In today’s episode, J.Y. speaks with 7Sager Josh, Can't Get Right, who improved his LSAT score from a 152 diagnostic to a 176.

Josh studied for the LSAT for over two years and took the LSAT four times with scores of 163, 162, 170, and finally 176.

Josh talks about just how much work it took to improve his score and the different strategies he employed, including filming yourself taking live sections and reviewing the footage to find inefficiencies in approach.

Links to other content mentioned in the episode
Blind Review method
Fool Proof Method for improving on Logic Games
Post Core Curriculum Study Strategies webinar by Josh (must be enrolled in a full course to access)
AMA with Sage Josh Cant Get Right post on 7Sage Forum (including a link to Josh's LG procedure)

Please send your comments, questions, and ideas for future episodes to podcast@7Sage.com.

Other 7Sage LSAT content
7Sage LSAT course: 7sage.com/enroll/
Free logic games explanation lessons: 7sage.com/logic-game-explanations/
Free LSAT preptest scorer and analyzer: 7sage.com/score-lsat-test/
Free LSAT proctors: 7sage.com/free-lsat-prep-tools/
Free LSAT discussion forum: 7sage.com/discussion/
Free video explanations for every question in the June 2007 PrepTest: https://7sage.com/lesson/preptest-june-2007-video-explanations-for-all-questions/

Full Transcript
J.Y.: Hello. This is J.Y. from 7Sage, and you’re listening to what I believe is Episode 1 of our new podcast.

I say that because I’m not sure yet that this is going to be a thing. Right now, to me it feels like an experiment, because, well, it’s kind of complicated.

I really like podcasts. I listen to them every single day, and I can probably talk to you for hours about what podcasts are good and whatnot, but it just felt strange to me for 7Sage to have a podcast. It almost kind of felt pretentious, because the podcasts that I listen to are so amazing, they have such high production value, the level of artistry that goes into it. We’re an education company, you know?

Anyway, I’ve heard so much from 7Sagers about how the format itself, just pure audio, is very convenient for long commutes or when you’re exercising or around the house doing some dishes. It’s convenient to be able to listen to something that’s pure audio. So I thought, “OK, fine. Let’s give this a shot.”

What I did here is I put together three conversations that I had with 7Sagers for whom the LSAT did not come naturally. They studied very hard, some of them studied for a very long time, but ultimately got a very good score, they all scored above 170, and I thought I would invite them back to 7Sage, have a conversation with them, open it up online for students, for current 7Sagers to join and ask questions live, and I recorded those conversations, and I thought, “That’ll be the first three episodes of the podcast.”

Some of you who’ve been around 7Sage for a while, you might have actually heard these conversations already or maybe you even participated. But for the rest of you, I hope this is something that you’ll find interesting and helpful.

In today’s episode, I talked to Josh, who’s known on 7Sage as Can’t Get Right. I think Josh has an incredibly inspiring story.

His diagnostic was in the low-150s, and he’d studied for the LSAT for over two years with his first real LSAT score being a 163. His second real LSAT score being a 162, and this is back when LSAC limited you to take three tests in a two-year period. His third, which back then was his final attempt at the LSAT, he pulled off a 170, which is an amazing score.

But he knew he could do better. So he studied for another year and took the LSAT again, taking advantage of LSAC’s new rule change, which allows for unlimited takes, and he received his final LSAT score on his fourth take of a 176.

So I say this partially to brag about Josh’s awesome performance, but also to show you what an incredibly long and arduous journey that was, and you’ll hear much more about that in our conversation.

Josh and I spoke in October 2017, and I want to apologize about the audio quality. At the time I wasn’t fully committed to the idea of turning this conversation into a podcast, but in spite of the technical shortcomings, I think you’ll find the conversation very helpful in your own studies.

With that, please enjoy.

J.Y.: OK, we’re going to get started. Welcome, everyone. My name is J.Y., and I am here with Josh, who’s better known as Can’t Get Right on the 7Sage forums. We’re here to do an AMA, well mostly for Josh; Josh is here to do an AMA, I’m here to moderate. So to get started, Josh, can I just have you introduce yourself briefly? I feel like a lot of people here already know you, but in case there’s some new people here.

Josh: Yeah. I guess some key background information: I’m from Mississippi, lived my whole life here. Went to undergrad at the University of Southern Mississippi, majored in English, graduated in 2008, and I’ve pretty much been working in, managing and consulting with coffee shops ever since, really not a whole lot. I guess I started studying for the LSAT in 2015. It’s been awhile, and I’ve come a long way. I kind of started in about the high 140s range. I didn't take a true diagnostic, but the first PT after, like, three months of studying, I think it was a 152 and scored, on the recent September, scored a 176.

J.Y.: Yeah, so that’s amazing. Congratulations, Josh.

Josh: Thank you.

J.Y.: I think — I mean, we’ve talked in the past, so I know the road to that 176 was long and full of setbacks.

Josh: I think every road to a 176, for those of us who aren’t just naturally somehow gifted with ability on this test, it is long and arduous.

J.Y.: Yeah. Full of many setbacks.

Josh: Yes.

J.Y.: In your case, though, I think there were three specific setbacks, previous to this score.

Josh: Yes.

J.Y.: So this was your fourth take, right? Yeah. So tell us about that. What were the first three takes like?

Josh: The first two were very similar. I was unprepared. I think my background in English kind of took me further, it gave me an advantage. It’s definitely a test of language as well as logic, and I think I kind of caught onto that a little more intuitively. I studied, I guess, I always forget the exact timelines, but about, I think, six months. I was working a lot. So my goal was always 170s or bust, and I think I had one time scored way out of my range and hit maybe a 171 or something. So the first time I got a 163, and I was disappointed, but I took the test knowing I wasn’t ready, wasn’t ready for my goal, for what I wanted to do. I had decided I wanted to go to law school months prior to this. So then I did what I think many people do, and I signed up for the very next one, and I kept doing more of the same of what I had been doing, and then I actually when down a point to a 162. And then I was pretty upset. I think if I had gained a point or even stayed the same, it would have been different. But just going down a point on what you’ve already done after so much more effort is pretty discouraging. So I actually just quit. I was like, “Well, just not going to go to law school. I’m not going to take the LSAT again. I’m done with this. This is stupid.” And about two months later, I was like, “You know, I've got one shot left.” So this was back when, right, you could only take it three times in the span of two years, I think. So I was like I can take this thing one more time, and it just doesn’t sit right with me that I quit when I still have one shot left. So that was when I was, all right, I've got to fundamentally change what I'm doing. I’ve got to do better. I’ve got to do something different. So that was when I signed up with 7Sage. I was like, “OK. These books aren’t working. I’m going to sign up with that website with the guy from the YouTube videos,” and here I am. So after about another year, my first test was, I guess it was October that year, the fall test of 2015. So I retook again in 2016, September 2016, and I scored a 170, which I was very happy with, that was my goal score. I barely made it across that threshold. I felt like I was better than that, but at the same time, in hindsight, I think that’s probably a good representation of where I was. I did particularly poorly on logic games, which I found out since then, should not have been surprising. And so this time I fixed that, minus zero on logic games I'm happy to say, and I hit 176, which I think is what was ultimately exactly my average PT score.

