a message to future test takers

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a message to future test takers

Postby houng89 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:59 pm

Hi TLS members and whomever this message may concern,

I am a long time lurker and recent contributor. This forum is a godsend for many and I want to thank this amazing forum for helping me so much. Unfortunately, I was bitten by my dog recently so I will keep this short as I am typing with only one hand at the moment (writing apps is proving to be extremely frustrating).

I want to start off by saying yes the information found on this website is helpful for all. But for the few, the exceptional, the hardworking, this site and this post is for you. TLS stands for Top Law Schools. This doesn't mean T100, T50, or even T25, this means T14. For all those people who tell you, "rankings are bullshit." Those are the ones excluded from this exclusive club. This club comes with pride, with decent job prospects (I am being generous here), and a sense of accomplishment.

To start off with I will tell you a little about myself. I graduated from USC Marshall's B-School with a 3.85 major GPA. With a concentration in finance, I turned down some IB jobs to apply to become a lawyer. I am drawn to law because of the ideals it is supposed to hold.

When I first entered TLS as a lurker I was amazed but the caliber of applicants applying to top schools and was almost persuaded out of my dream by the many posts warning of 100k debt and a horrible job market. However, I am pretty stubborn for better or for worse and I had already made up my mind. I was going to law school.

The way I looked at the application process there are two things I could control: my LSAT score and my PS. My GPA was pretty much ingrained after junior year I just had to keep it high. The LSAT on the other hand was completely under my control. So here is where I offer my story.

I started off in Oct 2010 with an abismal 159. I completed none of the sections and was devastated at the school prospects I had. I planned to apply in the 10-11 app cycle as I was graduating a semester early in Dec 2010. I was torn on whether to take it again or to just apply and hope to transfer. Here I consulted the great TLS sages. WAIT and APPLY NEXT YR. I am glad I took a year off after I graduated as I got a part-time job tutoring the SATs which not only helped me with RC but allowed me great flexibility in studying. I studied everyday working diligently and perfected my logic games while working on LR. When I retook in Jun 2011 I received a 167. Again I was disappointed as I was PTing at around 172. I again was at a crossroads of whether to retake or try to just finish apps ASAP and apply early Sept. Again, I consulted TLS and my answer was clear. RETAKE and study my ass off. Study my ass off I did and this time I received private tutoring help from a Manhattan LSAT tutor in OC which really helped me understand complexities in the LR I had never realized. It was truly enlightening. And now today I opened my email while in the Carl Jr. drive through near my house... 175. I reread multiple times to make sure I did not misread. I am extremely happy with my score and wanted to thank all those from TLS who have helped me with invaluable advice.

This story is not meant to brag and I am sorry if it is conveyed this way. What I wanted to convey is this. The LSAT is the one factor you have complete control over. YOU are responsible for its outcome. I wanted to give hope to those who started in the 150s. With hard work, tears, sweat, and literally blood in my case (dog bite), 170+ is not only achievable but probable.

So heres to future TLSers. I sincerely hope you all succeed . Put in the time and the work and trust it will pay off. Now I am off to apps. I will keep you all updated. Thank you all at TLS again and to all December and later test takers- good luck!

Always here always lurking,


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Re: a message to future test takers

Postby boblawlob » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:07 am

Last edited by boblawlob on Fri May 10, 2013 2:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: a message to future test takers

Postby 6lehderjets » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:21 am

Well done man!

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Re: a message to future test takers

Postby pizzabrosauce » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:28 am

I didn't take it as boasting, and thanks so much for sharing your experience. You deserve a lot of credit for not giving up. What changed between June and October?

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Re: a message to future test takers

Postby houng89 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:05 am

boblawlob wrote:I was wondering what your regiment was like since you pretty much dedicated a year to the LSAT. How exactly does one get back into studying for the LSAT right after getting his/her scores back? And I was wonder how was the private tutor from Manhattan (btw I am also from OC) and what were the rates? Is it alright if you provide me with his contact info?

