Slowing Down Is Not Enough (Ep. 392)

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LSAT Demon acolytes know that we slow down to speed up on the LSAT. But this mantra is not an invitation to focus on speed. Slowing down is not an end in itself, nor is it sufficient for LSAT mastery. On this week’s episode, Ben and Nathan remind listeners why we slow down: to better engage with the passage so we can make predictions and dismiss wrong answers quickly. Later, the guys tell a listener to stop planning applications while still in school. They shoot down a strategy to combat LR “brain fog.” And they assess claims of a prestigious university’s discrimination against applicants with mental health issues.

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0:00 - Upcoming events

Nathan and Ben promote two upcoming events: their free class for parents of LSAT students and an LSAT Demon meetup at the New York LSAC Law School Forum.

6:06 - Slowing Down

Since he began slowing down on his practice tests, listener David has increased his accuracy—but not his scores. Should he worry that he no longer answers as many questions as he used to? Ben and Nathan assure David that speed will come naturally as he learns to make good predictions and dismiss wrong answers quickly.

14:47 - Stop Making Plans

Nathan and Ben advise an anonymous undergraduate student not to let thoughts of law school be a distraction. Anonymous should focus on their grades and plan their applications later.

27:41 - Practice-Test Anxiety

Madison scores lower on full practice tests than on individual timed sections. Is test anxiety to blame? The guys suspect that Madison might be falling into a common trap: worrying about the whole test when she should be focusing on one question at a time.

33:46 - Pearls vs. Turds

An anonymous student proposes a dubious strategy for dealing with “brain fog” at the end of Logical Reasoning sections: do the first half of the section, then jump to the end and work backwards. Ben and Nathan have encountered versions of this turd before. They still think it makes more sense to do the questions in order.

41:14 - Mental Health Discrimination

Nathan and Ben review an essay by a former Cornell faculty member who claims that the school discriminates against applicants with mental health issues. The guys suspect that some law school admissions officers may be similarly biased. They advise applicants against disclosing mental health issues in their admissions materials.

50:07 - Withdrawing Applications

The guys advise listener Brayden on how to withdraw applications. Burn the boats, Brayden!

53:10 - Should I Take the April LSAT?

Perry isn’t sure that he’ll be fully prepared for the April test. Should he still take it to max out his attempts before the fall? Ben and Nathan see both sides of the argument, but they think that Perry might want to keep a final attempt available for next year.

56:58 - Scores Decreasing

Nathan and Ben assure an anonymous student that score fluctuations are just part of the process. Anonymous should stop worrying about their scores and focus on understanding the questions they get wrong. The guys also tell Anonymous that reading more slowly in RC isn’t enough: they’ve got to find a way to care about the passage.