Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

brownpride
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Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby brownpride » Tue May 31, 2011 5:36 pm

I've already registered for the June LSAT, which is in less than a week. Currently scoring between 170 and 173, but my goal is Harvard or Yale and I want to maximize my chances. My LSDAS GPA is 4.18, and I've got pretty good softs, but I know the LSAT makes or breaks the app. I wanted to have the LSAT done by September so I could apply right when the app opens and have the best chance of being accepted... I don't wanna study throughout the summer to improve my LSAT (goal is 175+) because I've also got full time work and a trip planned, but still considering withdrawing and writing in October to maximize my chances.

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incompetentia
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby incompetentia » Tue May 31, 2011 5:48 pm

If you can hit your PT average with a 4.18 (seriously...so much want), you will have no problems with H (and Y will probably love you too).

I will note that once you're above 170, you really get diminishing returns from increasing LSAT scores. Plenty of early 170/3.9 171/3.9 candidates at H were already in by December.


Unless you're still consistently getting some question types wrong, there's not even a great guarantee that you can improve from low-170s to high-170s with a significant amount of study. I would argue that the only difference between a 170 and 180 on test day is how focused you have to be when you sit down to take the damned thing (which would explain why adcomms don't seem to reward scores in the high 170s as much as you might expect).

09042014
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby 09042014 » Tue May 31, 2011 5:50 pm

how long have you been working at it? If you've only studied like a month or so, definitely wait. If you studied 4 months already, just take it. You won't be doing better later.

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Corwin
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby Corwin » Tue May 31, 2011 5:54 pm

Breaking 175 would certainly give you a better shot at Yale. Outside of Yale, I don't think it matters as long as you break 170.
incompetentia wrote:Unless you're still consistently getting some question types wrong, there's not even a great guarantee that you can improve from low-170s to high-170s with a significant amount of study. I would argue that the only difference between a 170 and 180 on test day is how focused you have to be when you sit down to take the damned thing (which would explain why adcomms don't seem to reward scores in the high 170s as much as you might expect).

+-10 questions is a pretty big variation in performance and I don't think it can be attributed to focus only. There's a big difference between the guy who regularly only misses a question or two on the practice exam and someone who misses between 5 and 7. Basically the guy who only misses a question or two is fast enough that he has time to go back and check his work.

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incompetentia
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby incompetentia » Tue May 31, 2011 6:00 pm

Corwin wrote:+-10 questions is a pretty big variation in performance and I don't think it can be attributed to focus only. There's a big difference between the guy who regularly only misses a question or two on the practice exam and someone who misses between 5 and 7. Basically the guy who only misses a question or two is fast enough that he has time to go back and check his work.

It is a large range, but the test day environment can do strange things to a person (some people can go +5 from their PT average, some -5 easily).

I don't think timing has anything to do with it in the way that you're referring to, if you've disciplined yourself well enough in your studying.

SanDiegoJake
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby SanDiegoJake » Tue May 31, 2011 6:07 pm

At that score, I'd take the test in June for sure, then make a decision whether to re-take in October based on your result. The difference between 170 and 175 is about 5 questions, so if you have a great day you may just get that little extra bit of (just over) 1 extra right answer per section. (Contrast that with the difference between 150 and 155 - about 8 questions.)

Examine your scenarios: 1) You hit 175. Result: You are done. 2) You score your average. In this case, I'd apply with this score (as a previous poster said, 171's get in to top Law Schools.) and then contemplate re-taking just in case. 3) Below 170 = retake.

In scenario 2, you can stagger your applications to maximize return. Apply to your safety schools and your top choice with the 170-174 score. You'll likely get in to your safety schools and you definitely want to apply to your top choice as early in the process as possible. Then, re-take. If you score higher and get rejected from your top choice, you'll be able to apply for your 2nd and 3rd choices with a higher score.

That my two cents. Good luck! This is a good problem to have.

brownpride
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby brownpride » Tue May 31, 2011 10:40 pm

Thanks a lot guys! I have only studied for a month, as opposed to my initial plan of studying for about 5 months, but I've put in full-time studying (i.e. doing NOTHING else but 6-10 hours of studying a day for the last month, and doing 2 tests per day for the two weeks prior to the exam). I really don't want to wait till October because I have an extremely busy schedule before then, but does anyone think waiting the four months will really be a big help considering how hard I've been studying?

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incompetentia
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby incompetentia » Tue May 31, 2011 10:41 pm

It could be - I still think that unless you score well below your average there is absolutely no reason not to take this test (and leave the door open for a retake).

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue May 31, 2011 10:53 pm

brownpride wrote:Thanks a lot guys! I have only studied for a month, as opposed to my initial plan of studying for about 5 months, but I've put in full-time studying (i.e. doing NOTHING else but 6-10 hours of studying a day for the last month, and doing 2 tests per day for the two weeks prior to the exam). I really don't want to wait till October because I have an extremely busy schedule before then, but does anyone think waiting the four months will really be a big help considering how hard I've been studying?

How busy? No matter how much time you do per day, 1 month is not enough to maximize potential. Actually, two tests per day leading up to test date might be counterproductive

brownpride
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby brownpride » Tue May 31, 2011 11:47 pm

JamMaster - Good point... Well I have full-time work over the summer and two trips planned, plus a full course load and tons of applications in September/October. What's your thinking - if I'm socring around 170 right now (my diagnostic was 153), is four months of maybe 10 hours of studying per week going to really help me, or am I not going to score much above 170-172? I've already taken about 20 tests and the scores all fall within the same range.

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Take the LSAT Now or in October To Get a Higher Score?

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:19 am

brownpride wrote:Thanks a lot guys! I have only studied for a month, as opposed to my initial plan of studying for about 5 months, but I've put in full-time studying (i.e. doing NOTHING else but 6-10 hours of studying a day for the last month, and doing 2 tests per day for the two weeks prior to the exam). I really don't want to wait till October because I have an extremely busy schedule before then, but does anyone think waiting the four months will really be a big help considering how hard I've been studying?

I studied part-time for 4 months, and then full-time for another month, and I have only just started averaging 175 within the last couple of weeks. At the top end, it's all about spped, imho. You want to be able to complete all of the sections without rushing or panicking, and to do that consistently that takes a lot of practice. Even if you're at that point, further familiarity and experience will allow you to complete the easier questions more quickly, and you can use the time you gain to think more carefully about the difficult questions.




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