Should AngieJ Retake!?

Should AngieJ Retake the LSAT?

Yes
41
65%
No
22
35%
 
Total votes: 63

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angiej
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Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:06 am

Hello my dear fellow TLSers. Many of you have seen my posts and know how excited (and surprised) I was to have managed a 155 on the lsat. I started at a 143 and slowly worked my way up to a best timed PT of 153. I have no clue how I managed a 155 on test day, and quite honest it seems like a fluke and that I should not take my chances of trying again and possibly scoring worse.

Should I retake?
I have a 3.8 lsdas gpa and a 155 lsat on the books. I won't have much more time to prep before October because I take full time classes (even during the summer) and work full time.

These are the schools I want to go to, but in the end will likely chose whoever offers the most money. In fact, I am broke, so while I am already in range for my target schools, I really need the $$$.

Reach:
Notre Dame
Lewis and Clark

Target:
IU B
IU Indy
MSU
Depaul
Loyola
Chicago Kent

Safety:
Valpo
John Marhsall

Please let me know what you think, I'm really torn here and would appreciate some advice and direction here. Also, what would happen if I score the same or even lower? Not a biggie? I know schools take your best score, but if I do worse will it look like my 155 was a lucky break?

I have excellent softs, am a first generational college student, non-trad student, 6 years paralegal work experience and am extremely active on my campus with organizing political candidate debates and I organized the first ever court of appeals oral argument live on my campus. I also had a judicial internship last semester, and did an independent study in judicial independence and selection. My LOR's will be very strong (one from prof, one from judge, one from attorney boss that I've worked with for 5 years.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:57 am

C'mon people! I know its Sunday a.m. but I'd really like some input her! Wake up! :lol:

dk8
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby dk8 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:10 am

If you studied properly (10+ prep tests) and beat your best PT on the real thing I wouldn't retake. That's a dream scenario; I wish that had happened to me. Nice job.

I don't know much about the schools on your list but I imagine you'd be out at ND and IUB without a 160+ at the very least.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:20 am

Thanks- I took 14 PT's (10 were timed) and read the LG and LR bibles front to back. I feel very fortunate, but I know a lot of TLSers would not be happy with the score I got. Scholarship $ means a lot to me. I'm not sure if I will get any from my target schools. My first choice is IU Indy or MSU. If Valpo would give me a full ride I would go.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:28 am

Valparaiso University's law school will probably offer you scholarship money. This law school has a guaranteed entry program for some of its undergraduates in the university's honors program.
PM your personal statement if you are still seeking comments.
Regarding whether or not you should retake the LSAT, my opinion is no unless you undertake a different approach to preparing for the retake such as personal tutoring since you are likely to be admitted to several of your target schools with a 3.8 GPA & your current LSAT. But this will likely be a minority opinion on this site.

trkmantis2
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby trkmantis2 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:34 am

Despite your PT scores, I'm not fully convinced you've maxed out your LSAT because you GPA is so high, so I'd vote for a retake unless you truly believe you've given it all you have and maxed out.

You have a stellar GPA and could attend better programs & land more scholarships which will likely give you (1) less debt, (2) stronger employment prospects, and (3) more portability.

If you can't find the time to study, you could wait until you finish school. Then just study for the LSAT and work. This would also give the legal market more time to recover.

Also, you could consider a prep-class like Powerscore, it isn't necessary, but does provide structure which really helps some people. And I think you get a refund if you don't beat your 155.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:40 am

trkmantis2 wrote:Despite your PT scores, I'm not fully convinced you've maxed out your LSAT because you GPA is so high, so I'd vote for a retake unless you truly believe you've given it all you have and maxed out.
You have a stellar GPA and could attend better programs & land more scholarships which will likely give you (1) less debt, (2) stronger employment prospects, and (3) more portability.

If you can't find the time to study, you could wait until you finish school. Then just study for the LSAT and work. This would also give the legal market more time to recover.

