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5 Basic Tips for Logic Games

July 17, 2014

1.Paint a Picture

Given infinite time, everyone can get every question of the logic games correct. But in only 35 minutes, you need to have access to the information and conditions of the game as quickly and intuitively as possible. The way to do this is through a diagram. A diagram takes into account all of the pieces of the game (something like FGHJK), and the space of the game. You’ll need to make a few copies of the diagram in each game, so keep your setup simple and quick (dashes are very easy to draw; grids are not). An ideal diagram is a complete diagram; when it is complete, you should not need to consult the rules and conditions of the game again.

 

2.Draw the Rules

After you’ve set up the characters and space of the game, you need to draw the rules. You’ll want to practice symbolizing the rules in a clear and unambiguous; for example, if the order is fixed (G comes after A) write AG and draw a square around it. If the order is loose (G is adjacent to A), write AG and draw a circle. Rules that indicate fixed positions (“F is first”) place in the first space. Rules that indicate negative positions (“F does not go first”), place under the first space with a crossed out F. There are many systems for explaining the rules in symbols – once you find one that is comfortable and intuitive for you, stick with it and practice using it as much as possible.

 

3.Solve the Game

Spend a minute or two on the above steps – it is worth the time, and understanding the game itself makes the questions considerably easier. Figure out some possible orderings and arrangements of the game’s pieces, and see if you can draw any inferences (e.g. G comes before F, F comes before H means G<F<H, but also that F and H cannot go first; G and F cannot go last). The first question will almost always ask you for a possible arrangement of the games elements, and you will have answered that in simply trying to understand the game.

 

4. Find an order to answer the questions

It will be to your advantage to learn the types of questions the games ask and how to best deal with them. Fortunately, the range of questions themselves is rather limited. The first questions will ask about the components of the game. The later questions will change the rules in some way and ask you to adjust the conditions to fit the changes. After you do the first question, skip to the questions that impose even more limits on the scenario than the rules themselves. Understanding how the game is changing, or how the pieces fit into a more limited situation, you’re gaining a better grasp of how the game already is. It’s almost analogous to Reading Comprehension: you want to do specific questions before general questions, as specific questions help build an understanding of the passage that helps in the general questions.

 

5. Anticipate the Answer Choices

This will not always be possible, but on questions that change the rules or introduce conditions (“if M is third, then…”), draw your diagram before you look at the answers. Your diagram may not align entirely with the answer choices, but you will have a reference for what you see. Could Q go second? Play with the diagram you just made to see if it’s possible. Must Q go second? Again, challenge the game. Do your first few logic games untimed (and then, always do them timed) to build familiarity with your system and the method. Refer to and reuse diagrams from previous questions in the same game whenever possible.

 

Need help preparing for the LSAT test? Find a LSAT tutor in your area or online today!

Beating the LSAT: How Successful Students Prepare

May 15, 2014

John Rood, President and Founder of Next Step Test Preparation recently conducted a webinar on beating the LSAT.  Besides founding Next Step John has worked with hundreds of students over more than five years.  Watch this four part series to learn:

    • How the LSAT fits into the law school admissions process.
    • What skills are needed to succeed on test day.
    • How the law school admissions process works and what matters most.
    • How to approach questions on test day by working through sample problems.

Next Step Test Preparation provides complete courses of one-on-one LSAT tutoring for about the price of a crowded lecture-style prep course. Email us or call 888-530-NEXT (6398) for a complimentary consultation.

How I Beat my Fear of Death by Bed Sheets and Learned to Love Cheese Again: A Lesson in Causation Vs. Correlation

May 13, 2014

There is an epidemic sweeping the United States that most people are unwilling to confront.  An increase in cheese consumption is leading an increase in the number of people dying after becoming entangled in their bed sheets.  The graph below will give you an idea of just how serious this problem is.  While an all out cheese ban may seem brash, we need to ask ourselves how much is that parm really worth:

http://nextsteptestprep.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/cheese-correlation.png

Image courtesy of, http://www.tylervigen.com/

While some people might be worried that their love of cheese will lead to death by bed-sheet-tangling, as a potential LSAT test taker you know better. Or you should at least. The LSAT is a rigorous test of your critical thinking and problem solving skills. The idea of causation versus correlation is tested frequently on the LSAT, and the test makers love to trip up those who confuse the two.

To understand the difference, let’s first take a look at what both mean. Merriam-Webster’s defines correlation as “a relation existing between phenomena or things or between mathematical or statistical variables which tend to vary, be associated, or occur together in a way not expected on the basis of chance alone.” Put more simply, correlation defines how closely two variables or sets of data are related. Causation on the other hand, is defined as “the act or process of causing something to happen, or the relationship between an event or situation and a possible reason or cause”. Put more simply, causation is defined by a cause and effect relationship. So on test day, be sure to ask yourself what is the actual relationship between these two events or data points? Are they just tangentially related, or is there an actual cause and effect relationship between the two?

