ggnobbq wrote:KarenButtenbaum wrote:deanmeeker wrote:masterz wrote:Hi guys,
Your compiled QA is so helpful!! I was wondering what your views are on taking LSAT 5-6 times. June 2016 made my 4th take, I got an increase of 1-3 points with every retake. And I'm confident that I can get another 1-2 points in September. Would the law schools view this continuous retaking negatively? I asked this because I read the compiled QA and your blog, most people ask about 4 takes. I just wanted to know if a 5th or 6th take would make a difference on that front.
Also you mentioned on your blog that someone took the LSAT 6 times and ended up in his dream school. Any chance you could share some of his stories?
Thank you very much!
I usually advise against it, but others, including my partners, may disagree with me, so I invite them to weigh in. Admittedly, I have not worked with clients who have taken the LSAT more than 4 times; I am speaking from my experience working at Penn and discussing this very question with a few of my colleagues who also worked at top 10 schools. That perspective is that after 3 or 4 takes, doubt creeps in as to consistency and judgment. That doubt gets heightened if there are any other questions or inconsistencies -- even slight ones -- in the application, such as lower or erratic grade trends, mediocre letters of recommendation, etc. I think if everything else in your application is airtight, many schools (perhaps most) won't view it negatively, but the most selective schools might.
I very much agree with Derek -- after about 4 times, it has the potential to give the admissions officers wrong signals. And in my experience on the admissions side of things, an excessive number of takes usually goes hand-in-hand with questionable elements or signs of poor judgment in the application. I have seen clients find success after more than 4 takes, but it is usually the exception rather than the rule. Think carefully about it before you decide to take it too many times!
Mike, would you happen to be one of their partners who disagree? If so, can you elaborate?
It's not so much that I agree or disagree in a vacuum. I'll word it like this: if some all knowing crystal ball could guarantee that you would go up, be it just 1 point or 17 points, I'd say it is value-add. But even going up a point on a 4th take introduces some variables that people with the standard 2-3 takes do not have to worry about. More specifically, you have to be exceptionally careful ion how you word all other aspects of your application/interviews/etc. so as to not seem obsessive. So, for clients at least, I am mostly comfortable with a 4th take when they are confident that based on diagnostics they will go up, and if they seem like they take to a "cooling" of the application jets in some aspects.
And just do use this to double down on everything I am hearing from every admissions office I talk to these days, beyond an LSAT or GPA that they are coveting, what schools are looking for more than anything else is a calm, cool, professional. This applies in the above scenario more than anything.