How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
drawstring
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:52 pm

How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby drawstring » Thu May 09, 2013 11:59 pm

I have a 4.15 GPA and based on info from previous cycles a 172 is the lowest LSAT score that will give me a very good shot at my top two choices, Stanford and Harvard. Thus, I'm aiming for at least a 172 and have registered for the July LSAT.

However, after 7 practice tests my average is only 170 (From my first PT to my most recent: 170, 163, 169, 171, 170, 178, 168). I spent 3-4 months studying the fundamentals of each section using Power Score books, but did so at the expense of drilling and practice testing. I've spent the last month focusing on the latter two methods of studying and I feel like I can improve a few points, but it may take me more than a month.

This leads me to two questions:

1. Will retaking a 168-170 and then getting 172 or higher be viewed unfavorably by HYS to the extent that my chances are significantly lowered compared to getting a 172 or higher on the first try?

2. Would my chances of acceptance at those schools be significantly better, all else equal, if I applied early in September as opposed to after the October LSAT?

Thank you

Mal Reynolds
Posts: 12630
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:16 am

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri May 10, 2013 12:16 am

I wouldn't call your average a 170. I'd call it a 168 or so. It looks like that 178 is an outlier. If you can't score at least two or three 172s before June 10th, I'd postpone until October. It won't really hurt you especially if you cam guarantee yourself a 172 by October.

User avatar
Yukos
Posts: 1775
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby Yukos » Fri May 10, 2013 11:55 am

Difference between applying in September and early November (when you get your October score) is negligible. I doubt retaking a 170 and getting a 172 will hurt you very much, but if you're sure you can pull a 172 in October I would just go with that. A 4.15/172 is a lock at H and has a great shot at YS.

coldweather
Posts: 70
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:43 am

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby coldweather » Fri May 10, 2013 12:21 pm

I would take the July test because you never know how well you will deal with the "test day nerves." So if you completely stall on the first section and blow your score you can retake it in October. Also, you never know about life circumstances. If you postpone until October and then have a family emergency, well then you will become disadvantaged by the date you are applying. Take the test in July!

User avatar
Yukos
Posts: 1775
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 12:47 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby Yukos » Fri May 10, 2013 12:59 pm

coldweather wrote:I would take the July test because you never know how well you will deal with the "test day nerves." So if you completely stall on the first section and blow your score you can retake it in October. Also, you never know about life circumstances. If you postpone until October and then have a family emergency, well then you will become disadvantaged by the date you are applying. Take the test in July!


These are good points. It's probably worth it to take it in July, but you gotta work hard to bring up your PT average. Most people score between 1-3 points below their average (I think ended up -3.5 and I wasn't even that nervous).

User avatar
trojandave
Posts: 389
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:25 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby trojandave » Fri May 10, 2013 1:03 pm

A retake will help you if you actually increase your score - from what I've seen the schools don't actually average, even though they may claim to. But the main thing is that you shouldn't worry about decisions that you may not even have to make - that's just borrowing trouble. Take the June, do your best, and go from there. (But feel confident knowing that a successful retake will raise your score, and a higher score will only help.)

User avatar
Elston Gunn
Posts: 3444
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby Elston Gunn » Fri May 10, 2013 1:07 pm

When you're aiming for HYS, I think you should wait until you're ready. A December retake is also no big deal.

tirakon
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:16 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby tirakon » Fri May 10, 2013 1:20 pm

Here's my story.

I took the LSAT in October of my junior year of college. I'd prepped hard all summer, and after taking at least 20 practice tests my practice average was a 175. Then I went to the test center, felt nervous and uncomfortable, and scored a 170. For a year, I sat on that score, convinced that even if I did a retake law schools would still average and I'd be locked out of HYS.

In September of my senior year, I started to wonder if maybe I was selling myself short. I knew I was capable of scoring higher, and I might as well maximize whatever acceptance potential I had. I became more convinced I should retake after I took another practice test and scored a 176--I hadn't lost my aptitude despite not practicing.

So, I sat for the October LSAT, and this time I scored a 174. I was very pleased with this score. It reflected the bottom of my practice average, but it was still strong. After all, a 174/3.9 generally puts applicants in contention for HYS, even if it certainly wouldn't be a lock.

But a 170/174 would be treated as a 172, I told myself, and that would not be high enough to gain me admission.

