LSAT, GPA, Diversity Questions

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hasek39
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:35 pm

LSAT, GPA, Diversity Questions

Postby hasek39 » Wed Jan 11, 2006 12:46 pm

hi guys,

I am home for winter break and I am taking the testmasters lsat prep course before i go back to school. I am currently a junior at a ivy league school and am planning on taking the june lsat.

i had a few questions. I was thinking about signing up and taking the feb lsat - knowing i would cancel the score - to get an idea of what game day is like. My problem is that my gpa will be low when i apply, ideally the lsac will compile my gpa to around a 3.2-3.4 but even thats generous.

This is why I need to hit my goal of > 175 on my LSAT. to achieve this i started taking testmasters now during break and im going to study on my own and then retake the testmasters course (thye have a repeat policy) when i go back to school before the june lsat.

do you guys have any tips on acing them? will my low gpa hurt me if i do meet my goals on the lsat? i am aiming for Georgetown, USC, UCLA, and I will apply to the top 5 (to see what they say).

also for minority applicants - are asian americans, specifically indian-americans - eligibile for diversity programs?

ive heard too many stories of people who study real hard for the lsat and then they are dissapointed after. i dont want that feeling, instead i want to to better than i expect to. i really want to stick it to the lsac because this material isnt beyond my (or anyones really) capability i feel they simply try and mess you up.

my first diag was at 148 cold with no prep. we have another diag this saturday lets see how it goes. im putting a lot of emphasis on this test.

thanks!

dtrossen
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 pm

Postby dtrossen » Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:54 pm

I scored a 175, which may be less than your >175 goal but the December LSAT was a bad draw for my skill set and my practices were 1 to 2 points higher. I think >175 is a bit aggressive for your starting scores but a target of 170 may be reasonable. I give the following advice to serious test takers who are scoring high already and want to go the extra mile.

(1) Master time management. Obtaining a sophisticated timer than controls time and question number is essential. By working with a timer during all practice tests I got a tremendous feel for time control that earned me at least 1 or 2 LSAT points.

(2) Develop a sophisticated strategy. A Princeton Review course is not for the very top test takers as the advice is too simple and the methods not conducive to scores deep into the 99th percentile. Your strategy should be custom to your strengths and weaknesses and should evolve as you analyze your practice test mistakes. If you are not a very top test taker follow the Princeton Review method and shoot for a 97th percentile score.

(3) Purchase the PowerScore books (there are two PowerScore bibles). Study these as these are a great place for your personal strategy to begin.

(4) Purchase as many real LSAT tests as possible. Take a practice test every day, preferably at the same time as your real test. Simulate testing conditions.

(5) Cut every single problem you miss on your daily test out of the LSAT book and save it. Review these missed problems often. Analyze the missed problems for trends. Refer back to the PowerScore books on problem types you have issue with. You must find where your mistakes are and correct them.

(6) Get in the mind of the test writers. Look for traps and don't follow the flock. Look for trap types you fall for in your cut out missed problem collection.

(7) Develop a system of notes and symbols to use on the test. You should have your own language for each of the section types that aids in your problem solving.

(8) Keep taking more and more tests with extreme focus on finding and correcting your errors. The mistakes in your thinking are there and with hard work you will find and correct them.

Following these steps will develop a speed and precision needed for a deep 99th percentile score. I spent one month with particular focus on the arguments and games sections. By test day I missed only one problem on these three sections. I missed 3 on reading comprehension which is a section I didn't focus on much and found it difficult to cut problems from. I missed a total of four on a terribly curved December LSAT and scored 175. In practice I had been between 176 and 177. If you are not a genius the road to a high score will come through long hours of serious test taking with the focus being on finding an eliminating thinking errors and avoiding traps. I hope this advice helps.

xikzhao
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:51 pm

Postby xikzhao » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:33 pm

I agree. The Dec. 2005 test had a terrible curve. Three scores above 170 weren't even possible... I missed three and scored a 177. dtrossen gave really good advice for the LSAT. There are only a couple of things I would add.

1) Don't concern yourself with the scaled score of previous tests. I mean, they're a good benchmark, but I've found that those scaled scores don't mean much at all (and may lure you into a false of security). Pay more attention to your raw score. To score >175, you should aim to get a raw score of 94+ (and even then no guarantees).

2) I tested myself with 34 minutes and with someback ground noise (just in case the test center is noisy and if the moderator makes a mistake).

3) To nail >175 you should plan on acing the games. They are the easiest to study for and (in my opinion) the most predictable section. Reading can be a crap shoot and when you're aiming for a perfect test, even a few weird arguements could tank you.

4) Don't freak yourself out... Keep things in perspective (ie 161 is like the 84th percentile). Set small goals for yourself (ie scoring consistently above 80 raw) and then gradually step them up (scoring consistently above 85 raw). And don't get discouraged...

5) Lastly, be consistent. Ultimately, after studying your butt off, there is only so much you can do... Your LSAT score could depend on some luck too (LSAT even acknowledges that your band, score +/- 3, is only 68% accurate)... Just do your best.

