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Egzon
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New member

Postby Egzon » Fri May 20, 2011 6:21 pm

Hi, I'm Egzon and I'm new in this forum.
I'm going to sound crazy to you but I'm in my senior year in high school and I'm going to college next year.
I am an international student and I'm going to college next year, majoring in political sciences and philosophy.

I really want to go to law after I graduate but I have few questions, if you could answer, that would be great:
1) Does the undergraduate college really matter?
2) Do you think I should try to transfer to another college? S
4) I'm majoring in philosophy and political sciences, do you think it can really improve my LSAT score?
Last edited by Egzon on Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

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fatduck
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Re: New member

Postby fatduck » Fri May 20, 2011 6:25 pm

get good grades

study a lot for the lsat

enjoy a nice pale lager

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handlesthetruth
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Re: New member

Postby handlesthetruth » Fri May 20, 2011 6:29 pm

fatduck wrote:get good grades

study a lot for the lsat

enjoy a nice pale lager


+1

(and my UG experience in a nutshell)

Egzon
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Re: New member

Postby Egzon » Fri May 20, 2011 6:30 pm

I don't drink alcohol but thanks for the advice. :D
The undergrad doesn't matter at all ?

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cinephile
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Re: New member

Postby cinephile » Fri May 20, 2011 7:17 pm

Egzon wrote:I don't drink alcohol but thanks for the advice. :D
The undergrad doesn't matter at all ?


Conventional wisdom is going to a top undergrad can help you a small amount, but going to an unknown/low-ranked school certainly won't hurt you.

There's not too much to do at this point. Cultivate close relationships with professors and remember to apply early in the cycle.

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angua
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Re: New member

Postby angua » Fri May 20, 2011 9:42 pm

cinephile wrote:Cultivate close relationships with professors and remember to apply early in the cycle.


+1

Very good, personalized recommendations from professors who know you really well will give you a good leg up.

If you are worried about English, read a lot. A LOT. It certainly can't hurt to get started prepping on reading comprehension now, since that is probably the hardest section of the LSAT to improve on, simply because so much background learning goes into it.

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Grizz
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Re: New member

Postby Grizz » Fri May 20, 2011 10:04 pm

Egzon wrote:I don't drink alcohol


Start.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: New member

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Fri May 20, 2011 10:09 pm

rad law wrote:
Egzon wrote:I don't drink alcohol


Start.

"Oooohhh Yeeeaaahhh!" RIP Macho Man.

Egzon
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Re: New member

Postby Egzon » Sat May 21, 2011 12:59 pm

For the reading, I already started reading books: the Catcher in the rye, Shakespeare and I'm reading Death pf a salesman bu Arthur Miller.
Thanks for all your advices
Last edited by Egzon on Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dr123
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Re: New member

Postby dr123 » Sat May 21, 2011 1:38 pm

You can always smoke rocks instead.

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rinkrat19
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Re: New member

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat May 21, 2011 2:25 pm

Take some extra non-fiction writing classes to polish your writing skills, ESPECIALLY since English is not your first language. I've read quite a few application essays and it's almost always easy to tell who learned English later in life, even if their grammar is technically ok.

Read a LOT. Not just classic fiction like Catcher in the Rye and Shakespeare, but dense non-fiction like Scientific American and The Economist magazines. This will not only help your reading comprehension, but it will increase your vocabulary and help you write more naturally. You unconsciously internalize all the different sentence structures you read and different phrasings of the same thought, and you'll have more to draw on when you write.

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Corwin
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Re: New member

Postby Corwin » Sat May 21, 2011 4:57 pm

  • Undergrad prestige doesn't matter, so don't transfer.
  • Don't double major, it doesn't help.
  • Pick an easy major.
  • Get the highest GPA possible (3.7-4.0 for T14).
  • Start prepping for the LSAT after your sophomore year.
Start prepping for the LSAT after your sophomore year. Do all these things, and you'll be enjoying T14 no problem. :)

A word of advice for a non-native speaking just starting college. Take your papers into office hours and whatever writing workshops are available. Don't expect your writing to be worth an A without a lot of work.

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quixotical
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Re: New member

Postby quixotical » Sat May 21, 2011 5:23 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:Take some extra non-fiction writing classes to polish your writing skills, ESPECIALLY since English is not your first language. I've read quite a few application essays and it's almost always easy to tell who learned English later in life, even if their grammar is technically ok.

