December 2013 LSAT Info Post

**UPDATE** (January 2nd, 2014) : December 2013 LSAT scores were released

The curve was one of the most generous in a while, meaning that the questions were fairly difficult. Here’s a look at the curve:

  • -14 for a 170
  • -29 for a 160
  • -46 for a 150

Scores should be still rolling out now, as we speak. Feel free to use the comments of this post to vent and discuss how the test went. I’ll be around tonight to answer questions. Just please, don’t talk in detail about the content of individual LSAT questions (we get in trouble for that).

I hope that you guys had some good news today!

***UPDATE*** 7:40 PM

Here is  a photo of the conversion table for the December 2013 LSAT:

December 2013 LSAT Curve

The December 2013 LSAT is coming for you. We’ll update this post to discuss all things December 2013 LSAT as they unfold: which section was likely the experimental, which sections, if any, were abnormally difficult, etc.

The email score release date is set at January 6th as of now, however, they usually beat the scheduled date by a few days. I would expect scores around the 3rd of January.

Like last time, you’ll be able to vent here if your score was sub par and, as always, Josh and I are here to provide advice. Just say whatever you need to say in the comments. It can be anonymous.

I hope LSAT prep didn’t ruin your peace of mind too much over Thanksgiving. You are going to feel nervous in the coming days. That’s completely normal. If you are completely calm and collected, you might be one of those very low anxiety types, commonly called psychopaths. That’s okay too. You’ll probably have a long and successful career in the law.

For everyone, here is some past advice that should help you navigate the next week:

Last Minute Tips

How To Handle The Last Week Before The LSAT

Day Before The LSAT

The Day Of The LSAT

Read that stuff.

Now, as the test approaches, it’s important now to have faith in your abilities. The test you take on Saturday, December 7th is going to be more or less the same as all the practice tests that you’ve taken up until now. Just trust your skills and you’ll be fine.

After the test, try to get on schedule with our December Admissions Timeline.

Best of luck!

UPDATE: Test Difficulty

The test doesn’t appear to have had any single thing that people found extremely difficult (i.e. no game that is going to become notorious, like the mauve dinosaurs). Difficulty was fairly well balanced among the sections.

It looks like the scored LG section was generally considered harder than average. A lot of people were dismayed because there was an experimental games section that was significantly easier than the scored one.

RC doesn’t seem to have been too crazy. The passages were interesting which often helps.

LR seems to have been a mixed bag. A lot of people describe one section being slightly harder, but nothing too terrible.

UPDATE: Which section was experimental on the December 2013 LSAT?

(Disclaimer: I’m cobbling this info together from other takers, so I can’t truly verify it. If you know anything here isn’t correct, please say so in the comments)

From what I can glean, if you had two RC sections, the one with a passage about paternalism was the experimental. The one with mirrors and chairs was real.

The real LG section had games about discussed books, museum entrances, and online gaming. Trees, salaries and magazine features was experimental.

If you had three LR sections, then I have no idea which was experimental.

UPDATE: Weather Cancellations

As some of you know, testing was cancelled due to weather conditions at a good number of places. In response, Harvard has decided to accept February LSATs for admission this coming fall. The following is an excerpt from an email:

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 3.35.40 PM

I expect most schools will follow in Harvard’s footsteps (note that most schools do already except February LSAT scores whether or not it’s their policy to do so, given that so few people are applying to law school).

If you are curious about a school’s individual policy, contact them. I have made a list in the past of schools’ policies on the February LSAT, but my guess is that there has been enough flux lately that that list isn’t very helpful. Basically though, everyone is accepting Feb LSATs.

Good luck to those taking the postponed test tomorrow or in the coming days. That’s a hard thing to have to go through. Stay positive! Just remember, the test will not be any more difficult just because it’s at a weird time.

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University of Chicago, J.D., 2012 Ready to Kickstart your LSAT Prep? Join the LSAT Mastermind Study Group

41 Comments

  1. Ok, so my opportunity to make up the cancelled December exam was on Saturday. I know that I’m cutting it close and I’m crazy for the schedule, but extenuating circumstances put me in the position of taking the Dec exam in the first place (I was originally set to take the October exam). Do you have any insight into when those scores would be released (will they try to expedite the process due to the proximity to February’s exam)? Would you expect the score curve to be similar to the original?

    • I would expect it to be a different test with a different curve, but don’t concern yourself too much with that. A big curve like that just means that the questions were more difficult. LSAC does a good job of making a given score just as difficult to receive on each test.

      As far as the score release, I would expect them to give you some information on that. If they don’t, definitely badger them. They have to be accountable. I would expect a quick turnaround on receiving scores, hopefully less than 3 weeks even.

      • I got my score within the week! It was crazy fast. The response to my email inquiry (I sent it to the contact for our rescheduled exam info hoping to get a response quickly) was to check my LSAC.org account if I hadn’t received an email with my score (that response came 1 day after you told me to badger them).

