T-30 or Retake?

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cloudhidden
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T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:24 am

I know that the TLS consensus seems to be to retake the LSAT, when at all possible, to improve one's cycle, but I'm wondering how applying again next year with a third test on record might effect my chances. I have a 160 and 165, GPA over 3.7, and hope to at least crack T-30. A 170 would give me a shot at T-14, but would such a score be marginalized by the fact that it would be my third attempt? I have scored as high as 169 on PT and haven't taken a prep course. The problem I have with retaking the test involves the huge opportunity cost of another year away from school (eventually equating to one less year without a well-paying job). However, I could attempt to establish residency in the state where I decide I want to attend and if it's really, really in my advantage to retake, I might strongly consider doing so. I want to keep my options for biglaw open. T-30 seems to necessitate top 15% in class, and while that's certainly possible, I can't rely on that for certain.

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catwomangirl
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby catwomangirl » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:47 am

I think it might be in your best interests to retake for two reasons, however, before I get into either of those, there is something you should do.

Since you obviously already know how to take the lsat, I recommend a tutor. I got a 166 the first time, got an expensive tutor, saw them for two hours total, and my practice average shifted to 174. Tutor may sound like they have high hourly rates, but there is no reason for you to sit through a general course, which will ultimately cost more.

If you retake and get a higher score, establishing residency in whichever state you choose, two things happen. Your tuition goes down because of residency, and you are eligible for significantly more scholarships.

I know you're worried about opportunity cost, but a higher score + in-state tuition + scholarships could more than compensate.

Best of luck!

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cloudhidden
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:00 am

catwomangirl wrote:I think it might be in your best interests to retake for two reasons, however, before I get into either of those, there is something you should do.

Since you obviously already know how to take the lsat, I recommend a tutor. I got a 166 the first time, got an expensive tutor, saw them for two hours total, and my practice average shifted to 174. Tutor may sound like they have high hourly rates, but there is no reason for you to sit through a general course, which will ultimately cost more.

If you retake and get a higher score, establishing residency in whichever state you choose, two things happen. Your tuition goes down because of residency, and you are eligible for significantly more scholarships.

I know you're worried about opportunity cost, but a higher score + in-state tuition + scholarships could more than compensate.

Best of luck!


Thanks for the advice! I studied with the Powerscore Bibles and found them helpful, but wasn't sure whether a class could provide additional insight. My difficulties with the test were more pacing related, especially on LG. I never considered a tutor before, but will now (depending on just how expensive). How did you find your tutor? Also, did you write an addendum to explain your score increase? I am wondering whether continued press about the legal market will make next year's cycle even more favorable, and whether (fingers crossed) moderate growth in the economy will make OCI in three years down the road instead of two also a better option.

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catwomangirl
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby catwomangirl » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:21 am

cloudhidden wrote:
catwomangirl wrote:I think it might be in your best interests to retake for two reasons, however, before I get into either of those, there is something you should do.

Since you obviously already know how to take the lsat, I recommend a tutor. I got a 166 the first time, got an expensive tutor, saw them for two hours total, and my practice average shifted to 174. Tutor may sound like they have high hourly rates, but there is no reason for you to sit through a general course, which will ultimately cost more.

If you retake and get a higher score, establishing residency in whichever state you choose, two things happen. Your tuition goes down because of residency, and you are eligible for significantly more scholarships.

I know you're worried about opportunity cost, but a higher score + in-state tuition + scholarships could more than compensate.

Best of luck!


Thanks for the advice! I studied with the Powerscore Bibles and found them helpful, but wasn't sure whether a class could provide additional insight. My difficulties with the test were more pacing related, especially on LG. I never considered a tutor before, but will now (depending on just how expensive). How did you find your tutor? Also, did you write an addendum to explain your score increase? I am wondering whether continued press about the legal market will make next year's cycle even more favorable, and whether (fingers crossed) moderate growth in the economy will make OCI in three years down the road instead of two also a better option.



My issue was with LG as well! You're lucky, in the sense that its the easiest section to improve your score on.
I found my tutor through a friend, but you could probably give a shoutout on TLS to find one in the area where you live. It can be very pricey. However, if paying several hundred bucks increases your scholarship offers by tens of thousands, it will be worth it.

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catwomangirl
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby catwomangirl » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:23 am

Oh and I did write a short 5 sentence addendum.

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cloudhidden
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:34 am

I think I will wait until my cycle plays out. If I can't get into a reach or get the scholarship I require, retaking will then become my preferred option. Tough decision as I am already going on my second year out of school and have outside pressure to attend ASAP.
And I hope the fact of a third test wouldn't compromise my chances, with an otherwise (hopefully) exemplary score.

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soitgoes9
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby soitgoes9 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:26 pm

Not to hijack form the op but I am having similar thoughts. Berkeley is my first choice, if I don't get in this time with 164 3.7x and strong softs, what LSAT would I need on the retake.

Also I am another member of the bad at logic games club.

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cloudhidden
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:14 pm

soitgoes9 wrote:Not to hijack form the op but I am having similar thoughts. Berkeley is my first choice, if I don't get in this time with 164 3.7x and strong softs, what LSAT would I need on the retake.

