The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:19 pm

I'm interested in this question myself but am sure there are many others facing the same dilemma.

I was PT'ing int he low 170's and hit a 169 on the real thing this October. IMO this is an awful score because it is close enough to not retake but low enough to retake. Everybody says there is a tremendous gain once you break the 170 mark, but is it worth waiting a full cycle if not planning on HYS anyway?

My split for example is a 169/3.6. I'm guessing I should have a decent shot at my regionals USC/UCLA and at a few t-14s. In my shoes, what would you guys do? I already have a full year of WE and am really wanting to apply this cycle. Applying after a retake would be too late for this cycle, so I would be looking at next year if I wanted to bump my score.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby wert3813 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:54 pm

.
Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:55 pm

wert3813 wrote:
megagnarley wrote:I'm interested in this question myself but am sure there are many others facing the same dilemma.

I was PT'ing int he low 170's and hit a 169 on the real thing this October. IMO this is an awful score because it is close enough to not retake but low enough to retake. Everybody says there is a tremendous gain once you break the 170 mark, but is it worth waiting a full cycle if not planning on HYS anyway?

My split for example is a 169/3.6. I'm guessing I should have a decent shot at my regionals USC/UCLA and at a few t-14s. In my shoes, what would you guys do? I already have a full year of WE and am really wanting to apply this cycle. Applying after a retake would be too late for this cycle, so I would be looking at next year if I wanted to bump my score.


You gonna be able to study your ass off the next 4 weeks???


If need be, yes.

User avatar
justonemoregame
Posts: 1160
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:51 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby justonemoregame » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:00 pm

You could go ahead and apply this round - maybe shorten your list to just a handful of places you would seriously consider attending. See how the financial aid shakes out, and if you're not happy at the end of the day, you could hold off. I know you may not want to drop the $ on app fees, but maybe you can get waivers with those numbers.

One thing though, with a 3.6, a 170 may not change the picture too much - I know from experience. Cornell or Michigan may be just as good to you as UVA, and UCLA/USC may not bump your aid package since you're already above median.

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:18 pm

justonemoregame wrote:You could go ahead and apply this round - maybe shorten your list to just a handful of places you would seriously consider attending. See how the financial aid shakes out, and if you're not happy at the end of the day, you could hold off. I know you may not want to drop the $ on app fees, but maybe you can get waivers with those numbers.

One thing though, with a 3.6, a 170 may not change the picture too much - I know from experience. Cornell or Michigan may be just as good to you as UVA, and UCLA/USC may not bump your aid package since you're already above median.


Very helpful. Thanks for your input.

I guess at the end of the day it may be a matter of whether or not the value of CCN or other top 10's is worth waiting an extra year since there is pretty much no shot with a 169.

In any case, didn't mean to turn this into a selfish "what are my chances thread." Just wondering how others would view taking an extra year and trying again as opposed to applying with such borderline numbers.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby wert3813 » Sat Nov 03, 2012 6:02 pm

.
Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:44 pm

wert3813 wrote:
megagnarley wrote:
justonemoregame wrote:You could go ahead and apply this round - maybe shorten your list to just a handful of places you would seriously consider attending. See how the financial aid shakes out, and if you're not happy at the end of the day, you could hold off. I know you may not want to drop the $ on app fees, but maybe you can get waivers with those numbers.

One thing though, with a 3.6, a 170 may not change the picture too much - I know from experience. Cornell or Michigan may be just as good to you as UVA, and UCLA/USC may not bump your aid package since you're already above median.


Very helpful. Thanks for your input.

I guess at the end of the day it may be a matter of whether or not the value of CCN or other top 10's is worth waiting an extra year since there is pretty much no shot with a 169.

In any case, didn't mean to turn this into a selfish "what are my chances thread." Just wondering how others would view taking an extra year and trying again as opposed to applying with such borderline numbers.


I say study your ass off for the next four weeks and see if you can pull a 173-175. I can't hurt.


Well yes, it can. It means I'd have to wait another year. No way do you submit in Jan...too late in the cycle.

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15464
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:16 am

megagnarley wrote:Well yes, it can. It means I'd have to wait another year. No way do you submit in Jan...too late in the cycle.

You'll do really well if you submit in January with a 173-175. And if things don't go well you can always apply again next year.

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:23 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
megagnarley wrote:Well yes, it can. It means I'd have to wait another year. No way do you submit in Jan...too late in the cycle.

You'll do really well if you submit in January with a 173-175. And if things don't go well you can always apply again next year.


Assuming worst case scenario though and I only hit a 171...I'd think a 169 in Oct is better than a 171 retake in Jan. Worth the risk if applying this cycle is highly preferred?