        Impressive and annoying that it takes so long on regular days. Also, non disclosed test are so frustrating! Thanks for the suggestion to bug them it made me feel better to email.

  2. I reviewed the study plan and was just curious if I can only devote 45 minutes to study, what am I really studying? Do I complete one section at a time? Do I use that time on reviewing prep books on strategies? Or only take to work on questions and find out why I got them wrong?

  3. I got the same score as my Oct. score, 165… Kinda disappointed since if it was going to be this way, I could’ve started applying earlier or something. Just out of curiosity: with a solid/above-average GPA, would early binding app give me some kind of a boost (I’m thinking about Georgetown) ?

    • Em,

      Although it varies how much, typically ED does give you something of a boost. However, realize that it basically eliminating the chance that you will get scholarship aid.

      Getting the same score will happen. Was a 165 significantly below your practice average on recent preptests?

      • my preptests ranged from 169 to low 170’s; I’m thinking maybe I was studying with material that was still a bit fresh in my mind, though I gave some time before starting to study again after retake. (so perhaps those numbers aren’t that representative?) ughhh I really don’t know.

  4. Got a 129. Took Blueprint test prep, but had a tough time; lost 2 jobs, car got repo’d and had no money, people suing me, collecting from me, I have kids to feed, what more could go wrong? I skipped October and took it in December. I was stressed throughout entire prep, barely prepped but took the test anyway. I thought the test was easy, but maybe it wasn’t so. It seems I cannot study well in a group setting or with video. I need to study alone. English is not my first language. I think I have a problem with taking tests, but have not had a history of getting testing accommodations where such accommodation would be granted. Suggestions? Do you have a link to an online timer?

    • Yes, if you got a 129 it’s time to go back to the drawing board completely.

      That’s sounds like some serious realness. I would advise not to even think about attempting the LSAT until you’ve got yourself on some more solid ground. It’s just not possible to study well when you’ve got a million other problems.

      And yes, If the class didn’t work out, then I would do a program of intense self-study. That’s good because you learn a lot about yourself in the process. If you can’t keep up with self-study, trust me, law school is not for you.

      This is the schedule we recommend for LSAT prep: https://lawschooli.com/lsat-study-schedule/

      On accommodations, LSAC is very stingy with that. Certainly they won’t give you any kind of break just because it is a second language. Unless you have a medically well-documented disability it would be next to impossible to get any kind of accommodation.

      Oh, and as to your timer question, here is our recommendations as far as LSAT timers: https://lawschooli.com/best-lsat-timer/

      • I plan to retake the test when I score around 160 on practice exams. Is that a good idea? I am aiming for June 2014. Definitely need to cut back on some “responsibilities” and just focus on what needs to be done. How do I prepare one section at a time? How do I score each section at a time or is there no score for each section? I figure that if I increase my score substantially on the next exam, LSAC would be interested in a log of the amount of time I am studying, right? Thanks for your support.

        • I don’t quite know what you mean by a log of your time. What you would do is write an addendum to your law school applications explaining the low score.

          160 is a good score to shoot for, but it’s going to take some serious work and commitment. Just follow that schedule. It discusses what to do when.

  5. I took the December 2013 and scored a very low 136. It was my first time taking it. I am going to register for the exam again but I do know if registering for the February 2014 exam would help me. I have already submitted my applications for the Fall of 2014. I had a difficult time studying because I have two jobs and volunteer part time for a non-profit. I’ve done the best that I could although I know I could do better only if time allowed. I do not know if studying for one month will help me improve my LSAT or if postponing law school for one year will help me because I will be in the same situation that I am currently in. I have been working for 3.5 years since undergrad and have made great strides.

    • Feb is WAY too soon to get that score up so forget about that. Here’s the thing about the LSAT: It requires time.

      Read this post I wrote yesterday, which should help you get in the right frame of mind: https://lawschooli.com/new-years-lsat-resolution/

      Just a general life advice note: if things are going in your current line of work, it might be best to stick with that. Things are still tough in law.

      If you do decide to pursue the LSAT, you have to make time for a rigorous study schedule and stick with it. There’s just no other way to do it. It can be done while working a full time job, but often you have to shuffle any other responsibilities to the back for a few months.

  6. I took the October test and scored a disappointing 157. I hadn’t slept well the night before (literally 0 hours!) because of nerves…Before the Oct. administration, I had been PT’ing in the 163-165 range. I consulted your “should I retake page?” and decided on writing the Dec. test because I was more than 3+ points away from my PT average. The night before this time around was almost nearly as restless, but I somehow managed to get 3 hours of sleep or so. I woke up feeling shaky,chugged a few cups of coffee and headed out to take what I hoped would be my last LSAT ever. Felt awful during the first LR (LR was killer in general on this test, in my opinion) but did OK on everything else. Left the test pretty unsure of myself…I opened LSAC’s e-mail today feeling queasy but managed a 166! Pretty shocked and am beyond glad I retook. Thanks, guys!

