October 2010 LSAT Instant Recap


So the east coast division of the Blueprint conglomerate reported back to us and the initial reaction is:

It was a relatively straightforward LSAT.

The reading comprehension was dubbed the hardest section, but not because of a particular passage as much as just overall difficulty. Also, there was a logical reasoning question involving an analogy that is rumored to be a candidate for a new question type. (Probably not, but we’re watching this with keen interest).

Apparently, there was no killer game the like of the mauve dinosaur, for which I’m sure test-takers breathed a sigh of relief.

We’d love to hear your initial thoughts on the test. Anything strike you as particularly easy or difficult? How do you think you did? And, most importantly, what are you drinking tonight? LSAC rules prohibit us from posting anything too specific (the experimental section, the answer to a particular problem, etc.) but we’d love to hear your general thoughts!

### In breaking news, our NY affiliates report a rumor that in a testing center in Columbia, the proctor asked that anyone with a phone place it on the table in the front of room. Those that did so were dismissed. Ouch.

49 Responses

  1. Eric Anderson says:

    I just took it. I thought i was pretty straight forward. I had two logic games. Sections 2 and 4. I heard that the experimental is usually the first 3 sections. Is this always the case? I felt the second one was a bit easier. overall i felt the test was straightforward. the reading comp. had a lot of problems for the last passage so ppl in my center complained they did not finish all the questions

  2. JT says:

    Hi Eric,
    Historically, the experimental has been one of the first three sections on the LSAT but of course LSAC could change that at any time without notice. Sounds like your experience was similar to what other Blueprint students are reporting.
    Congratulations on slaying the LSAT dragon!

  3. CJ says:

    The reading was tough not because of content but because of the question rhythm. The typical main point/purpose, specific, inference, progression was erratic. For me personally, I found myself having 16 minutes left going into the 3rd passage and 6 minutes going into the last section. Luckily the last section was one of the meandering historiography types, so it wasn’t too hard to guess where the author stood after 2 lines.

    I usually get between 47-49 correct on the arguments section. I found these to be significantly harder than usual with more high difficulty questions scattered through each. Again, it was difficult to establish rhythm. I found myself cold guessing 1-2 questions in each section.

    The logic games were not hard at all. Usually my weakest section, I felt as though I may have gotten less than 1 wrong.

    For people targeting 170 going into the test, I’d like to hear thoughts on what type of raw score they now anticipate.

  4. doovy says:

    I just took mine….

    I initially aimed at getting 170, but now I’m lowering my expectation as reading comp screwed me pretty hard. I had reading comp as section 1, which kind of threw me off, because I was hoping to get my brain warmed up by doing games or reasoning. reading comp has been my chronic weakness, so I was hoping to do it a bit later. bummer.

    then 2 reasoning sections in a row, which weren’t too bad. Difficulty-level-wise, if i must evaluate it, I say 5~6 out of 10, 10 being the hardest. it wasn’t particularly frightening sections. Logic games weren’t too bad either, although I personally didn’t perform as well as I expected myself to…but it’s all over now.

    I was hoping raw 85 before the test, but now I’m hoping for 80, anywhere between 77~83.

  5. Bryan Redd says:

    The test was so easy it thought it was a dream. It was definitely less challenging than the June administration. I would say if you are hoping for a beneficial curve or scoring scale, than you should start wishing that a large number of people who did not prepare decided to take this LSAT. If you felt you could have done better, or, that the test was somewhat challenging my advice is to start thinking now about your approach for the December exam. A good LSAT score doesn’t come without work; I’m sure of it. Learn from your mistakes, keep your head up, and never give up. I can honestly attest to this and can confidently say that I’m excited to receive my score and have no doubt in my mind I won’t be disappointed.

  6. JT says:

    CJ -Thanks for such a thoughtful commentary.

    doovy – I’m sorry to hear about your RC muckiness but it might not be as bad as you think. If you follow Matt Riley’s handy video about whether or not to cancel (on this page on the right), it will help you determine whether or not you did poorly enough on RC to cancel your score. Good luck!

    Bryan – so glad to hear it went well for you. Congrats!

