Should I retake and take a year off?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:59 am

Hey everyone,

So my story is that I took the LSAT in Oct. and made a 166. For some reason I felt that I had a good shot at some T14 and T20 schools I wanted to get into so I didn't retake. I wish I had now since I did not get into any of the schools I REALLY wanted. I know it's my fault since I could have pretty accurately predicted that I would not be admitted with my 166. I still got into some T1 schools with half+ scholarships, just not exactly where I had envisioned/hoped I would be.

So here is my question; I graduate UG in May, should I take a year off, take in June and try and up my score to get into better schools? I was also thinking I may put down my first deposit at a choice I would be ok with/have a good scholarship at, and then withdraw if I get the score I feel strong with late June. I was got multiple 171s on PT before my 166 so I know I can do better, it's just a matter of maintaining my focus and controlling my nerves on test day.

Thoughts on this? And thanks for the input/advice in advance!

User avatar
mattviphky
Posts: 1117
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 6:43 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby mattviphky » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:05 am

This happened to me. I decided to retake last June, and I was going to make a decision on whether or not to take a year off based on how I did. So I paid the seat deposit, retook, and only improved marginally. I was so determined to do better, because I knew I could, that I decided to take a year off anyways, and studied hard for October. I hit a good score, and I'm now looking at a T25 with money. I've also been able to expand my resume a great deal, and I'm feeling totally refreshed and ready for law school. Take a year off.

User avatar
johansantana21
Posts: 855
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:11 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby johansantana21 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:06 am

useless without telling us GPA

User avatar
LWOP
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby LWOP » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:31 am

I debated this myself.. here is my line of thinking:

if I retake I may get a better score. Of course I would find the money and time to do a course, not just do it cold and self study like I did these two times. Thus, I would likely get into a higher ranked school. BUT... I would be out of college for a year and would suffer the data dumping and lack of focus that this breeds. Therefore, I would likely be set for failure at this higher ranked school. As such, I decided to move forward this cycle; see what I get offered, make a decision to attend and maybe.....MAYBE... transfer after 1L if I feel I need to.... just my thoughts. If I were to wait a year I would be set up for failure.

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:42 am

johansantana21 wrote:useless without telling us GPA


Sorry! Initially my LSDAS cum was 3.41 but by the end of this semester it will be in the mid 3.5s it looks like.

User avatar
FlanAl
Posts: 1474
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby FlanAl » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:49 am

for T-14 you're going to need at least a 168 (probably more like 170+). I think your idea of June and see how you do is a good one. Being able to apply early is also solid. Just make sure to do some volunteer work or something this semester and this summer so that you can add stuff to your Personal Statements when you re-apply.

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:44 am

Thanks, this was my thinking as well. I think with further study I can get my PT higher and hopefully it will reflect on my actual test. I think I would be happier going to a school I really want to than settle for my 2nd choice. I really just want to go to UTexas because I want to live/work in San Antonio or Austin. I know that's only kind of T14 but I think for my goals of likely staying in Texas, UT gives me a great opportunity for a good job here while giving some nat. recognition in case I do want to move about.

TooOld4This
Posts: 638
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:09 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby TooOld4This » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:55 am

LWOP wrote:I debated this myself.. here is my line of thinking:

if I retake I may get a better score. Of course I would find the money and time to do a course, not just do it cold and self study like I did these two times. Thus, I would likely get into a higher ranked school. BUT... I would be out of college for a year and would suffer the data dumping and lack of focus that this breeds. Therefore, I would likely be set for failure at this higher ranked school. As such, I decided to move forward this cycle; see what I get offered, make a decision to attend and maybe.....MAYBE... transfer after 1L if I feel I need to.... just my thoughts. If I were to wait a year I would be set up for failure.


Wow -- this seems to be a prime example of justifying the result you wanted to come to.

Retaking your LSAT is not just about getting into a higher ranked school, it is about lowering your debt. Unless you are talking about wide ranking differences, less debt is far more important.

Yes, retaking the LSAT requires dedication and hard work. If you don't want to do that, don't do it, but admit is is a choice and not a foregone conclusion. Also, being out of school for a year should not derail your ability to succeed. You don't forget how to study in one year. Further, it is not uncommon for K-JD people to be far more burned out than those who took some time off and are approaching coursework with enthusiasm (working full time for a couple of years can result in a new found appreciation for coursework).

Finally, you should not for even a second use the possibility of transferring to justify your decision.

Too many people are enamored with the idea of "getting on with their lives." The rush generally leads to a decade or more of stress trying to pay back an extra 5 or 6 figures worth of debt with a degree that doesn't give any edge in the job market.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:01 pm

Not enough information. Depends upon your other options. Will you incur debt for living expenses, the retake & other expenses during a year off ? Or will you be able to get a job or live rent-free at home while studying for a retake ? Which schools are you targeting with your 3.5/166 ? And to which law schools were you admitted with your current 3.4/166 ?

nonprofit-prophet
Posts: 844
Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:10 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:04 pm

hc08 wrote:Thanks, this was my thinking as well. I think with further study I can get my PT higher and hopefully it will reflect on my actual test. I think I would be happier going to a school I really want to than settle for my 2nd choice. I really just want to go to UTexas because I want to live/work in San Antonio or Austin. I know that's only kind of T14 but I think for my goals of likely staying in Texas, UT gives me a great opportunity for a good job here while giving some nat. recognition in case I do want to move about.


Honestly, the legal markets in Austin and SA are so small that even UT students at the top of their class have trouble landing spots in those cities. Ask yourself if you'd be happy working in Dallas or Houston. If the answer is yes, then UT is a good choice.

