General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 12:01 am

I've rea some really good information on this site for specific individuals' cases so I thought I would share my statistics and see what everyone thinks about my possibilities of LSAT score, and law schools.

1. I'm wondering if my grade from the community college I went to weigh as much as the credits from the private liberal arts college I received my undergraduate from. My first 53 credits I received were from a community college here in Salt Lake and my total cumulative GPA is a 3.25. Granted I went to class less than 50% of the time and got a C in an art class. With a B in that art class I would of had a 3.3 and with an A, a 3.36. The teacher graded on the finished product not the effort, which my effort was high. In the next two years following me finishing at the community college I completed 72 credits from a liberal arts college with a 3.61 GPA in Economics with an emphasis in pre-law. I was taking 16-18 credits in a regular semester there and the courses were much harder.

2. I bought the online Testmasters prep-course for the LSAT and took the initial diagnostic and got a 153, which was a raw score of 62. The breakdown of my test is as follows:
a. Logical Reasoning - 31/51. 60.8% correct
b. Logic Games - 16/23. 69.6% correct (I got 15/17 on 3 of the games. I got 1/6 on the other game, which I've pinpointed to be a "Pure Grouping Question," so I think I can fix that.
c. Reading Comprehension - 15/27. 55.6%

Basically I'm wondering what my chances are of scoring around a 165 on the actually LSAT, which I'm taking June 11th of this year. I've put in 40-50 hours of studying and am close to 1/4 of the way through the Testmasters course and haven't seen much progress in the logical reasoning or reading comprehension areas. This has made me discouraged. Is this normal? Should I not expect to improve much until further through the course? I have also noticed that most people usually do the best in logical reasoning and the worst in logic games. For some reason I am naturally good at the logic games but this worries me because I don't know if logical reasoning is as easy to improve in as logic games. Hypothetically if I get around a 165 what are my chances of getting into a school ranked 10-30? Thanks for any thoughts you have.
Last edited by Cree1987 on Sat May 12, 2012 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Nova » Sat May 12, 2012 5:33 am

Cree1987 wrote:
Basically I'm wondering what my chances are of scoring around a 165 on the actually LSAT, which I'm taking June 11th of this year. I've put in 40-50 hours of studying and am close to 1/4 of the way through the Testmasters course and haven't seen much progress in the logical reasoning or reading comprehension areas. This has made me discouraged. Is this normal?


You should not be taking the June LSAT. Obviously you have not maxed out your score and you will not be able to do that in 30 days. It is more than possible to improve your score to 165+ (I personally raised mine from 149 to 167). But that is just not enough time. The 40 hours you have already put in are nothing. You will end up taking it in June and then planning a retake in October no matter what score you get because you will not be able to master the material in a month. The LSAT is more importaint than your UG GPA. Treat it as such and give it the appropriate amount of time.

All the credits you have that are considered college credits will count toward your LSAC GPA.

mushybrain
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 2:08 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby mushybrain » Sat May 12, 2012 6:27 am

You've only taken the diagnostic so far?

You need more time. Reschedule for October and plan out your PTs so that you don't run out early. That score is absolutely achievable but if you haven't even gotten to PTs yet it isn't going to happen next month.

Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 9:21 am

Okay thanks for the advice. I'm not currently working or going to school for the next 4 weeks leading up to the LSAT so I'm confident I will be able to complete the prep course in its entirety along with 4 complete tests. I also think I will have time to do an extra supplemental test or two. I'm putting in at least 5 hours a day consistently so after 4 weeks that would be about another 135 hours. But I have till the 20th of this month to change the date to October and I think I will do so if you believe that 4 more tests and completing the prep course isn't enough. Basically I should be getting around 165s on the practice tests before I take the real one, correct?

mushybrain
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 2:08 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby mushybrain » Sat May 12, 2012 9:53 am

Yes, you can't expect a 165 on the real thing if you aren't testing there on recent-year PTs.

Four PTs is nowhere near enough. If you were already testing at your goal that might be enough to help with timing nerves but that really isn't going to cut it.

Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 10:42 am

Okay thanks a bunch for the information. I think I'm quite calm under test conditions and do pretty well, but being completely prepared to achieve the highest possible score sounds like the right thing to do. I just wish they had an August LSAT rather than having to wait 4 more months to take it. I don't want to wait that long it sounds so far away :) But by that time it seems completely feasible to take like 20 practice tests so I could get really good at it. I'm getting 100s consistently on the logic games homework with a good amount of time to spare so if I can get a perfect or -1 score on the real thing, a 73% ish on the other sections will get me to around a 165. So I think I can focus my time on the LR and RC sections. LR still confuses me a lot, on the last 200 questions I've done, I've got like 60% of them right. So I think that section will take a long time to get down. And in RC I'll get like 6/7 on a passage and then a subsequent passage will completely confuse me and I'll get like 3/7. Do you know if each prep course use different strategies? I'm thinking of getting the Powerscore LR bible so I can see it from a different view if indeed they use a different strategy.

On a different note I got a full-time job lined up that I will take on after I graduate June 2nd until I plan on going to law school in the Fall of 2013 if everything works out. Do you think that law schools like seeing a year+ of full-time work experience? Does it weigh any on admissions?

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15487
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat May 12, 2012 12:25 pm

Don't aim for a 165. Especially since it sounds like you already have logic games down. Aiming for a 165 means you are cool with missing huge numbers of questions in the LR and RC sections. With your GPA a 165 won't leave you with very nice options.

lawyerwannabe
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat May 12, 2012 12:37 pm

You should always aim for a 180. The key is to not beat yourself up when you don't get it. It is this mindset that will allow you to get the best possible score you can get and thus get into the best possible school you can get into.

By setting your goal at an arbitrary number that is lower than perfection, you start to relax when you get close to it or reach it. Only thing is, on test day, you will probably score a few points below your test average so even when you consistently reach "your goal" there is a strong chance you will not obtain it on test day (and that is all that matters). So shooting for a 180 always gives you more to strive for.

User avatar
Br3v
Posts: 4174
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:18 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Br3v » Sat May 12, 2012 12:41 pm

A lot of people hear initial in the 150's, including myself. Aiming for 170+ in June. Don't rush it, if you haven't been studying for the past 2 months I would suggest Oct

Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 1:15 pm

Thanks for the advice guys. I agree that shooting for 180 even though it is unlikely is a great mindset to have. My cumulative GPA that LSAC will calculate I've calculated to be a 3.45, which is disappointing because the community college was so easy that I went to but I never applied myself. My GPA trend is really good though, I got a 3.825 with 18 credits my last semester. If I retake that Art class that I received a C in and get an A it would boost it up to a 3.50. Do you think a marginal change in a GPA is worth doing or not? I figure that because my GPA will be below the schools' medians I want to get into that I will have to get above the median on the LSAT. So actually to go somewhere I want I think I need around a 170. But I'll still shoot for 180. :) Good to hear that fellow students that initially scored in the 150s on their diagnostic are having pretty good chances at getting in the 170s. And does anyone know if work experience at an entry level job for a corporate real estate company for a year or so will weigh anything on admissions?

Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 1:18 pm

And when do law schools start accepting applications? Do they look at an application submitted in September over October/November?

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15487
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat May 12, 2012 1:19 pm

Cree1987 wrote:Thanks for the advice guys. I agree that shooting for 180 even though it is unlikely is a great mindset to have. My cumulative GPA that LSAC will calculate I've calculated to be a 3.45, which is disappointing because the community college was so easy that I went to but I never applied myself. My GPA trend is really good though, I got a 3.825 with 18 credits my last semester. If I retake that Art class that I received a C in and get an A it would boost it up to a 3.50. Do you think a marginal change in a GPA is worth doing or not? I figure that because my GPA will be below the schools' medians I want to get into that I will have to get above the median on the LSAT. So actually to go somewhere I want I think I need around a 170. But I'll still shoot for 180. :) Good to hear that fellow students that initially scored in the 150s on their diagnostic are having pretty good chances at getting in the 170s. And does anyone know if work experience at an entry level job for a corporate real estate company for a year or so will weigh anything on admissions?