Also I am another member of the bad at logic games club.


I recommend that you look at LSN. B was my top choice coming into the cycle but I decided not to apply because I'm not a URM and don't have any extraordinary softs to compensate for an LSAT score a few points below their median. B has been known to favor high GPA's though. I'd say with a 168 you have a very decent shot with strong softs.

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soitgoes9
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby soitgoes9 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 4:34 pm

Looking at LSN i decided to role the dice; but it may/probably be retake and reapply for me.

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cloudhidden
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:28 pm

You will want to at least score 4 points higher the next time as they claim that they average scores unless the scores are outside a standard deviation from one another, and I believe for LSAT purposes that means 3 points. Some other schools consider a five point improvement significant enough.

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JDizzle2015
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:16 pm

cloudhidden wrote:You will want to at least score 4 points higher the next time as they claim that they average scores unless the scores are outside a standard deviation from one another, and I believe for LSAT purposes that means 3 points. Some other schools consider a five point improvement significant enough.

I'm a mid160s-->170, didn't write an LSAT addendum because all I did was study more and, imo, my cycle has played out as if I got my 170 the first time around. YMMV.

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SilverE2
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby SilverE2 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:06 am

cloudhidden wrote:You will want to at least score 4 points higher the next time as they claim that they average scores unless the scores are outside a standard deviation from one another, and I believe for LSAT purposes that means 3 points. Some other schools consider a five point improvement significant enough.


I scored one point higher and it made a big difference in my cycle. Almost no school averages scores these days. A few claim they do (NYU I think says they do) but I don't believe it, especially with the number of applicants dropping. As long as you can score higher, even one point, it's worth it.

Real Madrid
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby Real Madrid » Sun Jan 01, 2012 10:54 am

soitgoes9 wrote:Not to hijack form the op but I am having similar thoughts. Berkeley is my first choice, if I don't get in this time with 164 3.7x and strong softs, what LSAT would I need on the retake.

Also I am another member of the bad at logic games club.


There's really no guaranteed numbers combination that can get you into Boalt - people with LSATs and GPAs well above both 75th percentiles regularly get denied, whereas sometimes non-URMs below both medians make it in. They are known to particularly value your personal statement, though, so do your best on the LSAT, but don't assume all hope is lost if you don't do above their median.

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MG95
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby MG95 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:50 pm

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Last edited by MG95 on Mon Aug 17, 2015 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cloudhidden
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:14 pm

M_n_M wrote:If you have the energy and a plan, then retake. If not, top 30 with money won't kill you.


Yes, but don't you need T-14 numbers to get a substantial scholarship at a top 30?

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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby fakehunter » Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:36 pm

cloudhidden wrote:
M_n_M wrote:If you have the energy and a plan, then retake. If not, top 30 with money won't kill you.


Yes, but don't you need T-14 numbers to get a substantial scholarship at a top 30?


I don't really have top 14 numbers (I did the borderline numbers interview for Georgetown) but I got a good scholarship offer at UCLA and a very good offer at Fordham, so it's definitely possible.

joshceo
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby joshceo » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:02 pm

A 164 and 3.87 from my mediocre undergrad institution got me 10k yearly at UIUC this cycle, and I am not URM. I also have a terrible C&F situation (i.e. 10x more serious than the DUI's and petty speeding tickets many TLS members are anxious about), and still got offered partial tuition at UIUC. I'm in-state though, but I doubt that helped me much. Play out the cycle and at least see what offers you get. If you spread your apps, you never know what T30 will offer you, and a 165 is strong enough to contend at T20, possibly T14 with limited or no scholly, despite what the 170+ people want you to believe. However, I was PT'ing at 173, and I'm in the same boat as you considering a retake. LG got the best of me on October's LSAT, but I'd really like to attend this cycle. I found ScenarioSolver to be very helpful for LG, I just didn't have enough time to prep before my LSAT date.

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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby soitgoes9 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:26 am

If you were PTing that high I would def retake.

I never got a PT over 167 but it was only games that would hold me back -6/7 at best.

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cloudhidden
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Mon Jan 02, 2012 2:25 pm

joshceo wrote:A 164 and 3.87 from my mediocre undergrad institution got me 10k yearly at UIUC this cycle, and I am not URM. I also have a terrible C&F situation (i.e. 10x more serious than the DUI's and petty speeding tickets many TLS members are anxious about), and still got offered partial tuition at UIUC. I'm in-state though, but I doubt that helped me much. Play out the cycle and at least see what offers you get. If you spread your apps, you never know what T30 will offer you, and a 165 is strong enough to contend at T20, possibly T14 with limited or no scholly, despite what the 170+ people want you to believe. However, I was PT'ing at 173, and I'm in the same boat as you considering a retake. LG got the best of me on October's LSAT, but I'd really like to attend this cycle. I found ScenarioSolver to be very helpful for LG, I just didn't have enough time to prep before my LSAT date.


Did you use LG Bible as well, or just Scenario Solver?

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soitgoes9
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby soitgoes9 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:08 pm

Even still you said you did not prep as much as you should have...