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:16 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Not enough information. Depends upon your other options. Will you incur debt for living expenses, the retake & other expenses during a year off ? Or will you be able to get a job or live rent-free at home while studying for a retake ? Which schools are you targeting with your 3.5/166 ? And to which law schools were you admitted with your current 3.4/166 ?


Well I'm going to be targeting UT after the retake if it goes well, so probably 169+, hopefully more ++. Otherwise, I'm already in at SMU, UH, Baylor as well as some other top 30 schools. I'd like to stay in Texas though, so those three are kind of what I'm mostly considering. I don't know my scholarship info at all of these schools yet, but have been getting half scholarships most places. I'm not only hoping to get into UT, but to set myself up for a more favorable debt situation after law school. And to answer your question, I'd be able to live with my parents so I wouldn't have considerable expenses for the year I'd be taking off.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:18 pm

Then retaking may be wise since you'll enjoy in-state tuition in your target market & T-14 placement & prestige.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15515
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:29 pm

I applied last year with a 3.5/166 but decided to retake and reapply. I don't regret it.

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:36 pm

Thanks for the input everyone. Tiago Splitter: Just looked at your LSN. Hope I can do what you did with your retake! Congrats!

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Feb 19, 2012 12:50 pm

Nevertheless, recommendations may change based on forthcoming scholarship offers since you are not solely targeting biglaw.

User avatar
kwais
Posts: 1683
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby kwais » Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:02 pm

LWOP wrote:I debated this myself.. here is my line of thinking:

if I retake I may get a better score. Of course I would find the money and time to do a course, not just do it cold and self study like I did these two times. Thus, I would likely get into a higher ranked school. BUT... I would be out of college for a year and would suffer the data dumping and lack of focus that this breeds. Therefore, I would likely be set for failure at this higher ranked school. As such, I decided to move forward this cycle; see what I get offered, make a decision to attend and maybe.....MAYBE... transfer after 1L if I feel I need to.... just my thoughts. If I were to wait a year I would be set up for failure.


very poor advice. this is a laziness and fear, not prudence. When you are reading for 4 classes, writing briefs and applying for 1L jobs, you will laugh at how easy it would've been to get serious about a retake. OP, steer clear of this line of thinking

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:47 pm

Yeah, I wasn't really worried about getting out of the school groove. I think some will depend on upcoming scholarships and the rest on the outcome of my June LSAT..

User avatar
LWOP
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:36 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby LWOP » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:50 pm

Thanks for your input. At least I was honest with the OP. Which is something that could easily be questioned with TLS posters... no one in particular here though.

That being said we are all different and in different places. Good luck to each. Hope LS goes well for all.

Tom

User avatar
Smumps
Posts: 332
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:37 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby Smumps » Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:51 pm

OP - you look like you'll probably end up with a GPA similar (or exact) to mine. I took the LSAT knowing that I wouldn't bother applying with anything less than 168. I did better than that, applied, and am happy with how things went (LSN in profile).

To the poster that said it's not about schools, it's about money -- STRONGLY disagree. With 3.5/17x, you cast your net as wide as possible and hope for some bites. Schools are notorious for being stingy about $$ to splitters (with exception of WUSTL/etc). Go to the best place you get into.

If you have questions about studying for the LSAT, I'm happy to be of service. Best of luck.

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:16 pm

Thanks!

User avatar
Mr. Somebody
Posts: 867
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:42 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby Mr. Somebody » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:57 pm

kwais wrote:
LWOP wrote:I debated this myself.. here is my line of thinking:

if I retake I may get a better score. Of course I would find the money and time to do a course, not just do it cold and self study like I did these two times. Thus, I would likely get into a higher ranked school. BUT... I would be out of college for a year and would suffer the data dumping and lack of focus that this breeds. Therefore, I would likely be set for failure at this higher ranked school. As such, I decided to move forward this cycle; see what I get offered, make a decision to attend and maybe.....MAYBE... transfer after 1L if I feel I need to.... just my thoughts. If I were to wait a year I would be set up for failure.


very poor advice. this is a laziness and fear, not prudence. When you are reading for 4 classes, writing briefs and applying for 1L jobs, you will laugh at how easy it would've been to get serious about a retake. OP, steer clear of this line of thinking


I'm not sure if that person was serious. If so, god help me since I've taken two years off.

And I believe K-JD's are in the minority for entering classes, at least for the T14.

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:22 pm

I was also wondering this - will it look really bad if I retake the LSAT in the summer after already paying a deposit somewhere? Or are there rules that forbid this? If I retake it will be after I've committed and I'll only take a year off if my LSAT jumps into the 170s and I feel I have a great chance at getting admitted at UT.

User avatar
cinephile
Posts: 3469
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:50 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby cinephile » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:10 pm

hc08 wrote:I was also wondering this - will it look really bad if I retake the LSAT in the summer after already paying a deposit somewhere? Or are there rules that forbid this? If I retake it will be after I've committed and I'll only take a year off if my LSAT jumps into the 170s and I feel I have a great chance at getting admitted at UT.


No rules that forbid it. People put deposits down all the time, then withdraw.

hc08
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby hc08 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:39 pm

^thanks, I thought this.

TLSwag
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:57 pm

Re: Should I retake and take a year off?

Postby TLSwag » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:37 pm

HC08 you are my twin! just posted this topic: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=179972 before seeing yours. Let's crush June!!




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Exabot [Bot], Windjammer and 7 guests