174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

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emilyy664
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174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby emilyy664 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:00 pm

I am 3 years out of undergrad and intend to apply to law school next fall (2013). I have a 3.70 undergrad GPA and a 174 LSAT. I'm new to this forum so hoping you all could help answer a couple questions:

1. Is it worth retaking the LSAT? I took it while a senior in undergrad because I was thinking of law school at that time potentially. Opted for another route at the time (finance stint) but now would like to pursue law school. I know a 174 is a good score (and definitely don't intend for this to be a humblebrag) but given my lower GPA for the top schools I was wondering if it would be worth it. I did not really study the first time I took the test so am hopeful that if I put in time studying I could maybe up my score by a few points. Hypothetically speaking would maybe a 176-178 open up more doors for me?

2. Any thoughts on where I can get in with my current numbers? I'm thinking anyplace in the T14 minus HYS I have at least some shot at - is that correct? Chances at Chicago/Columbia? Also, it is worth applying to HYS? Looking to stay on the East Coast, so in particular chances at Harvard and Yale? I'm guessing Yale is not worth an application but want to make sure you all agree. Would appreciate honest thoughts.

Thank you!

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Dr. Dre
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:08 pm

you didn't study and you got a 174...how?

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Rahviveh
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:13 pm

Dr. Dre wrote:you didn't study and you got a 174...how?


+1.

OP you are a genius. Aim for 180, enjoy HYS.

PRgradBYU
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby PRgradBYU » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:19 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:
Dr. Dre wrote:you didn't study and you got a 174...how?


+1.

OP you are a genius. Aim for 180, enjoy HYS.


According to this, your current LSAT/GPA will definitely get you a spot in the T14 (minus HYS).

That being said, if you can pull a 174 without studying, I have no doubt you can get a 180. YLS is always a crapshoot but with a 180/3.7X you'd easily be able to enjoy H and S.
Last edited by PRgradBYU on Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

emilyy664
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby emilyy664 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:21 pm

Definitely not a genius. I have historically just been a good test taker. Rereading my post I recognize that sounds obnoxious and I did not mean it to come across that way. Just thought it would be useful maybe in evaluating whether I should retake. If I had studied intensely for a few months the first time the easy answer for me would be don't retake, but here I think there may be room for improvement.

Anyone willing to give honest thoughts? Apologize if the question didn't come off well.

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abcde12345
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby abcde12345 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:37 pm

emilyy664 wrote:Definitely not a genius. I have historically just been a good test taker. Rereading my post I recognize that sounds obnoxious and I did not mean it to come across that way. Just thought it would be useful maybe in evaluating whether I should retake. If I had studied intensely for a few months the first time the easy answer for me would be don't retake, but here I think there may be room for improvement.

Anyone willing to give honest thoughts? Apologize if the question didn't come off well.


Those are honest thoughts--you should retake and get a 180.

As for your other questions, go to http://www.mylsn.info and fiddle around with the numbers. Putting in 178-180, 3.7-3.75 gives you a 78 percent chance at H.
With your current numbers, you can get into HY (~30%) but that's probably with super softs. S is out barring super super softs. You stand a great chance everywhere else.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:38 pm

emilyy664 wrote:Definitely not a genius. I have historically just been a good test taker. Rereading my post I recognize that sounds obnoxious and I did not mean it to come across that way. Just thought it would be useful maybe in evaluating whether I should retake. If I had studied intensely for a few months the first time the easy answer for me would be don't retake, but here I think there may be room for improvement.

Anyone willing to give honest thoughts? Apologize if the question didn't come off well.


retake, get 180, get $$$ from CLS, and profit

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Crowing
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Crowing » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:41 pm

A 174 is already really good but if you got it without preparation retaking might not be a bad call. FWIW I got a 173 on my first take without studying (I had taken 3 practice tests but they were Craplan ones and not even real PTs). I decided to retake and study for a higher score, and although I was PTing 178-180 before test day I bombed RC (-6) and ended up with a 172 lol.

I think that part of the reason for the bad retake was because I didn't study specific techniques; since I had already scored decently by sort winging it without a concrete method I opted to just try to gain familiarity by blitzing PTs to study for my retake. In the end this probably provided some element of randomness and cost me, so I would recommend trying to follow some traditional methods and really break down question styles even if it seems like a waste of time.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:46 pm

Crowing wrote:A 174 is already really good but if you got it without preparation retaking might not be a bad call. FWIW I got a 173 on my first take without studying (I had taken 3 practice tests but they were Craplan ones and not even real PTs). I decided to retake and study for a higher score, and although I was PTing 178-180 before test day I bombed RC (-6) and ended up with a 172 lol.

