disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

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sadcat16
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disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby sadcat16 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:01 am

i am a senior (in undergrad) who decided to start prepping around the end of august... and the december LSAT did not go well :/
(i suppose i should have known it'd be bad, when i went into the test center feeling scared out of my wits)

my method of "prepping" consisted of taking a kaplan course that met twice a week, and completing whatever homework i could between being in classes full-time, working part-time and extra-curriculars (mock trial, an internship, etc). after seeing some of the posts on this forum, i now realize i should have spent a lot more time/energy prepping for the LSAT, and perhaps made a concession or two in regards to everything else.

my initial diagnostic was a 150, and after that i scored a 155, 157 and a 158 on the practice tests in my course.
i did not review my errors and i suppose the increase was due to sheer luck, or whatever i retained from the course that week. i got the same number wrong consistently on LR, and never mastered LG. RC was a hit or miss (usually a miss :/) and speed was a big issue.

upon doing poorly on the december LSAT (back to my diagnostic, basically) i have decided to wait until the next cycle.
since i'll have more time on my hands, i want to put in the hard work needed once i graduate. i realized from experience that i study well (perhaps even better) on my own, so I purchased the LR and LG Bibles by Powerscore. I have also decided to purchase the "10 More" series and use pithypike's guide.

my pre-law advisor told me that some people simply "cap out" at a certain score, and perhaps my diagnostic was an accurate reading of my aptitude :|

but i don't want to give up. i refuse. i noticed that certain things about the test seemed "learnable" and hope that putting in the time/effort will at least put me somewhere in the mid 160's someday. is this possible?

- sadcat

JasonR
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby JasonR » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:47 am

Your pre-law advisor is an idiot. With dedicated, rigorous, well-organized study, you can still make big improvements. Mid 160s (or higher) is definitely attainable if you're willing to put in the work.

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sadcat16
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby sadcat16 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:57 am

i am definitely willing and determined to do better!
i refuse to give up on this test, and hopefully with a free summer i can get some real work done on it.

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Ernert
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby Ernert » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:24 am

I was in a similar situation; disappointed with my score October of my senior year and decided to wait a year and focus. Personally I would recommend a retake in June if you think you can focus on prep during second semester senior year (arguable) and then have a potential third retake next October if you aren't pleased. The benefit of being done in June is that you can spend the summer researching schools, getting your PS/essays perfect, and submit super early in the cycle.

Regardless, definitely don't give up and know that many many users on this forum have benefited from retaking. Especially when your prep was limited to so few practice tests.

slsplease
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby slsplease » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:40 am

So you only did 4 PTs total?

Definitely retake. You have 5 months until June and at that point can either shoot for your 2nd retake then with a 3rd safety in October or you can just gun hardcore during the summer and kill the October test.

bob-loblaw
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby bob-loblaw » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:32 am

JasonR wrote:Your pre-law advisor is an idiot. With dedicated, rigorous, well-organized study, you can still make big improvements. Mid 160s (or higher) is definitely attainable if you're willing to put in the work.


+1

My diag was 152 and I scored a 165 on Dec, and I'd been PT-ing around 169. Just do a LOT more PT's and study the Powerscore bibles this time around (that's what helped me, anyway).

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franklyscarlet
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby franklyscarlet » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:36 am

What a stupid pre-law adviser. Best of luck- you can definitely do it if you give the test the time it needs.

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sadcat16
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby sadcat16 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:14 pm

i will definitely practice a lot more, and invest in all the released PTs that i can find. thanks for the encouragement, everyone! hopefully i can keep this thread updated with progress.

slsplease
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby slsplease » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:41 pm

What did you get on your December LSAT?

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sadcat16
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby sadcat16 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:53 pm

slsplease wrote:What did you get on your December LSAT?

a 150 =/ same as my initial diagnostic.

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TommyK
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby TommyK » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:58 pm

Your pre-law advisor is correct - most people have natural ceilings where there are such drastic diminishing returns that it's not really that effective at trying to increase your score past a certain threshold, but I question the judgment of telling that to a kid who has only taken four tests. It's like telling a runner that he's reached his fastest time because he didn't notice a substantial decrease in time after his second marathon.

Certainly take more tests, but also drill down on question types. Take Kaplan up on the course re-take option. They'll send you another round of books and practice tests. Use the diagnostic tools that Kaplan has provided to identify what type of questions you struggle on (3 star matching games, 4 star assumption questions, 4 star science RC passages, etc) and then use the books to drill the shit out of those types.

Then after you feel mastery is solid, take tests. Review the test's right and wrong questions. ID new patterns of errors and drill down on those... then take more tests. I did Kaplan and I probably took about 25 proctored tests in their centers. You've already paid for it; you might as well use it. If after all that, you're still pulling a 155, then maybe it's time to say you've hit a ceiling.

