Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

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digifly
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Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby digifly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:12 pm

Also, do schools pay attention to the "curve" of the LSAT you took?

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RSterling
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby RSterling » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:19 pm

Schools pay zero attention to the curve. The point of the curve is to make sure all tests are considered equally difficult. A 170 in June 2008 means the same as a 170 in October 2012.

TLS is absolutely neurotic. But people are aware of what a high LSAT score can get you, so that's what they strive for. A 170 is in the 97th percentile, so it's objectively a phenomenal score compared to everyone else taking the test. Most people I know who have taken the LSAT not on TLS consider a 160+ to be a great score. Asking if a 170 is a bad score is like asking if a 1500 on the SAT is a bad score.

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moonman157
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby moonman157 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:21 pm

A 170 is an absolutely fantastic score. The problem is, ITE, you need absolutely fantastic stats to justify attending law school. TLS is definitely neurotic, and pulls from a sample of people who tend to do very very well on the LSAT, so it's easy to forget just how good of a score that is. But TLS is also here to remind you that, while that score is extraordinary, it is also necessary.

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digifly
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby digifly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:24 pm

Asking if a 170 is a bad score is like asking if a 1500 on the SAT is a bad score.


I think you just revealed your age there. And I guess I just did too!

Anyway, I only ask because I scored 170 and it seems that many people here automatically think "retake" with a score like that. I understand that even 2 points higher would help out your chances, I guess I just thought that it wasn't THAT crucial. I get it, though.

Also, is it true that the number of people getting 170s and up has dropped in recent years? Does that improve the chances of us lowly 170s?

Thanks!

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helix23
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby helix23 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:28 pm

I got a 171 and I oscillate between thinking it is a great score and a sub par score. On here, I definitely feel like it is a below average score and nothing to be proud of. In real life, when people do this :shock: when I tell them my score, it makes me feel a little better.

But although TLS may be slightly neurotic, in the end people on here are painfully (and helpfully) realistic that scores above 170+ will increase your chances of better acceptances, better scholarship monies and more options. All good things.

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Rahviveh
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby Rahviveh » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:29 pm

TLS can definitely be neurotic, but you also have to consider that offline, people are probably being given bad advice or told the wrong thing. So at least its a balance.

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helix23
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby helix23 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:33 pm

RSterling wrote:Asking if a 170 is a bad score is like asking if a 1500 on the SAT is a bad score.


A 1500 would be a bad score. It's out of 2400 now.

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digifly
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby digifly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:43 pm

Yeah, I definitely understand that there are people out there who get 160s and go to the 150th ranked school and think that they will rake in $160k a year, and I appreciate TLS's slap-to-the-face realism.

Perhaps the instinct to retake is just because it's presumed that if you could rake in a 170 it isn't impossible (and probably not too difficult) to score a 172+?

Side note (I need the realism): 170 + 3.9 LSAC GPA, non-URM. Is HYS pretty much out of the question from the get go?

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francesfarmer
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby francesfarmer » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:55 pm

digifly wrote:Side note (I need the realism): 170 + 3.9 LSAC GPA, non-URM. Is HYS pretty much out of the question from the get go?

Pretty much. This is just for Harvard but whatever: http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1112/

You could probs go anywhere else (besides HYS I mean)!

06162014123
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Postby 06162014123 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:57 pm

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Last edited by 06162014123 on Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

jym_dawg
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby jym_dawg » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:05 pm

digifly wrote:Yeah, I definitely understand that there are people out there who get 160s and go to the 150th ranked school and think that they will rake in $160k a year, and I appreciate TLS's slap-to-the-face realism.

Perhaps the instinct to retake is just because it's presumed that if you could rake in a 170 it isn't impossible (and probably not too difficult) to score a 172+?

Side note (I need the realism): 170 + 3.9 LSAC GPA, non-URM. Is HYS pretty much out of the question from the get go?


