Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

WashingtonJew
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Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby WashingtonJew » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:55 am

Some people here seem to have the same feeling I did. I scored a 160 in February, but when I retook this October administration I felt good walking out of the test. To my surprise I got a 157. There were some schools that I felt comfortable with at a 160 but will I have a worse chance at getting in to those now (3.84 GPA)???

I wish I could see if I misbubbled or something but I took the Sabbath Observer's one and can't see the PDF! I'm willing to drop $40 on a hand-scoring - do you think it's worth it?

My real question, though, is do I now have to write an addendum for why my second score is lower?! If so, would I say that "I thought that I could do better, but..." What would I say??

HELP! :cry:

WashingtonJew
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby WashingtonJew » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:23 pm

Bump - pleease coul use some advice.

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cinephile
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby cinephile » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:26 pm

They'll still take the higher score.

JJDancer
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby JJDancer » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:29 pm

They will take the higher score unless it was 170 the first time and 165 the second time and someone is applying to T6 or somewhere that "Claim" to average.

PS - it happened to me too.

ren2011
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby ren2011 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:36 pm

A lot of schools (including good schools) seem to take the highest score: http://www.top-law-schools.com/retaking-the-lsat.html. Also, 157/160 isn't a big difference. You'll notice LSAT gives you a "score band" in addition to your scaled score, that's +/- 3pts. So, a score of 160 initially would have a score band of 157-163. Most schools, therefore, won't see this drop as a real difference in indication of your abilities. Take heart!

adonai
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby adonai » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:45 pm

Some schools take the highest, but some also take the average. But it seems to me that schools who say they take the highest no matter what would take a look at the lower score (just cause it is there) and take it under consideration but use the highest score for reporting purposes. It's unfair, but I really think this is what happens behind the scenes.

twb136
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby twb136 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:52 pm

Same thing happened to me. I went from a 158 to 157. I took testmasters the second time too and was scoring in the 165ish range. I am disappointed but I am done caring about this test. I got wait listed last year at my first choice and I hope that I with added experience will get over the hump. If I do get wait listed again I will then take the February test to try and raise it.

Keep your head up. It sucks but no use in dwelling on the past.

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leidice
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby leidice » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:00 pm

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Last edited by leidice on Thu May 01, 2014 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

adonai
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby adonai » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:09 pm

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Last edited by adonai on Fri May 02, 2014 12:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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leidice
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby leidice » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:57 pm

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Last edited by leidice on Thu May 01, 2014 8:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

adonai
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby adonai » Sat Oct 30, 2010 3:13 pm

leidice wrote:
adonai wrote:
leidice wrote:What about for those of us whose score dropped significantly? From 157 to 151. Should I write an addendum for that? Or write my PS in a way that indirectly focuses on skills of mine that I'm strong in that would result in a low LSAT score (ie: I'm an extremely methodical thinker). I'm afraid that the schools I might have had a decent chance of admission in before my second score (I have a GPA above 75% at even HYS -- with two difficult majors and a minor), upon seeing such a drop, will have no problem dinging me.

If the reason for the score drop isn't major/"legit" (i.e. sickness, test center problems, low test scoring history), I wouldn't write an addendum because it just becomes a bunch of excuses at that point. Some schools require you to write one regardless though. I would retake a third time and try to at least match my highest score or go higher to prove that the 151 isn't an accurate indication.


I can honestly say I have no CLUE what happened this time around. I retook the 157 because of nerves and timing issues I experienced during the games section. My PT have been consistently between 162-168, and my diagnostic was 154. When I left Oct's exam, I was confident and feeling great about my score. I am definitely interested in retaking... however, the Dec exam is the morning of my graduation. Assuming I skipped graduation to take the test, would it even be worth trying to apply with December scores?

Depends what score you ultimately think you can get and what schools you are targetting. Applying early only "works" if you have the scores schools are looking for. People think applying early is the magical way to overcome a few points on the LSAT, which is not true. If you are in a favorable score bracket, you will get your decision faster than even the earliest non-median applicant (unless it is an ED/EA program).

