Retaking LSAT

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senunit
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Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:33 am

Already accepted at 2 schools with $$. Wait listed at 3 other schools. I really want to make it off the wait list at 2 of those and really have tried in every way possible besides retaking the LSAT. Now Im speculating that a retake and subsequent increase in score on the June LSAT can and may get me off some wait lists. However, my question is if I go down in score (or even stay the same), does that practically throw me right off the wait lists (as in rejection)? Also, will an equal or lower score affect my admitted schools in any way?

BTW, I already took the LSAT twice.

Would appreciate any help, as I have no clue.
Last edited by senunit on Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:32 am

.

joonhp
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby joonhp » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:36 am

how high is ur best score? what are you scoring on PT's?

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:59 am

Havent taken a single PT or anything to do with the LSAT since Dec 09. But to tell you the truth, Im more interested in the technicality of the situation than what one can assess my potential to be.

joonhp
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby joonhp » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:09 am

Well if your score is on the low side, then the likelihood of you gaining points rather than losing is higher, right? So it really depends how you did on your tests and how you are doing after some PT's. Getting off a waitlist is difficult as it is so why not just go for the glory and prepare like there's no tomorrow for the June test? However, if you're not going to take preparing seriously, don't bother.

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 4:09 pm

Thanks for taking the time to help me out. But, again I understand the mechanics of weighing my risks with retaking the LSAT. However, Im going to copy my actual question below in hopes of getting the actual question answered:

"However, my question is if I go down in score (or even stay the same), does that practically throw me right off the wait lists (as in rejection)? Also, will an equal or lower score affect my admitted schools in any way?"

So, in short Im wondering if a lower score will get me rejected from a current wait list and if a lower score will affect the schools I have already been accepted to. That is all.

Thank you anyway.

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:40 pm

last try. anyone?

krzyreeesh
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby krzyreeesh » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:51 pm

I'm actually wondering the same myself so an actual answer would be helpful. Some TLS members have a knack for delving way too deep on a rather simple question.

I am on some waitlists and am still pending at some schools. I understand that the June LSAT reporting date is very late and a lot of movement will already happen before then. That being said, a higher LSAT score couldn't hurt and would seem to increase the likelihood of a beneficial outcome.

BUT, would a lower LSAT score have any potential negative outcomes? Can a school I'm already accepted to rescind admission/lower scholarship offer because of the new score? Or would I be looked at differently from the schools where I'm on the waitlist? Are schools notified that I'm re-taking the LSAT and would they not pull me off before they see my new score?

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 7:58 pm

Very well put and thank you for joining in on this. Hopefully your, better worded, question will draw an answer or two.

krzyreeesh
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby krzyreeesh » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:27 pm

I did some searching of my own and found what I think to be some solid answers to the questions we have. Before I provide the context and actual posts below, just to sum up, the general consensus is that there are no perceivable negative consequences to taking the June LSAT.

There are some people who have articulated the 'quit while you're ahead' philosophy. Meaning, if you have a 162 and 170 and are trying to go higher, that might not be a smart idea because if you get a 167 on your retake it might prejudice schools against your higher score (at the end of the day, they still get to report the 170 but if someone else just has one test with a 170 and nothing else, your application begins to look weaker). Other than that though, if you're in the 150s or 160s and want to move up some percentile points, no one has said anything that would indicate it is a bad strategy. Dean Pless (very well-respected adcomm member from UIUC), when asked that specific question, said that he would not hold it against the applicant and basically said that it could only help. But in other cases, it is up to the respective admissions committee members and their feelings on the subject. If you're worried, the thing to do might be to simply ask your school you are considering it and see if there are any negative consequences for your particular case.

All of that said, there are great success stories of people being pulled off waitlists mere days after receiving their new, higher score and really no tales of regret. There are also instances of people being offered more money with their higher score. At the end of the day, the school won't find out you took the LSAT until late June and by that time, it's way more work for them to find another applicant to take your spot. So if you did get a lower score, they still get to report the higher one and will likely not care. BUT, if you get a higher score, they get the benefit of reporting that higher score and may reward you for it.

