Am I a failure?

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Metapod

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Am I a failure?

Postby Metapod » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:08 pm

Just wanted to get some input on this. I took an LSAT class over the last summer in preparation for the September LSAT (gave me good basics but didn't see too much progress). I took the September test knowing I wasn't 100 percent ready and got a 159, which was only two points better than my initial diagnostic. I then decided I'd do self-study for the December test and took 15 practice tests under test day conditions. I was consistently scoring 167s, 8s and 9s but never broke 170. After feeling good about December, I got my scores back and only got a 160. I know I'll hear all about the need to retake, but I'm a bit at a loss right now. I felt really good about December before getting my scores back and I don't really know where to go with my studying now. Maybe LG and LR bibles mixed with practice tests? Am I a failure given all this? Should I just accept my 160 and should I worry about having three LSAT scores if I retake? Thank you all.

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TLSModBot

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby TLSModBot » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:12 pm

Harden thyself and despair not; one day you will emerge from all this studying a beautiful Butterfree

There is no downside to retaking if you find a way to improve - more than one score isn't a downside at all. Figure out where you were weakest (either substantively on the test or in your test-taking method), maybe invest in a tutor, study hard, and you can learn the LSAT. Even if you can only get into the mid or upper 160's, you'll still have a decent shot at a number of schools.

Npret

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby Npret » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:43 pm

How did you study? Did you blind review, follow guides here, take tests under strict timed conditions? I know you said you took 15 tests under test conditions, but obviously something was easier in those exams than the actual test.

You aren't a failure because of a score on a ridiculous entrance admission exam.

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Metapod

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby Metapod » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:04 pm

Npret wrote:How did you study? Did you blind review, follow guides here, take tests under strict timed conditions? I know you said you took 15 tests under test conditions, but obviously something was easier in those exams than the actual test.

You aren't a failure because of a score on a ridiculous entrance admission exam.


Thank you. I originally took a few tests untimed to familiarize myself more/find my weak points. I then worked up to the 15 tests under full/strict test conditions or as close as I could get them with the timer on my phone and a library. I blind reviewed after each. Comparing the tests I took to my December test, I missed about 2-3 more questions on each of the LRs (I had four perfect LR sections over the practices and generally -3 or fewer otherwise) and then really fell off on LG (-10). LG was generally a hit or miss ranging from -2 to -7 on the practice tests (more -2s and -3s than -7s). So trying to get perfect LGs might be my best bet. I'm considering whether I would be okay just trying to continue working through old tests, maybe working through until I can get untimed perfects or whether I need to pop for bibles.

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guynourmin

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby guynourmin » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:19 pm

Metapod wrote:So trying to get perfect LGs might be my best bet.


Perfect LG brings your 160 to a 167. This was a HUGE part of my retake strategy (for LR, though). I just counted: 75% of my improvement was just in Logical Reasoning and it was a significant improvement. If you retake, spending a lot more time on LG is a good idea imo.

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Metapod

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby Metapod » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:28 pm

guybourdin wrote:
Metapod wrote:So trying to get perfect LGs might be my best bet.


Perfect LG brings your 160 to a 167. This was a HUGE part of my retake strategy (for LR, though). I just counted: 75% of my improvement was just in Logical Reasoning and it was a significant improvement. If you retake, spending a lot more time on LG is a good idea imo.


Can I ask what you did to see that improvement? Just taking old tests or did you use prep materials?

20170322

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby 20170322 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:31 pm

More generally, your self worth is so much more than a dumb test. Law is one of many, many career options. You will have the chance to lead an amazing life, regardless of whether you attend law school.

(steps off soap box)

Npret

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby Npret » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:54 pm

My understanding is that law games is the easiest to improve and I've seen many guides and threads here discussing how to do it.

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby Blue664 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:34 am

Because there's 2 LR sections, missing on those can really add up. For those, it's easy and not too exhausting to drill question types - I saw a big improvement when I took a break from practicing with full LR sections and moved to mastering question types with a Kaplan mastery workbook. That was easier for me to improve on than LG, which I got better at, but only a teensy bit faster.

Did you use recent PTs to practice? The test has definitely evolved and I found the pre-60ish ones to be deceptively easier. And, taking 15 PTs definitely isn't exhaustive practice - there's definitely room for improvement. Taking it a third time is seriously no big deal, especially if you can make a big improvement. You can do it! Put in some seriously time between now and June (or between now and September if you're working full time). Or, at least you'll know for sure and can move on to bigger and better things if you don't decide to apply.

