Ep. 233: Do Question Types Matter?
Nathan’s just getting back in the saddle after vacationing up and down the California and Oregon coasts; Ben’s getting back in the saddle after weathering a winter cold. And after discussing the benefits of making traditions with your friends, the guys jump into a veritable grab bag of LSAT questions from all y’all law school hopefuls out there. Ben and Nathan discuss the importance of understanding LR question types, they talk about how to approach LG sections, they offer some advice on what to do if you experience your score plateauing, they consider just how religious “religious” law schools are, and much more.
9:40 – Podcast Review
Karissa writes in with a rather salty email about her past LSAT study and experiences with the test. But after she found Thinking LSAT she saw significant improvement in her score (hell yeah, Karissa!). Now she’s headed to Gonzaga in the fall with a 75% scholarship, which is pretty rad. The guys urge Karissa to keep chipping away at the school and try to get some additional scholarship money—even a few thousand dollars over the course of your law school career adds up to a lot!
15:56 – Pearls vs. Turds
It’s your (sometimes) weekly Pearls vs. Turds, y’all! The segment where your favorite podcast hosts scrutinize wisdom “from the field” (write-ins, message boards, other books, and teachers) and determine whether is a pearl of wisdom or a turd that will steer you to LSAT ruin. This week, C writes in with her own piece of advice. As a long-time listener, C has enjoyed the Thinking LSAT Kool-Aid, and, in an effort to summarize the totality of Nathan’s and Ben’s collective advice re: LR question types, she posits that there are no actual question types—or rather that you shouldn’t bother with worrying about what type of question you’re being asked. If the primary goal is to simply understand and then answer the question, why should you spend time and precious brainpower identifying the question type first?! The guys agree that there’s something to C’s observation. It has a hint of mother-of-pearl like you might see in an oil stain on a city street. But they deem it a tie. Understanding the question types can separate a high scorer from an elite scorer—which is why the guys spend so much time talking about question types. Ben and Nathan give C a virtual high five and make their own case for the importance of understanding question types.
32:25 – LG Challenge Ranking
Andrew’s been sheddin’ on Logic Games and he’s picking up on a pattern. He’s been noticing that in a number of tests, LG no. three is more difficult than LG no. four. He asks the guys if there’s any substance to this observation and wants to know if it would be prudent to scan the games at the start to try and identify if he should tackle no. 4 before no. 3. Nathan and Ben agree that games three and four are the most difficult in the section. They generally believe the games get increasingly difficult, but that, sure, you’ll see some challenging third games and easier fourth games. Hell, you’ll see a rough first game every now and again. The pro tip is to just do the games in order every time and work on accuracy. If you’re scanning games and skipping around, you’re wasting time.
39:22 – Score Plateau
Shannon is bummed out. She’s been working in the LSAT Demon for a few months and her score is plateaued. She asks the guys “what gives?” She works hard on LR and sees improvement, then she works on RC. RC improves, but LR dips. It’s a frustrating see-saw of emotions, damnit! Ben and Nathan let Shannon know that she’s doing the right things, but she needs to stay the course and make sure she’s getting everything out of her review. They also discuss other common issues for when you see your score plateau, and they remind everyone that when you score a 160, it’s likely that you’re giving a 155-165 performance. You can’t get away from the randomness of any test, so it’s normal to see performance peak and flag over time. Press on, Shannon! Don’t worry about your aggregate date so much—work on understanding every individual question you get wrong.
50:31 – Nathan’s Fun Explanation
Nathan reads an explanation he wrote for an LR question in practice test 67 about Papercrete. In the explanation, Nathan writes about his grandpa Herb “Toad” Fox. The guys discuss the explanation and reflect on the importance of doing some dirty work in life—like tending a garden, shoveling chicken shit, or working at a bowling alley pizza joint.
59:13 – Application Inquiries
A former student of Nathan’s is deep in the application process and they’ve got a few questions about it. First up? They’re waitlisted at a few schools and want to know when they should send a letter of continued interest. The guys agree: now. No need to wait. If you’re legitimately crushing on a school, let them know it. Some other pro tips include letting the school know something new—like if you have your latest grades from last semester or you have something interesting to report. Next, they’ve got some questions about their FAFSA (don’t we all?). Nathan and Ben recommend reaching out to the admissions office to get clarification about submitting your FAFSA.
1:07:44 – Thank You! For Your Recommendation
Hilariously, a law school has written Nathan to thank him for a letter of recommendation he wrote as part of a student’s application. Clearly, the school is hustling hard to fill those seats. The guys read the letter on the show and pontificate on its implications.
1:11:54 – Religious Law Schools
Carolyn wants to know the deal with religious law schools. Are they any good? Will they try to cram religion down your you-know-what? Nathan and Ben discuss how religion finds its way into your law school education at historically religious institutions. The reality? It depends. For schools like Georgetown, you’re probably not going to be hearing much about religion in your coursework or your day-to-day as a student there. But at a place like Pepperdine? Prayer and religious philosophy play a greater role in student life.
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