On today's episode, J.Y. speaks with Glen, LSATcantwin, who scored a 171 on the LSAT and is now a 1L.
Links to other content mentioned in the episode
Blind Review method
How to handle multiple waitlists
Hey all, I'm alive and going to law school!
Why the LSAT is a good reflection for law school success
Please send your comments, questions, and ideas for future episodes to email@example.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/
J.Y.: Hello and welcome to the 7Sage podcast. In this episode, you'll be hearing my conversation with Glen, who's known as LSATcantwin on 7Sage, and true to his name, LSAT did not win. When we spoke in February of 2018, Glen had received a 171 on his LSAT, and was applying to law schools with that number.
Glen, I think, is not your most typical of applicants, though I'm not sure if there even is such a thing. He served four years in the Marine Corps, and he's what we call a splitter—someone with a high LSAT score but a low GPA.
We spoke for about an hour and a half, and we talked about lots of things. The first half of the conversation focused more on logic games. Since we spoke in front of an online audience, you'll hear other 7Sagers asking Glen their questions. And since it's been eight months since Glen and I spoke, at the end of the episode, I'll tell you where he got into law school.
Without further ado, please enjoy.
Welcome everyone. We have LSATcantwin, also known as Glen, here with us. Glen is a long time 7Sager and he scored a 171 on the December test. He is currently in the process of applying to law school. Glen, can you say hi to everyone?
Glen: How's it going, everybody? My name is Glen; 171 as J.Y. said.
J.Y.: Glen, first of all, thank you for agreeing to do this. Everyone is here because they want to hear about your story. They want to learn how you studied for the LSAT. How you managed to pull off that really awesome score. But before we get to that, can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your background?
Glen: I'm not a traditional student. Many of you were probably pretty vocal about this on the forums. I went to college right after high school. I didn't do very well at all. I decided I need to change, so I joined the United States Marine Corps. I did four years serving in Okinawa. I was doing schooling there, too, but the deployments kind of gotten away of my grades still.
After I got out, I worked for a couple of years and went back to school. I got a 4.0 once I was out. So I have a very weird transcript. I've worked everywhere from Best Buy to some superior courts in California and things like that. So I have a decent work experience. That's basically me. I don't really do anything for fun. Nothing game.
J.Y.: Other than playing games, you said.
Glen: Yeah, I game all the time. Monster Hunter is my addiction right now.
J.Y.: You and Daniel should get together.
Glen: Yeah, for sure. I think we've already talked a few times about games.
J.Y.: It seems to be a correlation now with at least two data points of playing video games and getting a really good LSAT score.
So, you joined the Marine Corps. Did you take a break during your schooling to do that?
Glen: I did. When I was in Japan, I had a lot of free time. We were locked down to base most of the time because of the international incidents and people getting in trouble. We had online schooling that we could do there, so I was still kind of trying to finish my prereqs for transfer there. But I didn't have control over my schedule, so it was actually my transcript that got hurt even worse by that because I was deployed without any warning. That hit my transcript pretty hard as well. It was hard to do. It's hard to work full time like that and be a student.
J.Y.: I see. But you said you managed to pull off a 4.0 GPA.
Glen: Oh yeah. Obviously, my cumulative is terrible to 2.8 or something. They went higher now. But there's a very clear line from 2007, 2008, and 2009 where my GPA was a 1.5, and then when I went back to school, when I got my degree, I got like 70 units with straight A's. So it was very weird.
J.Y.: I think you might want to talk about that in your application. I know you're applying now. Have you thought about or have you already written an addendum to talk about that?
Glen: Yes, I have. My addendum was probably longer than most people's because there was a lot to talk about when it came to my transcript. I mean it was a 10-year long transcript. But I did and I've already blanketed the T14 pretty much and I have about 16 schools total I've applied to. I didn't realize this, but the application part is less fun than the LSAT for me. I think I like the LSAT better than I liked all the writing about myself. I'm not very good at that.
J.Y.: Yeah, it's really tough. I remember when I had to write my personal statement, it took me months. It was very difficult because it just wasn't clear. The LSAT is pretty clear, you know what you have to do.
Glen: It was very similar for me.
J.Y.: So are you all done? Are your apps are all in or are you still working on?
Glen: They're in. I kind of am just stressed applying at this point. I haven’t heard from anybody and nothing's moved, so it just makes me want to apply to more schools.
Where I work, I've had some people telling me that I should just shoot for Yale anyway, even though it's probably not. So I might send Yale an app, but I think they're due on the 28th and they're such a weird school that they don't care about the timeline they say. And so I might try it. Why not?
J.Y.: I always say you just gotta carpet. Just apply everywhere. It's a roll of the dice. You're numbers are interesting, 171 is above most schools. A medians for sure. Even at some schools, 75 probably, right? Some of the T14 are 75.
Glen: But my GPA doesn't touch anybody's 25th of course.
J.Y.: Yeah, yeah. So, let's talk about your LSAT study. First of all, how long was the process?
Glen: Longer than I anticipated when I first started. The first thing I did was I thought the LSAT was just like any other standardized test. I tested pretty well with SAT and tests like that. I thought I could just take one summer course, so I did. They adamantly think that that is not the way to teach the LSAT. Working in groups is fine, but teaching to 20 kids at once, when each one needs a specialized approach to how they think, it just doesn't work, and I didn't get what I needed out of that course. So I went in taking my first test and I got a 157, and that was only up 6 points from my diagnostic score.
From there, I joined 7Sage and I never (I'm kind of an oddball because logic games I've learned through) really touched it again. I kept their method and maybe it was like a natural affinity to them because I'm pretty quick with them and I'm kind of blunt force, I do the setup and then I go straight to the questions and try everything. I tried quickly and I memorize the rules. I don't ever look back. Rules are in my head.
J.Y.: That's incredible.
Glen: It is, yeah. That's why I don't like giving advice so much because of the way I do logic games. I feel uncomfortable because I can't believe in saying what I'm doing. But I did 7Sage and it took me about a year.
J.Y.: Sorry, Glen, you're saying that when you got your 157, your logic games was already close to perfect?
Glen: It was, except for my first test in September 2016. The virus game really, really hurt me. When I went back and saw that the letter s was the key to everything, it hurt badly because I knew I could have seen it, so I was not perfect. I don't want to say I was perfect, but I had a decent understanding. LR was my worst by far.
J.Y.: Right, I see. So, had you had some other tests that are official tests you probably would've gotten better than the 157 on your first official take, right?
Glen: I think so. I think I would have hit a 160s at least.
J.Y.: But that's still amazing that you're hitting a 160 with a perfect in the logic games. It's the other sections that are depressing your score. I mean amazing in the sense of, like, it's almost kind of discouraging because logic games tend to be the easiest to improve of all.
Glen: It was very discouraging.
J.Y.: It's Iike, "I already got the low hanging fruit. I already got the low hanging fruit points now."
Glen: That's exactly what it was. I don't want to bash on, but they don't teach the LR and reading comp in a way that...I didn't understand it and it was winging it. I think that one really hurt me. It was just gut instinct when I went into that.
J.Y.: Well, I'm glad you found us. Just one more point about your logic games and then we can continue. I hesitate to tell people to memorize the rules because I find it kind of challenging. It is incredibly helpful if you can just look at the rules and capture all of it. Just memorize all of it. It's very, very helpful. It's much faster if everybody do that. It's much faster when you have to make inferences from them.
