2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:43 pm

Killingly wrote:
descartesb4thehorse wrote:
Seriously. You have to tell the school what they already know but make it sound like you're telling them something new and enlightening. There's a bit of personality and new facets to your story that you can introduce, but it's so hard not to just write a marketing guide, especially if you don't know what extremely specific field you want to pursue yet.


Would it be generally alright to show some personality by adding a slight bit of humor to your WhyX essays? Or will adcomms just not be inclined to take you seriously? I don't intend to saturate my essays with jokes, but I do want to include a little wit.

Also, would it be more advisable to write a separate essay or can you just slip in a school-specific paragraph to your PS? I know the latter can seem a little tacky, but...


Can't help you without knowing specific examples. I think there could be a tiny window of a right way to do this and a large wall of a wrong way to do it. If you want to take a crack at it, try your best and send it to some TLSers who volunteer (myself included) via PM and we'll let you know if it's working or not.

As for the paragraph to the PS, I think that's more than adequate for something in your safety zone, maybe even your target if they don't specifically ask for a Why X. For your reaches, however, I'd definitely recommend the separate essay. You should everything you can to make that app polished.

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Killingly
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby Killingly » Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:50 pm

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
Killingly wrote:
descartesb4thehorse wrote:
Seriously. You have to tell the school what they already know but make it sound like you're telling them something new and enlightening. There's a bit of personality and new facets to your story that you can introduce, but it's so hard not to just write a marketing guide, especially if you don't know what extremely specific field you want to pursue yet.


Would it be generally alright to show some personality by adding a slight bit of humor to your WhyX essays? Or will adcomms just not be inclined to take you seriously? I don't intend to saturate my essays with jokes, but I do want to include a little wit.

Also, would it be more advisable to write a separate essay or can you just slip in a school-specific paragraph to your PS? I know the latter can seem a little tacky, but...


Can't help you without knowing specific examples. I think there could be a tiny window of a right way to do this and a large wall of a wrong way to do it. If you want to take a crack at it, try your best and send it to some TLSers who volunteer (myself included) via PM and we'll let you know if it's working or not.

As for the paragraph to the PS, I think that's more than adequate for something in your safety zone, maybe even your target if they don't specifically ask for a Why X. For your reaches, however, I'd definitely recommend the separate essay. You should everything you can to make that app polished.


Thanks for the info and the offer! I'll be sending you a PM whenever I decide to stop being lazy and finish my damn Why Penn essay.

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Bittner1989
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby Bittner1989 » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:46 am

GPA: 3.71
LSAT: 160

Took them with a Kaplan course in June, began to take a self-regimented Powerscore BIble Trilogy, Manhattan RC, and use the Kaplan PTs I printed out prior to the June LSAT

Reach (current LSAT): University of Washington
Reach (next LSAT): USC or Fordham
Solid School(s): Rutgers - Newark and Seton Hall
Safety: New York Law School

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:58 am

I have a question of my own for those of you with fresher LSAC experiences. (The teacher becomes the student!) Does anyone know roughly how long it took between sending your transcript and getting the LSAC confirmation email? I don't for one second trust my CC whose two classes I took as a HS student will get my LSAC GPA over a very unfortunate threshold that I didn't realize I was below when I applied this past year. (As an aside, besides it just helping me out, for those of you thinking of hiding any grades in your past, do not do it. Even though these 2 grades will help me and there's no reason why I didn't submit them last year except for blissful ignorance that they existed (since my current UG didn't count them, and they were way more like HS courses in my mind), it could have been seen as a failure to disclose on my part for C&F.)

Anyways, TL;DR: How long did you guys have between sending transcripts and receiving notification of their existence from LSAC? It's been ~2 weeks now so I'm a bit nervous, especially because of the 1-2 processing on top of everything else. Trying to figure out how long to wait before I go bug my CC about it.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:37 am

It took a little over a week and a half for the transcript to be sent from my university and be received and processed by LSAC.

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Pocahontas
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby Pocahontas » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:07 am

mmkitkat wrote:Just jumping on the bandwagon here...

LSAT: October 2011, diagnostic 165 but doing a lot of prep between now and then (hoping for 170+)
GPA: 3.86 (mostly upward trend, but last semester was my worst so far)
URM: black female
pretty average softs (community service, sorority and professional fraternity leadership)

Favorite Reaches: Yale, Stanford, Duke (probably ED)
Favorite Targets: Hastings, Pepperdine, Penn State
Safeties: I haven't found any yet. Go big or go home, I guess
PS: still working on it, about community service experiences

would it do me any good to write a DS? Honestly, I'm kind of what people would call an oreo (black on the outside, white on the inside)...


