Should I postpone?

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IronSkadden
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Should I postpone?

Postby IronSkadden » Thu May 26, 2011 11:57 am

If you kind people will indulge me, I'm going to join the growing chorus asking "Should I postpone?"

I'm registered for the June LSAT and considering postponing until October. My goal is BigLaw with the least amount of debt possible. Ideally, I want a significant scholarship to a T14 school (MVP, Cornell, Texas, etc), though I'm willing to settle for significant money from a T30.

My stats:

3.58 from an Ivy
decent softs (started a business, wrote for national news magazines, account executive at a PR company)

I've been studying for the test since January and have taken around 15 full length PTs. My average is 166, but in the past month I have logged two 170s, and one 173. While I'm happy with my progress (I started at a 156 diag), I do not think it's probable I will score 6 points above my PT average on June 6th.

Since I will need a 172+ to be in contention for any $ from T14 schools (seemingly), should I postpone until October? Do you think these schools will be less likely to award scholarship -- or even admission-- to a student who scores 166 in June but 172+ in October?

The risk of postponing, as I see it, is only giving myself one chance to score well. Also, after 6 months of study, I really want to take this test.

Thanks for your input!

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tmon
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby tmon » Thu May 26, 2011 12:15 pm

Have the peak scores been more recent or just randomly distributed in the last month? If they show a recent increase, I'd take more tests, preferably recent ones so you're sure they're representative. A 30 day average can be misleading if in the first 2 weeks you average 165 and in the second 2 you average 171. You've probably considered this, but just a thought. Since you can withdraw the day before with no penalty it might not be bad to make sure you're not where you want to be. If your score is erratic and not where it needs to be by then, postpone.

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IronSkadden
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby IronSkadden » Thu May 26, 2011 1:10 pm

Unfortunately the peaks are evenly distributed with the valleys this month: (in chronological order) 170, 166, 170, 160, 166, 164, 173.

I still have PT 60, 62, and Superprep C. If I earn 170s in these, I'll probably take the June test.

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seancris
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby seancris » Thu May 26, 2011 3:05 pm

Keep in mind a lot of people take a bit of a dive in terms of score on the actual test due to test anxiety and other factors that come into play during the actual examination. From reading these threads it seems that most people score somewhat lower on test day than their average PT scores.

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glitter178
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby glitter178 » Thu May 26, 2011 3:08 pm

seancris wrote:Keep in mind a lot of people take a bit of a dive in terms of score on the actual test due to test anxiety and other factors that come into play during the actual examination. From reading these threads it seems that most people score somewhat lower on test day than their average PT scores.


+1

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lakers3peat
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby lakers3peat » Thu May 26, 2011 10:46 pm

Yeah man to be honest, if your goal is 172+, and you aren't consistently getting 175s then you have to postpone. I mean if you are already registered and paid the money for the test, it might be a valuable experience to go in, get acquainted with the procedures the day of, get used to people being nervous wrecks, proctors being idiotic etc. You can always end up cancelling or rolling the dice and seeing what your score ends up being. I don't think many schools care if you have two scores but there's conflicting opinions on this. But yeah in my opinion, if you paid already, go for it then cancel or wait for your results(I would wait personally).

Voyager
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby Voyager » Fri May 27, 2011 10:28 am

6 months of study?

Ok. You need to answer honestly the following question: what are you going to do differently going forward to get your score up? Are you putting in >20 hours per week (NOT with the TV on). Are you focusing on honing specific skills as opposed to just taking tests over and over again? Do you have a plan?

I am a firm believer that the LSAT is trainable... I think many people, though, just don't go about studying the right way.

If the answer to the above questions is "yes", I just think you might want to take a step back and reassess your approach to make sure your attack plan is disciplined and structured.

If you can come up with some new ways of attacking the study plan, I think postponing makes sense. Otherwise... maybe not.

Also, you might ask why you want to go to law school (EDIT: NOT saying you can't break 170... YOU CAN!!! Just pointing out that so many of the lawyers I know who made it to biglaw are completely miserable... Sunday morning deadlines... 15 hour work days... working for fuckheads). 80% of my newly graduated peers hate being lawyers already... but I suppose I don't want to derail the thread.
Last edited by Voyager on Fri May 27, 2011 5:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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sanetruth
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby sanetruth » Fri May 27, 2011 10:31 am

A cancel is better than just not showing up, for your sake. Experiencing actual LSAT day will make the second time around automatically less stressful, which should help prevent a dip in your score. Also, take the test the second time at the same location, so that you're familiar with your surroundings and the procedures there.

Also, FWIW, I scored about 4 points higher than my average on the second test day, and 3 points below it on the first test day.

zanzbar
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby zanzbar » Fri May 27, 2011 10:51 am

I don't really see the harm in taking it since with your GPA your not really a YHS candidate (no offense.)

Voyager
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby Voyager » Fri May 27, 2011 11:05 am

zanzbar wrote:I don't really see the harm in taking it since with your GPA your not really a YHS candidate (no offense.)


But he is a CCN candidate... places where ~75% of the class still gets biglaw... which is not bad (still risky, mind you, but not bad). And he needs something better than a 166.

RobMD
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby RobMD » Fri May 27, 2011 12:14 pm

My situation is very similar to yours (with lower GPA, however). I am now testing near the same range as you with the same tier schools in mind. I recommend postponing for the same reasons I am postponing.

Points to Consider:

-Many top schools will average your LSAT's because the average score has greater predictive validity. See http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Resea ... -10-02.asp and other associated LSAC research for more info.

-You can and almost certainly will get a higher score if you study for the next 4 months.

-It will be less risky. You will be able to approach the test with more confidence, as opposed to taking the test now, when you are still a bit uncertain of your abilities.

-The LSAT can be kind of fun to study (especially compared to other standardized graduate school tests).

-In my own personal experience I have found that once I make a score increase it holds even if I take some time off from studying. I wouldn't worry too much about a score drop if you slow your pace over the next few months.

-Your October scores will back in enough time to apply to schools before Thanksgiving and you can prepare your applications beforehand.

IMHO, the bottom line is that there is very little downside to postponing and there is a huge upside: a better score, a better school (with classmates more likely to challenge your abilities), and better job prospects.

Good luck with your decision.

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IronSkadden
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby IronSkadden » Fri May 27, 2011 3:58 pm

Thank you for your responses. I appreciate the diversity of opinion. As a student of the "Voyager RC Method", I'm honored to have Voyager himself weigh in. You've all given me much to think about...

As for my decision to pursue BigLaw, it's motivated largely by my desire to have a job where I'm judged by the quality of my work product. I had planned to become a journalist, a job where you are judged by the quality of the the stories you produce. But the journalism industry imploded shortly after my graduation. Besides law and dying industries like journalism/publishing/copywriting, most jobs are more service-oriented: being a teacher, social worker, psychologist, etc. I don't want one of those jobs. While I think being a doctor or a computer engineer would be cool, my math skills aren't up to snuff. I'm a little late to the game for banking and consulting, and don't want to risk emerging from an MBA program without a job.

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IronSkadden
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby IronSkadden » Sat May 28, 2011 12:56 am

Thanks again for all the comments. Here's one idea I wanted to bounce off you guys:

Right now, I'm in a uniquely good position in terms of life circumstances. My job is letting me take one day a week to study, I have a supportive girlfriend, no major issues to distract me. In the future, I don't know if things will be the same. The company for which I work is on the verge of bankruptcy (i.e., I may lose my job), young relationships are ephemeral (i.e., I may lose my girlfriend), and life is unpredictable. Should I take this shot now, in June, because everything but my desired PT average is in place?

Or do you think a 166 will prevent me from getting a good scholarship to a T14, even if it's followed by a 173? (If this is the case, then I would not take the June test).

Thanks for the insight...

chiangjj
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Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:57 am

Re: Should I postpone?

Postby chiangjj » Sat May 28, 2011 9:33 am

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Last edited by chiangjj on Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lakers3peat
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Re: Should I postpone?

Postby lakers3peat » Sat May 28, 2011 5:16 pm

yes June is the best time to take it because you get your score back by early July, then you can work on your personal statement for July and then on september 1st your application is one of the very first ones school see. I had a friend get a 169 3.2 and the only school he got into was southwestern




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