Glen: Yes. I actually posted about this a couple of weeks ago. I began to notice with logic games on my own before. This is before I touch 7Sage. Its inferences lead to inferences. So rule one plus two will lead to—it's like a pyramid—another inference, and then those two inferences will lead to a third, and the questions are asking about those second and third inferences. They don't want the surface level stuff. They want the deeper stuff. And once I saw that by memorizing the rules, I knew that I don't care about the rules so much, I want to know how the rules play together and I want to know what the board looks like. Those are my two most important things. I think memorizing it help in that sense.
J.Y.: I think you shouldn't shy away from telling people about the way in which you do logic games. We have at least one data point saying it's helpful for you. I'm sure if it's helpful for you, it's helpful for at least some large number of people. Maybe I should also start not shying away from telling people to try to straight up memorize the rules because it is very helpful to do.
Glen: Yup, and then of course the amount of it that I have done. It's not like I didn't do a ton of logic games. I did a ton. I didn't necessarily follow the foolproof method exactly. I didn't know what it was before I was already pretty decent with the logic games, but just exposure, there were tests where it was a new game. It sounds cliché because every master of the LSAT says it, but you know it if you've seen that inference before, it's like you're there and ready to go.
J.Y.: Yeah, it's not really new. I do want to continue with the rest of your LSAT...but lady macbeth asked the question and she says, "Whenever I tried to straight up memorize rules, I get paranoid and don't know if I can trust myself. I end up looking at the rules anyway and wasting time."
Glen: That is the key to the LSAT right there. I mean, you trust yourself. I've questioned myself. Even now, I don't feel like I have a 171 on the books and I feel like I'm terrible at this test. But when you're actually sitting there and it's exam time, it's game time, you need to trust yourself. That's true for every section. It's not just true for logic games or one type of question in LR, it's the whole test.
You need to have confidence, and you get to that confidence level by doing a ton of exposure to this test. It's very important. Don't just PT, you're wasting material at that point. Knowing the way the test works is just as important as knowing how to find the right answer, and then having faith in yourself and being calm. That's my biggest takeaway. Be calm.
J.Y.: Be calm, for sure. I can't say how long ago, but recently I started doing the logic game videos, where as I go through the rules, if there is an acceptable situation question as the first question, what I do is I look at and translate rule number one, and then instead of going to rule number two and translating it and building on my game board like I used to do, what I do is I then immediately go to the first question to eliminate an answer choice. And then I go to rule number two, translate the rule, see how the rule place with rule number one, see how that plays on the game board, and then return to the acceptable situation question, and then try to eliminate another answer choice. Is that something you do or not?
Glen: I do that. I always do the game board first, it's just what I was taught, but I go over my rule just like that. The first question on the LSAT or any logic game you're going to do that. I've never heard of someone doing it in a different way where you don't go a question or rule by rule to eliminate.
J.Y.: What I mean is like, instead of, so on the one hand you have, let's set up the game board and figure all the rules first, and then we'll go to the first question, and then take each rule to eliminate. Alternatively, you're doing the first question simultaneous with the game board setup.
Glen: I did not do that. I would do the game board first.
J.Y.: Yeah, that's what I used to do. I mean, out of all the hundreds of logic games, I think 80–90 percent of them I did that way, but recently for the newer ones, I found that it's actually much better to do with the way I had just described where simultaneous with the game board setup.
Glen: I can see that saving time.
J.Y.: Also, it helps you a lot to reinforce what the rules are, because you're just getting like two or three looks at the rules in quick succession.
Glen: That makes a lot of sense. I would actually, I might try a few games like that myself because I still do LSAT. I have a problem. I do. I'm on 7Sage far too often and I like answering.
J.Y.: We welcome it. You're not on 7Sage enough. I saw you didn't win the gold award for the catalyst. That's something you need to aspire to next month.
Glen: I never win that. That's Alex, he's a pro. I can't keep up with him and his advice. Every time I want say something, his advice is already 10 feet ahead of me and I can't keep up with that.
And another thing, this is actually something I wanted to say. When I saw on 7Sage someone asking for a specific question, those were my favorite posts when I was studying, because I would go to the question and try and see if I could explain it to someone else. And I've done that my whole life since the Marine Corps. If you can't teach something to someone, you don't understand it.
J.Y.: I totally agree. Is that the official Marine Corps motto?
Glen: No, no, no, no. It's just something I learned through it, but it helped me a ton. I would learn like I think I know this question and then I'd go to explain it and I couldn't explain it. I could not sit there and say, "This is why this question works." I just think this is the right answer. Or maybe I looked at the answer before I was ready to explain it and I still couldn't explain it. And that's when I knew I needed 7Sage, the community, and the forums. Those questions help me a ton to swap weaknesses and there were my favorite. I look for them every day.
J.Y.: That's great. I would echo that a hundred percent for those of you guys here who are still studying, take off every opportunity you can to play the role of teacher. No matter how well you're doing, you're doing better than some, or you're doing worse than others. So for the people you're doing better than, you should teach them, that puts you in a position where it's just like a test to see if you really understand. If you really do, you should be able to explain it. If you can't explain, it means that you don't really understand. And there will be people who are doing better than you, of course, you should play the role of student and ask them for help.
One other thing that I started doing for logic games is I started changing up the order in which I approached the questions. And again, this was not something that I felt like I had to do, because on my actual LSAT I finished the games with a few minutes to spare and I got a minus zero on that section, so it never occurred to me to think hard of additional ways to optimize on the games. But recently, I've started doing the questions that give you additional premises first. I find that those questions tend to be easier because they further restrict the number of worlds, right? Like question three will say, "If M is in four, then which one of the following must be true?" That's easier than just a straight up must be. Generally speaking, it's easier than just the straight up must be true question. Is that something you do too or not really?
Glen: I'm pretty stubborn and I think Josh or the other Sages have had tried to break me. I'm stubborn, I go question by question. I can't.
J.Y.: You just do it in order, right?
Glen: Getting destroyed and the way my brain works, they bothered me. But those are my favorite types of questions because they are so easy. The more restricted you can make a board, the better. The questions I hate the most are "Which of the following can go on Monday?" Those destroy me because I'm such a brute force, and that one you can't brute force that, you need to have the inferences and see why one...Those slow me down.
J.Y.: I haven't seen this in a while, but this is like the death knell for the brute force strategy, which is a question where every answer choice gives you a separate antecedent condition. So the question would just be like, "Which one following must be true?" And then A will say something like, "If M is on Monday, then J is on Tuesday", and then B will say something like, "If K is on Friday then N is on Thursday." Holy shit, that's basically five questions, right? It's not like sort of compacted into one. So that's the kind of stuff that if brute forcing is your strategy, I would highly recommend just like see if the right answer pops out, if it doesn't, move on. It's just a huge time sink.
Glen: I have ran into those before.
J.Y.: Now that I mentioned this, I honestly don't remember when the last game was that I saw a question like that. It must've been a long time ago. Not on the recent test.
Glen: I wouldn't mind a 0 on September and -1 on December, and the one was the substitution. I'm 50/50 on those. Those are either I understand it or I don't.
J.Y.: I totally agree. Those questions save for me, if I see it, like either the answer just kind of jumps out, like there's a halo around it, yeah, that's the one. Or alternatively, like, I don't know, I'm very hesitant to actually try to brute force those because they just take too much time.
So you studied, took a course in the summer, took the test and got a 157, didn't do so well in LG, found 7Sage, started, and then what happened?
