A very deserved congratulations are in order to all those who just finished the March LSAT today! Now that you have slain the beast that is the Law School Admissions Test — or at least were granted a momentary reprieve from your war against this exam, following a particularly difficult battle — we hope you can spend the rest of your weekend in a post-exam bliss, perhaps aided by the beverage of your choice.
So to all March test takers, congratulations! Celebrate by unironically toasting the name of Argenine novelist Roberto Alrt. Take time to finally enjoy blooming flora, planted by Wang and Zhao themselves. Enjoy the daily specials at your favorite restaurant, and make sure to tip your servers while there.
But to those of you who aren’t quite yet in celebration mode, we present this blog. As we always do following an exam, let’s go over what we’ve heard about this exam, see how our predictions fared, separate the wheat (the scored sections) from the chaff (the experimental sections), and so on.
Unfortunately, we can’t get too specific. We are free to discuss how difficult certain parts of the test were, the performance of your proctor and the quality of your test center, and the topics of passages, games, and LR questions. We can even try to identify the experimental sections used on this test. But we cannot discuss the answers to the questions or how to get them, lest we incur the wrath of LSAC. This test may still get used for some make-up exams, and we can’t give those folks an unfair advantage. So we won’t go into any verboten topics, and if your comment is removed, it most likely violated some kind of rule or was close enough that we didn’t want to risk it. Here’s a pretty good guide of what’s acceptable.
But, based on reports from test takers, here’s what we know about this March exam, and are allowed to talk about.
Overall, the reports of the exam suggest that it was a lot like your professor who assigned a twenty-page term paper, but provided ample office hours to help you write it: tough, but fair. Specifically, and unsurprisingly, many thought Reading Comprehension was the most difficult section overall. The third game, about suspects visiting towns — named, improbably, Quandaryville and Pleasantville — also got stuck in the craws of many test takers. Also, contrary to our prediction, it sounds like this exam was not recycled from a earlier international or Sabbath-observers exam — it was cobbled together from experimental sections used over the past couple years (although, reports suggest that the February 2012 exam got dusted off for international test takers today).
On Reading Comp, it sounds like the passages were about tipping servers, the development of early hominidae’s upright posture in East Africa, the Argentine novelist Roberto Arlt’s use of irony, and a comparative passage about labor laws related to women and also maybe children. We told you there would be a passage about science, the arts, and the law — it sounds like those topics were covered by the hominid, novelist, and labor law passages, respectively. The tips passage is kind of wild card — it could be about the law, or sociology, or, perhaps, a close reading of the first scene of Reservoir Dogs. If anyone has any, ahem, tips about that passage, let us know in the comment section.
On the section no one calls “Analytical Reasoning,” the logic games involved daily specials over a week at a restaurant (a favorite topic, given that a similar game appeared on the September 2017 exam), a debate-off between two teams, the aforementioned game about suspects visiting towns, and a game about publishing agricultural books, authored by Wang and Zhao. As is often the case on recent exams, one game was way more difficult than the rest. Quandaryville, indeed.
On Logical Reasoning, it appears that both scored sections had twenty-five questions. So if you were trying to identify which section was your experimental, and you can remember that one of your LR sections had twenty-six questions — there’s your answer. If you can’t recall the number of questions in your sections — or if all three of the LR sections had twenty-five questions — the topics reported on real LR questions involved menus on restaurants, a mayor’s position on wild animals, grey hair, TMAO-supplements for vegetarians, oppossums, the Paleolithic period, tutoring students, and the correlation between spelling well and academic performance.
Another thing on LR — over the last couple years, we’ve consistently heard that two-prompts-but-one-stimulus questions have appeared in the experimental sections. On these questions, you get one stimulus, but they ask you two separate questions about that one stimulus. Like Lisa Frank and ska, these questions were fixtures of the 90s, but quickly receded from prominence once the 2000s hit. The writers of this exam use the experimental sections to test out questions that will appear on future exams, so eventually these two-prompts-but-one-stimulus questions will return on a scored LR section. It doesn’t sound like they were on the scored LR sections on this LSAT, but on some LSAT in the near future, they will. If you’re studying for the June or later exam, I would try taking a look at some of the early 90s exams to try out some of these questions.
Most importantly, it seems like this test was consistent enough with recent exams. I haven’t heard anything about the exam that would suggest your score will be substantially different than your recent practice exam scores, absent any test center disasters, of course. If those diagnostic scores were around your target score, to quoth a dance floor classic, tonight it’s party time, it’s party time tonight. And also, maybe even party time tomorrow, and party time the next day, and the day after that, all the way until the Friday, April 19 score release date. Followed, hopefully, by more party time.
If, on the other hand, you’re thinking about canceling this score, you have some time to make this decision. You can read up on LSAC’s official cancellation policy here. The official cancellation policy according to LSAC: you have until 11:59 pm EST on the sixth day after the exam to cancel using your LSAC account. In layman’s term: you have until Friday, 11:59 pm Eastern to cancel. So sleep on it. Take a look at this video, for the advice from Blueprint co-founder Matt Riley.
Before canceling, you should also be aware that nearly every law school will simply use your highest LSAT when constructing your academic index, or whatever calculation it uses to assess you as an applicant. Although law schools will see every score you got on the LSAT, the vast majority of them won’t hold having multiple LSAT scores against you to a significant degree. or most test takers, our recommendation is don’t cancel. Choose to receive your score, just on the chance that you’ll be happy enough to with the score that you don’t have to study for the next exam. For more thorough discussion of this issue, check out this blog post.
Either way, congratulations on finishing this exam. Hopefully this blog is the last thing you’ll read about the LSAT, at least for a little while. If you decide you’d like to take another shot at the exam in June, we’ll be here for you, ready to help.