SimuGator Blog

In Law School Applications Posted

Gradvocates Law School Personal Statement Editing

Applying to law school? SimuGator’s editing and counseling division, Gradvocates, can help.

For a borderline applicant, a well-written personal statement can tip the scales in favor of admission into law school. For stronger applicants, a perfect personal statement could result in a scholarship, saving thousands in tuition.

The Gradvocates editing process is unique because it involves a tiered reviewing system. The applicant is assigned a dedicated editor who will critique the applicant’s document by fixing errors and providing objective analysis on how to best improve the substance of the document. These edits and suggestions are then reviewed by two other senior editors who ensure that the document has reached its full potential.

Gradvocates also offers resume editing, diversity statement editing, and scholarship essay editing.

For more information, visit: Gradvocates Law School Personal Statement Editing.

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In Free LSAT Lessons, LSAT Prep Posted

June 2007 LSAT Logic Game 3 (Free LSAT Lesson)

This video demonstrates important techniques for solving LSAT logic games questions, as shown through June 2007 LSAT Game 3.

These techniques include:

  • Creating an effective diagram
  • Making critical deductions
  • The importance of focusing on where variables can’t go
  • How using your previous work can save you lots of time
  • How to work smarter, not harder, to get the correct answer

We will continue to post free video lessons each week so be sure to revisit our blog. If you would like to be notified of new blog posts, please Subscribe to our blog.

You can also receive notifications of new lessons by liking the SimuGator Facebook Page.

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In LSAT Prep Posted

Tip: Use the SimuGator LSAT Test Center Rater to Pick the Best LSAT Testing Site

SimuGator has built the most comprehensive LSAT test center rating and reviewing system, which will help you decide which testing site you should choose when registering for the LSAT.

We have asked participants to evaluate such factors as desk space, room temperature, number of test takers in the room, noise level, lighting, testing delays, and competency of proctors, among others. We have also allowed participants to leave general comments and descriptions about their testing site.

To read free reviews, visit: LSAT Test Center Rater

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In LSAT Prep Posted

The LSAT and Why Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect: the Origins of the SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD

The story is all too familiar. The diligent student devotes countless hours to:

  • Taking an LSAT course
  • Studying LSAT books
  • Forming an LSAT study group
  • Taking countless LSAT PrepTests

The student gets high scores on the LSAT PrepTests. The student feels good. The student feels confident. Yet, on test day, the student fails to come close to his or her target score. The student feels defeated because he or she must devote even more time to retaking the LSAT.

Wasted time and debilitating frustration are not the only concerns. With courses costing hundreds to thousands of dollars, not to mention the $160 that it costs to merely sit for the LSAT, money is at stake too.

Solving the LSAT Test-Day Score-Drop Paradox

The aforementioned description of the frustrated LSAT taker is exactly what led to the creation of the SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD.  As co-founder Mike Wilkos, Esq. recalls:

I took my first LSAT in the Philadelphia Convention Center. Labeling it a distracting environment would be an understatement—it was an open room of about 200 students.  On top of that, the Convention Center staff was preparing for a concert that would take place that night, and there was constant noise in adjacent rooms that shattered my concentration.

When Mike received his LSAT results, he was not pleased.  “I was devastated. I took an LSAT course and devoted countless hours to full-length LSAT PrepTests. My test-day problems undermined all of my hard work.”

Mike started to reflect on his previous LSAT preparation. He realized that he had been too lackadaisical with his LSAT PrepTests. Mike notes:

Everyone says that LSAT PrepTests are the best way to predict how you will score on test day. They say that practice makes perfect. But I realized that this is only true if the PrepTests are taken under actual testing conditions. I realized that to fully prepare for my next LSAT, I needed to simulate three important test-day factors:

  1. A proctor who strictly times you by telling you when to start and stop, who screams out the five-minute warning, who is always in your presence, and whose eyes burn right through you as you are taking the second most important test of your life (first being the bar exam).
  2. The feeling of the test being the “real deal”: being read the instructions before the test starts, having only thirty seconds between sections, being allowed only a strict ten-minute break between sections three and four, having to wait for the proctor to collect test materials and ID’s before and after the break, and taking the writing sample, which is more important than people realize. (See The LSAT Writing Sample Matters).
  3. The feeling of people being around you and making distracting test-day noises, including coughing, pencil erasing, chair squeaks, sneezing, and asking to use the restroom. Contrary to popular belief, ear plugs are not allowed on the LSAT and are considered a “test center violation.”

 

These three factors were the recipe for the SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD, which Mike helped create between his first and second LSAT administrations. The DVD is the only professionally-produced full-video simulation of the LSAT. To date, the DVD has helped thousands of students successfully prepare for the LSAT. Mike was one of them.

Mike reflects:

As my story shows, the LSAT Proctor DVD was truly a creation of necessity. I used it myself while studying for my retake. By pushing play once, I was immersed in a realistic test-day environment. To make a long story short, my score increased by ten points. Thereafter, I was accepted at my first-choice law school in my beloved home state, received a large merit-based scholarship because of my LSAT score and GPA, served on my school’s Law Review, passed both the New York and New Jersey bar exams, and secured a great judicial clerkship after graduation. None of this would have been possible if I did not score ten points higher on my LSAT, which was a direct result of using my own product, the LSAT Proctor DVD.

Click here to learn more about the SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD.

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In LSAT Prep Posted

Overcome LSAT Test Anxiety by Taking Practice LSATs Under Actual Conditions


(Photo Source: ccarlstead)

“One important key to success is self-confidence.
An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
-Arthur Ashe

It is a well-known fact that the best way to study for the LSAT is to practice using official LSAC prep tests. It is also well-known that many students experience a decline in their actual LSAT score. For these students, the drop in their score can often be attributed to test day anxiety that they did not account for when they were taking their prep tests.

The LSAT consists of five thirty-five minute multiple choice sections and one writing section. On test day, the transition between sections will occur almost immediately, and you will only receive a ten minute break between sections three and four. This quick progression of the LSAT catches students off guard due to the frequent breaks they take during their preparation. This does not help to develop the mental stamina required to focus on the test for extended periods of time.

In addition to the rapid progression of the test, not being mentally prepared for the test day environment itself can cause students to lose valuable points. Test day can be an extremely intimidating and distracting experience. Test day anxiety can be caused by everything from realizing that “this is the real deal” to signing the official certifying statement (really, who uses cursive anymore?) to having in some cases hundreds of strangers breaking your concentration with coughs, sniffs, periodic sneezing, and frantic erasing. Students have also reported that having the LSAT proctor yell “five minutes remaining” can be a cause of extreme panic. These test day conditions stand in stark contrast to the comfort of home or the isolation of the university’s library that many students take practice tests in.

So while the average student takes their LSAT prep tests in a quiet room while not strictly timing themselves, you can gain an advantage and protect your LSAT score from the infamous “test day slump” by taking prep tests under actual test day conditions. In 2007, we at SimuGator recognized just how important preparing under actual conditions was and that is why we produced SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD, a complete LSAT simulation that has changed the way that thousands of students prepare for the LSAT.

The LSAT Proctor DVD is shot from the perspective of a test taker and is a complete replication of the LSAT environment featuring your own personal proctor that tells you when to start, when five minutes remain, and when to stop, and also has built-in distractions that you can turn on or off that reproduce the most common distractions you will face on test day.

Whether you use our product or not, please remember the importance of preparing for the LSAT under actual test day conditions so that you will not lose points due to test day anxiety.

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In Law School Applications Posted

How to Get Off a Law School Waitlist

Waitlisted
(Photo Source: alan(ator))

After submitting your law school application to various institutions, you may find yourself being waitlisted. Although it can be a disappointing event, it is actually a great accomplishment because it means that you have met their stringent academic requirements. A law school’s waiting list is certainly not a form of rejection. These types of situations arise when the school’s admission quota has been met due to other applicants being accepted before you. A law school has a predetermined amount of students that can enroll into their courses. Once the quota is met, they begin to waitlist all other qualified students.

In order to stand apart from the hundreds of other students that are on the same waiting list, it is very important to distinguish yourself. You need to show your first choice law school that you are committed to obtaining an education from their institution and that you are not like all of the other individuals that may be using the school as a fall back. Someone who is waitlisted must make it their main priority to show their seriousness and their dedication so that they rise above the sea of applicants that a law school is handling on a daily basis.

One of the most important things that you need to do is to look into the waitlist policy of the law school. You should find out if there is a follow up procedure in place that allows you to check up on the status of your application. Depending on the law school, you may be able to send an email, place a phone call or send a letter. Some schools will even provide you with your specific rank on the waiting list, which lets you know how likely you are to get a formal acceptance. Knowing what the school finds suitable in terms of correspondence will prevent you from unnecessarily disturbing the admissions staff.

Sending in a letter of continued interest is a great way to remind the law school that you are ready to begin your law education with them. The letter should include any new achievements or awards that you may have, supplementary recommendation letters, your current grades and extracurricular activities. You need to show the school that you are not sitting back and taking it easy. Law schools are interested in well-rounded individuals that are hard-working and who are not afraid to take on more than one task. The general nature of a law school education requires you to do so, which makes these types of qualities essential. If you need help with your letter of continued interest, check out Gradvocates Letter of Continued Interest editing.

Not knowing where you will be attending law school can be very nerve-racking. Even though you may have your heart set on a specific school, you should also keep track of enrollment deadlines at institutions that have accepted you without a conditional waitlist. Knowing exactly how long you have before you need to give up all hope on your first choice, can help you avoid missing the enrollment period at your back up school. As a result, you will not have to wait an additional year to begin law school. In the worst case scenario, you could easily transfer into your favorite school at a later point in time.

Being persistent is crucial to getting yourself off of the waitlist. Just imagine all of the other students who are not taking the time to really go after what they want. This provides you with a prime opportunity to make yourself shine for the admission staff. It is not uncommon for a law school to move an applicant up on the waitlist after receiving continued interest from the individual. Often times, law schools can be greatly impressed by the additional efforts that an applicant is making in order to attend their institution. The ultimate reward is your formal acceptance.

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In Law School Applications Posted

Extracurricular Activities for Law School Admission

Volunteering
(Photo Source: San Jose Library)

As a current undergraduate and future law school applicant, you should plan to have plenty of extracurricular activities on your law school application. These activities will serve the dual functions of distinguishing you from thousands of other law school applicants while showing that you are a dedicated and committed student.

Any type of extracurricular activity that displays leadership skills is an excellent choice. There are plenty of extracurricular activities in college that can help you show off your skills and talents. For example, you can get on a club’s executive board, be the captain of a sports team, or help organize charity work. It is really not important what kind of activity you are involved in—what matters is that you can demonstrate your ability to successfully balance school work with other activities. Having a job while in college is another way to show your ability to multitask, and it is also highly beneficial since law schools look favorably upon work experience.

Volunteering is another great soft factor that you should try to be involved in. Once you graduate from law school, many lawyers are expected to donate a certain amount of their time every year to pro bono work. By working with the less fortunate early on, you show your dedication to providing free services to those who need it the most. If you plan to work in the field of public interest law, it will be advantageous for you to volunteer your hours at a legal advocacy group where you will most likely perform small tasks to assist attorneys. Public interest employers usually want to hire law students who are highly dedicated. Having a long track record of volunteering will help demonstrate your commitment while looking fantastic on your law school application.

Being involved with your university newspaper is also a great idea. You will be able to demonstrate an above-average ability to write under pressure, which is exactly what you will be expected to do in law school and during your career as a lawyer. It will also be a great litmus test to determine if you want to participate on your school’s law review. Experience writing articles and conducting research are excellent skills to possess and will look great on your law application.

Another suggesting is to think about joining your university’s debate or mock trial team. Demonstrating your ability to make an argument or to prove a specific point is beneficial to your future law school education. It shows that you can properly organize your ideas in a structured manner and that you have the drive to do it in front of an audience. This is exactly what many trial lawyers have to do every single day, and this will also help you decide if you want to pursue litigation or transactional work once you graduate law school.

Hobbies are activities that can also be listed on your law school application. If you are an avid reader and belong to a book club or if you are a music enthusiast and play an instrument, you should certainly note these extracurricular activities. Listing these items will not only show that you are well-rounded but will also help distinguish you from the thousands of other law school applicants that you will be competing with.

Be honest about the amount of time dedicated to your extracurricular activities. You do not want to have an application that consists of false or misleading information. If you are lacking in activities, you should not make some up in order to pad your law school application. The admissions office can make a decision to verify your activities and if you have lied, you will run the risk of having your law school application denied. It is better to put emphasis on your good grades, educational achievements, and work experience than to fabricate activities that you have never taken part in.