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BeerMaker
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby BeerMaker » Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:01 am

cloudhidden wrote:I know that the TLS consensus seems to be to retake the LSAT, when at all possible, to improve one's cycle, but I'm wondering how applying again next year with a third test on record might effect my chances. I have a 160 and 165, GPA over 3.7, and hope to at least crack T-30. A 170 would give me a shot at T-14, but would such a score be marginalized by the fact that it would be my third attempt? I have scored as high as 169 on PT and haven't taken a prep course. The problem I have with retaking the test involves the huge opportunity cost of another year away from school (eventually equating to one less year without a well-paying job). However, I could attempt to establish residency in the state where I decide I want to attend and if it's really, really in my advantage to retake, I might strongly consider doing so. I want to keep my options for biglaw open. T-30 seems to necessitate top 15% in class, and while that's certainly possible, I can't rely on that for certain.


Schools outside of the top 3 couldn't care less about multiple LSAT's. If they do, they're hypocrites because they openly state that they look to the highest. If schools wanted to worry about multiple scores, they already shot themselves in the foot. I would wager that a large number of students at most T14's have multiple scores. It's just the norm now. Four years ago, this would have killed you. Now you're in the same boat as everybody else.

That said. Screw T30. Go T14. Have the confidence that you can get a good score and bust your ass until you're averaging a 175.

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cloudhidden
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby cloudhidden » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:42 pm

BeerMaker wrote:
cloudhidden wrote:I know that the TLS consensus seems to be to retake the LSAT, when at all possible, to improve one's cycle, but I'm wondering how applying again next year with a third test on record might effect my chances. I have a 160 and 165, GPA over 3.7, and hope to at least crack T-30. A 170 would give me a shot at T-14, but would such a score be marginalized by the fact that it would be my third attempt? I have scored as high as 169 on PT and haven't taken a prep course. The problem I have with retaking the test involves the huge opportunity cost of another year away from school (eventually equating to one less year without a well-paying job). However, I could attempt to establish residency in the state where I decide I want to attend and if it's really, really in my advantage to retake, I might strongly consider doing so. I want to keep my options for biglaw open. T-30 seems to necessitate top 15% in class, and while that's certainly possible, I can't rely on that for certain.


Schools outside of the top 3 couldn't care less about multiple LSAT's. If they do, they're hypocrites because they openly state that they look to the highest. If schools wanted to worry about multiple scores, they already shot themselves in the foot. I would wager that a large number of students at most T14's have multiple scores. It's just the norm now. Four years ago, this would have killed you. Now you're in the same boat as everybody else.

That said. Screw T30. Go T14. Have the confidence that you can get a good score and bust your ass until you're averaging a 175.


Any positive or negative impact on "softs" for taking an additional year off before law school? I'm mostly wondering how schools would view employment (I have already had some time in between). Do schools have this impression: PT or FT legal-related> FT office-related> FT other> PT other, with something fairly unique as a wild card? Just wondering if there are substantial (and realistic) ways an applicant might enhance their chances beyond an improved LSAT score, or if holding off a year with nothing lined up might detrimentally impact admissions or OCI.

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soitgoes9
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby soitgoes9 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 7:22 pm

Most of the value in legal employment is for your knowledge of what you are getting into. My understanding is the schools want to see you doing interesting, changing work. However, WE is only a soft and so it is only affecting things a bit.

joshceo
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby joshceo » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:54 pm

cloudhidden wrote:
joshceo wrote:A 164 and 3.87 from my mediocre undergrad institution got me 10k yearly at UIUC this cycle, and I am not URM. I also have a terrible C&F situation (i.e. 10x more serious than the DUI's and petty speeding tickets many TLS members are anxious about), and still got offered partial tuition at UIUC. I'm in-state though, but I doubt that helped me much. Play out the cycle and at least see what offers you get. If you spread your apps, you never know what T30 will offer you, and a 165 is strong enough to contend at T20, possibly T14 with limited or no scholly, despite what the 170+ people want you to believe. However, I was PT'ing at 173, and I'm in the same boat as you considering a retake. LG got the best of me on October's LSAT, but I'd really like to attend this cycle. I found ScenarioSolver to be very helpful for LG, I just didn't have enough time to prep before my LSAT date.


Did you use LG Bible as well, or just Scenario Solver?



I used both extensively, but I simply didn't have enough time to master LG. Scoring -2 or better on LR and RC came naturally after minimal studying, but LG was a monster for me. LG was finally falling into place during my last couple weeks of studying, but I am sure that a few more weeks would have solidified my LG performance. My RC performance fluctuated on the most recent preptests, so ideally I would have spent another month on LG and RC (80% of my time on LG, and 20% on RC). It's frustrating to know you can score higher, but that's the case with everyone. It's a test that is easily mastered. However, the timeline for mastering it varies WIDELY with each individual, and it can be difficult to decide if you should lose a cycle and retake.

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pkrtbx
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Re: T-30 or Retake?

Postby pkrtbx » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:50 pm

If you are scoring comfortably in the mid-160s I don't think a class would do much for you, but with a good tutor and some dedication I'm sure you could hit 170.

you have my stamp of approval for this retake




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