Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

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Bluben
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Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bluben » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:39 pm

Background - I wasnt enjoying engineering, did some reading on being a patent lawyer and decided i'd give it a try. Didnt prep at all, signed up for a Kaplan class, and on my diagnostic scored something in the 120s. I obviously knew nothing about the LSAT when i came in. I didnt even bubble in the questions i didnt have time for because I was used to the scoring method of having wrong answers counting against you in engineering. After taking the kaplan course, I was at the 145 mark on diagnostics. I didnt really devote enough time into it because i was still focusing on my engineering career even though i didnt like it.

3 years later and only doing semi intense studying, I studied as my work schedule permitted and did a total of 16 PT within a few months leading up to this past June, I finally took the LSAT and scored a 156. My highest PT before the test was a 165, and I had a 162 and 164 sneak in other tests too. I did the best immediately after reading the Powerscore LR bible. I ended up getting too nervous during the actual test and choked on the reading comp amongst other places. I also ran out of time for logic games so I guessed D all the way down for six questions and missed almost all those plus only one other i had actually worked on.

Anyways, although my score wasnt that good, Im proud of my achievements thus far. I'm taking the LSAT again in October shooting for over a 165 since i know its within my potential. I created this thread to see if anyone out there has gone through a similar situation. I recently found TLS and hadnt seen any of the advice posted on here before i took the test, but now that i have, I ask all to think twice when downplaying a person's ability. If I had looked at some of the threads in this forum before I had taken the LSAT and knowing how poorly i had done in my diagnostics a few years back, I would have been discouraged to continue trying. Then again there are many others who offer great advice and i thank you for it. Good luck to all others who still need to take the test, dont give up hope.

hax123
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby hax123 » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:15 pm

I don't see how anyone who actually tries on the LSAT could score in the 120s. A raw score of 25 is usually a 130, so to get in the 120s, one would have to essentially guess on every single question.

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Notor
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Notor » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:16 pm

Cool story bro thread of the day

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James Bond
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby James Bond » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:18 pm

It could be worse. You could diagnose in the mid 150's, PT in the low 170's, and then actually score the exact same score that you got on your diagnosis. Not that I know anyone who did that this June.... :?

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thecilent
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby thecilent » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:19 pm

Def tl;dr OP.

But the title made me lolzz

cubswin
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby cubswin » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:32 pm

Bluben wrote:I recently found TLS and hadnt seen any of the advice posted on here before i took the test, but now that i have, I ask all to think twice when downplaying a person's ability. If I had looked at some of the threads in this forum before I had taken the LSAT and knowing how poorly i had done in my diagnostics a few years back, I would have been discouraged to continue trying.


I would say in almost every case, someone who diags in the 120s is probably not going to see the kind of improvements you did. Not to mention that even with a 30 point raise, the schools they are likely to gain admission to aren't going to be very good ones. In most cases, I think telling them to not waste their time is good advice.

I also find it hard to believe you have the will and determination to increase your LSAT score from the 120s to potentially in the 160s, over the course of several years no less, but would have been discouraged from even trying by some bullies on the internet.

tomwatts
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby tomwatts » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:52 pm

I have seen students enter my courses with scores in the 120's (including one who got an honest-to-goodness 120 on the first test — as the OP indicated, not realizing that there were no points off for wrong answers, so leaving a LOT blank). Based on the performance of those students, many of whom do not complete the course because they just can't keep up, I'd say that sticking with a course and actually making it up to the 150's is a pretty impressive feat in itself.

My point: If the story here is true, and if you think you can do even better, by all means go for it. No reason to stop now. But don't underestimate the difficulty of improving after you've already jumped as many points as you have; give it everything you've got, but don't be discouraged if it's just as slow and painful as the rest of your improvement has been, or even slower and more painful.

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suspicious android
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby suspicious android » Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:43 pm

I've seen quite a few 125-135 first diagnostics. These are normal people. Some of them are just below average intelligence, but some are just not used to the precise way of thinking the LSAT demands. They usually are not avid readers, majored in something pretty soft/went to a really easy school. Unfortunately, I find most of them need more than 2ish months to improve their LSAT scores to the point where it's reasonable for them to hope to get into a ABA law school. A lot of them drop out. I've had a few bright spots though, a few 20-25 point increases from this crowd. Those have come from bright people that I could tell had just never really pushed themselves mentally like you need to do for the LSAT or similar intellectual activity. They can be pretty fun to teach if they don't get too negative about the whole process (the LSAT is bullshit, this question is stupid, etc.)

