The LSAT is about solution strategies... i.e. understanding when to solve the scenarios and when to merely create scenario templates.. or understanding when to diagram conditional statements and what said statements actually mean. As such I do not agree with you. I do, however, agree with you on BS little tricks that are termed solution strategies such as pinning ones hope on getting a correct answer by solely determining the logical force of a conclusion and picking an answer choice with the same logical force -- that is one example of test taking strategy does not really get to the heart of the matter.
The very first test one takes if a one has never seen the LSAT would result in no real understanding of how to solve a logic game or how to even approach solving a logic game.
I also firmly disagree with you regarding the prosepctive law students studying hard for the test. I have taught literally hundreds of students and there is over confidence that permeates the air. Most students think the LSAT is just a memory game that can be crammed for right before test time. Most students that I have run across think that they are just going to ace the test because that has been their experience through undergraduate. Student EGO is oen of the biggest hurdles to get through.
There simply is no real review of prep tests when a student sits down COLD and takes the LSAT (the initial test diagnostic) from the three major prep companies that I have taught for. In a nutshell, 1) it is to break the student down with the hope that they will listen and apply proper technique later and 2) (which I find stupid) a way for major prep companies to get a low starting score so that the point upswing can be calculated -- the lower the better.
I do agree with you if you are talking about handing the student a printout and letting them know where their intuitively weakest topics are. I also think that the first test is not a real indicator of true test taker weaknesses on specific aspects of the LSAT.
Even from my own experience the VERY first LSAT I took without any preparation whatsoever - I was lost on that test. It would have served no purpose to go through the test. The idea is after that test the instructor can then take a look at everyone and say --- ok, we are dealing with a serious bitc** of a test here... now lets begin at the beginning.
I absolutely disagree that taking the test COLD and not reviewing it WHATSOEVER is a waste of time. It puts students on notice of what they are dealing with. Up to this point these ARE NOT LAW SCHOOL students at all -- they are undergrad and up. Before you take the test you have no idea what you are dealing with. The point of the COLD test is to put you on notice.