In regards to a DS, has identifying yourself as an "oreo" produced any particular hurdles for you? Is it you who thinks this or have you been labeled this by other members of the black community? What makes you an "oreo?" ... Is your family well off? Do you speak differently? Listen to different music? Dress differently? ... I'm curious.

I'm not asking these questions to spark up the "what is black or what is white" debate, although I have always found the "oreo" concept to be an interesting one, to say the least. I ask, because I too, am in a similar situation. Holding political views outside of black groupthink hasn't always made me a popular black woman where I'm from. "Oreo," "Sellout," "Uncle Tom," and "Aint Jamima" are hurtful and degrading labels used by members of our own community as a means of ostracizing what is different and uncommon. I plan to write about my experiences with this in my DS and discuss what I've done on my campus and in my community to try and bridge the gaps and promote more understanding, tolerance and inclusion.

I would suggest looking into the reasons why you felt compelled to express your oreoness in the same sentence when discussing diversity and channeling that into a DS. Most schools will likely know that you are a black female from your application. If you chose to write a DS and want it to stand out from the cookie-cutter ones, highlighting what makes you stand out in the black community is a great way of doing that. I have sat on the scholarship review board for my university's diversity scholarship for incoming freshman for the last two years. From those experiences, I've learned that applicants who even takes a half step over the "I'm black and grew up poor and this makes me a diverse candidate" threshold really stand out and adcoms see that them as very self-aware students.

Please don't feel compelled to write a DS just because you're black. Too many people fall into this trap when trying to capitalize on the URM boost (which I'm not accusing you of, btw) and have nothing enlightening to say, which makes their DS read as generic and empty. I don't know you and I don't know the reasoning behind why people would refer to you as an "oreo." I can say that if you find yourself with some interesting and controversial answers to those questions, a DS addressing them would make your application that much stronger. IMO

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Killingly
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby Killingly » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:12 am

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
Anyways, TL;DR: How long did you guys have between sending transcripts and receiving notification of their existence from LSAC? It's been ~2 weeks now so I'm a bit nervous, especially because of the 1-2 processing on top of everything else. Trying to figure out how long to wait before I go bug my CC about it.


I got an e-mail from LSAC five days after I had faxed a transcript request to my UG. Five days after that, it was processed. I would call your CC just to be safe!

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mmkitkat
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby mmkitkat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:43 pm

Pocahontas wrote:
In regards to a DS, has identifying yourself as an "oreo" produced any particular hurdles for you? Is it you who thinks this or have you been labeled this by other members of the black community? What makes you an "oreo?" ... Is your family well off? Do you speak differently? Listen to different music? Dress differently? ... I'm curious.

I'm not asking these questions to spark up the "what is black or what is white" debate, although I have always found the "oreo" concept to be an interesting one, to say the least. I ask, because I too, am in a similar situation. Holding political views outside of black groupthink hasn't always made me a popular black woman where I'm from. "Oreo," "Sellout," "Uncle Tom," and "Aint Jamima" are hurtful and degrading labels used by members of our own community as a means of ostracizing what is different and uncommon. I plan to write about my experiences with this in my DS and discuss what I've done on my campus and in my community to try and bridge the gaps and promote more understanding, tolerance and inclusion.

I would suggest looking into the reasons why you felt compelled to express your oreoness in the same sentence when discussing diversity and channeling that into a DS. Most schools will likely know that you are a black female from your application. If you chose to write a DS and want it to stand out from the cookie-cutter ones, highlighting what makes you stand out in the black community is a great way of doing that. I have sat on the scholarship review board for my university's diversity scholarship for incoming freshman for the last two years. From those experiences, I've learned that applicants who even takes a half step over the "I'm black and grew up poor and this makes me a diverse candidate" threshold really stand out and adcoms see that them as very self-aware students.

Please don't feel compelled to write a DS just because you're black. Too many people fall into this trap when trying to capitalize on the URM boost (which I'm not accusing you of, btw) and have nothing enlightening to say, which makes their DS read as generic and empty. I don't know you and I don't know the reasoning behind why people would refer to you as an "oreo." I can say that if you find yourself with some interesting and controversial answers to those questions, a DS addressing them would make your application that much stronger. IMO


Thanks for the response and just to clear things up, its both a self-identification and a common thing that's noticed by anyone and everyone who has any opinion of what black people "should" be like. I can't say that I've ever been particularly upset by being called this, because I very rarely care what other people think, especially race-wise. My family is solidly middle class, I'm from a suburb, I'm in a sorority, I dress very preppy, and I speak very intelligently (I hate slang and detest when people use poor English). I hate rap and R&B music and I know very few black people outside of my family. All of these things contribute to my frequent oreo labeling.