Also, you could consider a prep-class like Powerscore, it isn't necessary, but does provide structure which really helps some people. And I think you get a refund if you don't beat your 155.


This is exactly why I'm torn (the bolded). I was improving up until test day. My studying got off to a rough start (showed very little improvement) and then three weeks before the test day things started to really improve. While I certainly could graduate undergrad and focus on the lsat and work only, I would then have to start repaying school loans from undergrad and I don't think I can afford that right now. I need to defer until I'm truly done.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:45 am

CanadianWolf wrote:Valparaiso University's law school will probably offer you scholarship money. This law school has a guaranteed entry program for some of its undergraduates in the university's honors program.
PM your personal statement if you are still seeking comments.
Regarding whether or not you should retake the LSAT, my opinion is no unless you undertake a different approach to preparing for the retake such as personal tutoring since you are likely to be admitted to several of your target schools with a 3.8 GPA & your current LSAT. But this will likely be a minority opinion on this site.


This makes me want to just keep my score and move forward with the app process. On one hand I feel like as long as I'm in to some of my target schools then I'm fine, but on the other hand, I'm really concerned about debt incurred, living expenses, and how I'll pay for everything.

I PM'ed you - thx for your help!

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luxxe
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby luxxe » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:48 am

I would definitely retake. With your GPA, an improved LSAT would make a huge difference & give you a chance to get into some tier 1 schools or get you money at a tier 2. If you could get your score at 161/162+, L&C & Notre Dame could be target schools for you & would dramatically improve your job prospects after graduation. Trying to minimize debt isn't worth it if you can't find employment.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:50 am

luxxe wrote:I would definitely retake. With your GPA, an improved LSAT would make a huge difference & give you a chance to get into some tier 1 schools or get you money at a tier 2. If you could get your score at 161/162+, L&C & Notre Dame could be target schools for you & would dramatically improve your job prospects after graduation. Trying to minimize debt isn't worth it if you can't find employment.


I agree with this too. Ugh. I'm so confused.

Is it at all plausible to just study as though I'm retaking and then use my PT's leading up to the October test to determine if I should retake? I hate the thought of dedicating myself for the next 3 months only to possibly not be where I need to be to make a difference but it seems worth the potential risk. I suppose I could take one less summer class which would give me more time, but then I would have to make up that class during the summer before law school.

Azmatt
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby Azmatt » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:52 am

something about the Ginsberg photo just turns warms my cold cynical heart....


I think you need to study right and kill the LSAT next time. A lot of it has to do w/ confidence. You obviously work well under pressure, so pick up the bibles if you haven't and rock it out. Attack your weaknesses/track your mistakes/gauge progress and review missed answers. You'll do much better next time. I see no reason why you couldn't score 160+ and get into ND w/ some money. But, I'm just a noob myself. :)


Good Luck.

Azmatt
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby Azmatt » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:54 am

luxxe wrote:I would definitely retake. With your GPA, an improved LSAT would make a huge difference & give you a chance to get into some tier 1 schools or get you money at a tier 2. If you could get your score at 161/162+, L&C & Notre Dame could be target schools for you & would dramatically improve your job prospects after graduation. Trying to minimize debt isn't worth it if you can't find employment.


Agreed. You just take the debt if you get into your reach schools. Necessary evil. I imagine it's something you'd regret otherwise. Plus, go Irish! Play like a champion, Angie.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:56 am

Azmatt wrote:
luxxe wrote:I would definitely retake. With your GPA, an improved LSAT would make a huge difference & give you a chance to get into some tier 1 schools or get you money at a tier 2. If you could get your score at 161/162+, L&C & Notre Dame could be target schools for you & would dramatically improve your job prospects after graduation. Trying to minimize debt isn't worth it if you can't find employment.


Agreed. You just take the debt if you get into your reach schools. Necessary evil. I imagine it's something you'd regret otherwise. Plus, go Irish! Play like a champion, Angie.