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Bluben
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bluben » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:30 am

Sorry I went MIA, I've been traveling the last few weeks. After reading some of the responses, all I can really say is that I know in my case I was having issues with the way i was using my brain. I wasnt reading much, or at all, through college outside of my chemical engineering books. Whenever i finally decided to buckle down and really study, it took a whole lot of determination to actually process what i was reading. It's weird. For a while i thought i had just gone dumb, but it really was just being lazy. I started reading Atlas Shrugged (which i really liked and got really into), I then got a subscription to the economist and made myself stop and summarize every article i read before moving on to the next. Thats when i really saw most of the progress in my scores. It's funny because ever since i left this engineering way of processing things, ive seen myself become more social; theres a much greater ease in approaching and talking to people i dont know, I really did just switch gears. It is tough but achievable.

So yeah there are cases where people who started in the 120s moved up, got into law school and dropped out, but i really believe its a matter of how motivated and how disciplined you can be and thats why school use LSAT as a big indicator. I cant speak for anyone else, but Im pretty sure having gotten through chemical engineering at UT without dropping out, I'll be able to get through law school, once i get there, without dropping or failing out. Just gotta keep my mind agile and not fall into this laziness that i saw at one point.

Thanks to all who provided postive responses. Im glad you enjoyed hearing my story.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:01 pm

I believe that the "drop-outs" referenced in the above posts concerned dropping out of an LSAT review course, not law school.

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Bluben
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bluben » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:32 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I believe that the "drop-outs" referenced in the above posts concerned dropping out of an LSAT review course, not law school.


Ah yes. Better focus on my critical reading skills yet again.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby pugp » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:33 pm

Bluben wrote:Sorry I went MIA, I've been traveling the last few weeks. After reading some of the responses, all I can really say is that I know in my case I was having issues with the way i was using my brain. I wasnt reading much, or at all, through college outside of my chemical engineering books. Whenever i finally decided to buckle down and really study, it took a whole lot of determination to actually process what i was reading. It's weird. For a while i thought i had just gone dumb, but it really was just being lazy. I started reading Atlas Shrugged (which i really liked and got really into), I then got a subscription to the economist and made myself stop and summarize every article i read before moving on to the next. Thats when i really saw most of the progress in my scores. It's funny because ever since i left this engineering way of processing things, ive seen myself become more social; theres a much greater ease in approaching and talking to people i dont know, I really did just switch gears. It is tough but achievable.

So yeah there are cases where people who started in the 120s moved up, got into law school and dropped out, but i really believe its a matter of how motivated and how disciplined you can be and thats why school use LSAT as a big indicator. I cant speak for anyone else, but Im pretty sure having gotten through chemical engineering at UT without dropping out, I'll be able to get through law school, once i get there, without dropping or failing out. Just gotta keep my mind agile and not fall into this laziness that i saw at one point.

Thanks to all who provided postive responses. Im glad you enjoyed hearing my story.


no wonder you did badly on the LSAT if you thought that drivel was good. honestly the worst "novel" ive ever read in my life

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Bluben
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bluben » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:47 pm

pugp wrote:
Bluben wrote:Sorry I went MIA, I've been traveling the last few weeks. After reading some of the responses, all I can really say is that I know in my case I was having issues with the way i was using my brain. I wasnt reading much, or at all, through college outside of my chemical engineering books. Whenever i finally decided to buckle down and really study, it took a whole lot of determination to actually process what i was reading. It's weird. For a while i thought i had just gone dumb, but it really was just being lazy. I started reading Atlas Shrugged (which i really liked and got really into), I then got a subscription to the economist and made myself stop and summarize every article i read before moving on to the next. Thats when i really saw most of the progress in my scores. It's funny because ever since i left this engineering way of processing things, ive seen myself become more social; theres a much greater ease in approaching and talking to people i dont know, I really did just switch gears. It is tough but achievable.

So yeah there are cases where people who started in the 120s moved up, got into law school and dropped out, but i really believe its a matter of how motivated and how disciplined you can be and thats why school use LSAT as a big indicator. I cant speak for anyone else, but Im pretty sure having gotten through chemical engineering at UT without dropping out, I'll be able to get through law school, once i get there, without dropping or failing out. Just gotta keep my mind agile and not fall into this laziness that i saw at one point.

