Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

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somedeadman

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Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:21 pm

Question - Should I study for the LSAT for a third time (June 2017), or focus on getting ready for law school?

Context - I scored a 169 my first try in June 2016 after a year of studying, in which I did the PowerScore bibles and 50 practice tests (along with drilling of course). My range was 167-171 for over 30 tests. I decided that I owed myself one more shot at the test, so I took it again in September 2016. I studied for this test by doing all of the hardest LR problems and games, along with redoing the modern LSATs (retakes were always 175+). I scored a 168.

So far I have gotten into one t14. I have been waitlisted at two of my top choices. I applied in mid October, and still have not heard back from most places (3.66-3.7 GPA btw).

I probably would not even be thinking about retaking this if it wasn't for the story of one poster on this board who managed to get a 178 after doing every single test 2x, and was able to acquire a full ride from their dream school because of their effort. In addition, I recently was laid off, and find myself with a lot of free time.

The alternative course of action would be to take a criminal law and business law class at a local community college and do other things to prepare for school. I have secured a part-time contract job. I don't feel great about my chances of getting full-time meaningful employment, and I wouldn't want to work somewhere for 6 months only to leave anyways.
Last edited by somedeadman on Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

somedeadman

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:23 pm

P.S. My score breakdown for the tests were:

June 2016
LR: -3, -3 (left one unbubbled!)
AR: -2
RC: -4 (hardest section for me, was a godsend I got this high of a score)

September 2016
LR: -4, -3
AR: -1
RC: -5 (I have a funny feeling redoing RC sections is not a great way to study, but it was also a hard RC section)

Also, to study for June I would do every single published LSAT 2x, just as the poster mentioned above did. I would also do 6-7 section tests instead of just 5.

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zerato5

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby zerato5 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 2:31 pm

If you scored far enough under your PT results that you think you have room for improvement, I would suggest a retake. You can sit out for a term if you want, or you can just send your schools the updated test results.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:08 pm

zerato5 wrote:If you scored far enough under your PT results that you think you have room for improvement, I would suggest a retake. You can sit out for a term if you want, or you can just send your schools the updated test results.

I did not, which is why I'm having an existential crisis. I scored within my pt range after a year of studying, so is a retake a waste of time? That's the question.

It'd be helpful if I had more school decisons back, but alas, I do not.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby emkay625 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:00 pm

So far, it seems you have not heard back from most places. Sit tight. You already have 1 T-14 acceptance, and you only need 1. Here is what you should do:

1.Write LOCIs to the two schools you have been waitlisted at. Continue to write LOCIs as you get more waitlists.
2. Wait to hear back from a few other schools.
3. Negotiate $ once you have 3 acceptances or so.

With those numbers and an application date in October, you should be fine.

You've prepped a ton, and your score is within your PT range. I would not advocate sitting out a cycle for a third retake. If anything, I would say retake in February with the hopes of an improved score allowing you to negotiate $/get off some waitlists.

Whatever you decide to do, there's no need to make the decision now. Make the decision around March/April once you have a full view of how your cycle is going to go. For now, spend time doing something you like. Get an internship. Volunteer. Etc.

Edited to add: I would not take those community college business law courses. If you want to do 0L prep, read getting to maybe. You don't need to do anything else. If you insist on doing more, read the E&Es for the 1L courses. But that's way overkill.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:45 pm

emkay625 wrote:So far, it seems you have not heard back from most places. Sit tight. You already have 1 T-14 acceptance, and you only need 1. Here is what you should do:

1.Write LOCIs to the two schools you have been waitlisted at. Continue to write LOCIs as you get more waitlists.
2. Wait to hear back from a few other schools.
3. Negotiate $ once you have 3 acceptances or so.

With those numbers and an application date in October, you should be fine.

You've prepped a ton, and your score is within your PT range. I would not advocate sitting out a cycle for a third retake. If anything, I would say retake in February with the hopes of an improved score allowing you to negotiate $/get off some waitlists.

