Thinking about a retake

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maxm2764
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Thinking about a retake

Postby maxm2764 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:15 pm

I'm starting to think I may take a year off after graduation from undergrad in December and retake in June 2011. I've already sent out all of my apps for this cycle but there's a significant chance I won't get into my top choice with my numbers as they are.

My question is, how should I go about studying for this retake? I studied intensely for the June 2010 test, and even though I made a lot of improvement, I'm starting to become less and less satisfied with my score. Since I won't have studied for around 7 months if I do decide to retake, should I start from scratch with pithypike's method?

Any advice coming from the wisdom of TLS will really help. Thanks guys/girls!

2011Law
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby 2011Law » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:23 pm

How many PTs have you done? Take a course? What books did you use? What did you get? What do you want?

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maxm2764
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby maxm2764 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:29 pm

I took somewhere in between 20-30 PT's. I took Princeton Review Course. I used the LG bible to some extent but not too in-depth as it kind of approached LG differently from what I had learned. I got a 158 and I would love a 165+.

Thank you for your response BTW.

gambelda
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby gambelda » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:31 pm

I can't provide you with feedback of how to study for this upcoming exam because I am still at a loss as to how I can improve certain sections as well. Everything I try to adjust seems to make it worse.

What I can do, is provide you with information as to what working a year outside of law school will do. If law school is what you REALLY want, you will hate it. You will despise work on a day in and day out basis. That being said, I still think everyone should take one year off at minimum to work before doing any masters or JD. The experiences you gain are very worthwhile, it makes your applications look better as it separates you from a large number of applicants, and it doesn't price you out of the market in a poor economy. Employers want to know that you're a hard worker. Honestly, I think people who go straight from UG to higher education really screw themselves both in pay and opportunities.

One issue. If you do business, you will have much less time to study than when you are in school or just relaxing for a year.

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boblawlob
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby boblawlob » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:33 pm

if you're not going to be happy with the schools that you will most likely go to...then retake it...you can't do worse than what you got especially if you havent cracked 160

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maxm2764
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby maxm2764 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:38 pm

gambelda- I definitely do plan to work if I take time off. I'm not really sure what I'll be doing, but I definitely would like to work as a Legal Assistant or something closely related. I know that it will give me less time to study but I don't know if I can afford to just take a year off without working.

boblawlob- that's very true and I completely agree. I'm just trying to figure out how to go about re-studying after all of the studying I have done up to this point.

Thanks for the responses and please keep them coming.

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maxm2764
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby maxm2764 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:07 pm

Shameless/desperate bump.

2011Law
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby 2011Law » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:15 pm

maxm2764 wrote:I took somewhere in between 20-30 PT's. I took Princeton Review Course. I used the LG bible to some extent but not too in-depth as it kind of approached LG differently from what I had learned. I got a 158 and I would love a 165+.


What were the PTs that you did? Obviously if you have yet to do the more recent ones then that will help you, and obviously you'll have Oct and Dec 2010 exams to use.

More questions: what's your average for each section? Do you finish on time?

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gmenfan
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby gmenfan » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:24 pm

You should be able to make tremendous gains if you're willing to take some time off and focus exclusively on studying for the test. I took the MCAT during my senior year of college, and I did well, but not well enough to convince myself to think that med school was for me. When I look back on it, regular class plus MCAT studying was probably a little bit too taxing mentally and emotionally. I was just consistently stressed out.

Fast-forward to this summer, where the LSAT became my priority over the research gig that I have. I never had to worry about "school vs. class" or debate which to study. I studied from August to October (with just books), and although there were some hiccups, I was able to pull out a 170--even with feeling extremely pessimistic about it. I'm studying right now for a December retake, and although I took a two-week break (where I didn't touch any LSAT material) a surprisingly good amount has stuck with me. LG has always been a strength. Now I'm just focusing on my consistency in both LR and RC.
Last edited by gmenfan on Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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maxm2764
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby maxm2764 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:25 pm

2011Law wrote:What were the PTs that you did? Obviously if you have yet to do the more recent ones then that will help you, and obviously you'll have Oct and Dec 2010 exams to use.

More questions: what's your average for each section? Do you finish on time?


I tried to do all of the most recent ones as I got closer to test day. I honestly think I did all of the 50's, most of the 40's, and a good amount of the 30's and 20's.

My average in each section definitely varies. By the end of my prep, I was missing 2-4 on LG pretty consistently. LR and RC were kind of everywhere, ranging from missing 3 per section to 9 or 10 each section. Really frustrating. By the end of the prep I was finishing every section for the most part. On the June test the Mulch game screwed me up and I bombed one LR section for no apparent reason.

Thanks for helping me out 2011.

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maxm2764
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby maxm2764 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:28 pm

gmenfan wrote:You should be able to make tremendous gains if you're willing to take some time off and focus exclusively on studying for the test. I took the MCAT during my senior year of college, and I did well, but not well enough to convince myself that to think that med school was for me. When I look back on it, regular class plus LSAT studying was probably a little bit too taxing mentally and emotionally. I was just consistently stressed out.

