URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

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chrissyc
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URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Mon Nov 15, 2010 8:42 am

how should I study before december's test. I'm usually good at them but i ran out of time, stayed on 1 game for fifteen minutes and it sucked. i got almost all right on LR and RC.

I am applying to T14 and I'm sure I should be able to break the low 160s but I want higher and I think I can if I study strategically. I NEVER study by the way and ALWAYS test well (even standardized) so I AM applying this cycle and I AM taking it in December.

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kkklick
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby kkklick » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:18 am

Practice, if you can fix LG and keep ypur good LR and RC going, having a 4.04 gpa and being a urm, top 14 is almost a guarantee

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Aberzombie1892
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:40 am

Yeah with that GPA, all you would need is probably a 155 for a T14 acceptance. Scholarship money is somewhat of a crapshoot.

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chrissyc
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:29 pm

i pt'd today with another 158. i'm going to keep doing practice tests and working through the games with the correct answer then working the same games independently a few days after looking at it. On most of the LR and the RC sections I'm missing 6 now.That's not great but I think if I can focus I can do it. I took a practice test in barnes and noble today...so it should only get better.

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ResolutePear
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby ResolutePear » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:33 pm

Improve 10 points and you'll be in YHS imo

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:47 pm

What kind of URM are you?

Make sure you have a good DS, and if you had low SAT/ACT scores, prepare an addendum saying you've historically done better in school than on standardized tests as an LSAT addendum. Those things can actually help for URMs with high GPAs since they're looking at your application holistically to admit diverse students, and a major historical problem for URMs has been lower standardized test scores in the aggregate. Given those factors, high 150s might be enough for T14. Still, keep pushing. The higher you get the greater your odds of HYS.

Are you doing the LG games and RC passages in order? A great way to earn extra points is to learn to quickly rank them within the section and do them easiest-to-hardest. If the last game is the easy one but you never got to it because you spent all your time on the hard one, you just wasted easy points. Or, you have to race through it and miss things that you would've got if you didn't feel so time-pressured. Learn to rank, do the easy games/passages first, and that way the ones you might run out of time on at the end are the hard ones you might have missed anyway.

On that one where you wasted 15 minutes on an LG, imagine if you'd spent that time on the ones you missed. If they were easier you might have been able to do them faster and still have time left over to do one or two of the really hard ones. Then you run out of time and miss three hard ones instead of five or more easy ones. Make sense?

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chrissyc
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:51 pm

i am half black, half white...
I do the games/passages as they appear on the test.

graduated UCLA in 2009, worked for an underprivileged students tutoring program on campus, got my teaching credential, SATs weren't bad. first to go to college, dad isn't around and never has been and i've grown up economically disadvantaged as well.

took care of myself starting at age 11 or 12 and now i live in florida with no family and only people i've met since moving here.

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chrissyc
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:54 pm

vanwinkle wrote:What kind of URM are you?

Make sure you have a good DS, and if you had low SAT/ACT scores, prepare an addendum saying you've historically done better in school than on standardized tests as an LSAT addendum. Those things can actually help for URMs with high GPAs since they're looking at your application holistically to admit diverse students, and a major historical problem for URMs has been lower standardized test scores in the aggregate. Given those factors, high 150s might be enough for T14. Still, keep pushing. The higher you get the greater your odds of HYS.

Are you doing the LG games and RC passages in order? A great way to earn extra points is to learn to quickly rank them within the section and do them easiest-to-hardest. If the last game is the easy one but you never got to it because you spent all your time on the hard one, you just wasted easy points. Or, you have to race through it and miss things that you would've got if you didn't feel so time-pressured. Learn to rank, do the easy games/passages first, and that way the ones you might run out of time on at the end are the hard ones you might have missed anyway.

On that one where you wasted 15 minutes on an LG, imagine if you'd spent that time on the ones you missed. If they were easier you might have been able to do them faster and still have time left over to do one or two of the really hard ones. Then you run out of time and miss three hard ones instead of five or more easy ones. Make sense?


very good points. I will keep this in mind. I always perform above average on tests but I just really want high 160s...I should have started studying sooner but oh well.

