Ep. 121: Third time’s the charm

After a few foiled attempts, the guys have FINALLY recorded episode 121. And it’s a good thing, because there are TONS of updates. Hear about LSAC releasing December LSAT scores early and get an update on the new ABA 509 report. You’ll also find out how our friend Wicked is making out on her quest for scholarships from a top law school. Plus, Nathan and Ben talk global warming, their new YouTube channel, a recent article that quotes Ben, pets, entrepreneurship, and how getting to 121 podcast episodes—much like getting your best LSAT score—takes work, but more importantly, tenacity.

17:50 – Email 1—Y’all can thank Riley for taking the time to ask the American Bar Association about the new ABA 509 reports. Riley was all like—WTF did the bar-passage rate information go? The ABA’s not-so-deft explanation came back in less than 24 hours. Apparently a separate survey will go out to collect bar-passage data this month and next month, and that data will be available in…early spring. The ABA response creates more questions than it answers, but one thing is clear: the “Ultimate Bar Passage” data is coming soon…we just won’t know where to find it.

27:14 – Email 2—Anonymous writes in with a quick shout-out for episode 97. They listened before the December LSAT, and when they opened their first section to reading comprehension, they found a way to start the test with a smile. Congrats on your 168, anon!

29:15 – Email 3—Some more love from a Thinking LSAT listener! Riley 2 destroyed the December LSAT, propelling his score from 158 to 165. He attributes his jump in score in part to the podcast, and in part to Ben’s tutoring. Nice work, Riley! Make sure to pat yourself on the back, too.

31:40 – Email 4—After one on one LSAT tutoring with Nathan, Brandon saw his score jump from 163 to…get ready…176. That’s insane. Great work Brandon, and thank you for the tips.

34:45 – Email 5—Are you ready for some more good feels, dear listeners? Matt’s journey to LSAT success was a lengthy one. After scoring a 158 in 2015, Matt headed over to Reddit for some advice on how to improve his score. He purchased a few LSAT books that encouraged a stem-first approach, and saw his score go down on his next attempt. Finally, after discovering the pod, Matt hooked up several books by Nathan and saw his score jump up to 168. That sent him from the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile at many of the schools he has in his sights. See, listeners? Patience. Persistence. And reading the passage first, not the stem. These things go a long way in boosting your score.

43:58 – Email 6—Anonymous writes in to ask if you should be in the 75th percentile in both GPA and LSAT score in order to be in a good negotiating position for scholarships at a given school. Ben and Nathan weigh in and give anon some good news. Even though their LSAT score sits around the 50th percentile for their target school, their GPA puts them in the 90th percentile. That bodes pretty well for their LSAC GPA, and their chances for a scholarship.

48:41 – Email 7—If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that Ben and Nathan are fierce advocates for always reading the stimulus first as opposed to reading the question stem first in any testing situation. Here to back them up is anonymous High School Teacher. In her school, many of the other teachers prompt the students to read passages through the lens of the questions they receive in advance. However, HST started giving students reading passages without letting them know the questions first, and saw their performance improve dramatically. Pretty good use of the scientific method, HST. The guys discuss the benefits of a stimulus-first approach, and briefly digress on the state of politics in Britain and the US.

1:01:12 – Email 8—The guys received an update from Wicked, the student who is keeping us up to date on her admissions and scholarship negotiations as she heads into the 2018-2019 school year. Wicked sends a list of schools where she has been accepted, where she’s gotten a full ride, and at which top schools she has interviews scheduled. Pretty badass. But Wicked is a little concerned that she hasn’t heard back from several schools, and is otherwise wondering whether she should hedge her bets with the school that’s given her a full ride thus far. Nathan and Ben tell Wicked to pump the brakes. There’s still plenty of time to slay. Make some of these schools sweat it out.

1:08:22 – Email 9—Anon writes in with a frustrating conundrum. From his cold diagnostic to taking the LSAT and all of the practice and helpful books in between, he hasn’t seen much change in his score. The guys speculate as to why this might be the case, and what they see as the pitfalls for this test-taker. Anon is keen to get better fast to beat the admissions deadline in March. Here are a few pro tips, anon: there are no tips and tricks to put you where you need to be. Just dig deep, persist, take your time, and get the work done. And whatever you do, please, please don’t apply in March.


  1. Bruh, I took a cold diagnostic section yesterday and I only got 5 right on the logic reason section I took!!!!! For some reason I had a hard time reading through the questions and answering the questions. For some reason I had a mental roadblock and had trouble concentrating, what could it be do you think? I don’t think I should be worried because even if that data spot like you talk about is low, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been learning because all my other scores have been higher.

    I think I’m getting close to 150 I can feel it!

    I’ve taken 4 now almost 4 practice tests so I’m going to keep pushing – hoping for that full/partial ride, you know!


    1. Thanks for the note, and I appreciate your comments here, but since you asked for my advice, “almost 4” practice tests simply isn’t gonna get it done. Your competitors are outworking you. By now, this number should be 14 at least. Many students end up doing 24, or 34, or 44 PTs and thoroughly, honestly reviewing each mistake.

      There’s no “I’m getting close to 150 I can feel it.” You’re either there or you’re not. If you’re getting 5 questions right on an entire section of LR, that is exactly the same result you’d expect if you were randomly bubbling in answers for every question. Literally 1 out of 5 correct. That’s exactly random chance.

      Shake off the one bad data point, but there are far more of these to come if you’re only doing 4 tests.


      1. So your last comment goes like this: there are far more of these to come if you’re only doing 4 tests.

        So then if I’m only doing four test than there are more bad scores coming diagrammed as D4T —-> B

        So thereby if we take the contrapositive of this sentence we have
        not B then I am not doing four – so logically speaking I have the potential to overcome this obstacle! I’m going to shake this one off and chalk up that tests as a loss. I’m going to disrespect that LSAT and keep trucking because I know that I have it in me to succeed. I don’t know why but your posts give me alot of motivation to do better. I promise you by next week that I will have taken at a minimum 2 practice tests.

        Mike Tyson once said that “I’m a nut case, but that is what I believe. – Mike Tyson” It may sound crazy but I got this!


  2. Like everyone else here, I want to go to law school. I have taken my time to really apply to schools. I have had some mental laziness like you mentioned in this podcast episode, mainly because I have other things going on – even though I have already applied twice.

    I graduated almost 3 years ago, so I am applying at an older age – do you think that matters? And it’s definitely better to apply with a decent LSAT score as oppose to rushing the whole process right?

    Additionally, the best time to apply would be at the beginning of the application cycle?


    1. No, three years doesn’t matter at all. Yes, higher score is worth waiting for. Yes, the earlier in the cycle, the better. But it doesn’t have to be right at the beginning. Just apply before Halloween.


  3. What’s the email address for podcast?


  4. Hi Guys,

    So I took the diagnostic test cold and got a 152. I’m just hoping for a 160 because I’m not looking to get into a top law school. I want to know if there is schools out there that would give someone that has a 2.77 GPA and a 160 LSAT money to go to school? Also, what do you think is the best way to study to get a 160?


    1. Use the LSAC’s LSAT GPA Calculator to assess your chances of admission at various schools. When you’re an 80% or higher chance of admission, you’re also a very good chance for scholarships.

      The best way to study to reach ANY particular score is simply to do a timed section of a real test, every single day, and thoroughly review your mistakes. Keep listening to the podcast and you’ll hear us say that about a billion times. Good luck!


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