Fast-forward to this summer, where the LSAT became my priority over the research gig that I have. I never had to worry about "school vs. class" or debate which to study. I studied from August to October (with just books), and although there were some hiccups, I was able to pull out a 170--even with feeling extremely pessimistic about it. I'm studying right now for a December retake, and although I took a two-week break (where I didn't touch any LSAT material) a surprisingly good amount has stuck with me. LG has always been a strength. Now I'm just focusing on my consistency in both LR and RC.


That's awesome, congrats! I'd be psyched with a 170, that's for sure.

In hindsight, I definitely think that burnout/exhaustion had something to do with my under-performance. I was PTing anywhere between 157-163 but I do think that I was mentally exhausted. I almost drove myself crazy studying for this test and I may have put too much pressure on it.

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gmenfan
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Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby gmenfan » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:57 pm

maxm2764 wrote:
2011Law wrote:What were the PTs that you did? Obviously if you have yet to do the more recent ones then that will help you, and obviously you'll have Oct and Dec 2010 exams to use.

More questions: what's your average for each section? Do you finish on time?


I tried to do all of the most recent ones as I got closer to test day. I honestly think I did all of the 50's, most of the 40's, and a good amount of the 30's and 20's.

My average in each section definitely varies. By the end of my prep, I was missing 2-4 on LG pretty consistently. LR and RC were kind of everywhere, ranging from missing 3 per section to 9 or 10 each section. Really frustrating. By the end of the prep I was finishing every section for the most part. On the June test the Mulch game screwed me up and I bombed one LR section for no apparent reason.

Thanks for helping me out 2011.


For LR: I would start by doing halves of actual sections with unlimited time (while keeping note of how much you're using) aiming for accuracy. Circle any problem that takes more than 1.5 minute while you're doing it. Then refer back to the LR Bible for the ones you got wrong and that took extra time.I started tracking which Q-types popped up the most often, and I based my studying on those trends.

For RC: I tried a similar approach to the one in LR, and I got to around -0 (lucky) to -5 consistently by the time I was ready to take the test. I realized that I tried "scanning" the actual passages themselves far too quickly, and now I average around 2-3 minutes just reading each (I used to aim for sub-2 before). Because of this, I rarely refer back to the passages (except for direct quote questions) and have been much more accurate. Everyone's different, but you should definitely take time to experiment now that you have time :D.

Of course, I gradually started mixing sections (say .5RC .5LR) or full sections to build up stamina--jumping straight into a full PT didn't really help my scores go up. Analyzing my mistakes and trying to figure out WHY they were wrong is what really helped me :D.

Best of luck with your studies!

2011Law
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Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 3:40 pm

Re: Thinking about a retake

Postby 2011Law » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:33 pm

gmenfan wrote:
maxm2764 wrote:
2011Law wrote:What were the PTs that you did? Obviously if you have yet to do the more recent ones then that will help you, and obviously you'll have Oct and Dec 2010 exams to use.

More questions: what's your average for each section? Do you finish on time?


I tried to do all of the most recent ones as I got closer to test day. I honestly think I did all of the 50's, most of the 40's, and a good amount of the 30's and 20's.

My average in each section definitely varies. By the end of my prep, I was missing 2-4 on LG pretty consistently. LR and RC were kind of everywhere, ranging from missing 3 per section to 9 or 10 each section. Really frustrating. By the end of the prep I was finishing every section for the most part. On the June test the Mulch game screwed me up and I bombed one LR section for no apparent reason.

Thanks for helping me out 2011.


For LR: I would start by doing halves of actual sections with unlimited time (while keeping note of how much you're using) aiming for accuracy. Circle any problem that takes more than 1.5 minute while you're doing it. Then refer back to the LR Bible for the ones you got wrong and that took extra time.I started tracking which Q-types popped up the most often, and I based my studying on those trends.

For RC: I tried a similar approach to the one in LR, and I got to around -0 (lucky) to -5 consistently by the time I was ready to take the test. I realized that I tried "scanning" the actual passages themselves far too quickly, and now I average around 2-3 minutes just reading each (I used to aim for sub-2 before). Because of this, I rarely refer back to the passages (except for direct quote questions) and have been much more accurate. Everyone's different, but you should definitely take time to experiment now that you have time :D.

Of course, I gradually started mixing sections (say .5RC .5LR) or full sections to build up stamina--jumping straight into a full PT didn't really help my scores go up. Analyzing my mistakes and trying to figure out WHY they were wrong is what really helped me :D.

Best of luck with your studies!


I'm pretty much doing this, except for the cutting sections in half. I definitely think its important to analyze all your mistakes as well as the ones that you have trouble with. Right now my avgs are LG -1, LR -5 (each), RC -6, also with a fair amount of swing in LR and RC. Aiming to cut down to LR -3 and RC -4 for December. Don't know any other advice I can give, except that maybe you might want to consider the Feb test. If you haven't done the Superpreps, then those will also especially help out for that test (or so I understand).




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