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 15, 2010 4:54 pm

chrissyc wrote:i am half black, half white...
I do the games/passages as they appear on the test.

As an AA applicant with an awesome GPA you only need low 160s at most to shine. Even a few more points can really help.

Doing them in order presented is horribly inefficient time-wise. I'm on my phone right now but will post some ordering strategies when I'm home tonight.

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MrAdams
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby MrAdams » Mon Nov 15, 2010 7:49 pm

vanwinkle wrote:Doing them in order presented is horribly inefficient time-wise. I'm on my phone right now but will post some ordering strategies when I'm home tonight.


I look forward to this post.

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:01 pm

This is from PMs I sent someone else about RC passages:

vanwinkle wrote:The effective strategy for RC is to do the easiest passage first. The reason for this is that it takes less time to answer an easy question, and you're more likely to get an easy question right if you spend time on it, so doing it from easiest->hardest is the most time efficient. You only have 35 minutes, so increasing the speed at which you answer can lead to more correct answers. Not only that, but if you get stuck answering hard questions first, you'll start to feel frustrated easily, while doing easy questions first can help you feel calm and like you know what you're doing as you build up toward the harder ones.

Though it sounds counterintuitive, you have to "waste" the first 60 seconds of your RC section ranking the passages in order of difficulty. Some simple ways to rank them:

1) Very quickly read the first two sentences of each passage, just to see how long the sentences are and how many big words they use. This is useful because a passage is nearly always consistent in its density; if the first paragraph is easy to read, the second and third and fourth should be just as easy, and vice versa. The easiest passage should be the one with short sentences and fairly simple words that's easy to understand.

2) Look at the length of the questions and answers. If all the questions in a section are 1-2 lines long and the answers are all a few words each, those are going to be fairly simple to figure out how to answer. The hardest section will have questions that are 3-4 lines long, and some answers that are also 3-4 lines long.

3) Look for questions that refer to specific lines. For instance, if there are three questions in a section that say "On line 27 the author states," "What does ____ on line 33 mean?" and "What does the last paragraph stand for?" then those questions will be very easy to answer because they're already telling you where to look in the passage for the answer! That section is probably worth doing first or second.

4) The science section is often the hardest. If you look at the science section and you go "Bwuh?", and it even comes close to being the hardest under the guidelines above, then do it last. It's rare for the science topic to be the easiest or even the second-easiest.

Rank them 1-4 from easiest to hardest. If you practice you can do this within 60 seconds. Then do the easiest one first. Read the passage, and then go not to the first question, but what looks like the easiest question for that passage! Within each RC passage, do the questions from easiest to hardest (for example, ones that point you to a specific line in the passage will be easier because they tell you where to look for the answer). While you're doing the easy ones you'll continue to reread and soak in the passage, so you'll understand it better by the time you get to the hard ones. That way you're absorbing the passage as you answer the questions and work your way up to the difficult questions that require a better understanding of everything. Don't waste your time writing down anything unless you have to.

Plan on not coming back to a section when you finish, since you're likely to run out of time; if you get stumped and feel like you'll have to spend too much time on a particular question, guess and move on.

Last point: If you're going to guess, ALWAYS guess the same letter, in every section. The distribution is pretty much total across an entire 5-section exam, so that it's 20% of each letter, and if you stick with the same letter consistently on your guesses, you'll get 20% of your guesses right. I'm also hoping that if you never finish a section you're always taking a minute at the end to fill in your guess letter on anything you haven't answered. For example, if you go in with your guess letter for the entire test being B, you should make sure before time runs out that anything you didn't get to has a B bubbled in, on every section.

vanwinkle wrote:I personally would quickly read each passage before I started the questions. Oh! I forgot something!

This is how your reading order should go:

1) Do the "read first two lines/glance at answers" thing to determine order of passages.

2) For each passage, when you start on it, read the questions first. Quickly read each question, to see if there's any important words or concepts to watch for while reading the passage.