  7. MB says:

    I was getting 160 on most practice tests I took. The logical reasoning was similar and fairly easy. The reading comp was tough. I’m not sure why, but it took longer than usual. I didn’t have enough time, starting sweating and getting nervous, and ultimately let my nerves get the better of me. I had 2 logic games sections, and the first (hopefully experimental) was fairly difficult. The latter was still challenging to me, but not nearly as bad as the first. Overall I feel as if the reading comp COMPLETELY threw me off. Had this section been easier, I could have done extremely well on the test. However, it was not. DON’T LET ONE SECTION MESS UP THE REST OF YOUR TEST (like it did mine ha)

  8. Ali says:

    I thought RC was unusually difficult. It’s usually my strongest section but I feel the worst about it. I had two logic games sections, and the first was REALLY difficult, so I’m hoping that it is experimental. I didn’t think the second games section was too bad, there were a few questions I had to guess on. Overall, I thought LR was pretty consistent with how it’s always been. A couple of really difficult ones. For some reason, maybe it was test center nerves, I didn’t finish each section like I usually do — the last one or two questions for both LR & RC I had to guess on!

  9. Kelly says:

    I ran out of time and guessed on the last several lg questions. Unusual for me. Should I cancel?

  10. JT says:

    Hi Kelly,
    First, my sympathy to you that you ran out of time but good job guessing since as you know there’s no penalty for wrong answers. In order to decide whether or not to cancel, you should follow Matt’s video on the right while the test is still fresh in your mind – this will help you decide if you’re in the right range to keep your score. Check back on Monday, as well, for a post all about whether or not to cancel you have six days to decide so there’s no rush.
    Good luck!

  11. Gabe says:

    Overall, a pretty standard test with nothing glaringly atrocious. The LR and LG were pretty straightforward with your usual tough LR question sprinkled in. That being said, the RC was easier for me as a whole but the last passage just obliterated me. I am confident this will be a tougher curve than June and I am guessing a -12

  12. HS says:

    One LR was harder than the other for some reason, I breezed through one and the other I had to guess on a few. For my test, 2 RC’s in a row destroyed me. The LG was not bad though, but I am mad about bubbling in the wrong answer for one question and also guessing on one question. I usually miss around 1-2 on LG, and on this LG I missed at least 1 for that wrong bubbling. I rely heavily on LG to bring my score as high as it can be, should I rely on that one wrong bubbling to cancel?

  13. Casey says:

    I thought the LR was pretty straight forward, and the games were not terribly hard (though there were little scenarios you could play and deductions had to come out of luck.

    I managed to get through all but one of the games questions successfully, and successfully wrote in an answer that I think has a chance of being correct in the last question, so fingers crossed there. Each LR section I had I didn’t finish 1 question, but I did manage to get a bubble filled, though my chances are low that they are right.

    My test started with 2 RC’s in a row, and both I thought were particularly uncharacteristic of the LSAT. I never finish an RC, and in both of them I had about 4 remaining, so one can only hope on a section like that. I am tentatively terrified. I was averaging about 165s with 2 weeks of studying left to go, and am just hoping I didn’t make some critical error that will totally screw me.

    At least its over.

  14. Monica says:

    I’ve been hitting consistent 170’s on my latest practice tests, and this test completely kicked my butt. Unlike what someone said earlier, I found this test to be *significantly* more difficult than June 2010. Reading comp was my first section and it completely threw me off. Usually RC is my strongest section, but I am really worried about how I did on this test. I think some of my surprise/freak out leaked onto my second section, LR, and it completely fuddled me. I had three LR sections, though, so I’m hoping that one was experimental. The rest of the sections were fairly manageable.

  15. Brian says:

    a lot of people seem to think the test was relatively easy…leading me to think that the curve will likely be -8 to -10. i was hoping for a “harder” test with a more forgiving curve since i really never could tell the difference between a “harder” and “easier” test and loved that the “harder” tests were so generous.

    because of this, i’m not feeling so good. hopefully i’m wrong and we get a -11 curve.