Glen: I started 7Sage around in November of 2016 and I went all the way until September 2017, it was going to be my next test. I didn't study too hard for a few months because I was starting a new job and it was hard full time work. So in May I would say is when I really, really hunkered down to study again. And that was every day, multiple hours a day. I'd wake up at 4:00 AM before work.
J.Y.: This is all while you were working?
Glen: Yes. After school, I had a few months off where I didn't work. I was lucky to land a really, really good job I was still at. But the bulk of my studying for LR and reading comp came while I was full time working, and that's 40 hours a week with an hour commute on each end. It was pretty tiring.
J.Y.: You're one of the few people who actually take the advice I tell everybody, which is to treat the LSAT as your real job, and wake up in the morning and devote your best hours to the LSAT. That's amazing that you were able to consistently wake up at 4:00 AM.
Glen: I did that for about a month and then I started dying. I'm lucky my job is a 40 hour week job, but there are times where it's so slow that I can just do LSAT. Then there's times I can't breathe. It's trade off, but I did get lucky with the job I have.
I also started finding unique times. My commute is on a train, so I would do logic games on the train. I would do during my lunch, and that was like an LR review time. Or when I would get home, if I had any extra energy I would go into. I want to say I was obsessed. The LSAT became an obsession for me. If I wasn't at work or actively doing something, it was LSAT, and I dreamt LSAT.
It was almost unhealthy, I would say, and don't go too far with this. Be a human being. Treat yourself right. But yes, I did obsessed over this test until September, and then I choked.
J.Y.: What did you get in September?
Glen: 163. I was PTing around the 170 at that time and I didn't listen to the Sages again or Alex or anyone that is telling me that I was burning myself out, that I need to relax and I'll worked myself up. These guys know what they're talking about. They're insane and, well, I should have listened to them because I did burn myself out pretty hard before that test.
J.Y.: So Daniel and Josh, if you guys are here, you can say whatever you want, you can say I told you so?
Glen: Especially Josh, he definitely warned me.
J.Y.: What was the breakdown? How did you end up getting that 163?
Glen: I went -0 in logic games. I think I only went -5 in reading comp, maybe. And that was the judicial candor, judge candor or whatever, that everyone freaked out about. But I actually went -13 in LR, in one LR alone. The other one I did okay.
J.Y.: What was the other one?
Glen: 4 or 5. But one LR, the first LR, it just destroyed me. Looking back at it, after I printed it out, after I had a break, I don't know how I missed the questions I missed. It was shocking. It was because I was worked up and I didn't stick to anything that I had studied. I didn't listen to other people. I got in my own mind, I've put everything on the test. I told myself that I wasn't going to get into any schools. So don't do that, go on calm.
J.Y.: Yeah, they're important.
Glen: And then after that test from October until December, I hung out on 7Sage. I only did four PTs. I didn't really study at all. I barely touched it and my attitude became more of a, "It’s just another practice test and I've seen this so many times before that you can't trick me. You can't trip me up if I've seen it. If I've taken 40 practice tests, there's no way this test can trip me up, I've seen it before." That was the mindset I went into December and it showed.
J.Y.: It's incredible. I'm sure people here are not hearing that for the first time. Like you say it, I say it, everyone says it. It's just how you have to approach it. But it's so hard to actually do. Like in your case, I'm sure you knew that back in September as well, right?
Glen: Yeah, I did.
J.Y.: What do you suppose was the difference in how you were able to shift your mindset so that you were in a better place for the December?
Glen: I see that [26:35] [mpw] said something, I'll address that as well. The 170s that I got happened studying between May and September. I was already there and ready to score a 170. It was mindset that got me down. And what happened is I started not obsessing over the test. I brought video games back in. I had cut them out almost completely when I started playing video games, which is a huge stress release to me, I started being healthier. I took four PTs between September and September, over 40 total in my entire year and a half of study.
The way I got the mindset was just to start letting myself relax once in a while. When I was watching movies, I wouldn't think about the LSAT while watching them. I would actually enjoy the movie, surprisingly that's the way to relax. I would let go of difficult problems. If there is a difficult problem, I would find out the answer. I would find out how the answer was right, but I would let go. I wouldn't get mad at it. I didn't get angry at the test anymore. I became more amicable, I guess, with towards it. It became more of a hobby. It went from this enemy, standing in my way that I couldn't beat and it was just defeating my life, to a hobby. That's why I still study it. It became a hobby that I would study the LSAT even now, like answering questions for it.
J.Y.: Just to address the point that [28:08] [the mqew asked]. On the surface, it looks like you went from a 163 to 171 in three months by playing video games and taking four preptests. That is not the takeaway here.
Glen: No, it was a year and a half.
J.Y.: Because Glen had already been preptesting, even when he got the 163 in September he had been preptesting at what, 170+?
Glen: 169–170, pretty much hitting that one every time.
J.Y.: So the reason the 163 was depressed is because there's him talking about via his mindset.
Glen: Basically, the studying for this test is always occurring. And so for those of you that are taking it in a week, February is in a week, this study you've done up until this point is what's going to shine through on that test. Everything you do this week may keep you refreshed, it may keep you in the right mindset, but it's not going to teach you anything. This week is your week to relax and to calm yourself before the test because you put the work in already. Mine was a little bit of a dramatic 3-month relaxing period, and you have a week now. Just get your mind staying in control, this is just another test, you've seen it, and you know what this test is going to be. Everyone is capable of scoring. If I can get to a 171, I promise you with the right amount of time and dedication, every single person in here can score a 171. This test isn't some tests that some people are just really good at it. It takes work.
J.Y.: Well, some people are just really good at it.
Glen: That's true, too, yes.
J.Y.: But for most people, it's just a lot of hard work and dedication.
Glen: Yes, if you look at Josh's story too.
J.Y.: You guys are very similar there—a long journey to break the 170. I do remember what I was going to say. It's kind of a paradox. We all know how important this test is, which is why we put in the work and the dedication that we do. But that knowledge, I think, actively works against having the proper mindset. It's like when you were able to switch your mindset over from "This is so important, this is the enemy I need to take down and I've been failing," to "Ah, it's just a hobby, I do it because it's fun." That allows you to relax. We say stay calm. Well, that mindset allows you to stay calm. So it's kind of paradoxical. You have to do like a Jedi mind trick on yourself.
I always tell people like, "If it'd be great if it doesn't matter. Can you convince yourself that it doesn't matter?" Like, if you can, then that'll really help. You're not just going to bubble in C for everything because it doesn't matter. No, like all of your training up to this point will still kick in and you're still just operate, but you just won't be hyper stressed and freaking out about it. You're just actually be able to operate at your normal optimal level.
I try to think of ways to get people to believe that, like, it really doesn't matter. And by the way, this has been shown in empirical economic studies where when you incentivize people a little bit to do a task, they do better. But if the incentives grow too large, people start freezing up and can't. And this is especially true when it's cognitively demanding tasks. The more cognitively demanding, the higher reward. There's some inflection point beyond which the performance drops when the reward is high. What is too high? So the LSAT is like the sort of like the paradigmatic case of that where the rewards are so huge.
Do you have any, Jedi mind trick style, techniques like you mentioned some already like just play video games and watch movies, allowing your life to relax?