Whatever you decide to do, there's no need to make the decision now. Make the decision around March/April once you have a full view of how your cycle is going to go. For now, spend time doing something you like. Get an internship. Volunteer. Etc.

Edited to add: I would not take those community college business law courses. If you want to do 0L prep, read getting to maybe. You don't need to do anything else. If you insist on doing more, read the E&Es for the 1L courses. But that's way overkill.

Thanks for the response.

I was not going to sit out a cycle; rather, I was going to send an updated score.

I've started the loci campaign. I think this wait is getting to me. Seeing people who have applied after me and have gotten in has made me afraid that my gpa/lsat combo isn't up to snuff and/or I submitted a bad application.

Further, I feel like one more attempt at the lsat is a better use of my time than working a retail job or something to that effect. Then again, sitting for another lsat to only marginally improve (or not at all) sounds like a nightmare.

In short, I am riddled with doubt.
Last edited by somedeadman on Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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blackmamba8

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby blackmamba8 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:58 pm

I don't think you have anything to lose if you retake a third time, might as well roll the dice and see what happens.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:08 pm

blackmamba8 wrote:I don't think you have anything to lose if you retake a third time, might as well roll the dice and see what happens.

That has been my thinking guiding my decision (so far).

It's either spend 5 months studying for the LSAT, with huge upside (more scholarship money, get into better schools, etc.) or chill/spend some time working in a law office (like I said, I don't feel comfortable getting a salaried position only to leave shortly after).

With that said, the data so far strongly suggests 169 is my score. And perhaps this makes me a weakling, but I don't know if I could handle the mental carnage of busting my ass for another 5 months only to not improve on that score.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby grades?? » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:12 pm

OP, I think you might be referencing me about taking every test 3x. I would tell you to retake it anyway. Best case, you get a fantastic score and options change. Worst case, nothing changes but who cares. This is another opportunity for success, so grab the opportunity. Take it again. Plus the pressure is off.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:19 pm

grades?? wrote:OP, I think you might be referencing me about taking every test 3x. I would tell you to retake it anyway. Best case, you get a fantastic score and options change. Worst case, nothing changes but who cares. This is another opportunity for success, so grab the opportunity. Take it again. Plus the pressure is off.

Yes, I am actually referencing you!

And that has been what I've been feeling as of late (until yesterday...). There is no downside, other than my mental comfort. I guess it's put up or shut up time.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby grades?? » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:24 pm

somedeadman wrote:
grades?? wrote:OP, I think you might be referencing me about taking every test 3x. I would tell you to retake it anyway. Best case, you get a fantastic score and options change. Worst case, nothing changes but who cares. This is another opportunity for success, so grab the opportunity. Take it again. Plus the pressure is off.

Yes, I am actually referencing you!


Im glad to be of motivational help! The truth is my story is much like yours. I got into a great school with a great scholarship, but I had that third retake sitting in my pocket. I didn't get into where I really wanted to go so I spent those 5 months from end of Jan to June to refocus and just do as best as possible. It wasn't until end of march I broke 170 consistently. Then in 2 more weeks it was a matter if I was getting 1 or 2 wrong in total. It takes dedication, but you can do it. Also, when I sat for the third time, I literally had no pressure. If it doesn't go well, well then f*&^ it, I already deposited to somewhere I would go. So that third take was truthfully the easiest test I ever took because there was no pressure. I knew the material and just was able to focus and do each problem.

So yes, retake it. You are in exactly the position I was in. You have the opportunity to outdo me and I hope you do. Go for it. Dont look back.

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emkay625

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby emkay625 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:45 pm

Oh! Well if you're not sitting out a cycle than you have nothing to lose. Yes, retake.