Many people actually decided to wait out for next year's cycle as their new LSAT opened them to another host of possibilities. So, altogether, if you're riding out waitlists and feel you're already competitive with the other people on that waitlist, it may not be smart as you may weaken your application. But, if you're like me and you're on some waitlists where you think you might be on the low-end, it really couldn't hurt.

Now, it just comes to motivation. Sigh, that's the hardest part...

Here are the threads I would direct you to where I've extracted this info from:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=109653
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=105450

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:59 pm

Thanks a lot for going into such details in your post. I actually found it very helpful by itself. I went to look through the links you posted as well and found more of basically what you summarized. My problem really breaks down into two branches.

First of all...I've read about dozens of these miracle stories and they all sound great. But realistically, I still wonder what might be if the score goes down. I know its a pessimistic perspective, but its a real one at least in my mind. I've yet to see anyone speak on this case, and at least to me I fear for this risk.

Second of all...I've taken the LSAT twice. The first time I took TM and I studied on my own by doing HW and PTs. I took roughly 7-10 PTs and my highest score was only 3-4 points higher than my highest LSAT score. The second time around I secured a job (confident in my first score) before the results were out. I was obviously disappointed enough to register for a second LSAT but juggled it with a full-time (DRAINING!!!) job. Needless to say, this scenario led to less than stellar preparation but still I scored 2 points higher. Now, although I believe that if I set my mind now, proper preparation (I am now unemployed; I have since quit) for ~ 6 weeks can lead to a score increase, I worry that 2-3 points AGAIN may not be worth the effort especially as you note as late as when the June scores will be released.

I'm not sure how I would handle a score increase, I just fear that a slight increase, standstill, or decrease can do little/nothing/or harm me.

What do you think of my situation? And what have you decided to do?

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:05 pm

P.S. I also am worried that a reported pending LSAT will basically have me pending on the wait lists. I feel like over these next coming months, I have a reasonable chance to get off one wait list. My numbers are pretty good for these schools (ex. in 2/3 schools I was pretty surprised in being wait listed because I rank median or at nearly 75% based on 2009 profiles) and I think I have a decent chance coming off at least one wait list. If I have a pending LSAT, and a seat opens, I fear that I may not even be considered as these adcomms might be waiting on a new score.

Just too many what if's in my mind.

Also, as much as I understand the consensus on TLS regarding "retake if you are not fully satisfied and re-apply next year" idea or "retake to make T1 next year", I am unfortunately in a old-school traditional family environment, where my folks find it absolutely CRAZY that I have already taken a year off for LSATs and work and that a second year would be absolutely atrocious for me to mentally handle. (as sad as that sounds, its the truth.)

krzyreeesh
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby krzyreeesh » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:41 pm

(I'm going to apologize in advance for the long post)

Your situation almost exactly mirrors my own (down to the parental environment - I'm not sure how so many people can taking a year off and re-apply without considerable consequence/frustration).

I suppose I'll give a little bit of background on my own situation first and then tell you what I've decided. My first LSAT, I took maybe 20PTs with a course and leveled out in the 166-168 range. I took the actual test and scored in the low 160s, which was disappointing. I didn't do anything LSAT-related until about 4 weeks left before the next exam. With a flexible schedule, my strategy then was to take one fresh test and one test I had already taken per day. Boy, did the mental rest in between help. I was scoring 167+ on all of my new tests and 170+ on the ones I had already taken and the tests just felt easier. I took the actual LSAT and scored only a few points higher than my previous score but it boosted me past the 165 threshold.

Even that small point improvement put me in contention for schools that I wouldn't have had a chance at with my previous score. My problem is that because I was unsure of my status for this year (was supposed to be abroad for my job), I was forced to apply very, very late. So, I applied to a bunch of schools and am on some waitlists (a few that I really, really want to attend - and like you, I'm at or above at least one of their medians or 75th percentiles...it's just been a really, really competitive year and applying late didn't help) and looking at LSN and TLS Stats, I know that increasing my LSAT by even a few points would make a huge difference. I know I have potential to score in the low 170s but also depending on test-taking conditions, I could conceivably end up in the mid, perhaps even low, 160s again.

