MegaMan45 wrote:I don't really post much on this website and typically only use it if I'm looking up advice on something (getting a job, etc...). I saw this thread and thought I would step in though because I think that a lot of people are trying to be helpful/encouraging but are instead offering bad advice. Is going from a 148 to 170+ 100% impossible? Well... no. Few things in this world are 100% impossible. I might find a briefcase with a million dollars in it while walking to dinner later tonight. Is going from a 148 to 170+ going to happen? Probably not...
Before starting law school, I went to an Ivy League undergrad (I'm not saying this to brag. I'm only saying this to point out the fact that I can honestly say that about half of the people that I knew in college took the LSAT). I then worked as a paralegal for two years before starting law school at a large law firm where virtually every paralegal that I knew took the LSAT. I now go to law school, where, perhaps not surprisingly, everyone that I know took the LSAT. I think it would be safe to say that I've heard well over 100 people's LSAT stories. The largest score increase of anyone that I know in REAL LIFE (i.e. not on a fairly anonymous website) was 15 points (148 to 163). I know a few people (5 or 6) who went up 10-12 points. Most people, however, take an LSAT prep course, study like hell for a few months, and then go up 5 or 6 points. Also, for every person that I know who went up 10 or more points, I know of someone who did worse on the real thing than on his/her first practice test. Lastly, once you hit 160, it gets MUCH tougher to increase your score. Pretty much everyone that I know who had a truly significant score increase was going from a score in the 140s/150s to a score in the 150s/160s.
I say none of this to rain on your parade. But frankly, if you aren't realistic about what you can/can't do, then you're just going to be bummed out later on. No one needs to score 170+. So what if you don't get into Harvard. There are plenty of good jobs out there that don't require you to have been at the top of the class at a t14 school. If you set your sights on a 160, it sounds like you have a great work ethic, so you probably have a good shot at pulling it off. Provided you have a B+ average or better, a 160 will probably get you into a decent T1 or T2 school. Also, realize that once you get into law school, law school is pretty much a clean slate, so just work like hell and get grades.
P.S. the guy claiming to have gone from a 141 to a 178 or 179 or whatever is pulling your leg. Provided the first PT wasn't a complete fluke, NO ONE makes that kind of jump.
I appreciate your advice but i categorically reject it.
LAWLAW09 wrote:Go after your 170 and ignore what anybody else has to say. No different than other goals that you have pursued and will pursue in life, you are doing yourself a disservice to not be mindful of any opportunities that may be passed up while you're in pursuit. The same can be said if you're pursing any goal as if it is a life and death situation. Few things should be taken that seriously and you should neither base your intellectual validation around a system that wasn't designed for us (URMs), nor should you handcuff your ability to enjoy life to that very same system.
My advice isn't based off a limited number of encounters regarding other test takers but rather my own increase in score. My diagnostic was in the 140s, scored in the 160s, and am now prepping consistently at 170 before June's retake. Anything can happen when I retake this June but it is a fact that if I sit down and take any lr or lg section that the chances of me scoring more than 3 wrong in a section is less likely than it is likely. Diagnostics, as well as testing scores, can be attributed to a bunch of factors that have nothing to do with what is "intellectually possible" or typical.
Learn the test until you know what type of question is being asked instantly. If your schedule permits, review every right and wrong answers for every lr timed section and write thorough explanations for each answer choice. This will benefit you far more than taking a bunch of exams (not that you should eliminate taking a bunch as an option. Explain why the answer choice is wrong for that question, specifically, and see if there is a way that you could reword it so that it becomes a possible answer for that question type and stimulus. It takes me about 4 hours to write explanations for one lr section. The other sections require slightly different methods but the lr section is a section that you should be able to teach no worse than an lsat prep instructor.
Your focus right now should be on nothing except for becoming smarter as it relates to logic, the structure of the exam, and the ability to increase your reading speed and comprehension. The latter will come with reading and trying to actively engage the material so that you understand every paragraph through a system of diagrams. You won't remember every detail and may even get a bunch of questions wrong but you should understand what you're reading as you marking up the passages.
Lastly, see what you can do about other factors that could affect performance: stress, fatigue, wrong study environment, diet, etc. and work to mitigate those factors as much as possible. Whatever schedule you follow you should not be building stress and panic into your routine. If it's something you can control, try to control it. If it isn't -- this goes for general things such as diet to more specific moments such as missing a day of studying -- tell yourself it doesn't matter because "I know the material any way or I will eventually know it."
You may score a 149 three times in a row. I don't know. Since this probably will be my last post related to this, you shouldn't even assume I care. What I do know is that it is not helpful for anyone to point out that going from a 148-170 is "probably not going to happen" because scoring a 170, regardless of one's baseline, is unlikely for the overwhelming majority of test takers. "It's probably not going to happen" can be said for those scoring 165 right now. Do what they will do and go after it.
Do what you can to increasingly answer more questions correct and faster and do not worry about scores. Focus on understanding everything that your eyes read, both lsat related and non, and see what happens.
Thank you. Great advice and I've been doing a lot of the things you suggested when i started preparing two months ago such as writing explanations for LR sections and sometimes even learning wrong answers for certain questions types such as flaw reasoning and Method of reasoning. Yeah, writing explanations can be draining, it took me more than two hours for every LR section when I wrote explanations for why each answer is wrong and why the credited answer is correct.
Good luck with your coming June LSAT!! and thank you for your advice once again.