I think that part of the reason for the bad retake was because I didn't study specific techniques; since I had already scored decently by sort winging it without a concrete method I opted to just try to gain familiarity by blitzing PTs to study for my retake. In the end this probably provided some element of randomness and cost me, so I would recommend trying to follow some traditional methods and really break down question styles even if it seems like a waste of time.



this. OP, get blueprint.
Last edited by Dr. Dre on Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

emilyy664
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby emilyy664 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:46 pm

Thanks all of you. The numbers link is very interesting and helpful to play with. So it looks like Chicago and Columbia and probably even Harvard are definitely worth applications. Anyone else have thoughts on Y? I would have not considered it initially and it still seems like a super long shot since my GPA is well below their median (and not from a top undergrad school or a science/engineering major), but would love to hear stories/opinions.

Has anyone else beyond Crowing retaken in this situation (or similar)? Getting a 180 would be sweet but I know that the top few scores are differentiated by a question or two so could also potentially do worse (as Crowing's story shows) and not sure if that would hurt me.

I know it's all mostly anecdotal, but even on the numbers site there are not that many data points so do appreciate insight from those of you more familiar with the process than me and welcome any other insight people on this site are willing to offer.

Thanks again for the answers so far!

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Crowing
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Crowing » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:55 pm

emilyy664 wrote:Thanks all of you. The numbers link is very interesting and helpful to play with. So it looks like Chicago and Columbia and probably even Harvard are definitely worth applications. Anyone else have thoughts on Y? I would have not considered it initially and it still seems like a super long shot since my GPA is well below their median (and not from a top undergrad school or a science/engineering major), but would love to hear stories/opinions.

Has anyone else beyond Crowing retaken in this situation (or similar)? Getting a 180 would be sweet but I know that the top few scores are differentiated by a question or two so could also potentially do worse (as Crowing's story shows) and not sure if that would hurt me.

I know it's all mostly anecdotal, but even on the numbers site there are not that many data points so do appreciate insight from those of you more familiar with the process than me and welcome any other insight people on this site are willing to offer.

Thanks again for the answers so far!


It shouldn't change anything even if you screw up like me and score a point or two lower. I applied last cycle with only the 173 and reapplied this one after my failed retake without any really significant changes to my resume. Overall my cycle has gone better this time around, probably mainly due to the applicant decrease though. It's hard to isolate for any one variable between cycles but I'm pretty confident the retake didn't matter. I was planning a third retake but ended up getting into my top choice anyway so I canceled my registration.

From the test prep side of things, I had a lot of trouble properly preparing for the retake; I did try to read some of the more acclaimed materials like the bibles but they didn't really click for me possibly because I felt like on top of learning their methods I had to basically unlearn my personal inclinations which led to me ultimately giving up on that and just opting for PTs. But I'm not sure if you would feel the same way - I've also never had good study skills so this may not be an issue you face at all.

ETA: I think acrossthelake is another poster who had a diagnostic in the 170s but I think she actually improved into the upper 170s on her retake, so it might be worth contacting her.
Last edited by Crowing on Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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twinkletoes16
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby twinkletoes16 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:56 pm

i have your exact stats. if you can, retake. i would if i could but think i would only be able to get to 175/176 at best.


you can PM me for my cycle/info so far.

marshal26
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby marshal26 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:04 pm

Useful thread I'm also in for answers. I'm in a similar situation, my GPA is a tad below 3.7 and I got a 173 with virtually no preparation. I've gotten into NYU but doubt I'll get much money, so I'm thinking of retaking to apply next cycle and potentially getting into CCN with more money, but idk if my GPAs going to prevent me from getting much money and I would rather go to NYU this year than wait a year and end up at a slightly better school like Columbia.

Anyways OP, since your applying next cycle, I would definately try to study hard and take in either June or October depending on your schedule and how much time you have to apply. Your stats as they are make you a virtual lock at one of CCN, but if you bumped your LSAT a couple points you could be in at H or S, or go to CCN with a big scholarship. As for Yale, I'm no expert but from what I've heard a 180 could probably give you a shot if you have solid softs, but your definately not going to be a sure thing even if you get a 180. There's really no downside in retaking, even if your score goes down, it won't hurt you anywhere except perhaps Yale, and your chances there without retaking are slim to none anyway. Good luck, you should have great options either way but if I were you i would strongly consider retaking.

