Read Sentences, Not Passages (Ep. 345)

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If you want to improve at LSAT Reading Comprehension, remember what your job is: Read the sentences, not the passage. On today’s episode, Ben and Nathan explain why focusing on one sentence at a time is the best way to understand and retain information in both Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning. Then, the guys help one listener decide whether to retake the LSAT—even though he has a 175 on record. Another listener shares an email from LSAC’s Office of Test Security, warning them about taking the official test too many times. The guys help a former Demon student choose which law school scholarship offer to accept. And finally, they discuss why the new law school rankings fail the “100% rule.”

LSAT Demon is now in the App Store! Download the iPhone app and start practicing on the go. As always, if you like the show and 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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4.27.2022 — June LSAT registration deadline

4.29.2022 — April LSAT begins

5.18.2022 — April LSAT scores released

6.10.2022 — June LSAT begins

5:35 - LR Method to Madness

When listener Angel practices Logical Reasoning, they simply read each sentence and each question for what it is. They don’t think about question types and don’t have any specific strategies in mind. Should Angel take a more “calculated” approach to LR? Nathan and Ben advise Angel to call BS on arguments. Learn how to predict the answer—oftentimes before even reading the question. LSAT Demon will show you how.

10:27 - Read Sentences, Not Passages

Listener Jared reaches out to thank Ben for his recent advice on Reading Comprehension. Paraphrasing Ben: Your job isn’t to read the passage. Your job is to read the first sentence. Once you’ve grasped the first sentence, your job is then to read the second sentence, and so on. The guys discuss why this strategy works so well for both Reading Comprehension and Logical Reasoning. Jared also compares Ben’s advice to a quote by none other than Will Smith (timely). Tune in to hear the guys’ reactions.

19:04 - Retaking After a 175?

LSAT Demon student Spencer scored 175 on the March LSAT. That’s 31 points up from his diagnostic score. Congrats, Spencer! Though he’s content with his official 175, Spencer has consistently scored in the upper 170s on practice tests. Should he get greedy and retake the LSAT? Nathan and Ben both say to go for it. They encourage Spencer—and all LSAT students—to visit the LSAT Demon Scholarship Estimator. Plug in your numbers and see how a few more LSAT points might impact your likely scholarship offers.

22:50 - Official LSAT Limits

Longtime listener L has taken the official LSAT seven times within the last five years but hasn’t yet applied to law school. After registering for the April LSAT, they received an email from LSAC’s Office of Test Security, specifically asking L to “include a brief explanation of why you registered to take the LSAT again, despite having taken it so many times in the past.” Once L confirmed their intent to apply to law school, LSAC approved the test registration. But L is required to take steps to prove their intent to apply to law school. These steps include purchasing CAS, submitting transcripts, and uploading letters of recommendation.

38:35 - Choosing Which Scholarship to Take

Listener M followed all Ben and Nathan’s advice: They studied with LSAT Demon, raised their score by 16 points (breaking into the 170s), and applied early in the cycle. Now M has several scholarship offers in hand and asks the guys for help deciding which one to accept. M has narrowed their choices down to four law schools: Cornell, Vanderbilt, University of Texas, or USC. M’s ultimate goal is to work in big law. Taking cost and location into consideration, M is leaning toward USC. The guys weigh in on each option and encourage M to think about where they want to practice law after graduation. If LA is where M wants to be, then USC is the way to go.

51:45 - New Rankings and a Letter from Dean Faigman

U.S. News & World Report has released their 2023 law school rankings, and not much has changed. Nathan reads an email from the dean of UC Hastings defending their drop from 50th to 51st—in the usual Faigmanesque style that longtime Thinking LSAT fans know and love. The guys remind listeners how law school rankings are determined and why law schools don’t always have your best interests in mind when trying to get you to apply. They also reiterate the “100% rule” and explain why recent changes in the rankings really don’t matter. When comparing two schools, if there isn’t a 100% difference between their rankings, there is essentially no difference. 

1:22:06 - Increasing Your GPA

Listener Lou reaches out with some advice for students who are still in undergrad and want to raise their GPA. If you haven’t yet received your bachelor’s degree, you have the option to postpone your graduation and take more classes. An extra semester’s worth of straight A’s may help offset poor grades from the past. Remember: LSAC calculates your GPA based on all college credits taken up to your first official bachelor's degree. Anything you can do to increase your GPA will benefit you when applying to law school.