Extracurricular activities, while often overlooked, are an important part of your law school application. You should make sure that you participate in as many activities as you can, without making your grades suffer. Law schools are without a doubt interested in your capacity to handle many things at once, and you should not hesitate to list all of your valuable time commitments.

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In Law School Posted

Auto Mute Your Laptop to Avoid Being “That Guy” in Law School Class

law school class
(Photo Source: ALSTech)

Every law school student can recall a time when they have been paying attention for about ten minutes in class and suddenly “that guy” comes into the room late. He quietly walks down the steps of the lecture hall and then cautiously sneaks by a few people to get to his seat, thinking he got away with being late. Two minutes later, a blaring Windows startup sound reverberates through the room and everyone, including you and the professor, turns to look at him disapprovingly.

While “that guy” probably won’t receive negative discretion for this one occurrence, he has interrupted class and may have even become a Socratic bullseye for the professor.

Fortunately, there is a solution that will allow you to permanently avoid being put in this situation. It’s called Auto Mute 2.0, a safe piece of software that installs in less than one minute and requires no configuration.

Auto Mute 2.0 will automatically mute your computer whenever you log off, suspend, or shutdown your computer. This means that when you turn your computer back on, you will no longer have to worry about whether you muted the volume the night before.

While Auto Mute 2.0 doesn’t work with Macs, this following tutorial does a good job of explaining how to disable the Mac startup sound: http://www.ehow.com/how_2287916_mute-startup-sound-mac.html.

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In LSAT Prep Posted

An LSAT Logic Lesson from Luke Wilson

Luke Wilson LSAT
(Video Source: ShareATT)

After months of studying for the LSAT, it is common for students to spot LSAT issues everywhere. In fact, seeing life through the lens of the LSAT is a great way to reinforce what you have learned and a helpful way to study on-the-go.

For example, consider the following problem that we wrote based on the current feud going on between AT&T and Verizon.


In AT&T’s new national television commercial, actor Luke Wilson tries to set the record straight on AT&T’s wireless network. He implies that AT&T has superior 3G Smartphone coverage than Verizon does because AT&T covers 97% of all Americans, which is more than 300 million people.

Luke Wilson’s argument is most vulnerable to criticism on the grounds that

  1. it focuses on the weaknesses of the Verizon instead of the strengths of AT&T
  2. it does not state what constitutes a Smartphone
  3. it fails to disclose what percentage of the 97% statistic is comprised of 3G coverage
  4. it does not mention whether Luke Wilson exclusively uses AT&T service
  5. it overlooks the possibility that there are other popular services besides Verizon and AT&T

Do you know the correct answer?

We encourage you to try this method of studying by trying to recognize faulty logic in real life and then phrasing the statement in the form of an LSAT question.

Good luck!

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In Press Releases Posted

LSAT Proctor is now SimuGator

LSAT Proctor is now SimuGator
LSAT Proctor, the company that invented the Virtual LSAT Proctor DVD and revolutionized the way students prepare for the LSAT, has rebranded itself as SimuGator. The new name gives SimuGator the flexibility to develop products, lessons, and simulation videos in new markets.

The Virtual LSAT Proctor DVD has been remastered and improved and is now called SimuGator: LSAT Prep Edition. This helpful LSAT prep tool can be purchased at SimuGator website (http://www.simugator.com).

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In LSAT Prep Posted

Retaking the LSAT: Diagnosis and Treatment of a Low LSAT Score


(Photo Source: nick farnhill)

“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”
-Japanese Proverb

If you’re reading this…
If you’re reading this, you were most likely disappointed with your recent LSAT score. You may be obsessing about how your score will affect your chances of admission at your dream schools or whether you will be able to attend law school at all.

Take a deep breath and relax. Many lawyers and current law students missed the mark during their first LSAT administration and had to retake. Maybe you didn’t perfect your strategies due to a lack of preparation, maybe you lacked mental stamina because you didn’t complete enough LSAT PrepTests, maybe your performance dropped due to distractions or nerves that you didn’t account for in your practice tests, or maybe you simply had an off day. Whatever the reason was, the tips below will help you diagnose and treat your LSAT woes.

Determine if you actually should retake the LSAT
Though you may not have achieved your desired score, it may in fact be sufficient for admission to the law school of your choice. We have listed three great resources for predicting your chances of admission at any given law school:

  1. LSAC LSAT/GPA Calculator: Click UGPA/LSAT Search. After entering your LSAT score and GPA, you will be given a percentage which represents your chance of admission at each law school. Keep in mind that this is merely a rough calculation that doesn’t take into account any other factors besides LSAT score and GPA. Having said that, it is still a highly useful tool. An index for interpreting your chances is provided below.

    80% – 100%: safeties: applicant will probably be admitted and should apply
    60% – 80%: applicant has a great chance of admission and should apply
    30% – 60%: reaches: applicant has a low chance of admission
    0% – 30%: applicant has an extremely low chance of admission

  2. Manually analyzing data: This website provides raw data for determining chances of admission. For example, Yale’s 25th LSAT percentile is 169 and their 75th percentile is 177. This means that only 25% of last year’s applicants were admitted with an LSAT score of less than 169, 50% of last year’s applicants had an LSAT score between 169 and 177, and 25% of last year’s applicants had an LSAT score higher than 177. This same analysis applies for GPA. Basically, it is ideal to have an LSAT score and GPA that are at least over that 25% threshold.
  3. Law School Numbers: This site allows applicants to sign up and submit the following information: GPA, LSAT, where applied, and results of application. You can browse this data for each school and compare it to your own data in order to determine your chances of admission on a more micro-level.

When predicting admission chances, you should consider these above resources together in a sort of “totality of the circumstances” analysis. So if you have a 40% chance of admission but are clearly above the 25% threshold for a particular school, and others have been admitted with your scores, you should go ahead and apply.

Also, consider the multiple LSAT score policy of the schools that you plan to apply to. While the trend is for law schools to consider the highest LSAT score, a handful of schools still average the LSAT scores. You can likely find this information through a quick Google search or by contacting each individual school.

Remember, these are just predictions and nothing is guaranteed. As such, you should apply to a variety of schools including “safeties” and “reaches.” If you have a narrow set of “safeties” that you wouldn’t really be happy going to school at, then you need to retake the LSAT. This means you should keep reading.

Put your low score in perspective
It is important to put your low LSAT score in perspective. The LSAT is not a test like the SAT or ACT that tests your overall intelligence. It is a test that was created in order to assist law schools in filtering applicants. That is the only purpose it serves. Getting a low score on the LSAT does not mean you will do poorly in law school, and it certainly doesn’t mean you will be a bad lawyer.

The LSAT, while it purports to test logic and reasoning skills required to be a lawyer as well as be a predictor of law school success, actually tests only one thing—how well you can prepare for the LSAT. This means that with the right study materials and the right level of dedication, you can improve your score significantly by the time the next LSAT administration rolls around.

If you are disappointed or reluctant to retake the LSAT because it means you would have to delay admission to law school by one year, don’t be. As a current law student who started law school immediately after finishing college, taking a year off is not a bad thing and I wish that I had! In addition to having extra time to write your personal statement and perfect your law school applications, you can put the extra year to good use. You could work and save money for law school, which will minimize the amount of student loans you need to take out. Or you could do something exciting like travel abroad.

You could even purchase law school material and get a head start reading cases and learning the material (note: I would suggest doing this only with federally driven courses such as Civil Procedure or Constitutional Law, since those courses will be similar no matter what law school you attend. Courses like Contracts or Torts will have the same principles which you can start learning, but cases will vary greatly depending on what casebook is used).

Get inspired
Here is a great video for alleviating self-doubt:

Register immediately
So you have figured out that you need to retake the LSAT, have put your low score in perspective, and hopefully have been inspired by the video that I shared with you. The next step is to register for the next available LSAT immediately.

LSAT test centers in some locations fill up extremely quickly and so it is crucial that you reserve your spot.

Remember to use the LSAT Test Center Rater to help you pick the best test center possible.

Did your LSAT prep course give you false confidence?
If you took an LSAT prep course, this could have actually worked to your disadvantage. Many test takers think taking a prep course is enough, in itself, to guarantee them their desired score. And at over $1,000, why shouldn’t it be?

Unfortunately, a prep course is usually not enough. An LSAT prep course can only lay the foundation of your skills and methods. It is critical to foster those skills and methods by taking countless LSAT PrepTests, seeing where your weaknesses are, and using additional books, materials, or tutors to bring your weaknesses up to par.

Many LSAT prep courses offer a guarantee where if you did not receive your desired LSAT score you can take the course again. Your lack of knowledge, however, most likely wasn’t the cause of your low score. It was most likely due to the lack of application and practice. If your course didn’t work the first time, don’t expect merely taking the course again to raise your score.

Diagnose what went wrong and pinpoint your weaknesses
Ideally, you should take another LSAT PrepTest under actual conditions to help diagnose what went wrong for you on test day. Analyze this diagnostic test along with your prior PrepTests to figure out what went wrong.

The goal here is to pinpoint your specific weaknesses and do whatever you can to overcome those problem areas. For example:

  • Did you have trouble keeping your focus on test day? Try the SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD.
  • Did you have trouble with Logic Games? Try PowerScore’s Logic Games Bible, which will help you create better diagrams and make key inferences more quickly.
  • Did you have trouble with Reading Comprehension? Try reading dense publications such as The Economist, Scientific America, or The Wall Street Journal on a daily basis. While reading, look for things that would be asked on the LSAT such as the main point of the passage, the author’s viewpoint, and things that can be inferred from the passage.
  • Did you have trouble with a particular type of question such as assumption questions or a particular type of logic game? Try Traciela or Kaplan Mastery Book, both which group questions by type, to drill these question types until you get it.
  • Did you have trouble with time management? Set a timing schedule and strictly enforce it. For example, break a logic game section or reading comprehension section into four games/passages and practice trying to complete each game/passage in 8 minute and 45 seconds. For logical reasoning, set specific timing targets such as completing the first 15 questions in 15 minutes. Great time management skills will allow you to not get bogged down on difficult questions. It will force you to keep moving and keep gaining easier points.
  • Did you not do enough full length LSAT PrepTests? Make this your priority, taking at least one PrepTest per week while studying the above material and ramping that number up to one PrepTest every other day in the few weeks before test day.

Redo and examine every old LSAT PrepTest
It is crucial to go over completed LSAT PrepTests to further analyze what went wrong. Because the focus here is accuracy, you should do this untimed. The goals are to pinpoint what went wrong, identify weaknesses, and relearn how to solve those problems.

Some may be concerned that they will remember the questions that they previously did. Chances are you won’t, but if you do remember them, here is a great technique: cover up the answers (probably only useful for logical reasoning and reading comprehension—the process of elimination in logic games is too important in determining the correct answer) and write a few sentences about what the answer should be. This will force you to learn how to solve questions without being thrown by incorrect answers. If you can paraphrase the answer or something that resembles the answer before getting to the answer choices, you increase your chances of picking the correct choice.

Another technique is to write out a short description of why an answer choice is correct or incorrect for every question. This will force you to be analytical and to see the mechanics of why an answer is incorrect. Eventually, you will start noticing patterns in answer choices and will immediately be able to recognize why a particular answer choice is flawed.

Don’t forget to analyze questions that you guessed on as you could have easily guessed wrongly. Eliminating as many wrong answers as possible and then guessing is a good test day technique, but it won’t serve you well in your LSAT studies.

True LSAT knowledge can only be gained by mechanically analyzing every LSAT question and answer choice. This high level of scrutiny will ensure a level of understanding greater than any you can achieve in a standard LSAT prep course.

Write an addendum if there is a really good reason why you scored low
A low LSAT score can sometimes be explained through the use a document called an addendum, which you can easily attach to your law school application on LSDAS.

An addendum should be 1 to 3 paragraphs in length. It should only be used to explain a serious reason for a low LSAT score. Examples of situations where one should send an addendum include: the death of a family member or friend right before the test, a serious medical illness or circumstances during the test, or getting into a car accident on the way to the test.

Stay motivated and remember your dream
Your dream is to become a lawyer. Yes, this stupid test still stands in your way. But if you are serious about fulfilling your dream, then you must persevere.

We hear about too many people who receive their low LSAT score and give up, saying, “Guess law school isn’t for me.” These people are not serious, and maybe it is for the best that they scored low on the LSAT because they certainly would not make it in law school with the attitude of a quitter.

Life is full of failures and setbacks. It’s the people who fall, pick themselves up, and keep moving towards their dream that will succeed in life. The fact that you are still reading this article shows just how serious you are. Good for you! I have no doubt that you will be successful.

Hopefully this article has inspired you while providing you with practical advice on how to improve your LSAT score and study for your retake. Good luck!

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In LSAT Prep Posted

The LSAT Writing Sample Matters: Advice from a Law School Admissions Insider


(Photo Source: Martin Pulaski)

Article by Todd Tolin, Seton Hall University School of Law

You’ve spent ages studying, you’ve been in the exam for hours, and finally you’ve reached the very last section before you can escape to freedom.  So why not just blow off the essay section entirely?  It’s not tabulated into the score, so it doesn’t really matter if you do a great job, right?

Wrong!  As a student representative who has read countless files for my law school’s admissions committee over the past two years, let me assure you that this essay can and does matter.  Perhaps there are some law schools that don’t weigh the essay much, or may not even read it, but do you want to take that chance?   Further, the LSAT essay is always a part of your admissions file.

When the LSDAS forwards your file to your selected law schools, the first thing that’s seen is the College GPA and LSAT score summary page, the very next page is your most recent LSAT essay.  If you’ve taken more than one LSAT, then those essays will immediately follow.  The admissions committee will make its decisions on many variables, but the quality of the LSAT essay can be an important part of your consideration.

Why is the LSAT essay so important?  What about my personal statement?  The personal statement is a nice way for an admissions committee to “get to know you,” but it really doesn’t always demonstrate your inherent writing skills.  Your personal statement should, after all, be perfection.  Remember, you’ve had quite some time to prepare and draft it, consult with friends, family, even bosses, and then correct and rewrite it until it can be improved no more!  The LSAT essay, on the other hand, reveals how well you think under pressure and time-restrictions.  It is your first, and extremely low-calorie taste of what a law school final will be like.  A great essay demonstrates that you have the potential to succeed in law school, while a bad essay can only raise concerns to those evaluating your application.

So what does it take to make a great LSAT essay?  That’s a tricky question since everyone has their own opinion of what constitutes “good writing”.  To start, however, consider these five “DON’Ts” for the LSAT essay portion:

  1. DON’T re-write the fact pattern/prompt.  This is the most important thing to remember. The background has already been laid out on the top of the page, so avoid the “Once upon a time, little Ana wanted to go to nursery school, and her parents had to pick the best one” lead in.  I have read LSAT essays where test-takers spend a third to a full page rewriting the prompt in a story-telling fashion.  This is a waste of time for the writer as well as the evaluator.  If the evaluator hasn’t seen anything but the prompt after half a page, they may not continue reading to find where the argument begins. (Little Ana and her nursery school choice was, in fact, a prompt a few exams ago, so I’ll stick with this example for the rest of this article.)
  2. DON’T make the exam a personal statement.  Don’t use the fact pattern to opine about how you “admire pre-school teachers’ work ethic,” or how you know that “one day Ana will be spending her hard-earned money to take the LSAT, praying she’ll get into a good school, just like you are doing right now.”  That might elicit a chuckle from the evaluators… as the essay slides into the rejection pile.
  3. DON’T write illegibly.  Yes, time is short, and yes, it is much easier to use cursive to get more on the paper in the limited time.  However no evaluator will try to decipher chicken-scratch when they have hundreds of files to read.  If you cannot write legibly when using cursive, print!
  4. DON’T cover the essay with scribbles and cross-outs.  If you need to cross out, a thick, single line will do.  The messier a page looks, the more it indicates that you didn’t take much time to think the argument through before beginning to write.
  5. DON’T overdo.  Don’t try to make the essay the next Gettysburg address.  Your writing should be clear, persuasive, and logical.  Too many times, people try to use vocabulary to make their essay sound more stereotypically “legal.”  Often, this turns out to be a bad gamble when the word isn’t used correctly.

Now that we have the don’ts out of the way, let’s look at five main “DOs”:

  1. DO allow yourself time to reflect.  When time begins, read the prompt carefully, gather your thoughts, and perhaps outline your basic approach.
  2. DO begin your writing with your ultimate legal conclusion.  Start by saying, “Little Ana should go to Nursery School B because it will provide her with the most effective learning environment.”  From here, build your argument in support of this statement.  Jump right in, bring in facts for support, but remember not to retell the fact pattern.
  3. DO remember that you should explain why the other option is not the optimal choice.  Persuading the reader that your conclusion is the best requires you to identify the strong points of the opposing viewpoint and discount them with facts.
  4. DO work for quality not quantity.  If you follow the first three DOs above, you are well on your way to demonstrating that you can formulate legal arguments.  If an essay is long, but confusing and rambling, it does not pack the same punch as a shorter, yet well-written one.  Also, those who race to fill the most space also tend to have more spelling and grammatical errors.  It’s unfortunate, but misspellings and bad grammar can quickly undermine the best of arguments.
  5. DO practice writing these essays at home before taking the LSAT.  Get some sample prompts and work at considering the facts and turning out a well-written, logical, and persuasive essay.  With practice, when you get to the LSAT essay section, despite being exhausted by the rigors of the prior sections, you will be able to craft your essay with a minimal amount of stress.

With all the work that goes into applying to law school, remember to keep these DOs and DON’Ts in mind, and your energy level up for that last section of the LSAT.  While your LSAT essay might not be the most important factor in your law school application, in such a competitive process, why would you leave anything up to chance?

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In LSAT Prep Posted

LSAC: Simulate Test Day Conditions on LSAT Prep Tests


(Photo Source: comedy_nose)

LSAC Recommends Simulating Test Day Conditions on Practice Tests
According to the LSAC Sample Questions With Explanations, LSAC recommends:

“At a minimum, you should review the descriptions of the question types (below) and simulate the day of the test by taking, under actual time constraints, a practice test that includes a writing sample. Taking a practice test under timed conditions helps you to estimate the amount of time you can afford to spend on each question in a section and to determine the question types for which you may need additional practice.”

Use the SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD to Easily Simulate Test Day on Every Practice LSAT
SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD is a complete video simulation of the LSAT shot from the perspective of a test taker. Its purpose is to enable students to easily time themselves on practice LSAT PrepTests while building immunity to the distractions that they will face on test day.

This ability to take LSAT PrepTests under actual conditions results in greater concentration, decreased anxiety, and an overall stronger performance on the real LSAT.

Specifically, the SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD allows you to:

  • Accurately and easily time your LSAT PrepTests through your own personal LSAT proctor who tells you when to start, when there are five minutes remaining, and when to stop each section.
  • Decrease LSAT test anxiety by practicing under actual conditions because you will know exactly what to expect on test day
  • Increase concentration by turning on Distractions Mode which reproduces distractions that you will face on test day.
  • Stay focused, disciplined, and motivated because the sections move along just like the real LSAT, which eliminates any temptation to take breaks between sections.
  • Become comfortable with pacing yourself using your analog wrist-watch.

Click to learn more about this invaluable LSAT study tool.

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In Law School Applications Posted

Review of “The Law School Admission Game” by Ann K. Levine

Ann K. Levine, Esq., former director of law school admissions for two ABA law schools, is a law school admission consultant and owner of Law School Expert, www.LawSchoolExpert.com. Since 2004, Ms. Levine has personally guided 1,500+ law school applicants through the law school admission process. She is the author of the bestselling law school guide, “The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.”

Once a student has made up their mind about pursuing a law school education, the question that is at the forefront of his or her mind is: “What’s next?” They wonder how they can gain admission to a great law school and what the respective admission committees are expecting. Once the requirements become clear, the application process can be a nerve-racking experience, on a grander scale than gaining admission to any undergraduate institution.

Have no fear, aspiring attorneys! You have a weapon at your disposal that will take you step by step through the grueling application process on your way to the ultimate goal of admission. Ann Levine, a former admissions committee representative and law school graduate, provides the sought-after expertise on the inner workings of law school admissions committees and the application procedure. Her new book, The Law School Admission Game: Play Like An Expert, clearly outlines how to tackle each step from writing personal statement to writing those ever-confusing addenda.

If you have the slightest inkling that you may want to go to law school in the future, you should purchase this book.

Even though the book is geared towards those applying to law school within a year and a half, the first chapter gives a very specific outline of the tasks required to gain admission to law school. This is beneficial because it allows those that are not applying for a couple of years to understand what they are getting into. If the enumeration of those tasks does not seem daunting, then allow Levine to take you through each requirement and explain what makes admissions officers shudder and what impresses them.

The bottom line is that an admissions committee has to review thousands of applications each year, and because Levine was on an admissions council for a Tier 1 law school, her words of wisdom will ensure all issues are resolved before you hit the “send” button. More importantly, she will save you from feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information that you have to provide each law school.

Now, you may ask, “Why should I choose this book over the thousands of other law school admission advice-giving books out there?” One important difference between this book and others is that Levine was on an admissions council! She knows what to look out for and knows what stands out on successful applications as well as what stands out on laughable applications. Even though each school may want something different, she chooses common mistakes that many other law school admission committees would hate to see on prospective student applications. For instance, the only way that law school admissions representatives truly know who you are, outside of your objective numbers (LSAT and GPA), is through your personal statement. Levine understands that this is an extremely confusing concept that many applicants handle the wrong way. She breaks down the archetypical personal statements that are not even read, and contrasts them with the unique personal statements that give students’ applications that push into the “admitted” pile. Instead of telling you what to write about, she explains what not to write about, as evidenced by her list of words and phrases that make her “cringe” when reading personal statements. While most “How-To-Get-Into-Law-School” books will share sample personal statements, Levine gives case-studies instead in order to facilitate the endless search for a theme to these brief essays. This chapter can truly help you conquer the often intimidating personal statement in order to really “jump off the page” and impress the all-powerful decision makers. The following is a piece of advice that should resonate with every law school applicant when drafting a personal statement:

“The goal is to present a picture of yourself as someone who is ready for law school. You do not want to do this by directly addressing why you are ready for law school, but rather by telling a story that shows you are a thinking person, someone who has experienced life, understands something about how the world works and who brings something to the table that adds to a law school’s class.” (Levine, p. 88)

Levine also provides an important lesson regarding the “addendum” section that appears on all applications. She cites instances where students do not properly understand how to use addenda properly, and wind up making themselves appear to be very desperate to fill in the holes on their application. Students should take note of Levine’s advice on this particular subject: only write the addenda if necessary. Once students read this section of her book, they will most definitely understand the benefit of answering (or not answering) a tempting question that most students answer improperly.

All in all, every student that has their heart set on applying to law school should have Levine’s book next to them at all times. Like all books that offer advice, however, the situations presented may not apply to all people, which the author immediately discloses within the first few pages. Additionally, each student that uses this book should view it as an important weapon in their arsenal to reach the goal of an acceptance to their top choice law school. Use Levine’s experience as a member of an admissions committee, an admissions counselor and a law school graduate to understand exactly what law school entails. A law student is a very peculiar breed of student, which makes the competition for success that much more difficult. A law school will only accept a student that they believe will be a great member of their alumni association. This starts with your application. As the saying goes, “you never get a second chance at a first impression.” Don’t you think you should be prepared when you hit that send button, or when you seal that envelope? Levine will provide the expertise. You provide the substance. Best of luck.

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In Law School Posted

Summer Before Law School: Take It All In


(Photo Source: Scott Ableman)

So, you made it to the infamous summer before law school. Before you start panicking about what is next on your ever-growing list before classes begin, take a moment to congratulate yourself on getting this far. You have most likely graduated from your undergraduate institution and committed to a law school which has both accepted you and offers a program that interests you in some way. Therefore, allow me to offer my sincerest congratulations! You are about to enter a professional school, filled with (mostly) professional people. It is an exciting and nerve-racking time, but for now, my advice to you is to take it all in. The summer before law school should be spent preparing your mind, while taking care of pre-orientation tasks that your school will undoubtedly require. Oh, and don’t forget to relax! It is summer, after all.

In order to help you along the way, I have narrowed down two Do’s and two Don’ts when it comes to the summer before law school that will be sure to ease the tension and reduce the risk of being overwhelmed a week before orientation.

Do Complete All Pre-Orientation Tasks.

Your school will most likely publish a list of various tasks to complete before orientation in August. Get in the practice of getting these assignments done when they are given to you. Not only will you feel relieved, but you will also get in this habit for your law school assignments as well. Some tasks that you will want to get done quickly include setting up your e-mail account, paying your bill, and applying for financial aid (if applicable). Information about your class schedule, textbooks, and first class assignments (Gasp!) will also most likely be included in their orientation list.

Do Connect With People in Your Class.

Let’s not kid ourselves. You have a Facebook account and you most likely check it very often. If you don’t have one, make one, especially to meet people that could be sharing the same classroom with you for the next year. There will be someone who will start the “XYZ Law School Class of __ Group.” Don’t be afraid to join it. As an advisory, don’t create that group either, unless you want to have the label of the “person who made that Facebook group” pasted to your forehead for three years.

