Do you think I can improve?

TracyLynn
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:00 pm

Do you think I can improve?

Postby TracyLynn » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:26 pm

After a disappointing cycle so far and no good options on the horizon, I am finally reconsidering taking the LSAT and applying next cycle. The question is, how much can I improve? Here's what I did the first time around:

Took the Powerscore Virtual course, did most of the homework. Really struggled with games...improved but still got probably 40% wrong. My first practice test with minimal prep was a 150. Was pting in the 158-160 range by test day, and as I expected, scored a 159 on the December LSAT. The course ran from mid October to to the end of November, so in total probably studied about 6 weeks. Took around 10 full LSATs.

I have a full time job which really gets in the way of my prep. I basically have Hofstra (with almost half scholly) and UB (instate but sticker) as options and I'm just not that happy with that. I'd like to study for a while and then take in October.

How much can I realistically expect to improve?

A side note, I feel like this test is the only thing holding me back from a great school. Undergraduate GPA is a 3.8, good recommendations and am currently a paralegal. I know this off topic-- but does anyone know if schools will accept the letters I submitted to LSAC in Jan/Feb? Will LSAC keep them?

Thanks for your feedback!

skip james
Posts: 264
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2009 2:53 am

Re: Do you think I can improve?

Postby skip james » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:33 pm

TracyLynn wrote:After a disappointing cycle so far and no good options on the horizon, I am finally reconsidering taking the LSAT and applying next cycle. The question is, how much can I improve? Here's what I did the first time around:

Took the Powerscore Virtual course, did most of the homework. Really struggled with games...improved but still got probably 40% wrong. My first practice test with minimal prep was a 150. Was pting in the 158-160 range by test day, and as I expected, scored a 159 on the December LSAT. The course ran from mid October to to the end of November, so in total probably studied about 6 weeks. Took around 10 full LSATs.

I have a full time job which really gets in the way of my prep. I basically have Hofstra (with almost half scholly) and UB (instate but sticker) as options and I'm just not that happy with that. I'd like to study for a while and then take in October.

How much can I realistically expect to improve?

A side note, I feel like this test is the only thing holding me back from a great school. Undergraduate GPA is a 3.8, good recommendations and am currently a paralegal. I know this off topic-- but does anyone know if schools will accept the letters I submitted to LSAC in Jan/Feb? Will LSAC keep them?

Thanks for your feedback!


My cold diagnostic was about where yours was. I ended up with a 172, which I retook for a 177. I think it just really comes down to the amount of effort you are willing to put in. I studied about 40-50 hours a week for about 3 months the first time around. I guess it took me about a year to get the 177. I think the trick is:

(1) believe somewhat unrealistically that you can really beat this thing, even if you have no real reason to believe it,

(2) keep working at hitting and plugging all of your weak spots,

(3) don't choke on game day. do some meditation exercises or something.

User avatar
blhblahblah
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2007 10:54 pm

Re: Do you think I can improve?

Postby blhblahblah » Sun Mar 07, 2010 12:53 am

skip james wrote:
TracyLynn wrote:After a disappointing cycle so far and no good options on the horizon, I am finally reconsidering taking the LSAT and applying next cycle. The question is, how much can I improve? Here's what I did the first time around:

Took the Powerscore Virtual course, did most of the homework. Really struggled with games...improved but still got probably 40% wrong. My first practice test with minimal prep was a 150. Was pting in the 158-160 range by test day, and as I expected, scored a 159 on the December LSAT. The course ran from mid October to to the end of November, so in total probably studied about 6 weeks. Took around 10 full LSATs.

I have a full time job which really gets in the way of my prep. I basically have Hofstra (with almost half scholly) and UB (instate but sticker) as options and I'm just not that happy with that. I'd like to study for a while and then take in October.

How much can I realistically expect to improve?

A side note, I feel like this test is the only thing holding me back from a great school. Undergraduate GPA is a 3.8, good recommendations and am currently a paralegal. I know this off topic-- but does anyone know if schools will accept the letters I submitted to LSAC in Jan/Feb? Will LSAC keep them?

Thanks for your feedback!


My cold diagnostic was about where yours was. I ended up with a 172, which I retook for a 177. I think it just really comes down to the amount of effort you are willing to put in. I studied about 40-50 hours a week for about 3 months the first time around. I guess it took me about a year to get the 177. I think the trick is:

(1) believe somewhat unrealistically that you can really beat this thing, even if you have no real reason to believe it,

(2) keep working at hitting and plugging all of your weak spots,

(3) don't choke on game day. do some meditation exercises or something.


Solid advice.

The first point really hits home on the psychological effect of believing in yourself on performance. Obviously, you don't want to have a goal that is completely off the table, but one that is within a binocular distance of your maximal potential.

TracyLynn
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: Do you think I can improve?

Postby TracyLynn » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:35 am

Thanks for the insight! Do you agree that there is a ceiling so to speak for everyone? I'm just afraid that I still study for October and then only improve to a 161 or something..or not improve at all. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

r6_philly
Posts: 10707
Joined: Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Re: Do you think I can improve?

Postby r6_philly » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:48 am

There may or may not be one but you can't really know what it is for sure so don't worry about it. Keep getting better at it instead of fixating on what your limit is. You will have to take the test regardless, and try to do your best regardless. I think the questino of a ceiling is for after you receive your first score.

I did not take any timed tests at all. I studied untimed except for LG which I kept track of star and end time (instead of limiting the time or checking during practice). I did not give my self a specific prep test/practice score number because I didn't want to fixate on the score. Rather I figure out how many I got wrong and worked on being consistent with that number.

My target for my schools is 170 and up. I would have been ok with 165 and up but I focused on doing well instead. I got my target, I am really happy, and not knowing what my practice score was really helped me relax and do my best.

Ok I know it is against common wisdom around here but I just wanted present a different perspective. I was well prepared without quantifying my potential with an actual score.

TracyLynn
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:00 pm

Re: Do you think I can improve?

Postby TracyLynn » Wed Mar 10, 2010 1:18 pm

To add to my decision, I got offered 5000/year at Buffalo. Im bumping to see: should i take it? or study for the October LSAT for the chance at a higher ranked school? How much improvement can I expect?




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