Ep. 199: Famously Bad at the LSAT
Sometimes your heroes fall from grace. It’s true. Even if they’re an esteemed writer for the New Yorker and a New York Times best-selling author. They can fall dear listeners, and fall hard they sometimes do. Such was the case for the Thinking LSAT team as they listened in horror to a recent LSAT rundown given by Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast. Nathan and Ben laugh until they cry about how the RH team totally missed the point of the LSAT. They also dive in to some listener questions about speed, principle questions, and low-score addendums. Plus, they dive back into prep test 71 and answer LR question 2 for your infotainment.
As always, 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.
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3:07 – Demon Updates
Ben’s team continues to refine the experience for y’all in everyone’s favorite online LSAT prep tool, The LSAT Demon. What’s new, you ask? You’ll be able to select the type of LR questions you feel like you need to work on. However, the guys recommend that you still get a healthy dose of letting the Demon pick for you. That’s what you’re gonna see on test day, so it’s best to drill a variety of question types when you’re ready.
10:17 – Revisionist LSAT History
On the latest episodes of Revisionist History (Season 4, Episodes 1 and 2), Malcolm Gladwell dedicates the entire show to taking the LSAT alongside his assistant Camille. Over the course of the episode, Gladwell laments the American obsession of standardized testing and seeks out some expert advice to help him prepare for the LSAT. Unfortunately, he goes looking for love in all the wrong places and ends up demonstrating that he knows nothing of the LSAT. Nathan recounts the episode to Ben and they discuss its folly.
33:23 – Email 1—Jake writes in to ask about some cognitive dissonance he’s experiencing compliments of Nathan’s LR Encyclopedia. He notes that, on the show, the guys advise taking it slow—go question to question and focus on accuracy, right? However, he cites advice from the LR Encyclopedia wherein Nathan suggests skipping over longer, more complex, problems in order to answer a higher volume of shorter questions. Jake wants to know what’s up. Nathan obliges and explains how his thinking about the test, and how the LR Encyclopedia (in more recent editions) have evolved.
44:26 – Email 2—B made a mistake. It happens. And sometimes it sucks. Like when you get sick in the middle of an official LSAT, make a 128, and then forget to cancel your score. Bummer, right? B’s gone on to get a better official score, and she plans on taking the test again, but she wants to know if the guys recommend sending an addendum to explain this poor score on record. The guys talk about the pros and cons of writing an addendum here. Bottom line? Let your credentials speak for themselves. If you’ve got a decent GPA and a great LSAT score, let the school ask you about the low score. If you really feel like you need to explain it away—or if your school does indeed ask—be brief. Just say you got sick and it really hurt your score. When it comes to addendums, less is more.
56:57 – Pearls vs. Turds
A listener writes in with some advice: start taking the LSAT in your sophomore year. Yep. You read it write, dear listeners. SOPHOMORE. He painstakingly supports his argument with multiple points, like, hey, yer life is gonna only get harder and busier, why not crush this thing early and ride on that three year window straight into 1L? The guys have to agree and give this puppy a PEARL. Tune in to hear all the tenants of the argument, and maybe you’ll consider taking the LSAT early, too.
1:06:20 – LR Question 2 from Prep Test 71
Grab your pencils. Grab yer December 2013 prep test 71 from the LSAC website (you can take it here). And settle in for question #2 in section 2: Logical Reasoning. The guys dice up this LR problem about newspaper companies complaining about why the eff they’re not making any damn money. Tune in and Nathan and Ben will walk you through each step in their process of sleuthing out the one correct answer.