3) Read the passage quickly, just fast enough to get the gist of it. You're not trying to understand everything right away, just to have an idea what the passage is talking about. Here, you should underline or mark anything that's clearly related to one of the questions you already read.

4) Pick the first question you're going to answer, read it again and read all the answers this time, and then go back to the passage to figure out what the answer is. Only reread the passage as much as you need to for the question you're on. Try to read to eliminate answer choices by finding things that make answers wrong, then when you're down to 2-3, find an effective way to pick one.

The process for an LG passage is kind of similar. You should take the first 60 seconds of the section to look at all the LG problems in the section, and visualize in your head what type they are. There's a clear pattern to LG, and the 3 easiest games should be something like this:

1) Basic one-dimensional: Easiest will almost always be a one-dimensional problem, meaning you can solve it with a one-dimensional grid. For example (totally hypothetical, not plagiarized from anything LSAC owns at all), imagine the following problem:

Mary has seven students, Q, R, S, T, V, W, and Z, and seven appointments from noon to 6PM. Mary must make a schedule that fits all seven students into her schedule, and she can see no more than one student per hour. The following conditions apply to her students:

You're likely solving these as some kind of one-dimensional chart, like so:

Code: Select all

Time:        12    1    2    3    4    5    6
Question 1    Q    Z    R    V    W    S    T
Question 2    Q    R    V    Z    W    T    S

That's a one-dimensional chart. You can just create a graph to measure one dimension (time) and fill in your values (students) under each time to make a line. You can repeat this for each question. It's simple.

2) Complex one-dimensional: Some tests have a harder one-dimensional as the second-hardest test; it might be the same kind of problem, but more complicated:

Mary has six students, Q, R, S, T, V, and W, and three appointments from noon to 2PM. Mary plans on teaching exactly two students per hour for each of the three hours. The following conditions apply to her students:


That might require a more complicated one-dimensional graph, where you have to keep track of two conditions at the same time:

Code: Select all

Time:         12      1      2
Question 1    Q,W    V,S    R,T
Question 2    Q,S    R,W    V,T

The "two at a time" is what makes it harder, because you're going to have to figure out more than one value for each slot, not just one. But still, it's a one-dimensional graph. Easy to draw, easy to figure out. If you start doing this one and then realize it's not the easiest one-dimensional graph, go ahead and finish it and then go do the easier one-dimensional one. If you have a test with two one-dimensionals (one basic and one complex like this) they're both unlikely to be the hardest.

3) Two-dimensional: These require a huge graph for each question, and are more time-consuming and difficult. Do them after you've done all the one-dimensional ones. Here's an example of a two-dimensional one:

Pitt Railroad has three rail yards in Pennsylvania: Central, Pitt, and Scranton. Pitt Railroad stores four kinds of rail cars at these yards: boxcars, flat cars, grain cars, and tankers. Each yard stores more than one kind of railcar, but no yard stores all four kinds. All types of cars must be stored in at least one yard. The rail yards have the following conditions:


These are more of a pain in the ass. For each question you've got to graph out your answer in not just one but two dimensions, to figure out how many places you have each kind of car and where. Your graph might look something like this:

Code: Select all

Yard:    Pitt      Philly    Central
B        Yes       Yes        No   
F        No        Yes        No
G        Yes       No        Yes
T        No        No        Yes


And you have to make a whole new two-dimensional grid like that just to solve each problem. That's what makes it a two-dimensional problem.

The two hardest questions might both be two-dimensionals, if you're lucky. I say lucky because getting two one-dimensionals and two two-dimensionals means you've had a very standard LG section with no tricks or things to mess you up. Which brings us to the ones you should do last:

4) "What-the-fuck" games: You know how to solve simple one-dimensional problems. You know how to solve advanced one-dimensional problems. You know how to solve two-dimensional problems. But sometimes you get to a problem and you just kind of stare at it for a minute, and go "Wait, how do I graph something like this?"