J.Y.: Yeah, so OK, I have a lot of questions for you, Josh, and I'm sure people listening also have questions. You guys can type that into the chat box, and I'll select from what I see there to toss over to Josh. But OK, my first question for you is, we actually get, we as in 7Sage, a lot of students coming to us after they’ve done some other program.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: You’re similar in that way, right? You came to us after having studied yourself. A lot of them, maybe these are just the vocal ones that we hear from, and maybe the majority is just silent so I have no idea, but a lot of them do ask us questions like, “How can I skip around the core curriculum? Do I really have to view everything?”

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y. And to hear you say that — after having taken the test twice already and, you know, scoring —

[CROSSTALK]

J.Y.: That’s like high 80th, low 90th percentile scores, right?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: Which is objectively really great scores. So to hear you say that you just spent another year going through the curriculum, I imagine it must have taken a lot of patience. How did you not think, “Oh, I already know this stuff. I can just skip” or whatever.

[00:10:01]

Josh: Yeah, well, yes. I think something that is kind of — I don't want to say unique to my story, but the LSAT really became much more than a test that I had to take before I could go to law school. It really turned into a personal transformation. It was like people going to climb Mount Everest or something. They don't do that because they have to before going on to something greater. There’s no career in having climbed Mount Everest, but it’s just the act of doing it is meaningful and transformative and powerful, and I feel very much the same way about the LSAT. It served as that catalyst in my life. With a lot of the earlier stuff when I came to 7Sage was kind of, I guess, coming to terms with myself. I thought that I was uniquely special. I thought that I was inherently talented and intelligent and just all of these great things. I’m pretty smart. I’ve been fairly successful as far as I've attempted to push myself, but I've never come up against something quite like the LSAT where I couldn't really conquer it with the level of effort that I've kind of become accustomed to in life. So I really wanted to kind of start over. I wanted to get rid of everything that I thought I knew about myself and about the LSAT and kind of build up from nothing, because I didn't want to take anything for granted. So I wanted to go back through the core curriculum, because I thought it was important not just to learn the LSAT but also to learn myself better and to accept better and embrace my limitations. I’m not somebody that this came easy to. It’s very hard for me.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: So I didn't want to take anything for granted. I didn't want to make any assumptions about my ability.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: So I thought that was actually a very important psychologically as well as making sure that all of the gaps were filled in.

J.Y.: OK. Yeah. So what do you suppose were the biggest changes? What do you suppose accounted for that jump from your second take of a 164 or 163?

Josh: One sixty-two.

J.Y.: One sixty-two, OK, to your third take of a 170? I mean, those eight points are, they’re probably the hardest eight points to make.

Josh: Yeah. No, those are incredibly different.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: It’s like jumping from a 140 to a 150-something. It’s a lot of space.

J.Y.: Right. Yeah.

Josh: So, I mean, a lot of it is I do think I improved my fundamentals. I understood things like traditional logic, but I wasn’t as comfortable as I needed to be. It’s not just knowing how to do it, it’s being, yeah, you really have to understand it and not have to really always work everything out. So I became more comfortable with things like that. One thing specifically I can say from the core curriculum that really I improved greatly on was necessary assumption. I thought that your explanation of just the nature of necessity and how that operates was really particularly excellent.

J.Y.: Thank you.

Josh: Yeah. Thank you. That was a bit of it. Also, I mean, just the blind review method, better study techniques. And then, I mean I think there’s only so far, you know, just the knowledge of the material can take you. I think a lot of people plateau in the kind of middle of the 160s, and pretty much for the most part know what they need to know to go further. There’s a strategic element of this test that is really, really important. I kept studying conditional reasoning and phenomenon-hypothesis, and all of these same things, and I would just go back and study it, and I'd be like, “Man. OK. I missed the questions that dealt with this, but I get it. I don't feel like this is helping.” And so finally I realized that this whole other aspect of the test, which was strategy, and learning how to deal with that, that’s how I kind of overcame, like in LR, those final, like, five points. So I still to this day, when I finish a section of LR my first time through, I'm usually at about the minus five range. I’m right where I used to be. The difference now is that I've gotten to that point so efficiently that I've got 10 minutes left, and with that 10 minutes I know exactly where to go back to for the most value. So things like that, and just learning logic games, that was probably, and I felt really solid in RC and LR last year, and then logic games, the strategy of logic games is kind of where I think I've fumbled the test, or that section, last year, and I went minus six on logic. Even then I was way better than minus six, but I didn't have the strategy, and I really think, particularly on the real things when you're dealing with anxiety and all of that, the strategy was really important. That’s what brought me through logical reasoning last year after I started the test with LG and knew that I had kind of messed up and already missed my entire margin of error for my average PT.

J.Y.: Yeah, so this is to, I guess maybe to flesh out some of what you're saying about strategic element. Let’s focus just on LR. I think what you had just described resonates with me in terms of students who score in the mid to maybe even high 160s and have trouble breaking that 170 barrier, it’s because, like you said, it’s not because they don't understand conditional logic. You sit them down, they can explain conditional logic to you. They can explain scientific arguments that use phenomenon-hypothesis framework, and so on and so forth, but it’s kind of their time management, right? Like when they decide to do which questions.

Josh: Yeah, absolutely.

J.Y.: And which fights they choose to fight, right?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: So I love asking —

Josh: And how long they choose to fight those fights.

J.Y.: Right, and how long they choose to stay engaged with any particular fight, right? So I love asking students, after taking a prep test, were you trying to get every single question right? Were you actually trying to do all the questions?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: And everyone, invariably the answer is, “Well yeah, of course.” And the answer is actually no. You’re not supposed to be, like, why are you trying to get every single question right? It’s not. Are you actually aiming for a 180? If you're not prep testing at a 177, you have to say, “No, I'm not aiming to get a 180,” right? “I’m aiming to get” just a few points above what your average prep test is supposed to be, because that’s how it works, right? You move up incrementally. And if you're aiming just to get a few points above, you're supposed to be missing a bunch of questions. You’re supposed to be missing a bunch of questions.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: So it’s just your choice, which questions to miss. That’s the crucial difference is whether you're letting the test choose for you, or you're choosing for yourself, right?

Josh: Absolutely.

J.Y.: So talk more to us about your sort of personal — how did you work through that?

Josh: Yeah. It’s something that I've developed over time, and I think as my thinking about it has become more sophisticated over time. The first thing is I just kind of realized that there’s just so much progress you can make on a question, with a reasonable amount of time. Like on an easy question, you can usually get to like 80 percent confidence really quickly, but that final 20 percent, that’s going to take a lot longer. So you have to evaluate, what’s the threshold of progress through a single question at which the returns you're getting begin to diminish beyond a point that that time is no longer a good investment?