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appind

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby appind » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:02 am

Metapod wrote:Just wanted to get some input on this. I took an LSAT class over the last summer in preparation for the September LSAT (gave me good basics but didn't see too much progress). I took the September test knowing I wasn't 100 percent ready and got a ***, which was only two points better than my initial diagnostic. I then decided I'd do self-study for the December test and took 15 practice tests under test day conditions. I was consistently scoring <***>, 8s and 9s but never broke <num>. After feeling good about December, I got my scores back and only got a ***. I know I'll hear all about the need to retake, but I'm a bit at a loss right now. I felt really good about December before getting my scores back and I don't really know where to go with my studying now. Maybe LG and LR bibles mixed with practice tests? Am I a failure given all this? Should I just accept my *** and should I worry about having *** LSAT scores if I retake? Thank you all.


15 PTs is nothing. i had a diag of around 130. after immense prep i reached low 170s recently on the real thing. not that you have to do it, but to reach your potential you may have to prep a LOT more than others, and it can be done.

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tncats

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby tncats » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:34 am

Taking multiple practice tests isn't all that helpful if you're not learning what types of errors you're making. Reviewing your results is necessary but not sufficient for significant improvement. Get a few books and work through them.

FWIW, I jumped from about 50% LG to 100% LG after going through Kaplan's "Logic Games" book. I don't think they make that specific book anymore, but you should find something similar and work through it for all three subjects if possible.

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SunDevil14

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby SunDevil14 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:56 pm

Metapod wrote:Just wanted to get some input on this. I took an LSAT class over the last summer in preparation for the September LSAT (gave me good basics but didn't see too much progress). I took the September test knowing I wasn't 100 percent ready and got a 159, which was only two points better than my initial diagnostic. I then decided I'd do self-study for the December test and took 15 practice tests under test day conditions. I was consistently scoring 167s, 8s and 9s but never broke 170. After feeling good about December, I got my scores back and only got a 160. I know I'll hear all about the need to retake, but I'm a bit at a loss right now. I felt really good about December before getting my scores back and I don't really know where to go with my studying now. Maybe LG and LR bibles mixed with practice tests? Am I a failure given all this? Should I just accept my 160 and should I worry about having three LSAT scores if I retake? Thank you all.


You are not a failure. Believe me, I feel your pain. I did not study much the first time around and got a 160. For my second attempt I put in roughly 30-40 hours a week for 6 months. I was PTing in the low 170's and cracked 173+ a handful of times. In the end, I took about 50 timed practice tests. On test day I was so burned out, stressed, anxious, and overworked that I scored worse than my first attempt where I barely studied. I got a 159.

A 160 is a fine score depending on your goals and aspirations. Coupled with a high GPA, a 160 can gain you admissions and scholarship offers to many schools outside the top 14. Unfortunately, a 160 is not a very competitive score for the top schools, so if you want T14 then you will likely have to take the test a third time. For the most part 3 scores will not matter too much, schools generally take the top score.

Key to any study plan moving forward is identifying where exactly you went wrong, and where you are likely to make large improvements.

erikbonilla

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby erikbonilla » Tue Jan 24, 2017 6:07 pm

No matter who you are, what you do for a living, how many graduate degrees you've earned, or how often you successfully guess the answer to those trivia thingies that they play before the trailers at the movies, there are going to be times when you feel like a failure. The good news is that feeling like you're falling behind in your career isn't a sign that you actually are. And even if you are not where you want to be professionally right now, you're not doomed to be stuck there forever. The bad news, of course, is that when you're in that "I'm a loser/failure/general drain on society who should go accept my fate and live in cave where my crappiness won't rub off on anyone else" headspace, it's extraordinarily hard to believe that there's any better future on the horizon.

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Metapod

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby Metapod » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:16 pm

Thank you all. I have some applications out now (sent them thinking I would score higher in December) but I'm thinking I'll opt to retake in September and apply earlier next cycle. Now just need to find something to do for another year.

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Tiago Splitter

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Re: Am I a failure?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Jan 25, 2017 1:46 am

Metapod wrote:Thank you all. I have some applications out now (sent them thinking I would score higher in December) but I'm thinking I'll opt to retake in September and apply earlier next cycle. Now just need to find something to do for another year.

Sounds like you got the right attitude. Good luck. As others have said, don't ever base your worth on this stuff. Also, assuming you want to continue down this path, don't ever stop studying until you can comfortably get -0 on logic games. Once you're there you'll score fine on the LSAT.



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