Episode 105: The Wall of Work

Weirdly, it seems like the world has LSAT fever. Nathan and Ben are swamped with tutoring and other coursework as more and more folks are opting to take the September LSAT. Still, they find time to discuss Nate’s latest Netflix obsession (we want to know what you think about it, too), Kourtney Kardashian’s legal career aspirations, and answer a couple LSAT-related emails.

08:53 – Emails 1 & 2—Cal wants to know why the hell the guys recommend reading the passage before the question prompt during Logical Reasoning questions. Won’t that help frame how one reads said passage? And he wants to know why the guys haven’t talked about this topic before. Well guess what, Cal. They totally have. Like, a lot. But we like your question anyway.

Similarly, Grant, The Man Who Must Be On Stage, writes to defend reading the stem first. He fervently believes that reading the question first is a much more efficient than simply reading the passage first

The guys go on to dismantle (like, totally crush) Grant’s arguments, and go deep on how they approach LR. Ben describes why he thinks LR can be a section where you can get every question right. Nathan points out why Cal’s and Grant’s arguments are exactly the reason why LR is more difficult when you read the stem first. Both guys share observations they’ve dialed in over years of teaching.

43:00 – Next up is the second half of Grant’s question: what’s the deal with “skipping strategies”? He’s read posts by other teachers and several high scorers on forums that encourage strategies where you skip tough questions to give yourself more time to come back to them later. Tune in to hear why the guys think you can make some dire missteps using this approach. Here’s a pro tip: your skipping strategy that saves you 10 seconds here and there won’t make up for an extra answer or two you get wrong. Keep calm. And push through the fucking question. Basically, put your head down and do your work.

56:58 – Email 3—Forever, it’s been James’s dream to go to law school, become a lawyer, and yes, legal dreamers, work for the government. He’s nervous, however, that his target school (GMU) will take one look at his GPA and pass on his application. Over 8 years ago James was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, which rocked his school performance and left him with a sub-3.0 GPA. He wants to know—are his dreams attainable? The guys weigh in with some good news for James, and give some advice on how to frame his addendum to catch the eyes of George Mason’s admissions staff.

01:07:50 – Email 4—Nathan and Ben talk about what happens when they receive wall-of-text emails, and remark that this next email—from Lily—is anything but a run-of-the-mill WOT. In a color-coded and carefully crafted email, Lily presents her better than 80% chances of getting in to her target school based on her practice test LSAT scores (way to use the LSAC GPA calculator, Lily!). She wants to know whether she should take the September LSAT, or study longer and take the December LSAT. She’s also concerned about being nervous on test day, and wants to know if she should take an in-person prep course to simulate test day. Tune in to hear what Nathan and Ben have to say about choosing prep courses. And, Lily, the guys agree you should go ahead and smash the September LSAT and, like Ann Levine says, apply before Halloween.

01:16:19 – Email 5— Brown Bear wants to know how to apply to law school and not seem like a total showboat. And with good reason, sort of. After all, how many law school applicants are immigrant military veteran polyglot educators who previously held a job as Santa Claus in Japan? And it doesn’t end there. There are guns. Penguins. And a mysterious pseudonym. Tune in to hear Brown Bear’s tale, and how the guys assuage his fears and offer advice when it comes to writing his personal statement.

T-minus 17 days until the September 2017 LSAT! There’s no way you can finish Ben’s 100-Hour Online LSAT Course or Nathan’s Fox LSAT On Demand, but you could certainly make some progress now, and give yourself a headstart on a December retake. And obviously you should do Ben’s free LSAT lesson and Nathan’s free online LSAT course.

Where else can you hear about Japanese Santas while studying for the LSAT? Help spread the word by giving us a rating and/or review on iTunes.

4 Comments


  1. Hey Ben and Nathan,

    Is it acceptable to ask your LOR writer to provide a copy of the LOR for your own reference when you have already waived your rights?

    I trust the writer’s integrity and ability to write a meaningful LOR on my behalf. That being said, I’d still like to review my letters before they are submitted as part of my application.

    Thanks!

    Reply

    1. It’s common today for LOR writers to send you their letter whether you ask or not. If they like you, they want you to hear the nice things that they had to say about you. The problem is that asking them to send it to you puts them in an awkward position. They might not feel like they can be 100% honest in their assessment, since they know that they’ll have to show you what they wrote. So although you can ask them, I would not do so. It undercuts the whole point of the waiver.

      Reply

  2. Hi Ben and Nathan,

    I am at the tail-end of a Testmasters course and a comment Nathan made about using common sense during the LR section helped me to characterize my experience with Testmasters as I’m completing the course.

    Prior to the course, I was missing approximately 5-7 LR questions per section. The questions that I was missing the most were necessary and sufficient assumption questions and not knowing the difference between qualifier words like “some” and “most.”

    However, my accuracy on LR questions is about the same now that I’ve almost completed the course and I feel like instead of being able to muscle through questions with common sense, I’m now rethinking my gut and missing simple, straightforward questions because I spend too much time thinking about the question types and the various “hacks” I was taught by Testmasters to help students develop a schema for attacking the question. I’ve made great gains in Logic Games and Reading Comp. during their course–I’ve grown from a 157 to consistently scoring in the 164-167 range, but I feel like I can get closer to my goal score of 170 if I can gain more ground on LR.

    Any advice?

    Thanks guys!

    Reply

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