Category Archives: LSAT Tutoring

Introducing LSAT Logical Reasoning – The Terrain @LSATPreparation

Introducing LSAT Logical Reasoning – The Terrain

A study of arguments should be part of any LSAT preparation course.

Introduction – What Skills Does The LSAT Test?

The LSAT is a test of reading and reasoning in context. Your reading and reasoning skills will tested in the broad  contexts of:

LSAT Logical Reasoning

LSAT Logic Games

LSAT Reading Comprehension
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LSAT Advanced Prep Weekend Toronto – May 13, 14/17

The LSAT Advanced Prep Weekend

Who: John Richardson

Where: University of Toronto – St. Michael’s College – Room TBA

When: May 13, 14 – 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Price: $495 + HST = $559.35

Registration: See below

Why: Lately I have been receiving a number of calls where people say something like …

I have already taken the LSAT. I have taken this LSAT course or that course. I have used this LSAT tutor or that LSAT tutor, I have used this LSAT book or that book. I am overwhelmed by all the steps and procedures. I need to take the LSAT again, etc, etc, etc.

It’s clear that these people do NOT need a “beginners” LSAT course. What they do need is to learn:

“How to get a larger number of right answers by applying a fewer number of skills.”

Furthermore, the reasons that people have trouble with the LSAT are more related to their reading than to their reasoning. The single most important skill tested on the LSAT is to accurately read and understand the INFORMATION you are expected to then REASON with.

That said, the focus of this weekend will be overwhelmingly on LSAT Logic Games and LSAT Logical Reasoning

But, I would like you to start right now. Here is a post that describes your objective in LSAT preparation and what you must achieve. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication in both LSAT and in life.

During the weekend, you will learn how to:

– why the LSAT is more of reading test than a reasoning test. In fact, the LSAT really should be called the “READ Test

– identify a smaller number of LSAT skills/techniques that are ALWAYS relevant

– Simplicity is virtue. How to make the complex simple

– learn how to better understand what the LSAT question is telling you and HOW to work with that information (it is not possible to work with all the information that the LSAT throws your way)

– the Logic Games Toolbox (doing more with less)

– adjust the order in which you do the questions

– understand the differences between “diagramming” and “positioning” and how to get started answering questions more quickly

– conditional statements, parallel reasoning and how to better use “conditional statements” (a former president of Law Services call “conditional reasoning” the “basic LSAT reasoning task”) – but watch our for the most common of LSAT mistakes in conditional reasoning

(See my interview with Professor Deborah Bennet: Author of: “Logic Made Easy”)

– how to get your “best guess on record more quickly” (sometimes  you are better off getting a question wrong quickly than getting it right slowly). “Different strokes for different folks.” How your personality type will affect the way that you answer LSAT questions.

– while we are on the topic of personality, there is some evidence that LSAT Prep affects your brain

– why you should NOT categorize LSAT Logical Reasoning questions and what you should ask about all Logical Reasoning questions

– identifying and avoiding the most common LSAT Logical Reasoning flaws

– how to strip LSAT arguments down to their bare essentials (so, what’s an LSAT argument anyway?)

– and more (plus you will actually have a lot of fun) …

My goal is to help you do more with a fewer number of skills that ALWAYS matter.

Pre-Course Prep:

I once wrote a post on “Pre-LSAT Prep” …

But, before the weekend …

1. I urge all attendees to purchase and read “The New Official LSAT SuperPrep” from LSAT. There is a new edition available, but if you can’t get the new edition, the Old “Official LSAT SuperPrep” is fine.

2. I want you to read my list of “Best LSAT Blog Posts“. I have worked hard on them over the years.

Registration – Three ways:

1. Phone VISA or Mastercard: 416 410 7737

2. Eventbrite

3. Email us at: LSATPreparation at gmail dot com

Free #LSAT Preview Toronto – March 8 – 9:00 a.m. – Books included!


Who: John Richardson – Mastering The LSAT

When: Saturday March 8/14 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Where: University of Toronto – St. Michael’s College – Carr Hall – 100 St. Joseph St. – Room 103

Pre-registration is not necessary. Feel free to just appear.

Free books included: Logic Games Workbook and one free actual LSAT

Get started for the June 9, 2014 LSAT

Your LSAT teacher will “make or break” your LSAT course experience. Attend a sample LSAT class. Begin your LSAT preparation in an effective and intelligent way. Leave with some introductory LSAT material.


Live #LSAT prep vs. online #LSATprep classes

I came across the article referenced in the above tweet. It’s an interesting read and includes:

But, I just can’t shake the feeling that my students would have been much better served in a more traditional face-to-face setting. So, sadly, I know that it is now time for me to put down my grading mouse and walk away from the keyboard.

To be fair, I’m confident that all students did learn something in the classes I have taught, but that doesn’t mean I should call the courses a success.

Let’s walk through many of the reasons for why I feel that education, including MOOCs (massive open online courses) and online distance learning, is travelling down a dangerously slippery slope.

The internet has made quality education available to anybody, anywhere, at any time. World class universities are making their courses available online. You may not get a degree for taking the course, but the knowledge is available. I would argue that the online world may be the best place to provide information. After all, the information can be read, read again and absorbed at your own pace. Too tired? That’s fine. Come back to it when you are feeling better. Don’t like the teacher? Fine, find another one.

More and more people are taking online LSAT courses. Some are opting to take online courses instead of live courses. This is a trend that is certain to continue.

LSAT prep is NOT the about providing information. It’s  about developing “reading and reasoning” skills that must be applied in a “high pressure” environment. Those who achieve the highest LSAT scores are those who are best able to apply the basic “reading and reasoning” skills consistently, effectively and quickly. In other words, LSAT prep is more like preparing for an athletic event. Is an online class or a live class the better environment to achieve this?

I would be very interested in your thoughts.

LSAT Logical Reasoning Flaws: The Stuart Trilogy

I came across a nice series of posts on LSAT Logical Reasoning written by Stuart Kovinsky – a very experienced LSAT teacher. Thought I would share them with you in one post.

You should read these posts to gauge your progress in your LSAT prep. If you don’t understand them you are probably NOT ready to take the LSAT. If you do understand these posts then you may be ready to take the LSAT.

Therefore, an understanding of these posts is a (choose choice A or B) condition for being ready to take the LSAT.

A: Necessary

B: Sufficient

The correct answer is A – Necessary.


Effective LSAT tutoring

Most  people associate tutoring with two ideas.

First, that by using a tutor they will have a one-on-one (or private) session. This may or may not be true. Some tutoring sessions operate  with small groups. We  have made  some effort to organize “small group” tutoring sessions that  focus on specific LSAT question types. Many LSAT test takers actually benefit from  having another student in the discussion. In general, “LSAT tutoring” will be in an environment with fewer students that you will find in “Live LSAT Preparation Courses”.

Second, that they will be able to use a tutor to focus on the LSAT question types that are of most concern to them. This may be true.  But, is this of value? In my experiences many LSAT tutoring sessions unfold by a student showing the tutor a number of “problem questions”. The tutor will then explain the questions and why the answer is what LSAT says it is.  This may be of  limited  value (although you will feel better). There  is a difference between understanding an explanation to  a question and being able to answer the question yourself. You need to learn how to answer the question yourself.  All  LSAT question types need  to be understood in terms of the structure of the test  and how the question furthers the “R.E.A.D. Objective”. There is a difference  between explaining the answer  to an LSAT question and teaching the “approach” that will teach you to  answer  the question on your own. Continue reading