2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

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Troianii

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2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Troianii » Tue Jun 10, 2014 9:41 pm

I have to questions, and I'll number them. I'm honestly very skeptical of both.

1. On a website, http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-co ... atcher.htm , I entered a 158 LSAT score and a 2.95GPA (I had a rough academic start, but that's where it's currently at). The site said that my target schools are University of New Mexico [#69] through Texas Tech [#101]. Does this sound right? Honestly the school I'm mostly thinking of is a regional one that isn't even in the top 100, but that list just seems hard to believe. I thought I was in far rougher shape than that. (note: I know there are a lot of sour nannies here, but I'm not looking to go to any Ivy League school or to make 100,000 straight out of school - sour nanny rants not needed)

2. I have an LSAT prep book from LSAC, titled 10 Actual, Official LSAT PREPTESTS - it says these are "previously administered LSATs with answer keys." The first one they had was for 7 Feb, 1993, and so I started with that. I got a 158. This is without any studying, and I plan to study on my own for a bit and to take two logic courses at college, and a Kaplan prep program before taking the exam. My question is: how reliable a gauge are twenty year old tests? I understand 158 is a percentile score, but between the test difficulty and the applicant pool, I would think that wouldn't be able to get a 158 on a real test done in 2014.

Thanks in advance.

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Atmosphere

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Atmosphere » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:25 pm

I think this site could give you a little more accuracy. Just play with the range of numbers.


Image


(click the image to see past the t14)

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Nonconsecutive

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Nonconsecutive » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:42 pm

Use Law School Numbers (MyLSN) instead of the Predictor.

Troianii

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Troianii » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:00 pm

Thanks for the responses. That site is very helpful.

Can anyone speak to the second question? Just looking at the differences from the four oldest years available on mylsn and the four newest, it looks like the application process has actually become slightly easier in the last few years. Or is that just me thinking that?

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Postby MistakenGenius » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:13 pm

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Yea All Right

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Yea All Right » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:54 am

In my opinion the older tests are still helpful, just not AS helpful as the newer tests (obviously). You can start off by using the older editions as practice tests to get familiar with the question types and learn more about the LSAT. Then when you're ready, move on to using more recent editions, like late-90s to mid-2000s, while keeping the post-2005 tests in reserve. Once the LSAT administration date gets closer, use those newest editions as practice tests.

The idea is to get an accurate idea of how you're likely to perform on test day while still having enough of the newest tests to get you in the correct mindset right before the administration. You can sprinkle in the newest tests early in your studying, but just make sure you have enough to use later on. According to the information regarding your personal test-taking capabilities which you get along the way, make tweaks in your studying strategy as needed.

A 158 is a good starting point for a cold diagnostic, I think you can get at least high 160s if you put in the work.

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malleus discentium

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby malleus discentium » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:58 am

Being from NM I'm going to tell you to listen to the predictor and become a Lobo.

:D

But yeah, use LSN instead of the predictor. And the test has changed over the years but the scores still mean mostly the same thing. A 158 is pretty much the same on PT 7 as PT 71. A 158 is a great cold score. You def have 170+ in you. Don't use Kaplan.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby TheSpanishMain » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:09 am

Is "sour nanny" a thing?

Anyway, OP, it's fine to go to a regional school, provided you're okay with not doing BigLaw (and it sounds like you're fine with that). No one here really puts a lot of stock into the rankings. Go to lawschooltransparency.com and check the employment rates of the schools you're interested in and let that be your guide. Likelihood of the job you want and the cost of attendance should be the factors you consider, not USNWR ranking. What school are you considering?

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:10 am

Also, don't let the fact that you don't want T14 trick you into thinking you don't need a great LSAT score. If your plan is to go regional, you need to do so for as little $$$ as possible, which requires good scholarships. This, just like cracking the T14, requires a great LSAT (especially given your GPA). So head over to the LSAT prep forum, and make sure you have a good study plan lined up. With a bit of hard work and effort, and 170+ score is certainly in you (given that cold diagnostic, assuming you took it under test-day conditions). With a solid LSAT, then the regional-for-cheap strategy is in your grasp.

ETA: One other note. If you are planning to go regional, then the rankings matter even less. You should basically decide where you want to practice, and pick the school in that state with the best employment numbers (assuming it's still pretty cheap). What I'm basically saying is, don't go to BU over Ohio State simply because it is ranked higher, if you want to practice in Ohio. Actually, for the most part, don't go to any regional school that's not in the region you want to practice in.

Troianii

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Troianii » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:00 pm

Yea All Right wrote:In my opinion the older tests are still helpful, just not AS helpful as the newer tests (obviously). You can start off by using the older editions as practice tests to get familiar with the question types and learn more about the LSAT. Then when you're ready, move on to using more recent editions, like late-90s to mid-2000s, while keeping the post-2005 tests in reserve. Once the LSAT administration date gets closer, use those newest editions as practice tests.

The idea is to get an accurate idea of how you're likely to perform on test day while still having enough of the newest tests to get you in the correct mindset right before the administration. You can sprinkle in the newest tests early in your studying, but just make sure you have enough to use later on. According to the information regarding your personal test-taking capabilities which you get along the way, make tweaks in your studying strategy as needed.

A 158 is a good starting point for a cold diagnostic, I think you can get at least high 160s if you put in the work.