If you see this, turn and run back to the other three problems and do them all first. If you cannot easily tell how to graph it, that means it is bad news. You are probably going to have to draw some really awful and convoluted thing for each and every individual question, and it will take ten or fifteen minutes of your time just to figure out what the right kind of graph is, and you will be burning time figuring that out when you could be spending on the ones you already actually know how to solve. Run, just run. Run to the others, do them, and then come back and pick at this the best you can.

Here's an example of something you might see:

The state of Ames has five power grids, Grids 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. In order to power the entire state, each power grid must be connected to two of the other power grids. However, no grid may be connected solely to two grids that are connected to each other. The following conditions apply:


The first sentence might make you go, "Ooh! One-dimensional, I just have to write out 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and then just solve under it!" The second sentence (saying each grid is connected to two others) might make you go "Oh, it's complex one-dimensional, I've got to come up with two answers for each number." Then you read the third sentence and you go, "Wait... that means... how am I going to keep track of that easily? Is this two-dimensional?" You've got an extra variable (not just which grids are connected but how that affects which others can't) which makes graphing on an ordinary grid very, very difficult.

Maybe you try a one-dimensional graph:

Code: Select all

Grid:        1      2     3     4     5
Question 1   2,3   4,5   1,4   3,1    Wait, 4 is connected to 1 which is already connected to 2 and 3, and I put that 1 is connected to 2, but not that 2 is connected to 1, that means my graph isn’t helping me keep track of which ones can’t connect because they’re connected elsewhere already… damnit.


So you start trying to draw out a two-dimensional graph:

Code: Select all

Grid:    1      2      3      4      5
1        No    No     Yes    No     Yes
2        No    No     No     Yes    Yes
3        Yes   No     No     No     Yes   
4        Wait…  This graph isn't helping me keep track of which ones can't connect to which because they're already connected to each other.  1 is connected to 3 and 5, which means 3 and 5 can't both be connected together, but I can't tell that just by looking at the graph so I ended up putting 1, 3, and 5 all connected together...   Damnit, this graph isn't helping me either!


This is what I like to call the "what-the-fuck" problems, because you just end up sitting there staring at them and going "what the fuck" instead of solving anything. You should always do these last, because even just figuring out how to graph them efficiently could take forever.

For the record, there is a way to graph this particular what-the-fuck problem, and it's by drawing a unique diagram for each question:

Image

(Forgive the terrible handwriting, please.)

That kind of diagram shows you easily which are connected to which and you can trace them quickly to see which shouldn't be connected to which. The problem is that since it's not a normal way of diagramming, it'll take you time just to figure out how to diagram it, and that's time you could be spending answering the questions on the other sections.

So, with all those kind of games, just to recap, you should spend about 60 seconds looking through all the games in the LG section. All you're reading is the part of the setup like I quoted, just the first paragraph, and you stop at the "these are the following conditions" part. Don't read the conditions, they're not important yet. All you're doing right now is trying to visualize how you'd solve these problems. You're not actually drawing any graphs yet, just imagining how you would. If you practice doing this, you should be able to spot what kind of problem all four games are within 60 to 90 seconds. Then, you do the easiest one.

1) One-dimensional problems (basic first, then complex, if you can tell the difference)
2) Two-dimensional problems
3) What-the-fuck problem

Not all tests will have a what-the-fuck problem, they might just have multiple two-dimensional problems first. But since one-dimensional problems can be done quicker you should still do them first anyway.

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chrissyc
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:42 pm

thank you so much. that's really helpful. have you used the LG bible or any other resources for games specifically?

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northwood
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby northwood » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:52 pm

do the LGB. it really works. There will be game types that you find easier, and those that you find more time consuming and difficult. The key with games is to do the ones you feel most comfortable with first, then go on to the more difficult ones last. Pacing and making a plan of attack will help you out

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Nov 15, 2010 9:55 pm

I've never used the LG Bible. I've heard others recommend it; if it works as an alternative then do that. However, whatever you do, you just need to develop some system for doing things easiest-first-hardest-last, to make more efficient use of your time.

