Information overload and the LSAT

LSAT
By Ed P.

You’re reading this because, ultimately, you want to be a lawyer. You look forward to dealing with multiple complex legal issues, responsibilities, and client demands. You know the day will come where your client has an urgent question about a legal issue buried deep within a 300-page legal document. After all, that’s the day-to-day life of a busy lawyer.

“I’m just here to take the LSAT, so I don't think this is relevant to me,” you may be saying to yourself right now. Well, a successful lawyer must be able to deal with information overload efficiently and effectively. After all, your client will want that answer from the 300-page document to be both accurate and delivered quickly. So, the LSAT tests your ability to deal with information overload.

How often have you looked at a Logic Game and felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and possibilities present in the game? Or a Logic Reasoning question with an argument that twisted on itself and left you unsure where to begin? Or a Reading Comprehension passage that left you wondering what you had just read. In all these moments, the LSAT makers achieved their goal. They overwhelmed you with information. You tried to retain and make sense of all that information at once and your brain said “nope!”.

If you felt like that, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there. It’s frustrating and it’s infuriating. But it’s also a fixable problem and the path forward is learnable. What you need is structure. You need to know how to organize, compartmentalize and connect the information. You need to look for structure. 

For example, whenever I begin working with my students on Logic Games, we first focus on taking the information in the scenario in “bite size bits” and look for connections. “Baby steps,” I tell my students.  You take one rule at a time and anytime you diagram a new rule, you look for connections with the rules you already diagrammed in the game. “Don’t wait until the end to make your inferences”, I remind my students. As you practice, practice, and practice the process, Logic Games will no longer be intimating because they will no longer be able to overwhelm you with information. 

Of course, this process of taking in bits of information at a time and looking for connections applies to Logic Reasoning and Reading Comprehension. There should always be a reason why you pick your answer, and why that information is right or wrong. That reason comes from understanding the structure of the information in the stimuli and passages of these sections. 

As you continue in your LSAT journey, ask yourself what processes and structures you have in place to deal with information overload on the LSAT. And if you need a thought partner in your journey, I am always here to help.

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