LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

ckdgusdl88
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:56 pm

LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby ckdgusdl88 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:33 pm

Hi,

I got a pretty good score on the LSAT: 174, but given the fact that I've been PTing in 175-179 range for the last 5 or so PTs before the exam, and given the fact that all the wrong answers came from just two sections, it appears that I will be able to raise my score if I retake in December. I am shooting for HYS, so I need every point I can get. TLS is the only place I can ask questions regarding stuff like this. Can anyone advise with regards to the following, and whether re-take would be a good idea?

1. Is it true that schools automatically will put off reading your application if they see that you have a test pending?
Can I ask them to read my app as soon as possible but don't reject me until after seeing my Dec score?

2. Yale accepts February tests. I have an inclination to think H will accept me with 174 (and for S LSAT does not seem to matter as much) so maybe apply to H and S first, send an app to Yale with Oct score and info that I will take the test again in Feb? The Feb score could also potentially be used to get off the waitlist from H or S if I do get waitlisted. Because the registration deadline for Feb test is still far away, chances are that H and S would have reached their decisions before even receiving info that I registered for the Feb test.

3. If I do re-take in December, what do you think is the minimum score to justify receiving a late review in H's rolling application process?

Any input would be much appreciated!! I can't give too much personal info lest I get outed, but I have a good (low 3.9s out of 4.00) GPA from HYPS undergrad majoring in two relatively difficult subjects and I have a track record of demonstrated interest in the legal profession (have interned at prestigious institutions).

ckdgusdl88
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby ckdgusdl88 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:32 pm

Anyone able to help? My question is rather specific and my situation is somewhat iffy because my score is high enough to be a candidate for admission but not high enough to be a "sure admit"

User avatar
dpk711
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby dpk711 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:38 pm

ckdgusdl88 wrote:Anyone able to help? My question is rather specific and my situation is somewhat iffy because my score is high enough to be a candidate for admission but not high enough to be a "sure admit"


this is coming from a guy who also found out he got a good score (172) just yesterday and thought about retaking after finding out that I made 5 really stupid mistakes that could have got me a score in the high 170s. I decided not to because I want to apply early this year and can't imagine spending another year before applying again.

do you really think a 174 to a high-170 makes that much of a difference? and if you think it is worth the months of extra waiting?

just a few words from a fellow TLSer who found himself in a similar situation.

ckdgusdl88
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby ckdgusdl88 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:43 pm

dpk711 wrote: do you really think a 174 to a high-170 makes that much of a difference? and if you think it is worth the months of extra waiting?


Thank you very much for your input.
I am inclined to think that there is significant difference between a high 170s and a 174 - I am trying to gauge whether it is worth the risk of applying later in the cycle... I am not considering applying next cycle - just between applying at different points in this cycle.

User avatar
dpk711
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby dpk711 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:49 pm

ckdgusdl88 wrote:
dpk711 wrote: do you really think a 174 to a high-170 makes that much of a difference? and if you think it is worth the months of extra waiting?


Thank you very much for your input.
I am inclined to think that there is significant difference between a high 170s and a 174 - I am trying to gauge whether it is worth the risk of applying later in the cycle... I am not considering applying next cycle - just between applying at different points in this cycle.


if so then you must do a cost-benefit analysis...
is the time wasted (around 2 months) worth it for a improvement to lets say a 179??
i don't think so (just my opinion)
applying in late Oct./early Nov with a 174 in my humble opinion would be much more beneficial to you than applying with a 179 in January. A lot of spots are taken by the end stages of the cycle.
Furthermore, you're not guaranteed a higher score, in fact it can be that you will get a worse score.

Again, I decided not to retake my 172 even though I sincerely thought a 6-7 point jump is possible.

Just my two cents

Keeper1125
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:38 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Keeper1125 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:54 pm

No offense to him but I think the previous poster is way off. While in a vacuum you would prefer to apply earlier, schools have done this enough to know not to shut out "late" 179s in favor of "early" 174s. It just wouldn't make any sense whatsoever from their standpoint. Quite frankly, if the advantage to applying earlier were really that stark then it would be borderline unethical for schools to not make this clearer to applicants.

From the sound of things, I think you're capable of scoring higher and think it would be worth it. That 5-point jump could absolutely be the difference, though I think it's important that you're reasonably confident that you can accomplish it. Good luck!

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:55 pm

What your gpa is determines whether or not this is a good choice. You are above median for every school in the country. If you have a 3.85-4.0 you are likely in at 1 or 2 of HYS so it would be stupid to risk hurting your chances. If you have a 3.4 it may be worth it to make sure you snag one of CC.

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:56 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:No offense to him but I think the previous poster is way off. While in a vacuum you would prefer to apply earlier, schools have done this enough to know not to shut out "late" 179s in favor of "early" 174s. It just wouldn't make any sense whatsoever from their standpoint. Quite frankly, if the advantage to applying earlier were really that stark then it would be borderline unethical for schools to not make this clearer to applicants.