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leidice
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby leidice » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:27 pm

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Last edited by leidice on Thu May 01, 2014 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

adonai
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby adonai » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:02 pm

Thank you so much, btw, for all of your advice! If I figure out what held me back this test and fix it for next time, I can definitely score within my potential. For example, my desire is to attend Virginia. I was planning on submitting my ED application this weekend after receiving my score (which I had predicted to be around 164). It would only help my chances if I re-took the test in December, actually scored within my range, and applied after that? For my "safety" schools (which are now more "target" than "safeties"), such as FSU/UF, should I wait to apply to them as well?

I would sign up for dec. LSAT if you are confident about scoring in your predicted range and send in apps right now. The schools will most likely wait for your dec. score before reviewing your app, but you will at least be complete by the time scores come out.

jml8756
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby jml8756 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:26 pm

I would retake if you think you can really do quite a bit better. I think the Feb. test likely had a very generous curve, if that helps you understand what was different this time around. Maybe you got a similar raw score but there was just a harsher curve. Take it in Dec. and study your ass off.

FWIW, I took it 3 times. The 2nd time I went down 5 points. The 3rd time I went up 16 points from the 2nd time (11 points from the 1st time). Even though I was very late in the cycle (3rd test was in Feb) the jump was enough to shoehorn me into some good schools, some with $.

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leidice
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby leidice » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:15 pm

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Last edited by leidice on Thu May 01, 2014 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jml8756
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby jml8756 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:46 pm

leidice wrote:
jml8756 wrote:I would retake if you think you can really do quite a bit better. I think the Feb. test likely had a very generous curve, if that helps you understand what was different this time around. Maybe you got a similar raw score but there was just a harsher curve. Take it in Dec. and study your ass off.

FWIW, I took it 3 times. The 2nd time I went down 5 points. The 3rd time I went up 16 points from the 2nd time (11 points from the 1st time). Even though I was very late in the cycle (3rd test was in Feb) the jump was enough to shoehorn me into some good schools, some with $.


Wow, that is amazing. If you don't mind me asking, what was your highest score? You give me hope that I can achieve that as well! What types of preparation did you do between your second and third tries?


Since I already gave the specific point differentials between the 3 tests, I'll just say that the highest was in the mid 170's. I'll also say that the 2nd score was much lower than my diagnostic, and the 3rd was higher than my highest PT, so it was kind of like both were extreme flukes in different directions. That is to say, I wouldn't go around telling everyone that they could achieve this result. A lot of it probably had to do with luck.

However, if it helps, I pretty much just did a ton of practice exams, particularly the Logic Games. LG is the one section I would say almost everyone can significantly improve on with a lot of practice, in terms of getting the timing down. I also did a lot of practice RCs. LR not so much, unless I was doing a full practice test, because that part always came pretty easy.

Also, this may sound strange, but I got this scrabble-type word game on my iPod that I would play for a few minutes every night. For some reason I really think it improved the spatial understanding that can be helpful for LG. Like seeing different combinations in your head and picking out the viable ones without necessarily having to write everything down.

All that said, only retake if you're really sure you can make a big improvement. It's not ideal to take the test 3 times for various reasons. HTH.

WashingtonJew
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby WashingtonJew » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:52 pm

So schools like Tulane (my top choice right now) will make decision based on my 160 and not my 157 without any addendum explaining a drop? I don't even know what I would say in an addendum - I felt good leaving the test and didn't focus any less studying the second time around...

JJDancer
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby JJDancer » Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:40 pm

WashingtonJew wrote:So schools like Tulane (my top choice right now) will make decision based on my 160 and not my 157 without any addendum explaining a drop? I don't even know what I would say in an addendum - I felt good leaving the test and didn't focus any less studying the second time around...


Yes 157 falls in the 160 score band so I doubt they will even pay any attention to it.
I think your outcome will be based on the 160.

WashingtonJew
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Re: Lower Score on LSAT Retake - Happened to Me

Postby WashingtonJew » Sun Oct 31, 2010 3:08 pm

Sorry to keep posting but I had to take Sabbath Observer's administration so not sure if curve is different (it's non-disclosed.) In February a 160 fell into the 157-163 band for a percentile of 80, and now, my 157 falls into the 154-160 band for a percentile of 71 - that's why I am worried. If you were me, and you were applying to Minn, Indy-Bloomington, UC Davis, and Tulane would you write addendum explaining a drop? That's my last question.




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