  16. Bryan Redd says:

    I don’t mean to call you out but if you were consistently in the 170’s there is no way you would have thought this LSAT was harder than June’s. The October test threw no curve balls. From the sound of it, I had the exact same test form you did. As for the reading comp everyone seems to be going ballistic over; may I suggest you review the powerscore reading comp bible; the passages you guys mentioned as difficult were all discussed in powerscores bibles. Not only was the passage them extremely “common” but additionally the answer choices conformed to a “T” with what you would expect. I don’t mean to be rude to anyone; but seriously everyone was thrown a bone today. If you think I’m off my rocker look at some of the tests from the mid 90’s. Not only are the games about a zillion times more intense but the reading comp is drastically more time pressing. As I said in my comment earlier preparation is the key to LSAT success is preparation. Do your research. The best advice anyone gave me is not to rely on one source to effectively prepare you. Monica no offense but if you had problems on this test more realistic score scale would be mid 160’s…call me rude but I’m being honest. I took the test at the university of Arkansas; not in California or some other large state. The general consesus I gathered was easy exam so if you think your a consistent “170’s” scorer; I would consider voiding. By the way I’m not just shooting smoke; my June LSAT was 163 and my prep test average was mid to upper 170’s. I can honestly say the October test was much easier. As I said earlier, if you feel you could do much better or had a bad test; simply sign up for December it’s not the end of the world ( feburary is). I don’t mean to be rude but I have numerous friends who are also considering a retake and I wouldn’t dare put false hopes in their heads. Bottom line; this LSAT “WAS” less challeging than past exams. I know this will probably raise a tsunami of commentary, but I speak the truth. If you have doubts; carefully considered the pro’s and con’s of not voiding your score.

  17. Sashok says:

    Better than June. got 3 LRs, [Edited] RC was not bad at all!

  18. Smith says:

    Hey guys, I’m really stressing out about something here, I’m hoping someone can comment on this.

    I wrote the exam today with 2 AR games, one in the first half and one towards the end (right before the writing section). I absolutely nailed the first one, but bombed the second one, definitely. I’m trying to figure out which one is the experimental one – if anyone here only had 1 AR game section, please let me know if you recognize any of these details from my second AR section….and then I’ll know whether or not this is the one that will be scored:

    Conditions for one of the questions: H and M had to be two gaps apart. J>M. GK side by side, etc.

    Conditions for an earlier question: something about ‘if this person is in the boat/car (cant remember), then G or F have to be the drivers, and if this person is in the boat, the F or K have to be the drivers. (this was the first question in my 2nd AR section)

    hopefully someone remembers these conditions from one of the questions.

    thanks a lot guys!

  19. Barry says:

    I thought the test was quite difficult. I promised myself I would not cancel as I am getting older and this is probably my only chance to go to law school (although I will retake it in December if I need to). My biggest disappointment however, was not getting a question on polar bears ;-)

  20. Tiffany says:

    Like others have mentioned, one of the LRs was significantly easier than the other. By “easier” I mean the flow was more predictable. The other LR had a few unfamiliar question types.

    I had two LG sections. I missed some deductions because there were little twists in two of the games that kinda threw me off. In general, I’m about 60% accurate in LG so for those of you who beast on LG, this commentary is probably irrelevant.

    The RC passages were not awful. The question types were, in fact, odd. I don’t recall the questions calling out explicitly for main point and other typical questions. It seems the question types familiar to us were dressed up in awfully fancy clothes.

    I’m also hoping for a generous curve.

  21. ajf says:

    I know this is going to sound ridiculously amateur, but I think I incorrectly bubbled in my scantron on the reading comp section because I skipped around passages. I might have to cancel my test as a result, and shoot myself in the foot while I’m at it. But I remember the order in which I completed the passages(I did them according to how many questions were in each passage), so I was wondering if someone who remembers could post the order of the passages for me, as well as how many questions there were in each. I remember it was the UN passage first. Was it then the forgery one, followed by the comparative “animal-intention” one, followed lastly by the African American movement one? I would greatly appreciate any information you can recall. Thank you

  22. Alec says:

    To be honest, I though reading comp was the easiest RC I had ever seen by a wide margin, and the people who I spoke to after the test agreed. From what I heard, the people who got experimental LG had a super easy experimental, and people like me, who had an experimental LR section, got the section from hell before anything else. Honestly, like 6 crux questions and a few prompts I had ever seen before.

  23. Dave says:

    Just a reminder that if your post isn’t approved, it’s because it violates LSAC policy about not disclosing (or asking for) specific information regarding the experimental section or particular questions.

    Thanks everyone for abiding by this.