Read a LOT. Not just classic fiction like Catcher in the Rye and Shakespeare, but dense non-fiction like Scientific American and The Economist magazines. This will not only help your reading comprehension, but it will increase your vocabulary and help you write more naturally. You unconsciously internalize all the different sentence structures you read and different phrasings of the same thought, and you'll have more to draw on when you write.


I agree with this advice, except I'd say not to waste your time on classic fiction like Shakespeare. You need to read contemporary fiction and non-fiction to get a better understanding of how the English language works in modern usage. You have chosen two writing-intensive majors, and since your GPA is what really matters in admission, you need to work one-on-one with your school's writing center and your professors during office hours to make sure your papers are A quality. If you can't get A's in Philosophy and Political Science, you need to switch to a less writing-intensive major.

I would recommend reading The New York Times and Newsweek in addition to the magazines Rinkrat suggested. You should be able to get them at your school's library (or the local library) or subscribe online. I also think reading popular fiction is a great idea, especially if you can get a French translation and read it afterwords to figure out if you're catching all the nuances in the plot/characterizations, or if you're barely getting the "big picture." You also need to make learning vocabulary a HUGE priority. Get an electronic pocket-sized Dictionary and carry it with you all the time. Any time you don't recognize a word, highlight/mark it and then look it up.


Another thing to consider is advertising on your campus to see if anyone would be willing to give you English lessons in exchange for French lessons (or if your school has a language department and offers French, to see if any French students would be willing to have weekly "conversations" with you/exchange short letters and correct each other's grammar/vocab).


Good luck!

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japes
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Re: New member

Postby japes » Sat May 21, 2011 5:48 pm

All the other advice in this thread is pretty much spot on. Read non-fiction if you want to improve your english for the LSAT. If you want something with more technical language I'd recommend The Economist or Foreign Policy. They're both a little more highbrow than your average american news source (the economist probably so because it is british), and both have a great variety of articles that make actual policy arguments, the sort of reading you'll be doing on the LSAT.

Also, enjoy SUNY Oneonta! I participated in their undergrad philosophy conference a few years ago and had a great time while I was there. If you're doing philosophy, I would highly recommend you get involved with the conference. Get on the committee. Submit a paper. I don't think it'll be a huge help in terms of law school applications (though it couldn't hurt, especially if you win an award), but it's a great experience. Definitely the coolest academic thing I did as an undergrad.

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rinkrat19
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Re: New member

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat May 21, 2011 5:48 pm

quixotical wrote:
rinkrat19 wrote:Take some extra non-fiction writing classes to polish your writing skills, ESPECIALLY since English is not your first language. I've read quite a few application essays and it's almost always easy to tell who learned English later in life, even if their grammar is technically ok.

Read a LOT. Not just classic fiction like Catcher in the Rye and Shakespeare, but dense non-fiction like Scientific American and The Economist magazines. This will not only help your reading comprehension, but it will increase your vocabulary and help you write more naturally. You unconsciously internalize all the different sentence structures you read and different phrasings of the same thought, and you'll have more to draw on when you write.


I agree with this advice, except I'd say not to waste your time on classic fiction like Shakespeare. You need to read contemporary fiction and non-fiction to get a better understanding of how the English language works in modern usage. You have chosen two writing-intensive majors, and since your GPA is what really matters in admission, you need to work one-on-one with your school's writing center and your professors during office hours to make sure your papers are A quality. If you can't get A's in Philosophy and Political Science, you need to switch to a less writing-intensive major.

I would recommend reading The New York Times and Newsweek in addition to the magazines Rinkrat suggested. You should be able to get them at your school's library (or the local library) or subscribe online. I also think reading popular fiction is a great idea, especially if you can get a French translation and read it afterwords to figure out if you're catching all the nuances in the plot/characterizations, or if you're barely getting the "big picture." You also need to make learning vocabulary a HUGE priority. Get an electronic pocket-sized Dictionary and carry it with you all the time. Any time you don't recognize a word, highlight/mark it and then look it up.


Another thing to consider is advertising on your campus to see if anyone would be willing to give you English lessons in exchange for French lessons (or if your school has a language department and offers French, to see if any French students would be willing to have weekly "conversations" with you/exchange short letters and correct each other's grammar/vocab).


Good luck!


Agree with your thoughts, and would like to add that I've actually found that British fiction is excellent for this purpose. It can still be interesting and entertaining (unlike most of The Economist), but the British form of the language is just slightly more formal and uses a more extensive vocabulary than most American writers. Personally, I enjoy British mysteries.

