. SVS program provides selected scholars with free admission into one of Manhattan Prep’s LSAT live online Complete Courses (a $1,199 value).).
These competitive scholarships are offered to individuals who (1) currently work full-time in an organization that promotes positive social change, (2) plan to use their MBA to work in a public, not-for-profit, or other venture with a social-change oriented mission, and (3) demonstrate clear financial need. The Social Venture Scholars will all enroll in a special online preparation course taught by two of Manhattan LSAT’s expert instructors within one year of winning the scholarship.
The deadline is fast approaching: September 26, 2014!
Studying for the LSAT? Manhattan Prep offers a free LSAT practice exam, and free Manhattan LSAT trial classes running all the time near you, or online. Be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!
It’s almost mid-August, and that means the application season for 2015 matriculation is gearing up. At this time of year, I always get asked a lot about timeline. When should you be working on your personal statement? When should you ask your recommenders for letters of recommendation, and what deadlines should you give them? Can you plan to take the LSAT in December, or should you cram for October (if you haven’t already begun studying)?
Here we go—a thorough guide to the timing of law school application season, by category!
At the front of most people’s minds is the LSAT, and rightly so; it’s the most important part of your application along with GPA. If you don’t have an LSAT score yet (or don’t have one you plan to rely on to get into law school, yet) but plan to apply for admission in 2015, that means you’re either looking at the September or December exam. Notice I didn’t say February. If you plan to apply to start in 2015, do not plan to take the February LSAT exam because (1) some schools don’t take it, and (2) even for the schools that do, you’ll be at a disadvantage due to the rolling nature of admissions.
Which brings me to the next question—to take September or December? Almost across the board I am going to recommend taking September. Again, rolling admissions means aiming for the December test not only puts you at a disadvantage, time-wise (no law school is going to review your application until the entire thing is in, LSAT score and all), but it also only gives you one shot to get the score right. Taking September, on the other hand, means that if something goes wrong, you aren’t completely out of the running for fall 2015 entry. You can still take the December test.
So who doesn’t this apply to? Right now, there are about six weeks left before the fall LSAT. If you can’tstart studying pretty hardcore ASAP—and I mean tomorrow—you have two options. Either you sit down and take a practice test and you are scoring within 1-2 points of where you hope to score, in which case, you don’t need to hardcore study between now and then. Or you sit down and take a practice test and you need to improve more than 5 points to be happy with your score. For you, the person who needs 5+ points but doesn’t have the time to study between now and the end of September—I suggest applying next year. As a second, less ideal option, you could also study this fall and take December and apply, but again, for the reasons I mentioned above, understand that you will be at a disadvantage.
This is something that will take you a couple of weeks to get right, most likely, and that’s including drafts that you have others read and that you revise until it’s working. Not to mention, many schools offer the option of writing the secondary essay (often a “diversity” essay) and/or include in their applications other questions to be answered, as well. Starting now is a good idea if you don’t need to devote 100% of your free time to getting a good LSAT score. If LSAT study does need to remain your sole focus, however, keep it that way—save essay-writing for the 3 weeks after you’ve taken the test before you’ve gotten your score back.
This is also true for any addenda you may want to write (explaining away a bad semester, grade-wise, for example, or a criminal conviction or disciplinary action).
Letters of Recommendation
Ask for them yesterday. Recommenders like to have time for these, not because they actually plan to spend two months writing, but because their schedules invariably fill up like wildfire come fall when school resumes. You call follow up with them occasionally (every few weeks or so) to politely check in if they haven’t submitted the letters. And as for what deadline to give them, well, since admissions are rolling, I’m entirely comfortable asking them to have the letter in by whenever you plan to have your application in for optimal consideration. That could be as soon as you get your September LSAT score, or it could be the first day applications are accepted. As long as you give the recommender ample notice, this is unlikely to be a problem.
The Rest of Your Application
The rest of the application—resume, transcript, score reports—are either out of your hands or shouldn’t take a great deal of time to perfect. Most of you have drafted resumes with the help of your college’s career counseling office, for example—but if not, absolutely get some advice and review, even if it’s just online, of proper resume drafting for law school applications.
When to Submit
Again, because of the nature of rolling admissions, you are best off applying as early as possible. This means you should check when the schools to which you are applying begin accepting applications and submit yours as close to that date as possible. Of course, you are going to be restricted by the release date of your LSAT score if you haven’t already taken it. That’s fine. Just have everything ready to go so that as soon as your score is available, you can promptly submit your full application.
Hang in there, be systematic, and it’ll all be over before you know it!
Studying for the LSAT? Manhattan Prep offers a free LSAT practice exam, and free Manhattan LSAT preview classes running all the time near you, or online. Be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter!
Today, we’re going to look at the game that had everyone talking after the June 2014 LSAT exam: Summit Company. Summit Company had everyone thrown for a little bit of a loop, and it’s not surprising why. It has been awhile since a Transposition game has shown up on the LSAT. Watch this video to hear Christine Defenbaugh explain the four step process to attack and conquer Transposition games.