GPA First, LSAT Second (Ep. 339)

Ben Olson's headshot.

If you’re an undergraduate student earning anything less than straight A’s, you don’t need to be thinking about the LSAT yet. Now is your opportunity to maximize your GPA. Tune in to hear Ben and Nathan discuss why undergraduate grades are so important to law school admissions—and why students should focus on acing their courses before anything else. The guys also discuss GPA addenda, law school scholarships, and GI benefits. They hear from a first-generation immigrant who used LSAT Demon to raise his score 27 points. And finally, they grind out an Evaluate question from PrepTest 73.

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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3.3.2022 — February LSAT scores released

3.11.2022 — March LSAT begins

3.16.2022 — April LSAT registration deadline

3.30.2022 — March LSAT scores released

4.27.2022 — June LSAT registration deadline

4.29.2022 — April LSAT begins

3:20 - Get Straight A’s Starting Today

Listener Charlie credits Nathan and Ben’s guidance in helping him improve his LSAT score from a diagnostic 150 to an official 172. He also agrees with the guys’ advice about focusing on getting a great undergraduate GPA before anything else, and he recommends Cal Newport’s book, How to Become a Straight-A Student. This book has helped Charlie maintain a 4.0 GPA in college. Ben also recommends Deep Work, by the same author.

The guys discuss why GPA and LSAT matter most for law school admissions. Students who are still in undergrad should focus on getting all A’s. Doing so will not only make you a better law school applicant—it will also help you to succeed in law school. Check out this episode of the LSAT Demon Daily podcast for more advice on how to set yourself up for success in law school.

26:45 - T-14 Dreams with a Bad GPA

Listener Ceon hopes to attend a T-14 law school. With a PT average of 172, he’s on his way to an impressive LSAT score. But will his  2.6 undergraduate GPA from a decade ago hold him back? The guys offer Ceon some pointers on writing an addendum. He can’t hide from his low GPA, but he does have some great achievements, such as winning the Boxing National Championship, that he can highlight in his personal statement. Ceon should focus on what’s in his control, and that means getting his best LSAT score and writing a killer personal statement.

42:00 - Recycling Cans in Law School

Listener Wendy shares a piece from an article that was sent to her by a law school. Among other trivial money-saving tips, the article recommends recycling cans while in law school because “you’ll likely have plenty of student loan debt when you graduate.” Ben and Nathan think this article’s advice is absurd. There’s one great way to avoid graduating with student loan debt: Don’t pay for law school.

50:06 - A 27-Point Improvement and a Full Ride

Volodymyr is a first-generation immigrant who studied with LSAT Demon for six months and improved his score by a whopping 27 points. Hard work pays off! He took Nathan and Ben’s advice and applied broadly at the beginning of the cycle. Now he has has multiple full-ride offers, including one from to his top choice—UNC Law. Volodymyr adds that, because he’ll be attending law school tuition-free, he can use his GI Bill benefits to cover living expenses. Ben and Nathan congratulate Volodymyr on his success and remind listeners that good things come to those who apply early and with their best LSAT score.

55:40 - Test 73, Section 4, Question 5

Nathan and Ben accept the argument’s premises but object to its conclusion. Why should patients need to take both bone-preserving and bone-growing drugs? Maybe one drug is good enough. Maybe the new drug is expensive, or maybe it has negative side effects. There are lots of potential reasons why the clinician’s conclusion may not be valid.

It turns out to be an Evaluate question. The guys predict that the correct answer will ask a question that would help us decide whether the clinician is right or wrong to recommend that patients take both drugs. The first four answer choices aren’t helpful. Answer E is the only one that asks a relevant question. Knowing whether the new drug retains its efficacy when used in combination with the old drug would certainly help us decide whether it’s a good idea to take both drugs together. Try this question on LSAT Demon.