  7. I scored a few points below my goal/the median for my first choice schools. If I still want to apply and enroll for fall 2014 is the February too late to have a good chance?

    Thanks!

    • Well, here’s the thing. You can try it, but be prepared to wait a year if you don’t get in or don’t get a scholarship commensurate with your numbers. This year I think there will still be spots open in Feb, yes, but it will be pretty competitive, esp. if you are talking about a reach school.

      I always prefer the option of retaking in June and waiting a year.

  8. I Scored a 165 with a -9 on 5th section Reading Comp. Missed 4 on games-two of which were on easy first game. I was PTing in the 166-170 range. In your experience, can you see significant improvement in one month (looking to take Feb test) for someone who has already studied extensively. Thanks for all your help!

    • Good score Ben. You can certainly sign up for the Feb LSAT and give it a try, but in my experience the odds are against you to see any kind of significant improvement from your practice average in that brief space. Is that a pretty typical score for you? If you usually do 2-3 points better than a 165 on PTs, then a retake in Feb would be fine. There, you would just be trying to actually hit your PT average this time around. Read our post on retaking: https://lawschooli.com/should-i-retake-the-lsat/

      • Thanks for the reply Evan. I usually do 3-4 points better, and anxiety/endurance were both major issues for me heading into the test (I was recovering from lingering post concussion effects). Since I canceled the first time around, I only have one more chance at it, but I have plenty of time to study the next month so I’m torn on whether I should go all out for the February exam or pace myself for June. Thanks again!

  9. I m not very happy about this one – close to where I wanted to be – a couple of points below the score range though – a 163 with a – 9 on the games :/

    • EEK I know. Feeling bad for you guys that that happened but don’t let it throw you off your game. It’ll still be a regular LSAT test!

      Good luck!

  10. I took it on Sunday in China. Someone told me that they make the tests more difficult in China/Asia – at least the games section. I wonder if there is any truth to that.
    My experimental section was LG. I’ve heard that it’s more likely that the experimental section is in the first three? I don’t think any section stood out as being particularly hard, and in the second LG section I was able to prepredicted the question about “if we remove this rule and add another rule which would give us the same result” before i saw the question…but now I can’t remember what each individual section was about really.

    • Hi Shirin, Evan here.

      I assure you that’s just a rumor. LSAC is nothing if not fair. It’s their stated aim to make the test equally difficult each and every time, and they do a pretty great job. Though the tests have gotten harder very gradually over time, each administered in a given year should be very comparable, so getting a 172 on the test you took should be exactly as difficult as getting a 172 on the tests over here.

      Also, that second piece of information used to be true, but now it’s outdated. They are just as likely to put the experimental anywhere now.

      Basically, don’t worry about it all now. What you score is what you score. Is your test disclosed? If so you’ll be able to sort out what you did well on later when they give you the test back. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

  11. Hi Evan & Josh,

    So I retook my LSAT this past Saturday… I’m not entirely sure if I really did well enough to see a huge increase in points. Would law schools look unfavorable upon, say like 1 or 2 pt increase? What if I end up getting the same score I got as last time? Would that look really bad? I’ve been kinda stressing over this.

  12. I am currently on week 4 of the study schedule. I have been able to get mistakes down to 5 or 6 per LR section, a -1 to -5 range per RC section, and 0-1 per LG section(by doing proper setups, deductions, scenarios rather than trial and error). The study schedule states I should be doing timed questions. Based on the amount of errors I am making, should I continue doing untimed work this week before moving onto timed questions and sections or should I go straight to timed questions? I want to stay on schedule and get the full benefits of it but at the same time I don’t want to rush things if doing so will be harmful to my progress.

    For the timed questions in general, is the timing merely to see how fast I am doing the problems with maximum accuracy or should I start trying to do the problems as fast as possible within the time limit

  13. Out of curiosity, How can you tell which sections are experimental? Especially wondering about LG as that is what I had!

  14. SO here is my situation. I took the test in october and got a 158. I’m taking it again because I made a stupid LG mistake and messed up an entire game. My average practice test was a 164 and in each case I did best on LG, then LR, and I always missed about 5-8 on RC. Now as I’m studying again my practice score has been extremely consistent (164 for the past 5 or 6 tests) but the score on the individual sections are a little wild. For example on the most recent practice test I took my RC score was 25/26, LRs 19/26, and LG 17/23. All of a sudden my RC got good, my LR got worse, and my LG went from 2 questions wrong to an average of 5. Am I doing something wrong? I ran out of more recent practice tests so I’ve been using the ones from the 1999-2001 so could that be the reason??

    • Sorry I didn’t get a chance to reply. I’ve been on vacation following Thanksgiving. Did you take the test today? To you and others: don’t worry about lack of consistency on different sections, worry only about your overall score for each practice test. They balance section difficulty differently on each test, so one might have a hard lg and an easy rc for example, whereas another test will have an easy lg… etc. etc.

      I wrote a post on consistency recently so check that out: https://lawschooli.com/help-lsat-practice-scores-map/

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