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: So maybe you can get that 80 percent confidence in 45 seconds, but then from 45 seconds, to get to that 100 percent, it might take another minute, and that’s not worth it. Eighty percent is great. That extra little bit, it just isn’t that valuable. So I've come to think of questions in terms of probability. So one drill that I really like to do is I'll track my confidence, question by question, and I'll add up just before I'm done, I'll write a fraction of a point, so if I'm 80 percent confident, I'll give myself 0.8 points for that question. I’ll go through the whole test like that, and it’s interesting, when I add all of that up at the end, it matches my raw score, my actual results, very closely. I’m not thinking about getting questions necessarily right or wrong. I’m trying to make as much progress as I can with efficient use of time.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: So the hardest three questions on the test, I still, I can't necessarily tell you that I'm confident that I'm going to get those right. Normally, all I'm hoping to do, my goal on the three hardest questions on an LR section is I want to get my average confidence for those questions, I want to get my average confidence to 65 percent. So what that means is if I'm evaluating my confidence right, and that is a skill that you can develop over time and become very good at self assessment, that means I should get two of those right, and I should miss one. That’s great. That’s a great place to be, and I can get to 65 percent. That, I feel, is consistently attainable in a reasonable amount of time. If I were trying to get to 100 percent or even 90 percent on a lot of these questions, I just couldn't do it. It would take me so long.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: I think one thing that you’ve said too, the balance of the test, the creation of the test versus the taking of the test. It’s crazy how much is against us. There’s a whole team of people designing these questions, taking months to design these, and we’ve got, maybe on the hardest question, we can spend two minutes.

[00:21:01]

J.Y.: Right. We’re nervous, we’re not thinking straight, and we have a minute and 15 seconds. It’s completely asymmetrical, right? So there’s no way that you're going to penetrate the question with any level of depth that can match what the test writers have on their side, so there’s no point. It’s not worth it, right? You want to make sure you're not so sucked into any particular fight where you lose sight of the opportunity cost of engaging in this fight, and that’s what you're talking about, with 45 seconds to get to 80 percent confidence on an easier question, that’s good enough. If you spend an extra minute getting that additional 20 percent confidence—

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: That extra minute could have been spent getting you to 80 percent confidence on a different question. So it balances out better if you're more strategic. But it’s a hard thing to do. It’s something that, well, I suppose if you don't think of it or if you haven't heard anybody speak of it, it’s hard to realize. That’s like one big hurdle. And then even after realizing it, it’s still very difficult to put into practice.

Josh: Yeah. It’s very counterintuitive at first.

J.Y.: Yeah. Talk to us, Josh, about how once you understood this, how did you put it into practice?

Josh: I did a confidence drill, which was, I just started recording my takes. So I did this drill of — One thing I realized is my goal has to stop being “miss as few questions as possible.” That’s not a very actionable goal. I began to realize, OK. Let’s focus on one thing at a time, with obviously that being ultimately the results we’d hoped for. So the goal of the confidence drill is not to miss as few questions as possible. So I had to kind of understand that, just embrace that, just take a deep breath and be OK with it, and work towards a different goal, and that goal is to go almost at a reckless pace and just kind of move on. Whenever you cross that threshold of getting to 80 percent really quickly and really efficiently and everything beyond that being significantly diminished returns, recognizing that threshold of moving on immediately, with the ones that you're just not going to make much progress on.

J.Y.: Like in practice, what does that look like? Does that mean sometimes you don't read all the answers?

Josh: Oh, absolutely. For me it’s about 80 percent, like when I get to 80 percent I'm done. Sometimes I get to 80 percent because I've read A, and it’s like, “Oh. That’s definitely it.” In that case, you circle it, you move to the next question.

J.Y.: It’s so cookie cutter, that A just snaps right into place.

Josh: Yeah. And I think the other thing I realized is this also acts as a stress test. As you get better and better, you can make up for your own misunderstandings and your own gaps in knowledge. The other thing I liked about that is when I did make a mistake, normally it revealed something that would not have been revealed otherwise. Like, “Oh, I fell for a trap here.” And I’d go back as if I had kept reading, I wouldn't have done that. So how do I recognize this next time? I didn't even know I needed to be looking for that. So a lot of great information from that drill.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: But yeah, it can mean a lot of different things question from question. A lot of times it might mean, “OK, I can spend two minutes on this and not make much progress. Write this one off.” It’s important to be able to pick your losers.

J.Y.: Yeah. I like that. It is very much overlooked how important it is to pick your losers.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: So a lot of people hearing, I don't know if they caught that, but you said that you had taped yourself doing the actual sessions of prep tests.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: So what does that look like in practice? What do you do with a tape when you're done with it?

Josh: I think a lot of people have that question. I’ve been filming my tests for like a year and half now, so it’s like what do you do with it? What do you not do with it? You just get so much data. I think that’s ultimately, you get data, empirical data. The first thing I do is I just watch it through with a stopwatch and just track my times. That’s the main thing is if you're working on time management, you’ve got to know what your times are. It’s not something you can evaluate as you go or finish up and think back on and say, “Hmm. This one may have taken a little too long.”

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: Yeah. The first time I watched footage back, it was like watching a bad horror movie where everybody is just being completely stupid, and you’re yelling at the TV. I was literally yelling at myself. I was vocalizing my dissatisfaction with what I was seeing. And yeah, it was interesting to see. The questions that I really lost the most time on, those are the questions I was going to miss anyway. After seeing that, things really began to start clearing. I was still kind of stuck in that mid-160s range. I couldn't really push into the 170s even though I felt like I knew everything. But when I watch that video, that first time — I think that video’s floating around 7Sage somewhere.

J.Y.: Not that one.

Josh: Not that one? OK.

J.Y.: Yeah. It was the one after you had already started to become more conscientious about timing and starting to sort of bump your confidence up —

Josh: Right.

J.Y.: — so that you would move faster and more recklessly through some of the questions.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: Once that transition happened, I think that was the footage that we had put up.

Josh: OK.

J.Y.: I’m not going to say which prep test, because I can't remember.

Josh: Yeah, I have no idea.

J.Y.: I guess that’s the reason. But it’s definitely out there, and I overlay commentary on it, so at some point in your studies, you guys in the audience, you’ll almost certainly come across this prep test that when you’re reviewing it, you’ll probably come across it. I’ll just say Josh has beautiful hands with very long fingers.

Josh: Long fingers.

J.Y.: Anyway, so OK. So it is a lot of work, and I think one of the most common responses from students is, “Is it really necessary? Do I really have to?” Think about it, right? Doing the setup, with your cellphone holder, and then you place masking tape on your table to demarcate where the frame begins and where the frame ends, and then get transferring the footage. These are giant files. If you're recording on 1080p, we’re talking about file sizes like 2 or 3 gigabytes per section, or if you're starting at 4K, it’s over 10 gigabytes per section, and you're transferring it onto your computer, and then you're watching it, and you have to watch the whole thing, and you have to start and pause, start and pause to record your times for each question. It’s just a boatload of work, you know?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: So one of the most common concerns is, is it really helpful? I mean, I don't know. For me, the answer’s obviously yes.

Josh: I think anybody, certainly for the 170s, I think it’s —There’s a reason that kind of like baseball players, professionals at everything, if you're a professional baseball player, you’ve got a guy at batting practice recording your swing, and then you sit down with your baseball coach and you watch it in slow motion backward and forward and you nitpick everything. People at the highest levels of everything record themselves: Musicians record their practices and things. It provides an objective experience with something that is inherently subjective.