Use this Facebook group to attend or even initiate social gatherings with your classmates before the semester begins. As a future blog post will explain, networking is very important in law school. My closest friendships were formed in these initial days of law school. My friends have been absolutely critical to my success in law school—they came to my rescue on countless occasions during intense Socratic-method assaults, they studied with me until the early hours of the morning during finals, and most importantly, they are the sole reason why I was able to keep my sanity through it all.

If you are a shy person, focus all of your energy on becoming more outgoing. Remember that “a person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”—Tim Ferriss.

Don’t Read Anything Resembling a Judicial Opinion

Yes, you read that correctly. There will be plenty of cases to read when school starts and you will be happy that you didn’t inundate yourself with cases before school starts. Don’t take this advice as a free license to goof off all summer, through. Please read as much as you can, but read something you actually like reading. Stay away from gossip magazines and focus on your favorite novelist or a newspaper (New York Times; Wall Street Journal) as substantive ways to stimulate your mind.

Don’t Force Yourself to Live Close to School

Law school is demanding. It requires strict concentration to your classes at all times. The last thing you need is someone to get on your nerves outside the classroom too. There are too many people who rush to live close to the school when they can easily commute. Avoid immersing yourself into a situation with another incoming 1L unless you absolutely have to. This is not undergraduate school, where your roommate can stink (literally and figuratively) and your grades will not be adversely affected. Don’t be caught in the situation where you suddenly hate your roommate and your true feelings come out around exam time. No one needs that on their plate.

Bonus Do: Have fun. It is still summer. Enjoy it as much as you can. If you can afford to, quit your job now. You are about to embark on a three-year mental marathon; as such, you need to reach a state of equilibrium before law school begins.

Looking Toward the Future: Once law school begins, you should hit the ground running and take things seriously. My next blog post, however, will describe an unorthodox way of approaching law school—a way that helps you work smarter, not harder, so that you can still enjoy your life and pursue your goals. Enjoy your summer and stay tuned.

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In Law School Posted

Law School Liberation: Conquer Law School by Working Smarter not Harder


(Photo Source: josefgrunig)

Article by Guest Author

The Case for Liberation

We were in the fifth hour of intense negotiations. My throat was dry and sweat accumulating on my eyebrow started running down my face.

“Counselor, I think we have ourselves a deal.  Wait… is there consideration?”

“Um… There’s no consideration… I must have forgotten…”

“DAMN IT! HOW COULD YOU FORGET THE MOST BASIC CONCEPT OF CONTRACT LAW???”

I sat up quickly in my bed, terrified. “Another law school nightmare—wonderful.”

In the beginning of law school, everything was great. My head was being filled with a wide range of stimulating concepts. I was learning the law and was going to make it big. If anyone messed with me, I’d take them to court. If they sued me, I would 12(b)(6) them so fast that their heads would spin. I read, re-read, and briefed every case with the consistency of Cal Ripken Jr. It was a lot of work, but I was rewarded by feeling awesome when I answered a question correctly during class.

And all was well and good. Except, it wasn’t. First, as the above dream suggests, I was literally going crazy with stress. I became an insomniac, typically going to bed around 3:00 a.m. after a long night in the library and waking up early to read before class. When I did sleep, I often had abstract legal concept or exam failure nightmares. Furthermore, my social life was inhibited, and I recall several weekends during which I would stay in, even if I subconsciously knew that I wouldn’t get any work done, because of this huge psychological burden. On top of this, my workout routine fell apart. A week has 168 hours in it, but somehow I convinced myself that I was too busy to spend 3 or 4 hours on my health.

After my first set of finals, I realized a second problem. Despite devoting all of this time and energy to reading and briefing cases, I felt as if I didn’t actually learn the material until the two or three weeks before finals. For example, civil procedure didn’t make sense to me until I watched the civil procedure BarBri video, which summarized an entire semester in six hours. Amazing. And there wasn’t anything wrong with my professor. It was just the nature of the law school method, which, in my opinion, involves learning topics in the most fragmented and least efficient way possible.

I realized the third problem during the first semester of my second year. Despite working hard my first year and getting good grades, I had trouble getting a summer job, because I had very limited legal experience. During my first year, I was told to “focus on grades and only grades.” Looking back, I should have spent less time reading cases and more time building my résumé.

I am glad to say that this story has a positive ending. My dreams are happy again. Despite being a full-time student, I am able to balance law school with the following: gaining invaluable legal experience while working about 20 hours per week at a law firm, developing products for and running two online businesses, having a healthy social life, exercising regularly, participating in law review, and serving as a mentor to 1L students.

How did I do it?  The main principles of law school liberation are below.  This approach helped to redeem my law school experience, and maybe it can do the same for you.

Liberation Principles

“Doing less meaningless work, so that you can focus on things of greater personal importance, is not laziness. This is hard for most people to accept, because our culture tends to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.”
—Tim Ferriss

1. Learn your professors
Do you have a professor that really loves the case facts and the in-depth reasoning of the court? If so, then you should devote more effort to that professor as opposed to the professor who just wants the case holdings. Review old exams early in the semester to determine important topics to focus on. Not all classes require the same effort. Figure this out and apportion your time accordingly.

2. Learn from secondary resources
Such resources include BarBri videos, library audio CDs, supplements that explain and summarize cases, and outlines from friends and upperclassmen. These resources help you to learn the law more quickly and efficiently than exclusively reading cases. Working smarter, not harder, is the goal.

3. Learn how to ignore others
You may be intimidated by that group of students who seem to always be in the library. But it is crucial to not let others affect you. Next time you’re in the library at night, see if you can spot all of the diminishing returns. Facebook, G-Chat, Youtube, etc. I’ve even seen people passed out across their casebook. When you’re in the library, ask yourself, “Am I here because I need to be? If so, am I being productive or just busy?” Be productive and then go spend time on more important things.

Conclusion

What would you do if you had more free time? Pursue résumé-building activities? Spend more time with a significant other? Get back in shape? By working smarter, not harder, all of this is possible. Law school does not have to be three years of suffering spent in a musty library. In fact, these can be the best years of your life. Treat them accordingly.

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In Law School Applications Posted

Where Should I Go to Law School?


(Photo Source: Juanedc)

Myth: In a country that churns out thousands of lawyers per graduating class, it does not seem to make a difference where you go to law school, as long as you get the good pay day in the end.

Fact: Too many aspiring law students fall into the mind-set mentioned above.

This is your wake-up call! Do not fall into the trap! Due to the poor state of the economy, students have been hypnotized by large dollar signs, which cause them to send their applications (and boatloads of money) aimlessly to law schools with the best reputation for the best-paying jobs upon graduation. If you are smart about where you send your applications out, you will not only save money on application fees, but you will also be pleased with the amount of large envelopes you receive in the mail. The strategy is so simple, yet countless students forget it every year: apply where you think you have the best chances to get in and apply to schools you can see yourself attending.

Law schools publish fact sheets with last year’s entering class numbers (LSAT and GPA) to demonstrate what caliber of student they are looking for. Do not think that you are the exception that will be admitted with a subpar LSAT score, unless you have a truly compelling story of why you need to go to that specific law school. If you are like the common law school applicant, you should apply where your numbers tell you to apply. Although it hurts to admit, the LSAT is actually a decent predictor of how you will succeed in law school, and law schools take that three-digit number more seriously than any other item in your application packet. Therefore, before you sign your life savings away for application fees, do your research and apply to schools in which your LSAT score falls between the 25th percentile and 75th percentile of scores from last year’s entering class. Generally, applying within that range will give you the best chance to get in. Do not forget that your GPA needs to fall within that range too! As a rule of thumb, you should apply to about four or five schools where your score is within their range, one or two that put your score below the 25th percentile (reach) and two or three that place your score above the 75th percentile (safety).

As a quick note about safety schools, admissions committees will recognize when student’s numbers exceed their average numbers. Lately, they have been putting those overly-qualified candidates on the wait list to see if they are actually interested in the school. Only apply to safety schools that you can see yourself attending. Do not waste the admissions committee’s time if you do not plan to go to the school in the first place.

The general mantra that follows students through their application process is “apply to schools in the region where you would most like to practice law.” If you want to be a big Hollywood agent in California, an education from Cornell in Ithaca, New York would not benefit you, simply based on where the schools are located. If you want to practice law in the New York metropolitan area, apply to a school in that general vicinity (preferably not farther than Connecticut or New Jersey). The logic behind this is that law schools in a particular city will have the best connections with the big law firms in that city. Do not hesitate to apply to a less-recognizable school if you really do not want to be anywhere else other than where that school is located. For instance, Widener School of Law in Wilmington, Delaware is an excellent regional law school that will place you in a good law firm in the Wilmington or Philadelphia area. But, it is considered a “Tier-3” school by U.S. News and World Report. Please, do not allow the term “Tier-3” dissuade you from applying anywhere because it just means that it is a “regional” school. However, where you apply to law school is ultimately your choice. But, learning to strategize now will help prepare you for a better career in the future. It’s that simple.

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In Free LSAT Lessons, LSAT Prep Posted

June 2007 LSAT Logic Game 1 (Free LSAT Lesson)

This video demonstrates important techniques for solving LSAT logic games questions, as shown through the first game on the June 2007 LSAT.

These techniques include:

  • Creating an effective diagram
  • Making critical deductions
  • Focusing on where variable cannot go to find out where they can go
  • Reusing your previous work

We will continue to post free video lessons each week so be sure to revisit our blog. If you would like to be notified of new blog posts, please Subscribe to our blog.

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In Free LSAT Lessons, LSAT Prep Posted

June 2007 LSAT Logic Game 2 (Free LSAT Lesson)

This video demonstrates important techniques for solving LSAT logic games questions, as shown through June 2007 LSAT Game 2.

These techniques include:

  • Creating an effective diagram
  • Making critical deductions
  • A great technique for solving must be true questions

We will continue to post free video lessons each week so be sure to revisit our blog. If you would like to be notified of new blog posts, please Subscribe to our blog.

You can also receive notifications of new lessons by liking the SimuGator Facebook Page.

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In LSAT Prep Posted

LSAT Prep Interview with Ann Levine

This past month, SimuGator was featured on Ann Levine’s Blog Talk Radio show about LSAT Prep Options.

As you may know, Ann Levine is the former Director for two ABA law schools and is an experienced law school admissions consultant. She offers admission services at her website, LawSchoolExpert.com. Ann Levine is also the author of the highly informative book, The Law School Admission Game: Play Like An Expert, which we believe is a critical road map to the law school admissions process.

The founders of SimuGator and Ann Levine were previously featured together in the LSAT prep book titled 101 Ways to Score Higher on Your LSAT.

The interview can be heard through the audio player on this page or by visiting the Blog Talk Radio website.

During the interview, some topics discussed were:

  • How SimuGator was founded in 2007 and has since helped thousands of students prepare for the LSAT.
  • The importance of taking LSAT PrepTests under test day conditions.
  • Three easy steps to tell whether you should postpone your LSAT, and the benefits and consequences of not postponing.
  • Inexpensive LSAT prep options.
  • How to pinpoint weaknesses in the weeks prior to your LSAT.

We would like to thank Ann Levine for having us on her show, and we encourage you to check out her book and website.

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In Career Advice, Job Applications Posted

How Employers Googling Your “Net Trail” Can Cost You the Job


(Photo Source: ezioman)

“We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.”
-Lakota Native American Proverb

Cautionary Lessons from a True Story

As a rising second-year student, Felicia’s law career was off to a great start. Although it was a hectic time with advanced courses, Law Review, and applications for summer jobs, Felicia had an excellent GPA and was able to obtain references from two of her school’s most esteemed professors. She was on her way to being hired for a high-paying summer associate position that would help take care of her student loans and get her foot in the door of a highly competitive job market.

On the night before her first job interview, Felicia “Googled” herself out of curiosity during a period of procrastination. To her horror, her Twitter page was the first search result. When Felicia first signed up for Twitter, she listed her real name—first and last. Since 2007, Felicia regularly tweeted about her controversial political views and her tumultuous love life.

Felicia quickly made her Twitter account private. Problem solved, right? Wrong. On the Internet, there are hundreds of websites that leech off of Twitter, indexing tweets and account information. Although her Twitter account was now private, these other sites still displayed her old tweets upon Googling her real name.

But even more terrifying—her Net Trail was exposed. Everything she had done on the Internet under her one username could now be found by anyone who wanted to look for it.

Your Net Trail: What is it and Why Does it Matter?

Your Net Trail is the accumulation of information—message board posts, blog comments, photos, Twitter updates, etc.—that you leave on the Internet whenever you post under a unique username.