From the sound of things, I think you're capable of scoring higher and think it would be worth it. That 5-point jump could absolutely be the difference, though I think it's important that you're reasonably confident that you can accomplish it. Good luck!


It is pretty stark and schools do tell you they strongly encourage you to apply early.

ckdgusdl88
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby ckdgusdl88 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:57 pm

I tend to think that 179 is the highest possible score for me.
I have essentially exhausted all recent PTs and 177 was my average and I hit 179 just twice I think...
So my guess at my retake score is 177-178.

User avatar
dpk711
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby dpk711 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:58 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:No offense to him but I think the previous poster is way off. While in a vacuum you would prefer to apply earlier, schools have done this enough to know not to shut out "late" 179s in favor of "early" 174s. It just wouldn't make any sense whatsoever from their standpoint. Quite frankly, if the advantage to applying earlier were really that stark then it would be borderline unethical for schools to not make this clearer to applicants.

From the sound of things, I think you're capable of scoring higher and think it would be worth it. That 5-point jump could absolutely be the difference, though I think it's important that you're reasonably confident that you can accomplish it. Good luck!


but of course a 5 point jump isn't guaranteed, and also as previously mentioned I do think GPA has something do with the equation

User avatar
dpk711
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby dpk711 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:58 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
Keeper1125 wrote:No offense to him but I think the previous poster is way off. While in a vacuum you would prefer to apply earlier, schools have done this enough to know not to shut out "late" 179s in favor of "early" 174s. It just wouldn't make any sense whatsoever from their standpoint. Quite frankly, if the advantage to applying earlier were really that stark then it would be borderline unethical for schools to not make this clearer to applicants.

From the sound of things, I think you're capable of scoring higher and think it would be worth it. That 5-point jump could absolutely be the difference, though I think it's important that you're reasonably confident that you can accomplish it. Good luck!


It is pretty stark and schools do tell you they strongly encourage you to apply early.


I have to agree with Patriot

Keeper1125
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:38 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Keeper1125 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:00 pm

And what evidence do we have that it's so stark? I am sure there's a mild advantage but I don't believe for a second that a 174 is getting in over a 179 due to a couple of months difference within the allowable application period.
Last edited by Keeper1125 on Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ckdgusdl88
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby ckdgusdl88 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:01 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:What your gpa is determines whether or not this is a good choice. You are above median for every school in the country. If you have a 3.85-4.0 you are likely in at 1 or 2 of HYS so it would be stupid to risk hurting your chances. If you have a 3.4 it may be worth it to make sure you snag one of CC.


I think this is true. By retaking, I am taking two risks:

1. Delaying the review of my application until later, when there are fewer spots.
2. Possibility that I will score the same or lower.

If I got 170, I would automatically re-take. I thought about re-taking before seeing my Oct score and I thought 175 or higher -> no retake, 173 or below -> retake. 174 is exactly the borderline!

User avatar
dpk711
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 5:24 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby dpk711 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:03 pm

ckdgusdl88 wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:What your gpa is determines whether or not this is a good choice. You are above median for every school in the country. If you have a 3.85-4.0 you are likely in at 1 or 2 of HYS so it would be stupid to risk hurting your chances. If you have a 3.4 it may be worth it to make sure you snag one of CC.


I think this is true. By retaking, I am taking two risks:

1. Delaying the review of my application until later, when there are fewer spots.
2. Possibility that I will score the same or lower.

If I got 170, I would automatically re-take. I thought about re-taking before seeing my Oct score and I thought 175 or higher -> no retake, 173 or below -> retake. 174 is exactly the borderline!


exactly, if I were in your shoes (and I kinda was just a few hours ago with my 172) I wouldn't

ckdgusdl88
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby ckdgusdl88 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:03 pm

I also think applying early is a benefit to different degrees at different schools. Definitely more so at H than at Y.

So hence my consideration of taking Feb LSAT just for Y (and for getting off the waitlist at H and S if I get waitlisted at those places)

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:03 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:And what evidence do we have that it's so stark? I am sure there's a mild advantage but I don't believe for a second that a 174 is getting in over a 179 due to a couple of months difference within the allowable application period.


It's purely anecdotal, but you can also see the trend on LSN, people who applied earlier always have more luck with the same stats. And if you apply at the deadline the school may have 1 or 2 slots left, it's just the way it is.

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:04 pm

What is your GPA?

Keeper1125
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:38 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Keeper1125 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:06 pm

Patriot1208 wrote:
Keeper1125 wrote:And what evidence do we have that it's so stark? I am sure there's a mild advantage but I don't believe for a second that a 174 is getting in over a 179 due to a couple of months difference within the allowable application period.


It's purely anecdotal, but you can also see the trend on LSN, people who applied earlier always have more luck with the same stats. And if you apply at the deadline the school may have 1 or 2 slots left, it's just the way it is.