J.Y.: Right.

Josh: The subjective is not very useful.

J.Y.: It’s unreliable.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: You have to be honest with yourself. Really the answer is, “What was I thinking?” For most of those questions and answers, I just don't remember.

Josh: Yeah, “Who knows?”

J.Y.: Yeah, “who knows?” Right? So either you have this empirical evidence or you're just relying on your subjective memory. Yeah, so that’s very good. We have a question here from Bunny.

[00:30:29]

Bunny: Can you hear me?

J.Y.: Yes.

Josh: Yeah, hey, Bunny.

Bunny: Hey. Oh, sorry, I had a couple of questions. So up here at the top, making your actual PT closer to your blind review quite a ways apart. Is that just going through the strategies?

Josh: Yeah, I think for me that was all strategy. Increasing your blind review is increasing your knowledge and fundamentals, and closing the gap is all strategy. There is room to work in tandem on that, but for me it was 95 percent strategy.

Bunny: OK. And my other question was, so like, Josh Take 3 versus Josh Take 4 on the test.

Josh: Yes.

Bunny: Did you have a ton of fresh PTs, and did you start over and redo? I’m kind of stuck. I may have five or six fresh PTs I've never looked at, but other than that I’ve got stacks and stacks of things I've been through, so where do I even start?

Josh: Yeah.

Bunny: I need a new strategy, period.

Josh: Yeah. So for my fourth take, I had two, which was a very scary number. I was, so they changed the rules so that I could take. I suppose maybe I'd gone over the two years, I'm not actually sure.

J.Y.: Wait, Josh, could we focus on between your Take 2 and your Take 3? Because I think even there… and then we can talk about how you improved from Take 3 to Take 4, and then you can address the fact that you only had two.

Josh: Yeah. I think I say in the write up for this, pretty much every — If you go and watch in the curriculum, like, the biggest LSAT mistakes, I think I had done all of them in spectacular form. So between my first two takes, when I really was nowhere ready, I just took practice test after practice test after practice test, probably two or three a week. So I had burned through the bulk of things already anyway. I can’t remember exactly how many fresh tests I had left, even when I started with 7Sage, but it wasn’t as many as I would have liked. Luckily, actually, that was during — so I guess that’s still — there were no PDFs, and there was no other way. You couldn't get electronic LSATs, and the 40s were out of print. I was literally seeing the 40s series sell for $1,000 for the set. A lot of the older tests, kind of the same thing, the ones that were out of print. So luckily I was unable to take those early on, so I had all of those tests, I had kind of sporadic tests throughout the 70s. So I didn't have much. I really had to learn how to use retakes, which are inherently inflated. It’s a good diagnostic, but I left a lot of value in those practice tests. I didn't blind review. I kind of just took them and immediately turned around, scored them, graded them, went to the wrong answers, and looked at them and said, “Oh, OK. I see what I did.” When I started blind reviewing and writing out all of my explanations, I found that whenever I had told myself, “Oh, I see what I did,” it was total bullshit. I didn't see what I did, because when I went to write it down, I couldn't do it. So I had to think in much greater depth. I had to learn how to use retakes, and there was still a lot of value there. I completely wasted them the first time, so those scores were inflated, but I was still able to learn a lot from them. And then the fresh tests, I used very sparsely. I had to really place a premium on taking those. I had to take those for a reason. I think one thing that I think is really consequential is if you have no expectation that you’ve made any improvements since your last practice test, then what are you doing taking a practice test? What are you hoping is better?

J.Y.: You’re hoping for a miracle.

Josh: Yeah. That’s the only way you can improve. That’s the only way. I had to learn how to study and how to drill and how to do exercises and do other things other than just take tons of PTs. I identified problems, reasons that I had missed questions and lost points on one PT. And then I would analyze the test. I would look at it critically and identify specific things that had cost me points, and then I would study them. I would try to eliminate those things as weaknesses. When I felt like I had done that, that’s when I could take another practice test. Particularly if you don't have a lot of practice tests left, I would want to kind of prove that to myself through a repeat, that, “OK. It seems like I've really made significant progress on these things. Now I can take a fresh test.” That was kind of how I developed that study strategy throughout my time at 7Sage and just kind of pieced it together. I figured out not just to study for the LSAT but how to study, and things besides just brute force exposure to new material. That really becomes a small part of it.

Bunny: Just one thing, I know there’s a lot of people. When you were talking about explanations and after you went back and then were reviewing, were you writing a couple of sentences and you were like, “This is what I was thinking,” even on something that maybe you got right, and then when you timed it, you realized, “Man. I spent two minutes on that. I should have gotten that in 30 seconds.” Was that kind of thing going through, “What was I thinking?”

Josh: Well, my blind review was very extensive. For harder questions, I might fill up a page and a half of notebook paper. So that was really extensive. For timing, that was kind of a different analysis. You just kind of look at your time and compare it to the video. I always wanted to kind of find that threshold of diminishing returns, and identify the moments where I should have moved on. That was kind of how I would look at that.

Bunny: Thank you so much, Josh.

Josh: Yeah, of course.

Bunny: Appreciate it.

J.Y.: Yeah, thanks for asking the question, Bunny. Josh, so I think to sum up here, moving from 162 on your second take to 170 on your third take, I think the major causal components there, No. 1, of course you found 7Sage, you saw the light.

Josh: Yes, absolutely.

J.Y.: And No. 2 was definitely focusing on time management, you know?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: Recording yourself, figuring out how much time you're supposed to spend, which questions you're supposed to give up on, etc.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: So that got you up to 170. Am I missing, is there something else like a major component? Because that’s what I want to talk about, that’s what I want to ask you about, how you moved then from 170 to a 177.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: Just so you guys, it’s already been like close to two years, right? Maybe I'm exaggerating.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: Like a year and a half to get to that 170?

Josh: Yeah, been a year and a half, I think.

J.Y.: Yeah, to get to that 170. And then from the 170 to a 176 was another year, right?

Josh: Yeah. And I think that’s the difficulty of those points. I think that’s probably about representative.

J.Y.: Yeah. Each additional point is harder to get than the previous one as you're moving up the ladder. The next point is harder to get than the previous one.

Josh: Yeah, way harder. Just because there’s nothing left but the curve breakers that I don't always expect to get right. You’ve got to get the questions right that they’re really designing for the bulk of the field to miss.

J.Y.: Right.

Josh: So yeah, 170 to 176 that was tough. I mean, one big component of it was definitely teaching. I think to explain something and to guide other people to understanding it. Because I don't like to explain when I teach, but to ask the right questions, that was a lot of it, just knowing the correct questions that are being posed and the different situations. That, I think, was a really big component of it.

J.Y.: Yeah, because after getting a 170, you were already ready active in the forums, but I think you really took it up and started doing office hours, started doing LR reviews and blind review workshops. What is it about teaching? I try to say this: You always want to try to teach, because no matter where you are, you can always teach down, right?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: You might not understand everything, but you understand things that other people don’t. So that’s like your teaching space, you know? Like you say, you didn't even have two prep tests at that point, right? Because you had to wait a year out for them to release two new prep tests for you to have those two prep tests. So what were you teaching? How do you still maintain battle readiness?