With that said, for me, re-taking the test comes down to a cost-benefit analysis.

I understand that you're worried about your waitlist situation, and may see that as a potential cost, but everything I've read suggests that this is not something you need to concern yourself with. Schools don't know you're taking the June LSAT unless you tell them. A fellow TLSer called LSAC and confirmed this. They only know when they get the LSDAS report which will be after the results are reported (late June). Someone in one of the threads said Dean Pless had said he has the ability to check if an individual was registered for future LSATs, but he (like most adcomm members) have way too much to do and don't have the time to check each applicant's future LSAT status. You are obliged to disclose any future LSAT test dates in your application but seeing as you already applied, had no intent of taking this test when you first applied and this test won't necessarily pertain to this application cycle, there should be no ethical breach on your part if you don't tell the schools you are taking the June LSAT. In short, in all likelihood, no one but you will know that you are taking the June LSATs until the score comes out.

Now, other than that, the only potential costs would be the mental energy spent while studying and the risk of a lower score. For me, the mental energy is a big concern. It's the summer before my 1L year and I want to be relaxed and well-rested. Spending a month studying for the LSAT will pretty much have the exact opposite effect on me. I could travel, hang out with friends and family OR I could lock myself in a room for 8 hours a day and study. This is a highly personal decision. It also plays into the risk of scoring lower. If I spend all that time and energy and end up with no benefit out of it, I'm likely going to be at least a little bit upset. As far as schools caring, there's no way to say definitively, but I don't think it will matter much to them at this point. If you actually do score lower, you might even spin it into a positive ('I have tried everything to get off of your waitlist, I even went so far as to take the LSAT with the hope of scoring higher...please take this as evidence of my dedication...if you admit me, I definitely will attend).

Right now, I KNOW I've been hurt by being a bit of a tweener score (I'm high enough to be considered but not high enough to blow anyone away). As such, the benefit I think I'll get with a higher score is much greater than any possible risk from getting a lower score. I have one score <165 and one score >165, I know the lowest on my absolute worst day will probably be a 160. But I'm fine with that because a 170 will drastically alter my school prospects. If your scores are 168 and 173...a 175 likely won't help you that much and another 168 might hurt you. But if you're in the 150s and 160s...each point increase is huge on the percentile scale and could potentially help a school's medians a lot so it would make a lot of sense to retake it. It's up to you to decide if the time, mental energy and potential risk is worth it though.

Just my 2 cents but hope I helped.

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senunit
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Re: Retaking LSAT

Postby senunit » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:59 am

Im very glad you posted such an analysis on your end as it has been more than helpful for me in relating to you. It's so encouraging to hear you assess the situation we are in with such motivation. I certainly would need to get on that mental level because I feel like you are very prepared to take another go at the LSAT. I, on the other hand, am not sure if I am. It's not that I hate the exam, or am lazy, or even feel bad spending so much 0L time on it. I just simply put, feel like I've somewhat failed at it from the get go. As I've said, I did a number of things the first time to do well, but did not take it very seriously. On the surface one would think I studied intensively, but knowing my potential I'd give it no more than a 7 (on a scale of 1-10; 10 being intense). The second time, I just didnt have time or energy for it. I guess my two sub par performances have left such a poor taste in my mouth with the test, that I feel that this 6 week period leading up to the June LSAT will have very little benefit for me, thus screwing up the cost-benefit scale for me. I've heard time and time again that this exam is learnable, but bad experiences have led me to not believe in this system. I think the only way I can make a significant difference on my third LSAT score is if I get another 4 months to study. I guess I should have started earlier, but I didn't expect this cycle with my grades.

Anyway, Im going to stop venting on here, as that is not the purpose. Im glad you assisted and I guess it's a battle I'll have to deal with personally. Thank you for your help and I hope if you do decide to retake (which I think you will), you will hopefully destroy this test and get accepted to your targeted schools. Good luck to you!




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