Thanks! Notre Dame would be an absolute DREAM. I grew up nearby and it was always this dream of mine to go but literally my PARENTS would say things like "that's the rich, smart kid school" or "well at least we know we will never have to pay for our daughter to go there." Etc. Its been a fantasy, but honestly, I never thought it would be possible for me to even break into the 150's from my initial 143. I have never regarded myself as "that" smart. Just someone who worked hard.

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luxxe
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby luxxe » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:00 pm

angiej wrote:
luxxe wrote:I would definitely retake. With your GPA, an improved LSAT would make a huge difference & give you a chance to get into some tier 1 schools or get you money at a tier 2. If you could get your score at 161/162+, L&C & Notre Dame could be target schools for you & would dramatically improve your job prospects after graduation. Trying to minimize debt isn't worth it if you can't find employment.


I agree with this too. Ugh. I'm so confused.

Is it at all plausible to just study as though I'm retaking and then use my PT's leading up to the October test to determine if I should retake? I hate the thought of dedicating myself for the next 3 months only to possibly not be where I need to be to make a difference but it seems worth the potential risk. I suppose I could take one less summer class which would give me more time, but then I would have to make up that class during the summer before law school.


I have no idea how late you can register/how fast test centers fill up, but that could work. I would put off that class until the summer before law school if that you gives you a lot more time to study & improve your score. If you can break 160, your options increase so dramatically that I definitely think the risk of not doing better is worth it.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:01 pm

I didn't mention this before because I know this will really get everyone telling me to retake but . . . I have a fee waiver, so October would be free to retake.

Bankhead
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby Bankhead » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:12 pm

You have a solid shot at IUB, but likely very little scholarship money will be offered.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:22 pm

How do the stafford (government administered) loans work . . . I mean if I get a scholarship, do I get less of the government loan since my EFC or unmet need will be less?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:37 pm

You may want to retake if you have a fee waiver if you are comfortable with your 155 LSAT score increasing or decreasing by a few points. This is a likely scenario because you are working full time, lack funds for a prep course or tutoring and were very pleased (pleasantly surprised) with your LSAT score of 155 and expressed concern as to the effect of receiving a lower LSAT score on a retake.

Azmatt
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby Azmatt » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:41 pm

angiej wrote:
Azmatt wrote:
luxxe wrote:I would definitely retake. With your GPA, an improved LSAT would make a huge difference & give you a chance to get into some tier 1 schools or get you money at a tier 2. If you could get your score at 161/162+, L&C & Notre Dame could be target schools for you & would dramatically improve your job prospects after graduation. Trying to minimize debt isn't worth it if you can't find employment.


Agreed. You just take the debt if you get into your reach schools. Necessary evil. I imagine it's something you'd regret otherwise. Plus, go Irish! Play like a champion, Angie.


Thanks! Notre Dame would be an absolute DREAM. I grew up nearby and it was always this dream of mine to go but literally my PARENTS would say things like "that's the rich, smart kid school" or "well at least we know we will never have to pay for our daughter to go there." Etc. Its been a fantasy, but honestly, I never thought it would be possible for me to even break into the 150's from my initial 143. I have never regarded myself as "that" smart. Just someone who worked hard.


Parents piss me off. I'm in the same boat. I have a lot of natural gifts, but I'm not a genius. I'm "smart," but I have to work at doing well on the LSAT. I have to work to excell. I was the same way w/ sports etc etc. The biggest thing here is just believing that you have it in you... Breaks my heart to have fucking parents say shit like that. The day you believe you can kill a 170 is the day you actually do. You're in the like top 90% of students w/ your GPA.(This isn't scientific by any means..) But, translate that to the top 90% in the LSAT. You're looking high 160s-170s. The LSAT is learnable. Just dive into it and obsess. But, hell, KNOW you're smart enough.

You hit a nerve. First-gen college grad, myself. Family look at me as if I've hit some great goal. It's just a degree.


Also, your stafford is the same as your UG amount up to 12,500 I believe. Don't worry about your EFC. It means nothing now. The remainder is a GradPLUS loan, so go look up the qualifications for that and get yourself in order. :)

Englander742
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby Englander742 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:44 pm

I would retake personally. Here's why:
You can probably get into most of your schools with your current, and a retake probably wouldn't damage that at all. So IMO you have nothing to lose.
However, you have a TON to gain it seems!
-Shot at ND (new law building ftw)
-Better shot/maybe money at IU-B
-Money at most of the schools on your list
-Not having to go to Valpo

I know 2 Valpo grads personally who were about the middle of the class and can't get interviews anywhere. That's a bad chance to take I think when there's no guarantee of where you'll graduate.

I would study like crazy for the LSAT, I really think nothing to lose, everything to gain.

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 12:46 pm

Azmatt wrote:
angiej wrote:
Azmatt wrote:
luxxe wrote:I would definitely retake. With your GPA, an improved LSAT would make a huge difference & give you a chance to get into some tier 1 schools or get you money at a tier 2. If you could get your score at 161/162+, L&C & Notre Dame could be target schools for you & would dramatically improve your job prospects after graduation. Trying to minimize debt isn't worth it if you can't find employment.


Agreed. You just take the debt if you get into your reach schools. Necessary evil. I imagine it's something you'd regret otherwise. Plus, go Irish! Play like a champion, Angie.


Thanks! Notre Dame would be an absolute DREAM. I grew up nearby and it was always this dream of mine to go but literally my PARENTS would say things like "that's the rich, smart kid school" or "well at least we know we will never have to pay for our daughter to go there." Etc. Its been a fantasy, but honestly, I never thought it would be possible for me to even break into the 150's from my initial 143. I have never regarded myself as "that" smart. Just someone who worked hard.


Parents piss me off. I'm in the same boat. I have a lot of natural gifts, but I'm not a genius. I'm "smart," but I have to work at doing well on the LSAT. I have to work to excell. I was the same way w/ sports etc etc. The biggest thing here is just believing that you have it in you... Breaks my heart to have fucking parents say shit like that. The day you believe you can kill a 170 is the day you actually do. You're in the like top 90% of students w/ your GPA.(This isn't scientific by any means..) But, translate that to the top 90% in the LSAT. You're looking high 160s-170s. The LSAT is learnable. Just dive into it and obsess. But, hell, KNOW you're smart enough.

You hit a nerve. First-gen college grad, myself. Family look at me as if I've hit some great goal. It's just a degree.


Also, your stafford is the same as your UG amount up to 12,500 I believe. Don't worry about your EFC. It means nothing now. The remainder is a GradPLUS loan, so go look up the qualifications for that and get yourself in order. :)


Thank you for this. On top of everything else, my parents think lawyers are the devil. (Literally, my mom is very wack-o and thinks no Christians are lawyers - - - - um hello? notre dame!?)

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:00 pm

I know many lawyers who would agree with your parents but would also ask "So what?".

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angiej
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby angiej » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:01 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I know many lawyers who would agree with your parents but would also ask "So what?".


Ha very true! Have you ever seen that crazy movie with Al Pacino and Keanue Reeves where Al Pacino plays a lawyer who actually turns out to be the Devil!? Geesh, damn media. LOL

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:04 pm

Yes. I find it interesting that that movie is listed in the non-fiction section of many bookstores & retail DVD stores.

ilovemulch
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Re: Should AngieJ Retake!?

Postby ilovemulch » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:08 pm

I also vote for a retake - you sound very capable and determined, the 2 most important factors in getting a great score. Also, the fact that you were continuously improving that close to the June LSAT makes me think you may not have hit your ceiling. It also sounds like you can really pump it out on test day, so that even if your PTs max out only a couple points higher than you were at pre-June, you have a good shot at increasing again on test day.




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