Much appreciated and good luck on apps

Alright so i didn't decide to take the LSAT until I was a senior so basically I only had one chance in october 2010 to do well before submitting apps. Since I did badly, I was debating whether to take it again in December. I decided against it because it was during finals week and so I went with applying the next cycle. Fortunately, that semester I received all A's! Anyways, I actually graduated that December a semester early so basically starting January 2011 I had 5 full months to study for the June 2011 LSAT. I read all the Powerscore Books, reading comp, logic games, LR, and took intense notes/notecards for all the major terms/concepts. By major I mean I have like a stack of like 200-300 notecards or so. I took every practice LSAT from 1-62 or whatever was the most current at the time. This really helped with my timing and almost perfected my Logic games. This got me up to 167. However, my LR and RC was still not great. RC I'd say is very hard to improve but not impossible. Also, LR if you haven't noticed the trends/patterns the third fold of the test like probs 14-19 are usually the most difficult. I knew I was getting them wrong but didn't really know why. (It isn't enough to know why your answer is correct, you must know why the others are wrong. ) this grain of knowledge really helped me get to the next level of LR where i was averaging about -1 -2 on every LR section. Also what really helped was my tutor I had from Manhattan LSAT Matt Sherman. You can find him on the website he is in soCAL. Anyways, I would suggest their tutors as they are amazing but the classes ugh... two thumbs down. If you are trying to score like 150 yea its for you, but for the ones who want to hit 170 or so the class goes wayyyyy to slow. Understandable though because they have to cater to every kind of student. Ok so, when you get a tutor don't just be like ok help me. THAT DOESN"T HELP. They don't know your weaknesses/strengths. That should honestly be your job b/c if you don't know what you are good/bad at how can you improve. SO focus on your weaknesses. You know the saying you are as strong as your weakest link. This pertains immensely so to the LSAT. The tutor helpd me understand intricacies i never saw in the LR portions and even helped with the RC a little. I suggest though getting a copy of scientific american and the economist and forcing to read them. ALthough as a business major, I found the economist to actually be quite interesting. The point is to find something that you find boring and force you to read it b/c the LSAT always picks the most boring passages.

Alright so for training regiment. Don't worry I didin't study every day for 12 + hours, of course that would live up to my azn stereotype. I mean a guys gotta work and eat. So honestly for the 5 months leading up to the jun 2011 lsat I read the powerscore books and took intense notes for the first 2 months. The 3-4 months i actually reread the powerscore books again b/c i am forgetful. Then the last month I just reviewed the notecards. Throughout this time I was reading the magazines everyday. The first couple months or so I probaly took 2-3 LSATS max. The last two months I took around 3 every week, four is kinda pushing it. Don't believe those guys who tell you to take 1 everyday you will fuckin burn out. The LSAT is a drain emotionally, psychologically, physically, this is coming from someone who teaches the fuckin SAT and I already take an SAT every week. Also what helped me was always looking forward to the logic games portion, for me they were fine. Like a puzzle!

Anways between Jun-Oct 2011 I actually studied prob a lot less. I reread the powerscore books again. Now I had the Manhattan prepbooks too which i would only recommend if you did't like the LG method powerscore used bc they are pretty diff in many aspects. In terms of LR it is useful to have both books b/c they are both testing essentially the same thing... formal logic. So between June and Oct I probably only took the preptests from 45-63 and some scattered ones between 30-40. The last month i was doing the same about 3 practice LSATS a wk. The July and Aug I prob did 2 and even sometimes 1 a week I was a lost less studious. However, I think having the 167 took a lot of pressure off from me too and that helped immensely on test day.

Also, now I will tell you the secret of what I did before test day. The day before took one section of each LR,RC,LG dont do an entire test! Then afternoon, AWESOME swedish massage... don't do thai you will be too sore. Salmon fillet for dinner (fish oils help memory and retention). Prepared trailmix, water, etc for test date at night. Watched a movie with my GF... If you can have sex too its a good stress reliever lol.

Alright heres the secret are you ready... if you are like me you get really anxious before tests I barely slept before the OCt 2010 and June 2011 test like literally 3 hrs which killed me the next day. So... what I did for the oct 2011 test was... drank some beers or wine until you don't a nice buzz/ sleepy drunk. Pass out... Wokeup like early at around 6 feeling super refreshed... Before I showered.... went on a nice mile run!

Alright so that is like way more than you ever need or probably wanted to know but i like to be through i really hope this helps you and if you have any more questions pls ask i hope you guys all get the score you want/deserve!

-always here always lurking

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Re: a message to future test takers

Postby bmore » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:47 am

Congratulations!!!!! Not only will you get Top 14 but you will make it rain.

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Re: a message to future test takers

Postby GirlStop » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:06 am


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Re: a message to future test takers

Postby megan1 » Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:42 pm

You're so brilliant, yet you can't spell the word 'abysmal'?

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