• Ben Olson

Ep. 282: The LSAT Is So Aesthetic

In the wake of the January LSAT-Flex, there are winners and…not so winners. Nathan and Ben field some questions from folks who got shook by the January test. From nightmare ProctorU experiences to “harder-than-usual” sections, folks are wondering if they need to re-take. The guys also help someone who’s caught in a morass of LSAC GPA finagling, they offer some negotiation advice to a student who’s been accepted to their no. 1 school, and they help an ultra-marathoner decide how to work his accomplishment into a personal statement. Plus, Ben and Nathan take a look at another Excuse of the Week, and introduce another segment: Sh*t that Kids Say Wrong.

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

02.03.2021 – Brace yerselves, January LSAT-Flex scores are released

02.20.2021 – It’s the February LSAT, loves!

02.24.2021 – It’s not ridiculous at all that this is registration deadline for the April LSAT

04.10.2021 – It’s raining LSAT! The April LSAT Flex testing week begins!

Links:

Check out SMARTLESS, Nathan’s recommended podcast for bringing more smiles and happiness to your day.

7:15 – Bombing the LSAT Flex

D’s sulking after having a less-than-awesome experience sitting for the January LSAT-Flex. He’s pretty sure he didn’t do so great and the test felt way effing harder than in any of the practice tests he’s been crushing. Not only that, but connecting to ProctorU was a huge ass-ache 30-minute waiting game that rattled our dear friend, D. Now D wants to know if he should just escape the headache and wait for an in-person test to retake. The guys point out that ProctorU is notorious for their waiting times and it really shouldn’t affect your game. Plus, they recommend that D dive into more than the 10 tests he’s been studying with—or better yet, check out the LSAT Demon Free Trial. They also suggest that D plan to take the LSAT-Flex again whenever he feels ready, because in-person tests are not even a glimmer in LSAC’s eye just yet.


18:09 – RC Woes, Time to Re-Test?

F also had a tough time in January and didn’t get the score they think they’re capable of. That’s OK, F! You get five cracks at the LSAT and you should have NO shame in taking every one of those five it that’s what it takes to get your best score. F’s found the RC section to be the most challenging and asks the guys their best advice for improvement. Ben and Nathan agree that the key to RC is slowing down and making sure you understand the passage from the sentence level up. Sometimes these passages have confusing language, arguments, or topics, and if you find yourself tuning out or losing focus, double down. Unpack a sentence. Unpack a clause within that sentence. Whatever you do, make sure you understand what’s happening before moving on.


26:18 – LSAC GPA Conundrum

Anon is having a hell of a time with their LSAC GPA. In high school they took some AP classes, the credit for which transferred to Anon’s first college. Part of the way through college they transferred to another school that didn’t accept all of their credits. Depending on how the credits are counted, Anon’s GPA could be calculated downward by a few points. Not so good. Now, Anon is having a hard time explaining this all to LSAC and having their LSAC GPA calculated the correct way. Nathan and Ben suggest that there’s always a GPA addendum Anon could write as a last resort, but they also recommend a course of action with LSAC—tune in to learn more.


39:43 – Negotiating Once You’ve Been Accepted

Sophie’s been accepted to some fine law schools, but she’s waiting to hear about what kind of financial aid she can expect from these distinguished institutions. She even got a personal phone call from the dean who expressed excitement that she might be coming (read: spending money!) at their school—but they didn’t talk finances. Now Sophie’s wondering if she should call ‘em back up and lay her cards on the table: she’ll come to the school if she gets a scholarship in line with what she expects based on date from the ABA 509 report. The guys suggest that being tooooo bold might not work in Sophie’s favor, but it’s completely fair game to let the school know that you’re waiting to see what kind of financial assistance they can offer before making a decision.


45:50 – Excuse of the Week

It’s a new excuse from our (sometimes) weekly segment: Excuse of the Week! This week, we’ve got two excuses line up for you. Who’s crying foul first? It’s folks who expect to get out of LSAT class for…get ready for it…HALLOWEEN. Yeah, right. I’m sure your future law firm is gonna give you that time off, too.


Next up? Someone complains about the LSAT not being related whatsoever to what you study in law school and has no bearings on your legal career. Ben and Nathan give three reasons why that’s just simply not true.


52:18 – Personal Statement Advice

Picking a topic for your personal statement is always a challenge. Do you share some monumental personal achievement? Do you show off how you’re a badass at work? Is there a sweet crossover between personal achievement and work badassery that makes sense? Adam’s contemplating what he should write about, and given that he’s just run a 100-mile ultra-marathon, he’s got plenty to talk about. But he’s wondering if his big run will have a big impact in the admissions office. The guys suggest that the simple fact that Adam ran an ultra-marathon speaks volumes about his character already and that he may not need to spend his entire essay talking about the race. Instead, they recommend finding a way to weave the ultra-marathon story into a broader story relating to his professional life.


1:01:31 – Shit Kids Say Wrong

In yet another new (sometimes) weekly segment, Nathan and Ben take a look at how kids these days are changing the meanings of language. After all, language is just a construct y’all. Dictionaries are just a document. They’re flexible. But the reality is, when kids fuck with language, it can fail to land with old fogey college admissions officers, law school professors, lawyers and judges. Plus, it makes Ben grind his teeth. This week, Nathan talks about how kids in his classes are using the word “aesthetic.”


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