  24. Ricky says:

    [Edited] The last LR section i felt was a little difficult, but i agree with the overall census that the RC was difficult. I don’t think the material itself was difficult, but felt that it was extremely time consuming. I had to guess the last 3 questions on that part. I was aiming for a 165-170, but since i know i f-ed up, im canceling and retaking in December. I know every time i mess up reading comp, i always get below a 165….

  25. Briggs says:

    I’m glad to hear people with the same point of view as myself. I thought the reading comp section was difficult in terms of questions but not the passages. I took an unusually long amount of time and was left with having to hurry through the final passage which seemed like it had a lot of long questions. Besides that it seemed like some other questions were indeed worded differently. Logical reasoning seemed similar to past tests. Logical games was not bad as well. I couldn’t tell which section was the experimental but it was a logical reasoning. Overall seemed like a difficult test if only because of the reading comp.

  26. postn0bills says:

    My exam started off with RC — easy until the last passage with more complex question stems than I’m used to.

    Then LG… easy.

    LR… took a little longer than usual to reason through the questions… they seemed less straightforward than in most of the previously administered exams.

    LG… this LG section was extremely difficult for some reason. It took a long time to set up diagrams and make inferences. I am seriously hoping this was the experimental section but based on historical evidence it seems that the other LG was. I had to guess on quite a few in this section. Reason enough to cancel?

    LR… complex, but workable.

    Verdict: not my best. Considering retaking in December.

  27. ms says:

    Glad to hear that the test seemed to go well for most of you. As a Sabbath observer, I am taking the test on Tuesday. Just wondering if I will be getting the same test as everyone else. Anybody know?

  28. Sophie says:

    I had two RC sections and they both threw me off. The rest of the test was straightforward, but I agree that the RC sections were difficult. Not the passages, but the questions were time-consuming. I had to rush to finish all the questions, and that’s not typical in my practice tests.

  29. Angelina says:

    I considered not taking it but am now glad I did. Even so, I know I could have prepared more for a better score. My practice exams weren’t where I want to be. I already signed up for the December test but am wondering if I should cancel October’s. It really didn’t seem that hard at all. Does any one know if schools average your score’s? Someone at a different test prep class said they don’t do that anymore.

  30. Casey says:

    I am going to have to disagree with Bryan Redd there. I think the RC section (both of them that I took) were standard prompts but unusual questions with overrall not obvious answers. I think it is sort of childish to assert that was the easiest LSAT ever, as I have taken a ton of the practice LSATs and remember nothing in the form of the RC questions that we received today.

    Maybe I am wrong, but for some reason I doubt the LSAT just took it easy on the October test, as they have no incentive for that. While the games and LR werent crazy difficult, the RC was tricky and it is foolish to say otherwise.

  31. Janae says:

    I have to agree that overall the test was straightforward. If RC is not your strong point I can see how the section was difficult; the questions types were written in a way that was slightly different from the other tests we’ve seen. Did anyone feel like a lot of the questions in the LR were not diagrammable? I found myself not diagramming as much…

  32. Lefly says:

    I must be in the minority here: I was thrown for a loop by the LG/AR–[Edited]. It’s likely that I’ve gotten good at drawing deductions, but I’m spending too long getting them all written down. I ended up out of time on both and blowing the whole last game. Ugh. And I was scoring -2 max in practice runs on Preps– which, granted, were generally untimed.

    On the flip side, I thought the RC was a breeze, and finished it with minutes enough to recheck answers. Seriously, how was it hard? The text and questions were pretty basic. Maybe some questions were confusing, but they seemed obvious to me. (Though, I do tend to have mad reading skillz.) I’ll be surprised if I missed more than 2 there.

    There were a couple of weird LR questions, but overall they were pretty straightforward. It definitely seemed easier than some of the past prep LRs. I was worried earlier in the week, when I missed 8 in one section of PrepTest 42’s LR. But this time, I felt like I rolled through them.

    Looking at the recent LSAT Raw score conversion chart from another prep blog, it looks like the past two LSATs may have actually been a bit harder than usual — with a Raw 87 equaling 170 for each. Last June and September a 90 was needed. So if you took either of the previous two and thought this time was easier, it may mean the Raw score you’ll need is going to be higher.

