LSAT Dwarfs GPA in Admissions Formulas (Ep. 349)

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The LSAT is arguably the best predictor of your success in law school. It’s no wonder that law schools weigh the LSAT heavily in the admissions process. But just how much weight is an applicant’s LSAT score given relative to their UGPA? Nathan and Ben analyze the index formulas used by law schools and share a surprising realization. But first, the guys kick off the show with some stories of ProctorU mishaps from the April LSAT. They critique a listener’s study schedule and discuss the nature of 1L writing assignments. Finally, they respond to some questions that circulated after Derek Brainard’s appearance on episode 348. 

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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Important Dates

5.18.2022 — April LSAT scores released

6.10.2022 — June LSAT begins

6.28.2022 — August LSAT registration deadline

6.30.2022 — June LSAT scores released

8.12.2022 — August LSAT begins

3:44 - ProctorU Mishaps

Following the April LSAT, multiple students reached out to express their frustrations with various ProctorU issues. The guys share an email from listener Grace, who was ten minutes into her third section when she was disconnected from her test. After waiting for over an hour, Grace was told that an issue with LSAC’s website could not be resolved and that they had to end her session.

Listener Elijah logged on ready to kill his test. But after waiting for over an hour on the “chat” screen and attempting to call both ProctorU and LSAC, Elijah turned to Reddit and learned that he and many others would not be able to test that day. 

Listener Chris worried at first when he was disconnected from the test. But after realizing that it was a widespread issue, he shifted his mindset and took advantage of the extended break. He ended up grabbing his guitar and serenaded his proctor for 45 minutes.

If you run into issues during your official test, reach out to the numbers listed below: 

LSAC: (215) 968-1001

ProctorU support: (888) 355-8043

23:20 - LSAT Study Schedule

Demon student Sharon describes her LSAT study schedule. She typically completes a section of Logic Games and alternates between sections of Logical Reasoning and Reading Comprehension every weekday. She then completes full-length practice tests on weekends. A friend in law school recommended that she save tests 80 and above for closer to her official LSAT. Ben and Nathan disagree with this recommendation. Students should practice a mix of old and new tests to ensure that they don’t miss certain question types, such as Rule Substitution questions. The guys recommend that Sharon complete fewer sections and tests every week and incorporate more drilling and review into her daily routine.

33:35 - Writing Consulting 

An anonymous former Demon student suggests that LSAT Demon offer writing assistance beyond personal statement editing. After hearing that 1L grades depend a lot on written papers, this listener asks the team to consider offering writing help to law students. Ben and Nathan discuss what law professors typically look for when grading student papers.

37:40 - GPA vs. LSAT 

Listener Matthew earned a decent GPA from his undergraduate institution. But his LSAC-calculated UGPA is significantly lower. Matthew explains the discrepancy, but the final number is all schools ultimately care about. With T-3 and big-law goals, is there anything Matthew can do besides ace the LSAT and write a GPA addendum? Nathan and Ben advise Matthew to begin advocating for himself and to appeal to have his community college grades removed from his transcript. Matthew should also visit the LSAT Demon Scholarship Estimator to see how much grant money schools are likely to offer an applicant with his UGPA and estimated LSAT score.

Matthew’s question sparks a conversation about the relative weight of LSAT scores and UGPAs in law school admissions. Ben and Nathan analyzed published index formulas that law schools use to rank applicants. Their findings indicate that most law schools weigh the LSAT far more heavily than UGPA. Check out the results of their analysis here

1:02:56 - A Shout-Out to Demon Student Ryan

Listener Alexis’s boyfriend Ryan is an LSAT Demon fanatic. He recommends LSAT Demon to everyone he can and raves about how much the Demon has made a difference in his views on the LSAT. As his supportive girlfriend, Alexis has enjoyed hearing Ryan talk about the LSAT as it has grown from just a test into a passion of his. The guys wish Ryan good luck on his June LSAT and let him know that Alexis is a keeper.

1:04:26 - Follow-Up Questions From Episode 348

Following Derek Brainard’s segment on episode 348, Ben and Nathan received two listener emails with follow-up questions. Listener F asks whether Derek was on “our team or the opposing team.” The guys explain that Derek doesn’t encourage anyone to take out loans—he’s in the business of helping students who have already taken on considerable debt. A second anonymous listener expresses some grievances about cost-of-living loans and the ways that law schools often underestimate cost of attendance. The guys remind listeners of the rationale behind their advice not to pay for law school.