Numbers-wise, I'm in the exact same position and keep second-guessing my (tentative) decision not to retake. I don't have any aspirations of HYS and would be ecstatic to attend an MVPD.

... yet the TLS consensus is that I should absolutely retake, if not for HYS then for $$$. No real point here, just sympathizing with your dilemma OP.

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mqt
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby mqt » Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:22 pm

helix23 wrote:I got a 171 and I oscillate between thinking it is a great score and a sub par score. On here, I definitely feel like it is a below average score and nothing to be proud of. In real life, when people do this :shock: when I tell them my score, it makes me feel a little better.


This. I also found it helped to look at medians for the top schools. 171, while disappointing to me, was at or above the median for every school but Harvard, Yale and Columbia. So yes, low 170s are still fantastic scores. It's just that we're in a group of people who are largely incredibly qualified law school applicants.

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digifly
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby digifly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:05 pm

Yeah, I'm not really disheartened. Though Stanford was a shoot-for-the-stars kinda dream school, I really don't have the time to go through the hell that was the LSAT again. I took time off of work for the last one and it'd be tough to do that again. Honestly, my top picks were UCLA, Berkeley, UVA, and NYU. My numbers seem to be more fitting there, so I feel very confident about this cycle!

Besides, I'd almost be proud enough just getting a wait list at Harvard.

TLS is a good place to hang out to check my ego, though! haha

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:11 pm

Mqt wrote:
helix23 wrote:I got a 171 and I oscillate between thinking it is a great score and a sub par score. On here, I definitely feel like it is a below average score and nothing to be proud of. In real life, when people do this :shock: when I tell them my score, it makes me feel a little better.


This. I also found it helped to look at medians for the top schools. 171, while disappointing to me, was at or above the median for every school but Harvard, Yale and Columbia. So yes, low 170s are still fantastic scores. It's just that we're in a group of people who are largely incredibly qualified law school applicants.

NYU and Chi also have 171 medians

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cahwc12
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby cahwc12 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:13 pm

moonman157 wrote:A 170 is an absolutely fantastic score. The problem is, ITE, you need absolutely fantastic stats to justify attending law school. TLS is definitely neurotic, and pulls from a sample of people who tend to do very very well on the LSAT, so it's easy to forget just how good of a score that is. But TLS is also here to remind you that, while that score is extraordinary, it is also necessary.


I absolutely advocate this.

Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself for my 168/166, but I feel like I probably can't justify attending law school with my numbers, and so retaking next cycle is probably my only real option. For me, 168 is a great score, and is 96th percentile, but unfortunately it's just not enough with my GPA to justify the largely prohibitive costs of going to law school, and it's an unfortunate but real situation.

170 with a good GPA (3.6-7+) I think would definitely merit significant aid at some good schools and be worth the investment. 170 with a 3.2-3 or less I would begin to question it on the whole and think it's more situational. Most people just don't realize how awful both education costs and the legal market are, and having to go through one to (hopefully) get into the other requires nothing short of stellar numbers in order to minimize the risk of a lifetime of dismay.

WhiskeynCoke
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby WhiskeynCoke » Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:19 pm

a 170 is a fantastic score. Like everyone else said, it's the 97th Percentile. The reason why people say to "retake" is because you have nothing to lose, so why not try to bump it up even higher? Schools only take your highest score.

In my opinion, you should take the LSAT as many times as possible (you get 3 tries per 2 years) as long as your practice tests indicate you have a shot of improving your score.

Do you want one lottery ticket or three?

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digifly
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby digifly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:01 pm

The reason why people say to "retake" is because you have nothing to lose, so why not try to bump it up even higher? Schools only take your highest score.


I know that schools can see all of your scores, though, and I'd be worried that I'd slip down to the high 160s on accident and that would make me look worse.