Thanks to all who provided postive responses. Im glad you enjoyed hearing my story.


no wonder you did badly on the LSAT if you thought that drivel was good. honestly the worst "novel" ive ever read in my life


Guessing youre not a science or engineering major.

09042014
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby 09042014 » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:56 pm

Bluben wrote:
pugp wrote:
Bluben wrote:Sorry I went MIA, I've been traveling the last few weeks. After reading some of the responses, all I can really say is that I know in my case I was having issues with the way i was using my brain. I wasnt reading much, or at all, through college outside of my chemical engineering books. Whenever i finally decided to buckle down and really study, it took a whole lot of determination to actually process what i was reading. It's weird. For a while i thought i had just gone dumb, but it really was just being lazy. I started reading Atlas Shrugged (which i really liked and got really into), I then got a subscription to the economist and made myself stop and summarize every article i read before moving on to the next. Thats when i really saw most of the progress in my scores. It's funny because ever since i left this engineering way of processing things, ive seen myself become more social; theres a much greater ease in approaching and talking to people i dont know, I really did just switch gears. It is tough but achievable.

So yeah there are cases where people who started in the 120s moved up, got into law school and dropped out, but i really believe its a matter of how motivated and how disciplined you can be and thats why school use LSAT as a big indicator. I cant speak for anyone else, but Im pretty sure having gotten through chemical engineering at UT without dropping out, I'll be able to get through law school, once i get there, without dropping or failing out. Just gotta keep my mind agile and not fall into this laziness that i saw at one point.

Thanks to all who provided postive responses. Im glad you enjoyed hearing my story.


no wonder you did badly on the LSAT if you thought that drivel was good. honestly the worst "novel" ive ever read in my life


Guessing youre not a science or engineering major.


EE here, it's fucking shit.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby pugp » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:46 pm

Bluben wrote:
Guessing youre not a science or engineering major.


actually I double majored in chemistry and english literature. what are you even trying to imply - that only those who majored in science/engineering are smart enough or enlightened enough to understand and appreciate Atlas Shrugged? it's pure fucking garbage, not just because "objectionism" is completely laughable, but also because ayn rand was an awful writer. the fact that you enjoyed it AND think it takes some higher intelligence to understand it says much about your intelligence. it's one of the biggest travesties of american literature that "atlas shrugged" has nearly been accepted as one of the "new classics"

people like you are the ones who give engineering majors a bad name; you reinforce the notion to people that they're socially awkward and intellectually stilted outside of their chosen studies. luckily we have people like DF to counteract that.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:29 am

pugp wrote:
Bluben wrote:
Guessing youre not a science or engineering major.


actually I double majored in chemistry and english literature. what are you even trying to imply - that only those who majored in science/engineering are smart enough or enlightened enough to understand and appreciate Atlas Shrugged? it's pure fucking garbage, not just because "objectionism" is completely laughable, but also because ayn rand was an awful writer. the fact that you enjoyed it AND think it takes some higher intelligence to understand it says much about your intelligence. it's one of the biggest travesties of american literature that "atlas shrugged" has nearly been accepted as one of the "new classics"

people like you are the ones who give engineering majors a bad name; you reinforce the notion to people that they're socially awkward and intellectually stilted outside of their chosen studies. luckily we have people like DF to counteract that.

:lol: This post was fucking stupid

OP: Don't give up. Jumping from a 120s diagnostic to a 160+ on test day will be very difficult, but it is not impossible.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby beachbum » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:43 am

pugp wrote:
Bluben wrote:
Guessing youre not a science or engineering major.


actually I double majored in chemistry and english literature. what are you even trying to imply - that only those who majored in science/engineering are smart enough or enlightened enough to understand and appreciate Atlas Shrugged? it's pure fucking garbage, not just because "objectionism" is completely laughable, but also because ayn rand was an awful writer. the fact that you enjoyed it AND think it takes some higher intelligence to understand it says much about your intelligence. it's one of the biggest travesties of american literature that "atlas shrugged" has nearly been accepted as one of the "new classics"

people like you are the ones who give engineering majors a bad name; you reinforce the notion to people that they're socially awkward and intellectually stilted outside of their chosen studies. luckily we have people like DF to counteract that.


ITT: panties in a bunch.