I think that perhaps speaking up about the way people see me and make first impressions about me based on my being black and being perpetually surprised by my intelligence and drive might make for an interesting DS. I definitely couldn't begin to touch on the "typical" black poor, possibly poor school system kind of DS because I know nothing about any of that. I think if I can get my PS to a really polished level and my LSAT studying goes well, I will go ahead and write a draft of the DS and ask for some TLS opinions on it. Thank you again for you opinion!

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outsidethescope
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby outsidethescope » Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:11 pm

mmkitkat wrote:
Thanks for the response and just to clear things up, its both a self-identification and a common thing that's noticed by anyone and everyone who has any opinion of what black people "should" be like. I can't say that I've ever been particularly upset by being called this, because I very rarely care what other people think, especially race-wise. My family is solidly middle class, I'm from a suburb, I'm in a sorority, I dress very preppy, and I speak very intelligently (I hate slang and detest when people use poor English). I hate rap and R&B music and I know very few black people outside of my family. All of these things contribute to my frequent oreo labeling.

I think that perhaps speaking up about the way people see me and make first impressions about me based on my being black and being perpetually surprised by my intelligence and drive might make for an interesting DS. I definitely couldn't begin to touch on the "typical" black poor, possibly poor school system kind of DS because I know nothing about any of that. I think if I can get my PS to a really polished level and my LSAT studying goes well, I will go ahead and write a draft of the DS and ask for some TLS opinions on it. Thank you again for you opinion!



This will make a powerful DS. You've got something here, and I hope it works for you. After all, diversity isn't about being "typical." Your experience gives you some insight that others aren't exposed to on a day to day basis, if at all.

(And, if I can step out on a limb, why [white]people express surprise that you don't fit with their image of "typical" blackness because you have a middle class background, intelligence and drive IS something I wish more people would discuss/recognize as problematic.)

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Pocahontas
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby Pocahontas » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:39 pm

outsidethescope wrote:
mmkitkat wrote:
Thanks for the response and just to clear things up, its both a self-identification and a common thing that's noticed by anyone and everyone who has any opinion of what black people "should" be like. I can't say that I've ever been particularly upset by being called this, because I very rarely care what other people think, especially race-wise. My family is solidly middle class, I'm from a suburb, I'm in a sorority, I dress very preppy, and I speak very intelligently (I hate slang and detest when people use poor English). I hate rap and R&B music and I know very few black people outside of my family. All of these things contribute to my frequent oreo labeling.

I think that perhaps speaking up about the way people see me and make first impressions about me based on my being black and being perpetually surprised by my intelligence and drive might make for an interesting DS. I definitely couldn't begin to touch on the "typical" black poor, possibly poor school system kind of DS because I know nothing about any of that. I think if I can get my PS to a really polished level and my LSAT studying goes well, I will go ahead and write a draft of the DS and ask for some TLS opinions on it. Thank you again for you opinion!



This will make a powerful DS. You've got something here, and I hope it works for you. After all, diversity isn't about being "typical." Your experience gives you some insight that others aren't exposed to on a day to day basis, if at all.

(And, if I can step out on a limb, why [white]people express surprise that you don't fit with their image of "typical" blackness because you have a middle class background, intelligence and drive IS something I wish more people would discuss/recognize as problematic.)


I couldn't agree more with the both of you! These discussions are avoided by everyone for a number of reasons, which is all the more reason your DS will be a powerful contribution to your overall application. I'm black and did, in fact, grow up very poor. However, there is so much more to me than that. Failing to discuss my other qualities and experience would simply perpetuate the very stereotypes I wish didn't exist in the first place. I applaud you for not wanting to do what is "typical" and take the generic "black and poor" route in order to score URM/diversity points. I detest it when I read about people doing this almost as much as you hate slang, though my tolerance for it is extremely low as well, lol.

I must admit, I'm happy to know there are other people out there that think about these things this way. Good luck with your DS, mmkitkat. I look forward to reading it when you feel comfortable enough to share it. I plan to do the same, so be on the lookout. Happy studying! :-)

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mmkitkat
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby mmkitkat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:08 pm

Pocahontas wrote:I couldn't agree more with the both of you! These discussions are avoided by everyone for a number of reasons, which is all the more reason your DS will be a powerful contribution to your overall application. I'm black and did, in fact, grow up very poor. However, there is so much more to me than that. Failing to discuss my other qualities and experience would simply perpetuate the very stereotypes I wish didn't exist in the first place. I applaud you for not wanting to do what is "typical" and take the generic "black and poor" route in order to score URM/diversity points. I detest it when I read about people doing this almost as much as you hate slang, though my tolerance for it is extremely low as well, lol.

