October Test Centers Full?! (Ep. 209)

Ben Olson's headshot.

The LSAT is a lot like bowling. You send a ball down the lane, you knock some pins down, you refine your technique, you try again. Eventually, you get a strike and a few spares under your belt and before you know it, you’re the head of your local bowling league, scheduling games and enforcing the league rules. Ben and Nathan each recount some special experiences, some new and some old, about life in the bowling lane. Then the Thinking LSAT duo gets down to business. The guys read through an announcement from LSAC about the October LSAT, they weigh in on a test strategy from a listener, they help a correspondent decide whether to apply early or wait for a better score, and they slice and dice a law-school hopeful’s personal statement. Plus, learn about the upcoming Thinking LSAT live class in NYC, and hear a happy tale of Thinking LSAT friendship straight out of Harvard law. 

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 PrepFox LSAT

Thinking LSAT Facebook Group

Instagram (upcoming events)

Important Dates

9.10 – Registration deadline for the October LSAT is nigh! If you’re taking the September LSAT, you gotta sign up!

9.21 – The September 2019 LSAT

10.12-13 — Thinking LSAT Live! In NYC

That’s right! Ben and Nathan are back in the Big Apple for a weekend of awesome LSAT prep. The cost for the class is $395 for the weekend, but there are significant discounts if you use the LSAT Demon. If you’re a Demon subscriber, you get $200 off, and if you’re a Premium Demon subscriber, the weekend class is only $95. Check out more information here.

8:46 – A message from LSAC About the October LSAT

Ben received a missive from LSAC about a flurry of emails that will be hitting test-taker inboxes hither thither and yon. The letter reads like a fucking ouroboros however and the guys can’t make heads or tails of it. So they bail. Instead, they tell you what the letter was attempting to say, which is this rather important PSA: 

You may find, dear listener, that your desired testing center is completely booked for the October LSAT, and no longer accepting students to take the test there. Never fear. LSAC almost always opens more seats (and more testing centers) every year. So, if your testing center is full up and you need a seat? Email them along with your zip code. Tell them what you want. And you’ll likely end up on a waiting list to sit for the test at that location. 

13:29 – Pearls vs. Turds

Shelby writes in to share a strategy she’s been implementing and wants the guys to give it the old smell test. Is this LSAT tip a pearl from the briny depths? Or is it a turd paddy waiting for your unsuspecting boot leather?! Conventional Thinking LSAT wisdom states that in the final minute or so of taking the test, you should finish the question you’re working on and then randomly guess on all unanswered questions. After all, you have the potential to get one every five guesses correct and can increase your score with a few lucky guesses. Shelby says that on her practice tests, she leaves unanswered questions blank, and scores herself without guessing. Her thinking is that on test day, she’ll be pleasantly surprised by the lift that random guessing may give to her score. While the guys get it, they put this advice in the turd pile. It comes down to one thing y’all: no matter what, practice like yer gonna play. 

17:28 – A Message of Friendship from a Harvard 1L

Even the LSAT can bring people together, y’all. A Harvard 1L and former Strategy Prep student ran into another Strategy Prep grad during their Harvard orientation. They yipped and yelped and fondly reminisced over their LSAT prep days. Ben talks about how over the years he’s seen many friendships blossom in LSAT prep classes and the Thinking LSAT community.

18:53 – Apply early, or wait for a better score (Philly edition)?

Sam started studying for the LSAT in 2018 and ended up with a 157 on record after a rather disappointing prep course. He decided to defer his dream of going to law school, but now he’s back on his game. He’s been studying with the LSAT Demon and already his practice test scores are in the mid 160s. Pretty sweet, right? However, he seems like an OK fit with his 157 when it comes to the local Philadelphia schools he wants to attend. He’s planning to take the October LSAT but asks the guys if it would be more helpful to apply early in his case. Nathan and Ben discuss at length but come back to their usual pro tip: Wait. Apply to law school with your best score. That’s the way to do it. 

26:30 – Personal Statement Review

Long-time listener and LSAT Demon t-shirt designer, James, writes in to ask the guys to “destroy [his] personal statement on the show.” James says he’s prepared for their wrath and that he’s taken all of the necessary precautions, like reading the statement out loud and completed a thorough grammar check. According to James, this puppy is almost over the finish line. Of course, the guys read through the essay and deliver some tough love to James.