The Spirit In Which It’s Intended (Ep. 103)

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It’s mid-summer, the September LSAT is just weeks away, and the guys are in the thick of LSAT prep season. Nate’s been wildly busy helping aspiring law students gear-up for game day from LA and San Francisco. The travel’s not so bad, though, with Netflix and Southwest. Plus, Nate presses Ben for a quick update on the John Roberts School of Law.

04:24 – Email 1—Jumping right into emails! Ted had been averaging around 158 on many of his recent practice tests, but scored a 161 on the June LSAT. That’s awesome. Congrats on the bump, Ted! Since his GPA isn’t too hot, he’s wondering if there’s a way to find schools that give more weight to the LSAT score when considering applicants. Plus, since he’s feeling a boost from his higher-than-average score, he’s wondering if he should take the September LSAT and shoot for more. Ben and Nathan talk about the virtues of the LSAT/UGPA calculator in determining which schools are likely to accept you. And both agree: use the force, Ted—if your practice tests rise to 161 and above, then re-take. But if your practice tests stay sub-160, cherish that 161.

11:18 – Email 2—Isabel writes in with a stunningly well-crafted email to ask if and how she should study before taking an LSAT prep course. Having already scored a 160 on a cold diagnostic (holy shit. congrats, Isabel), she recently audited an LSAT prep class from a local company. And guess what. She saw value in taking the class! Sadly, when she approached the instructor about preparing to take the course in the fall, they gave Isabel a whopper of a turd of wisdom. Tune in to find out what not to do, and hear Nathan and Ben shed some pearls of wisdom on how to prep for a prep course.

19:20 – Email 3—After earning five—that’s right, five—bachelor’s degrees, Shane wants to know how he should explain his myriad degrees and lowly 2.1 GPA to law schools during the application process. He also wants to know if he stands a chance to go to his dream school for free given his potential to score in the high 160s or low 170s on the LSAT. Pro tip: The Standard 509 Information Reportcan help you answer this question for yourself. Nathan and Ben discuss the challenges facing Shane. They weigh in with some advice on how to improve his LSAT score, but not before Nathan shares his own story about how he aimed for a 1.7 GPA during his undergrad years.

42:46 – Email 4—Carly is wondering if her personal statement and her addendum will sound too repetitive given they contain elements of the same story. Having grown up gay and in-the-closet in Texas, Carly was concerned she’d end up a sad old lady, and otherwise lonely but for her 99 cats. The anxiety of being in the closet hurt her GPA until she came out to a (surprisingly) welcoming community. The guys give her advice on how best to tell the elements of a single story across the addendum and personal statement to have an impact on the app.

49:30 – Email 4—Anonymous writes in with some rapid-fire questions that are shared by oh so many folks. How can they overcome test anxiety? Given their high scoring range, would they benefit from private tutoring? What’s the best way to disclose a poor (but upward trending) GPA on their application? And, lastly, how will having a criminal record affect their chances of getting into law school? Ben and Nathan offer some time-tested tools. Discuss who best stands to improve with one on one tutoring. And dish the nitty-gritty of explaining hard stuff on your law-school app.

01:00:11 – Email 5—With a cold diagnostic of 140, and no budget to take a prep course, Anonymous writes in asking for some silver-bullet-style tips to bump their score in a big way. The guys, of course, mention Nathan’s free online class and Ben’s free videos. The boys serve up some tough love for Anon, then each give their one “most valuable” pearl of Logical Reasoning wisdom.

01:26:35 – Email 6—You guys know that drawing diagrams and creating worlds can be an effective way to tackle the Logic Games. But correspondent Jaime took a recent diagnostic in which he missed only a single LG question without creating a single “formal” diagram. Basically he wants to know: is this cool? Is this a one-test fluke? And is there a particular method of diagraming that is more efficient or effective than the next? Ben and Nathan do their best to answer while wondering what the hell a formal diagram is. The pro tip for Jaime is that, when it comes to creating diagrams for the games, there’s just one rule: there are no rules.

01:34:52 – Email 7—Anonymous recently rocked a 170 on the June LSAT (congrats!), which was right in line with their practice-test range of 168-174. Their LSAC GPA, however, is weighed down by poor performance in a community college summer course they once took. Is this something to highlight in an addendum? Anonymous wants to apply to law school at the same university they’re attending for undergrad, but also have some pretty lofty reach schools they’re looking at. Should they retake and try for a higher score, or will they risk looking bad if they fall below 170 on their next test? The guys talk about how to frame up past poor performance, and then tackle the question: to retake, or not to retake?

Less than six weeks until the September 2017 LSAT. Get moving with Ben’s 100-Hour Online LSAT Course or Nathan’s Fox LSAT On Demand. Try before you buy, with Ben’s free LSAT lesson and Nathan’s free online LSAT course.

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