3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

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nicolemi18
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3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby nicolemi18 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:21 am

Okay. First, I'll give some background information.

I'm a Political Science major with a minor in leadership studies. (3.5 GPA - consistent throughout UG & I'm starting senior year) I have strong softs. I have multiple extracurricular activities, service, leadership (including starting & being president of a pre-law related org at my school). I've also interned in a congressional office and a family justice center. (The justice center deals with domestic violence/elder abuse/child abuse/sexual assault cases). For recommendations, I have strong recommendations from extracurriculars, internship, & a few professors. I'm also a URM.

I started prepping for the LSAT in January of 2017. My diagnostic was really low at 142. I couldn't financially afford a course & decided to do self prep. I used the Powerscore bibles & literally one PT book. So, I only did 10 PT's. During my prep, I finally broke 160 but it wasn't consistent. I went into the test nervous about this inconsistency & contemplated canceling... I didn't & scored a 154.

LG is still a weakness. I literally bombed the LG section. RC is good for me & LR is ehhhh okay. Any advice on where to start? Should I reuse the Bible's, order more prep tests & retake in September? Or postpone until December & take a course? (Even though that test will be right before finals?) Any tips on breaking 160?

Also, my dream school is carolina.

cavalier1138
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:10 am

If you go to the LSAT Prep forum here, you're more likely to get good, specific advice about how to train for the LSAT. But in general, you can take your time. Law school isn't going anywhere, and taking some time between undergrad and law school to work/live a little is a good thing.

mrcfa1995
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby mrcfa1995 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:42 am

Honestly the key is hard work and consistency. You should retake, but not until you've done every PT from 60-80 and every logic game from 50+. LG is the easiest section to improve. I went from 11-14 on early PT's, to 22 correct on test day; I've have heard of many starting where I was and pulling off a perfect 23. The LG bible is good but honestly the key is to play ALOT of games. If you think about it, 90% of the games fall into grouping and sequencing so if you can master those then you'll be golden. Work till you get a good feel for both and then keep working until you learn advanced LG strategies (templates are a MUST for 19+ game players). Other than that, check out the lsat prep forum and the website lsat prep blog (it has free video explanations of every game up to PT 72).

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guynourmin
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby guynourmin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:08 am

mrcfa1995 wrote:You should retake, but not until you've done every PT from 60-80 and every logic game from 50+.


most of your advice is fine/good, but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.

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Hennessy
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby Hennessy » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:29 pm

OP shouldn't retake until they can consistently score -1 or -0 on LG in practice tests. It is by far the most learnable section of the test.

OP, I used 7sage extensively to drill LG, it was the most useful tool in learning the game types and structures for answering them. You can do it! Just drill drill drill.

Also, your new dream school is Duke.

mrcfa1995
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby mrcfa1995 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:33 pm

guybourdin wrote:but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.


The range isn't necessarily arbitrary because the newer tests more accurately reflect what you're likely to see test day (or so I've been told). And taking all the PT's is great advice, but not everyone has/had the time to do that (I.E. me). 60-80 is just like the minimum if you want a good score imo (paired with section work pulled from earlier tests). Then again, I can only speak from my experience which is not very extensive

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guynourmin
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby guynourmin » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:05 pm

mrcfa1995 wrote:not everyone has the time


OP has a couple months before starting their last year of college. Maybe not everyone has time (I disagree, but that's not important to this conversation), but OP certainly has the time.

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Slippin' Jimmy
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby Slippin' Jimmy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:04 am

mrcfa1995 wrote:
guybourdin wrote:but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.


The range isn't necessarily arbitrary because the newer tests more accurately reflect what you're likely to see test day (or so I've been told). And taking all the PT's is great advice, but not everyone has/had the time to do that (I.E. me). 60-80 is just like the minimum if you want a good score imo (paired with section work pulled from earlier tests). Then again, I can only speak from my experience which is not very extensive

I agree that 60-80 is the minimum, but of course more is better. Personally I did 29-80 but more/less may be required depending on the person.

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Greenteachurro
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby Greenteachurro » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:02 am

mrcfa1995 wrote:
guybourdin wrote:but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.


The range isn't necessarily arbitrary because the newer tests more accurately reflect what you're likely to see test day (or so I've been told). And taking all the PT's is great advice, but not everyone has/had the time to do that (I.E. me). 60-80 is just like the minimum if you want a good score imo (paired with section work pulled from earlier tests). Then again, I can only speak from my experience which is not very extensive


yeah but during prep you don't need to always assess where you are for prep day. the earlier tests are still very good for getting better at the LSAT.

OP probably doesn't need to do literally ALL of the tests, considering we don't know how they'll improve. OP do all of the tests until you can get 5 points higher than what you want to get on test day. This might actually mean doing ALL of the tests twice or three times. Also don't undersell yourself, you can do way better than what you think you can. Attempt 170 +

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RParadela
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby RParadela » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:06 am

guybourdin wrote:
mrcfa1995 wrote:You should retake, but not until you've done every PT from 60-80 and every logic game from 50+.


most of your advice is fine/good, but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.


Don't you have unlimited takes now? Why not keep taking the real thing?

cavalier1138
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:28 am

RParadela wrote:
guybourdin wrote:
mrcfa1995 wrote:You should retake, but not until you've done every PT from 60-80 and every logic game from 50+.


most of your advice is fine/good, but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.


Don't you have unlimited takes now? Why not keep taking the real thing?


That would be the most inefficient use of time I can imagine. Even with the added administrations, you can't sit for enough actual LSATs in a year to make it a decent method of preparation.

Also, I know that schools only look at the highest score, but I imagine that someone with 5+ retakes might raise some eyebrows.