[00:40:30]

Josh: Yeah. As far as battle readiness, like being in shape, I'm not sure that you do. When I decided to take another shot this September, I probably hadn’t taken a timed section — After the LSAT last year, I didn't know what to do with myself, so I kind of took some PTs after the fact and jumped on some blind review calls. But yeah, it had been at least six months, and I was a little rusty. But I think that the theoretical understanding was what was better than ever. So then I had to kind of get back into shape. I had to do some drills. I think it comes back faster the second time, but it was not like a bicycle. It had to sharpen back up. I think I almost liked that, because now, this time going through it, I wasn’t having to figure anything out as I went, but I had already fully solidified my understanding of how this works and how you achieve these specific goals. I felt like I really knew what I was doing, and a part of that is teaching other people to do it. I know the struggle, I know the pitfalls, so I think I put that all together, and I had to use repeats for it. Especially if you only have two left, you can't use that material for getting into shape and practicing. It was weird to kind of take another test. I think the first thing I did was I kind of took a section of LR, which is I think long been my strongest section, and I did fine on it, but I finished with two minutes left, which I’m accustomed to finishing with 10 minutes left. It was definitely, I had to review the footage, break it down, see my times and find out what I had done, and then I just responded to it. I didn't have to prove to myself, “OK. If I just do it, I will have time to come back to it at the end.” I already knew that, so I think I was able to do it, because especially like with going back to the confidence drills, they’re scary, they take a little courage. And I didn't need that, because I had already been through it, and I knew it was going to be fine.

J.Y.: Yeah. OK. So it sounds like one component was teaching a lot of people for many sessions kind of boosted your theoretical understanding.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: But that doesn't necessarily translate into practice, because it’s just different when you have to think about a question under immense time pressure, right?

Josh: Yeah, absolutely.

J.Y.: To sort of try to stay in shape, you did take retakes, but you knew that’s not a good approximate, I mean it’s the best approximation you have, but it’s still not a good approximation of the real thing.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: OK, but then you just had to make do with your two fresh PTs. How did you do on those two fresh PTs?

Josh: I think one of them, I hit a high mid-170s, and I think the other one, I got a 172 maybe.

J.Y.: Are they 80 and 81?

Josh: Yeah, that was all I had is the things that were released since I had tested last year.

J.Y.: Right.

Josh: I think the first one was a little rough. I don't know. There was something about OK, this is my one of two PTs. I'm really burning a very significant test here, but I've gotten back in shape, I'm ready. I think I was LSAT ready, but I wasn't fully psychologically ready. And then just by the time I took the second one and I did better, I just didn't care anymore, which is another component on test day that was really useful. I was already in at the school I wanted to go to, and I didn't really have to, if I bombed it, it was going to be fine.

J.Y.: Yeah, lowering the stakes really helps a lot.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: Psychologically helps a lot.

Josh: Absolutely.

J.Y.: So I guess most people are not in your situation. One thing you guys can do, and to kind of psychologically help yourselves is to sign up for more than one test and to prepare to take the test more than once. I know this is bitter medicine. December is the next upcoming test, right? In a few short weeks, you're going to be that version of yourself who is presently in the future, right? Like, future Josh.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: That person is going to be very grateful to this current version of you if this current version of you signed up for the February one as well, because then that person — Not just sign up, like nominally sign up, but like sign up and with a sincere intention to prepare and take it in February, because then that December version of you is going to be shouldering only half the burden knowing that you're still in the middle of prepping. So how could it go? Either it goes really well, in which case great, you're done. Or if it doesn’t go so well, OK, that’s just going according to plan. You're going to take it in February anyway. Psychologically, especially because LSAT got rid of that three takes in two years rule, I think psychologically it changes. OK. So we have a question here from Matt.

Matt: OK. My question was I read in the discussion that Josh, you got a minus zero on RC. Where did you start and what helped you the most with your improvement there? And thank you for doing this.

Josh: Yeah, absolutely. You're welcome. So I think I started with RC, like I said, I was an English major, so I feel like it was naturally my strongest section, so I think I started around minus five, and minus five was far and away my best section when I started, and it remained. Until I really figured strategy out, I was still finishing minus five in LR however much I felt like I had mastered the fundamentals. I think I got a little better just through seeing more and more and kind of figuring out some of the tricks. So I was probably, like, minus four when LR and LG really started to click. And then all of a sudden I kind of realized that having stayed exactly the same in reading comprehension, it had actually, through virtue of the other sections getting so much better, RC had become my weakest section. So at this point, like a year into my studies, I had never really formally studied reading comprehension, and now I have to figure out how to approach this. Initially when I started doing this, my score got way worse. I think that’s pretty common, actually, when you begin studying something for the first time, you're changing the way you think about it, it’s very uncomfortable and unnatural at first. It got worse, which was a little scary, but then it started coming together, and there were several components to that. One was, just like with the other sections, I wanted to have a very clearly defined strategy, so I kind of determined, “OK. My time distribution between the passage and the questions, what do I want that to look like?” I know some people can read the passage in like two minutes, and then go into the questions and not lose out and be able to look back and confirm and all of that. So I tried that out a couple of times. I can read the passage in two minutes, but it didn't really work for me. I kicked a few things around, and ultimately for me, I discovered that kind of my optimal balance was kind of a 3.5 to 4 minute mark in the passage. And then when I get into the questions, that dictates my strategy. And I have to kind of just rely on my memory and trust my understanding and just kind of answer the question. I can't agonize over questions. I kind of just have to pick the thing that seems the strongest and move on. Maybe one question per passage I can look back to the passage and really try to figure things out, but without a line sight, I for the most part don't allow myself to go back. That’s what works for me. I don't know, I think RC has — I can see how if you're a faster reader, maybe something that allows for a little more might be better for other people. But for me, I figured out that strategy, and then a lot of it is just the subtlety of the answer choices. You kind of just got to learn kind of what they’re up to with the specific wording, because I do find the answer choices in RC to be very difficult sometimes.

[00:50:32]

J.Y.: Yeah. Matt, what is your specific issue? I presume you have some issues with RC, which is what’s prompting your question. If that’s true, can you speak to what your specific issues are with RC?

Matt: Well, I've kind of been all over the place with RC as well, though it’s kind of just remained by far my weakest. I’ve tried lots of different strategies, from diagramming to the memory method. I guess I still don't have a good hand on what I can do to get better.

J.Y.: What are we talking about here? Are you struggling to finish three passages?

Matt: Yeah.

J.Y.: So one of them you just straight up don't even get to look at?

Matt: Right.

J.Y.: OK. So I'm guessing if we’re talking about raw score for RC, you're looking at —

Matt: Minus 10.

J.Y.: Minus 10, so like 15, 17 points.

Matt: Yeah.

J.Y.: OK. All right. And you're saying that’s with straight up not even looking at one of the four passages?