The rising popularity of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Myspace are problematic for job seekers because these sites present employers with another way to screen applicants. You don’t want an employer to find your Twitter account that lists all of your innermost or controversial thoughts, and you certainly don’t want an interviewer finding visual proof of just how much fun you had last weekend.

In addition to Felicia’s above true story in which a simple Google search of her first and last name revealed her username and Net Trail, consider the following scenarios.

Scenario One: Unique Email Search

Let’s say that for your whole life you have used the alias “Sample9687” whenever you posted on the Internet. Your email address is Sample9687@gmail.com, your Twitter account is http://twitter.com/Sample9687, and your Facebook address is http://www.facebook.com/Sample9687 (activated through http://www.facebook.com/username).

A prospective employer gets your resume. At the top of your resume, is your contact information, including Sample9687@gmail.com. Either out of curiosity or standard screening procedure, the employer searches for “Sample9687” in quotes.

With one easy search, the employer has found your Net Trail. Rants, debates, videos, pictures, online journals, etc. are now at the employer’s fingertips.

The employer finds your old Webshots account that you haven’t touched since the beginning of college; in fact, you even forgot it existed because who uses Webshots anymore? A picture of you looking less than professional after a night of partying leads the employer to conclude that you are not the type of candidate that he is looking for.

Scenario Two: Facebook Email Search

Your name is Chris Johnson, and you’ve done everything right. Your Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ChrisJ19823, is private. In fact, you used a fake name—your Facebook friends know you as “Big Chris Daddy,” which you find hilarious. You’ve applied to jobs using your professional school email address, which is “chris.johnson@university.edu.” However, you forgot that you registered for Facebook using your university email address.

The employer gets your resume and, as a standard screening procedure, she enters your email address into Facebook’s search feature. The search returns one result—the profile for “Big Chris Daddy.” Even though your Facebook profile is private, your picture and “likes” are still visible. Both come across as extremely unprofessional.

In the address bar of her web browser, the employer sees “http://www.facebook.com/ChrisJ19823.” Her interest is piqued and immediately she does a Google search for “ChrisJ19823.”

Chris’s Net Trail is exposed. The search reveals that he has extremely strong political views that the employer does not find amusing. In fact, Chris frequently posted under ChrisJ19823 on CNN.com, vehemently flaming and cursing at anyone that disagreed with his viewpoints.

Needless to say, Chris is not hired.

Internet Reputation Management: Critical Advice for Job Applicants

Felicia is not the exception. Most people post online using the same username for everything that they do without even thinking about it. In fact, we believe that Net Trails will have a huge effect on politics in the near future. Think of how easily a candidate’s past Net Trail could be exposed and used to cast doubt on his or her character.

For a comedic look at the future of Net Trails in politics, see comedian Pete Holmes’ stand-up routine at around 1 minute and 10 seconds into the video located at: http://comedians.jokes.com/pete-holmes/videos/pete-holmes—internet-sleuth

The implications, of course, will vary for each individual. Some people have nothing to hide. Others do. Still, it is important to be aware that everything you do online leaves a discoverable Net Trail.

Being proactive and managing your Net Trails is an often overlooked aspect of getting a job. If you take anything out of this post, it should be this: if you want to be a professional of any sort, then you need to 1) reconsider what you are putting out into cyberspace, and 2) make sure anything private is either locked down or untraceable to your real identity.

Internet Reputation Management Guidelines to Follow

  • Separate the personal from the professional. Do not link the email address that you put on your resume to any social media account like Facebook. Doing so makes you easily discoverable through a simple email search.
  • Never use your real name on a public website. Note: this applies to private Twitter accounts. Even a private Twitter account can reveal your Net Trail, and anyone can search messages that are written to you by searching for @yourusername in the Twitter search feature.
  • Master the art of “preemptive detagging” This means kindly declining to pose for potentially embarrassing or incriminating pictures before they are taken.
  • Google yourself periodically, or set a Google Alert (http://www.google.com/alerts) with your name so you are notified of anything written about you. If you have a common name, add in various modifying search terms. For example, if you are John Smith and attend the University of California, search for things like “John Smith UCLA” for a more accurate set of results.
  • If you discover any offensive content when Googling your name, email whoever posted it and politely ask him or her to take it down.
  • Double check your Facebook settings to ensure that they are indeed private. A good way to test this is to have a friend “defriend” you for a few minutes and ask them to visit your page to see what they have access to.
  • Use different usernames for different websites and message boards. This fragments your one Net Trail into many, and thus makes it extremely hard to trace everything that you do online.
  • If you must engage in an Internet flaming match, make sure you use an entirely new and anonymous username.

But my Twitter is Private

It will still reveal your username and thus your Net Trail, and by going to the search feature and typing “@yourusername” anyone can see who is communicating to you on Twitter.

But my Facebook is Private

It can still reveal your username in the URL bar of the browser, and it will still display one profile picture and sometimes will display your “likes.” Make sure none of this is incriminating or unprofessional.

But I have a fake name on my Facebook

If the email on your resume is linked to your Facebook account, even as one of multiple email addresses on your profile, employers can easily find you. Remember the case of “Big Chris Daddy” mentioned above.

Conclusion

Use these rules of Internet Reputation Management and be proactive about removing content that can cost you the job. It may seem like overkill to some, but trust us, it is absolutely necessary—you never know who is watching… or Googling you.

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In Law School Posted

5 Survival Tips for First Year Law School Students


(Photo Source: artysmokes)

Article by guest author, Josh, 1L

Before I started my first semester of law school, I had collected a wealth of advice from many different sources, including students, practicing attorneys, and a 300 page insider’s guide.  Although I appreciated their advice, law school is something you have to figure out on your own—and quickly.  Otherwise, you might get lost in the endless amount of work.  Now, after completing my first semester of law school, here are some things that I realized that were not so plainly obvious at first.

1. Only use commercial study guides if you absolutely need to

What do I mean by commercial study guides? When you first start school, you will hear various terms thrown out by 2L’s and 3L’s that will be like a new language to you: E&E’s (Examples and Explanations), Emmanuel’s, Crunchtime, etc. These are all commercial study guides published by outside sources that have an extremely helpful bank of knowledge corresponding to every first year course across the country.  But heed my warning now: some of them are expensive and there will be discrepancies between them and what your professor has specifically taught you. By all means, use them to understand some topics that you might not understand, but only after you have spoken to the professor or a study group (we’ll get to that later) to try and figure it out yourself.  My belief is that they should only be used as a last resort.

How do you figure out which study guides will help you the most? No one can give you this answer until your grades are revealed.  However, in the middle of the semester, stop by your bookstore and browse through wealth of study guides available.  Personally, I took one look at an E&E and knew that it would overwhelm me, so I stayed away from them, except for during study group sessions.  I knew one of my classmates would have them and we would go through them while we were studying for exams.  Obviously, your experience may differ, but realizing that I did not need to use these commercial study guides as a crutch allowed me to focus on what my professors wanted on their exam.  That, in turn, saved me a great deal of unwanted stress.

The bottom line: Browse through the commercial study guides.  Learn what they are all about.  Ask yourself if you really need them.  Ask yourself if one of your friends has one to study from or will let you borrow it.  Then act accordingly.  Remember, in most cases, the people who wrote these commercial study guides are not writing your final exam.

2. Get yourself a close-knit study group and meet on a regular basis

Some people might be skeptical about this next realization because they are the people that learn better on their own.  I was one of those people going into law school.  However, I found that having a study group benefited me because I was able to understand concepts that were not as clear during class and it allowed me to fill in my notes to achieve a thorough outline.

Unfortunately, as the unofficial captain of our study group, I found it very frustrating that some people could not commit to meet on pre-determined dates.  Towards the end of the semester, I found myself to be a member of two study groups: one for outline purposes and one for exam prep purposes.  While these two groups ultimately proved to be beneficial in the end, I do not recommend this because it might create some unwarranted hostility by your original group.

How does one form the perfect study group?  No group can be flawless.  But, the most ideal study group would be 3-4 like-minded individuals, including yourself, that do not have a problem meeting at a certain date at a certain time every week.  Preferably, this group should not be the people that you also go to the bar with later that evening.  If that is the case, then make sure your group stays on task because you do not want to waste time goofing off when you could be studying.  Pardon the cliché, but time is a precious thing to waste in law school.  You should be using every moment to your advantage, taking breaks when necessary of course.

The bottom line: Find some people that you get along with in the first two weeks of class. See if they want to be in a study group with you.  Set a date and time each week to meet and go from there.

3. Stay on top of the reading but also make time for a social life

One of the most challenging aspects of law school is the amount of reading and comprehension that has to be done every day.  Fortunately, most professors release their syllabus before classes begin.  Take advantage of this immediately!  If you do even one set of readings ahead of your next class, you will thank yourself when you have free time at the end of the week.  Note: you are not in class all the time!  You should have time to do your case briefs before each class, and maybe even have enough time to watch one of your favorite television shows at night, or go to the gym.  Your schoolwork comes first, but you should also find time to do things other than schoolwork, even if it means scheduling every hour of every day.  Personally, I wrote down my assignments for the week and was very strict about it.  If you are disciplined about your schedule, the amount of stress felt during the semester will be kept to a minimum.

Your law school will most likely have events that allow for a break from the madness.  Take advantage of them.  You might wind up meeting someone very important that could provide the spark you need to jumpstart your career.  The worst case scenario that could occur if you take a break is that you will be able to relax for a little bit before hitting the books.  Like I said, if it makes you feel better, plan on taking a break for a specific period of time, and if you take the night off, make sure you don’t fall behind in the readings.

The bottom line: Stay ahead in the readings whenever possible and take breaks, even if they have to be scheduled.  You will keep an even pace to maximize your endurance for the end of the semester.  You are going to need it.

4. Avoid buying textbooks from your school bookstore

This realization seems obvious, but I see more people fall victim to it than I can imagine. Your booklists will most likely be released early, giving you enough time to purchase books online if necessary.  Make sure you have the correct title, author and edition, so you do not have to waste time returning them via snail mail. More often than not, school bookstores charge the full amount for textbooks, and law textbooks, especially casebooks, do not come cheap. For example, a brand new Civil Procedure casebook can cost over $130.

That is why I recommend buying lightly used or new textbooks from either Amazon.com, Lawbooksforless.com, or Half.com. You may have to pay for shipping, but even then, you will still wind up saving money.  You will appreciate the extra cash in your pocket, especially after you pay the tuition bill.

The bottom line: Do your research. Compare prices. Save money.

5. Start studying for exams early and do not let others affect you

A law school exam is a frightening thing for most first year students.  Most first year classes do not have midterm exams, which means that your entire grade is decided based on one cumulative exam.  And you do not know if your preparation all semester is the correct way until you get your grades back. 

But, have no fear!  There is a way to counteract this terrible monster looming over your head.  You just have to study.  Give yourself enough time to study at the end of the semester so that you can walk out of the exam with your head held high, knowing that you have done the absolute best you could have possibly done.  One of the easiest ways to prepare for an exam throughout the semester is to organize your notes and outline on a weekly basis, so by the time you have to start studying, you will not have to waste time preparing.  You will already be prepared!

Second, consider staying away from the law school library, especially if you can find a quiet place that you can go, by yourself, to study.  The law school library will be filled with 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls and, most likely, your favorite table will be taken.  Also, everyone you know will be in the library studying.  You may get anxious if you see other people leaving before you.  You will wonder if you are studying hard enough and you will think “if it was so easy for that person, why aren’t I getting it?”  These are all bad thoughts and can be avoided by staying away. It is very important to keep your confidence high while avoiding distractions.

Also, in the library there is going to be a desire to talk to your friends, compare notes, and discuss concepts.  This can be good and bad. It can be good if you realize something that you did not understand, but it can be bad if everyone has conflicting ideas and you get confused. For those of you with no other place to go, get there early, find a secluded corner and do not talk to anyone, despite the obvious temptation.  When it comes to exams, you have to look out for yourself because, in the end, you are the only one taking the exam.

The bottom line: Start early. Study hard. Stay away from the library, if possible. Reap the benefits.

Final Thought: Law School is Not So Bad

Law school is an incredibly unique experience. Sometimes you will feel accomplished for grasping such difficult material and reading all 900+ pages of your four-pound casebook. At other times, you will find yourself on an emotional roller coaster of self doubt. But after surviving my first semester of law school, I can honestly say that law school is not so bad. You will certainly find your own groove and figure out what works best for you. Until then, hopefully these tips can serve as a useful starting point in your journey. Best of luck to you!

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In Career Advice, Interview Prep Posted

5 Innovative Ways to Research a Law Firm Before Your Job Interview


(Photo Source: thinkpanama)

You have probably heard the quote by the ancient Roman philosopher Seneca that goes, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Oprah Winfrey reiterated a similar version of the same quote almost two-thousand years later. Clearly, these two intelligent individuals were on to something.