OP: Get it done. I'm actually really interested in seeing how high you can push that score. You're obviously a smart guy, and you've come quite a long way... so lets see what you can do from here. Good luck.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby stratocophic » Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:59 am

Bluben wrote:Background - I wasnt enjoying engineering, did some reading on being a patent lawyer and decided i'd give it a try. Didnt prep at all, signed up for a Kaplan class, and on my diagnostic scored something in the 120s. I obviously knew nothing about the LSAT when i came in. I didnt even bubble in the questions i didnt have time for because I was used to the scoring method of having wrong answers counting against you in engineering. After taking the kaplan course, I was at the 145 mark on diagnostics. I didnt really devote enough time into it because i was still focusing on my engineering career even though i didnt like it.

3 years later and only doing semi intense studying, I studied as my work schedule permitted and did a total of 16 PT within a few months leading up to this past June, I finally took the LSAT and scored a 156. My highest PT before the test was a 165, and I had a 162 and 164 sneak in other tests too. I did the best immediately after reading the Powerscore LR bible. I ended up getting too nervous during the actual test and choked on the reading comp amongst other places. I also ran out of time for logic games so I guessed D all the way down for six questions and missed almost all those plus only one other i had actually worked on.

Anyways, although my score wasnt that good, Im proud of my achievements thus far. I'm taking the LSAT again in October shooting for over a 165 since i know its within my potential. I created this thread to see if anyone out there has gone through a similar situation. I recently found TLS and hadnt seen any of the advice posted on here before i took the test, but now that i have, I ask all to think twice when downplaying a person's ability. If I had looked at some of the threads in this forum before I had taken the LSAT and knowing how poorly i had done in my diagnostics a few years back, I would have been discouraged to continue trying. Then again there are many others who offer great advice and i thank you for it. Good luck to all others who still need to take the test, dont give up hope.
lolwut? Is this for real? What paradise did you graduate from? Leaving answers blank on an engineering test = you gonna get raped, in my experience. Also... a 145 after taking a class? Dropping the snark momentarily, is English your second language?

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bluben » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:23 am

My point on being a science and engineering major to appreciate Rand's novel has nothing to do with intellectual ability or your ability to read. My interest in the book from an engineering perspective derived from an appreciation for taking action, having drive, using your brain to produce tangible concrete products which benefit the rest of the world. By assuming that i am taking a blow on your intellectual ability tells a lot about you.

Yes i did take coursework where leaving answers blank on a test = 0 points, getting answers wrong = -5 points. I didnt quite understand the scoring system, because there were instances that resulted in me realizing i would have done better had i not tried. I dont know why i feel like i have to justify this to you because I really wonder as to what drives you to ask whether english is my second language or not. What if i told you it was my fifth language? Would you respond to it the same as if i said, no, spanish is the dominant language in my household? Do you believe because english was a second language i have a tougher time doing what someone who spoke english all their life has? If so, do you believe i should have an easier time getting into law school than you should (that is if english was your first language)? To you, a 20 point increase in my test score is is not as important as the face value of my score, and you are trying to justify what i consider a worthwile achievement, but something that you can be snarky about, by asking if english was my second language. This is why schools still take diversity statements and use them in their admissions criteria.

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Precessional
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Precessional » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:10 pm

Bluben wrote:Yes i did take coursework where leaving answers blank on a test = 0 points, getting answers wrong = -5 points. I didnt quite understand the scoring system, because there were instances that resulted in me realizing i would have done better had i not tried...

Only lazy Engineering professors grade that way.


Standardized tests, at worst, have penalty systems to offset guessing. On both the SAT and the MCAT, with five answer choices, there is a -1/5 deduction with incorrect answers. In the long run, with random guessing, this is a net gain of 0.

In practice, though, test-takers are able to eliminate one or two obviously incorrect answer-choices. Even if the LSAT-makers implemented the typical penalty scheme, guessing with one to three eliminated choices would probably yield positive gains.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby merichard87 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:19 pm

Bluben wrote:Do you believe because english was a second language i have a tougher time doing what someone who spoke english all their life has? If so, do you believe i should have an easier time getting into law school than you should (that is if english was your first language)? To you, a 20 point increase in my test score is is not as important as the face value of my score, and you are trying to justify what i consider a worthwile achievement, but something that you can be snarky about, by asking if english was my second language. This is why schools still take diversity statements and use them in their admissions criteria.


Uhhh actually if English is your second language it would give insight into why you scored so low initially. Unless you have been speaking your second language for many, many years and at a constant level you would not be able to process words the same way a native speaker does. And since the LSAT is a timed test that could heavily affect your score. Not sure why you got all snippy about a legit question.