I must admit, I'm happy to know there are other people out there that think about these things this way. Good luck with your DS, mmkitkat. I look forward to reading it when you feel comfortable enough to share it. I plan to do the same, so be on the lookout. Happy studying! :-)


:D I'm looking forward to reading yours as well, it's definitely nice to know you're not the only one thinking about these problems and feeling like this. Good luck writing and thank you for all the advice and perspective!

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emkay625
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby emkay625 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:01 am

Current Stats: 3.26/169
4 years WE: 2 in marketing for a major media corporation, 2 years in Teach For America

Favorite Reach: Texas!!!!!!
Favorite Target: WUSTL
Favorite Safety: University of Houston

Hoping for a 172 on a retake in October. Fingers crossed, knock on wood.

rebexness
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby rebexness » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:01 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

spek
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby spek » Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:14 pm

Is it just me or is writing a PS an extremely frustrating process?

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kulshan
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby kulshan » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:00 pm

spek wrote:Is it just me or is writing a PS an extremely frustrating process?


As you know, it's frustrating me! :(

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boo-boo
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby boo-boo » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:07 pm

spek wrote:Is it just me or is writing a PS an extremely frustrating process?


+1

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annyong
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby annyong » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:12 pm

I'll join the frustrating PS club. I just finished the first draft of my second topic idea for my PS, I semi-ditched the first and like this one better. I am taking hope in the fact that when I usually write essays, my process is getting everything on the paper and spending weeks tweaking it a million times, and it eventually turns into something I can be proud of - so I'm trying to keep that in mind.

rebexness
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby rebexness » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:47 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

spek
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby spek » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:43 pm

Glad I'm not the only one.

annyong, I've thought about scrapping my current PS topic but I've been working on it for a month now and I feel too emotionally invested in it. I also can't tell if my PS is genuinely uninteresting or if I've been thinking about it for so long that it just seems really boring to me. Trying to finish this current draft so I can do some more swapping and get some opinions on it.

rebexness
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby rebexness » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:48 pm

Last edited by rebexness on Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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annyong
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby annyong » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:53 pm

Yeah I scrapped it because while I felt the writing was fine and the topic was okay, I just didn't see anyone reading it and thinking anything special of it. I'm looking to finish the draft I'm on now and swap some too, see if this topic will get me anywhere closer...

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cmckid
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby cmckid » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:28 pm

Now that I've visited a lot of schools, I've got a better feel for what I want.

LSAT- 172 (have a job tutoring it, retaking in October)
GPA- 3.25

1st tier/ED: Chicago or Michigan
2nd tier: UVA, Penn, Gtown
3rd Tier/Scholarships: Vanderbilt, Wash U
Safety/Full Ride: UTk, William and Mary, Washington and Lee, BC

I loved Vandy though, and being from Nashville and wanting to practice there, I'd probably attend there over Gtown, and over UVA/Penn with a small scholly.

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Johnlj56
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby Johnlj56 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:53 pm

Cherry poster here...

LSAT: October (PTing 168 - 174)
LSAC GPA: 3.1
Favorite Reach School: UGA
Favorite Target School: FSU
Favorite Safety School: Mercer

PS: experiences from running my business -> practicing law

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annyong
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby annyong » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:49 pm

cmckid wrote:Now that I've visited a lot of schools, I've got a better feel for what I want.

LSAT- 172 (have a job tutoring it, retaking in October)
GPA- 3.25

1st tier/ED: Chicago or Michigan
2nd tier: UVA, Penn, Gtown
3rd Tier/Scholarships: Vanderbilt, Wash U
Safety/Full Ride: UTk, William and Mary, Washington and Lee, BC

I loved Vandy though, and being from Nashville and wanting to practice there, I'd probably attend there over Gtown, and over UVA/Penn with a small scholly.

You're retaking a 172 in October? Are you expecting a significant boost above that?

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aerogear
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Re: 2011-2012 Cycle Applicants!

Postby aerogear » Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:15 pm

cmckid wrote:Now that I've visited a lot of schools, I've got a better feel for what I want.

LSAT- 172 (have a job tutoring it, retaking in October)
GPA- 3.25

1st tier/ED: Chicago or Michigan
2nd tier: UVA, Penn, Gtown
3rd Tier/Scholarships: Vanderbilt, Wash U
Safety/Full Ride: UTk, William and Mary, Washington and Lee, BC

I loved Vandy though, and being from Nashville and wanting to practice there, I'd probably attend there over Gtown, and over UVA/Penn with a small scholly.


If you aren't making any gains in your LSAT, I suggest that you should OPT NOT to retake the exam in Oct.
IMO - You have great shots at GTOWN, UVA, and Mich.




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