In the context of job interviews, the above quote couldn’t be more accurate.

Opportunity: Your Foot is in the Door—Don’t Blow It

Your prospective employer has selected you for an interview, which is an incredible opportunity. Remember the fact that you are even being interviewed means that you have met the minimum qualifications and your resume has caught the employer’s attention.  The employer has sifted through countless resumes, cover letters, and applications to pick you for an interview. Your foot is now in the door. Whether that door opens all the way is, for the most part, in your hands.

One of the employer’s goals during the interview is to ascertain how much you know about the law firm. Author Dave Barry once said, “Meetings are an addictive, highly self-indulgent activity that corporations and other large organizations habitually engage in only because they cannot masturbate.” Barry might as well have been talking about interviews instead of meetings. Employers want to hear how much you know about their law firm and how interested you are in working there.

Simply put, they want to hire applicants who will be passionate about working for them. Knowledge of the law firm will help convey this passion. Knowledge of the firm is also critical to a successful interview.

You will inevitably be asked questions such as “What do you know about us?” or “Why do you want to work here?” If you haven’t done any research, you will be forced to give a general answer. It will be immediately apparent to the interviewers that you know little about them. If this happens, you have drastically decreased your chances of getting hired.

Preparation: Researching the Law Firm is Key

You may already be familiar with larger law firms in the area. However, in a tight economy, you should cast a wide net with your job applications. This means applying to many mid-sized firms, which you may have never even heard of. For these firms, we have provided five innovative research methods below.

1. Use Google’s Exact-Match Search

Your preliminary research should start with Google. Type in your employer’s name in quotes. For example, if the law firm’s name is Wolkowski, Smith, & Goldstein, then type exactly that, surrounded by quotes, into Google. If you didn’t know, using quotes is a powerful search tool. Instead of finding websites that have “Wolkowski” “Smith” and “Goldstein” in any combination on the page (e.g. Goldstein, Smith, and Wolkowski), using quotes will return pages where those names appear in that specific order.

After searching, click on each of the top results and read. This will give you a general overview of what the law firm does. You will probably find their website. Read through all of it, keeping in mind that it may not be entirely helpful. Many firms say that they’re involved in every practice area to maximize their client outreach; however, in practice, they will often specialize in just a few areas of law.

Let’s say after Googling “Wolkowski, Smith, & Goldstein,” you discovered that it is a law firm that does insurance defense work. This is a good start, but it isn’t enough.

2. Search Law Firm Directories

Next, you want to go to http://www.nalpdirectory.com, which is run by the National Association for Law Placement. Click on Quick Search and type in the firm name into the Employer Name section. Click search. If the law firm is in this directory, then click on the search result that comes up. This will display a variety of information such as primary practice areas, number of lawyers at the firm, and a narrative summarizing what the firm is about. This information should give you a better idea of what the firm does.

Another great resource is http://www.martindale.com. Click on Search Tools and select Law Firms. Make sure the Law Firms tab is highlighted and fill in as much information as you can. The research results may give you some more information, and is particularly helpful for researching the individual lawyers who will be interviewing you, which will be discussed in a future blog post.

Similarly, http://www.lawyers.com is also a great resource. If the law firm is a top-100 law firm, visit: http://www.chambers-associate.com for detailed insight about the firm.

All of this information that you compile from these above methods should paint a picture of the firm—how many attorneys work there, what their main practice areas are, how many attorneys are alumni of your law school, etc. However, your research isn’t complete yet.

3. Perform Case Research through LexisNexis, Westlaw, and/or Google Scholar

If you are still in law school, then you most likely have free access to LexisNexis and Westlaw. You should utilize these resources to learn more about the types of cases that the law firm gets.

On LexisNexis, login and click Research Now. Under States Legal – U.S. select the state where the firm resides (click view more if your state isn’t in the default list). Under Find Cases, click Federal & State Cases, Combined. Under the Select a Segment drop down menu, select Counsel, type in the firm name, then click Add. Finally, click Search to see what cases your law firm has been involved in. Note: as a shortcut, just go to the search box and search for COUNSEL(Law Firm Name).

This will most likely only return Federal cases and State-Appellate cases. But you should nonetheless get some helpful results. Quickly skim through the cases and read the summaries. In addition to giving you a clear indication of what the firm does, you may even find a recent case that interests you that you can bring up during your interview.

To perform the same search on Westlaw, go to the search box for the state in which the law firm is located. Click Show Advanced Options and then under Fields, select Attorney – AT(). Click in the search box and enter the law firm’s name in between the parentheses like: AT(Law Firm Name). Click Search.

Bonus Tip: if you are applying to work for a judge, you can use a similar approach. On Lexis, search for JUDGE(Lastname). On Westlaw, search for JU(Lastname). Because Judges were attorneys at one point, you should also do a COUNSEL( ) search with the judge’s name on Lexis, or an AT( ) search on Westlaw to see what kind of cases they litigated as a practicing attorney. If you are applying to work with a Federal Judge, check out http://dockets.justia.com for an excellent website with many advanced search features.

If you do not have access to LexisNexis or Westlaw, you should try Google scholar, located at http://scholar.google.com. This is a free way to search for legal opinions. Despite some current limitations, Google Scholar has incredible potential and may even put Lexis and Westlaw out of business in future years.

To search on Google Scholar, first select Legal opinions and journals. Type the firm name (running two searches: one with and one without quotes) and browse through any opinions that result. You should get less results than on Lexis or Westlaw because not all unpublished opinions are available on Google Scholar. Still, this is a great free resource for those who are out of school and don’t have access to Lexis or Westlaw.

4. Conduct Jury Verdict Searches through LexisNexis and Westlaw

As discussed above, a regular case search will not get you State Trial cases. Furthermore, it is well known that most lawsuits settle. Thus, you should go one more step to perform a jury verdict search, which will return a good amount of published jury verdicts and settlements that the law firm was involved in. This search will not reveal every verdict or settlement. It will, however, provide you with more information that will help you get a feel for the types of cases that the law firm handles. As far as we know, there is no free way to do this outside of Lexis or Westlaw.

We have found that the Lexis jury verdict search is far superior to the Westlaw jury verdict search. On Lexis, click Research Now. Under States Legal – U.S. select the state where the firm resides (click view more if your state isn’t in the default list). Under Find Briefs, Motions, Pleadings & Jury Verdicts click View More. If you have access to it, click on State Mega Jury Verdicts & Settlements (Including IDEX). In the search box, simply type the law firm name and click search. A wealth of information should come up.

To do the same on Westlaw, navigate to the search options for your particular state. Scroll down beneath the search box to where it says Jury Instructions & Jury Verdicts. You can experiment with the different search options; however, we strongly recommend using Lexis for this as we have found that it will return more search results.

5. Tap Your Network and Your Law School’s Resources

You should also tap into your network if possible. Call or email friends, family members, former professors, or your school’s office of career services to ask whether they have any information about the law firm.

If your school has an alumni department or alumni association, you could try contacting them to see whether any alumni work at that law firm. Alumni are often, surprisingly, very eager to help those starting out. A letter, email, or phone call is a great way to establish a helpful contact. After confirming that they will help you, you can ask to talk with them on the phone or meet with them in person for 10-15 minutes. This is called an “informational interview.” Informational interviews can be an extremely beneficial option for research. In addition to asking for general information about law firm or firms where you will interview at, you can ask other helpful questions, such as what law firms are looking for in their job candidates.

Is All of This Work Worth It?

Yes! All of the above research methods might seem like a lot of work, but once you get the hang of it, you can generally research a law firm in less than fifteen minutes, with the exception of #5.

Furthermore, thoroughly researching law firms will produce incredible interviews. Preparation gives you confidence. Rather than being unsure of answers to basic questions such as “what do you know about our law firm” and stumbling over your words to find an artificial answer, you will be able to respond with a strong answer that will impress the employer and set you apart from other applicants. In a competitive job market, you need every advantage that you can get.

We hope that you enjoyed this article. If you have other research methods that we did not cover, we would love for you to leave a comment discussing them. Thanks for reading—we have no doubt that you will indeed be “lucky” in your job search.

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In Career Advice, Job Applications Posted

Reclaiming Privacy: How to Post Anonymously With Facebook’s New Comments Plug-In

Facebook’s New Comments Plug-In: An Assault on Privacy

In a previous blog post titled How Employers Googling Your “Net Trail” Can Cost You the Job, we warned that job applicants need to reconsider what they are putting into cyberspace and make sure anything private is either locked down or untraceable to their real identity. We gave several real examples of the consequences of not managing your “Net Trails” and provided tips on how to ensure that employers cannot find what you do on the Internet.

Facebook has recently launched a new comment plug-in system, which has already been implemented by many large websites.

This new Facebook system conflicts with our belief that you must vigorously protect what you do online for two reasons.

First, it forces you to use your real name, which is the subject of this post.

Second, if a friend leaves a comment on a third-party website using this plugin, then it can also be posted to that friend’s Facebook profile. If you then reply to that friend’s comment, your reply comment will automatically appear on that third-party website without you even knowing or authorizing it.

To avoid the second problem, simply avoid replying to friends’ comments that start out with “Firstname Lastname commented on ‘Article Name’ on ‘Website Name’.”

To avoid the first problem, that you can no longer comment anonymously, follow the steps below.

Solution: Create a New Facebook Page For Yourself and Then Comment Using That Page

Although Facebook’s new comment system requires you to post using your actual name, it also allows you to post as a Facebook page. So by creating a new Facebook page for yourself and then commenting using that page, you can reclaim your privacy and anonymity.

We have provided detailed steps below about how to do this.

Step One: Click “Create New Facebook Page”

Log in to your Facebook account. In the search box, search for “create page.” Click the first option that comes up.

Step Two: Choose Your Type of Page

On the screen that comes up, choose what type of Facebook page you would like to create. We recommend “Artist, Band or Public Figure.”

Step Three: Choose Your Type of Public Figure and Page Name

You will then be presented with a drop-down box and a blank text field. We recommend choosing “Writer” and then giving your Facebook page an anonymous name. Note that we have chosen “Mike J’s Comments.”

Step Four: Your Page Has Been Created

You should then see the following screen. Your work here is done unless you would like to add a picture.

Step Five: Change Who You are Posting As on the Third-Party Website

Click “Add Comment”

Click “Change” next to “Posting As.”

Select your new page. In our case, it was “Mike J’s Comments.”

Enjoy your anonymous posting.

Is Anonymous Posting Worth All of This Hassle?

Yes. If you don’t realize why anonymity on the Internet is important, then we recommend that you read How Employers Googling Your “Net Trail” Can Cost You the Job. Besides, once you make your Facebook page, you can jump to Step Five every time that you want to comment.

Please comment if you have any questions. Happy posting.

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In SAT Prep Posted

Best Way to Study for the SAT


(Photo Source: SMBCollege)

According to the recent Wall Street Journal Article, “Toughest Exam Question: What Is the Best Way to Study?”, the best way to prepare yourself for the SAT is through repetition and consistency —specifically, by taking the test over and over again:

In his junior year of high school…, Keenan Harrell bought test-prep books and subjected himself to a “relentless and repetitive” series of nearly 30 practice SAT college-entrance exams. “I just took it over and over again, until it became almost aggravating,” he says. Practice paid off. Mr. Harrell, now 19, was accepted at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a college he’s dreamed of attending since the third grade. He scored 1800 (out of 2400) on the SAT, up 50% from 1200 on the PSAT, a preliminary test during his sophomore year.

Students shouldn’t register to take the actual test over and over again, rather students can conveniently purchase previous SAT and practice SAT exams to build confidence and perfect technique. Official Practice SAT exams can be found in The Official SAT Study Guide, the study guide produced by The College Board, the makers of the SAT.

To achieve the highest scores possible, students should practice under the most realistic conditions. To simulate the conditions of test day, students should take timed SAT practice tests using the SimuGator: SAT Proctor DVD, the only full-length SAT Practice Exam Simulation with all 10 sections (including Variable and Writing essay sections) included and an optional added distractions mode. The SimuGator: SAT Proctor DVD is available as an app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch and as a DVD on Amazon. Visit the product page on SimuGator.com to learn more about its features, how it works, and to see testimonials from fellow SAT test-takers on how it helped them prepare for the test and improve their scores.

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In LSAT Prep, SAT Prep Posted

Avoiding Mediocrity: Striving to Succeed in School, in Work, and in Life


(Photo Source: RLHyde)

At SimuGator, we are always thinking of better ways to manage time. That is exactly why we created both the SimuGator: LSAT Proctor DVD and the SimuGator: SAT Proctor DVD. We saw that two of the main factors preventing students from achieving their best test scores were the inability to manage time and stress in these exam environments.