Glen: That's a hard question to answer. There's nothing really. I just let go of the test and it became a thing where it was, "I know what I'm doing, I've done it, so let me enjoy my life again." Let the test kind of slide away. This is true for a lot of reasons, and the test was even more pressure for me because when I was asking people (and this is true to a lot of people), "I want to go to a top 14 and this is my GPA," they're "170 or bust, you're screwed." I needed a 171 if I wanted to go to any of the schools I've dreamed about going to because my GPA was so crippled, so that put more pressure on this test because I didn't have GPA to kind of weigh it out. And it works the other way, obviously, if your GPA is really high but you can't get the LSAT score. This test is almost disproportionately weighed. The GPA takes you four years to accumulate, as to the test it takes, who knows.
But taking that out, I didn't think of it as a "I need a 171 to get to any schools" anymore. I just took it out and said, "I just want to do the best I can on this test. I've seen what I can do, I know what I'm capable of doing, and I want to replicate it." So if that was a mind trick, it took that extra little lever of "I'd have to do this or my entire life falls apart." Because it won't, your life will never, even when you've hit rock bottom in life, it will never be that bad. And you, you can, you have the power to change it. Let me just say it that way. So you have the power to grab hold of what you want in life and change it. It's just a matter of doing it.
That sounds easy when I say it. It's incredibly difficult to do. But a mindset like that, I don't know if I'm trying to be as positive as I can on 7Sage, especially. I encourage everyone, and sometimes I'll say things like, I don't know, maybe I'm soft balling people and saying that, "Oh, everyone can do it" when I should be giving them a little bit more reality checks, but I think sometimes just having the motivation and the mindset of knowing yourself and being capable is enough. Those are little mind tricks, the Sith mind tricks by the way, not Jedi, that I would use. Stop taking the pressure and put it in places where it's out of your control. I couldn't control if I was going to get into the T14. It didn't matter at that point. It just mattered if I was able to take all of the hard work I put in the test and replicate it, nothing more than that.
J.Y.: That's very good. You guys are have been typing comments and just keep doing that. I will be pulling from the questions that you guys asked.
Here's one from CW. CW says "Just a thought, would you rather have a 171 LSAT score or a much higher GPA as you were studying? Let's just say an equivalent GPA of 3.8 or 3.9."
Glen: That'd be amazing. But the GPA is something I didn't have control over. So it goes to what I was just saying. I messed up, I own up to my mistake, obviously, I did the best I can to pull myself out of that hole, but it's going to be true for anybody. If you asked the same question to someone who has a high GPA and a little LSAT, they're going to say, "I'd rather have the LSAT because that's what's crippling." So I'm going to say I want my GPA higher because that's what I feel is crippling me.
In a perfect world, I want a 180 and a 4.0. That would be the dream, but it's just something I don't have. So I have to work with what I've got. And the admissions process depends on the schools. So I didn't even bother applying to Berkeley. They don't care about your LSAT there. They want GPA in it. I type my numbers in the LSAC one and to everything. Berkeley was not going to take me. They do not like splitters like I am. So I saved the money for them, which is funny because I live 10 minutes from Berkeley.
It just depends where you want to go and there are certain things you just can't control. You can make fun of me all you want. My GPA is due to World of Warcraft. I dropped out of college because of it. I didn't go to class. I didn't withdraw. I just took the Fs. I took the hit to the GPA. I was 18 and I didn't care. I didn't think this was going affect me when I was 28 trying to apply to law school, and here I am, limping my way hopefully into a T14 school.
J.Y.: How old are you, Glen?
Glen: I'm 28.
J.Y.: I'm four years older than you. World of Warcraft at 18. I don't think that was the thing when I was 18 yet. Thank God. You know what I was doing at 18? It was all about Diablo II when I was 18—when you were 14.
Glen: I've had games before. I’ve been a gamer my whole life. They've both helped me to keep calm. They have hurt me and I will admit that it's almost to the point of being like an addiction.
J.Y.: It is a love-hate relationship, for sure. I think that's not unintentional. Those game designers know exactly what psychological levers to pull to get players hooked. But they are so much fun. Now you can play all you want until getting fully addicted. So that will be law schools' lost.
Glen: That's the plan. I'm trying to get as much game right now as I can. We'll see what happens here, because I want to apply to more schools. I've been thinking about it. We'll see. This is not the fun part, guys. Start your personal statement early. Start writing now. I missed the LSAT. It was like a safety blanket towards the end and that goes back to being a hobby. I was used to it. I knew it was predictable. I knew what I was doing, I knew what to focus on. And when you go write the personal statement, it's like, "What the hell do I write?"
J.Y.: Yeah, okay. We have a question from Jcrad. Glen, what do you think are some significant differences in how you think/analyze LR problems compared to before 7Sage?
Glen: Oh, wow. They're huge. 7Sage was eye-opening for me, especially. I didn't even know what negotiation techniques were. They didn't talk about the contrapositive in the class I took, but they never really showed me where in the test that mattered. It was like, "Here, if you need to know this. But now, what do we do? Is there a certain type of question?" Instead of naming the questions, numbers them. So there's like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 all the way up to like 15. To translate from a number to a question name to a type, it was like an extra step that they added. So in LR, I was really not strong, and it would just be gut. I would go on gut instinct and that's great if you want to be tricked and get the wrong answer.
But with 7Sage, I was able to because of the way it was broken down in the core curriculum—each question type builds on each other. Once I understood this sufficient assumption question, that made necessary assumption questions a little bit easier, and it goes the other way. Once I started understanding necessary assumption, sufficient assumption became a little bit easier. Sufficient necessary, even now, tripped me up. My head just doesn't like to wrap around those two things. But once I saw how they work within a question, it became easier for me to understand. Explaining it on the outside, it's really hard for me to do.
They also relied heavily on mapping out questions, and even when I did the 7Sage course, I don't map questions out very much. I get more confused because the way J.Y. explained to you, obviously, you can take it, put it in a little package. You take a whole sentence and that becomes three letters or whatever, just x, but that's a step that maybe I'm just not intelligent enough to do. My mind would lose. And I would just become an x, a or x, to me on the page.
So I stopped mapping and I started looking at the way J.Y. look in a question. Like in sufficient assumptions, looking for that gap. And there's always that gap. It makes it jump somewhere in there. Nothing's connected. In that sense, it's like a logic game because there's an inference in there that I need to plug in to make this question work. In order to make this valid I have to plug this in. J.Y. really helped with his explanations and the videos. The CC helped me get an understanding of each question type. And from there, it just came back the practice.
J.Y.: [41:17] [cw] says, "This will be my first time to test. How much of a handicap is just the unfamiliarity of actual test day conditions?" It's a good question.
Glen: It is, and this goes back your mindset. Unfortunately, I think unless you're really good at meditation and keeping yourself calm, you might be a little bit nervous compared to someone who's tested three times. 7Sage is really good about putting motivational posts up and giving you experience.
I didn't realize that you don't just sit down and take the test. There's almost an hour and a half gap time before you're in the room, before you can start the test. You have to fill in the bubbles. People don't know how to fill out their own name. It's a standardized test so people are asking questions that you're like, "What are you talking about? Put your name on the sheet." That eats up time and it depends on your test center too. I got really lucky that my test center was really quiet and in a hotel underground. But there's 70 to 80 people. Some people have 15 people taking the test at their test centers. It depends on the test centers too.
Don't let it shake you, don't talk to other test takers. I would just keep to myself. A lot of those test takers are going in for the first time and they don't have 7Sage. They didn't study, they just think they can wing it. They're going to tell you how nervous they are or they're going to tell you, "I'm going to score a 178 on my first try because I read this book by this guy." You're just going to be more nervous. So, just relax. That would be the only thing I can really say. I think it will be okay. I think if you're able to keep your mind calm, the first test shouldn't be a big deal. You just need to talk to people who've taken it. You can even post on 7Sage and people will be more willing to give you their experiences.
If there's a hiccup during your first test that you weren't expecting, like needing to go the bathroom, don't panic. Don't let that snowball into something else. This may be a little bit due to the military training for me, but when something big happens like that and you feel like it's the end of your life, it's not, just move past that. Do not let a hard Section 1 affect Section 2, 3, 4, and 5. That carryover is what's going to kill you. You need to just be able to breathe. Realize that, "Okay, this is lost for whatever reason, this question or this section," and then move on. That would be one of my tips for you.
J.Y.: There's a reset at the end of every section. You just got to contain the damage, whether it's the damage that's been done or it's the points that you've won, whatever it is, it resets the next section. So you start over again.
Glen: That's a good mindset to have. Don't let it keep snow balling because that's going to hurt the whole test.
J.Y.: You cannot become fixated on the mistake. This is something like, I think meditation. A mindfulness meditation teaches very well—to recognize negative thoughts as what they are is just the thought arising in the present moment. When you become fixated on that inference that you failed to make for that game, that's done already. It's over. You've already bubbled in whatever answer or didn't bubble in whatever answer. At this moment, you're in a new section. And this negative thought is just that, it's just a thought arising on your mind in the present moment. It has no bearing to reality other than whatever negative effects it might have on your performance of this section. So if you can just recognize that it's just a thought, I think that's the first step to letting it go. Yeah, that's very good.
So something else I want to add, I just found out from a student who took the December test that she had her watch taken away by a proctor who didn't know what they were doing. They were over-enforcing the rules. You know how LSAC changed up the rules about now you don't get the timers, which is okay, that's how they decided. But then, that depends on the proctors knowing how to tell the timers from normal watches, if they can be under inclusive or over inclusive. And here in this instance, they were unfortunately over inclusive. You know, the Casio watch with a bezel, the $13 watch that I recommend everyone getting?
Glen: I have that watch yesterday.
J.Y.: Right. That's the watch that the proctor said, "Okay, that's a timer. Not a watch. I'm taking that away from you." That's just unfortunate if that happens. But I was thinking like you probably should just bring a backup watch, just in case, like one of those $5 Casio watches that don't have anything on them, just the watch face and the moving hands. That way, even if you're proctor decides to take away something that is completely legal, because you're not going to argue with them at that point, that's not the right approach, you just give them the watch, and then you have your backup watch. So again, in real life test conditions, lots of weird shit happened.
Paul, are you here? Is your mic working?
Paul: Yeah. I was just wondering, normally right now with my practice, I do the most part fine. I'm probably scoring around 165–168 and I'd really like to break the 170. But occasionally, I'll just have a drilling session or a PT where there will be say -10 on LR and it will just be completely out of the blue. My initial response is almost like a gambling addict and I'll start doing tons of LR, drilling until I feel like I'm back up to where I'd like to be, but in there, I'm getting super stressed, and then it's just sort of a downhill spiral. Any tips?
Glen: That's burnout, my friend, and it's sneaky. It caught up to me and I didn’t even know I was there. I figured out, "I can burn through this, no problem." But if you think about it, on my second attempt in September I got a 163 which was 7 points lower than I had been PTing and even on practice tests. So originally, I had the same mindset. I would be scoring a 169 and sometimes I would get a test where I'd hit a 159 or 160. And I would push harder at that point. That's the point where I think it's time to step back and say, "Okay, maybe I do need a break. Maybe I put way too much time in the LSAT right now and my mind is just burnt."
A lot of times what people are feeling aren't burnout. It's not just the test. It's not this enclosed thing where only the test converting your whole life takes comes into account when it comes to burnout. If work was extra stressful, if your dog was sick—any little thing contributes to burnout. So if you have too much of that going on and then the LSAT on top of it, you're going to feel this low in your practice. In the wrong mindset, in which everyone does, is to get frustrated at the test and then attack it again. Ask the time to take a break. That's the time when you need to say, "Okay, I needed a day to breathe." Sometimes it takes weeks for people to recover from burnout and sometimes it takes a day.
One outlier test does not determine anything, obviously. If you're not hitting that 150 range or whatever draw consistently, I would say it was just a bad section. Review it, see what went wrong, but don't let it become a defining thing. You would think that it defines you—who you are as a person. It gets in your skin. And I can't describe something else I've ever felt that is like this test that made me feel so down all the time. It made me feel like I was inadequate, that I couldn't do it. Just reach out to people—7Sage, family, friends (maybe not they won't understand).
I guarantee you we've all been where you are and we've all had that bad test. Instead of getting mad, you need to step back. I think Josh even said you want to be pushing as smart as you can, not hard. Look at it as a way to take a break or focused on a new section, if you don't want to step away from the LSAT. If LR is the one thing that's hitting you, go to reading comp for a while. Let the ideas and things that are happening in LR settle in your brain and go to reading comp. And sometimes you'll do reading comp and come back to LR strong. This is a weird test. But you learn in weird ways, let's put it that way.
J.Y.: Yeah, often the right prescription is just to take a break. That's actually because it's counterintuitive, that's what you should be doing. But you need to rest as well. Something else you might want to consider to combat the addict’s mindset is to focus not on the results, but rather focus on the process. Because the results are a function of the process, but it's not solely a function of the process. The results are a function of the process plus luck. And luck is the part that you can't control. So if you're focusing on the results, you're kind of letting luck dictate your mood and dictate your strategies. And that's not good luck, it's the luck swings. I always say, like, you should try to focus on what the process is, if there are some things you can fix in your process.
This advice goes well with taping yourself and watching your footage of actually moving through an LR section—where you're getting caught in time sinks. And then after watching the tape, you do the timing sheet. I don't know if you've seen them yet, but in the later PTs, in the late 70s and 80s, I started putting up my own timing sheets as sort of a model for you guys to copy. You can take that and just empty out the cells and then do it yourself. That kind of review where you're watching footage of yourself doing the test allows you to focus, tweak, and hone in on the right process.
I'll always operate myself if I see on round 1 that I'm spending like 200 seconds on a question. That's just saying like, it doesn't even matter what question that is, you don't spend 200 seconds on it because that's three minutes and twenty seconds, it's like 8% of the section time on one question. It's just not worth it. Even if you get it right, you've lost. So that might be something else to think about. Just process driven.
Great. Thanks, Paul. Let's see. Jeremiah, are you here?
Jeremiah: I'm here.
J.Y.: Do you have a question for Glen?
Jeremiah: This is my third time taking the LSAT under actual condition, and I was wondering if I should take it at the same center because I'm an international student and every time I take it I have to fly in. So I was wondering should I take it up at the same center or does it not matter?
Glen: If you can, I would take it at the same test center, even if it wasn't ideal. If this is your third time doing it, you know what to expect. I took it at the same test center all three times, but I was fortunate enough not to have to fly in. That's a real dedication. If it wasn't ideal the two times you took it—their units, the proctors were bad or the tests, the desks are too small or something like that—you know that test center and I won't change as often as you think.
Two of my tests were a year apart and when I took it at the same test center again, I have the same proctor, the same setup—everything was the same. It gave me that sense of comfort. I knew how it was going to work. I knew the proctor was going to mess up reading certain parts of the instructions to us. I knew where I was going to wait. It gives you comfort and that's a valuable thing for someone who's taking it more than once. Hopefully you're not going to fly in the morning of the test. You get time to maybe stay in a hotel and sleep.
