Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

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FrOhara1213
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Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby FrOhara1213 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:15 pm

So my admissions cycle for Fall 2011 went exactly as predicted and I will not be attending law school, if at all, until next year. I plan on applying for a 2nd time to many of the schools that rejected me and am trying to be as strategic as possible in planning for my 2nd attempt. I've found TLS to be a (mostly) helpful source for ideas and feedback/criticism. I'm listing below how I plan to make my second round of applications look as different as possible from the first ones. I'm looking to hear from anyone who has experience re-applying and whether or not the changes listed below could result in a different outcome.

I realize that the 148 I scored twice on the LSAT is most likely responsible for my current situation. Obviously, achieving a significantly higher score is the single most important thing to focus on; I have already begun studying and will transition to a full-time study schedule once my semester ends in early-May. That being said, I want to convey, beyond my LSAT score, how determined I am to practice law and how seriously I've considered law school in the aftermath of my disappointing first cycle.

- I have an interview this week for a summer volunteer position at a legal aid non-profit's family law clinic.
- Retaking the LSAT for 3rd time in October and hiring a Princeton Review tutor over the summer (hoping to bump my to at least a 160).
- Currently applying for an entry-level paralegal position at a mid-size law firm.
- In addition to the 2 professors who submitted academic LORs for me this cycle (and have agreed to do so again this fall), I have 2 additional professors who will be submitting LORs for the next cycle.
- Because I was planning on finishing my graduate degree this summer in order to attend law school this fall, I enrolled full-time in my grad program this spring to finish my thesis. Now that the thesis is basically completed, I plan to submit individual chapters for publication in various academic journals this fall.

I welcome any honest, constructive feedback and suggestions. Keep any douchebaggery to yourself, please.

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dpk711
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby dpk711 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:16 pm

Retake the LSAT and come back with a score -- it's virtually impossible to gauge an appropriate strategy without knowing what the score you'll be getting from retaking is.

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FrOhara1213
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby FrOhara1213 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:22 pm

dpk711 wrote:Retake the LSAT and come back with a score -- it's virtually impossible to gauge an appropriate strategy without knowing what the score you'll be getting from retaking is.


Because I'm retaking in October/applying in early November, and because I want to strengthen my entire application (not just my LSAT) I am taking these other, additional steps in the interim. I'm looking for suggestions as to what other steps I could take while preparing for the LSAT. Or am I naieve in thinking any of these other things would even make a difference? Is my LSAT score really the only thing these schools would be looking at?

aliarrow
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby aliarrow » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:25 pm

FrOhara1213 wrote:So my admissions cycle for Fall 2011 went exactly as predicted and I will not be attending law school, if at all, until next year. I plan on applying for a 2nd time to many of the schools that rejected me and am trying to be as strategic as possible in planning for my 2nd attempt. I've found TLS to be a (mostly) helpful source for ideas and feedback/criticism. I'm listing below how I plan to make my second round of applications look as different as possible from the first ones. I'm looking to hear from anyone who has experience re-applying and whether or not the changes listed below could result in a different outcome.

I realize that the 148 I scored twice on the LSAT is most likely responsible for my current situation. Obviously, achieving a significantly higher score is the single most important thing to focus on; I have already begun studying and will transition to a full-time study schedule once my semester ends in early-May. That being said, I want to convey, beyond my LSAT score, how determined I am to practice law and how seriously I've considered law school in the aftermath of my disappointing first cycle.

- I have an interview this week for a summer volunteer position at a legal aid non-profit's family law clinic. Unimportant
- Retaking the LSAT for 3rd time in October and hiring a Princeton Review tutor over the summer (hoping to bump my to at least a 160).
- Currently applying for an entry-level paralegal position at a mid-size law firm. Unimportant
- In addition to the 2 professors who submitted academic LORs for me this cycle (and have agreed to do so again this fall), I have 2 additional professors who will be submitting LORs for the next cycle. Unimportant
- Because I was planning on finishing my graduate degree this summer in order to attend law school this fall, I enrolled full-time in my grad program this spring to finish my thesis. Now that the thesis is basically completed, I plan to submit individual chapters for publication in various academic journals this fall. Might help if you are published, but not by a lot as long as its still overshadowed by a sub 150 LSAT

I welcome any honest, constructive feedback and suggestions. Keep any douchebaggery to yourself, please.


