How much does LSAT matter?

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How much does LSAT matter?

Postby LDVM4334 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:33 am

Have a 164/cancel/165 (2009, 1st year) 169 (June 2011, 3rd year)...

Could take again in what would be my 5th year (June 2013), and would almost certainly do better without the pressure that hindered my first 3-4 tests.

I still have a 3.25 LSAC GPA, so am somewhat limited by that. But how much would, for example, a 170-172 matter vs. a 169? I mean, obviously, a ton, but if we're talking UNC + UFlorida as opposed to getting into UMich, instead of just comparing T18 vs. T14.

If we estimate on the low end, I'd cancel anything that "felt" like less than a 169, but I regularly PT'd in the 172+ level, with Adderall, which I'd have for the most recent exam. I took too much before prior exams for my lower scores. Hence I had borderline panic attacks when I reached difficult parts.

I believe that I can do better on the actual test, and I have enough LSAT's to where I have to add an addendum either way.

I applied somewhat late this cycle due to late LOR's, and didn't apply to any T14, because I wouldn't have gotten in. Would a 170+ make that much of a difference?

I'm 27, and would be 28 before I enter LS if I wait another year. I'm unemployed currently and would only have a mediocre job in between now and then, hence my haste in trying to do "something", though I realize taking on a mountain of debt at a mid-rate school isn't really "something" worth doing.

Better to wait and re-apply early next year with my current scores or add a new score on top of that? I don't really see what I could lose by re-taking, except adding a cancel to what is already an extensive LSAT resume. But at the same time, my resume is bleak and getting bleaker.

Realistically I may not improve on 169, and even if I jumped to a 170, I feel like it'd be taken with a grain of salt. So what do I do? I realize re-take is always the answer, and kinda feel like it's what I should do here, but don't know if it'll benefit me.

K Rock

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Re: How much does LSAT matter?

Postby K Rock » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:50 am

What offers do you have on the table and what are your career goals?

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Re: How much does LSAT matter?

Postby cahwc12 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:50 am

First, I don't think you need an addendum for the LSATs. Second, under no circumstances should you cancel when you take it again. In your position, applying next cycle, I'd take it in both June and probably October as well. That ~$340 is going to pay off in spades if it increases your chances at becoming a lawyer or decreases the debt you take on for law school (or both).

Our numbers are similar, and the dilemma we face is as follows:

(1) Retake for the highest LSAT and take sticker or something close to it at the best school we can get into (mid-T14).

(2) Retake for the highest LSAT to maximize scholarship at any school looking to maintain or increase its LSAT median at the possible/likely cost of GPA median.

Unfortunately for the second option, that list of schools is largely ephemeral and difficult to predict, hence why splitters are encouraged to cast a wide net. That LSAT will be extremely valuable to many schools, but we can't reliably know which ones in advance beyond some pedestrian speculation. In this climate of continued reduction in applications and applicants, I think it's worth that $340 and some free time to try again at least once and possibly twice to send along with your early apps. Especially if you're willing to take on the risk of sticker at a place like UVA or Penn, I think a 170 gives you a fighting chance, whereas a 169 is probably a write-off.

In short, if you think you can do better, always retake. That said, if you're looking at option 2, you very likely won't realize the benefit for 6-8 months after you've received your score.

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Re: How much does LSAT matter?

Postby buddyt » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:06 pm

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