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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby rcthebigred1 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:32 pm

I'm in a slightly different position, but I know how you feel. I have just under a 3.7 with a 177, and as neurotic as it sounds I've considered retaking for the 180. While the limited data suggests that it wouldn't make much difference for me (primarily in regard to S - damn GPA floor), I think you should definitely go for it, particularly given your lack of prep.

I will caution, however, that I was similar to you in that after three tests I was in the mid 170's. After about a month of studying I was consistently 176+, and my average for my last 5 pt's before test day was over 179. While a 177 was a great result, I was a little frustrated. The margin for error at that point is so tiny, that going into the test banking on scoring perfect or near perfect is probably a little unwise.

That being said, you have plenty of upside right now. And getting 176+ could be the difference between getting H or not.

emilyy664
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby emilyy664 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:38 pm

Thanks all! Interesting responses. I thought reponses would lean towards telling me I was crazy for even considering retaking and wasn't thinking there was a strong chance I would do it, but you all are making me think it can't hurt and can only help so is probably worth doing.

I have no expectations of getting a perfect score and may not do any better at all, but did no practice tests before I took the test so I am hopeful I could maybe improve a few points. We'll see though.

If anyone has further feedback please feel free to provide it especially as it seems like there are others in similar situations who would appreciate it as well. Thank you again!

jvsj
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby jvsj » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:40 pm

amazing how you people score 170+ without studying. truly gifted.

marshal26
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby marshal26 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:44 pm

emilyy664 wrote:Thanks all! Interesting responses. I thought reponses would lean towards telling me I was crazy for even considering retaking and wasn't thinking there was a strong chance I would do it, but you all are making me think it can't hurt and can only help so is probably worth doing.

I have no expectations of getting a perfect score and may not do any better at all, but did no practice tests before I took the test so I am hopeful I could maybe improve a few points. We'll see though.

If anyone has further feedback please feel free to provide it especially as it seems like there are others in similar situations who would appreciate it as well. Thank you again!



Yea even if you only get a couple more points, it could be the difference at Harvard or a lot of $ somewhere else. And yea no downside at all! The only potential downside is the money to take the test, but that's nothing compared to the potential scholarships it could mean.

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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Ti Malice » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:32 am

abcde12345 wrote:With your current numbers, you can get into HY (~30%) but that's probably with super softs. S is out barring super super softs. You stand a great chance everywhere else.


Y is no more probable than S with those numbers. Chances of either are very low.

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yarsten
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby yarsten » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:47 am

marshal26 wrote:Useful thread I'm also in for answers. I'm in a similar situation, my GPA is a tad below 3.7 and I got a 173 with virtually no preparation. I've gotten into NYU but doubt I'll get much money, so I'm thinking of retaking to apply next cycle and potentially getting into CCN with more money, but idk if my GPAs going to prevent me from getting much money and I would rather go to NYU this year than wait a year and end up at a slightly better school like Columbia.

Anyways OP, since your applying next cycle, I would definately try to study hard and take in either June or October depending on your schedule and how much time you have to apply. Your stats as they are make you a virtual lock at one of CCN, but if you bumped your LSAT a couple points you could be in at H or S, or go to CCN with a big scholarship. As for Yale, I'm no expert but from what I've heard a 180 could probably give you a shot if you have solid softs, but your definately not going to be a sure thing even if you get a 180. There's really no downside in retaking, even if your score goes down, it won't hurt you anywhere except perhaps Yale, and your chances there without retaking are slim to none anyway. Good luck, you should have great options either way but if I were you i would strongly consider retaking.


I have similar numbers though a slightly higher GPA (3.8 ). What I have noticed this cycle is that it seems that 3.9 is the rough GPA cutoff for all the named scholarships- I've been following people with similar or lower LSAT scores than mine that have gotten full rides with a 3.9 or higher while us 3.8ers and below are left out (I think I have pretty strong softs and a good application overall). The cycle is definitely not over and there may be some schollies left over after the first round, but it seems like your GPA is what's keeping you from the money, not your LSAT. I could be wrong on this, but that definitely seems to be the case from what I've seen.

marshal26
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby marshal26 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:45 am

yarsten wrote:
marshal26 wrote:Useful thread I'm also in for answers. I'm in a similar situation, my GPA is a tad below 3.7 and I got a 173 with virtually no preparation. I've gotten into NYU but doubt I'll get much money, so I'm thinking of retaking to apply next cycle and potentially getting into CCN with more money, but idk if my GPAs going to prevent me from getting much money and I would rather go to NYU this year than wait a year and end up at a slightly better school like Columbia.