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theskippa10
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby theskippa10 » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:06 pm

Please please please wait until you can get a 165....you'll have t14 schools begging you like a college football recruit..please don't settle

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BruceWayne
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby BruceWayne » Mon Nov 15, 2010 10:24 pm

OP as others have said don't give up. If you even get so much as a 160 you are getting into HYS. Personal recommendation games; drill the LG bible to death and when you do take the test start off by doing the game with the most questions and working your way towards the game with the least question (if 2 of them have the same number, do the one that is easiest for you first).

Oh and not to lower your motivation, but by looking at your background/WE combined with your GPA you could probably pull Berkeley with the score that you are currently practicing at.

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chrissyc
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:31 am

Thanks so so so much for the pointers. Where do all of you go to school? Or are you applying this cycle?

no giving up here...i'm going to do a practice test every day and review it. I'm going to study hybrid games without abandon and really get comfortable with the timing. I have 10 full length tests and I'm doing 4 diagnostics and 1 practice in the test location.

Here's my plan up until the day of the test:
--I will do 2-4 logic game sections a day timing myself.
--1 full length timed test and review it
--alternate days of 1 section timed RC or LR

Should this be effective? I'm hoping to get my PT scores in the 160s by next week.

gambelda
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby gambelda » Tue Nov 16, 2010 9:52 am

Aberzombie1892 wrote:Yeah with that GPA, all you would need is probably a 155 for a T14 acceptance. Scholarship money is somewhat of a crapshoot.


The fact thatthis is true disgusts me.

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chrissyc
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:23 am

the IDEA that it is true EXCITES me!! I worked hard for that GPA...UCLA is no walk in the park. woo hoo!! I'm still aiming for 160s though.

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Nov 16, 2010 2:18 pm

gambelda wrote:
Aberzombie1892 wrote:Yeah with that GPA, all you would need is probably a 155 for a T14 acceptance. Scholarship money is somewhat of a crapshoot.

The fact thatthis is true disgusts me.

Zero tolerance for URM/AA trolling in the on-topic forums continues.

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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Nov 16, 2010 3:59 pm

.
Last edited by HeavenWood on Tue Nov 16, 2010 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bergg007
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby bergg007 » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:04 pm

if you use all three bible you will get a high 160. just trust me on this. It's well worth the investment. If you score any higher than 168 you are looking at full rides to the t 14 low 170's and your in at HYS. USE THE BIBLES!!!

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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby lebroniousjames » Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:09 pm

-
Last edited by lebroniousjames on Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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chrissyc
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby chrissyc » Wed Nov 17, 2010 12:54 pm

I now have pt'd at 160 and I am going to take another practice today...I am taking a Kaplan course and I don't know if it's helping or not. It puts me to sleep. If I don't get into a T14 school this time around then I will be retaking the LSAT and going next year instead. I really really want in though. My school list is as follows...in order of preference:

Yale (anyone want to read my 250?)
Duke
Columbia
NYU
U Penn
Northwestern
U Michigan
University of Virginia
Cornell
Georgetown
and....
University of Florida

There's something about Duke that appeals to me and I don't know what it is exactly. I just could totally see myself there. I will have taken 25ish PTs, completed 20plus logic game sections, and 20 total logical reasoning/reading comp sections.

I also have 4 proctored diagnostics and loads of online resources. I am trying to buckle down with the apps and stuff as well. My letters have been sent and just need to be processed by LSAC. I hope to submit the apps before I take the LSAT so that once my scores are processed my package will be complete and then it's just waiting. I am so excited.

Is it a good idea to submit my apps before I test and just get it out of the way? I will wait until everything is received by LSAC so that the only gap is my actual scores but I think that this will be before the test. Transcripts are received and my evaluations have been completed so now its just letters and personal statement (which is written and just being tweaked to make it perfect).

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM, 4.04, pt'd at 158 but *bombed* LG

Postby vanwinkle » Wed Nov 17, 2010 1:02 pm

Apply to Harvard and Stanford. Even if you don't end up going you might like having the option.




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