Jeremiah: I fly the day before.
Glen: Okay, good. This could go to more people, if you're testing a few miles away or are pretty far away, maybe get a hotel room near your test center. You don't want to be driving. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm in the Bay area and we had a lot of bad drivers here, it's stressful and having that morning in traffic and being stressed before your test, try to get rid of that kind of stuff if you can, even if it costs you extra bucks. But for your instance, I would take it in the same test center if that was at all possible.
Jeremiah: Okay. Thank you.
J.Y.: Great. Thank you, Jeremiah. [55:48] [Jack Rod] has another question, says a fun one, "All-time favorite LR questions, games, or passages? And what sticks out to you about those?"
Glen: My favorite were the hardest because that showed me where I was weak. I can't remember this test, but it was in the early tests and it had to do with numbers. I hate math, it really trips me up, and this one was especially tricky. I wish I could find it, [56:20] [it has something to do with rolling numbers and in LR question], you mapped it out like it was a logic game. It was that type of question. That one really got me.
My favorite logic game was the round 1 in one of the early, with K M. I even remember the letters, guys. I have a problem. It's K, M, P, O, and N; they're in a circle and then who can sit next to each other. That was probably one of my all-time favorite games. That one was my favorite because I figured it out without watching a video on it. I made the circle myself and I was able to do it, and I felt cool because it's like, "Oh, I did this on my own," and then it turned out the question wasn't that difficult once you've got it and circle.
In reading comp, I actually really liked the December one, and this is something that I struggled with reading comp to ever get it low. I mean, even on my actual test, I think I missed 4 or 5, maybe a little less, but the passages were fun, and I was interested in the passage that I read for the December test, they were things that I enjoyed. Unlike the September 2016 test with the lacquer, I don't even know what the hell lacquer is. I still don't know. I hate Ellen Gray. I hate her with passion. I've never been so disinterested in reading a passage in my entire life.
J.Y.: It's pronounced lacquer.
Glen: Whatever. What the heck are you doing in the wood? Why do I care about it? That one got under my skin.
That's actually a good point. If you can keep yourself interested in the test. Even in the little LR passages, I got pretty involved with them. I said, "No, Mr. Mary, you can't be doing that. That's not right. That's because of this kind of flaw." Or I would get on the December test, there was a question about dolphins and where they could live, "Why can you live in five feet of water and what's your problem?" I got really into the questions.
J.Y.: That really helps, especially for passages. I started putting up extracurricular videos on some of the core curriculum, RC passages, just to expand your knowledge base. I find that to be helpful, like, if you're reviewing an RC passage and it was particularly difficult for you, it's probably because you have no peripheral knowledge. Not always, but it might be because you have no peripheral knowledge within which to contextualize the passage. And that becomes incredibly difficult.
Glen: It does. And I agree with that. If I'm reading something and I know what they're talking about, it's easier to engage than if you're talking about putting clear thing on wood, whatever, that one that really gets under my skin.
J.Y.: Yeah. So I think depending on where you're coming from, like you know, art is hard for some people, science is hard for some people, and laws are hard for some people. Just do YouTube-ing on the thing that they're talking about and you just learn more about it next time you encounter it. It is the same subjects, if not the same subjects, like, related subjects that repeat.
Glen: Yeah. And then actually there are two tips that I just thought of. One little relates back to the question we had a bit ago. Score doesn't matter guys. Get that out of your head. When you're practicing, do not let the score define your studying. I was the worst at that. This test, even if you feel like you're not moving and you're not improving, you are. By looking at your score and if you're hitting a 165, 165, 165, and you feel like you're not moving, that's the best way to discourage yourself. And I did that. I did that really hard. Don't do that. Questions matter, individual questions matter. Those are your victories. Those are what add up to create your 170s, 160s, 150s. That's what adds up. It's not your cumulative score every time you take a PT.
And then the other thing is: there's a lot of rumors around the LSAT. I got myself worked up over things and I would go on reddit, on tls… and read stuff there. People are talking about stuff. A lot of times there's great information and there they have all this insight about the test, which is awesome. A lot of the times they're just a test taker like you and they're starting some, "Oh, the Ad comes, they read reddit, and they're reading you right now. They're going to judge your whole application about what you post," and you get caught up in that.
I had a freaked out after the September test because on 7Sage I commented about Q and some other letter on the test, and I was like, "Oh my God, they're going to read there." I messaged everybody. I messaged Josh. I messaged Daniel. I was like, "Please remove this, Dillon. Please take us all down." I thought LSAC was sitting there reading every post. It's not like that, guys. Don't get caught up in the rumors of this test. In this, is like a cult. But they're just people like you taking the test, and one person can say something and scare an entire room of people. Don't do that to yourself. I did it and I think that hurt my mindset in the September test a lot too. So those are two pieces of advice that popped into my head.
J.Y.: Yeah. Well, this next question is related to the improvement, from [1:01:47] [asdf] who says, "Was your improvement in LR section a slow process, or did you jump from like a -8ish per section to a -3 all of a sudden after something clicked?"
Glen: When your first exposed to something with any section, you're going to make it probably a decent jump—logic games, reading comp, or LR. You'll probably go from 8 to 4. That's because you've started understanding the core concepts, it's now refining it, and refining is when you stop making the jump.
So for instance in logic games, before I took any studying on it, I went like -10, and then it clicked, and I was down to -4 or -5. And then it just took refining and headed down to 0 from there.
Same with LR. As I've learned each question type, I became more and more exposed to their tricks. Flaw was the hardest for me. I needed exposure to flaw in order to get better. And I would just miss flaw question after question. It wasn't until I started asking myself each question, "Does the stimulus do this?" was I able to get it. I took their stupid English with their convoluted argument, presumes what it sets out to blah blah blah, and I just turned in, I would translate it in a stupid dumb English, I'd say it's circular reasoning. Does it use the premise and then use it in the conclusion again? I would it make as dumb as I could because I'm not smart enough to understand their big words or what the hell they're saying.
That took most of my time, and that's when I was at -8 and then I maybe go -7 on one section, -6 and back up to -8 and then -7, and that's when they dwindle down, and that was slow. There wasn't a click for that kind of stuff. That was just a long drawn out process of blind review, working on questions, learning their tricks, and learning what they're going to throw at me. And again, even on the September test, you had a fairly lenient curve, but I missed a ton of necessary assumption questions. That was just my weakness for that test, so I went back to working on those even though I'm not going to retest.
J.Y.: How many LR questions did you end up missing in December?
Glen: December was 6 total—3 per section.
Glen: And then 4 on reading comp, 1 on logic games.
J.Y.: Right. So, I suppose at some point towards the middle of your studies, there has to be this click when you look at a new LR question, you're like, "Oh, déjà vu," or "Oh, I totally recognize this question. It's not new, it's just an old question." That could be that. In my mind that's what I think of when I think of something clicking. It's very similar to the process where you look at it in logic game and you're like, "Oh, this is not a new logic game. I've seen this before." Not really, you haven't seen it before, but, you know, it just looks so similar to previous logic games that you've seen before—like being able to recognize these cookie cutter logical reasoning questions like this one. They just presented you with a correlation, and then they conclude a causation, and then you kind of know the space within which the answer choices are going to play around. So that click, I'm sure that click happened to you.