Flash forward 6 months: I was accepted at all of HYS, and will be attending Yale in the fall.

Keep doing practice tests, and work hard to get your average up. But if you don't score as well as you'd like to, don't despair. Law schools do not average LSAT's.

User avatar
altoid99
Posts: 249
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2012 12:04 am

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby altoid99 » Tue May 14, 2013 11:35 am

drawstring wrote:I have a 4.15 GPA and based on info from previous cycles a 172 is the lowest LSAT score that will give me a very good shot at my top two choices, Stanford and Harvard. Thus, I'm aiming for at least a 172 and have registered for the July LSAT.

However, after 7 practice tests my average is only 170 (From my first PT to my most recent: 170, 163, 169, 171, 170, 178, 168). I spent 3-4 months studying the fundamentals of each section using Power Score books, but did so at the expense of drilling and practice testing. I've spent the last month focusing on the latter two methods of studying and I feel like I can improve a few points, but it may take me more than a month.

This leads me to two questions:

1. Will retaking a 168-170 and then getting 172 or higher be viewed unfavorably by HYS to the extent that my chances are significantly lowered compared to getting a 172 or higher on the first try?

2. Would my chances of acceptance at those schools be significantly better, all else equal, if I applied early in September as opposed to after the October LSAT?

Thank you


Pretty sure the test is on June 10th, not July.

wisdom
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:05 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby wisdom » Tue May 14, 2013 4:11 pm

Jesus Christ, a 4.15?

That's great. Take your time with the LSAT and you'll have a strong shot at all three of HYS.

User avatar
drawstring
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby drawstring » Tue May 14, 2013 5:17 pm

altoid99 wrote:
drawstring wrote:I have a 4.15 GPA and based on info from previous cycles a 172 is the lowest LSAT score that will give me a very good shot at my top two choices, Stanford and Harvard. Thus, I'm aiming for at least a 172 and have registered for the July LSAT.

However, after 7 practice tests my average is only 170 (From my first PT to my most recent: 170, 163, 169, 171, 170, 178, 168). I spent 3-4 months studying the fundamentals of each section using Power Score books, but did so at the expense of drilling and practice testing. I've spent the last month focusing on the latter two methods of studying and I feel like I can improve a few points, but it may take me more than a month.

This leads me to two questions:

1. Will retaking a 168-170 and then getting 172 or higher be viewed unfavorably by HYS to the extent that my chances are significantly lowered compared to getting a 172 or higher on the first try?

2. Would my chances of acceptance at those schools be significantly better, all else equal, if I applied early in September as opposed to after the October LSAT?

Thank you


Pretty sure the test is on June 10th, not July.


Yep.

Made an error in my original post. Thankfully I didn't think I had an extra month to study.

User avatar
drawstring
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby drawstring » Tue May 14, 2013 5:22 pm

wisdom wrote:Jesus Christ, a 4.15?

That's great. Take your time with the LSAT and you'll have a strong shot at all three of HYS.


That's what I'm leaning toward.

With my GPA I don't need an amazing LSAT score to get into at least one of those three, and I'm confident that with a few more months I can hit at least a 172. Currently, I think its more likely that I hit a 170/171, which doesn't give me a good shot at those schools even with my GPA. However, I get what some people are saying about having another chance if test-day nerves get to me; if I don't take in June I don't really have a second chance for this cycle, unless I take in December and apply very late, which obviously hurts my chances. I'll see where I stand after 10 PTs.

User avatar
drawstring
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby drawstring » Tue May 14, 2013 5:25 pm

Elston Gunn wrote:When you're aiming for HYS, I think you should wait until you're ready. A December retake is also no big deal.


Doesn't applying with a Decemeber LSAT hurt my chances significantly due to the lateness of the application?

Although I guess I could always apply late, see how it goes, and if it doesn't go well apply early next cycle. Not that bad, though I'm hoping to attend LS starting in 2014.

User avatar
jrsbaseball5
Posts: 290
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:41 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Tue May 14, 2013 5:26 pm

tirakon wrote:Here's my story.

I took the LSAT in October of my junior year of college. I'd prepped hard all summer, and after taking at least 20 practice tests my practice average was a 175. Then I went to the test center, felt nervous and uncomfortable, and scored a 170. For a year, I sat on that score, convinced that even if I did a retake law schools would still average and I'd be locked out of HYS.