Matt: The most recent one I got was minus 10, but the ones before that were minus 15, I think.

J.Y.: OK. Josh, do you have any thoughts on that?

Josh: One thing, like I said, if you're trying out lots of strategies, every time I try out a new strategy in anything, I tend to do worst first, and particularly in RC, I think it takes, for me anyway, it took a long time to actually get my strategy to where I could execute it naturally. So it may be that you move onto something else before you’ve had a chance. I guess the other thing is just looking at the time. I’ve seen a lot of people suggesting in that situation to focus on the three and make sure that you do as well as you can there. I’m not sure. I don't really like that. I think you get more from being more aggressive, and getting to attempt the fourth passage. I think getting four passages in, even if you're having to move quickly through the questions and kind of like I do, just have to roll with something that you think is the best. I think you get more returns on that, but I suppose you could figure that out empirically.

J.Y.: I agree with that. I think it’s a suboptimal strategy to attempt to do only three. First of all, if you're doing that, you have to make sure you're picking the right three passages. What if you omit the easiest passage with the highest number of easiest questions? And then, which, to not do that, you need to know which passage is the easiest one, which one is the one that contains the highest number of easiest questions. You have, I think, noisy signals for that, so it’s not a reliable method to figure that out, but conversely, if you try to do all four passages, sure, one of them is going to be the hardest passage. As soon as you assume some variation in difficulty, then by definition, one of them is going to be the hardest, but it doesn’t mean every single question associated with that passage is a five-star question. That’s definitely not what it means. There are going to be easy questions, even in the hardest passage set. So I think it’s kind of similar to the conversation we had about LR earlier, where Josh talked about you have to know yourself, you have to know which questions are out of your league for now, right, as the clock is ticking and you just need to move on from that. So a lot of RC is also about time management, right? I always say, Matt, you want to take it as a goal to get through all 27 questions, but you don't want to seriously engage with each and every question, right? So you want to manage your time by actually skipping over the ones that are harder. Just as a recent example I was looking at footage, this person spent five minutes on the passage for passage one, and then another 4.5 minutes on the questions, six questions, associated with passage one, so we’re talking about 9.5 minutes for just the first passage set, and she got everything right, but that’s actually a fail, right? That’s a fail because you spent too much time, and then when she got to the last passage with seven questions, and it happened to be the hardest passage with seven questions, she had about 5.5 minutes left to do that, so she ended up missing a bunch of questions there. So if you want to trace the cause, I would trace it to how much time you spent, to how under competent you were in the first passage, right? So it’s not clear, again, this is kind of what having footage is able to reveal to you, because if you just look at the score report, it’s like, “Oh, you got everything right in the first passage, you missed a question in the second passage, and then you missed six questions in the fourth passage. Uh oh. Something really bad happened in the fourth passage. We got to just really … ” But actually, the cause traces back to the first passage. So time management is incredibly important. A lot of the harder passages, you don't actually have to understand everything, right? In the curriculum, I call it a low resolution understanding. Just like understanding the structure gets you 70 percent of the way there, and that’s a huge improvement already for most people.

Josh: Yeah, just kind of an example, I was actually doing a passage the other day, which was from the very early PT, I think it’s considered kind of the first notoriously hard science passage. There was a lot of detail I did not understand, but I was like, OK. I took away kind of one central thing. I don't want to spoil the passage, because I think it’s a really useful one, but I knew that one thing controlled the phenomenon being discussed, and I couldn't have told you the mechanisms or anything beyond that. I knew this one thing was the cause, and then there’s all these facts which I don't fully understand. I just kind of went forward went that, and I was able to, rather than struggle through understanding everything, I was actually able to get through all the questions. There was one I had to look back, and I think I ended up missing it anyway, but I went minus one for that passage with very limited understanding.

J.Y.: That’s pretty common, I've found.

Josh: Yeah, absolutely.

J.Y.: I’ll be reading the passage and be like, “Oh my god. This is totally over my head. I really don't know what’s going on.” Maybe some very shallow, simplistic understanding. But then when you turn to the questions, it turns out that if you have the right kind of structural low resolution understanding of the passage, you can get through most of the maybe like you said, there’s one question that actually requires a deep understanding, you have to not only understand the text but also read in between the lines, right?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: I just tell myself I'm going to give up on that question, or at the very least, I'm going to save it for the very end, right? To make sure that I don't have anything else to work on and my choice is either to sit here and do nothing or to work on this question.

Josh: Yeah, I think that’s exactly what I did on this past September test. I think I was able to go back and change and correct three answers.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: If I had missed those, it wouldn't have been catastrophic. I’m certainly glad that I didn't spend a lot of time getting them right and then felt really rushed and panicked on the final passage. That wouldn't have yielded a gain.

J.Y.: Yeah. OK, so Hamasa, is your mic working? Sorry, I'm totally mangling your name.

Hamasa: Can you hear me?

J.Y.: Yes.

Hamasa: OK, cool, sorry. So my question awhile ago, before this last question, you said to plan to sit in, for example, for December knowing that you're going to retake it, but I'm really confused about the advice about retakes, and I was wondering if you could clarify how law schools view the retakes.

Josh: That’s definitely out there. I’ve heard this, that law schools don't want to see three takes, certainly not four takes. At the end of the day, a 176 on your fourth take is way better than a 163 on one take. It’s a number’s game. Admissions is all about numbers, and all they report to establish their rankings is your top score. It probably does look a little better if you get it on the first one, but the value of that is so minimal compared to a better score. It’s not a big enough factor to really play into it at all. You don’t want to take it like I did. The first two times I took it I was completely unprepared. You don't want to do that. Last year, on my September test last year, I was ready, I was certainly well beyond striking distance, so it was appropriate to take it then. But at that time if I could have signed up for the December test past that, it would have relieved some of the pressure. Because the real test is in December, so this one isn’t so consequential. I think that was the primary point that J.Y. was trying to make.

[1:01:08]

J.Y.: We just kind of glossed over that point. When Josh took it for the third time, this was before the LSAT changed their rules so that was his last time, back then, that he got to take it. This was it. The third take was this time.

Josh: That was the final take ever.

J.Y.: Because it was a 163, 162, and then whatever he gets on this take, and that’s it, he’s done. That was very stressful, psychologically.

Josh: That was an intense psychological state.

J.Y.: I think that’s a very good case in point. Just imagine how much better it would have been. You can easily put yourself in that situation. “OK. I get to sign up for the administration after this one as well.” Immediately it’s way less stressful.

Josh: Oh man, that would have been so nice last year.

J.Y.: You still did pretty good.

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: So yeah, I totally agree with what Josh said. It’s true, but it’s just not that important, you know? It’s the same with applying early. Yeah, it’s true, all else held equal, it’s better to apply early than later, but usually people make that decision to apply early, it’s precisely because not everything is going to be held equal. You're waiting on that better recommendation. You're trying to turn out that 12th draft of your personal statement, that takes time. You're studying for the LSAT again so you can get a better score, and that takes time. So all of those other factors will sort of delay your application, but those other factors are more important. So same thing here, all else held equal, sure, a single 176 I suppose is better than four takes, the fourth one being a 176, right?

