pancakes3 wrote:1) the LSAT isn't an insurmountable strain on the intellect. the test literally only requires people to read newspaper-level difficulty passages and work out a couple brain teasers. it's not mind-melting stuff. the difficulty comes in the speed and the accuracy. you have to be fast, and you have to be perfect. mastering that is absolutely learnable. non-native speakers regularly score 170+. there's no excuse to say that there's a hard cap on the score for anyone who's a college graduate.
It might not be mind-melting stuff for you or I, but many people just don't have the cognitive ability to score in the 97th percentile or higher on this test. Your bias is betrayed by your characterization of RC passages as "newspaper level difficulty" - if you're talking about thinkpieces in the economist or new republic, maybe, but this is far beyond "front page of the Cleveland Plain Dealer" stuff, at least in terms of the content and concepts (the structure is pretty similar but you could say that about most short non-fiction). Ask any trained LSAT instructor who has worked with all levels of students if, given enough time and effort, anyone
can score in that range. The answer will be uniformly "no." Many people can, but many cannot. An elite score on the LSAT requires intelligence that is at least above average. The LSAT is similar to other intellectual disciplines; there are some people who just aren't able to perform at a high level (I have been a writing tutor for three years at my uni and I can attest to this). "If I can do it, you can too" is easy to say, but it's just not the case for a large chunk of people.
pancakes3 wrote:2) pointing to a nominal exertion of effort is a lazy and bullshit justification for not retaking. there are no points awarded for hustle; all that matters is the score. this directly translates to LS exams. there are kids that don't study at all for exams and cruise to A's and there are other people who live in the library and cop C's. at the end of the day, it doesn't matter. at least in the LSAT context you get to retake.
You are mis-characterizing my argument. I don't think that putting in x amount of effort means you shouldn't retake. I only claim that after studying for months, taking 20 PTs and never scoring above 160 on any of them, it's pretty unlikely that OP has some hidden stores of brainpower waiting to be unlocked which will launch him/her into 170-land - unless he/she just doesn't get games, which ARE completely learnable (again, for most).
I am not advocating that OP not retake, nor am I saying that retaking is a bad idea. I just think that in this specific case, with the data we have available, it would be justifiable for OP not to do so.