In September of my senior year, I started to wonder if maybe I was selling myself short. I knew I was capable of scoring higher, and I might as well maximize whatever acceptance potential I had. I became more convinced I should retake after I took another practice test and scored a 176--I hadn't lost my aptitude despite not practicing.

So, I sat for the October LSAT, and this time I scored a 174. I was very pleased with this score. It reflected the bottom of my practice average, but it was still strong. After all, a 174/3.9 generally puts applicants in contention for HYS, even if it certainly wouldn't be a lock.

But a 170/174 would be treated as a 172, I told myself, and that would not be high enough to gain me admission.

Flash forward 6 months: I was accepted at all of HYS, and will be attending Yale in the fall.

Keep doing practice tests, and work hard to get your average up. But if you don't score as well as you'd like to, don't despair. Law schools do not average LSAT's.


This is really inspiring. You should post your story in the retake success thread.

User avatar
drawstring
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby drawstring » Tue May 14, 2013 5:27 pm

tirakon wrote:Here's my story.

I took the LSAT in October of my junior year of college. I'd prepped hard all summer, and after taking at least 20 practice tests my practice average was a 175. Then I went to the test center, felt nervous and uncomfortable, and scored a 170. For a year, I sat on that score, convinced that even if I did a retake law schools would still average and I'd be locked out of HYS.

In September of my senior year, I started to wonder if maybe I was selling myself short. I knew I was capable of scoring higher, and I might as well maximize whatever acceptance potential I had. I became more convinced I should retake after I took another practice test and scored a 176--I hadn't lost my aptitude despite not practicing.

So, I sat for the October LSAT, and this time I scored a 174. I was very pleased with this score. It reflected the bottom of my practice average, but it was still strong. After all, a 174/3.9 generally puts applicants in contention for HYS, even if it certainly wouldn't be a lock.

But a 170/174 would be treated as a 172, I told myself, and that would not be high enough to gain me admission.

Flash forward 6 months: I was accepted at all of HYS, and will be attending Yale in the fall.

Keep doing practice tests, and work hard to get your average up. But if you don't score as well as you'd like to, don't despair. Law schools do not average LSAT's.


Thanks for the advice and the anecdote! It's good to see that scoring low on an initial LSAT doesn't necessarily lock one out of HYS.

User avatar
pupshaw
Posts: 504
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby pupshaw » Tue May 14, 2013 5:37 pm

drawstring wrote:Thanks for the advice and the anecdote! It's good to see that scoring low on an initial LSAT doesn't necessarily lock one out of HYS.


FWIW, I got a 168 on my first test, then improved to a 177, and I'm at H. JS asked about the first test in my interview, though, so they do notice.

User avatar
drawstring
Posts: 1933
Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:52 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby drawstring » Tue May 14, 2013 5:42 pm

Great improvement on the LSAT.

Is there any particular change in your study that you think contributed to your increase, and how did you respond to JS?

User avatar
pupshaw
Posts: 504
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:08 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby pupshaw » Tue May 14, 2013 5:51 pm

drawstring wrote:Great improvement on the LSAT.

Is there any particular change in your study that you think contributed to your increase, and how did you respond to JS?


Well, I was PTing in the mid-170s prior to the first test, so I chalked that score up to nerves or just variance. That's basically what I said to JS as well--that I had just under performed and felt confident that I could do better. I think the point is not to make excuses for a first lower score. Contrary to a lot of advice on these boards, I think that an addendum for a score increase is a mistake--if you had a legitimate reason to do badly the first time then you should have cancelled.

User avatar
Elston Gunn
Posts: 3444
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: How much does a retake hurt at HYS + Applying in October

Postby Elston Gunn » Tue May 14, 2013 10:25 pm

drawstring wrote:
Elston Gunn wrote:When you're aiming for HYS, I think you should wait until you're ready. A December retake is also no big deal.


Doesn't applying with a Decemeber LSAT hurt my chances significantly due to the lateness of the application?

Although I guess I could always apply late, see how it goes, and if it doesn't go well apply early next cycle. Not that bad, though I'm hoping to attend LS starting in 2014.

These days I really don't think it's a big deal. Applying before Jan 1 is still on time, and Yale won't care at all.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], loslakers and 5 guests