Whether to change from June to October?

User avatar
davesmystery
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 2:04 pm

Whether to change from June to October?

Postby davesmystery » Wed May 04, 2011 5:33 pm

Hello everyone, I've been reading here for a while but I didn't register until I figured I have a valid question to ask. I know a lot of you have incredible amounts of experience and great LSAT scores and was wondering if I could get some feedback about my current situation. Anyway, I've been studying since August last year off and on with a full time job and other responsibilities. I didn't take a diagnostic in August but I did take one three years ago in my undergrad on a whim at 9am (the first time I woke up that early in years haha) and scored a 149. I read the LGB, the LRB, some of the Kaplan and Princeton books, I read LSAT Blog, etc. My last few tests haven't been as good as I would like: 160,161,157,160,166,166,170,165. The 161 and under test were taken after work at 9pm after working 9 hours. I've found that I definitely can't do this and I have to take them on the weekends or in the morning. When I do I seem to consistently be 165+. When I take untimed tests I easily score 178 or above, which leads me to think it's mostly timing and my anxiety.

The anxiety is most of it, sometimes I'll just freeze up and it's hard for me to retain everything I read. I've been trying to brute force myself to summarize, underline, or continuously prephrase but it takes up a lot of time. When I try to eliminate it, I slow way down and have to rush to finish a section. The anxiety constantly causes me to make stupid mistakes such as failing to read key words or notice subtle shifts in scope that just randomly cost me easy questions. When I review a test I want to kick myself and make it a gimme (although I don't) because it was so obvious in hindsight. On LG I can usually ace the section but on some of the tougher ones anxiety kicks in and I freak out because I'm not seeing how it works which drops me into the lower 160s (although of course, when I come back to it later when I'm not being timed I can easily ace it). On RC I think I finally developed a good strategy and I am usually like -2 to -4 at worst. LR is where I make most of my dumb mistakes and range anywhere from -2 to -8. My goal like many others is to get a 170+ on test day and I'm wondering with June just around the corner if it's probable (I know it's obviously possible) to reliably up my average test score enough to knock down a 170 on the 6th, or whether I should already be regularly scoring 170+ and should thus spend the $70 to change to the October test and work on further quelling my anxiety and bringing my testing abilities closer to the realm of second nature.

The reason I need the 170+ is to make up for my poor GPA (turns out I wasn't meant for engineering, it destroyed my GPA early on and I changed majors and fought to get it back to a meager 2.8, 3.0 major gpa). I only want to go to the U of A as I live in Tucson and for certain personal reasons I can't move anytime soon to attend another school. I've been reading the "What Are My Chances" board for a while now and it seems like if I can get a 170+ the U of A would be willing to accept a splitter like me. Also, I'm probably grasping at straws and this isn't the right board, but could I use the personal addendum to explain how my brain can't understand engineering and deflated my GPA? Also, it might be relevant for you to know I'm now two years out of my undergrad and I am currently business development director for a jewelry company, and prior to that I worked my way up to the same title at a local telecommunications company. I also worked for three summers at a defense contractor in DC and held an applied secret security clearance. I will also be getting my letters of recommendation from some prominent professors at the U of A.

Any advice you can give me about my situation would be most helpful, thank you!

Kurst
Posts: 448
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:33 pm

Re: Whether to change from June to October?

Postby Kurst » Wed May 04, 2011 5:59 pm


User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Whether to change from June to October?

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed May 04, 2011 6:10 pm

On the LSAT: you need to be consistently scoring in your range before the test to have your best chance of doing well on the real thing. It doesn't sound like you're ready, and could benefit from a few more months to establish consistency.

On U of A: It looks as though it will be very hard for a sub-3.0 to get in regardless of LSAT score. Is it impossible? No, but I think that you will have a better shot at some more prestigious schools than some lower ones. Does that make sense? I know you're kinda stuck in the area for now, but look on LSN for splitter-friendly places, and it might be best to wait until you're more free to move.

On your GPA: Schools care more about your overall gpa than anything. It sucks for me too, my overall is less than the good schools' 25% but my gpa for the last year and a half has been HYS level. It's about the USNWR, and the thing schools have to ask themselves is: Does this kid help us or hurt us? A strong enough trend might help if you have some insane soft factor or an awesome LSAT, but it will be minimal. I think with a 170, they would consider you, but judging by the last three years, U of A is not freindly to people with sub-3.0 gpas

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Whether to change from June to October?

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed May 04, 2011 6:14 pm

As far as the addendum goes, I would not focus on your weakness in engineering. I would say something more along the lines of, " I was in a program that was a poor fit for me. When I realized this, I changed to X and became more focused."

User avatar
davesmystery
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 2:04 pm

Re: Whether to change from June to October?

Postby davesmystery » Wed May 04, 2011 7:25 pm

Kurst - I've read all of those, most don't really apply to me other than the basic "if you don't feel prepared don't do it". I get that, and I appreciate it, thank you.

JamMasterJ - That's what I'm thinking as well. Although I know it's ideal to only take it once, there's also the possibility that if I continue to study and take the June test, even if I don't score a 170, it would be great experience in seeing the real thing since there's still the October "safety net". Are there any disadvantages I'm not seeing to that decision? The U of A and similar schools I've casually checked out only take the highest score (even though I know they see all of them).

Also, I know it's circumstantial, but I've talked to many 3Ls who say it's not uncommon there (although most are about 3.5, 162 on average). Plus, my undergrad was at the U of A and they give favor to that as well. I know it makes sense to apply at higher ranked schools that I might have a better chance of getting into but without going into detail it's just not really an option. Also, my mother works at the U of A so I get a huge discount on tuition until I'm 30. Believe me, I hate to be limited to just one option for school, but hey, at least I'm not in my situation next to HYS right? I'm the same as you with GPA then, after failing at engineering, I changed to planning and business and I finished with several 3.5-4.0 semesters under my belt. On a larger note, it's really quite sad that USN is such a monopoly and has about as much honesty as a politician, many people who would make great lawyers are now having to pay the price for mistakes they made 5+ years ago. Thanks for the advice on the addendum, it makes sense to reframe it in a more positive manner.

Also, if I do change, should I save PTs 55+ until before I take the tests? Because I'll be at 55 after this week and I'm wondering whether I should go ahead and do them.

Edit: So after reading more it basically all comes down to whether if I need to retake that I mind paying the another $140 and whether or not I mind having two LSAT scores show up in my application right? If that's the case I think I should still study my butt off for the June test and if I don't score 170+ use that experience to help prepare for a better October testing.




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Alexandros, birdkin, cherrygalore, galeatus, jen203, NavyNuke and 10 guests