  33. JT says:

    Barry – we’ll have to make fun of Matt about the polar bears. But just remember you’re NEVER to old to go to law school!

    postn0bills – watch Matt’s video to decide whether to cancel!

    ms – the sabbath test will be different precisely for this reason – otherwise you could hear about the test from people who took it beforehand and get an unfair advantage.

    Angelina – we have a post on whether or not schools average scores.
    The short answer: they’ll see all your scores but most don’t average. So keep your score if there’s a good chance it’s a score you want (see Matt’s video to figure this out). If, however, you know you’re going to take December b/c you didn’t do well, cancel October – even though most schools average, a cancellation and a high score are better than a high score and a low score.

  34. Ben says:

    Hi all,
    I’m new at this, do we get a confirmation that the scores where received and everything is good to go? I haven’t taken a paper exam in quite sometime and am worried something got lost in the shuffle. Does anyone know when things get posted, not till the November?

  35. Anne says:

    I thought the reading was not difficult or surprising at all, but RC is usually my best section. Logic games were bizarrely easy- and I am absolutely horrible at logic games. Horrible. But on this test, I almost feel most confident about the games section!

    I had three LR sections, though, and one was easy and the other two were absolute hell. I think I’ve figured out which was the experimental one, however, as I remember very distinctly two questions containing a very weird sort of analogy I’ve never seen before.

  36. I found the Oct 2010 test better than the June 2010 test – this could possibly be because in June I was frazzled and over-stressed, but I felt a marked difference in the test difficulty.

    Most students on another forum (http://www.lawstudents.ca/forums/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=26306) seem to have found RC and/or logic games challenging.

    [Edited] I didn’t find Reading Comp hard – I didn’t even notice it to be very different (which is strange because it is not my strongest section.) I did get messed up on Logic Games, unfortunately. I got through the experimental one quite comfortably , so when I got to the real logic games, I was disappointed. I got through the first two games – the third one was kind of half-done and the fourth was a disaster. I guessed a lot in LG, and I suspect it will bring down my score.

    I found one LR section harder than the other, and I did notice some new types of questions. I don’t want to be too detailed (to ensure I don’t break LSAC rules) – it was about writing an abridgment to Shakespeare? The type of question was very unfamiliar, and there were a few new/tricky types in one of the LR that may catch people off-guard.

    I hope for a generous grading curve as well – I think the format of reading comp and some LR questions were different, but I don’t think it was as hard as June, so it might not be as steep of a curve. I guess we will see how it goes!

    November seems unfairly far away….

    Good luck to all!

    Surviving Studenthood

  37. JT says:

    Ben – LSAT scores will be out in approximately 3 weeks. They typically start in the East coast and a wave of panic sweeps out west as everyone frantically refreshes their inboxes to see if it’s arrived. If you follow us on twitter: https://twitter.com/mssLSATblog, we’ll let you know the instant they arrive.

    Anne -sounds like you got a winning combo for you. Congrats!

  38. Stephanie says:

    That test was not at all straightforward. I consistently scored 167 on the practice tests, and this test was just bizarre.

    The LR sections did not have the typical 10 easy questions at the beginning, which was disappointing.

    I usually get 22/23 of the LG, and the first LG was a breeze, but that was likely experimental. The second LG was terrible. Something just seemed off, and I had to guess on the last question. Also, almost every question was conditional. That’s annoying. And because of that, I wasn’t as sure of my answers as I normally am.

    For me, RC was better than usual. It’s my worst section normally, but being a philosophy major at Berkeley really helped because one of the passages was about a former professor. That was fantastic. Besides that though, the test was a mess. I am not happy. I feel like I got at least 6 points lower than I normally would. Ugh.

    Hoping I’m wrong.

    Also, everyone I talked to at my center agreed that it was weird, so I’m hoping that that was the norm and that the curve is generous.

  39. Forsooth says:

    Studenthood: for the LR question you may have been confused about, in very general terms, it took a bit of deduction, ala Sherlock Holmes. Given a mysterious circumstance, for the options offered, think about which could have had the particular characteristics to fulfill the question’s requirements. If that doesn’t help, it’s worth noting that some LSAT questions are based on real-world events/scholarship; where outside knowledge of certain trivia, while not necessary, can be helpful.

  40. Hey Forsooth,

    Thats exactly what I did :) I would argue that question was still an inference question, even if it wasn’t obviously so and people want to argue its a new type.