I would, however, encourage you to take the Feb. test rather than June. Once you get June results, there's not a lot of traction left for you to get out of the score. Schools will have run out of scholarship money by then, waitlist activity will be minimal. It would be much more advantageous to retake in February. You've already prepped before, I truly don't think you're going to get anything out of five months that you can't get in two.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:58 pm

emkay625 wrote:Oh! Well if you're not sitting out a cycle than you have nothing to lose. Yes, retake.

I would, however, encourage you to take the Feb. test rather than June. Once you get June results, there's not a lot of traction left for you to get out of the score. Schools will have run out of scholarship money by then, waitlist activity will be minimal. It would be much more advantageous to retake in February. You've already prepped before, I truly don't think you're going to get anything out of five months that you can't get in two.

Hmmm....that's tough to be honest. I haven't touched the LSAT in 3 months. And if I was to retake, I would want to do something major like really dissecting the tests instead of just getting warmed up for a hail mary. I'll have to think about this.

Edit - also, would schools wait to make a decision on me if they saw I was registered for the Feb. LSAT?

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:59 pm

grades?? wrote:
somedeadman wrote:
grades?? wrote:OP, I think you might be referencing me about taking every test 3x. I would tell you to retake it anyway. Best case, you get a fantastic score and options change. Worst case, nothing changes but who cares. This is another opportunity for success, so grab the opportunity. Take it again. Plus the pressure is off.

Yes, I am actually referencing you!


Im glad to be of motivational help! The truth is my story is much like yours. I got into a great school with a great scholarship, but I had that third retake sitting in my pocket. I didn't get into where I really wanted to go so I spent those 5 months from end of Jan to June to refocus and just do as best as possible. It wasn't until end of march I broke 170 consistently. Then in 2 more weeks it was a matter if I was getting 1 or 2 wrong in total. It takes dedication, but you can do it. Also, when I sat for the third time, I literally had no pressure. If it doesn't go well, well then f*&^ it, I already deposited to somewhere I would go. So that third take was truthfully the easiest test I ever took because there was no pressure. I knew the material and just was able to focus and do each problem.

So yes, retake it. You are in exactly the position I was in. You have the opportunity to outdo me and I hope you do. Go for it. Dont look back.


Awesome, thanks so much for the motivation! I am definitely going to retake, and am now deciding between whether doing it in Feb. or June would be better.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:45 pm

Just contacted some of the schools I applied to, and it sounds like my application would remain incomplete until I submitted the Feb. LSAT score. So I think I'll stick with the June retake timetable, unless people think it's okay to wait to have my application considered in February (which I'm strongly against).

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby grades?? » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:49 pm

somedeadman wrote:Just contacted some of the schools I applied to, and it sounds like my application would remain incomplete until I submitted the Feb. LSAT score. So I think I'll stick with the June retake timetable, unless people think it's okay to wait to have my application considered in February (which I'm strongly against).


Yes wait till June. Just get through this application cycle as you are, and then take the June test.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:55 pm

grades?? wrote:
somedeadman wrote:Just contacted some of the schools I applied to, and it sounds like my application would remain incomplete until I submitted the Feb. LSAT score. So I think I'll stick with the June retake timetable, unless people think it's okay to wait to have my application considered in February (which I'm strongly against).


Yes wait till June. Just get through this application cycle as you are, and then take the June test.

Awesome, sounds like that's what I'll do.

Back on board!

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby Anon.y.mousse. » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:05 pm

somedeadman wrote:Just contacted some of the schools I applied to, and it sounds like my application would remain incomplete until I submitted the Feb. LSAT score. So I think I'll stick with the June retake timetable, unless people think it's okay to wait to have my application considered in February (which I'm strongly against).


Who did you contact that said this, if you don't mind me asking?

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:29 pm

Anon.y.mousse. wrote:
somedeadman wrote:Just contacted some of the schools I applied to, and it sounds like my application would remain incomplete until I submitted the Feb. LSAT score. So I think I'll stick with the June retake timetable, unless people think it's okay to wait to have my application considered in February (which I'm strongly against).