Egzon
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Re: New member

Postby Egzon » Sat May 21, 2011 7:35 pm

What are the books you would recommend me to read ?
For the writing, since the beginning of my senior year in high school I got an average of 98 and most of the work in English was writing essay about books, movies, etc... My english teacher, who also teaches in college, told me I had good writing skills but, I know it's only high school and in college, teachers are going to expect more from me.
For the SAT I had started to read the NY times almost everyday (my english teacher would always bring the newspaper so I read it) but I stopped after I took the SAT and saw that it didn't really help me (I just got 500/800 in critical reading). But if you say that it can help me improve, I'll do it.
For the major, I really like philosophy, especially the antiquity part: in Belgium, I've studied Latin for 5 years and it wasn't just about grammar and translation, it was about studying the different types of philosophy at that time (epicureanism,...) and poetry (Ovid, Virgil and Horace, and I must say that was my favorite class and I also enjoy political science.
I always keep my electronic dictionary with me in case I don't understand a word and I always write it down so I'll remember it.
I had another question: I have a good GPA in high school, is it hard to keep the same GPA in college ?

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quixotical
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Re: New member

Postby quixotical » Sat May 21, 2011 10:52 pm

Egzon wrote:What are the books you would recommend me to read ?
For the writing, since the beginning of my senior year in high school I got an average of 98 and most of the work in English was writing essay about books, movies, etc... My english teacher, who also teaches in college, told me I had good writing skills but, I know it's only high school and in college, teachers are going to expect more from me.
For the SAT I had started to read the NY times almost everyday (my english teacher would always bring the newspaper so I read it) but I stopped after I took the SAT and saw that it didn't really help me (I just got 500/800 in critical reading). But if you say that it can help me improve, I'll do it.
For the major, I really like philosophy, especially the antiquity part: in Belgium, I've studied Latin for 5 years and it wasn't just about grammar and translation, it was about studying the different types of philosophy at that time (epicureanism,...) and poetry (Ovid, Virgil and Horace, and I must say that was my favorite class and I also enjoy political science.
I always keep my electronic dictionary with me in case I don't understand a word and I always write it down so I'll remember it.
I had another question: I have a good GPA in high school, is it hard to keep the same GPA in college ?


I really think reading modern fiction is a great way to broaden your grasp of vocab/syntax, especially since it (should) be entertaining reading and not feel like a chore (as some difficult news articles might). What genres of fiction do you like? For what it's worth, I majored in English in undergrad and minored in Philosophy, and got a perfect score on the critical reading/writing portions of the SAT. I really believe the best way to "study" for the LSAT (or any standardized test that tests your reading comprehension) is just by reading as much as you can and being diligent about marking words you don't know or couldn't define if not for the context. I am going to caution against reading largely British lit just because it may confuse you with the different spellings of words as well as the different vocabulary used in England that is not used in the U.S.

Since you seem very passionate about philosophy, I would seriously consider only majoring in that and dropping the political science major. Having a double major won't help you in admissions, and this way you'd have more time to dedicate to your philosophy papers. You can always take a few elective courses in political science if you're really interested, or better yet just get a hold of the syllabus and use the readings as your English practice. I would consider taking a few non-writing credit courses as your electives to help boost your GPA in case you do find that it's difficult to get stellar grades on your papers.

As for the GPA in high school versus college, I can only tell you my experience. Because I did International Baccalaureate in high school and started college just three credits shy of sophomore status, I didn't get any of the "easy" GPA boosts of introductory classes. That said, I didn't find my courses especially difficult, and graduated with a 3.65, which was lower than my high school GPA.

Egzon
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Re: New member

Postby Egzon » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:06 pm

I'm sorry to bump the thread but I just thought it wouldn't be necessary to create another thread.
I wanted to talk about the progression after my first semester in college. I have a 4.0 GPA so far (it's just freshman year, I guess it is easy). So far for the second semester, I got all A+s (98% and more) on my tests so I feel pretty confident about my gpa for my first year of college.
I started reading the NY Times again (it's free on the campus) and I'm not double majoring anymore, I decided to major in political science for my first semester but I also took a philosophy class during my first semester just to see if I could handle the material and it seemed really interesting so I might change my major next semester.
I also started reviewing a little bit the LSAT and I was wondering if I should take a proctored practice test: I'm in the Pre-law society of my college and the president of the club told us that Kaplan usually gives one or two proctored practice tests on campus for free or something like that, I didn't really understand. So I could do that but I thought that it might be too early. On the other hand, if my score is something around 140s, then I would have more time to study but knowing myself, if I get a really low score I would just freak out and totally be discouraged.
I was thinking of taking a prep class but the only prep class available here is Kaplan and I don't want tot waste my money as I read that Kaplan wasn't really recommended.
Also I hear about drilling questions, can you please explain what it really means?