LSAC will count both the C and the A. Just take as many easy classes as you can to boost your GPA in any way possible. If you are just finishing junior year gun hard in your senior year and consider taking a year off to allow four years of grades to count towards your LSAC GPA.

lawyerwannabe
Posts: 945
Joined: Sun Aug 08, 2010 10:39 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat May 12, 2012 1:20 pm

Two things about your last post:

1) Pretty sure if you graduated your UG GPA is what it is.
2) Retaking a class does not erase the initial grade to LSAC. You will simply have two grades for the one class (e.g. your A and C would pretty much level out to two Bs so I doubt that it will raise your GPA .05)

I would just concentrate on the LSAT and get a good score. While I fell short of 170 by a little on the real deal, I started in the low 150s and had several practice tests 175+. It can be done with hard, consistent work.

Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 1:43 pm

Okay thanks guys. Since they count both of the grades, the GPA change would only be .01. And yes I'm graduating June 2nd so I don't have another year of grades.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15487
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat May 12, 2012 1:48 pm

Cree1987 wrote:Okay thanks guys. Since they count both of the grades, the GPA change would only be .01. And yes I'm graduating June 2nd so I don't have another year of grades.


Alright well it's not a big deal as you would have been shut out of HYS anyway. Get a good LSAT score and everywhere else is in play. Good luck.

83947368
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:16 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby 83947368 » Sat May 12, 2012 2:00 pm

.
Last edited by 83947368 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 2:10 pm

Thanks that all sounds good. I have a concern that I haven't really thought about. I got two F's in High School, I retook the classes at the community college I started at and got an A and C, they were both art classes. Will that be calculated into my overall cumulative from LSAC? If so I think my GPA drops to around a 3.2. I'm guessing I can write an addendum with a valid reason for not passing those classes but with that overall GPA is a top 30 school still in play?

American_in_China
Posts: 308
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:19 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby American_in_China » Sat May 12, 2012 2:36 pm

Cree1987 wrote:Thanks that all sounds good. I have a concern that I haven't really thought about. I got two F's in High School, I retook the classes at the community college I started at and got an A and C, they were both art classes. Will that be calculated into my overall cumulative from LSAC? If so I think my GPA drops to around a 3.2. I'm guessing I can write an addendum with a valid reason for not passing those classes but with that overall GPA is a top 30 school still in play?


Well I got off the waitlist at Chicago with a 3.25, so T6 is technically possible. My diagnostic was a 157, which really isn't substantially different from yours.
T30 is definitely possible. Above a 170 would almost certainly get you into Wash U. Just realize your options almost entirely hinge off of your LSAT now and do everything possible to max it.

Also, don't follow the previous poster's advice and just take 40 practice tests. Practice tests will not help you beyond a certain point, and are not the fastest way to improve. I don't know why people buy into that. I don't know what materials come with a TM course, but I teach for Kaplan and my improvement on my second test came from going through the LG and LR mastery books they have, doing them by question/game type. It's far more efficient in targeting weaknesses, spotting the patterns in the questions, and understanding the different approach needed for each game and question type.
Alternatively, Dave Hall's online course offers the exact same method but with a guide explaining the patterns and approaches. As I said in his thread, just the free stuff he offered on here probably saved me two points.

Cree1987
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri May 11, 2012 11:36 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby Cree1987 » Sat May 12, 2012 2:49 pm

That is encouraging to here about getting off the wait-list at University of Chicago with a 3.25. I think my overall GPA would be .06 off of that. I've heard that some law schools weigh the LSAT heavily. Do you know out of the top 30 schools which ones do so? It sounds like University of Washington does. I would say I've pretty much mastered LGs with not a whole lot of studying, consistently getting 100's, sometimes -1's. So I want to focus on the LR and RC sections, they still give a lot of trouble. As a LSAT prep course teacher what LR book/course/studying method would you recommend? And RC? Also, what was your actual LSAT score?

83947368
Posts: 323
Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:16 pm

Re: General Law School Advice. 153 initial diagnostic

Postby 83947368 » Sat May 12, 2012 9:08 pm

.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 3 guests