Ep. 176: Hello, LSAT Fundamentals

Ben’s just finished shoveling his snow-covered driveway, and while Nathan’s pumped to travel east for their joint talk on changes to the LSAT, he’s not thrilled to hear about the treacherous east-coast winter. But changes are indeed a-comin’, sort of. Both to the test…and to Thinking LSAT. You’ll hear all about them in today’s show.

“Changes to the show, you say?”

That’s right, dear listeners. It’s an all-new feature! LSAT fundamentals. The guys are creating an LSAT curriculum that will combine their years of experience in teaching the test. Kind of like Voltron, but instead it’s an LSAT curriculum. These lil’ nuggets are gonna be yer basics. How to study. Understanding the essential materials. Identifying the first steps for prepping to take the test.

Plus, you’ll get an update from LSAC about the June and July tests. You’ll hear about changes coming to the writing sample portion of the test. And, of course. The guys answer a few of your questions.

If you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. You can connect with other folks studying for the LSAT, and get more useful resources from Nathan and Ben.

Facebook Group

Personal Statement Help

Strategy Prep

Fox LSAT  

LSAT Demon

4:07 – LSAT Demon updates. Ben’s been working with the developers to improve performance of the platform so that it’s even snappier than it is today. The team is also close to releasing timed sections through the Demon. Plus, the guys have a new slogan for the platform that originated in Nathan’s class in San Fran.

11:54 – OK, dear readers. Here it is. Your first LSAT fundamental. What do you do the very first day you decide to start studying for the test? What about the first week? Nathan and Ben share their philosophies for kicking off your LSAT study and it’s all about getting your feet wet. Answer a question. Do a 35-minute section. Or, better yet, take a practice test right away. Don’t read theory. Don’t lose yourself down Reddit rabbit holes. Just. Dive. In. And from there, start building an LSAT habit. Do something LSAT related every day. The more you can do, the better. But even if it’s just answering questions on the LSAT Demon on your down time, you’ll be doing yourself a life-changing favor. Tune in to hear all of the advice.

33:24 – Dear colleague! So begins an email the guys received from the mothership. LSAC writes to let everyone know some exciting news: registration is open for the June and July tests. They sure don’t spare us their loquaciousness in doing so, however. Ben and Nathan work their way through the email, sweetly critiquing it along the way. Nathan’s heard his students mention that all the test centers are full-up, and that er’ybody in the club’s getting wait-listed. But Ben? He’s heard conflicting reports…

43:51 – Email 1—Cara writes in with some more helpful LSAT news. It turns out that, starting in June, the writing sample will be severed from its long-held place at the end of the exam. But don’t worry. It’s going to be quite convenient IF you can ever decipher wtf LSAC is talking about when they describe this change. It turns out you’ll get to do the writing sample from the luxury of your own home! You’ll just need to video-tape yourself doing it, big-brother style, and cough up $15 extra to do so! The guys opine on this change.

50:42 – Email 2—Lydia considers herself a splitter. She’s got a 3.95 GPA. She’s is ranked in the upper echelons of her class. But she’s always underperformed on standardized tests, including the SAT, the ACT, and now? The LSAT. She pulled down a 160 in November, but that’s at the lower end of her practice-score range. She wants to know if he should write an addendum to explain that she does poorly on standardized tests. Ben jumps in and offers advice on exactly how to frame the addendum, if she ends up writing one. Nathan thinks she should totally retake. Either way, you got this, Lydia!

54:11 – Aight y’all. It’s Pearls vs. Turds time! And the Pearls are a-strugglin’. What’s more? We’re not off to a great start this week when the “advice” starts out “It’s common knowledge that…” You’ll have to tune in to hear what suggestion jacked up the Turd score to 7.

59:42 – Email 3—Timmy’s concerned. He’s applied to law school, and he’s gotten some scholarship offers. But the lawyer in him has an eye for details. Some of the scholarships indicate a “full” scholarship. That is, 100% of your tuition is paid for. But others simply indicate a $XYZ scholarship, where $XYZ is the same cost of the current year’s tuition at the school. What if the school jacks up their rates in your 2L or 3L years? Are you gonna be on the hook for the difference? The pro tip from Nathan and Ben? Ask the school.

1:03:16 – The guys jump into the next LSAT India question. Today they’re smashing out another LR question: section 1, question 9. Let’s go. The question is different than any question we’ve seen on this test thus far: a paradox question. The question’s about the likelihood of one’s death as a drinker, smoker, or both. The guys slice through this thing like a hot knife through butter and explain their reasoning in real time.

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