• Ben Olson

Ep. 266: An Arresting Personal Statement

The leaves are changing and the weather is getting colder, but the LSAT remains the same. It’s the time of year where law schools wheel out their college admissions staffers to try to sell you big on their schools. In the past, LSAC would hold forums where you could meet and greet admissions folks from around the country. Now they’re creating virtual events. The guys discuss LSAC’s new digital forum, they discuss the value of studying with “old” LSAT practice tests vs. new ones, they weigh some advice from a listener, and they critique a 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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Important Dates

10.03.2020 – It’s the start of the October LSAT-Flex testing week!

11.07.2020 – Break out the long sleeves, it’s the November LSAT-Flex testing week

2:06 – Pearls vs. Turds

It’s your (sometimes) weekly segment, Pearls vs. Turds! In the ol’ P’s vs. T’s (a lot of apostrophes, I know…), the guys scrutinize a piece of LSAT wisdom from the ether, and let you know whether it’s a tip that’s worthy of your LSAT prep study. We’re talking tips from communities on Facebook or Reddit, established LSAT Prep companies, college admissions officers, hell, even your grandma. If it’s about the LSAT, the guys will consider it and call it as they see it: a pearl of wisdom, or a turd.

Amanda’s been studying hard for the LSAT. And she’s got a tip she thinks may be a shiny pearl of wisdom for folks who aren’t able to finish Reading Comp sections of the test. She can consistently finish three (of four) passages in a section. So after she’s done two passages, she checks to see which of the next two passages has more questions—and she picks that one. If she’s not gonna finish the section, why not nab as many points as possible?! While the guys agree this is advice they’ve given before, they hesitate to give it pearl status.

10:54 – On The Value of Old Tests

When you’re studying for the LSAT, there is a wealth of old tests to help you get on top of your game. F wants to know how to best use the old tests. They’ve seen most of the tests from 50 through 89, and now F is wondering if they should re-work those same tests, or if there’s value in diving into tests 1-49. The guys agree that while the later tests are more likely to represent a test that you’ll sit for today, there is a lot to gain from doing the old tests. Nathan and Ben also run through a list of differences between old tests and new.

32:14 – LSAC’s Digital Forum

Is this a nightmare where you’re in a stark cyberscape, navigating the halls of a digital convention center, desperately trying to find the law school that’s right for you in rows of endless digital booths behind colored digital doors? Nope. It’s not a dream. It’s reality….the depressing VIRTUAL reality of LSAC’s Digital Forum. In the past, LSAC would hold forums around the country where you could go and meet with a bunch of college admissions staffers in one place. Now LSAC is trying to give you that experience online. And when they say “the same experience,” they mean it. Instead of finding an innovative new way to introduce students to admissions staffers with the virtual conferencing tools available, they reconstructed a trade show experience online, and a listener writes in to tell the guys about the experience. Ben and Nathan laugh it up and muse about how LSAC could have made the forum much, much better.

49:16 – Max’s Personal Statement

Nathan and Ben review a listener’s personal statement. Max is a law-enforcement officer in Canada (we think) and has aspirations of becoming a criminal prosecutor. The guys rip through the personal essay in their usual style.


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