On this week’s podcast, the guys take on some bad admissions advice and encourage two students to retake the LSAT and apply next cycle. After that, the guys discuss law school accelerated programs and read a personal statement from a critically acclaimed jazz guitarist.
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.
11.12.2021 — November LSAT
12.3.2021 — January LSAT Registration Deadline
12.29.2021 — February LSAT Registration Deadline
1.15.2022 — January LSAT
2.2.2022 — January LSAT Score Release
2.3.2022 — March LSAT Registration Deadline
2.12.2022 — February LSAT
3.3.2022 — February LSAT Score Release
8:25 - Can You Achieve "Flow" While Taking the LSAT?
Listener David is taking the November test and is wondering if some students enter a “flow” state while taking the LSAT. David is referring to the feeling of being so immersed in the material that your sense of time is transformed.
Ben believes that he personally does enter a version of flow when taking a test, as his focus isn’t being pulled in any other direction. Nathan agrees, you can enter a flow state when your mind is focused only on the question in front of you and not on the clock or on past questions you’ve already answered.
24:08 - A Thank You to the Demon
Listener and Demon student Mosie reached out to thank Ben and Nathan for their LSAT program. After studying with the Demon for three months, Mosie was able to raise their score from a diagnostic 151 to an official 167. Way to go, Mosie!
The guys think it’s great that Mosie got a 167, but it’s possible that setting a goal of 165 may have led Mosie to declare victory too soon. They don’t recommend setting a goal score, because doing so can sometimes hinder students from pushing themselves to reach their full potential. Mosie should consider taking the test again if they can possibly earn a few more points. But at the end of the day, the guys just want to make sure Mosie doesn’t pay for law school. Perhaps a 167 is enough to earn Mosie a full ride to the law school of their choice.
Check out the Demon’s Scholarship Estimator to see what kinds of offers your LSAT and GPA are likely to garner.
31:20 - Pearls vs. Turds: Admissions Advice
Listener N shares some admissions advice they recently heard during a law school mixer. The director of admissions commented: “It is always better to over explain than to under explain, because we have very active imaginations.”
The guys instantly call this out as a turd. By oversharing, you risk giving the admissions officer that key piece of information that they need to reject rather than to admit you. Admissions officers’ incentives are not aligned with yours. In general, it’s a good idea to take any advice from admissions officers with a grain of salt.
42:50 - Should I Apply This Cycle?
Listener and Demon student Adam is tempted to apply this cycle just to see what offers he can get. He is planning to take the LSAT again in January and apply next cycle if he doesn’t get a good offer. Nathan and Ben strongly advise against applying this cycle. The LSAT is the most important piece of your application. You should give it all the time and focus it requires. Adam is sure to get better offers if he focuses on killing the January LSAT and applies as soon as applications open next September.
1:01:36 - Accelerated Programs
The guys read an email from Pace University describing their accelerated law school program. They advertise an opportunity to start school in January 2022 have your JD completed in 2 ½ years. After pulling up Pace University’s 509 report, the guys see that 75% of their students have an LSAT score lower than the average of all LSAT takers. This is not a program that they’d recommend. They believe this school is “selling the dream” to students who don’t want to put in the work to get a higher LSAT score and want to rush through their JD. Don’t fall for programs like this one.
1:13:07 - David’s Personal Statement
Right off the bat, Nathan likes the content of this personal statement. But he lets David know that his semicolon privileges are revoked after an incorrect use of a semicolon. David also missed an Oxford comma, which Ben recommends all students use.
The guys like that David jumps right in to show the reader that he is a winner. He doesn’t waste time talking about anything negative. David should watch his overselling and expand on the word “skills” by explaining what those skills are.
Overall, the content that David has presented is pretty compelling. But he needs to double check his grammar, reel back the telling, and do more showing. The guys rate this statement at around 167. A little bit of editing could bump it up into the 175+ range.