Should I retake with a 171?

RamblinBoyofPleasure
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Should I retake with a 171?

Postby RamblinBoyofPleasure » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:37 am

This is long, but it's the quirks of my situation that make it hard for me to judge. Your perspective will be much appreciated.

My average was a 168.75 with a cold diagnostic of 168. I did 24 PTs over 9 weeks, with 8 tests above 171 and the rest at or below, with a range of 164-174. I also went over the LG and LR bibles cover to cover.

I would take a PT about every 2 or 3 days, with review of mistakes made and important concepts every day in between. I started out doing PTs with a handicap of +5 minutes on LR and LG, and every time I met my goal of 172 I would reduce the handicap by a minute for the next PT. This went fine for the first 8 weeks when I covered PTs 7-29, but in the last week I still hadn't done a recent test and my handicap was still at +1 minute. So I had to cut the method short and jump to actual time on PTs 57 58 and 61, and got a 167, 165, and 166. This shot my confidence to hell.

Also, my performance on sections was wildly erratic. LG was the section I struggled most with at first (could only finish half on my diagnostic), but I got -1 on test day. Conversely, my LR scores ranged from -3 on some PTs to -9 on test day.

Basically, I feel like I might have burned myself out, and if I just had given myself more time I could have gotten a 172 or better. It just seems like a +3 after 9 weeks from my diagnostic is not a peak performance. Then again, I almost perfected LG and did outperform my average, so maybe I have too much faith in my own abilities.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:42 am

Given the information you provided, I would not retake.

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bk1
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby bk1 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:44 am

You left out the most important piece of information: your GPA.

Read your post history and it says you have a 3.5. Honestly I'd retake since you could solidify your T14 acceptances and/or improve scholarship odds while you have little to lose (a lower LSAT isn't going to hurt you).

Something seems off about your story. Was your cold diagnostic untimed? If it wasn't then you should have been doing normal length sections from the start. It also doesn't make sense that you could get a cold diagnostic 168 and then barely improve upon that. Seems like either your cold diagnostic is off (as in untimed) or your studying is off.
Last edited by bk1 on Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:44 am

Do what you want, but I see no reason to retake. You cold diagnostic was a fuckin 168. A very small percentage of test-takers get that after months of studying. You scored 3 points below your highest PT and were at the higher end of your range, which is definitely par for the course. Very few people score their highest PT on the actual administration. In short, to use your words,

Then again, I almost perfected LG and did outperform my average, so maybe I have too much faith in my own abilities.

RamblinBoyofPleasure
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby RamblinBoyofPleasure » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:23 am

bk1 wrote:You left out the most important piece of information: your GPA.

Read your post history and it says you have a 3.5. Honestly I'd retake since you could solidify your T14 acceptances and/or improve scholarship odds while you have little to lose (a lower LSAT isn't going to hurt you).

Something seems off about your story. Was your cold diagnostic untimed? If it wasn't then you should have been doing normal length sections from the start. It also doesn't make sense that you could get a cold diagnostic 168 and then barely improve upon that. Seems like either your cold diagnostic is off (as in untimed) or your studying is off.


My cold diagnostic was PT 7 with regular timing, but only four sections. So maybe that was inflated. Or maybe my approach hurt me more than it helped; bad habits from the handicapped tests, or over-thinking everything to death.

The real culprit, I think, is that as I got better at LG, I got progressively worse at LR. PT 7 I only missed 4 on LR (I only beat that once afterwards) and on LG I missed 9. This is precisely why I am so confused about what my upper ceiling is.

MrPapagiorgio wrote:Do what you want, but I see no reason to retake. You cold diagnostic was a fuckin 168. A very small percentage of test-takers get that after months of studying. You scored 3 points below your highest PT and were at the higher end of your range, which is definitely par for the course. Very few people score their highest PT on the actual administration.


I'm inclined to think you're right. It's just eating at me that I might have a 172 in me, especially since law school numbers seems to suggest it's the score I needed to have a shot at NYU.

Thanks for the tips everyone. This is helping me accept my score and just focus on my apps for this cycle.

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emkay625
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby emkay625 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:40 am

I vote retake.

BUT with limited studying.

I would just do maybe 4 PTs, one each Saturday, completely simulated, the 4 weeks leading up to the test. Then maybe 1-2 hours of reviewing those PTs and drilling during the week. Nothing more.

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Chambo
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby Chambo » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:16 pm

Well, where are you looking to go, and how much does scholarship weigh in to that decision?

i.e. If you don't mind EDing and paying sticker at, say, Cornell or NU (if you have work experience), then I don't think you would need to re-take, especially if you had a really strong application, waited til next cycle etc....

abl
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby abl » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:35 pm

Am I missing something? If OP retakes and gets a 172, schools are still going to consider the OP as a candidate with a 171/172. Schools only throw away the low score if there's a substantial difference between the two, right? On the other hand, it seems more likely, given the OP's practice test history, that a retake will yield a score in the upper 160s...which would marginally hurt the OP. In other words, this is a medium risk, little reward proposition--it's more likely than not that the OP will score <171, and almost certain that the OP will score <173 (and unless the OP scores something like 174+, I don't see a retake having an admissions impact). Why spend all of that time on something that's more likely to hurt than help? This seems like an easy call to me?

OP--use that time to cozy up to your recommenders and write a fantastic personal statement. FWIW I had similar numbers and did about as well in this process as I could have. That's not to say that you have a H acceptance waiting, but that with 171/3.5, your upper limit is going to be determined more by the rest of your application than your grades. Also, your GPA is holding you back much more so than your LSAT, so the marginal impact of +2-3 LSAT points for you is going to be less than most others.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby CanadianWolf » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:42 pm

Whether or not you should retake depends upon which law schools you are targeting. If 171 is below or at median for those law schools, then retaking might be a wise choice if you are willing to put in the work.

RamblinBoyofPleasure
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby RamblinBoyofPleasure » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:03 pm

Right now it looks like I'm going to be applying to GU, NU, Michigan and Penn. But I was really hoping to have a shot at NYU, Columbia, or Chicago. I think I'm going to take emkay's advice and retake in December, but spend most of my time on my apps.

Can anyone tell me, though, the best way to go about it? If I submit my apps now and don't tell them I plan on retaking, will they know my retake's score if I don't report it? Or will they only see my retake's score if I let them know.

Transferthrowaway
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Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby Transferthrowaway » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:03 am

RamblinBoyofPleasure wrote:Right now it looks like I'm going to be applying to GU, NU, Michigan and Penn. But I was really hoping to have a shot at NYU, Columbia, or Chicago. I think I'm going to take emkay's advice and retake in December, but spend most of my time on my apps.

Can anyone tell me, though, the best way to go about it? If I submit my apps now and don't tell them I plan on retaking, will they know my retake's score if I don't report it? Or will they only see my retake's score if I let them know.

They actually see that you are signed up for the December LSAT and will not review your application until you have received your score.

RamblinBoyofPleasure
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:22 pm

Re: Should I retake with a 171?

Postby RamblinBoyofPleasure » Mon Oct 31, 2011 11:49 pm

They actually see that you are signed up for the December LSAT and will not review your application until you have received your score.


Can someone confirm this for me? If so, I'm just gonna accept my score and hope for the best by applying earlier.




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