Should I retake the LSAT?

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Lady in Red
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Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Lady in Red » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:28 am

I was disappointed by my June LSAT score of 167 because I had scored in the 170's on five of my thirteen practice tests, including three of the last five.

Here are my practice test scores, from first to last:
166, 165, 167, 166, 172, 166, 170, 163, 175, 171, 172, 169, 167

However, I recently learned that newer tests are harder and that people who practiced with older tests (like I did) are usually disappointed with their scores. Also, admittedly, when I look at my scores, a 170+ was far from guaranteed.

I studied very hard for about two months before my LSAT. When I took the first practice test (the free one from LSAC) and got a 166, I figured that two months of studying would get me into the 170+ range. I read the LG Bible cover to cover and did all the exercises before taking another test. I was shocked to have dropped a point. But I steadily made progress…

I left the June test feeling that I had done my best. I know that this makes me a dubious candidate for retesting.

With a 167 and a 3.73, I have a decent shot at Cornell and UCLA, which are great schools. I'm planning to apply to Penn and Michigan, which are a little farther out of my reach, but I'm honestly not sure that either of those schools is necessarily all that much better for me than Cornell and UCLA. (I'll be applying to safeties, too, of course.)

Based on the law school probability calculator website I've been obsessing over, Berkeley, Stanford, and Yale are basically impossible with my GPA.

So really, the hopes that were dashed with my 167 are NYU, Columbia, and Harvard. (I really started dreaming on the day I got that 175!) Since all three of these schools take the average, rather than the highest LSAT score, I would have to improve tremendously to have a shot at these schools.

The problem is...my big dream is to be a law school professor. And based on reading through the credentials of the faculty at all of the top tier law schools, it's clear that going to a T-6 school is practically mandatory to be a law professor. (The exception is that many schools also hire a few of their own.)

I just don't know that retaking the LSAT is worth it, considering that I will probably score about the same (or lower!), and only a major improvement is likely to affect my ability to jump to a T-6 standing. On the other hand, I wonder if I'm being foolish (and cheap and lazy) by passing on an opportunity to raise my standing. But really…money’s tight. And I hesitate to invest more money and time (and emotional energy) if my score will likely be in the same range.

Should I retake or just focus on doing what I can with my softs? Thanks!

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RareBreed
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby RareBreed » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:42 am

With a 166 diagnostic, you definitely haven't reached your real potential. How much time did you spend on reviewing your PTs?

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Lady in Red
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Lady in Red » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:56 am

After each test, I went back through all my missed answers the next day. In addition to the 13 full tests, I did lots of partial tests (games sections -- I can do them correctly but I seldom finish in time). I would finish the games that I hadn't finished during the timing before going through missed answers.

I'm still proud of how diligent I was about studying most nights and weekends! I wish I could afford a class or tutor, but I really can't.

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KevinP
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby KevinP » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:17 am

Your name reminds me of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt2YIpZWBqA

Considering your diagnostic, a retake is definitely in order. I need more information before I can give any specific advice.

Which prep materials did you use to study for the LSAT? Just the LG bible and 13 fully-timed PTs?

Did you do any question drilling by type (e.g. doing only strengthen LR questions for a day)?

Since you said the PTs were a bit older, how many of them were in the 50+ range?

What are your section breakdowns? As in, how many do you normally miss on each of LR, RC, and LG sections?

What I will say is that the newer 46+ PTs have changed a great deal in comparison to older ones. LG has gotten easier (generally), RC has gotten harder, and the focus of LR has become different.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:27 am

What were your LSAT scores by section ? Logic games seems to be the easiest section to improve upon.

Don't retake until you are mentally prepared to do intense & focused study. If not ready to fully commit, then apply next cycle with your current numbers to see whether or not you are satisfied with your results.

P.S. Were all of your 13 practice tests self administered ? If so, try a free LSAT sponsored by one of the test prep companies. It's easy to allow extra time on self administered tests & a little bit of extra time can make a difference in the final results.

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Lady in Red
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Lady in Red » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:46 pm

KevinP wrote:Your name reminds me of: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vt2YIpZWBqA

Considering your diagnostic, a retake is definitely in order. I need more information before I can give any specific advice.

