First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

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EvanC
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First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby EvanC » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:11 pm

I've worked through a couple LSATs (3-4 previously) with various time limitations, but never actually sat down and took it all at once without distractions or anything. I've only read the first chapter of the Logic Games Bible, but am planning on completing it (with the workbook) as well as the Logical Reasoning Bible. That having been said, I got a 160 with 15/24 on Logic Games (guessed on the last 3-ish). I won't enter class til Fall '11, but don't know if I should take in June or October. I'm taking 19 hours this semester so I'll be busy all but on the weekends and 15 hours (maybe 18) during the summer. How much should I expect to improve and when would you personally take the test?

For the record, I'm looking at Alabama, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, and Emory as reaches because I'll have a 3.2 when I graduate (strong letters of recommendation though [sitting senators/district attorneys/etc], and hopefully near a 4.0 for my last 5 or 6 semesters of schooling]. Tennessee and Memphis should be shoe ins though. Maybe some of that info influences your recommendations!

Anyway, thanks for any replies.

Evan

BenJ
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby BenJ » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:25 pm

Take it in June; that way, if you're unhappy with your score, you can still take it again in October and yet get your apps in early.

How much you improve varies dramatically from person to person. Some people can go from a 160 to a 175 with a lot of studying; others will improve only a few points or none at all. Logic Games is probably the easiest section to improve on, though, because, more than any other section, it can be learned by using the LG Bible and taking plenty of practice tests.

Also, remember that for your LORs most schools require at least one academic one from a professor--the only way to get out of that is if you've been out of school for a long time.

If you work at it and get a 165, Alabama and Wisconsin should be good shots; with a 168 or so, Vandy and Emory will be within reach. Good luck!

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EarlCat
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby EarlCat » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:01 pm

Plan on June, but leave yourself the option to do October if your PrepTest scores aren't in your goal range.

Echo the above about LORs. Also, although you've got some big-wigs for your letters, only use them if those people actually know you REALLY WELL. The last thing you want is a generic-sounding LOR. Make sure your recommenders have lots of really specific things to say about you as a person--the kinds of things that only come from spending lots and lots of time together.

TaiRuiJin
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby TaiRuiJin » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:09 pm

I'd say June as well. My diagnostic was 147 cold (no studying previously--second one, also without additional studying, was 155). After about a year and a half of studying I 165'ed the June test, but wasn't satisfied and came out at a 171 in September. I took 46 LSATs in total (in very structured conditions--that's a must) to get ready and gobbled up both the Logic Games and Logical Reasoning Powerscore Bibles.

Taking it in June gave me the September option, which I ended up taking, and was still able to get applicaitons in early, which has positively impacted my cycle I believe.

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rw2264
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby rw2264 » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:26 pm

june. you will improve lots. confidence is key, so just tell yourself you're capable of anything (which you are. most people can't even score a 160 on this test)

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EvanC
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby EvanC » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:06 am

BenJ wrote:Take it in June; that way, if you're unhappy with your score, you can still take it again in October and yet get your apps in early.

How much you improve varies dramatically from person to person. Some people can go from a 160 to a 175 with a lot of studying; others will improve only a few points or none at all. Logic Games is probably the easiest section to improve on, though, because, more than any other section, it can be learned by using the LG Bible and taking plenty of practice tests.

Also, remember that for your LORs most schools require at least one academic one from a professor--the only way to get out of that is if you've been out of school for a long time.

If you work at it and get a 165, Alabama and Wisconsin should be good shots; with a 168 or so, Vandy and Emory will be within reach. Good luck!

Oh, I'm a Sec English Major and upper level English professors LOOOOOVE to write - 3.83 this semester with straight A's in 5 English Courses - one linguistics professor who does a lot of work at Oxford working with old manuscripts etc who loves me. Lamar Alexander (Senator from TN) stayed at my house as a campaign trip and I worked for Bob Corker before. My dad is a sitting House Rep ab to enter his third term and the guy who preceded him was House Minority Leader and is now TN Secretary of State. Worked in the court system in Memphis and a position was held specifically for me by the Memphis Court Clerk. I'm looking to study criminal law and be an ADA so a letter from the former court clerk of one of the most active criminal courts in the country couldn't hurt. :)

UTexas
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby UTexas » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:47 am

Be careful with your LORs. Adcomms aren't going to give two craps that you and your family know a US senator or anyone else. If these people can't write a wide-ranging, credible recommendation with specific references to your strengths and in what much-more-than-anecdotal circumstances they've seen these strengths displayed, such letters will only annoy the living hell out of the people reviewing your application. They couldn't care less what important people you know.

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EarlCat
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby EarlCat » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:49 pm

UTexas wrote:Be careful with your LORs. Adcomms aren't going to give two craps that you and your family know a US senator or anyone else. If these people can't write a wide-ranging, credible recommendation with specific references to your strengths and in what much-more-than-anecdotal circumstances they've seen these strengths displayed, such letters will only annoy the living hell out of the people reviewing your application. They couldn't care less what important people you know.


This.

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EvanC
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby EvanC » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:42 pm

Yeah, I understand. But if I can get GOOD letters out of them, it'll be good. I'm not just namedropping. They're people that actually know me and that can definitely benefit me. Trust me I'm not wholly relying on my dad's buddies to get me into a good school. I'm destroying myself over this LSAT score :).

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Bikeflip
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby Bikeflip » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:29 am

The only LORs from Memphis that matter are Jerry Lawler and Prince Mongo.

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EvanC
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby EvanC » Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:21 pm

Done.

democrattotheend
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby democrattotheend » Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:12 pm

If your first diagnostic was 160, you are in pretty good shape. My first diagnostic was 159, I self-studied diligently for about 3 months, taking 1-2 prep tests every weekend, and got a 173 on the real test.

In terms of when to take, I would say June, so you can retake in October if necessary. Also, on the June test you have the advantage of not having to get up at the crack of dawn, since I think the June test starts at 12:30 instead of 8:30.

I am thrilled with my score but really wish I had decided to go to law school a few months earlier so I could have taken the test in September and gotten my applications in earlier. I'm afraid I may get rejected at a few schools that I would have been accepted to if I had applied earlier.

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EvanC
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby EvanC » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Like I said, I did a couple before. I got a 150 the first time but literally gave up on the Logic Games after like 8 questions. Second time I tested I got a 163 with untimed Logic Games. The more I get used to the test the easier the LR and RC get but I'm just gonna have do the LG Bible and I think I can get a 170 - that's my goal.

acrossthelake
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Re: First Real Diagnostic (how much can I expect to improve?)

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:49 pm

You should be able to get LG down to -0 consistently(or, at least a -1 or -2) on test day, so consider those points in the bag if you work at it and leave time for June. It's the easiest section to improve on. Modern exams tend to only have 23 questions though, mind you. You can def. get it up to 170ish if you get your LG into order and just practice enough to do the other sections better.




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