Glen: Yes, for sure. And that's what I mean when I said that there were huge jumps as a core concepts took root. 170 and 169 is like 1 point, right? So luck plays a factor, especially once you get into the higher areas of the test, higher score ranges. It's not uncommon for someone with a 169 or 170 to go all the way down to a 165, and even that is not that big of a move. It's a huge score jump, but question-wise, that's 4 or 5 questions and you might just had a bad day or a hard section. Don't let those affect you either. If you're having a swing like that, it might just be an oddball. I wouldn't mind to a 0 on reading comp one test. I think it was PT 80, I don't know, a random test and I've never got a -0, and it just was an easy section for me that day. Normally I'm averaging 3 or 4 on reading comp, so each test does have a bit of a luck, like you said, and variability as well.
J.Y.: Great. Well, let's switch gears real quick. I want to talk a little bit about your current job and what you do. I'm sure the audience here will find that interesting as well. Tell us a bit about what your current job is.
Glen: I currently work at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. I'm what they call an administrative assistance. It's kind of like a floater. I do literally everything. There are days when I do deputy work with the judges—saw him, the guy sitting there slamming the gavel around, saying, "All rise." And then I worked at like a judicial conference, which is cool. I can’t talk about the judges, guys. I see the question there, sorry about that. I can't say anything. You read everything you need to read about all our judges.
Actually, they're the ones that encouraged me to apply to Yale, too, and that's clerk staff went to Yale and have told me to do it. So guys, don't cut yourself short. Even with my crippled GPA, I have a story that I can tell these [1:07:40] [???], and if I can get it across to them, they may take me. In a lot of sense, numbers define you, yes, but they don't at the same time. And I guarantee each one of you guys has a unique story like that that you can tell. So don't limit yourself. And that's something that I've learned at this job. The judges have even told me that the legal career is a lot more open than a lot of people give it credit for. I've never met a group of people that intelligent. It blows my mind and I'm lucky every day that I get to hear them talk. I don't understand, I mean I'm going to law school and they'll say things that I don't understand. Half of it is because it's an appellate court, so there's years of case law and case development that I had never seen, but they just think they understand things, and they're pretty solid.
J.Y.: What is the most intellectually challenging work that you do?
Glen: Not too much. I do a lot of docket stuff, which is sitting at a computer and typing in numbers, and that's not really intellectually stimulating at all. The way the ninth circuit works, and we're a little bit unique from other circuit courts, we have staff attorneys within the office who the case has come in and they raid the cases on this scale and they present the cases to the judges, and not everything will go to oral argument and it sometimes they'll say, "This case is just good enough to submit it on the brief type stuff," and listening to that and trying to think through that, I'm not really a part of it, but I get to kind of think of it on the side and listen to the staff attorneys, they really struggle. Some of these things, there is no answer to, and watching these two cases come together and this legal problem develop, and then you're sitting there like, "Oh my God, what do you do with this? You can't do anything." And that's the one that obviously goes to the judges because staff attorneys can't figure out what to do with that kind of case. But a lot of the intellectual stuff is when you get to sit and listen to the cases themselves to be presented to you.
My favorite case ever (you've probably read about it)—we had a chimpanzee, I think it was a take-a-picture-of-itself. And PETA sued saying that it was its intellectual property. The photographer didn't get the credit for the picture and the money, the monkey should be getting all the money, and I think the monkey ended up winning that case. I think the photographer still got the money. But you get cases like that. Those are fun to think about, right? Because the monkey took the picture, so does he get the money? Who gets the money?
And then some of them you see a lot of depressing stuff. I don't want to talk anyone out of certain types of law, but I was also a clerk for a judge at the San Francisco Superior Court and I did family law. I've never seen something that depressing in my entire life. I take a special kind of person, I think, to do that, especially with the kids involved. There's a lot going on, guys. Law is huge, it touches everything. What does law not touch? I think that's what's so cool about this job or this career.
J.Y.: Do you get to interact a lot with the clerks?
Glen: Clerks, more so than the judges. I give courthouse tours. We have students from all over Hastings, Stanford. We have visiting judges from Korea. A lot of people will come in and visit, so we get to do tours and then what will happen is we set up a question and answer thing where they can talk to either the judges or the clerks or a staff attorney, whoever we can get. But working with the clerks, a lot of them, they looked back at what we're going through right now, and it's nothing. Can you just believe it? They were like, "Oh, yeah, that was a thing, but I went through law school now and that's it." What are you talking about? I'm sitting here refreshing my status checkers every day. How are you not scarred from that?
This is going to become nothing at some point, guys. This LSAT and this application stress, it's just going to move on to, "Okay, now I'm in law school I’ve got to get grades," and then it's going to become, "Oh, I've got to pass the bar," and then "Now I'm at a job." So, maybe keep that in mind when you think about it, because it's not the end of your life. Your life does not end with the LSAT.
J.Y.: Yeah. It's only the beginning of your legal career. Do you want to clerk after law school, having so much interaction with the clerks and being at the ninth? Is that where you want to take your career?
Glen: I would clerk, it looks really stressful though, depends on your judge. Some judges are really hard on their clerks and they don't get a chance to breathe, and some become best friends with their clerks, which is kind of cool. But from giving the tours to the high school and people who come, I actually decided maybe I'm going to teaching. Maybe not being that as my entire job, but I would like to teach with a legal degree on the side as well.
J.Y.: Like university level teaching?
Glen: Maybe or maybe younger, even high school. Maybe I'm just lucky with the schools I went to, but I knew a lot about how our system works. I have tours given to people that are even in law school, and they just don't understand like what level an appellate court is, they don't understand federal system and how states work differently from federal courts. In order for this country to work, this is going to happen. I'm preaching, guys. I'm sorry, but in order for our democracy do what it needs to do, you guys have to understand it. So I want to go in there and push that if be like it. You guys need to get what's going on before you start making all these opinions. It's figuring out how things are structured.
J.Y.: Yeah, that makes sense. That's really cool. I obviously love teaching, so I hope you do it.
Glen: That would be pretty fun to do.
J.Y.: Okay, I also wanted to ask whether you think your military training had any impact on your LSAT studies and just in your general outlook on life. How has that changed you as a person?
Glen: It has. I'm driven. My drive after the military has become almost like to the level of obsession. I knew what I want to know and I'm going to get there. I'm going to do what I do to get to that. 170 was not an option in my mind and that, like I said, that hurt me in the September test, so don't do that too bad guys. Being able to take a stressful situation and understand that it's not as bad as you think it is, is the biggest takeaway the military is going to give to most people. In the military, you're just in one stressful situation after another, so screw the one that just happened. I'm concerned about the one currently happening and then the one after that, after that, after that. That's my biggest takeaway. I'm able to shrug things off a lot faster I think than most people with military training, and I'm not even super big on the military necessarily, but it does instill a certain set of discipline, and certain people need it. I was one of those people. I needed that to get to focus and to be able to dedicate myself to something instead of just playing video games for the rest of my life and going nowhere.
J.Y.: I think we’ve touched upon this earlier, but being able to wake up at 4:00 AM, I’m guessing that's because of the military. I'm not really sure, is it?
Glen: Maybe so. I used to sleep. I love sleep. I don't get to sleep till the end of the time. I'm a morning person, and maybe it's something you have to find about yourself, but after about 2:00 at work or anywhere, I am incapable of functioning. I can't think, my work process is slower, I get agitated.
J.Y.: It's biological.
Glen: Yeah, I think so.
J.Y.: That's just biological.
Glen: So I think the 4:00 AM thing—I would have a cup of coffee, which of course it woke me up, but my mind, that's where I worked best, in the morning. If I was in the afternoon, I was spinning my wheels in the mud, I wasn't gaining anything from it, it was just me getting frustrated because I was tired and I want to take that really. I think it's a combination, maybe military did contribute to have the discipline to do it. But the desire to study in the morning, it's more of something that I just have. I'm a morning person.