User avatar
HawkeyeGirl
Posts: 459
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 9:13 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby HawkeyeGirl » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:00 am

I'm in nearly the same boat as you... 3.67 and 169. I decided to go for it and retake in December, though submit my apps in the next week or so. I think schools can tell that you're signed up for December and a new score is coming, right?

badaboom61
Posts: 404
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:36 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby badaboom61 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:06 am

Retake, absolutely. I had a 169 and ended up getting in to CCN on a small scholarship, but I really regret not retaking because I would be 30 to 90 thousand dollars less in debt in 2 years if I had bumped up my score on that stupid test by just another point or two. The cash value of a single point increase on the LSAT (which is really just a statistical error anyway) is tens of thousands of dollars.

That said, to apply now or later when admission, rather than scholarship, is forefront on your mind? I would go ahead and apply. Retake in December, see what happens, then plan on retaking in Feb as well to try to boost the number up for scholarship points and get-of-the-waitlist points.

User avatar
wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby wert3813 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:49 am

.
Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 12:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
cahwc12
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:49 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:08 am

megagnarley wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
megagnarley wrote:Well yes, it can. It means I'd have to wait another year. No way do you submit in Jan...too late in the cycle.

You'll do really well if you submit in January with a 173-175. And if things don't go well you can always apply again next year.


Assuming worst case scenario though and I only hit a 171...I'd think a 169 in Oct is better than a 171 retake in Jan. Worth the risk if applying this cycle is highly preferred?



I just want to give you fair warning. I scored 168 in June, which was well below my PT average, and felt that while it was what I earned, it was not reflective of my prep. I studied hard for another few months for October, never dipped below 170, averaging 174. I felt great and would have bet my life that I broke 170 and probably 173 only to receive a 166. 166 is the worst score I've ever had on a PT since I started prepping in January.

Don't feel like you're immune to a lower score, as improbable as it may seem. But if you do feel it's not reflective of your ability, I encourage you to retake all the same.

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:59 am

wert3813 wrote:
megagnarley wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
megagnarley wrote:Well yes, it can. It means I'd have to wait another year. No way do you submit in Jan...too late in the cycle.

You'll do really well if you submit in January with a 173-175. And if things don't go well you can always apply again next year.


Assuming worst case scenario though and I only hit a 171...I'd think a 169 in Oct is better than a 171 retake in Jan. Worth the risk if applying this cycle is highly preferred?


I also disagree with this. Two LSAT points are more important that 2 months.


You may be right but what are you basing this on? I've consistently heard otherwise.

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:01 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
megagnarley wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
megagnarley wrote:Well yes, it can. It means I'd have to wait another year. No way do you submit in Jan...too late in the cycle.

You'll do really well if you submit in January with a 173-175. And if things don't go well you can always apply again next year.


Assuming worst case scenario though and I only hit a 171...I'd think a 169 in Oct is better than a 171 retake in Jan. Worth the risk if applying this cycle is highly preferred?



I just want to give you fair warning. I scored 168 in June, which was well below my PT average, and felt that while it was what I earned, it was not reflective of my prep. I studied hard for another few months for October, never dipped below 170, averaging 174. I felt great and would have bet my life that I broke 170 and probably 173 only to receive a 166. 166 is the worst score I've ever had on a PT since I started prepping in January.

Don't feel like you're immune to a lower score, as improbable as it may seem. But if you do feel it's not reflective of your ability, I encourage you to retake all the same.


I'm guessing you've researched schools' view on a score drop. Any info to share regarding this?

User avatar
2014
Posts: 5831
Joined: Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:53 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby 2014 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:04 pm

I don't think I've ever heard anyone on this site advocate applying early vs retaking. The answer is ALWAYS to retake if the option is available and you feel like you left points on the table.

170+s are exceedingly rare and schools need them to maintain medians. Retake and evaluate your options in January and if you have to wait a year because you think it's too late and a waste of money then so be it. Law school will still be there. Getting stuck at UCLA at sticker when you could be at a T13 with money would reduce your chances of success by a ton.

User avatar
thelawyler
Posts: 902
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:00 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby thelawyler » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:29 pm

2014 wrote:I don't think I've ever heard anyone on this site advocate applying early vs retaking. The answer is ALWAYS to retake if the option is available and you feel like you left points on the table.

170+s are exceedingly rare and schools need them to maintain medians. Retake and evaluate your options in January and if you have to wait a year because you think it's too late and a waste of money then so be it. Law school will still be there. Getting stuck at UCLA at sticker when you could be at a T13 with money would reduce your chances of success by a ton.


I retook at 169 and it was the best decision of my life. You've got nothing to lose man.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby JamMasterJ » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:33 pm

megagnarley wrote:
wert3813 wrote:
megagnarley wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:You'll do really well if you submit in January with a 173-175. And if things don't go well you can always apply again next year.