Which prep materials did you use to study for the LSAT? Just the LG bible and 13 fully-timed PTs?

Did you do any question drilling by type (e.g. doing only strengthen LR questions for a day)?

Since you said the PTs were a bit older, how many of them were in the 50+ range?

What are your section breakdowns? As in, how many do you normally miss on each of LR, RC, and LG sections?

What I will say is that the newer 46+ PTs have changed a great deal in comparison to older ones. LG has gotten easier (generally), RC has gotten harder, and the focus of LR has become different.


Yes, I love that song. :)

I prepped with the LG Bible, the 13 full LSATs, and a bunch of other LSATs from which I took only the LG's.

I never did question drilling by type...wouldn't know how to isolate them while still timing myself...

Test numbers and breakdowns on a few:
Prep tests:
1) LSAC sample – 166
2) #29 (Oct 99) –165 (RC 21/25, LR 25/27, LG 14/24, LR 22/25)
3) #30(Dec 99) – 167
4) #31 (Jun 00) – 166
5) #32 (Oct 00) – 172
6) #34 (Jun 01) – 166
7) #35 (Oct 01) – 170
8 ) #36 (Dec 02) – 163
9) #37 (Jun 02) –175
10) #38 (Oct 02) – 171
11) #52 (Sep 07) – 172 (LR 25/25, LG 19/23, LR 23/25, RC 24/26)
12) #61 (Oct 10) – 169 (RC 25/27, LR 21/25, LG 18/23, LR 24/26)
13) #60 (Jun 10) – 167 (LR 23/24, LG 17/23, LR 22/25, RC 22/26)

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Lady in Red
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Lady in Red » Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:55 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. Were all of your 13 practice tests self administered ? If so, try a free LSAT sponsored by one of the test prep companies. It's easy to allow extra time on self administered tests & a little bit of extra time can make a difference in the final results.


Yes, all were self-administered -- but I didn't cheat on the time. :) Still, I agree that practicing under testing conditions would be helpful.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:26 pm

Hit the logic games hard, retake and score in the 170s, enjoy ccn

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:30 pm

retake for sure. The schools in that range aren't adverse to multiple scores and I doubt you'd score lower anyway

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Lady in Red
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Lady in Red » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:27 pm

Thanks for the votes of confidence! :D

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acrossthelake
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:30 pm

Retakers get into those schools. By the time you take your retake, you should make sure you can get -0 on all the LG.

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KevinP
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby KevinP » Wed Aug 03, 2011 8:11 pm

You should definitely retake.

It seems like most of your misses were in the LG section. The good news is that the LG section is the most learnable section of the 3 so you should drill LG until you can get -0s constantly.

Edit:
If you're willing to spend a little bit more money, take a look at Manhattan's LG guide. It's a great supplement to Powerscore. Manhattan's linear/ordering method is superior and I've grown really fond of its method for diagramming IN/OUT games.

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Lady in Red
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Lady in Red » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:42 pm

Every single test I took while preparing for the October test came out in the 170-173 range, including one that was proctored by Kaplan. Then I scored a 167 on the real test. AGAIN. I was shocked to see that number again.

Possible excuses: The guy next to me had a cell phone that went off twice during the test, and the proctors ignored it, which ticked me off. I was also dumped four days before the test.

BUT...I felt like it went well at the time. Should I take the test a 3rd time in Dec????

bartleby
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby bartleby » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:55 pm

Yeah, December has the best curves. Some outrageous ones. -13/-14

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gaud
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby gaud » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:31 pm

If you are going to retake in December make sure that you have your apps ready to go by then (letters, essays, etc.) considering you will be a little behind in the application process. But with your potential a score in the 170's will definitely help make up for the lost time.

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snailio
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby snailio » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:46 pm

Lady in Red, another version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZaeIiH4qlw


and yes retake.

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Lady in Red
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Re: Should I retake the LSAT?

Postby Lady in Red » Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:28 pm

Thanks for the link to the Gregorian "Lady in Red"! Love it! :)

And thanks, all, for the encouragement. I'll retake. <fingers crossed>




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