Retake a 175 redux

buffalo
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Retake a 175 redux

Postby buffalo » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:02 pm

I noticed another thread on this but since whether to retake depends a lot on one's situation, I thought I'd see if others had some advice for me. I wrote Sep 09 and got a 175, and my GPA is a 3.85. My undergrad school is decent but not great. My hopes are for Harvard or Yale, and law school predictor has me as a "strong consider". I have strong softs (real ones from a few years out of college, the kind of thing Yale would put on its "softs" page but not the kind of thing that would make up for being a below median candidate). I had planned to apply this cycle but I had something come together that I wanted to finish, so am applying next cycle.

I might be fine as is, but I don't think I'm a lock, and a 75th percentile LSAT might put me over the top at either school. I'm thinking of retaking because a few minor issues tripped up my September exam: I concentrated too much on old exams; I am not a morning person; I was getting over a cold the day of the exam. I am pretty confident that I won't get lower than a 175 on a retake. If something disastrous happened I would cancel. I have numerous 180s and 179s and am pretty good on test day. I also don't mind prepping for the LSAT and wouldn't need much prep to go into a afternoon exam with the thought of hitting a 177+ on an ok day.

So, are there any major downsides to retaking that I might be neglecting? Does it look bad to worry so much about your numbers, when it is clear that schools are making decisions on the basis of numbers that approach the absurd? Or is the major danger that I'll score worse or the same on test day?

Anyways, I realize I am in a good position but I have special attachments to Harvard and Yale and want to have the best application I am able. Any help would be appreciated.

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adameus
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby adameus » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:19 pm

Did you apply this cycle?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:22 pm

if you're in no rush to go to law school, retake in june, get your higher score (seems like you would), apply early, make sure all your other app stuff is nice and shiny, and have no regrets

from what your post says, the only thing that matters if whether you want to delay law school for whatever reason - if you're able/willing to, do the retake and apply next cycle

heck, economy will only get better the later you go :P

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$1.99
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby $1.99 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:24 pm

i think you are a really strong candidate for harvard with your current numbers, once you pass 175 it is up to luck to get you higher unless you are certain you can get a couple more questions right. getting a lower score would be like a negative soft but would not really hurt you that much, from what we have seen, harvard has stopped averaging scores as much as it used to

i would apply with those numbers (harvard's medians are 3.88/173) so you have a good shot

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:27 pm

$1.99 wrote:i think you are a really strong candidate for harvard with your current numbers, once you pass 175 it is up to luck to get you higher unless you are certain you can get a couple more questions right. getting a lower score would be like a negative soft but would not really hurt you that much, from what we have seen, harvard has stopped averaging scores as much as it used to

i would apply with those numbers (harvard's medians are 3.88/173) so you have a good shot


at HLS, OP is a decent candidate...but applying so late hurts him...and it is quite possible that he can score higher from the way he worded his post...in fact, likely

id want to give it my all for a shot at Yale (well not me personally), once again, if you have the time to kill, why have regrets or not maximize your potential?

buffalo
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby buffalo » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:00 am

Thanks everyone.

I did not apply this cycle. The plan was to apply this cycle, but I followed a work opportunity. I wasn't in a rush to apply to law school so my plan is to have my applications ready to go in October. Since I have the extra time and the prospect of an afternoon exam (when my brain works much quicker), I thought a June retake might be ideal.

Anyways, I've received mixed advice. A couple law school friends have said the score is high enough that if both schools don't take me it won't be about the score but about what they think about my softs and the rest of my application. Another suggests that breaking the 75th would help quite a bit.

And yes, I am pretty confident I would beat the 175 unless I was sick again or something tragic happens the day of the exam etc. I know it is only a couple of extra mistakes but I put a lot of time into the exam to cut down on those mistakes, and I've taken a couple recent exams since September and my scores were 179 and 180 under strict exam like conditions. I even forced myself to follow 33 instead of 35 minute time limits. This was similar to my pattern going into the exam, and I don't freeze up or anything in exams. I was just not in an exam like state that morning. So I am pretty sure the sleep + sickness cost me at least a couple points.

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bees
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby bees » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:11 am

I think if you don't retake it you'll always be wondering if you could have done better. I'd retake it if I were you, really sounds like you've got the LSAT down pat - take advantage.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:15 am

buffalo wrote:Anyways, I've received mixed advice. A couple law school friends have said the score is high enough that if both schools don't take me it won't be about the score but about what they think about my softs and the rest of my application. Another suggests that breaking the 75th would help quite a bit.



I will have to disagree w/ your law school friends. 175 is not above the 75th at either HLS or YLS. Why give them a chance to say, hey this guy is below median GPA and not above our 75th for LSAT? I mean, it seems like you could readily do it.

Will a retake help you a ton? No idea, but it would help you to some degree. You have the time, patience, skill, and inclination. Why let laziness get in the way?

Of course take the time out to really iron out the rest of your app too, but it isnt like you got a 178. A 175 is amazing, but for HYS, getting the 177+ will make it less about the numbers.

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existenz
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby existenz » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:29 am

I just have to say...what a wonderful dilemma to have. Enjoy Harvard buddy, or a Hamilton at CLS :)

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hoopsguy6
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby hoopsguy6 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:31 am

If you're relatively sure about scoring higher, then you should definitely do it.

buffalo
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby buffalo » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:11 pm

Thanks again all, looks like the consensus is a retake is fine if I think I can improve the score. I'll do a couple more PTs to make sure it won't be too much of a burden, and will decide at that time.

Most people in real life think I'm nuts for wanting to retake 175...but as you can probably tell I think it is the better move. Even one LSAT point puts me at the Harvard 75th percentile.

skip james
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Re: Retake a 175 redux

Postby skip james » Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:26 pm

buffalo wrote:Thanks again all, looks like the consensus is a retake is fine if I think I can improve the score. I'll do a couple more PTs to make sure it won't be too much of a burden, and will decide at that time.

Most people in real life think I'm nuts for wanting to retake 175...but as you can probably tell I think it is the better move. Even one LSAT point puts me at the Harvard 75th percentile.


ignore those people. there's much to gain and little to lose.




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