Hamasa: I think it makes a lot more sense now that you clarified, because I think I took it as, “OK, you're not ready, but you're still going to sit in for December knowing you'll take it again.” But it seems like what you're saying is when you're ready, sign up for two tests knowing that you have a chance to retake it, is that right?

J.Y.: Yes.

Hamasa: OK. That makes a lot more sense. Thank you.

J.Y.: Sure. Shantay? Is your mic working?

Shantay: Yeah. So my question was when I'm finished with the core curriculum, like transitioning directly from core curriculum, what suggestion do you guys have for amping up your stamina for full PTs? Because I just see going straight from core curriculum to full PTs for me is a bit of a stretch. So is there any suggestions on, or do you just plow ahead and go into that? What are some suggestions? And then I also had another question about how long does it typically take to finish the LG bundles?

Josh: I have a webinar on transitioning from the core curriculum into practice testing. So I could answer that in great depth. Kind of a once-over is — as far as preparing for stamina, you don’t want to just take tons of practice tests. You want to, like I was saying earlier, after you take the practice tests, you want to get as much information out of it as you can, and then the real work kind of becomes all of the stuff that you should be doing between practice tests. I think starting out, maybe you shouldn't be taking that many practice tests. The goal is to identify what went wrong for each test and then to eliminate the misunderstandings that led to those errors.

Shantay: Well, I guess what I was trying to find out is like when you finished a core curriculum just from doing a regular assignment role or drills or something, how do you transition just going straight to the four-hour sit down and just doing it from there?

Josh: Oh, so the actual stamina required for that?

Shantay: Yeah. How would you suggest transitioning from the actual core curriculum to the actual full test?

Josh: I guess a part of it is just practice. At a certain point, there is a certain level of stamina required. You’ve got to be sharp. I think for me, the important thing was to make sure I'd gotten enough sleep. Made sure that I got out of bed in the morning at a good early hour, had my coffee, had a good breakfast. Really for me it became this whole lifestyle of good healthy living and just general well-being. I actually coordinated my daily schedule to test day. So I knew on test day, “I’m going to wake up at 5:30, because I want to go for a run, I want to have a good breakfast. I want to sit and relax and drink my coffee leisurely and kind of breathe.” All these things that I've decided I wanted to do. I kind of designed what I wanted that to look like, and I lived test day every day. And that kind of got me into that rhythm to where I was sitting down at 8:30 to 9 o’clock, and I had made sure that at that time, I'm going to be at my peak mental capacity. I’m going to be sharp. I’m going to be awake and focused. That was kind of a big part of how I dealt with that.

Shantay: OK, thank you.

J.Y.: Yeah, you kind of just jump in and do it. The first time that you do it it’s going to suck.

Josh: Yeah, that’s right.

J.Y.: And then the next time will suck a little less, and that’s how you do it.

Josh: Yeah. I know 36, which is I think the first out of the curriculum, the first recommended PT, has one of my least favorite games of all time, so for me it really sucked. I think that was in the series that I actually had fresh, so I took that right out of the curriculum.

J.Y.: Yeah. While we’re on the subject of stamina, at some point you're going to have to take certain PTs and break them up and use their sections as inserts to other PTs so that you end up taking five section PTs, because that’s what you actually get on the test.

Josh: Right.

J.Y.: So it’s totally up to you. Like, you can just decide PT 40, you're going to be sacrificed. I’m going to split you up into four pieces, and then each piece will get inserted into whichever four other PTs you decide.

Josh: Yeah.

Shantay: OK. Got it.

Josh: And that’s great, because every fourth test that you take, you actually get a fifth test out of it. That’s a good way to also care about the experimental, because on the real thing, I don't care what anybody says, you have no idea what the experimental is. People say all the time, “I could tell that was the experimental, because it was too easy or something.” I had no idea. I can’t spot it.

J.Y.: You shouldn't be thinking about that either.

Josh: You’re caring about the experimental.

Shantay: And so far, the LG bundle, did you do those? Or if you did, how long did it take you to complete that? Or did you do it in sync rate with your PTs?

Josh: I did it right out of the curriculum, and then I kind of quit for a while. I kind of half-assed logic games the first time through. I was content, a lot of times I would just stumble into a good section, and I would use that to justify, “OK, I'm fine.” And then at a certain point I had to accept, “OK. I've got to deal with this. This can't be a possibility,” when I would drop a section, and a lot of times a whole test because of the logic games section. So I stopped practice testing. I identified something that I needed to improve before it was useful to take another practice test. And I guess I spent, like, three weeks just focusing on blind reviewing pretty exclusively. After that, I was pretty good. So I mentioned logic games I think was a big part of the difference between last year and this year. So I think one thing that I fell into with foolproofing is there were pitfalls to that that I didn't realize. As I became comfortable with a game that I was foolproofing, that I had done once, the second time through, each subsequent time through, I got a little sloppier each time I did a game, because the procedural shortcuts and mistakes and errors kind of self-corrected. I think that’s what went wrong last year. Looking back at that section, I saw, “OK. I didn't have a catastrophic error that cost me six points. I just had a lot of little ones.” This past time, for the 176, I added on top of foolproofing, I've been calling it procedural foolproofing. I actually made a flowchart of exactly how I take logic. So OK, step one, what’s the first thing I do? Well, I read the setup. So I would go from the flowchart, read the setup. When I was done with that, I would go, OK, what’s the second thing? And I would just go step by step by step just meticulously, tediously through it until, “OK. I now approach logic games with the exact same procedure every time.” I've done this so many times that it’s become so engrained. I don't think I could do a logic game with a different procedure. So eliminating those minor procedural errors that I think my sloppy foolproofing had allowed for and had covered up, I think was kind of the final piece of the puzzle for me, for logic games. And as far as how long did it take, probably about maybe four weeks the first time, three weeks the second time, and two or three weeks previous to this last September test.

[1:11:50]

Shantay: Thank you very much.

Josh: Yeah, you’re welcome, you're welcome.

J.Y.: Josh, we’re getting requests to have you share that flowchart of yours.

Josh: Yeah, I could share that. I’ve got a very rough digital version, so maybe I can post a link to that, in maybe the thread for this after we’re done.

J.Y.: Yeah, sure, that’d be great.

Josh: Yeah, happy to share.

J.Y.: OK. So, Isha?

Isha: Yeah, hi, can you hear me?

J.Y.: Yes, hi, how are you?

Isha: Hi, doing well. Thank you for doing this AMA, both of you. So I actually had some questions for, so the biggest thing I'm struggling with right now is kind of what you talked about during this whole session, that huge gap between PT and BR. And kind of looking back on where I feel like I mess up, I tend to get stuck when debating between two answer choices, both in LR and RC where I feel like, “Oh, I've invested so much time into this, and I'm sure that it’s one of these two,” but it’s like maybe a detail that’s making me question one or the other. And in RC especially, it’s like you were saying, going back to the passage really takes a lot of time. So I was wondering what strategy did you use and how do you, I guess, since you’ve invested so much time, and maybe you’ve gotten to that point where you're like, “These three are definitely wrong and these two are right,” how do you pick?