From the great expectations we have for ourselves to the mundane daily tasks that need to be completed, balancing school, work, and life can be stressful. Distractions abound in today’s mobile world. While the Internet can be an essential asset to learning and research, it, nonetheless, can quickly turn into hours of unproductive activity. This is why maintaining focus is essential to overcoming the malaise of everyday distractions.

Here are a few ways to improve your focus and achieve better results with the time you have available:

1. Wake up earlier—much earlier.


(Photo Source: jeffwilcox)

It may be infeasible with your daily schedule—whether for work or school, but waking up early can do wonders for your ability to get things done. Try waking up at 4 A.M. to study and work on assignments that require quiet time in an isolated environment. Rather than staying up very late, waking up very early will allow you to get a head start on the work that requires your undivided attention while your energy level is on the rise.

2. Batch tasks that complement each other.


(Photo Source: ryantron)

Whether picking up groceries, dropping off mail at the Post Office, depositing money in the bank, or returning books to the library, if you can complete a task that is on your route, you can save vital time for more important activities like practicing exam questions or completing a cover letter for the position you are applying to. Batch tasks that you can complete without changing gears. For instance, reading for an assignment, doing research online, and doing written work can all be completed in one sitting in a library computer lab. Practicing a speech in the library computer lab is not advisable unless you can secure a private sound-proof room.

3. Find environments that will foster your productivity.


(Photo Source: Urthstripe)

For activities that require uninterrupted silence, a quiet den, library, or coffee shop can make all the difference in your efforts. (Got Writer’s Block?) For projects that require a collaborative effort or more creative inspiration, discuss your ideas and insights with your colleagues while taking a walk through a park, at a restaurant downtown, while playing a board game, or shooting some hoops. The key is to create a relaxed environment that will get your subconscious creative thoughts flowing. Bring a notepad or audio-recording device. You can always meet up later to put your ideas down on paper (e.g. in a private room in the library, preferably one with a white board in it in order to go over your brainstorming efforts).

Being productive and making good use of your time is the key to improvement in any area. Limit distractions, complete tasks in a logical order, and put yourself in environments that promote the state of mind you need to succeed at what you are doing.

Have more ideas on how to better and more efficiently make use of your time? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below:

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In Career Advice, Interview Prep, Job Applications Posted

Interviewing Lesson from The Shawshank Redemption: How to Break the Interview Mold and Leave a Lasting Impression

One of the best movies of all time is undoubtedly The Shawshank Redemption. And one of the best scenes in that movie is when Red, played by Morgan Freeman, is finally granted parole.

By “finally,” we mean that Red had three parole hearings between 1947 and 1967. At the first hearing, this is what transpired:

Man #2: We see by your file you’ve served twenty years of a life sentence.

Man #3: You feel you’ve been rehabilitated?

Red: Yes, sir. Absolutely. I’ve learned my lesson. I can honestly say I’m a changed man. I’m no longer a danger to society. That’s the God’s honest truth. No doubt about it.

The parole paper was instantly stamped denied.

But the final hearing produced a different result. Here is what transpired:

Parole Man: Ellis Boyd Redding, your files say you’ve served 40 years of a life sentence. Do you feel you’ve been rehabilitated?

Red: Rehabilitated? Well, now let me see. You know, I don’t have any idea what that means.

Parole Man: Well, it means that you’re ready to rejoin society…

Red: I know what you think it means, sonny. To me it’s just a made up word. A politician’s word, so young fellas like yourself can wear a suit and a tie, and have a job. What do you really want to know? Am I sorry for what I did?

Parole Man: Well, are you?

Red: There’s not a day goes by I don’t feel regret. Not because I’m in here, or because you think I should. I look back on the way I was then: a young, stupid kid who committed that terrible crime. I want to talk to him. I want to try and talk some sense to him, tell him the way things are. But I can’t. That kid’s long gone and this old man is all that’s left. I got to live with that. Rehabilitated? It’s just a bullshit word. So you go on and stamp your form, sonny, and stop wasting my time. Because to tell you the truth, I don’t give a shit.

After some contemplation, Red’s parole application was approved, and he was released from prison.

The Lesson

The similarities between Red’s parole hearing and your upcoming job interview are numerous. Just like the parole officials wanted to be sure that Red would be a good fit to return to society, your interviewers need to be sure that you’ll be a good fit for the work environment.

And by “good fit” we don’t mean “qualified.” You’re sitting at the interview table—of course you’re qualified. The interviewers, like the parole officials, are concerned with who you are. They want to see how you present yourself. They want to see how fast you can think on your feet when asked an unexpected question. Most importantly, they want to see personality and confidence.

Now, we are not suggesting that you stride into the interview room, call the interviewer “Sonny,” and start letting curse words fly.

What we are advocating is this: do not walk into the interview room and tell the interviewers what you think they want to hear. That is what everyone else is probably doing, and it won’t set you apart from the competition.

Instead, sell yourself by being yourself. Resist the urge to respond to questions with generic answers. Give a great answer, let your personality shine through, and always radiate with confidence. Like Red, you must be passionate and sincere. The goal is to be memorable—you must transcend the four corners of your resume and leave a strong impression in the mind of the interviewer so that when they go home that evening, they are still thinking about hiring you.

Real-Life Examples

  • When Greg was interviewing for his judicial clerkship, he submitted two writing samples. One of the writing samples was a twenty-page memo on sidewalk liability, which involved whether a homeowner could be liable for a trip-and-fall occurring on the sidewalk of his property. Boring right? Greg thought so too. When asked by the Judge about the writing sample during his interview, Greg didn’t lie about how interesting he found the subject. Instead, Greg responded, “I chose this as a writing sample because it is the most boring topic that I’ve written about. Although I understand that you manage very interesting cases, such as medical-malpractice cases and employment-discrimination cases, I know that not everything will be interesting. So I chose this writing sample because it shows my ability to research and pay great attention to even the most uninteresting of topics.” Greg was hired the following week.
  • During her interview for an office job, Anita was asked, “What is your greatest strength.” Instead of responding with something generic like “I’m a hard worker,” Anita said, “I have a high tolerance for pain.” After she and the interviewers finished their good-hearted laugh about this unexpected answer, Anita drew analogies between her leadership experience in the army and what would be required of her in her current position. Anita was hired two days later.
  • The interviewer rescheduled John’s interview from Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning. At the beginning of the interview, the interviewer apologized and explained that he had to attend his son’s basketball game. The interview went well, and after about an hour, the interviewer asked John if he had any questions. Seeing an opportunity to connect with the interviewer on a more personal level, John, the father of two young children, declared that he had only one question and asked, “Who won the game?” The two then talked about their children for about ten minutes before shaking hands and departing. On his car ride home, John accepted the position via cellphone.
  • Katie attended an information session for a marketing analytics firm at her school. She studied both the industry and specific niche the company made for itself. She knew its service offerings, clients, and had a basic understanding of the company’s deliverables. What she didn’t know, she had no qualms asking about. She was confident yet not overly confident to the point of being rude. She asked the most questions at the information session as well as the best questions. The founder of the company was present at the information session and could tell she had a passion for learning about the industry as well as some good insights and questions that really tested some of his recruiters’ own knowledge of the industry. He was hooked. He asked Katie in for an interview the next week. She was on time, calm, and collected. She did not break a sweat. She was interviewed by the founder himself and when he asked her what she thought of his business, she replied, “I admire what you have done. And while I think your approach is innovative, I think the company can be improved in many areas.” She went on to describe what areas and approaches she thought might be helpful in maintaining existing customers as well as generating better turnaround on sales leads. At the end of their conversation, she said, “Initially, I set my sights on a big company because I thought I would be able to have a big impact at some point in my future. But, since then, I’ve realized that I want to have an impact on the company I’m working for the day I step foot in the door, a significant one at that. As we’ve discussed in this short interview, there are plenty of areas where I can have that big impact I’ve been looking forward to making. That’s why I want to work for your company.” She was called back for a second interview that same day. She was eventually hired a few weeks later with a start date in the Fall.

  • Steve Gadlin’s creativity and unique business idea landed himself in the Shark Tank. He was about to face five of the richest, most brilliant celebrity angel investors in the United States. His goal? To ask them for a significant investment in his business. Which was? Drawing cats for people online. His business model actually wasn’t that bizarre. Customers pay $9.95 for a drawing of a cat that takes three minutes to draw, producing $9.32 profit. He can complete one-thousand drawings in a one week period. You do math. But did Steve walk into the Shark Tank with a generic sales pitch about how the numbers made monetary sense? No. Steve immediately broke out into song and (awkward) dance. But, as you can tell from the video, his jingle was quite catchy and had clearly entertained the investors. When the first investor said he would not make an offer, Steve replied, “I want you to go out, then I want you to go back to your hotel tonight and put your head on your pillow. I promise you, the last thing that’s going through your head before you go to sleep is [does dance] ‘I want to draw a cat for you!’” Steve persevered and eventually walked out with a $25,000 investment from Mark Cuban.

What we can learn from Red and these examples is that you want to come off as being as real as possible while telling the interviewer what they actually want to hear, not what you think they want to hear. Be memorable, and the job is yours.

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In LSAT Prep, SAT Prep Posted

Recent UC Berkeley Neuroscience Study Shows Intense LSAT Prep Can Alter Brain Structure


(Photo Source: Liz Henry)

As we at SimuGator have advocated since our inception, intense, repetitive practice of the LSAT (as well as with any standardized test including the SAT) can lead to a significant improvement in overall exam score. The LSAT Proctor DVD and SAT Proctor DVD were both created to enhance the test taker’s ability to practice for these exams using simulated test environments.

What we have been advocating for over 5 years is now gaining some intriguing scientific support. According to a recent University of California, Berkeley Study conducted by UC Berkeley’s Dept. of Psychology and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute:

Intensive preparation for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) actually changes the microscopic structure of the brain, physically bolstering the connections between areas of the brain important for reasoning.

To read the full article on the study, see the link below:

Intense prep for law school admission test alters brain structure

This is just additional evidence for why both studying the material and practicing the practice exams and preptests are so important to improved performance on the LSAT as well as for any standardized test. At SimuGator, we strive to provide products that assist test takers in attaining their best scores. For more information on SimuGator products, please visit the following links:

SimuGator LSAT Proctor DVD

SimuGator SAT Proctor DVD

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In Career Advice, Interview Prep, Job Applications Posted

How SimuGator’s Interview App Can Help You Get the Job: A Short Story


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

Susan’s first interview for a private equity firm did not go well at all. She was late for the interview with a representative of the company, who later turned out to be the founder’s son.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

She was qualified but had overscheduled her calendar. She had so many interviews that she was running back and forth between class and her career services office. Almost every other hour of every weekday from 8:00 AM until the office closed at night, she’d either be in class or preparing for an interview. She thought that by going on as many interviews as possible she’d dramatically increase her chances. She was determined to secure employment before she graduated, no matter what the position was. This was surely the wrong approach.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

She showed up to the interview with visible signs of perspiration on her face and arms. The company representative could tell that she was winded and was not happy about her tardiness. In her rush to do more than she could, she forgot to read the company profile. She did not fully understand what the firm’s main investment opportunities were or how it interacted with corporate and institutional clients and investors. She did not understand what they did to say the least, and she had not practiced her interviewing technique at all.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

Instead, her use of generalities and financial lingo did not impress the recruiter. He could tell that she was nervous through her awkward demeanor and her excessive use of umm, ahh, like, and ya know (i.e. phonetic hesitations, phonemes, and filler words) throughout the interview. Her answers were vague and her questions were too broad. It was clear that she had not adequately prepared for the interview. She subsequently did not get a call back for a second.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

A few months later, she went to her school’s investment banking, corporate finance, and private equity recruiting roundtable event. There, she came across the same firm once again. She made sure to do substantial research on both the industry and the firm’s specific market niche. She knew its opportunities, investors, and had a basic understanding of its operations and clients’ expectations. What she didn’t know, she did not hesitate to ask. What helped her regain her composure? How did she renew her confidence despite failing miserably in her previous interaction with the company’s recruiters? She made sure she was well-prepared by clearing her schedule, doing her due diligence, and getting enough sleep. Most importantly, she practiced her interview technique and what she’d say using the SimuGator Interview App for her iPhone and iPad.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

She was confident yet not overly confident to the point of being rude. She asked the most questions at the roundtable with the firm as well as the best questions. The founder of the company was present. He was impressed by her intense interest in his company and could tell that she had a passion for learning about the private equity markets. She had some good insights and her questions put his recruiters’ own knowledge of the industry to the test. He was hooked. He asked Susan if she’d like to come in for an interview the following week.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

Susan arrived to the interview 15 minutes early. She was cool and composed. She did not have to break a sweat because she was more than prepared with her resume, a writing sample, a pen, and a writing pad to take notes. She also brought some company white papers and her own research and market analysis to brush up on while she waited. During her interview, she made sure to maintain good eye contact, speak without stumbling on her words, and kept her answers and questions clear and concise. She was more engaging with the interviewers and made sure to demonstrate her knowledge, interest, and passion for private equity. Her answers and questions to the interviewers were relevant, interesting, and showed that she had done her research. She demonstrated why she thought she would be a great fit for the firm using both her previous experiences as examples and by talking about some of her future aspirations to become a commercial real estate portfolio manager one day, hopefully at their firm.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

She went on to describe what areas and approaches she thought might be helpful in generating new investment business, referencing a team investment plan competition her team had won during her private equity class. At the end of their conversation, she summarized her intentions by stating, “As we’ve discussed in this interview, there are plenty of areas where I believe I can make a significant positive impact at your firm. I’ve been looking forward to the opportunity to work with you and your colleagues, and I believe my experiences make me a worthy candidate. That’s why I want to work for your company.” She was called back for a second interview the next day. She was eventually hired several weeks later and started work a month after graduation.


