Not again...

GMX2000
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 6:07 pm

Not again...

Postby GMX2000 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:41 pm

I'm freaking out a bit right now. Before I started studying months ago, I got 156 on two consecutive practice tests. I had originally planned to take the June test, but due to my poor performance on the practice tests I decided to postpone to October, i.e., two friggin days from now. Shortly after postponing, after I studied a bit, I managed a 161. But this morning, again, TWO DAYS before the test, after over 2 months of studying, I took another practice test, and got 156 again. So, you can see why I would be stressed out. Admittedly I perhaps didn't drill as many practice questions as I should have, but I can't change that now.

If I'm still getting 156 even now, should I even bother taking the test? I would rather not postpone it to December, for a couple reasons. First, I already postponed it from June. Second, postponing it will probably mean I have to wait a year to go to law school, which is something I'd really rather not do because...well, I want to start working, and in addition it seems like a year off before law school might look bad ("Hmm, did he take a year off because he couldn't cut it with the LSAT without a year and a half of preparation?"). But, I'd rather take a year off than miss out on a potential scholarship etc. (leading to a ton of unnecessary loan debt that I'll have to worry about paying off in an..."uncertain"...job market) that I could have gotten with a high LSAT score. My GPA is 3.99, which I'm really proud of, I have really good softs (if I do say so myself), I'm taking an internship at a law firm this semester, etc., but as every possible source has been telling me the LSAT is for all intents and purposes more important than all of those. At the same time, I don't want the year off itself to jeopardize my chances at a scholarship.

So. Should I just go into practice overdrive for the next 1.5 days, take the test anyway, and accept whatever score I get out of it? Or withdraw again, study for another year or whatever, and apply to law school the Fall following my undergrad graduation? I dunno how much of an option December would be, since my semester doesn't end until December (and I would therefore have finals to worry about at the same time as the LSAT). Perhaps February, but even so, that would still mean I wouldn't be going to law school until August 2013 anyway.

I also don't *need* to get into a top law school, much as I'd like to go to e.g. Stanford--my primary objective here is to go to a decent top-100 law school (there is one really close to where I live ranked in the low 70s, that offers relatively cheap tuition for in-state students), and have as little debt afterward as possible.

I realize there's no perfect answer to this, but some advice from people more experienced about this sort of thing than I would be appreciated.

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Icculus
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Re: Not again...

Postby Icculus » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:46 pm

When you say you got a 161 and now a 156, how many practice tests have you taken? If you've only taken 3 total (2 @ 156 and 1 @ 161) I would postpone.

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jamesbond
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Re: Not again...

Postby jamesbond » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:49 pm

Icculus wrote:When you say you got a 161 and now a 156, how many practice tests have you taken? If you've only taken 3 total (2 @ 156 and 1 @ 161) I would postpone.



agreed...

But if you're serious about going to the school near you in the 70s, I'd say take the test and apply. Mid 150's with your GPA should be more than fine.

Good luck!

GMX2000
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 6:07 pm

Re: Not again...

Postby GMX2000 » Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:55 pm

Icculus wrote:When you say you got a 161 and now a 156, how many practice tests have you taken? If you've only taken 3 total (2 @ 156 and 1 @ 161) I would postpone.

Sadly, it's worse than that. THREE practice tests at 156 (1 recnetly, 2 a long time ago), and one at 161.

I really think postponing could be a better option, but how will taking a year off from school (which as I see it, would be my only realistic option if I postpone again) affect my chances at a scholarship, and admittance in general, both for a top law school and let's say a low-70s law school?

But if you're serious about going to the school near you in the 70s, I'd say take the test and apply. Mid 150's with your GPA should be more than fine.

I'm sure I'd get in but...I've been hoping that I would get some sort of scholarship. I just don't know if postponing/waiting a year would be worth it in that context. :(

sfamor
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:27 pm

Re: Not again...

Postby sfamor » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:00 pm

Actually most law school would prefer that you have at least a year of solid work experience or more between UG and starting law school. If you already know your score is going to be low then postpone it and work for a year or two while you take a prep class or study further on your own. You'll be able to make some money to save for law school, gain valuable experience, and up your changes of admissions and scholarships. Plus the more "real world experience" you have and the majurity you gain from working for a year or two, the better you'll be able to engage with the law school experience. In my humble, of course :)

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luxxe
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Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:12 am

Re: Not again...

Postby luxxe » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:20 pm

GMX2000 wrote:
Icculus wrote:When you say you got a 161 and now a 156, how many practice tests have you taken? If you've only taken 3 total (2 @ 156 and 1 @ 161) I would postpone.
Sadly, it's worse than that. THREE practice tests at 156 (1 recnetly, 2 a long time ago), and one at 161.



Have you taken more than three PTs & what were your scores?

A year off will absolutely not hurt your chances. Most people do it, though I wouldn't go so far as to say that most law schools "prefer it". Some do, but most?

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Kess
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Re: Not again...

Postby Kess » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:33 pm

Yeah, I have a similar situation.... I've scored 161-163 on a few recent LSATs, but I took one today and I scored a 159, so I hope it's not a sign of things to come. I have a similar GPA to you too, 4.01 according to LSAC.

Having said that, I will take the test on Saturday and, if I get like a 158-162, I won't be too disappointed.

Good luck!

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shredderrrrrr
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Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:36 am

Re: Not again...

Postby shredderrrrrr » Thu Sep 29, 2011 5:48 pm

OP: First off, I'd postpone. Quite frankly, you haven't taken enough practice tests. Only taking 4 total practice tests over a long period of time is not enough to adequately judge your ability, let alone improve.

Secondly, the point swing is not major. You claimed you took two tests a long time ago and got a 156, studied, recently got a 161, then got a 156 again. Since studying, you only took two tests. And a 5 point range is not major. I have taken about 15 practice tests through studying and consistently score between 163-168. If I get a 168 then next week get a 163, it just simply means I messed up some stuff on that test. I could easily get 168 on the next test.

I would say your best bet is to postpone and take more tests. Figure out an actual range and decide how you can improve.

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Icculus
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Re: Not again...

Postby Icculus » Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:03 pm

OP, take a look at this:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=41657

It's what I used as the base for my studying. My guess is a lot of other people on here have as well.




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