The main thing is just focus as much as you can on the LSAT retake obviously. What exactly is it that caused you to underperform on the previous tests? I don't really know how useful a Princeton Review tutor would be, it sounds like an epic waste of money. But it might help in your situation.

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dpk711
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby dpk711 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:27 pm

FrOhara1213 wrote:
dpk711 wrote:Retake the LSAT and come back with a score -- it's virtually impossible to gauge an appropriate strategy without knowing what the score you'll be getting from retaking is.


Because I'm retaking in October/applying in early November, and because I want to strengthen my entire application (not just my LSAT) I am taking these other, additional steps in the interim. I'm looking for suggestions as to what other steps I could take while preparing for the LSAT. Or am I naieve in thinking any of these other things would even make a difference? Is my LSAT score really the only thing these schools would be looking at?

Of course there are subsidiary elements which law school will be looking at such as your personal statement, supplementary essays, and letters of recommendation, but your LSAT score will be disproportionately important compared to these other elements.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:29 pm

Law schools will be looking primarily at your LSAT score. If your third score is a 153 or below, then your next cycle may be as disappointing as your current cycle. And no, I am not suggesting that a 154 or 155 will get you admitted to the law schools to which you applied this cycle.
Depending upon your actual LSAT score on your third sitting, you may need to consider a different set of law schools.

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artichoke
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby artichoke » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:32 pm

dpk711 wrote:Retake the LSAT and come back with a score -- it's virtually impossible to gauge an appropriate strategy without knowing what the score you'll be getting from retaking is.


This.

Having said that, I think showing that you are truly invested in law school in the interim can only help you. Part of this is achieved by reapplying obviously, but I think the internship will help. Honestly though, your time will be BEST spent studying for the LSAT. Any kind of legal work/internship will make significantly less of an impact than a better LSAT score, so I would definitely spend most of your limited time and energy on that. Good luck!

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artichoke
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby artichoke » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:35 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Law schools will be looking primarily at your LSAT score. If your third score is a 153 or below, then your next cycle may be as disappointing as your current cycle. And no, I am not suggesting that a 154 or 155 will get you admitted to the law schools to which you applied this cycle.
Depending upon your actual LSAT score on your third sitting, you may need to consider a different set of law schools.


On this note, what schools did you apply to? Are you open to applying to schools that may be easier to get in to? It is definitely something to at least consider at this point, unless you are performing significantly better on your practice tests now then you were prior to your last test.

aliarrow
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby aliarrow » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:36 pm

What's with all the canned "Come back with a score" responses? Clearly the OP isn't giving hypothetical bs scores and asking about chances at random schools - the question is geared towards admissions strategy, the answer to which is focus on LSAT.

Just to add to that point though - the soft factors can help provided you at least meet a bare minimum lsat cutoff. But when it's far too low schools won't even look at your softs assuming you aren't a black olympic gay athlete.

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dpk711
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby dpk711 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:38 pm

aliarrow wrote:What's with all the canned "Come back with a score" responses? Clearly the OP isn't giving hypothetical bs scores and asking about chances at random schools - the question is geared towards admissions strategy, the answer to which is focus on LSAT.

Just to add to that point though - the soft factors can help provided you at least meet a bare minimum lsat cutoff. But when it's far too low schools won't even look at your softs assuming you aren't a black olympic gay athlete.

Your last two sentences answered your own question.

aliarrow
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby aliarrow » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:40 pm

dpk711 wrote:
aliarrow wrote:What's with all the canned "Come back with a score" responses? Clearly the OP isn't giving hypothetical bs scores and asking about chances at random schools - the question is geared towards admissions strategy, the answer to which is focus on LSAT.

Just to add to that point though - the soft factors can help provided you at least meet a bare minimum lsat cutoff. But when it's far too low schools won't even look at your softs assuming you aren't a black olympic gay athlete.

Your last two sentences answered your own OP's question.


The point is, this isn't the appropriate type of thread for 'come back with a real score'.

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FrOhara1213
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby FrOhara1213 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:43 pm

artichoke wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Law schools will be looking primarily at your LSAT score. If your third score is a 153 or below, then your next cycle may be as disappointing as your current cycle. And no, I am not suggesting that a 154 or 155 will get you admitted to the law schools to which you applied this cycle.
Depending upon your actual LSAT score on your third sitting, you may need to consider a different set of law schools.


On this note, what schools did you apply to? Are you open to applying to schools that may be easier to get in to? It is definitely something to at least consider at this point, unless you are performing significantly better on your practice tests now then you were prior to your last test.


The schools I was rejected from/waitlisted at are shown in my TLS profile. I have been scoring 156-158 on a couple of practice tests I've taken since my last LSAT in October of last year. Because of my full-time work/school schedule, studying hasn't been top priority lately. All of the schools I plan on applying to next cycle are on the east coast and are ranked between T30 & T100.

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artichoke
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby artichoke » Sat Apr 09, 2011 10:46 pm

FrOhara1213 wrote:
artichoke wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Law schools will be looking primarily at your LSAT score. If your third score is a 153 or below, then your next cycle may be as disappointing as your current cycle. And no, I am not suggesting that a 154 or 155 will get you admitted to the law schools to which you applied this cycle.
Depending upon your actual LSAT score on your third sitting, you may need to consider a different set of law schools.


On this note, what schools did you apply to? Are you open to applying to schools that may be easier to get in to? It is definitely something to at least consider at this point, unless you are performing significantly better on your practice tests now then you were prior to your last test.


The schools I was rejected from/waitlisted at are shown in my TLS profile. I have been scoring 156-158 on a couple of practice tests I've taken since my last LSAT in October of last year. Because of my full-time work/school schedule, studying hasn't been top priority lately. All of the schools I plan on applying to next cycle are on the east coast and are ranked between T30 & T100.


Ok, considering you are already incredibly busy, I would scrap the volunteer position in favor of more LSAT studying this summer. It's just not worth it to spend your time getting law WE when your acceptance relies so heavily on your future LSAT score.

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FrOhara1213
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby FrOhara1213 » Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:02 pm

artichoke wrote:
FrOhara1213 wrote:
artichoke wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Law schools will be looking primarily at your LSAT score. If your third score is a 153 or below, then your next cycle may be as disappointing as your current cycle. And no, I am not suggesting that a 154 or 155 will get you admitted to the law schools to which you applied this cycle.
Depending upon your actual LSAT score on your third sitting, you may need to consider a different set of law schools.


On this note, what schools did you apply to? Are you open to applying to schools that may be easier to get in to? It is definitely something to at least consider at this point, unless you are performing significantly better on your practice tests now then you were prior to your last test.


The schools I was rejected from/waitlisted at are shown in my TLS profile. I have been scoring 156-158 on a couple of practice tests I've taken since my last LSAT in October of last year. Because of my full-time work/school schedule, studying hasn't been top priority lately. All of the schools I plan on applying to next cycle are on the east coast and are ranked between T30 & T100.


Ok, considering you are already incredibly busy, I would scrap the volunteer position in favor of more LSAT studying this summer. It's just not worth it to spend your time getting law WE when your acceptance relies so heavily on your future LSAT score.


Free time should be in greater supply once my semester ends in May. I currently work 32 hours/week at a job that barely requires one to be conscious to perform his duties satisfactorily, and would be taking on the volunteer position one day, 8-hours/week. I'm planning on 2-3 hours a day of LSAT study once my semester ends... do you think that should be enough?

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artichoke
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby artichoke » Sun Apr 10, 2011 2:07 am

FrOhara1213 wrote:
artichoke wrote:
FrOhara1213 wrote:
artichoke wrote:
On this note, what schools did you apply to? Are you open to applying to schools that may be easier to get in to? It is definitely something to at least consider at this point, unless you are performing significantly better on your practice tests now then you were prior to your last test.


The schools I was rejected from/waitlisted at are shown in my TLS profile. I have been scoring 156-158 on a couple of practice tests I've taken since my last LSAT in October of last year. Because of my full-time work/school schedule, studying hasn't been top priority lately. All of the schools I plan on applying to next cycle are on the east coast and are ranked between T30 & T100.


Ok, considering you are already incredibly busy, I would scrap the volunteer position in favor of more LSAT studying this summer. It's just not worth it to spend your time getting law WE when your acceptance relies so heavily on your future LSAT score.


Free time should be in greater supply once my semester ends in May. I currently work 32 hours/week at a job that barely requires one to be conscious to perform his duties satisfactorily, and would be taking on the volunteer position one day, 8-hours/week. I'm planning on 2-3 hours a day of LSAT study once my semester ends... do you think that should be enough?


Well, obviously what is best for you needs to be determined by you, but if I was in your position I would be studying more than that. However, whether or not the volunteer thing is a good idea or not really depends on whether you think that having more than 2-3 hours a day to study would actually translate to you studying more. If you think 2-3 hours a day is a good amount to study each day regardless, then having more free time is not necessarily going to help you improve your LSAT. In this case, I would say volunteering is a good idea.

Basically: my advice would be to only volunteer if it doesn't take time away from studying for the LSAT.

Good luck!

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mrtoren
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby mrtoren » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:31 pm

Like everyone else has said, if you want to do all of the extracurriculars you listed...feel free to do so, but don't do them with the intention of having them strengthen your application. Unfortunately, as good or bad of an indicator it may be, the LSAT means everything. If you want to volunteer - thats great, it helps the community. If you want letters of recommendation - not a bad idea, they will boost your self-confidence. If you want to work as a paralegal - good, it'll put some money in your pockets while letting you get your feet wet. However, the general and near-universal consensus is that none of them will help your application. Your GPA is solid...but you should be devoting every spare minute to LSAT practice.

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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby Taffybear2 » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:41 pm

Hey OP. I can definitely commend you on being smart about Law School and not attending just any old school that would take you with your current lsat, because you really wouldn't want to waste that stellar GPA. Now about your lsat prep, are there any other options besides a princeton review tutor? Are there any full length testmasters/blueprint/powerscore classes you could take instead. I have heard much better reviews from those courses. Other than that I found reading all of the powerscore bibles and taking timed proctored tests on my own with the real lsats the most beneficial. Finding a practice test taking buddy and using a proctor dvd made this process more bearable in my opinion. There are a lot of good retake advice threads out there. Best of luck!

bob sacamano
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby bob sacamano » Mon Apr 11, 2011 8:43 pm

FrOhara1213 wrote:So my admissions cycle for Fall 2011 went exactly as predicted and I will not be attending law school, if at all, until next year. I plan on applying for a 2nd time to many of the schools that rejected me and am trying to be as strategic as possible in planning for my 2nd attempt. I've found TLS to be a (mostly) helpful source for ideas and feedback/criticism. I'm listing below how I plan to make my second round of applications look as different as possible from the first ones. I'm looking to hear from anyone who has experience re-applying and whether or not the changes listed below could result in a different outcome.

I realize that the 148 I scored twice on the LSAT is most likely responsible for my current situation. Obviously, achieving a significantly higher score is the single most important thing to focus on; I have already begun studying and will transition to a full-time study schedule once my semester ends in early-May. That being said, I want to convey, beyond my LSAT score, how determined I am to practice law and how seriously I've considered law school in the aftermath of my disappointing first cycle.

- I have an interview this week for a summer volunteer position at a legal aid non-profit's family law clinic.
- Retaking the LSAT for 3rd time in October and hiring a Princeton Review tutor over the summer (hoping to bump my to at least a 160).
- Currently applying for an entry-level paralegal position at a mid-size law firm.
- In addition to the 2 professors who submitted academic LORs for me this cycle (and have agreed to do so again this fall), I have 2 additional professors who will be submitting LORs for the next cycle.
- Because I was planning on finishing my graduate degree this summer in order to attend law school this fall, I enrolled full-time in my grad program this spring to finish my thesis. Now that the thesis is basically completed, I plan to submit individual chapters for publication in various academic journals this fall.

I welcome any honest, constructive feedback and suggestions. Keep any douchebaggery to yourself, please.


Just practice LSATs. Take practice test after practice test after practice test.

Don't waste your time doing those volunteer legal positions before you're even in law school. You'd be better off making some money. Wait tables, do whatever. I guarantee the fact that you wasted your time volunteering without pay at a law firm will not at all make you any more attractive to schools. It may show that you "really wanna be a lawyer," but schools don;t care about that. All they care about is your GPA and LSAT (but mostly your LSAT). It makes no sense at all, but welcome to the rest of your life in the law profession.

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cucullu
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby cucullu » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:37 pm

Taffybear2 wrote:Hey OP. I can definitely commend you on being smart about Law School and not attending just any old school that would take you with your current lsat, because you really wouldn't want to waste that stellar GPA. Now about your lsat prep, are there any other options besides a princeton review tutor? Are there any full length testmasters/blueprint/powerscore classes you could take instead. I have heard much better reviews from those courses. Other than that I found reading all of the powerscore bibles and taking timed proctored tests on my own with the real lsats the most beneficial. Finding a practice test taking buddy and using a proctor dvd made this process more bearable in my opinion. There are a lot of good retake advice threads out there. Best of luck!


This.

Also: It sounds like you have a good group of profs on your side. Would one of them or an application-savvy friend be willing to brainstorm new personal statement ideas with you? And then get 5 of your best writer friends to edit it in rounds. And then edit it again. And give you a bajillion kinds of feedback. I actually think a brilliant PS can make a difference with a borderline application. Don't overlook the importance of doing fantastic work on the written portion of the application.

Also also: I have a good friend who got into Penn with a 158. Non-URM. Good softs, yes, but also wrote an addendum, very brief, in which he shared his SAT score (also very low) and said that he has always had lower standardized test scores than what he was obviously capable of based on his great academic record. I don't know if that would help or hurt, but it might help.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:11 pm

FrOhara1213 wrote: Now that the thesis is basically completed, I plan to submit individual chapters for publication in various academic journals this fall.


Don't wait until the fall! If you have any pieces ready to go, send them now. If you can easily get them ready, send them as soon as possible! It can takes many months to get a response, and the response might just be "revise and resubmit." An acceptance looks much better than an "under review."

Though, your LSAT has to come first, so only bother with this if it won't interfere with your LSAT study.

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FrOhara1213
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Re: Admissions Strategy for Re-Applying: Fall 2012

Postby FrOhara1213 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:56 pm

cucullu wrote:
Taffybear2 wrote:Hey OP. I can definitely commend you on being smart about Law School and not attending just any old school that would take you with your current lsat, because you really wouldn't want to waste that stellar GPA. Now about your lsat prep, are there any other options besides a princeton review tutor? Are there any full length testmasters/blueprint/powerscore classes you could take instead. I have heard much better reviews from those courses. Other than that I found reading all of the powerscore bibles and taking timed proctored tests on my own with the real lsats the most beneficial. Finding a practice test taking buddy and using a proctor dvd made this process more bearable in my opinion. There are a lot of good retake advice threads out there. Best of luck!


This.

Also: It sounds like you have a good group of profs on your side. Would one of them or an application-savvy friend be willing to brainstorm new personal statement ideas with you? And then get 5 of your best writer friends to edit it in rounds. And then edit it again. And give you a bajillion kinds of feedback. I actually think a brilliant PS can make a difference with a borderline application. Don't overlook the importance of doing fantastic work on the written portion of the application.

Also also: I have a good friend who got into Penn with a 158. Non-URM. Good softs, yes, but also wrote an addendum, very brief, in which he shared his SAT score (also very low) and said that he has always had lower standardized test scores than what he was obviously capable of based on his great academic record. I don't know if that would help or hurt, but it might help.


I actually really like your suggestion of utilizing a resource already at my disposal; these professors already proofread pages and pages of my scholarship as it is. I can't say that I felt my personal statement for the last admissions cycle was weak, but I definitely feel like I have a lot more confidence in what I want to say this time around. Workshopping any kind of writing is never a bad idea.

Also, I'm not inflexible on the whole Princeton Review tutor, I just have a friend who tutors with them and might be able to help arrange some kind of discount. At this point, I just plan on taking dozens upon dozens of official practice tests and analyzing my mistakes over and over again. TLS has proved invaluable in my search for individual study tips (only wish I had found it before I took the stupid test twice!).




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