(Photo Source: Victor1558)

For more information on the SimuGator Interview App or to download it for your own interview practice, click here.

For help with your job application documents, including resumes, cover letters, thank you letters, writing samples, and more, visit our sister site at Gradvocates Career Editing.

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In SAT Prep Posted

Help Your Students Achieve Higher Scores with SimuGator’s SAT Proctor

SAT Proctor DVD by SimuGator
SimuGator’s SAT Proctor DVD

SAT tutoring can be very competitive. The high demands placed on students to succeed at the SAT, formerly the Scholastic Aptitude Test, are greater than ever. This is true despite attempts to change admission standards and policies by many universities for several decades now. With increased pressure on students to do well on the exam comes increased stress for tutors to better prepare them for it.

Increased demand, however, can also present increased opportunity. Set yourself apart as a tutor by giving your students the advantage of timed practice with a simulated test environment. As you already know, timed practice under realistic conditions is one of the best ways to prepare for standardized tests. SimuGator has developed a realistic full-length reproduction of a proctored SAT examination. Use SimuGator’s SAT Proctor DVD along with SAT Practice Tests to give your students realistic SAT test practice from their own homes at their convenience.

Some of the valuable features include a chapter selection to start at any section or break. Practice one section at a time or come back to a section later to resume where you left off. Test with an optional additional distractions mode, which mimics distractions a student may encounter at his or her testing site, such as pencil erasing, coughing, sneezing, chair and desk squeaking, sighing, page-turning, and other ambient test center room sounds. All ten sections are included along with the three official five-minute breaks after section two, four, and six. (Please Note: Have your students use one practice test’s 25-minute multiple choice sections as the experimental section for each of their practice tests to replicate the full-length exam. Experimental sections are not included in the Official SAT Practice Tests provided by College Board.)

The proctor indicates when five minutes are remaining in each section. In addition to five-minute warnings, the SAT proctor is firm and authoritative when a section’s time is up, asking students to stop working and put their pencils down in a realistic manner. Time between sections is also realistic. The proctor will move at a swift pace to instruct students to turn to the next section, give brief instructions, tell them how much time they have for the section, and inform them when to begin.

There is no need to have your students travel to faraway test centers for a single proctored test anymore. With the SimuGator SAT Edition DVD, they’ll be able to easily proctor their own tests whenever they have free time on their computer or living room TV. This value-add will help your students improve their scores and help you gain more recognition for your services from customers. Consider adding the DVD to your service package or recommending it to your students and their parents for self-practice between tutoring sessions.

Have questions for us? Contact us here, or leave us a comment below. We love to hear your thoughts, and if you believe this article would be helpful to someone you know, please Like and share it.

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In SAT Prep Posted

SAT Registration Deadlines Fast Approaching for Spring 2013


(Photo Source: crownjewel82)

If you plan to take the SAT this spring or have a son or daughter who is, register now for one of the upcoming available exam dates. You can register for the May 4th or June 1st 2013 SAT tests. You have until April 5th to register for the May 4th exam. For an additional fee, you can register by mail, phone, or online by April 19th for the same May 4th test.

If you don’t mind waiting until June to take the test, you have until May 7th for standard registration. For late registration by mail (for an additional fee), you have until May 17th. By phone and College Board’s website, you have until May 22nd for the same additional fee.

Remember, SimuGator’s SAT Edition timer and proctor can help prepare you for the test by timing your SAT practice tests before you take the real thing. To register for the SAT, visit College Board’s website here and click Register at the top of the page.

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In LSAT Prep, LSAT Watch Posted

Best Analog LSAT Watch to Use on Exam Day

LSAT Watch
SimuGator’s Analog LSAT Watch

Unfortunately, we no longer carry the SimuGator Analog LSAT watch, and won’t for the foreseeable future unless something changes. It was and still is a great watch—might even be a collector’s item one day. So snag one if you happen to come across it as its value will surely increase.

Despite healthy demand, we have decided to suspend production of the watch at the present moment to focus on our new digital offerings. It retailed for $34.99 on www.simugator.com.

However, we can recommend several watches that you can use for timing yourself on your LSAT PrepTests and exam-day test. The following are a few simple yet quality analog watches with unidirectional rotating bezels (key for easy resets at the start of each LSAT section with a simple twist of the bezel). Each won’t break the bank either.

Casio’s MDV106-1A Black Analog AntiReverse Bezel Watch
Currently $38.99 Shipped and Sold by Amazon. This is the best quality watch of the three we recommend here.

Casio Men’s MRW200H-1BV Sport Analog Dive Watch
Currently $16.99 Shipped and Sold by Amazon. This watch is very popular and has good reviews—ranked #2 in Watches on Amazon.com at the time this article was written.

Casio Men’s MRW200H-1EV Sport Analog Dive Watch
Currently $16.99 Shipped and Sold by Amazon. Watch has a slightly different look as the one above and slightly different specs, but still has an exceptional rating.

Or if you prefer it in white, see this version:
Casio Men’s MRW200H-7EV Sport Analog Dive Watch

We suggest the analog watches mentioned above over other LSAT watches (also known as LSAT Timers) with numbers up to only 35 minutes and that can’t be used for anything else other than the LSAT. These types of watches or timers lack bezels. You don’t want to be adjusting a watch’s dial during the LSAT. It’s imprecise and much more difficult to do quickly in a stressful environment like the LSAT exam room. A bezel is quick and easy, and it is the preferable way to adjust your starting time at the beginning of each section. We also believe many of those watches lack the quality of larger manufacturer’s watches like the ones we mention above. This is only what we’ve observed ourselves and from reviews online. Always look at the average ratings of any watch you buy online before you buy it. Amazon is a good resource for checking ratings before you buy.

Those are our recommendations for analog LSAT watches. Also note, if you have not already gotten the SimuGator LSAT Proctor (Available on Amazon, the App Store, and via Instant Streaming on any device), you may want to consider getting it as well to help you simulate realistic conditions on your LSAT PrepTests.

We hope this information helps you find a suitable analog LSAT watch. We strive to help students be comfortable with their exam-room environment and timing on test day. We wish you the best of luck in your practice and on the real thing.

Feel free to share this article with anyone who might find it useful and share your comments with us below.

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In LSAT Prep Posted

How Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) Got a 179 on Her LSAT

Anyone who is preparing for the LSAT and has seen the movie Legally Blonde has probably wondered: “How on earth did Elle Woods go from a 143 to a 179?”

One obvious answer is: “It’s fiction.” But even in the real world, such a large jump in LSAT score is indeed possible after months of dedicated preparation.

Surprisingly, if you watch closely enough, you can learn a lot about LSAT prep from Elle Woods. Here are four incredible LSAT prep tips from Elle Woods.

Elle Prioritized LSAT Prep over Her Social Life


In one scene, Elle is shown in the library with a friend reviewing an LSAT PrepTest. The camera cuts to a group of frat boys running by with a keg outside. Elle contemplates joining them for a brief second, but she ultimately resists temptation by diving back into her studies.

The lesson is obvious. Raising your score from a 143 to a 179 will take months of dedicated LSAT prep. It is critical to prioritize your goals and make short-term sacrifices so that you can achieve your long-term goals. Although it might be difficult to turn down fun parties and events, it will be worth it when you get into the law school of your dreams and possibly receive a large scholarship. Like Elle, you should party only after you receive a high score.

Elle Strictly Proctored Her LSAT PrepTests Under Distracting Conditions


Unfortunately for Elle, the LSAT Proctor DVD, which proctors LSAT PrepTests and simulates test-day conditions with the push of a button, was not available in 2001.

Accordingly, Elle had to use an alternative approach to proctor her tests and simulate the distractions that she would face on test day. She asked her friend to proctor her test during a fitness class. As you can imagine, a room full of people exercising is clearly a distracting environment.

The lesson here is one we have been teaching for many years. LSAT prep is worthless unless you gauge your progress by taking LSAT PrepTests under actual conditions. Simulate test-day conditions to ensure that your score does not drop on test day.

Click here to read more about the LSAT Proctor DVD, now available for immediate download on the iPhone and iPad.

Bad Move: Elle DID NOT use the SimuGator Test Center Rater to Help Choose a Good Testing Location


Elle obviously did not research good testing centers because she took her LSAT in a crowded auditorium with virtually no desk space.

The lesson here is to use the free SimuGator LSAT Test Center Rater to help choose a great test center. Our database includes thousands of reviews from participants who reviewed important factors including desk space, room temperature, number of test takers in the room, noise level, lighting, testing delays, and competency of proctors.

Although Elle succeeded despite her testing environment, increase your odds of getting a high score by choosing a quiet testing center with small rooms and a large amount of desk space.

Elle Kept a Cool Head on Test Day


Test day is intimidating and full of distractions. Everything from the flipping of other people’s test booklets, to the clicking of the proctor’s shoes, to the proctor yelling “five minutes left” can throw you off your game.

However, Because Elle simulated test-day conditions during her practice tests, she was able to keep a cool head and let her LSAT techniques and strategies go to work.

If you follow these tips and stick to a dedicated regime of LSAT prep, increasing your score from a 143 to a 179 will go from a fictitious possibility to a definite reality.

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In LSAT Prep Posted

List of all LSAT PrepTests


(Photo Source: katesheets)

Studying for the LSAT? You’re going to need practice tests and an analog LSAT watch. For Official LSAT PrepTests, see the links below (Listed Newest to Oldest):

Official LSAT Preptest 69: June 2013 LSAT
Contains PrepTest 69.

The Official LSAT PrepTest 68: (Dec. 2012 LSAT)
Contains PrepTest 68.

The Official LSAT PrepTest 67
Contains PrepTest 67.

The Official LSAT PrepTest 66
Contains PrepTest 66.

The Official PrepTest 65 (Official LSAT PrepTest)
Contains PrepTest 65.

The Official LSAT Preptest 64
Contains PrepTest 64.

The Official LSAT Preptest 63
Contains PrepTest 63.

The Official LSAT PrepTest 62
Contains PrepTest 62.

10 New Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (LSAT Series)
Contains PrepTests 52 – 61.

The Official LSAT PrepTest 51
Contains PrepTest 51.

10 Actual, Official Recent LSAT PrepTests: Official LSAT PrepTests 41-50 (Cambridge LSAT)
Contains PrepTests 41 – 50.

For PrepTests 39 and 40, see last book listed.

The Next 10 Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (LSAT Series)
Contains PrepTests 29 – 38.

10 More Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests (LSAT Series)
Contains PrepTests 19 – 28.

10 Actual, Official LSAT PrepTests
Contains PrepTests 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18.

10 Actual, Official Out-of-Print LSAT PrepTests: Official LSAT PrepTests 1-6, 8, 17, 39, and 40 (Cambridge LSAT)
Contains PrepTests 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 17, 39, and 40.

If you are nearing your test date, we suggest getting the newer tests as the material should be more relevant than older exams. However, if you have started your LSAT Prep early as recommended, you should try to practice with as many LSAT PrepTests as possible—starting with the older tests first and then working your way forward to the newer ones as your LSAT exam date approaches. This will allow for the maximum amount of real LSAT practice, giving you ample time to learn the material at your own pace using the older exams and practicing your technique/familiarizing yourself with the style of the questions in the newer ones.

And don’t forget to simulate your way to a higher LSAT score with SimuGator’s LSAT Proctor – A Virtual Exam Environment and Timer for Your LSAT PrepTests . Thousands of students have found SimuGator’s LSAT Proctor to be an invaluable tool in helping them prepare for the LSAT and increase their scores.

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