I also tried to get to know my teachers so that they would write good letters of recommendation and I have 2 teachers that really seemed to like me (I went to all of their office hours and asked questions, etc.) so I could ask them to write me a letter.

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Tom Joad
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Re: New member

Postby Tom Joad » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:11 pm

Keep up the good work. Keep brown-nosing the professors.

And if you ever go back to visit Belgium thank everybody for the beers they created. Even if you don't partake you can thank them for the rest of us.

dixon02
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Re: New member

Postby dixon02 » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:13 pm

Egzon wrote:I'm sorry to bump the thread but I just thought it wouldn't be necessary to create another thread.
I wanted to talk about the progression after my first semester in college. I have a 4.0 GPA so far (it's just freshman year, I guess it is easy). So far for the second semester, I got all A+s (98% and more) on my tests so I feel pretty confident about my gpa for my first year of college.
I started reading the NY Times again (it's free on the campus) and I'm not double majoring anymore, I decided to major in political science for my first semester but I also took a philosophy class during my first semester just to see if I could handle the material and it seemed really interesting so I might change my major next semester.
I also started reviewing a little bit the LSAT and I was wondering if I should take a proctored practice test: I'm in the Pre-law society of my college and the president of the club told us that Kaplan usually gives one or two proctored practice tests on campus for free or something like that, I didn't really understand. So I could do that but I thought that it might be too early. On the other hand, if my score is something around 140s, then I would have more time to study but knowing myself, if I get a really low score I would just freak out and totally be discouraged.
I was thinking of taking a prep class but the only prep class available here is Kaplan and I don't want tot waste my money as I read that Kaplan wasn't really recommended.
Also I hear about drilling questions, can you please explain what it really means?

I also tried to get to know my teachers so that they would write good letters of recommendation and I have 2 teachers that really seemed to like me (I went to all of their office hours and asked questions, etc.) so I could ask them to write me a letter.


Don't switch your major. If law school doesn't work out (you lose interest, underperform on the LSAT, etc.), you really don't want to be stuck looking for a job with a philosophy degree.

As for the LSAT, there's probably not a ton of harm in taking a practice test, but I really wouldn't start worrying about it until after your sophomore year, at the earliest. You're in college...go enjoy yourself before the hell that is applying to and attending law school (and then being a lawyer) takes over. FWIW, I can't really speak to the quality of other classes, but Kaplan certainly helped me. I took the advanced class, which is much more worthwhile if you're shooting for T14.

But yeah, as mentioned earlier, go have yourself a beer. God won't notice.

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cinephile
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Re: New member

Postby cinephile » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:14 pm

This is so early.

But anyway, if you did want to drill questions, what people mean is like do a whole bunch of "parallel reasoning" type questions in a row. Or something like that. If you buy a practice book (or borrow one from the library) they structure them in terms of "types" of questions so you're getting better and better at that certain type.

Egzon
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Re: New member

Postby Egzon » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:29 pm

But yeah, as mentioned earlier, go have yourself a beer. God won't notice.

To end with this, I did go out and drink beer (I guess peer pressure can be powerful).
And if you ever go back to visit Belgium thank everybody for the beers they created. Even if you don't partake you can thank them for the rest of us.

I will :) I must say that Belgian beer is much better than American beer.

Thanks cinephile for the explanation :)

What would be a good score for T6 for an international student?

rad lulz
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Re: New member

Postby rad lulz » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:33 pm

.
Last edited by rad lulz on Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Gail
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Re: New member

Postby Gail » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:31 pm

dr123 wrote:You can always smoke rocks instead.


+1

(from a fellow non-drinker) :wink:

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Guchster
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Re: New member

Postby Guchster » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:41 pm

Tom Joad wrote:Keep up the good work. Keep brown-nosing the professors.

And if you ever go back to visit Belgium thank everybody for the beers they created. Even if you don't partake you can thank them for the rest of us.


May based god bless you Tom Joad.




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