Assuming worst case scenario though and I only hit a 171...I'd think a 169 in Oct is better than a 171 retake in Jan. Worth the risk if applying this cycle is highly preferred?


I also disagree with this. Two LSAT points are more important that 2 months.


You may be right but what are you basing this on? I've consistently heard otherwise.

I have read it mentioned by at least one admissions dean (not sure which one it was, but it was from a T1 or T14 school). Also, given the decrease in applicants, it seems like schools are sitting a little longer on more people. In past cycles, they didn't make moves as late, but this past year a ton of T14s were using the WL deep into the summer.

talkingaboutpractice
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:48 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby talkingaboutpractice » Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:40 pm

Well yes, it can. It means I'd have to wait another year. No way do you submit in Jan...too late in the cycle.[/quote]

I'm curious about this...is January really worse if you knew you could squeeze out an extra two points to a 171?

What about applying now and letting schools know that you are re-taking in December (or even asking them to hold off on deciding)? Would that be any better than applying Jan 1?

User avatar
Renne Walker
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:12 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby Renne Walker » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:01 pm

Apply to 11 of the T-14. . . .it should work out to your liking. 169 is fine.

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:11 pm

thelawyler wrote:
2014 wrote:I don't think I've ever heard anyone on this site advocate applying early vs retaking. The answer is ALWAYS to retake if the option is available and you feel like you left points on the table.

170+s are exceedingly rare and schools need them to maintain medians. Retake and evaluate your options in January and if you have to wait a year because you think it's too late and a waste of money then so be it. Law school will still be there. Getting stuck at UCLA at sticker when you could be at a T13 with money would reduce your chances of success by a ton.


I retook at 169 and it was the best decision of my life. You've got nothing to lose man.


Did you apply and wait another cycle? If this was a a June retake it seems like a no brainer but the thought of having to push it back a year deepens the opportunity cost...

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15464
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:15 pm

Renne Walker wrote:Apply to 11 of the T-14. . . .it should work out to your liking. 169 is fine

But seriously...

RETAKE! There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain. A 3.6 might keep you out of HYS, but a 175 could get you a half ride at Columbia and even a 172 gives you a shot everywhere short of HYS. Sneaking into the T-14 at sticker is all you can do right now, and that can be easily improved upon with one solid month of studying. Two years ago when there was still an overabundance of applicants applying early mattered, but that is no longer the case.

User avatar
cahwc12
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:49 pm

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:18 pm

megagnarley wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:I just want to give you fair warning. I scored 168 in June, which was well below my PT average, and felt that while it was what I earned, it was not reflective of my prep. I studied hard for another few months for October, never dipped below 170, averaging 174. I felt great and would have bet my life that I broke 170 and probably 173 only to receive a 166. 166 is the worst score I've ever had on a PT since I started prepping in January.

Don't feel like you're immune to a lower score, as improbable as it may seem. But if you do feel it's not reflective of your ability, I encourage you to retake all the same.


I'm guessing you've researched schools' view on a score drop. Any info to share regarding this?


Unless it's catastrophic it won't matter. Don't use a fear of score drop as a reason not to retake, but just understand that you may not score higher, in spite of all your preparation.

Although I didn't believe I'd ever get a lower score or even the same score, I did do school research and prepare apps with only my 168 that way if something did happen I wouldn't have to research everything else again. At the end of the day I'm okay with my score, but there's a very good chance I'll retake for next cycle.

Just don't be the guy who says "worst case scenario 2 point increase."

User avatar
megagnarley
Posts: 497
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2012 1:58 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby megagnarley » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:19 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:Apply to 11 of the T-14. . . .it should work out to your liking. 169 is fine

But seriously...

RETAKE! There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain. A 3.6 might keep you out of HYS, but a 175 could get you a half ride at Columbia and even a 172 gives you a shot everywhere short of HYS. Sneaking into the T-14 at sticker is all you can do right now, and that can be easily improved upon with one solid month of studying. Two years ago when there was still an overabundance of applicants applying early mattered, but that is no longer the case.


Alright. Think I'm going to trust you on this one. Thanks for pushing the point.

One question though. If for some reason I retake and get the same, is it still worth applying this same cycle?

User avatar
Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15464
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: The most painful score: 169. Retake or let it ride?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:27 pm

megagnarley wrote:One question though. If for some reason I retake and get the same, is it still worth applying this same cycle?

I think so. Like I said before, you can always re-apply if things really go poorly. As it stands a 169 is a good score that will almost certainly get you some T-14 acceptances regardless of when you apply.

If you aren't thrilled with your December score you can also consider a June retake to get off of waitlists and/or increase scholarship leverage.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests