• Ben Olson

Ep. 236: Swipe Left for the Next Applicant

When you’re applying to law school, you gotta put the winningest sh*t upfront. That means your absolute best LSAT score, sweet references, and a personal statement chock full of dating-profile-worthy facts about who you are and what you’ve achieved. The guys hear from a 3L about how Bar prep is a lot like LSAT prep. They offer advice to someone who fears their score (and test-taking ability) is improving too slowly. They take a look at the wild swings in the US News law school rankings outside of the top 20 and help a 2020 1L-to-be decide where to attend. And the guys take a look at a personal statement that would have law school admissions peeps swiping left. Plus, updates on LSAC practice-test licensing and news about how the coronavirus is affecting law schools and the LSAT world.


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.


LSAT Demon

Personal Statement Review Package

Strategy Prep Fox LSAT

Thinking LSAT Facebook Group

Instagram (upcoming events)


Important Dates

March 20, 2020 – Last day to reschedule March LSAT

March 30, 2020 – It’s the March LSAT

April 24, 2020 – June LSAT registration deadline

April 24-25, 2020 – Thinking LSAT NYC Class!

April 25, 2020 – It’s the April test


6:30 – Pearls vs. Turds, Update Ed.

Matt is a longtime listener and current 3L! You know what that means. He’s about to sit for the bar. So naturally, he’s taking some bar prep. And in his practice, he’s seeing a piece of advice that’s all too familiar, and all too turd-like: to read the question stem before reading the argument. Fans of the show will know that Nathan and Ben agree you should never, ever, under any circumstances read the question stem first. Just read the passage, understand what it said, and then answer the questions about it.


8:39 – “Official” LSAT Prep Plus

LSAC is changing how they are handling licenses for LSAT prep questions. All y’all will now be required to nab an Official LSAT Prep Plus license that gives you access to nearly all Official LSAT PrepTests™ for one year and includes some other benefits. But don’t jump to get your license just yet, here are some guidelines to help you navigate this whole licensing thing:


  • If you are planning to solo study and want access to older tests through LSAC, you need this license. As a bonus, this license lasts one year, so it will go with you to any test prep courses that you may decide to take. Just make sure you let any prep company know that you already have this license so you don’t get charged for it twice!

  • If you plan to take a test prep course, hang tight. The test prep company will let you know whether you need to purchase this license. They may include the license in their tuition fee.


12:25 – Coronavirus And The LSAT

It may not come to you as a surprise, dear readers, that notices are rolling in about how the coronavirus and COVID-19 are affecting the LSAT and law schools around the world. A Berkeley student-to-be lets the guys know that Berkeley is canceling their Admitted Students Weekend until further notice. Plus, LSAC sends some important announcements of their own:

  • The March LSAT is canceled in the following countries: South Korea, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, and China

  • The March LSAT is still scheduled for the US and Canada, but LSAC is allowing you to change your test date to April, June, or July without penalty, so long as you make the change by 3/20/2020.


32:06 – Slow Going To Raise The Score

Shelby’s been working her butt off since scoring a 147 on her first practice test in September. Now? She’s batting in the low 160s (badASS, Shelby!). But she wants to know what it will take for her to keep climbing, and if it will take her just as long. She also wants to know if she’s going too slowly on sections and whether she should consider accommodations to get more time. Nathan and Ben discuss Shelby’s situation and offer up the following:


  • Remember that scoring in the 170s and 180s cannot be achieved by everyone—you can improve your score, but there will be diminishing returns on your efforts as you get into the elite range.

  • Remember to focus on accuracy. If you are consistently nailing the first 18 questions at 100% accuracy, you can and will get faster the more you practice.

  • Remember that accommodations are meant for those with learning differences. If you believe you have a learning difference, go ahead and seek accommodations. If not? Try to get to your target score the old fashioned way…