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Ludo!
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby Ludo! » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:03 pm

Link to the post that said 170 is a bad score? TYIA

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Nova
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby Nova » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:05 pm

digifly wrote:I know that schools can see all of your scores, though, and I'd be worried that I'd slip down to the high 160s on accident and that would make me look worse.

Schools dont really care because they would lose a competitive advantage if they did.

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digifly
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby digifly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:36 pm

Ludovico Technique wrote:Link to the post that said 170 is a bad score? TYIA


Specific threads may not exist, but I think it was implied in the fact that 170 usually means retake. I understand now that it's mostly just a "nothing to lose" kind of retake.

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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby Theopliske8711 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 6:54 pm

A score is only as good as the opportunities it provides. The state of employment in law being what it is, a score well before the high 160s will mean going to a school with unpredictable results for employment while probably raking you a very high amount of debt. That means that, yes, a 170, seen in isolation as simply a score on a test, is a great score; however, a 170, seen as part of a bigger picture, becomes less "great"...

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bk1
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby bk1 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:00 pm

I think 170 is the first score that is actually "good." It this the first score that gives a good shot of admittance into the T14. High 160s in my mind are "okay" (they require a high GPA to make law schools financially worthwhile) and below that "bad."

I think it is sub 170 that always means retake, though people should probably retake low 170s since they have nothing to lose by it.

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digifly
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby digifly » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:30 pm

bk1 wrote:I think 170 is the first score that is actually "good." It this the first score that gives a good shot of admittance into the T14. High 160s in my mind are "okay" (they require a high GPA to make law schools financially worthwhile) and below that "bad."

I think it is sub 170 that always means retake, though people should probably retake low 170s since they have nothing to lose by it.


Well stated. And I think it's true that an unfortunate amount of people take the LSAT, get a mediocre score, go to a poor school, and end up disappointed. To me it seems that all the hubbub over the depressed legal market really only applies to "those" lawyers. People who get into T14 schools and who graduate in the top 50% of their class have a great shot at employment. Good lawyers will always be needed.

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bk1
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby bk1 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:35 pm

digifly wrote:Well stated. And I think it's true that an unfortunate amount of people take the LSAT, get a mediocre score, go to a poor school, and end up disappointed. To me it seems that all the hubbub over the depressed legal market really only applies to "those" lawyers. People who get into T14 schools and who graduate in the top 50% of their class have a great shot at employment. Good lawyers will always be needed.


This is a terrible way to look at things. Half of the T14 end up below median, many of them with 3.8+ GPAs and 170+ LSATs. People above median at T14s strike out. "Good lawyer" is also a relatively useless term. Getting a 168 vs a 170 on the LSAT (the difference between UVA and WUSTL) doesn't make you a good lawyer. Getting high grades in law school doesn't make you a good lawyer.

Looking at the situation as if it doesn't apply to you - it only applies to those other people - is ridiculous hubris. Will going to a good school give you a better shot at being employed? Of course, but it isn't even close to a guarantee. Especially once you factor in the amount of debt that many people take out for top schools.

albanach
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Re: Is TLS just neurotic, or is 170 really a "bad" score?

Postby albanach » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:35 pm

digifly wrote:Yeah, I'm not really disheartened. Though Stanford was a shoot-for-the-stars kinda dream school, I really don't have the time to go through the hell that was the LSAT again. I took time off of work for the last one and it'd be tough to do that again. Honestly, my top picks were UCLA, Berkeley, UVA, and NYU. My numbers seem to be more fitting there, so I feel very confident about this cycle!


If you're over both medians, you're obviously more attractive as a candidate as the school doesn't need to find anyone that splits in the other direction to balance your admission. Or put another way, they can admit two other folk with little or no scholarship and no effect on the school's numbers by admitting you.

I think you can be confident about admissions but you should also consider money. If three points on the LSAT gets you $20k/year that's $60k less in loans and over $100,000 saved in repayments. $30k/year is $160,000 in repayments.

That's one heck of a return on investment.




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