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July 19, 2005 10:01 AM   Subscribe

An LSAT game a day until the October 1st Test - Interesting and maddening/unique visual puzzles for preparation of the upcoming LSAT, posted one a day throughout the summer. From Jesse Fuchs, NYC LSAT tutor who also created the equally maddening and very fun Spooneye! The Card Game.
posted by Peter H (27 comments total)
Fun also for those of us, myself included, who can delight in not ever having to take this maddening beast of a test.
posted by Peter H at 10:11 AM on July 19, 2005

What I've seen of the LSAT practice exam makes it look easy. The first game I clicked on (6/20) is impossible to understand. Maybe I'm missing something.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:15 AM on July 19, 2005

Anyone else get the impression that Law school is basicaly a dumping ground for people who didn't take collage seriously and now realize they need a good job?

Or maybe that's just my film major firend. Same with the GMAT.
posted by delmoi at 10:18 AM on July 19, 2005

delmoi - OUCH! There are some of us law students and attorneys who actually set out to become lawyers. And as far as not taking college (I'm assuming that's what you meant) seriously, most of my peers graduated from very good schools at the top of their classes.

I will concede that many of my peers majored in subject areas that don't necessarily have practical applications in the "real world." Personally, I decided on the law when I realized that my marketing degree would land me in a field where I would be miserable.
posted by elquien at 10:58 AM on July 19, 2005

The LSAT need not be a beast of a test. Most of the puzzles can be figured out with relative ease if one spends enough time on them. The key, however, is time. There are a number of techniques one can master to shortcut these problems so that they require much less time to translate into solutions. High scorers on the test have generally mastered such techniques.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 11:05 AM on July 19, 2005

Maybe its me but this is either the most obtuse web site or they should really consider some directions.

I'm with BrotherCaine, I'm missing something I guess.

delmoi, don't you know that we need more lawyers to come up with all the silly lawsuits? I mean, without another hundred thousand lawyers how would we have ever gotten warning labels about hot coffee on our coffee cups from McDonalds?
posted by fenriq at 11:05 AM on July 19, 2005

What I've seen of the LSAT practice exam makes it look easy. The first game I clicked on (6/20) is impossible to understand. Maybe I'm missing something.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:15 AM PST on July 19

Unless my browser is messed up, all he is doing is providing explanation on how to answer games which aren't on the website.

Without the test, these answers are useless.
posted by dios at 11:08 AM on July 19, 2005

These are pretty bad explainations in my opinion.

Why not just practice on real paper with real games?

The LSAT isn't computerized, so why practice on the computer?
posted by k8t at 11:10 AM on July 19, 2005

Or to be more specific, what's going on here is likely that a guy is tutoring some people. He gives them some sample questions to work out, and they can check their answers on the website. As we don't know what the games are he is referring to, this isn't very interesting or useful.
posted by dios at 11:10 AM on July 19, 2005

Yes, this is just explanation- no questions.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 11:12 AM on July 19, 2005

6/01's games aren't all that great to use as an example.

The LSAT is given in February, June, October and December. So these questions are from June, 2001.

All of the LSATs are published except for October. (December begins a "new" season.)

a Professional LSAT tutor who doesn't agree with this guy's techniques
posted by k8t at 11:14 AM on July 19, 2005

don't you know that we need more lawyers to come up with all the silly lawsuits?

I'm pretty sure this is the public relations / political spin story that you're supposed to be swallowing hook line and sinker.

As a whole the legal industry is extremely system-centric and, although there are always some hotshot public liabilities attorneys trying to raid the treasure chests, 90% of lawyers are protecting the system, and quite conservative. Law firms go a long way towards trying to correct the errant ways of their new hires, as well, so law school students (already a more conservative group than their undergraduate counterparts) may be more open minded than the 35-55 year old career attorneys.
posted by nervousfritz at 11:15 AM on July 19, 2005

You need to buy the tests for these to be any use, apparently. I imagine Fuchs would run into copyright trouble reproducing the questions online, but as this is presented, it's pretty uninteresting to those of us who aren't currently studying for the LSAT.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:34 AM on July 19, 2005

I have no doubt it has a benefit to actual test preparation. As a concept piece of confusion-for-fun, though, I think this is really entertaining; akin to finding stacks of paper with "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" - I love nonsense pages, personally.
posted by Peter H at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2005

Too bad the test makers have figured out that the test takers have figured out games, and so they're making the games section somewhat easier and making the Reading Comp. sections the most challenging on the test...
posted by herc at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2005

In my mind an extremely wise decision. Probably more relevant to the measuring one's capacities for legal reasoning on the ground.
posted by Dr_Johnson at 12:48 PM on July 19, 2005

fenriq, do you actually know the facts about that mcdonald's case? don't believe the hype.
posted by jcruelty at 12:53 PM on July 19, 2005

Ahh, the old "McDonalds coffee" case, trusty shibboleth of tort reform.
Now I agree that we have some occasional outrageous verdicts in this country, but the McDonald's case is a prime example of how some people don't even bother to educate themselves before getting outraged.
Would it change your mind about the verdict if I told you that McDonalds was selling coffee at a temperature that the company itself admitted was "unsafe for human consumption," in order to 1) disguise its substandard taste 2) reduce the amount of free refills that customers would take, and 3) keep the coffee from getting cold too fast so that it didn't have to be replaced as often? And the 2.7 million dollar verdict (later reduced to a fraction of this amount) was equal to TWO DAYS of McDonald's sales from COFFEE ALONE? And that over 700 people had been burned by McDonalds coffee before this case came to court, and that McDonalds had done nothing to address the problem?
But if we just had less lawyers, damnit, helping people take advantage of poor helpless corporations like McD's.
posted by banishedimmortal at 12:59 PM on July 19, 2005

I took the LSAT last year. I actually thought it was a blast. Most of the questions were the sort of puzzles I'd do on my own for fun.

herc, I would dispute that they're intentionally making the games easier. The experimental section in my test was freakishly hard. I think they're trying to keep it difficult, but there are only so many ways to present a logical puzzle.