And getting a 145 after taking a class is scary.

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Bluben
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bluben » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:29 pm

merichard87 wrote:
Bluben wrote:Do you believe because english was a second language i have a tougher time doing what someone who spoke english all their life has? If so, do you believe i should have an easier time getting into law school than you should (that is if english was your first language)? To you, a 20 point increase in my test score is is not as important as the face value of my score, and you are trying to justify what i consider a worthwile achievement, but something that you can be snarky about, by asking if english was my second language. This is why schools still take diversity statements and use them in their admissions criteria.


Uhhh actually if English is your second language it would give insight into why you scored so low initially. Unless you have been speaking your second language for many, many years and at a constant level you would not be able to process words the same way a native speaker does. And since the LSAT is a timed test that could heavily affect your score. Not sure why you got all snippy about a legit question.

And getting a 145 after taking a class is scary.



I guess it's just a sore spot. It brings up memories of showing up to my first AP english class in high school and being asked if english was my second language. Once i said yes I was told i shouldn't be in the class. Nevertheless i stuck around and did pretty well in the class and AP test.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby hv1 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:46 pm

Read a PowerScore book, take about 5 test UNTIMED and you'll be fine. Then take a test and you'll see your score rise.

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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby stratocophic » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:55 pm

Bluben wrote:
merichard87 wrote:
Bluben wrote:Do you believe because english was a second language i have a tougher time doing what someone who spoke english all their life has? If so, do you believe i should have an easier time getting into law school than you should (that is if english was your first language)? To you, a 20 point increase in my test score is is not as important as the face value of my score, and you are trying to justify what i consider a worthwile achievement, but something that you can be snarky about, by asking if english was my second language. This is why schools still take diversity statements and use them in their admissions criteria.


Uhhh actually if English is your second language it would give insight into why you scored so low initially. Unless you have been speaking your second language for many, many years and at a constant level you would not be able to process words the same way a native speaker does. And since the LSAT is a timed test that could heavily affect your score. Not sure why you got all snippy about a legit question.

And getting a 145 after taking a class is scary.



I guess it's just a sore spot. It brings up memories of showing up to my first AP english class in high school and being asked if english was my second language. Once i said yes I was told i shouldn't be in the class. Nevertheless i stuck around and did pretty well in the class and AP test.
Sorry to have offended :( I'm certainly not going to look down on you for having English as a second language, I can only remember about a tenth of my high school Spanish material :? I was just looking for an underlying cause for the low score. I figured there had to be something else going on for an engineer to score so low on the diagnostic and then still be at a lower level after a class. I'd strongly recommend following the previous poster's advice, with the change that you should take every practice test you can buy, starting with an extended time limit and working down to the real time limit. Take one untimed every so often. Best of luck with getting that score up and getting into a good school.

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Bluben
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Re: Anyone else get below a 130 on their first LSAT?

Postby Bluben » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:48 pm

stratocophic wrote:
Bluben wrote:
merichard87 wrote:
Bluben wrote:Do you believe because english was a second language i have a tougher time doing what someone who spoke english all their life has? If so, do you believe i should have an easier time getting into law school than you should (that is if english was your first language)? To you, a 20 point increase in my test score is is not as important as the face value of my score, and you are trying to justify what i consider a worthwile achievement, but something that you can be snarky about, by asking if english was my second language. This is why schools still take diversity statements and use them in their admissions criteria.


Uhhh actually if English is your second language it would give insight into why you scored so low initially. Unless you have been speaking your second language for many, many years and at a constant level you would not be able to process words the same way a native speaker does. And since the LSAT is a timed test that could heavily affect your score. Not sure why you got all snippy about a legit question.

And getting a 145 after taking a class is scary.



I guess it's just a sore spot. It brings up memories of showing up to my first AP english class in high school and being asked if english was my second language. Once i said yes I was told i shouldn't be in the class. Nevertheless i stuck around and did pretty well in the class and AP test.
Sorry to have offended :( I'm certainly not going to look down on you for having English as a second language, I can only remember about a tenth of my high school Spanish material :? I was just looking for an underlying cause for the low score. I figured there had to be something else going on for an engineer to score so low on the diagnostic and then still be at a lower level after a class. I'd strongly recommend following the previous poster's advice, with the change that you should take every practice test you can buy, starting with an extended time limit and working down to the real time limit. Take one untimed every so often. Best of luck with getting that score up and getting into a good school.


Thanks for the advice and sincerity.




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