    You make a good point about how some questions are based on a real life, and a little knowledge about the circumstances can help. Ironically, I am a drama student (minor), and thinking about my own experience encouraged me to change my answer (hopefully from the wrong one to the right one!). I am interested to see the disclosed answers and look at how that question went.


    Surviving Studenthood

  41. david says:

    Did anyone hear anything about the lsat that was given on the 12th for those who couldnt make the saturday test?

  42. Adiba says:

    I am an international student, and the lsat is really difficult for me!! after taking about 50 practice tests (scores ranging from 150- 154)I felt confident for the October test. The first three sections weren’t bad, I actually got through all of the questions. However, the logic games being my strength, the 4th section threw me completely off. I don’t know why, but it took me unusually long and I didn’t quite finish the last game. I was so overwhelmed about the previous section, that I didn’t do my best on the last one.
    Should I retake or cancel score? On the other hand if I cancel and retake it in December it will be too late for the 2011 admissions:(
    It was actually my second time taking the test as for the first one I didn’t know how to study for the lsat and I just took the test to see where I stand (BAAAD IDEA!!!) A lot of people say I should wait and see, maybe I didn’t do as bad as I feel. What do you think are my chances for a good school if I retake the LSAT three times?
    I would appreciate any advice,


  43. Drew says:

    I definitely agree with Stephanie and Lefly…I didn’t think the test was that straightforward in generally, least of all when it came to Logic Games. I started out with a LG section, which was ridiculously easy, but then got what I believe the real LG on section 5, which absolutely KILLED me. The games with the co-workers in the cars and the team of relay runners centered around complicated and conditional rules, while the questions were waaay too specific and conditional in and of themselves. The ancient artifacts and nursing scheduling games were somewhat easier, but I’m still debating cancelling my score tomorrow because I completely messed up at least two of the games – I was getting 100% on the games sections in all of my practice tests! I was aiming for a 170…but now that I bombed the LG section I’m thinking I should cancel. However, I did think that although the LR Sections were not straightforward and rather unlike anything I had seen too many times before, they were not too difficult, while I thought the RC section was pretty reasonable as well. Any advice on cancellation…(by tomorrow)?

  44. Dave says:


    We heard from one guy that it was very difficult, and that the games were extremely tough. Tough to draw too much from one story, but that’s what we have.


    If 150 to 154 is not where you want to be, then cancel your score. As an international student (I assume English is a second language) you may need more time to study the test. If you’re not near your ideal score, and test day didn’t go particularly well, then you probably want to cancel and try again in December. Definitely don’t get the score just because you’re curious.


    Do the procedure in the video on the right hand side of the screen. It’s a great exercise to figure out whether or not you should cancel. If you were getting 100% on games and getting 170’s and then you bombed the games, then you probably should cancel. But do the procedure and see what you come up with.


  45. Eric says:


    I cant find ANY blogs on the october 2010 test for sabbath observers which was given on october 12th. So i will try and get something started here. the order of my sections was LR RC LG LR RC. I thought the first LR section (the one with the question about dinosaur eyes being small)was pretty easy. i wouldnt be surprised if i got everyone right. the next scored section, which was LG was easy also. wouldnt be surprised if i got everyone right. Now mind you i was scoring a 166 on practice tests consistantly for months… so i was pretty excited going into break..but the final LR and the RC really threw me off. the final LR seemed harder than usual and the RC absolutely killed me. The passage on Bach was freaking impossible. I just couldnt get into groove and wouldn’t be surprised if i got 9 wrong that section. which would honestly push back my score back to my regular 166. We need more comments about the sabbath lsat! post them here!!!!!!!

    • Eli says:

      This comment is way late, but I agree regarding the second section of the Sabbath test. Killer.

      I was scoring the mid-160s too in PTs, and ended up with a much lower score.

      I felt great going into the break, and actually had time to spare. But then the second half happened and it just blew me away…

  46. […] one of my favourite LSAT blogs, I read the following: ### In breaking news, our NY affiliates report a rumor that in a testing […]

  47. […] receiving initial responses from the October 2010 LSAT, we’re betting on the second theory.  The October 2010 LSAT overall didn’t seem to […]

  48. […] hearing students’ initial responses from the October 2010 LSAT, we think the second scenario is the most plausible explanation for the generous October 2010 […]

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