Past LSAT Explained/February 2002 LSAT
The February 2002 LSAT
Indications are that most test forms of the February 2002 LSAT included an experimental (unscored) third section. Be aware, however, that LSAC often administers a few selected forms with identical scored sections, but with their experimental sections in a different location. Ratings of this administration placed its difficulty in line with that of recent exams.
Games (Analytical Reasoning)
The first game was of a type that has been a staple of the LSAT's makers for years. This so-called "birthday" game involved deciding in what order bands would perform.
The second game featured another, and more difficult, staple of the test-makers: a distribution game. In this one, six campers were buying at least one of three pieces of equipment. Those who noted that the clues primarily had implications for the number of items each camper purchased were able to recognize it as a distribution game, and make a host of deductions that gave virtually complete information about four of the six campers. Those who missed the deductions found this game particularly time-consuming and frustrating.
In the third game, deductions were once again crucial to working the questions well, along with a useful and flexible diagram. Six teachers each taught one of three languages, at one of two schools. Having an efficient system for representing which teachers taught the same languages and which taught at the same school was crucial, as test-takers were often required to sort through multiple possible scenarios to arrive at their answers.
Most students of the exam recognized the final game as one of the more difficult two, although superficially it appeared similar to the first one. Here there were five positions, each one of which held one of three types of hats. Familiarity with conditional clues and their deductions was crucial here, as test-takers were asked to work several quite involved examples to arrive at their answers.
Arguments (Logical Reasoning)
Any student familiar with the LSATs administered in the past two years should not have been surprised by the arguments sections on this February's exam, which continued the trend of having a different mix of questions than was common before the 2000 testing year. The writers of the exam continue to use slight variations on the types of questions that have historically been the staple of the LSAT.
Passage topics included the role of African American women in building the Baptist church, environmental law and the regulation of industry in the Netherlands, the use of superconductors in medical imaging technology, and a discussion of the way oral works of art are misunderstood and marginalized by contemporary scholars. In all, the subject matter, questions, and structures of all these passages fit quite closely with past Reading Comprehension sections, with an ever increasing emphasis on questions that require test-takers to draw strongly supported conclusions from the passage material. The increased emphasis on this section of reasoning skills over the simple ability to identify fair paraphrases of passage material makes exposure to these types of questions in particular all the more important for those who intend to take the LSAT in the near future.