Episode 99: Antwerp Email-o-Rama

00:03:38 – The performance feedback came back for the digital LSAT pilot test—and everyone’s pretty disappointed.

00:06:40 – Emily wants to know if a LSAT prep course will improve her score that much, or is it worth it given her tight budget. Should she should continue with the LSAT Trainer and books she’s been working with instead? (The answer is: It’s totally worth it to take a prep course.) The guys go on to discuss the merits of a prep course, and the importance of choosing the right teacher, too.

00:15:41 – Emily’s email continues with admissions questions. She asks about her college GPA of 3.1 and her current paralegal experience—how can she stand out from the masses? Nate and Ben discuss the best way to stand out (your LSAT score!) and also share their thoughts on how to frame an addendum or personal statement when discussing potentially sensitive topics such as PTSD and mental illness.

00:24:43 – Email 2—Jack asks whether it’s better to self-study, take a class, or get a private tutor with a strong starting score (like in the 160s) out of the gate. The guys weigh in on the benefits of a class and private tutoring as well as give advice on whether to also tackle the GRE when you’re a high scorer.

00:32:42 – Jack goes on to ask about what he should do in his gap year between graduation and law school. The guys make recommendations.

00:34:48 – Email 3—Sharon says she (or he?) has been taking Nate’s and Ben’s advice about doing single sections followed by a “deep review,” and that it has improved her accuracy a great deal. She wants to know if and how she can improve even more. Will it help to do problems over and over as a rote exercise? For Nate, not really. For Ben? It might help a bit, yes.

00:42:34 – Email 4—Ryan wants to know if he should be emulating the way the The PowerScore LSAT Logic Games Bible sets up the games when his intuition sometimes leads him to other setups (and outcomes). The guys talk logic games strategy and how to approach the games with some necessary improvisation.

00:51:14 – Email 5—Eric writes in to ask about difficulties he has with Strategy Of Argumentation questions. He often struggles with finding the correct one of 3-4 potentially correct answers. Ben discusses how to approach these types of questions, and how to find and dismantle incorrect answers. The guys talk about the importance of incompleteness vs. inaccuracy in both LSAT answers and your career as a lawyer.

01:05:11 – Email 6—LLM (anonymous) is a foreign lawyer aspiring to work in a big NY law firm. He or she writes in to ask the guys about the best path toward achieving that goal. With a “mediocre” LSAT score, LLM sees several options for moving forward. The guys offer their advice, and discuss the benefits of re-taking the LSAT to give LLM more options.

01:20:31 – Email 7—Zack writes in about his undergrad GPA. While his recent LSAT score is above 160, his LSAC GPA will register as 3.3-3.4 due to a rough semester in school. Nate and Ben talk about how the LSAC index plays a role in acceptance to law school, how LSAC looks at classes you’ve retaken (and gotten better grades in), and how to talk about grades in your addendum vs. your personal statement. Pro tip: don’t talk about grades in your personal statement.

The September 2017 LSAT is right around the corner. Get cracking with Ben’s 100-Hour Online LSAT Course or Nathan’s Fox LSAT On Demand. If you’re gunshy, you should at least watch Ben’s free LSAT lesson and do Nathan’s free online LSAT course.

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8 Comments


  1. Hi Nathan and Ben!
    I’ve been studying for the September LSAT for the last 2 months and have seen MAJOR improvement. I am now getting the first 19/20 questions right (LR) since I first started and about 2-4 questions wrong per Logic Games. I read in your “Introducing the LSAT” primer that when you get to the 19/20 level on LR then it’s time to start approaching the exam’s most challenging questions (21-25). I have such a difficult time when it comes to these questions and really want to master them before exam day but I am unsure of how to narrow my focus on just these 4-5 questions. Is there anything you would recommend to help? Sorry if this question has been asked before but thank you in advance!

    Reply

    1. If you’re doing well on questions 15-19, I don’t see why you can’t do well on 21-25. They’re not that much harder. And sometimes the hardest questions are in 15-19. You’re already there! Just think through each question sentence by sentence. You can figure them out. And when you don’t, talk through them with a friend or use my LSAT score tracker, which has some explanations. Happy 4th!

      Reply

      1. Thank you for the advice Ben! If they aren’t as difficult I may just be having a hard time with it because I give myself 35 minutes and usually dont finish before times up 🙁 but I’ll be sure to use your tips, thank you again!

        Reply

        1. Oh, I thought that you meant that questions 21-25 were hard, even after the test was over. If you’re not getting to them in the 35 minutes, make sure to do them after the section is over and just continue to learn from each one. Your speed will naturally increase as your understanding increases. Good luck!

          Reply

  2. Hey Nathan and Ben!
    I was wondering, in the case in which my GPA and LSAT are at/above the median for a t14 law school, would having multiple internships be in any way helpful to differentiate me from other applicants with similar statistics? I understand that LSAT and GPA are important, but I was wondering how valuable internships can be given that those two factors are already up to standards.
    Thanks,
    Maxton

    Reply

    1. Hey Maxton, although the number of internships you have can show that you’re involved, I think that the quality of those internships matters much more. So I’d focus on the one or two internships that were the most valuable to you. They might make a difference, especially as you use them to back up any claims you make in your personal statement. They can help show that you’re not all talk. You also walk the walk. Ben

      Reply

  3. Hi Nathan and Ben!

    I’m a happy-but-not-happy June 2017 test taker who is planning on retaking in September. The average of my last 5-ish practice tests was a 174, and of my last 10 was a 172. So you can imagine I was disappointed when I scored a 170, in spite of recognizing that it’s a good score.

    I figured that taking the LSAT again in September “can’t hurt.” Do you agree? I am applying with a 3.8 GPA and aiming for a top-10 school, or otherwise a large scholarship to schools below top-10.

    I prepped hard the first time I took it, but realize I could have been more efficient. I am switching up my study strategy to include Blind Reviews, more section-style work instead of just hammering Prep Tests constantly, and a few other things. I am spending just as much time prepping as I did the first time. Do you have any advice for those of us who are trying to improve but are already performing relatively highly?

    Reply

    1. Hi Katie,

      I think that you should take it again. Given your numbers, it doesn’t seem like you’d do worse than 170, and every point can help, especially for the schools that you want to attend. Even if you end up with a 172 in September, that will help. Besides, the September LSAT is still early, so there’s no downside to holding off on your applications until you take it.

      As for how to study, given your high scores, I would do three things:

      1. Make sure to blind review, as you said, but be strict with yourself. In other words, let’s assume that you’re not sure about three LR questions in a section that you just finished. After your time is up, don’t let yourself look up the correct answers until you’re fully committed to the answers that you chose originally or some other answers now. I actually like to call this whole blind review thing “self-grading” because you’re actually grading yourself before you look up the right answers. My LSAT score tracker gives you the ability to mark questions that you weren’t sure about so you can “grade” them before you see the correct answers. Use that tool, if you can.

      2. When you don’t have time for 35-minute sections or full-length tests, do some of the hardest LSAT questions from older tests. The list that I put together could be formatted better, but it’s still a great list of all the hardest questions from tests 19-61. For the games and RC passages, do the entire game or passage (not just the individual question from that particular game or passage).

      3. A week or two after you take a section or test, redo some of the questions that you missed or found challenging. Even if you remember the correct answer, do you remember why it’s correct? What was the key takeaway, at least for you, from this question? Do you still remember that takeaway? If not, figure it out and then make a flashcard for it. Given where you’re scoring, you can’t leave any stone unturned. Here, too, my score tracker has a way to mark these questions for review so you can keep track of them.

      Good luck!
      Ben

      Reply

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