Ep. 182: The artist formerly known as Grouping Games

Between Ben getting snubbed by his neighbors at the ABA and Nathan booking talks around the country, there’s never a dull moment in the Thinking LSAT world. Today, the guys cover tips, tricks, and other FUNdamentals for Logic Games that have grouping elements. If you’ve ever had to figure out who to invite to your wedding and then where to seat the poor souls, then you know what we’re talking about. And if you’ve ever had to solve a problem like that on the LSAT, you REALLY know what we’re talking about. The guys also review a weekly bit of LSAT wisdom, and tear into a listener’s personal statement.

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3/6/19 – The guys are going LIVE in cyberspace once again. This time? Tune into Instagram this Wednesday to ask your questions in real time. 1:30 EST, 10:30 Pacific. RSVP and ask your question in advance here.  

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3/16 – 3/17/19 – The guys are at it again, delivering a joint Thinking LSAT Live prep course. This time it’s in Las Vegas, and seats are filling up quickly. If you’re ramping up to take the March, June or July tests, this is a great way to grab some pearls of wisdom before heading into your test. Register here for a weekend of comprehensive LSAT prep and Thinking LSAT shenanigans in LVNV.

In April, Ben and Nathan are each  roaming the country, spreading the good LSAT word. Catch his talk about changes coming to the LSAT at:

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5:38 – Demon Update

Ben gives some updates on the latest features and feedback with regards to the LSAT Demon. They’ve added explanations an tab to the menu. They’ve fixed a bug that prevented some users from seeing the 4th passage and 4th game explanations, and more!

10:28 – At Nathan’s recent talk in SLC, he met up with show producer, Sarah, and the two got to chatting about fun things to offer the Thinking LSAT community. They thought it would be pretty badass to put together a “best of” Thinking LSAT, based on YOUR favorite moments from the show. Let us know your favorite pieces of advice, stories or moments that made you laugh, or anything else you’ve loved from the show’s 180+ episodes. Send your suggestions to help@thinkingLSAT.com !

12:06 – The guys give a PSA about re-taking the LSAT. Commonly, poor anxious listeners will write in worried about re-taking the LSAT to reach for a better score. Won’t schools look down on too many attempts? What if I re-take and get a worse score? These are the questions that keep our dear lawyers-to-be up at night, sharpening their plentiful collections of pencils. Nathan tells the story of a former student who had a 172 on record and wanted to re-take to go for a higher score to improve her odds of getting into Stanford. But on the day of the test, the proctor forgot to give a 5-minute warning, causing our hero to miss out on a final question and miss out on bubbling in guesses for unanswered questions. Major bummer. LSAC called and offered the student the opportunity to cancel her score, sight unseen, without any penalty. Tune in to hear what happened next, and to hear some helpful application tips from the guys.  

22:23 – LSAT FUNdamentals

This week, the Ben and Nathan continue their teaching reboot—LSAT Fundamentals. Tune in to hear over a decade of combined wisdom teaching the LSAT. Today, the guys jump in to a specific kind of Logic Games. They take a look at games that include “grouping elements.” Perhaps you have to order some folks, but you also have to sort them onto two or more different teams. That would be a game with a grouping element.

What do the guys want you to take away? The LSAT presents a TON of hybrid games. So to call a particular game a “grouping game” isn’t really accurate. And there’s not one template you can use that will be a catchall for solving these problems. Don’t be fooled by any teaching system that suggests otherwise. Instead, Nathan and Ben want to provide you with a robust toolkit you can draw on no matter what situation is presented in a game. The guys go through several examples, and show how they diagram, notate, reason, and create worlds for different types of questions. They review “IN/OUT” questions, and show how you can use the contrapositive to make rules more clear.

1:06:00 – Pearls vs. Turds

It’s that time again, dear listeners. Nathan and Ben put some real-world LSAT advice under the microscope to determine its classification as either glorious pearl or terrible turd. This week’s wisdom comes from a Vanderbilt alumni, who interviewed our correspondent as part of the Vandy admissions process. During the interview, the alum advised that as soon as you receive admission to a school, you should immediately ask for scholarship money. The guys discuss. Nathan generally pleads with students to simply ask—don’t think, just ask. Any way. Any how. Just ask for fuck’s sake. And so Nathan suggests that this advice to always and frequently and unabashedly ask for money is a pearl set in solid gold. Ben, however, prefers a more measured approach. More data. Rather than asking immediately, how about waiting to see your bevy of offers and then brilliantly play schools against each other to get the best offer you possibly can. The guys see value in this advice, but ultimately call it a tie. That brings our Tie count up to 4, leaving Turds at 9, and our lonely Pearls category at 1.

1:12:30 – Personal Statement Review

Tex writes in and asks the guys to scrupulously review her personal statement. Her essay covers over a decade of her work and home life in just two pages. The guys buckle up and dive in, offering a critique in their usual fashion. The big take-home will be familiar to long-time listeners: focus on your specific actions. Show what you did. Show yourself winning. Present yourself as a professional adult. Nathan and Ben find a ton of great stuff for Tex to work with amidst her many paragraphs and semicolons (privileges: revoked), but advise bringing greater focus to a single story rather than telling a personal history that won’t matter to a law school admissions staff.

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5 Comments


  1. In an In/Out Game, if we had a rule that said If A is In, B is In, would you write that down? If so, why write that instead of just putting a notation for either B is In or A is Out or both?

    It’s kind of like how you reserve a spot for A or B Out if the rule said If A In, then B Out.

    Reply

    1. I’d actually make a world where A is in and a world where A is out. When A is in, so is B. When A is out, the rule doesn’t apply.

      Reply

      1. That makes sense, but then couldn’t we do the same with a “If A is In, then B is Out” type of relationship? One world where A is In, another where is A is Out? In the first, the rule triggers, in the second, the rule doesn’t. Why does this type of rule merit the reserved space while the other one merit worlds? I guess I’m having trouble seeing why these rules are handled differently even though they’re both conditionals.

        Reply

        1. There’s no one right way to do it. You should be comfortable with both approaches.

          Reply

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