Time to cut my losses?

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checkers88
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:14 am

Time to cut my losses?

Postby checkers88 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:30 am

Hello all,

Last June (2009), I took the LSAT and scored a 166. In hopes of improving my score, I retook the test this June. I was certain that my score would improve: fifteen of the seventeen Preptests that I took showed an improvement over my current score. To my great disappointment, I struggled greatly with the logic games section. I had never before done so poorly on any time-constrained games section: I didn't even finish half of the questions. Certain that my reported score would be much lower than my previous 166, I canceled my test and left the testing center, bewildered.

I am concerned that my canceled score will reflect poorly on my capabilities when prospective law schools see my LSAT transcript. Is this a legitimate concern?

I am considering enrolling in a commercial prep course and retaking the test to mitigate the damage to my transcript. Of course, there is the possibility that I will again hit a "brain block" and be forced to either cancel my score or report a low score. At that point, I would have to delay my law school plans for a year so that I could again try to raise my score.

Honestly, I am confused and not a little worried about my situation. Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Checed Rodgers

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TruffleMomma
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 7:07 pm

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby TruffleMomma » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:07 am

How is your GPA and what law schools are you trying to get into? I think this matters a lot when answering.

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kalvano
Posts: 11725
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:24 am

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby kalvano » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:12 am

Where do you want to go to school?

A 166 may be fine.

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Shot007
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:46 pm

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby Shot007 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:17 am

we really would be better served if we know all the other information, such as where you plan on applying. To me 166 is a good score...it all depends on where you are headed

checkers88
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:14 am

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby checkers88 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:54 am

Hey everyone,

Thanks for the responses.

My college GPA right now is 4.0. I'm not positive exactly which law schools I will apply to, but I had my heart set on at least being eligible for a few in the top ten (maybe Stanford or Michigan). According to the statistics in the link below, I'm just a little short of my goal:

http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index. ... sc/LSATLow

checkers88
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:14 am

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby checkers88 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:43 am

Also, I should mention that I'm trying to figure out how a law school's consideration of highest vs. average LSAT score factors in to all of this. If a school just looks at my highest score, then it seems I should just be able to confidently retake since at least some schools will not ding me for poor later scores. On the other side of that coin is the fact that many schools will consider all of my scores together.

Really could use some input from someone with some familiarity with the selection process.

Thanks,
CR

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missvik218
Posts: 1103
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:45 am

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby missvik218 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:58 am

checkers88 wrote:Also, I should mention that I'm trying to figure out how a law school's consideration of highest vs. average LSAT score factors in to all of this. If a school just looks at my highest score, then it seems I should just be able to confidently retake since at least some schools will not ding me for poor later scores. On the other side of that coin is the fact that many schools will consider all of my scores together.

Different schools look at multiple LSATs differently. Some will automatically only consider your highest score, some will average, others will consider your highest score but only if you write an addendum asking them to (there are also varying degrees to which they require a legitimate reason or simply want you to send something/anything).

The best way to determine a schools position on this is to e-mail or call their admissions office and ask them, I know there have been threads on this but I couldn't find one in a quick search.

Additionally --LinkRemoved-- gives some information for someone starting the app process.

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KMaine
Posts: 862
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 1:57 pm

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby KMaine » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:04 am

I don't think the one cancellation will be a big deal. I would take again if I were you. That 4.0 is a great asset, and a few more points could make a big difference for you. Prep hard for the next one. I can't see much downside.

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Shaggier1
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:57 am

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby Shaggier1 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:05 am

What are your softs like? Will you be able to write a compelling personal statement?

4.0/166 puts you in decent (but not fantastic) shape at Berkeley and Michigan.

Don't worry about the fact that there is a cancel on your transcript. No one really cares.

Also, most schools now take the top score, so if you think you can do better in September, then retake. You are at the point where 2-3 extra points could make a huge difference. I would not recommend a prep course though. I don't get the sense that folks already above the 93rd percentile will benefit much from a course. I think you just need to figure out what wrong this time around and fix it. Good luck.

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Ragged
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Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:39 pm

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby Ragged » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:08 am

With a 4.0 you are HYS material. Definatly retake. If you can't get it next time, well then you'll just have to roll with a 166, but don't settle for it. Your GPA is too good.

berkeleykel06
Posts: 292
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:39 am

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby berkeleykel06 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:32 am

There is no downside to retaking in your case. If you have all of the other parts of your application ready to go, retaking in October will still allow you to apply early and not force you to put off law school plans a year. Like Shaggier said, you have a decent shot at Berkeley and Michigan. I got into UVA non-ED out-of-state with a 166 and a 3.9ish GPA so I think you have a good chance there as well. Knowing you can still get into some good schools regardless of whether or not you improve your score will hopefully take some of your nerves away when you retest.

You say you are PTing above 166. How far above?

checkers88
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:14 am

Re: Time to cut my losses?

Postby checkers88 » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:12 am

Shaggier1: My softs are a slight concern. The best that I can muster right now is a 50+ page research paper on due process and some research/editorial work for the Oklahoma Bar Family Law Practice Manual (My contributions here were significant enough to get my name credited.)

My personal statement might also be a little bland, but I expect my LORs to be top-notch.

All in all, I planned to rely heavily on my GPA/LSAT for most of my marketability. Time may prove this to be a mistake, but we'll see. :)

Berkeleykel06: My scores on the seventeen preptests that I took ranged from 165 to 176, with an average around 170. Only two of the tests were at or below the score I have already.




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