Georgetown, as they focus more on LSAT scores and admit such a large class, should be no problem for you if you score 170+

With regard to minority status, I can't imagine that Asian-Americans are an URM (underrepresented minority). I don't think being Indian-American will hurt you, but I don't think it'll be any help at any T-10 schools.

xikzhao
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:51 pm

Postby xikzhao » Wed Jan 11, 2006 11:40 pm

In fact, as general advice, I wouldn't encourage anyone to aim for >175. Especially considering recent curves (Dec. 05 and June 05 come to mind), the margin of error is just too small and it could freak you out on test day to know that you can't miss more than 4 questions. Just keep relaxed (pretend it's just another practice) and who knows, you may surprise yourself and do better than you hoped...

dtrossen
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 pm

Postby dtrossen » Thu Jan 12, 2006 2:47 pm

xikzhao's advice is good. Acing the games section is absolutely mandatory. I was a crack games taker, and when I finished the December LSAT games section in 20 minutes knowing I had missed zero I knew the test curve was going to be bad. I was counting on a medium to difficult games section (to increase the curve) that I would ace allowing me to pick up points on my peers. After I learned to ace the games section I found it natural to tackle logical reasoning because these problems constitute such a large portion of the test. If I had more time I wish I could have really worked on improving reading comprehension. If I could have worked my -3 score to -2 or -1 I could have been up in the 177 to 178 score range on my particular test. People say it is impossible to improve on this section but I refuse to believe this. There must be a way to learn to master this section but I didn't have enough time to try to figure out how to do this. The length of the passages makes improving on this section time consuming (for example, to review one missed problem takes a lot of effort).
I think the +/- 3 error bound is a generalization of test takers in a broad range of scores. Being a top scorer, I found the error bound to be much less and I would be curious to know what xikzhao's experience was. The vast majority of my scores were between 174 and 178. I never scored over 178 in practice, and toward the last ten practice tests few were below 174. I think when you are missing 5 to 7 problems on your tests your scores are much tighter than when you are averaging missing 20 problems.
With a 170 and a 3.3 you will also get into USC.

xikzhao
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:51 pm

Postby xikzhao » Thu Jan 12, 2006 6:42 pm

dtrossen-

With regards to your +/- 3 comments, I generally agree. Towards the end of my 30+ practices, I was nearly always within 172-178 (as opposed to the LSAT's predicted 68% of the time). That being said, I still think the scaled score is difficult to predict. If you consistently miss around 5-7 questions, depending on the curve, your scaled score could easily fluctuate over 6 points.

I will say this though, I too was hoping for a really tough test. Anyone who consistently scores above 172 won't encounter a question that just stumps them. It's just that with 101 questions, no matter how prepped you are, you'll most likely make a silly error or two (ie misread, read too fast, wrong bubble)... Thus, hard tests allow more room for errors...

dtrossen, just out of curosity, where and when are you applying to school?

dtrossen
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 10:03 pm

Postby dtrossen » Thu Jan 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Last edited by dtrossen on Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

juliegirl
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:51 pm

Postby juliegirl » Thu Jan 12, 2006 11:42 pm

on the fee waivers, columbia has a very generous fee waiver policy. Harvard and stanford both contacted me--both included an application for a need-based fee waiver, but neither just waived it on merit. Don't read too much into this. It doesn't mean as much as you'd like it to :)

xikzhao
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:51 pm

Postby xikzhao » Fri Jan 13, 2006 11:26 am

juliegirl, I know. I mean, in the grand scheme of things (ie $100,000 in debt, an invaluable law school education etc.), a $70 application fee is nothing. That said, 10 schools at $70 a pop; that's still 700 bucks. :o I'm receiving some fee waviers from places I'd never even heard of even though on CRS I said wasn't applying until 2007. I know it doesn't mean a whole lot for admissions, but still...

dtrossen, the highest ranked school for me was NW. I didn't get anything from Columbia. I have a couple of theories. 1) CRS said I wasn't going to apply until next year (though that doesn't explain NW) and 2) LSAC doesn't have my transcripts... Who knows? Good luck though!

Does anyone know when waivers get issued? Right after you take the LSAT or in the summer/fall? Thanks.

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Kohinoor
Posts: 2756
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:51 pm

Re: LSAT, GPA, Diversity Questions

Postby Kohinoor » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:47 pm

hasek39 wrote:hi guys,

I am home for winter break and I am taking the testmasters lsat prep course before i go back to school. I am currently a junior at a ivy league school and am planning on taking the june lsat.

i had a few questions. I was thinking about signing up and taking the feb lsat - knowing i would cancel the score - to get an idea of what game day is like. My problem is that my gpa will be low when i apply, ideally the lsac will compile my gpa to around a 3.2-3.4 but even thats generous.

This is why I need to hit my goal of > 175 on my LSAT. to achieve this i started taking testmasters now during break and im going to study on my own and then retake the testmasters course (thye have a repeat policy) when i go back to school before the june lsat.

do you guys have any tips on acing them? will my low gpa hurt me if i do meet my goals on the lsat? i am aiming for Georgetown, USC, UCLA, and I will apply to the top 5 (to see what they say).

also for minority applicants - are asian americans, specifically indian-americans - eligibile for diversity programs?

ive heard too many stories of people who study real hard for the lsat and then they are dissapointed after. i dont want that feeling, instead i want to to better than i expect to. i really want to stick it to the lsac because this material isnt beyond my (or anyones really) capability i feel they simply try and mess you up.

my first diag was at 148 cold with no prep. we have another diag this saturday lets see how it goes. im putting a lot of emphasis on this test.

thanks!

Unfortunately, I don't think that Asian Americans are considered URM for law school admission purposes.




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