Josh: Yeah. I think 50/50 strategy is really important, especially on a lot of the harder questions. That’s kind of what it comes down to. So if I can't do it quickly, if I get to the end of my answer choices, I’ve got two left, I'll go back, reconsider, maybe glance up at the stimulus again. I probably won’t glance back to the passage unless I know exactly where to go and I'm 100 percent confident. But I will move on pretty quickly. What I've noticed is normally the reason I can't differentiate between two answer choices is because I'm missing something. I’ve missed a key detail. I’ve misread something slightly. If I stick with it, I keep making the same error over and over, I keep reading it the same way, it doesn’t clarify, it doesn’t come out. So a very important part of that for me is that I skip it. I actually have a very specific notation as I'm going through. I don’t just circle things for blind review, I circle things for, “OK this is a priority to come back to.” I double circle things for, “OK, you’re probably just going to miss this one, and it’s OK.” So I come back to those, it’s the first thing I do when I finish a section is I go back to those 50/50 situations, because a lot of the times when I come back to it, whatever I was missing jumps out at me, whatever I was misreading, with a fresh start, it corrects. I imagine a lot of times in blind review when you get to those, it probably doesn’t take you forever to do those. A lot of times you probably are able to get those pretty quickly, pretty confidently. So a lot of times I just need a fresh start, and when I come back to it, I benefit from the work that I've already done. I normally don't need to re-eliminate the three that I've already gotten rid of. Sometimes I end up eliminating the remaining two, and that’s a whole different thing. Yeah, I think getting a little space is really important for me in those situations, and that’s, I think, my primary way to deal with that is I come back to it, and the fresh start, the blank slate, I'm able to pick up on whatever I was missing.

Isha: OK, yeah. Thank you so much. That really helps.

Josh: OK, yeah. You're welcome. I hope that will improve on that, because I think, I know for me, I have a ton of those, and I tend to do pretty well with them with that strategy.

Isha: Yeah, no, for sure. I mean, I've only taken around eight PTs since I finished the core curriculum at the beginning of September, and timing was just such a big issue, and I just couldn't figure out how do I — because I was trying to skip, and I was doing some of the strategies that I saw on the video that you guys made for post core curriculum, and I just felt like it was this kind of question where I feel like I… it so much that I really struggle to address the timing issue there. So this really kind of helps.

Josh: Yeah, it’s kind of a funny thing, because you feel like you can't skip until you know you're going to have the time to come back to it, but you have to create the time by skipping in order for — So it can kind of be like a leap of faith the first time. So just go through it, and like we said with the objectives of the exercise, do a section where the objective is not to score as best you can. Do an exercise where the objective is to bank as much time as you can, and judge your success based on how much time you have at the end, and work on it from that angle.

Isha: OK. Thank you so much.

Josh: You're welcome.

J.Y.: Dee asked the question: What would you do over if you had the chance? What would you do different if you had the chance?

Josh: Yeah. I guess I would, well, you know, I'm not sure I — I was going to say I would just do it right from the start, but I don't know that that’s — I think it’s probably a good answer, but I mean like I said, this test was much more to me even than just something I've got to do before I can go to law school, personal transformation. I don't know that I can sincerely say that, because I had to grow as a person, and I think ultimately that means more to me than the opportunities that this is going to create. As big as that is, I really feel like I transformed and earned it and became a better version of myself. I think a lot of my mistakes early on were pretty important to me. Those were instrumental to what happened in this process. I’m not sure that that’s an honest answer. I suppose objectively, yeah, I wish I didn't have to go through all of that, but I'm glad that I did. It was a very meaningful experience, my LSAT journey as a whole.

J.Y.: I like that answer. I think you’d be a different person if things went more smoothly for you, because this whole thing took two years and some months.

Josh: Right.

J.Y.: If it was easier for you, you wouldn't be the same Josh.

Josh: Yeah. And I think I came through this better than I started. I like that. So I'm not sure I would. I suppose I could have gone through the same journey maybe without taking at least one of those first two tests. I think I could have lost one of those without a significant reduction in value of the journey.

J.Y.: That’s a great answer, and a great answer to end this AMA on. Just one last thing for everyone here who’s in attendance. We’re auctioning Josh off to take your LSATs for you, so to the highest bidder, you can start typing into the chat how much you're going to pay to have Josh take your LSAT.

Josh: Bid early and bid often. Sold!

J.Y.: Yeah. That was a lot. So Josh is going to be reachable through 7Sage. He’s on the forums a lot. You’ll still see him a lot. He’s going to lead a bunch of stuff.

Josh: Yeah. So on Monday nights I'm doing a series of LR workshops. I kind of want to focus on some of the real nitpicky specific stuff where we get caught up in, and a lot of the errors that I know I wrote off as careless mistakes that turn out not to be careless mistakes at all. They’re very specific traps written into the tests by the test writers. So every week going to be looking at a different one of those. And then also, I think I want to do a similar thing for strategy, for different strategy exercises and drills. I know a lot of it, for me, was like, what even are the exercises that I need to be able to do to address all of these things? So I think I'd like to kind of do some of that as well, so I definitely want to be taking everything that I've learned and figure it out on my way up, and kind of leaving all of that behind in as much detail as I can.

[1:20:56]

J.Y.: Yeah. So you said that’s every Monday night?

Josh: Yeah.

J.Y.: Great. So those are free for people to join. And are you going to cover RC and LG in other webinars?

Josh: Yeah, so Sage Daniel is going to be doing Thursday night workshops on RC. So I think collectively we’ll be doing a lot. And then I do want to, like I've talked about with logic games with the procedural foolproofing.

J.Y.: Yeah, that sounds great.

Josh: I really want to do something with that.

J.Y.: Definitely share that.

Josh: Because I think that’s an important element that’s missing.

J.Y.: Yeah.

Josh: So I'll begin that by posting that link, and yeah, maybe do some kind of webinar on that I think would be valuable.

J.Y.: Great. Well, thank you, Josh. Thank you so much for your time, and thank you everyone who’s here for taking time out of your night to attend. I hope you found this conversation helpful. We’re going to have more of these AMAs with at least two other 7Sagers who recently got a Sage promotion. So I hope to see you guys there as well, and we’ll see you on the forums. And have a good night, everyone!

Josh: And thanks everybody for coming, and I'll see you all around.

J.Y.: Hello, it’s J.Y. from the present. First of all, thank you for listening to that entire conversation, or even if you skipped some of the parts, thank you for making it to the end. I hope you found it helpful, maybe even a little bit inspiring.

If you leave with just one thing, let it be this: Sometimes it just takes a freakin’ long time to improve on the LSAT. I hope if nothing else, that’s at least somewhat comforting.

Since this is kind of a new project we’re doing, and like I said, I’m not quite too sure if it’s something that we’re going to continue doing, I just want to hear your feedback. I’m keen to know what you thought we did right, what you thought we didn't do right, any of your suggestions, your comments, ideas, for what we should do in the future, please let us know. You can email us at podcast@7Sage.com.

I really want this to work for you, so I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much.


Leave a Reply