Who did you contact that said this, if you don't mind me asking?

First LSAC, and they said it's different for each school, and then I emailed the admissions office of one of my top choices.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby Ferrisjso » Tue Dec 27, 2016 1:23 am

No one should be advising someone with a 169 that they need to put off law school a year to retake(if you're deadset on your dream schools and believe you can get a few more points that's another story, just know that people on here are almost never going to tell you that you shouldn't retake), especially seeing how low admissions numbers have dipped the last few years. You're in a wonderful situation :D

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:27 am

Ferrisjso wrote:...just know that people on here are almost never going to tell you that you shouldn't retake...


That's weird. No one on this thread has advocated sitting out a year, and most people saying the OP should retake are simply advocating it as a see-what-happens approach.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:23 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
Ferrisjso wrote:...just know that people on here are almost never going to tell you that you shouldn't retake...


That's weird. No one on this thread has advocated sitting out a year, and most people saying the OP should retake are simply advocating it as a see-what-happens approach.

That's my interpretation as well.

So, it's generally agreed upon that taking the June test is not a waste of my time, correct? I'm going to forgo seeking fulltime employment for this process.

I'm little worried about schools not accepting it for this cycle, but I know grades?? didn't have issues since he had such a large score increase.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:05 am

somedeadman wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Ferrisjso wrote:...just know that people on here are almost never going to tell you that you shouldn't retake...


That's weird. No one on this thread has advocated sitting out a year, and most people saying the OP should retake are simply advocating it as a see-what-happens approach.

That's my interpretation as well.

So, it's generally agreed upon that taking the June test is not a waste of my time, correct? I'm going to forgo seeking fulltime employment for this process.

I'm little worried about schools not accepting it for this cycle, but I know grades?? didn't have issues since he had such a large score increase.


Taking the June test for this cycle would probably be a waste of time. No school will have extra money sitting around a few months after they confirmed their class enrollment, and you certainly won't turn rejections into acceptances. February is a better bet for you.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby somedeadman » Fri Dec 30, 2016 11:53 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
somedeadman wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
Ferrisjso wrote:...just know that people on here are almost never going to tell you that you shouldn't retake...


That's weird. No one on this thread has advocated sitting out a year, and most people saying the OP should retake are simply advocating it as a see-what-happens approach.

That's my interpretation as well.

So, it's generally agreed upon that taking the June test is not a waste of my time, correct? I'm going to forgo seeking fulltime employment for this process.

I'm little worried about schools not accepting it for this cycle, but I know grades?? didn't have issues since he had such a large score increase.


Taking the June test for this cycle would probably be a waste of time. No school will have extra money sitting around a few months after they confirmed their class enrollment, and you certainly won't turn rejections into acceptances. February is a better bet for you.

Unfortunately that would pause my application at some of my top choices. I am not certain if I can get above a 169, so I'd rather have my application reviewed and know where I stand.

In addition, grades??, did take the June LSAT and was able to use it get off the waitlists of schools, and even some schools that initially rejected him gave him offers.

Though I see your point. A one point increase may not do a lot for me. Really need to make a dramatic improvement.

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Re: Take LSAT 3rd time, or get ready for school?

Postby albanach » Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:18 pm

somedeadman wrote:
blackmamba8 wrote:I don't think you have anything to lose if you retake a third time, might as well roll the dice and see what happens.

That has been my thinking guiding my decision (so far).

It's either spend 5 months studying for the LSAT, with huge upside (more scholarship money, get into better schools, etc.) or chill/spend some time working in a law office (like I said, I don't feel comfortable getting a salaried position only to leave shortly after).

With that said, the data so far strongly suggests 169 is my score. And perhaps this makes me a weakling, but I don't know if I could handle the mental carnage of busting my ass for another 5 months only to not improve on that score.


You can always register and cancel if you're not scoring above 169 in practice.



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