J.Y.: Yeah. I think it's very important to realize that about yourself. I know some people are sort of evening people. I never really got that. I'm definitely a morning person, around the afternoon, usually around like 3:00 for me, 2:00 to 3:00, a little earlier if I have a big lunch, so actually, I try not to have a big lunch because of that. But like you, I just get sluggish. I don't have the willpower. That's when I'm most at risk for, like, going into a gaming binge. It never happens in the morning. There's not a danger that I'll just start wake up and start playing video games. But in the afternoons, I somehow just lose control over like what I know to do that would be good for me in the long-term, and I just cave to the short term cravings. So it is very good to recognize that about yourself and just structure what's important around it. There is nothing wrong with gaming. I just think there's something where it can be excessive.
Glen: If you dropped out of college and end with a 2.8, then there's something wrong with my gaming. And I can't even write anything cool, right? So I can't say I destroyed my grades because this happened in my life. No, I played a video game, I can't write that off.
J.Y.: Or like nowadays, I mean this wasn't a thing back when we were younger, but nowadays you could be like, "Well, you know, I was a world champion in StarCraft. I competed in Korea and I won the title." It's like you've reached the apex of this chosen niche, and that would be kind of cool, but you couldn't even do that. Back then it's just like, "I just stopped. I didn't take my finals because I was doing a raid."
Glen: Yup, that's exactly how it was.
J.Y.: Okay, we have just a few minutes left up, and Alex has a question. Alex, can you unmute yourself?
Alex: Yeah. Hey.
J.Y.: Hi Alex, how are you?
Alex: Oh, sweet. Hey, what's up Glen? Good to hear from you, man. I’ve always liked to ask people this question. Basically, if you were to restart and kind of plan out your ideal prep, let's say for maybe the next six months, what would that look like and what would you do differently this time around?
Glen: That is a great question. I would do a lot differently and that's the story of my life, right? I would stop looking at my score. I would not let the score predict how I'm studying. I wouldn't use that as an indicator of how well I was doing. I would spend more time in the core curriculum. I would spend more time there. I kind of rushed into beating a little bit, not too badly. I didn't burn materials terribly, but I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't just successively take PTs looking for a score change every time. I would wish that someone would tell me that this test is not like the other tests where I could just sit down and take it. I needed to put the time into this test.
I wish I kind of knew that and I wish I would've started a little sooner studying, and it's put me off of law school for three years, this test alone. I know it doesn't sound like that with how much I studied, but I would've started studying maybe in school beforehand, because I thought it was just going to be this test that just passed me by. I wish I would have, maybe, been more active in the community. I've never been one who can study with other people. I try and do things on my own and I think that actually hurt me. So, like, I see you guys always have calls going where you're reviewing things together and you get other input from other people, that's invaluable. Absolutely. And I didn't do it. I just did it on my own because it was me versus the world. Instead of using other people and seeing how they thought through a question—that's enlightenment. Seeing how someone else [1:21:05] [???] through a question shows you other ways to attack the tests, and that's something that you can't gain on your own. So I would have definitely taken part in the community a little bit more. I'm a little bit shy of the community, in general. Even now, when people ask for help, I don't feel like I'm the right person to go to because I don't feel like I have the mastery even with the score.
But those would be definitely. So my takeaway would be to start sooner. Don't look at my score as my indicator of what I'm going to do on the test because the score doesn't matter, it's the questions. Be more active in the community. Other people don't think you know everything because you don't, obviously. Those would be my biggest takeaways of the test. And maybe if I'm seeing the burnout question, take breaks. This test isn't going anywhere. I mean, even with the GRE coming in, now this test is still going to be one of the big tests unless they decide, "Oh, we don't need standardized tests for law school." Don't rush the test. Relax. It's not going anywhere.
Alex tells this to everybody, "If you're not ready, don't take it." I've had some outside pressures, family and whatnot, telling me that it's kind of just to do it and I need to get it out of the way, and I let that affect me a little bit, but I ended up stepping back and taking control of my own life and doing what I wanted to do, and going for my goal, sometimes you need to do that. I'm not old, I'm 28 so I'm not old, right? But sometimes if your parents are all that has dictated things to you, don't, sometimes you know what's best. They don't know what the LSAT is.
Have you tried to talk to other people? I know you guys, have you tried to talk to people about how the LSAT is? And they're just, "Oh, well, you passed," or Oh, well, you got a 160. That's amazing." They don't understand this test. No one, even if they see a question, will understand this test until they sit down and take an entire timed LSAT, will they understand what we're going through with this test. So listen to people who know the test, listen to your community, and don’t be afraid to reach out at 7Sage. The community at 7Sage, and I'm going to pander to 7Sage a little bit here, is remarkable. There's no community like 7Sage's community. The people are encouraging. They'll tell you what you need to hear, but they're positive. No other forum on the Internet has a positivity that 7Sage has. We kind of police our own, I think, and I love 7Sage.
J.Y.: Thank you, and I agree. Well, we should end it on that note. But before I let you go, can you let everyone know, if they want to stay in touch with you, how can they do that?
Glen: Feel free to pm me on 7Sage. I can even put an email and if you want to email me. Again, I don't know if I feel necessarily comfortable tutoring, I will do it, and I will help and answer your questions, but I won't feel confident. I don't think I'm at that level necessarily with my understanding of the test. So if I'm a bit hesitant or I don't answer right away, it's probably not because I don't want to answer, it's probably because I don't want to lead you astray. I will feel responsible if I give you an answer that takes you away from something that's been working for you. I'm more likely to lean that way than to just don't want to answer you, but anytime you need to pm me I'm at work, I have two monitors and 7Sage is open from when I get there at 7:00 until I leave at 4:00. I refresh it every five minutes, so a lot of you might see me responding instantly to you, that's because I'm there. I'm easy to get a hold of if you need me on 7Sage.
J.Y.: Great. And Glen, you're @LSATcantwin on 7Sage on the forums. Thank you so much, Glen. This has been really inspiring for a lot of us here, and thanks again for taking the time to talk to us about your story. Probably in a few months, I like to have you and some of the other Sages back because I think it'll be after the application cycle, and just have all you guys talk about what that was like.
Glen: Yeah, not a problem. That's harder than the LSAT. I'm telling you, it’s not fun. And by the way, guys, just so you know, if you applied to 15 schools, each school has their own separate status checker. I don't know what is going on with that. You have to log in to 15 different things.
J.Y.: All right, Glen, have a good night. Thank you again and have a good night.
Glen: Thank you, guys. Thanks for coming out on Saturday night.
J.Y.: Take care.
J.Y. here from the present and hey, you made all the way to the end. Thanks for listening to our whole conversation or if you just skipped ahead, thanks for skipping ahead. As promised, I will now reveal where Glen is attending law school. He is now a 1L at [drumroll] Northwestern, which is an amazing law school. And you know what, he hasn't forgotten about us. Every once in a while he'll pop over onto the forums and give us an update on his life, which is pretty cool. If you want to check that out, go to 7sage.com/discussion and search for posts by LSATcantwin. Okay, so this podcast thing is brand new for us and we really would appreciate any comments or suggestions or advice you have. I want to make this great and to do that, I need your help, so please don't hold back. You can let us know your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you enjoy this episode, leave us a review on iTunes or Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts.