Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

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hobojarpen
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:31 am

Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby hobojarpen » Mon May 30, 2011 4:19 pm

I've taken the LSAT twice thus far (Dec 09 and Dec 10, scoring 160 and 155 respectively). In hindsight, I should have canceled the latter score, but I really felt like I did well at the time, even days after the exam. I know for a fact that getting an elite score is well within my abilities. Nevertheless, as I've reflected on my efforts and results the previous two times, I realized there were so many blind spots and lacking areas that I just didn't exert the smartest/fullest effort into. As a result, after applying for this coming fall, all schools either waitlisted or denied my application.

Taking everything into account, I am leaning towards the following course of action:
- Cancel my June registration and apply the October exam (since you're not allowed to exceed 3 exams in a 2 year period, correct?)
- Find a job to save some money to either hire a tutor or take classes (more on this later)
- Start working applications as soon as they are released and submit as soon as possible

Possible Issues/Concerns:
- Evidenced by getting lower scores than I would have liked, obviously my method of studies were lacking. But at this point, I feel that I'm familiar enough with the LSAT where forking out $1000-$1500 for Blueprint/Testmasters to relearn EVERYTHING would be redundant. I feel that the only thing I need to do is practice my timing/pacing on the exams, and smooth out my rough edges/strategies by hiring a tutor. Thoughts?
- Is there a difference between submitting my applications as soon as possible after they come out but before I get my October exam score vs. submitting them at the end of Oct/beginning of Nov immediately after getting my October exam score?
- This would be my second time applying to law schools. Are there other things I need to take into account other than possibly rewriting my personal statement and supplemental essays?
- Finally, what factors do I need to take into account for taking the LSAT three times? I know I will probably address my LSAT experience/situation in an addendum, but are there certain things I should be doing/looking out for in my situation?

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon May 30, 2011 4:49 pm

1. If you take a class, use TM or Manhattan. Those seem to be better for going from a decent score to an "elite" score.
2. Yes, but it's not very significant. October 31 is still considered early.
3. Some schools require additional LORs. Consider whether a recommender really gave you what you want. I'm not saying this is the case, but one of your letters could be average or subpar, while you might be able to get something better with a new one.
4. Look at the page that addresses schools' policies regarding multiple LSATs. It seems that you would be looking hardest at those that take highest score only. You would have much better luck at a school like Michigan or UVA than at Berkeley

http://www.top-law-schools.com/retaking-the-lsat.html

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TTH
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Re: Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby TTH » Tue May 31, 2011 10:50 am

hobojarpen wrote:Possible Issues/Concerns:
- Evidenced by getting lower scores than I would have liked, obviously my method of studies were lacking. But at this point, I feel that I'm familiar enough with the LSAT where forking out $1000-$1500 for Blueprint/Testmasters to relearn EVERYTHING would be redundant. I feel that the only thing I need to do is practice my timing/pacing on the exams, and smooth out my rough edges/strategies by hiring a tutor. Thoughts?
- Is there a difference between submitting my applications as soon as possible after they come out but before I get my October exam score vs. submitting them at the end of Oct/beginning of Nov immediately after getting my October exam score?
- This would be my second time applying to law schools. Are there other things I need to take into account other than possibly rewriting my personal statement and supplemental essays?
- Finally, what factors do I need to take into account for taking the LSAT three times? I know I will probably address my LSAT experience/situation in an addendum, but are there certain things I should be doing/looking out for in my situation?

Any thoughts/advice would be much appreciated. Thanks.


Before anyone can recommend a new way to prepare for the LSAT, you need to describe how you've studied thus far.

As far as when to submit applications, there won't be a real difference between the two times you submit. Most schools tend to release their applications in early-to-mid October, so you won't lose anything by waiting until November 1 to drop your apps. Of course, if you're applying ED somewhere, watch your deadlines. For RD applications, I personally feel the "applying early boost" is drastically overrated.

You'll want to address your LSAT stuff in an addendum if there is a disparity between your GPA and LSAT. Beyond that, try to find something meaningful to do with your time this year. If you were willing to take more time off than a year, join the Peace Corps, military, or some other experience that may actually register as a beneficial soft.

hobojarpen
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:31 am

Re: Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby hobojarpen » Tue May 31, 2011 1:03 pm

TTH wrote:Before anyone can recommend a new way to prepare for the LSAT, you need to describe how you've studied thus far.

As far as when to submit applications, there won't be a real difference between the two times you submit. Most schools tend to release their applications in early-to-mid October, so you won't lose anything by waiting until November 1 to drop your apps. Of course, if you're applying ED somewhere, watch your deadlines. For RD applications, I personally feel the "applying early boost" is drastically overrated.

You'll want to address your LSAT stuff in an addendum if there is a disparity between your GPA and LSAT. Beyond that, try to find something meaningful to do with your time this year. If you were willing to take more time off than a year, join the Peace Corps, military, or some other experience that may actually register as a beneficial soft.


Thanks for your response.
Thus far, I've been studying on my own with the assistance of PowerScore LG and LR books. However, where I fell short my first LSAT was I just simply took it a little too soon and hadn't fully ingrained the strategies at that point. My second LSAT, I knew a little better about what I was doing, but my lack of practice with timing killed me. As I restudy right now, I feel like the subtleties/patterns/abstractions are becoming clearer to me, and my timing/pacing is improving as well. But I do know there is more to be done.

A typical study day is begins with reviewing the LG/LR PowerScore strategies. That's followed by a practicing a timed exam (Since I rescheduled from June to October, I'll probably scale my daily study load back a little bit). Finally, I finish by my spending a good amount of time reviewing the questions, why my answers were wrong/right and why other answers were wrong/right. With there being a good amount of time until the October exam, I feel it might to me some good to go with a plan that's a little more specific and spends significant time in each section. However, I've perused the TLS forums for recommended study plans, but, since there are so many, I don't know where to start, frankly. If there is one study plan that most people really recommend, I'd be highly receptive to it.

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jdMission
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Re: Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby jdMission » Tue May 31, 2011 3:33 pm

You ask some very interesting questions. Before signing up to retake the LSAT, you should take a step back and ask yourself whether you feel you can improve your LSAT score. If your ability to concentrate was diminished during the exam when you originally took it, or if you could have studied more effectively, you may be a candidate to retake the test. Although many law schools adhere to the ABA policy of reporting a candidate’s higher LSAT score, for evaluation purposes, admissions committees at the top 15 law schools differ on how scores are to be considered in the admissions review process. All admissions committees, however, encourage students to submit an addendum to explain any discrepancies between scores.
The following list of the top 15 law schools (per US News & World Report’s latest rankings) and their policies regarding multiple LSAT scores may help you decide whether taking the LSAT again is a wise choice for you.

Law schools that consider average scores
Harvard University
Columbia University
New York University
University of California-Berkeley
Georgetown University

Law schools that consider highest scores
University of Chicago
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
Duke University
Northwestern University

Law schools that consider multiple scores
Yale University
University of Texas-Austin

Law schools that do not comment on admissions policies
Stanford

With regard to when to apply, we recommend that you send your applications as early as possible to take advantage of rolling admissions. If you do decide to take the October LSAT, you should try and get your complete application to the admissions committee as soon as possible after that. Good luck to you!

Sunitha Ramaiah
Big game hunting, tour guide

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby bp shinners » Tue May 31, 2011 10:52 pm

hobojarpen wrote:Taking everything into account, I am leaning towards the following course of action:
- Cancel my June registration and apply the October exam (since you're not allowed to exceed 3 exams in a 2 year period, correct?)
- Find a job to save some money to either hire a tutor or take classes (more on this later)
- Start working applications as soon as they are released and submit as soon as possible


Great course of action.

Possible Issues/Concerns:
- Evidenced by getting lower scores than I would have liked, obviously my method of studies were lacking. But at this point, I feel that I'm familiar enough with the LSAT where forking out $1000-$1500 for Blueprint/Testmasters to relearn EVERYTHING would be redundant. I feel that the only thing I need to do is practice my timing/pacing on the exams, and smooth out my rough edges/strategies by hiring a tutor. Thoughts?
- Is there a difference between submitting my applications as soon as possible after they come out but before I get my October exam score vs. submitting them at the end of Oct/beginning of Nov immediately after getting my October exam score?
- This would be my second time applying to law schools. Are there other things I need to take into account other than possibly rewriting my personal statement and supplemental essays?
- Finally, what factors do I need to take into account for taking the LSAT three times? I know I will probably address my LSAT experience/situation in an addendum, but are there certain things I should be doing/looking out for in my situation?


1) Deferring to others as I'm biased. Though I would say that, if you've gone over all of the methods, etc... and feel comfortable with them, and your biggest issue is timing/pacing, a class would most likely be overkill. Unless that timing issue comes from not having great methods for everything.

2) If you don't let the schools know to wait for the October score, there could be. As soon as your application is complete, the school is ready to consider it. If they don't know you took October, they might just consider your two older scores. I would recommend getting everything ready to go and then waiting for the score to come out. Then, hit submit as soon as the score is reported to your account. It's functionally the same as having them wait for the LSAT score (as you won't be looked at until your file is complete, and it won't be complete until they get that score) without risking some miscommunication that has them consider you before the new score. That miscommunication is unlikely, but why risk it at all?

3) You should change as much of your application as possible, especially if reapplying to schools. If they get the same package, they're going to see that you haven't changed much and assume that they got it right the first time. A higher LSAT score is probably the strongest way to change your application, but getting new LoRs and essays shows depth, and hopefully you can improve on the originals.

4) I don't have anything to add that others haven't already said (check the school's policy on multiple LSATs being the main one).

hobojarpen
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:31 am

Re: Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby hobojarpen » Wed Jun 01, 2011 4:57 pm

jdMission wrote:You ask some very interesting questions. Before signing up to retake the LSAT, you should take a step back and ask yourself whether you feel you can improve your LSAT score. If your ability to concentrate was diminished during the exam when you originally took it, or if you could have studied more effectively, you may be a candidate to retake the test.
With regard to when to apply, we recommend that you send your applications as early as possible to take advantage of rolling admissions. If you do decide to take the October LSAT, you should try and get your complete application to the admissions committee as soon as possible after that. Good luck to you!

Sunitha Ramaiah
Consultant jdMission



bp shinners wrote:1) Deferring to others as I'm biased. Though I would say that, if you've gone over all of the methods, etc... and feel comfortable with them, and your biggest issue is timing/pacing, a class would most likely be overkill. Unless that timing issue comes from not having great methods for everything.

2) If you don't let the schools know to wait for the October score, there could be. As soon as your application is complete, the school is ready to consider it. If they don't know you took October, they might just consider your two older scores. I would recommend getting everything ready to go and then waiting for the score to come out. Then, hit submit as soon as the score is reported to your account. It's functionally the same as having them wait for the LSAT score (as you won't be looked at until your file is complete, and it won't be complete until they get that score) without risking some miscommunication that has them consider you before the new score. That miscommunication is unlikely, but why risk it at all?

3) You should change as much of your application as possible, especially if reapplying to schools. If they get the same package, they're going to see that you haven't changed much and assume that they got it right the first time. A higher LSAT score is probably the strongest way to change your application, but getting new LoRs and essays shows depth, and hopefully you can improve on the originals.

4) I don't have anything to add that others haven't already said (check the school's policy on multiple LSATs being the main one).




Thanks for your responses and the information. Much appreciated. I think much of my improvement lies in locking down my timing/pacing, refining the subtleties of each section, and becoming more and more comfortable with my approaches to each section. I do not think I will be taking classes after all, and in fact, have gotten in touch with my close friend's tutor that helped him en route to his way to Columbia Law. I'm going to come up with a 3 month study plan to start in 2-3 weeks, and in the meanwhile, review my PowerScore bibles and continue my biweekly timed practice exams until then, and probably start brainstorming for new personal statement ideas as well.

hobojarpen
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:31 am

Re: Would highly appreciate thoughts/advice on my situation.

Postby hobojarpen » Sat Jun 11, 2011 5:00 am

bump!




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