Thanks for the positive feedback. Encouragement never hurts. I appreciate your advice about using the old LSAT tests and will start with the older and work up to the more recent.


malleus discentium wrote:Being from NM I'm going to tell you to listen to the predictor and become a Lobo.

:D

But yeah, use LSN instead of the predictor. And the test has changed over the years but the scores still mean mostly the same thing. A 158 is pretty much the same on PT 7 as PT 71. A 158 is a great cold score. You def have 170+ in you. Don't use Kaplan.


Haha, you guys really call yourselves Lobos? Where did that name come from?

LSN seems to be the preferred choice, and I can kind of see why. But tell me, why not use Kaplan? Is there a better program, or do you just not think those test programs are worth it? They have a $ back guarantee that you will improve your score, and my idea is to do most of the work improving my score before going in, and then getting the extra help, maybe for free. :D My weak part was actually the reasoning portions, I did just average on those, and then kicked the other two portions. But those should be easier to work on with a logic Bible and a couple courses in logic.


TheSpanishMain wrote:Is "sour nanny" a thing?

Anyway, OP, it's fine to go to a regional school, provided you're okay with not doing BigLaw (and it sounds like you're fine with that). No one here really puts a lot of stock into the rankings. Go to lawschooltransparency.com and check the employment rates of the schools you're interested in and let that be your guide. Likelihood of the job you want and the cost of attendance should be the factors you consider, not USNWR ranking. What school are you considering?


:D I don't think I would mind big law, but I'm not gunning for it. I'd like to practice in the northeast, so I'm looking at BC, BU, Northeastern, UMaine, UNH, Suffolk, Vermont, pretty much in that order. I'm still open to practicing elsewhere - I've seen that regional schools in the West and in just south of the Mason Dixon line are easy to get into and have pretty good job prospects, but I'd prefer to work in the northeast.


lawschool22 wrote:Also, don't let the fact that you don't want T14 trick you into thinking you don't need a great LSAT score. If your plan is to go regional, you need to do so for as little $$$ as possible, which requires good scholarships. This, just like cracking the T14, requires a great LSAT (especially given your GPA). So head over to the LSAT prep forum, and make sure you have a good study plan lined up. With a bit of hard work and effort, and 170+ score is certainly in you (given that cold diagnostic, assuming you took it under test-day conditions). With a solid LSAT, then the regional-for-cheap strategy is in your grasp.

ETA: One other note. If you are planning to go regional, then the rankings matter even less. You should basically decide where you want to practice, and pick the school in that state with the best employment numbers (assuming it's still pretty cheap). What I'm basically saying is, don't go to BU over Ohio State simply because it is ranked higher, if you want to practice in Ohio. Actually, for the most part, don't go to any regional school that's not in the region you want to practice in.


Mhmmm. Yeah I'm definitely not looking at going into a T14, I honeslty don't think I have the marks, nor am I that ambitious. I'll certainly be looking to head over to the prep forum.

Thank you all for the responses. They've been informative and helpful.

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malleus discentium

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby malleus discentium » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:02 pm

Shooting for T14 isn't ambitious, it's financially prudent.

But don't use Kaplan because their methods are garbage. You probably don't need a class at all. Use PowerScore, Manhattan or the LSAT Trainer and self study.

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lawschool22

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:14 pm

malleus discentium wrote:Shooting for T14 isn't ambitious, it's financially prudent.

But don't use Kaplan because their methods are garbage. You probably don't need a class at all. Use PowerScore, Manhattan or the LSAT Trainer and self study.


Yeah, don't use Kaplan.

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Yea All Right

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Yea All Right » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:19 pm

Whether or not you should enroll in a class depends on your personal study habits as well as your financial situation. Personally I appreciated the structure that came with a prep course since I'm pretty lazy about self-study.

Edit: General consensus seems to be to avoid Kaplan though.
Last edited by Yea All Right on Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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lawschool22

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:21 pm

Yea All Right wrote:Whether or not you should enroll in a class depends on your personal study habits as well as your financial situation. Personally I appreciated the structure that came with a prep course since I'm pretty lazy about self-study.


Yeah I needed some sort of structure, but didn't want a full-blown class. I liked the Manhattan LSAT Interact course. It was a nice balance between the two.

Troianii

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby Troianii » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:23 pm

malleus discentium wrote:Shooting for T14 isn't ambitious, it's financially prudent.

But don't use Kaplan because their methods are garbage. You probably don't need a class at all. Use PowerScore, Manhattan or the LSAT Trainer and self study.



Eh. I'm not intimately familiar with their methods, but my thoughts on it are that it couldn't hurt, and if I'm potentially shelling out money I'll certainly go. Based on their promotional, you improve with them or it's free. And if I can get myself to improve from a 158 to scoring about a 168 consistently, then I think even a three point boost from a $1500 course would be worth it. I'm not rich, but I don't mind putting down some money if it will potentially help me get into a better program, or get a better scholarship.

But it sounds like Manhattan is preferred. I'm fine with taking them over Kaplan, but I still think I'll take a prep course. I was looking and their standard courses are about $1200. I've heard a lot about the powerscore books and intend to get some. I actually got six prep books 'like new' on ebay but the guy actually had marked them cover to cover with all the answers. Total doucher.

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lawschool22

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Re: 2 Q'S: law school predictor, and usefulness of old tests

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:25 pm

Yeah no one is saying don't use a course if you want. Just don't use Kaplan. And actually yes, their methods can hurt you. If you want a course I would say manhattan is a good bet.



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