So while some might put down the cheese in order to avoid a horrific sheet-induced-death, you can munch on. Check out this great blog post that highlights some other spurious relationships; I have included a couple of examples below:

This summer in order to stop a rash of fatal pool accidents, Nicholas Cage must…. stop acting. Unless it’s a sequel to Face Off, then the loss of life could be acceptable:

Image courtesy of, http://www.tylervigen.com/

 

And you thought the only downside to PACs was an increase in the influence of money on the US political system. THE INSANITY HAS TO END:

Image courtesy of, http://www.tylervigen.com/

Next Step Test Preparation provides complete courses of one-on-one LSAT tutoring for about the price of a crowded lecture-style prep course. Email us or call 888-530-NEXT (6398) for a complimentary consultation.

LSAT Overview: Tips & Strategies on Preparing for the Exam

April 19, 2014

Recently, Michigan State University College of Law and John Rood, founder of Next Step Test Preparation gave an informational webinar to share tips and strategies with students preparing to take the LSAT exam. The presentation gave an overview of the LSAT by answering the following:

  • What skills will the LSAT assess?
  • How do you create an effective LSAT prep plan?
  • Why do law school admission committees rely on the LSAT?

Examples of various LSAT questions were shared in addition to related strategies and tips for students to maximize their score on the exam.

Interested in watching the webinar or checking out the online presentation?

Feel free to view the presentation (45 minutes with 15 minutes of Q&A) or go through the LSAT overview slides when you have some time. We hope this helps you prepare for the LSAT!

Law School Personal Statement Tips

March 30, 2014

Today’s guest post on law school personal statement tips comes from our friends at InGenius Prep.
In this installment, Joel - a student at Yale Law School – explains three key tips for the law school personal statement: what to write about, how the personal statement should relate to the rest of your application, and how to let law schools know you mean business in your personal statement.

Free LSAT Webinar

March 5, 2014

Hi all! Michigan State University College of Law is offering a free webinar on the LSAT. Here’s the info.

LSAT 101: Introduction to the LSAT

Wednesday, April 16, 7:30 p.m., EST

Register for free here. 

This webinar will provide a highly informative overview of the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), including:

  • Skills that the LSAT will assess
  • Examples of LSAT question types and strategies for maximizing your score
  • Recommendations for creating an effect LSAT preparation plan
  • Information on how and why law school admission committees rely on the LSAT

The 45-minute presentation will be followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer segment, during which participants may ask questions of the presenters.

Presenter

John Rood, is president and founder of NextStep Test Preparation.  Rood and NextStep instructors have taught LSAT preparation methods and strategies to thousands of individuals across the United States.

Here’s that registration link again. We hope you can make it!

Updated Fall 2014 LSAT Date

December 19, 2013

Big news for those of you planning on the October 2014 LSAT — it’s now the September 2014 LSAT.

Here’s the news from LSAC:

I am writing to let you know that we are aware that the LSAT administration scheduled for October 4, 2014 conflicts with Yom Kippur. We are rescheduling that administration—it will now take place on Saturday, September 27, 2014. The corresponding Saturday Sabbath test date will be Monday, September 29, 2014.

I can’t think of any other time when an LSAT has been rescheduled. Hopefully the change won’t be challenging since sign-ups for that date aren’t even open yet.

This change also reverses a trend of pushing the Fall date into October; the exam routinely used to fall in the last week of September.

Next Step Test Preparation provides complete courses of one-on-one LSAT tutoring for about the price of a crowded lecture-style prep course. Email us or call 888-530-NEXT (6398) for a complimentary consultation.

Should I Cancel My LSAT Score?

October 6, 2013

LSE_Logo_Text_large

Today’s post comes from Ann Levine, president and chief consultant at Law School Expert. Ann is the former director of law school admissions at two ABA-approved law schools and the nation’s leading law school admission consultant. Law School Expert offers hourly and beginning-to-end consulting, and Ann has personally guided over 2,000 law school applicants through the law school admission process. Ann is also the author of the bestselling law school admission guidebook The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.

You have 6 days to cancel your LSAT score, and there is no advantage to canceling on the first day. Take your time, sleep on it, and see how you feel when the exhaustion has passed. And, when you wake up, here are some things to try to consider objectively before canceling your LSAT score:

Was this your first time taking the LSAT? It’s a bit safer to cancel a score when you still have two more opportunities in front of you. If this was your third time taking the test in 2 years, you have to be pretty sure the results aren’t going to be better than your previous scores in order to risk throwing away your last opportunity for a better score.