Anyways OP, since your applying next cycle, I would definately try to study hard and take in either June or October depending on your schedule and how much time you have to apply. Your stats as they are make you a virtual lock at one of CCN, but if you bumped your LSAT a couple points you could be in at H or S, or go to CCN with a big scholarship. As for Yale, I'm no expert but from what I've heard a 180 could probably give you a shot if you have solid softs, but your definately not going to be a sure thing even if you get a 180. There's really no downside in retaking, even if your score goes down, it won't hurt you anywhere except perhaps Yale, and your chances there without retaking are slim to none anyway. Good luck, you should have great options either way but if I were you i would strongly consider retaking.


I have similar numbers though a slightly higher GPA (3.8 ). What I have noticed this cycle is that it seems that 3.9 is the rough GPA cutoff for all the named scholarships- I've been following people with similar or lower LSAT scores than mine that have gotten full rides with a 3.9 or higher while us 3.8ers and below are left out (I think I have pretty strong softs and a good application overall). The cycle is definitely not over and there may be some schollies left over after the first round, but it seems like your GPA is what's keeping you from the money, not your LSAT. I could be wrong on this, but that definitely seems to be the case from what I've seen.


Yea that's the feeling I've been getting as well. I still have only heard from two schools and haven't heard about money yet but I'm not expecting too much. That's why I'm thinking I probably will not wait a cycle to retake, because even if I improved to a 176 or 177 my GPA will prevent me from getting a large scholarship at CCN. Good luck with your cycle!

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abcde12345
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby abcde12345 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 9:25 am

Ti Malice wrote:Y is no more probable than S with those numbers. Chances of either are very low.


I guess you're right insofar as both are incredibly low. But looking at mylsn I wouldn't say they're equal. If we put in a close range of his numbers on mylsn (174, 3.7-3.75) it returns 3 accepts, 5 denies for Yale and 0 accepts, 9 denies for Stanford. That makes 0% for Stanford and 38% for Yale. I wouldn't say that's negligible.

But expanding the range to 172-174, 3.7-3.8 gives Yale 5 accepts and 48 denies, and Stanford at 2 accepts and 75 denies. That's probably a more accurate picture. But still, 2/75 is different than 5/48.

20141023
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby 20141023 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:23 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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abcde12345
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby abcde12345 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:09 am

kappycaft1 wrote:One must be careful how they interpret this data, though. If you go into LSN and look at the actual profiles of the people who have gotten into HYS with "less than stellar numbers," they are almost exclusively either:

1) URMs
2) Non-Traditional Applicants (Older, Veterans, etc.)
3) Have absolutely unbelievable softs (not Olympic gold medals, but still way above average)

Although numbers paint the general picture, you need to start looking at the details when you are talking about the lower end of the LSAT/GPA spectrum for these three schools; otherwise, one might get their expectations up when in reality their chances are extremely low.


Fair enough. I didn't mean to imply otherwise--in my first post I said he or she would get in only with super softs (I forgot about URM/vet though). My point was simply that, for his numbers (for some reason, I'm assuming it's because S likes GPA), there is some non-negligible statistical difference between S and Y.

Do I think the average 174/3.7 applicant will experience this difference? No--and so I agree with Ti that "chances of either are very low." That's why I wrote that the expanded 172-174, 3.7-3.8 statistics paint "a more accurate picture"--that is, a much bleaker one. I didn't mean to get his/her hopes up. Again, I was just making a statistical point--there is a non-negligible statistical difference between 3/8 and 0/9 or 2/77 and 5/53.

20141023
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby 20141023 » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:40 am

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Last edited by 20141023 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Dog
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Re: 174 LSAT, 3.7 GPA - Retake LSAT? Apply to top schools?

Postby Dog » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:36 pm

If you got a 174 with no studying I would definitely study up and retake it. However, you said you did not really study which makes me think there may have been SOME prep involved. Regardless, if the prep wasn't extensive you should at least try to study and see if your practice scores get consistently above your current score. A few extra points could do wonders, and getting a 172 or 173 probably won't really hurt you much, if at all. The reward beats the risk.




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