Again, this all seems perfectly intuitive, but it's a far cry from the 174-179 distinction being discussed.

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:08 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:
Patriot1208 wrote:
Keeper1125 wrote:And what evidence do we have that it's so stark? I am sure there's a mild advantage but I don't believe for a second that a 174 is getting in over a 179 due to a couple of months difference within the allowable application period.


It's purely anecdotal, but you can also see the trend on LSN, people who applied earlier always have more luck with the same stats. And if you apply at the deadline the school may have 1 or 2 slots left, it's just the way it is.


Again, this all seems perfectly intuitive, but it's a far cry from the 174-179 distinction being discussed.


The difference is, 174 is above everyones median. All schools care about is keeping their medians high. In fact, the school may realize with 5 slots left that their GPA median is dropping but their LSAT median is higher than before and therefore will fill their last five spots with high gpa people, even if it means taking lower LSAT people. The difference between two scores above median isn't a big deal depending on GPA.

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby albanach » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:08 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:No offense to him but I think the previous poster is way off. While in a vacuum you would prefer to apply earlier, schools have done this enough to know not to shut out "late" 179s in favor of "early" 174s. It just wouldn't make any sense whatsoever from their standpoint. Quite frankly, if the advantage to applying earlier were really that stark then it would be borderline unethical for schools to not make this clearer to applicants.


True, but schools still have to fill places and do so on a rolling basis.

There's about 100,000 fresh LSAT takers each cycle. So a percentile is equivalent to around 1,000 people. The difference therefore between a 174 at the 99.2%ile and a 177 at the 99.8th is around 500 people, and is in the top 700 of all test takers. HYS have almost 1,000 entrants per year. Plenty of 174s will go elsewhere in the T14, so simple deduction says a 174 with a good GPA has to be in with a very strong shot.

Applying later means there are simply less spots for schools to fill. Add to that the possibility of not improving, or worse going down even by a point. Given how few questions need to be missed to cause dramatic score changes at this level, it's a courageous move to resit a 174.

ckdgusdl88
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 7:56 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby ckdgusdl88 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:08 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:Again, this all seems perfectly intuitive, but it's a far cry from the 174-179 distinction being discussed.


Keepter1125 is right in that a jump to 179 would certainly justify the retake.
However, a more realistic expectation is 177... 179 is possible, but so is another 174....

User avatar
Patriot1208
Posts: 7044
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 11:28 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:09 pm

ckdgusdl88 wrote:
Keeper1125 wrote:Again, this all seems perfectly intuitive, but it's a far cry from the 174-179 distinction being discussed.


Keepter1125 is right in that a jump to 179 would certainly justify the retake.
However, a more realistic expectation is 177... 179 is possible, but so is another 174....


or a 171. It's a risk that you have to weigh, but i'm inclined to think it is not worth it for you personally.

Keeper1125
Posts: 80
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:38 am

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby Keeper1125 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:10 pm

Yeah, I should make clear that the OP's decision is indeed a close one, though personally I still tend to think he should go for it. My argument is that, presupposing the five-point jump, there's no question that he'd be better off.

albanach
Posts: 1011
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:05 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby albanach » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:18 pm

Keeper1125 wrote:No offense to him but I think the previous poster is way off. While in a vacuum you would prefer to apply earlier, schools have done this enough to know not to shut out "late" 179s in favor of "early" 174s. It just wouldn't make any sense whatsoever from their standpoint. Quite frankly, if the advantage to applying earlier were really that stark then it would be borderline unethical for schools to not make this clearer to applicants.


True, but schools still have to fill places and do so on a rolling basis.

There's about 100,000 fresh LSAT takers each cycle. So a percentile is equivalent to around 1,000 people. The difference therefore between a 174 at the 99.2%ile and a 177 at the 99.8th is around 500 people, and is in the top 700 of all test takers. HYS have almost 1,000 entrants per year. Plenty of 174s will go elsewhere in the T14, so simple deduction says a 174 with a good GPA has to be in with a very strong shot.

Applying later means there are simply less spots for schools to fill. Add to that the possibility of not improving, or worse going down even by a point. Given how few questions need to be missed to cause dramatic score changes at this level, it's a courageous move to resit a 174.

NYCLSATTutor
Posts: 209
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:22 pm

Re: LSAT Re-take strategy advice please!

Postby NYCLSATTutor » Sun Oct 31, 2010 1:29 am

Don't do it. The LSAT is a crapshoot. A 170 isn't actually that different from a 180 as far as skill goes (for the most part), a lot of it depends on luck. If you really want to risk it, you can, but preptests are different than the real thing. Notice how after the Oct 9th test, everyone was here congratulating themselves on having rocked the test. Notice for a few days ago, everyone was here, whipping themselves for doing so much worse than they could/should have.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: mse2020 and 11 guests