The LSAT, Google Fail, and Stephen King’s Time Travel

Google absolutely failed me just now. Stephen King wrote that reading/writing is an act of time travel. I’m sure of it. I can actually picture the page in my copy of ON WRITING where I highlighted the quote. This only goes to show you that electronics are inferior to a well-read physical book with pages.

About time travel, though: Stephen King explains that reading/writing is about a person sitting down and putting thoughts on paper, communicated to a person in the future, who will sit down and connect with those thoughts on the page. It’s really travel through both space and time and it’s what’s happening to you right now.

As I write this, I’m sitting at Starbucks on Sunday, September 18. You, however, are reading this somewhere that probably isn’t Starbucks, on or after Saturday, September 24.

Usually, I don’t bother you with the time travel that’s a constant on this blog, because who really cares that I write posts, then schedule them so that they go live while I’m out living my life, doing other things?

This time, though, the time travel matters to me a little bit, because there is a decent chance you are reading this post while I am taking the LSAT.

I’ve been preparing for this day with hours and hours and hours of studying. I’ve read three thousand-plus page books in about eight weeks. I’ve downloaded apps, even though I hate apps. I’ve given up precious reading and writing time, exercise time, sleep time, and just TIME in general to prepare to take this test.

I’m feeling fairly optimistic about today. I could have studied a little harder. I’m the type who is pretty good at planning balance and rest into my life, so I hope I’ve found that perfect amount of time-sacrifice to get me the score I need, which, by the way is 160.

160 is the score that gets me into any/all of the schools I might be interested in attending.

160 is the lower end of scholarship potential.

160 is a solid score.

On all of my practice tests for the past month, I’ve scored at or around 160. 159. 160. 158. 161…

Yesterday, however, which is in the past for both of us, but is a week ago for you and just a day ago for me… yesterday, I scored a 163 on my final full-length practice test. The difference between a 163 and a 160 is four questions. The higher you score on the LSAT, the fewer questions you have to improve to improve. For instance, the difference between a 120 and a 121 is 15 questions. That’s an extreme example, because 120 is the lowest score possible, but you get the gist.

Scoring a 163 was nice, but it’s also stressing me out. You see, I always guess on about 12 questions on the test. I’m not fast enough to get through everything, so there is almost always exactly one reading comprehension passage I don’t get to and one logic game. That adds up to about 12 questions, usually. The difference between my 160 and 163, could very well rest within those 12 questions I will have to guess on.

Life’s a bitch, isn’t it.

There you are, enjoying a nice session of time travel, and here I am, sitting in a room full of people like me: people who are very concerned with choosing the right guess bubbling pattern… should I go with all Cs? C is the most common correct answer, right? Somebody told me that once, but it’s probably not true anymore. I could go a-b-c-d-e-a-b-c-d-e. They say you have a 1-in-5 chance every time, and it doesn’t really matter, but they’re obviously robots who don’t understand. I could try to spell something out, or guess randomly. WHAT THE HELL DO I DO!?

The bubbling pattern I choose will likely be the difference between thousands of dollars. This bubbling pattern may very well dictate where I’m going to live, who I’m going to meet, what jobs I get, and how long I’m going to be in debt… It’s basically the bubbling pattern from Hell.

Other luck factors that will impact my entire future:

I score higher when the Reading Comprehension section comes early on in the test.

I score higher when Logic Games come somewhere in the middle of the test.

I score higher when one of the Reading Comprehension passages is about books or writers.

I score higher when the science passage in the Reading Comprehension section has fewer questions than the other passages have.

I score higher when there’s a 1-tiered logic game that’s easily-identifiable as such.

I hope you enjoy your day. I hope that while I’m furiously reading, analyzing, bubbling, and diagramming you’re drinking a mimosa. I hope you’ll pause just long enough between sips to ask Jesus for 4 correct guesses for me… just 4. That’s all I want. And for the Reading Comprehension section to come first. And for there to be no problems with me looking like the picture of me on my entrance ticket. And for the tester next to me to be almost exactly like Nathan Fillion, only a little younger and a Calvinist version of him, who is single. Is that too much to ask?




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