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RParadela
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby RParadela » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:45 am

cavalier1138 wrote:
RParadela wrote:
guybourdin wrote:
mrcfa1995 wrote:You should retake, but not until you've done every PT from 60-80 and every logic game from 50+.


most of your advice is fine/good, but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.


Don't you have unlimited takes now? Why not keep taking the real thing?


That would be the most inefficient use of time I can imagine. Even with the added administrations, you can't sit for enough actual LSATs in a year to make it a decent method of preparation.

Also, I know that schools only look at the highest score, but I imagine that someone with 5+ retakes might raise some eyebrows.


Lol, I'm not suggesting that he should study by taking the LSAT, but whats the harm in taking it again in September? Other than the aforementioned concern about having several takes on your resume, there is very little downside to taking the LSAT in September even if you haven't done every single practice test.

pike25
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby pike25 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:40 am

RParadela wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
RParadela wrote:
guybourdin wrote:
mrcfa1995 wrote:You should retake, but not until you've done every PT from 60-80 and every logic game from 50+.


most of your advice is fine/good, but this just seems wrong. OP is going into their senior year of college. There is absolutely no rush on law school whatsoever. OP should not retake until they have done every PT period. Not it some arbitrary range, just literally all of them.


Don't you have unlimited takes now? Why not keep taking the real thing?


That would be the most inefficient use of time I can imagine. Even with the added administrations, you can't sit for enough actual LSATs in a year to make it a decent method of preparation.

Also, I know that schools only look at the highest score, but I imagine that someone with 5+ retakes might raise some eyebrows.


Lol, I'm not suggesting that he should study by taking the LSAT, but whats the harm in taking it again in September? Other than the aforementioned concern about having several takes on your resume, there is very little downside to taking the LSAT in September even if you haven't done every single practice test.

The downside is that if there is a significant score difference between LSATs, some schools will sometimes ask for addendums explaining the difference. Also, I believe schools will take the highest LSAT if you've taken it 2-3 times, after that they might start averaging your scores or simply ignore the scores from the 4th or 5th LSAT retake. Also the LSAT costs money.

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guynourmin
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby guynourmin » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:41 am

pike25 wrote:after that they might start averaging your scores


Do you have any reason to believe this or are you just saying it to say it?

YinFireHare
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby YinFireHare » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:01 pm

nicolemi18 wrote:Okay. First, I'll give some background information.

I'm a Political Science major with a minor in leadership studies. (3.5 GPA - consistent throughout UG & I'm starting senior year) I have strong softs. I have multiple extracurricular activities, service, leadership (including starting & being president of a pre-law related org at my school). I've also interned in a congressional office and a family justice center. (The justice center deals with domestic violence/elder abuse/child abuse/sexual assault cases). For recommendations, I have strong recommendations from extracurriculars, internship, & a few professors. I'm also a URM.

I started prepping for the LSAT in January of 2017. My diagnostic was really low at 142. I couldn't financially afford a course & decided to do self prep. I used the Powerscore bibles & literally one PT book. So, I only did 10 PT's. During my prep, I finally broke 160 but it wasn't consistent. I went into the test nervous about this inconsistency & contemplated canceling... I didn't & scored a 154.

LG is still a weakness. I literally bombed the LG section. RC is good for me & LR is ehhhh okay. Any advice on where to start? Should I reuse the Bible's, order more prep tests & retake in September? Or postpone until December & take a course? (Even though that test will be right before finals?) Any tips on breaking 160?

Also, my dream school is carolina.


Hey, first of all congratulations on a 12 point gain compared to your diagnostic based on doing only 10 practice tests! Imagine how much more improvement can be made as you learn more about the exam and apply what you learn the next time you take the test. Think of it as an amazing opportunity.

What I would do if I were you is I would look up the exact exam that you took and take the exam again under timed conditions as well as score it. Then, you can determine exactly what type of questions are your weakness and focus on learning from your mistakes.

Personally, I don't think it's necessary to use any particular test prep company because the makers of the LSAT do tell you everything you need to know in the handbook. Practice tests will be the key.

Develop a study plan, stick to it, and learn what is your personal study technique. Be sure to allow room to reassess and maintain some flexibility. Ultimately, in life, with a personalized approach, the time that we put into something usually pays off. It is always good to know more and this exam can make you smarter and more prepared to attend law school. Try to enjoy the journey and do not stress.

ONE MORE THING - Do not sign up for the exam until your practice test scores are consistently averaging at your goal. Think of it like a game. It's kind of like the playoffs and you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. You can coach yourself and decide when to join your teammates to take the exam. Since this is such an important exam, I do not believe that time should be a factor. If you graduate, find a job and continue to prepare. Take the exam when you feel ready.

pike25
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby pike25 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:25 pm

guybourdin wrote:
pike25 wrote:after that they might start averaging your scores


Do you have any reason to believe this or are you just saying it to say it?


Several T14 schools I know state that they will take a "holistic approach" to reviewing your LSAT scores, just like the rest of your application. NYU website for example says "they evaluate based on the average score in most cases"

cavalier1138
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Re: 3.5/154 first lsat - retake prep opinions?

Postby cavalier1138 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:00 pm

pike25 wrote:
guybourdin wrote:
pike25 wrote:after that they might start averaging your scores


Do you have any reason to believe this or are you just saying it to say it?


Several T14 schools I know state that they will take a "holistic approach" to reviewing your LSAT scores, just like the rest of your application. NYU website for example says "they evaluate based on the average score in most cases"


Right, and adcomms say that your LSAT/GPA doesn't make or break an application. Publicity materials lie.




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