Ep. 256: The LSAT Paradox
Speed. Accuracy. Success. Happiness. How do you strike a balance? If you speed through the LSAT, your accuracy may suffer. If you slow down to improve accuracy but never get better at the test, your score will stagnate. If you rush headfirst into law school, you may end up with a mountain of debt in a career that doesn’t meet expectations. In this episode, Nathan and Ben discuss how to use the time to set yourself up for success on the LSAT and beyond. They answer listener questions about aiming for accuracy, how slow is too slow when approaching LR arguments, and whether or not to take a gap year. They also hear from a budding app developer who made an app for checking law-school-app status, and they critique a listener’s personal statement.
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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4:49 – Lack of Focus or Lack of Skill?
Carlos has been working hard, drilling in the Demon day and night. He’s seen some gains, and in fact his accuracy is OK in the first 17 questions. But as soon as he starts to answer more? His score starts tanking. He asks the guys what gives? Is it a lack of innate skill? Or just a lack of focus? The guys offer their two cents, but it comes back to this time-tested advice: regardless of your innate talent, the more you engage with the questions—deeply—the more you understand the test, the more you aim for 100% accuracy, the higher your accuracy rate will be. The faster you’ll go. The higher your overall score. So focus. Engage. And make sure you get the question you’re working on correct before moving on.
18:43 – Pearls vs. Turds
It’s your (sometimes) weekly segment of Pearls vs. Turds, wherein the guys hear some wisdom “from the field” (that’s from you, dear listeners, or from the bowels of the internet), and deem the advice a pearl or a lowly turd. Today’s candidate comes from listener Arturo. He’s been studying for the LSAT for a short time and he’s been approaching LR questions like Neo approaches a speeding bullet. He takes the argument and slows it WAY the eff down, attacking it from every single possible angle. While this gives Arturo a holistic sense of the argument, it comes at the cost of time. Like fifteen minutes. While Ben suggests that this can be a good way to get started and get to know questions, Nathan asserts that this amount of time is really not acceptable. Arturo will eventually need to come down to one to two minutes per question if he wants to give the test a good go. The guys deem this a tie.
31:57 – To Gap Year, Or Not To Gap Year?
Beth is a straight killllaaaa. She’s the president of her school’s pre-law fraternity, she’s held an internship in a DA’s office, and she’s sporting a 3.9 GPA. She’s serious about going to law school. But she’s feeling the pull of…duh duH DUHHH!!! A gap year. She wants to continue to crush undergrad, then take some time to study for and crush the LSAT while saving money for law school. But her parents are straight not having this gap year bs. She wants to know what the guys think. Nathan and Ben agree that Beth absolutely should take the year which has the potential to be a boon for her career as a lawyer, starting with a stratospheric LSAT score that will make her a shoe-in for the top 14.
51:04 – Law School Apps App Listener JB has written a mobile app to help alleviate the anxiety and annoyance of feverishly checking the status of your law school applications. Simply download Law School Status Checker—which will check the status of your applications for you and let you know if you’ve been accepted, denied, or wait-listed for all of the schools who have your applications.
53:17 – LR Question 7, Test 65, Section 4
Ben and Nathan sharpen their knives and then tackle the next in a series of LR questions they’ve been tackling from PT 65. This question is sometimes referred to as an evaluate question and the guys walk you thru their reasoning as they home in on the correct answer to this pre-historic riddle.
1:05:27 – J’s Personal Statement
J’s a total badass candidate with a 180 LSAT (thanks to the LSAT Demon) and excellent grades. All that’s left to tie her admissions packet up with a bow is to have a killer personal statement. J asks Nathan and Ben to give her personal statement the Thinking LSAT critique. The guys do what they do best.