I taught Princeton Review for the SAT while I was in college, and while that was a little more blatant about subverting the test, I'm not a big fan of this sort of thing. The point is supposed to be whether the subject can figure out the solution, not whether they were able to afford to be coached. (He says from atop his wobbly high horse...)
posted by bjrubble at 1:00 PM on July 19, 2005

damnit...i just knew that was going to happen...
posted by banishedimmortal at 1:01 PM on July 19, 2005

Too bad the test makers have figured out that the test takers have figured out games, and so they're making the games section somewhat easier and making the Reading Comp. sections the most challenging on the test...
posted by herc at 12:46 PM PST on July 19 [!]

You're right. RC has been the toughest section on the past few tests.

bjrubble, outsmarting the test IS the key. Plus, if getting into a "better" school is that important to someone, they'll figure out how to pay for it one way or another. I teach at Kaplan and Kaplan offers a number of financial aid packages, deals, loans, etc.
posted by k8t at 1:24 PM on July 19, 2005


Wow. I've been reading MeFi almost daily for a couple of years now, and I am quite surprised to hear that hoary old McDonald's coffee yarn coming up here. At first I was frightened that I'd stumbled into an AOL chatroom by mistake. But no, there was hardly any yelling in ALL CAPS, ....and nobody even mentioned anything about GODLES FAGOTTS. Yikes! This was indeed MetaFilter.)

As you would know after maybe 5-10 minutes of research on the actual case, the facts of that coffee case are less than outrageous: Elderly woman hospitalized with serious 2nd degree burns (skin grafts, I believe); McDonalds serves coffee several degrees hotter than other restaurants so that they have to make fresh coffee less often; McDonalds is aware of many other burn complaints from its hotter coffee but makes business decision not to lower the temp; jury awards woman >$200K for her medical bills, and then votes to punish McDonalds with a punitive sum: The variously huge and crazy-seeming sums we've all heard about, an unusual decision that the jury claims is warranted here because of McDonald's indifference to other people who were burned, and also because, well, how else would you punish one of the world's richest corporations but by a huge, crazy sum?

But nevertheless, this punitive sum IS OVERTURNED BY THE JUDGE. But you can bet THAT never made the headlines. Rush Limbaugh sure didn't mention it...and nor does every other meathead on the street going on and on about this travesty of justice, etc etc decade after decade. Just mention the McDonald's Hot Coffee story at any bar or bus stop across America and you're sure to whip up a frenzy of angry agreement about lazy people getting something for nothing and how much that hurts good, hard-working decent americans, and etc etc... (Maybe you can even get someone to buy you a beer with all the ensuing camaraderie!)

So in the end the woman gets less than $200K for her medical bills, but even this doesn't matter much because she is old and dies long before she can be mocked in the public press for being so stupid and greedy as to order some coffee from the drive thru and then need all the skin grafts.

And so is born one of the most misleadingly effective tools of the corporate right. What a brilliant coup to make Joe Worker not only ACTUALLY FEEL SORRY FOR MCDONALD'S
CORP but to himself help usher in the pro-corporate laws that will ultimately be his own defeat.

Ugh, I'm sorry for the soapbox here but this is such a huge petpeeve of mine.
posted by applemeat at 1:45 PM on July 19, 2005

Perhaps the generation of lawyers produced by this upcoming test will finally be successful at bringing an antitrust case against the "non-profit" testing monopoly of ETS
posted by FuturisticDragon at 1:52 PM on July 19, 2005

Agreed, applemeat -- this is a pet peeve of mine too. Many, if not most, of the "outrageous" lawsuits and verdicts that people grouse about are really not that unreasonable once you dig into the details.
posted by brain_drain at 2:14 PM on July 19, 2005

the problem is that this guy just posts solutions without posting the actual game. What the fuck? I wouldn't pay this douche to tutor me.
posted by papakwanz at 2:33 PM on July 19, 2005

On postview a bunch of people beat me to my point, and I am dumb.

Someone mentioned copyright issues about posting stuff online. That is correct. From what I understand, LSAC, the body that administers the LSAT, does not allow online reproduction of their tests.

FuturisticDragon: don't know why ETS is singled out by you. They don't administer the LSAT or any of the numerous medical exams (MCAT, DAT, OAT, PCAT) which are taken by a shitload of people.

For an interesting test try the Miller Analogies Test
posted by papakwanz at 2:45 PM on July 19, 2005

bjrubble, the rhetoric is that the test is supposed to be a measure of your reasoning ability. But you know perfectly well that this is not the case. Much like every other standardized test the test makers are much less interested in providing an accurate gauge of ability than they are in making money.
Notice how the SAT did not get a substantial overhaul until after the UC system threatened to stop accepting their scores?

A truly accurate gauge would likely not even involve multiple choice problems. It would be something like an essay exam centered around just a handful of questions/passages.
posted by oddman at 6:01 AM on July 20, 2005

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