Was this your second time taking the LSAT? If so, you need to make a strategic decision about whether you can be ready in December. That will be your last chance for this admission cycle. And if you aren’t ready in December, or decide not to take the test for some other reason, you may decide to postpone your application cycle in order to maximize your chances of improving on your third LSAT attempt. I know there is a rumor going around that taking the LSAT three times is “bad.” It’s not “bad” if you improve your score, or if you can still submit applications in January. It’s only “bad” if it shows lack of judgment because your three LSAT scores are the same, or if you cancel your first two tests and everything rides on the third and then the third doesn’t go well.

How would you rate your anxiety level? If you felt no anxiety during the LSAT, there is something terribly wrong with you. Of course you felt anxious. The question is whether the anxiety interfered with your ability to perform on the test. For some people, a moderate level of anxiety actually heightens their awareness and focus. If you found yourself becoming distracted after a particularly jarring question, but within a few questions you recover, then you may not want to cancel your score: a new question type or insecurity over a response is normal. However, if it got to the point where you were totally thrown and unable to recover, even on a new section of the test, you may want to cancel your score.

Was lack of preparation the problem? Sometimes eavesdropping on other LSAT takers and hearing how much they prepared for the test, that they took ten timed practice tests and worked with a private tutor, can cause people to realize that they did not do nearly enough to prepare for the LSAT. If this is the case, consider that if you wait for your October score, you’ll only have a month to prepare for the December test—which isn’t a lot of time—but if you get started now, you’ll have two months to turn things around. Of course, you can prepare for the December LSAT without canceling your October LSAT score—or waiting for scores to be released.

 

 

What should you write your personal statement about?

September 3, 2013

LSE_Logo_Text_largeToday’s post comes from Ann Levine, president and chief consultant at Law School Expert. Ann is the former director of law school admissions at two ABA-approved law schools and the nation’s leading law school admission consultant. Law School Expert offers hourly and beginning-to-end consulting, and Ann has personally guided over 2,000 law school applicants through the law school admission process. Ann is also the author of the bestselling law school admission guidebook The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.

  Law School Personal Statement Advice

None of this “no-typos” advice here. I’m going to tell you what you actually want to know. What should you write your personal statement about?

 First, you need to understand the difference between these two directions:

  1. Writing what you want the law schools to know about you;
  2. Writing what you THINK the law schools want to know about you.

Sometimes these can be very different, and it’s a huge trap for people. I’ve read way too many essays from people who say they want to practice health care law because they are applying to a school that is known for their health care law program, even though they have nothing in their background to support this position, and even though they actually have quite an interesting personal story lurking in the background. Don’t write a personal statement to tell someone what you think they want to hear. Tell them what they should want to know about you. This is what will make the reader like you, want you, and pick you.

Here are some key things that law schools like:

  • Maturity (especially if you are a younger applicant, for example one who graduated from college in three years and is applying right out of school)
  • Financial responsibility
  • A sense of how the real world works (personally or professionally, or both)
  • Demonstrated dedication to something meaningful to you (whether it’s athletic, academic, entrepreneurial, or extra-curricular)
  • A clear direction for your career (IF you have it, NOT if you are manufacturing it)
  • Overcoming adversity (the key here is showing actual adversity (not mononucleosis during your sophomore year of college) combined with facts that demonstrate the OVERCOMING ingredient)
  • An international perspective, language, and cultural skills (beyond studying abroad in Great Britain or Australia)

And for those of you whining, “But I don’t have any of those things….I’m a pretty typical college student from an upper-middle class family… my parents are still married, everyone is healthy, and my only campus involvement is my fraternity….”  Then it’s time to really brainstorm. Start by answering these questions:

  1. What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
  2. What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment? (It doesn’t have to be resume worthy – it could be losing weight, helping a friend get the help she needed, etc.)
  3. What experiences (personal, academic, or otherwise) bring you to apply to law school?

These should get your juices flowing. And if you need help, reach out. We’re here.
Next Step Test Preparation provides complete courses of one-on-one LSAT tutoring for about the price of a crowded lecture-style prep course. Email us or call 888-530-NEXT (6398) for a complimentary consultation.

LSAT Strategies and Study Plan Webinar

November 12, 2012

Next Step frequently holds LSAT webinars for student groups and pre-law organizations. Since lots of viewers requested our slides, we thought we would upload here.

Next Step Test Preparation provides complete courses of one-on-one LSAT tutoring for about the price of a crowded lecture-style prep course. Email us or call 888-530-NEXT (6398) for a complimentary consultation.