Good luck.

ExcelBaller
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby ExcelBaller » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:52 pm

First step to breaking 160 consistently with 150 diagnostic is master lg

ExcelBaller
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby ExcelBaller » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:55 pm

Also, (more prelaw advisor bashing) he must not be well versed in LSAT or ambitious in any sense of the word

thederangedwang
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby thederangedwang » Fri Jan 06, 2012 11:56 pm

franklyscarlet wrote:What a stupid pre-law adviser. Best of luck- you can definitely do it if you give the test the time it needs.

most of em are pretty shitty

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franklyscarlet
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby franklyscarlet » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:30 am

thederangedwang wrote:
franklyscarlet wrote:What a stupid pre-law adviser. Best of luck- you can definitely do it if you give the test the time it needs.

most of em are pretty shitty


makes me glad I didn't consider law school until 2 years after UG :D

scoreitup
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby scoreitup » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:26 pm

Actually, a 150 on your initial diagnostic exam is pretty good. Most students score in the 130's or 140's on their first attempt. I think there are several reasons why you may be able to improve your score significantly:
1. Most students improve a decent amount from their initial diagnostic exam. The amount varies widely, but it certainly is possible to go from an initial 150 to the 160's.
2. You did not apply yourself as much as you could and should have in preparing for the exam (that's a good thing when questioning whether you can improve!).
3. You never mastered Logic Games, which is the section that sometimes leads to the most significant point increases after dedicated practice.

I would plan on taking the LSAT again, and preparing diligently for it by doing the things you know you should have done the first time. No one can guarantee how much you will improve, but if you were scoring in the high 150's on practice exams without feeling as if you knew what you were doing, getting a score in the 160's is certainly possible!

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puff0ffluff
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby puff0ffluff » Tue Jan 10, 2012 7:38 pm

[quote="sadcat16"][/quote]

sounds to me like your pre-law advisor should go back to advising school... of course you can improve your score. just trust yourself, trust your instinct and judgement, and read carefully. you will do very well on the next LSAT.

=) Good luck!

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RCinDNA
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby RCinDNA » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:45 am

sadcat16 wrote:i am a senior (in undergrad) who decided to start prepping around the end of august... and the december LSAT did not go well :/
(i suppose i should have known it'd be bad, when i went into the test center feeling scared out of my wits)

my method of "prepping" consisted of taking a kaplan course that met twice a week, and completing whatever homework i could between being in classes full-time, working part-time and extra-curriculars (mock trial, an internship, etc). after seeing some of the posts on this forum, i now realize i should have spent a lot more time/energy prepping for the LSAT, and perhaps made a concession or two in regards to everything else.

my initial diagnostic was a 150, and after that i scored a 155, 157 and a 158 on the practice tests in my course.
i did not review my errors and i suppose the increase was due to sheer luck, or whatever i retained from the course that week. i got the same number wrong consistently on LR, and never mastered LG. RC was a hit or miss (usually a miss :/) and speed was a big issue.

upon doing poorly on the december LSAT (back to my diagnostic, basically) i have decided to wait until the next cycle.
since i'll have more time on my hands, i want to put in the hard work needed once i graduate. i realized from experience that i study well (perhaps even better) on my own, so I purchased the LR and LG Bibles by Powerscore. I have also decided to purchase the "10 More" series and use pithypike's guide.

my pre-law advisor told me that some people simply "cap out" at a certain score, and perhaps my diagnostic was an accurate reading of my aptitude :|

but i don't want to give up. i refuse. i noticed that certain things about the test seemed "learnable" and hope that putting in the time/effort will at least put me somewhere in the mid 160's someday. is this possible?

- sadcat


I don't agree with your pre law advisor at all nor do I think that the LSAT is a reliable indicator of your aptitude and that you "cap out". This test is learnable. Study enough tests and you will start to see patterns. I had the same problem you did, and in retrospect, I knew that my preparation was not as stringent as it should have been (I'm juggling a relationship, full time job and other adult responsibilities) and holes existed in my understanding of certain concepts. The fact of the matter is, some people hit a "cap" because they don't put the necessary time in to their studying. And you should feel good that you reliably test in the 150+ range - it's proof that you are consistently above average. To put it another way: you probably get all of the easy and many of the moderate difficulty questions meaning that to build, you need to drill in on each question type and address your skills.

Anyway, we're all giving you the same advice precisely because the bridge to a big increase in score is pretty well known on these boards: master LG to get to the 160s, concentrate on learning the different question types + the strategies to defeat them, and then take test under strict timing (not only to get familiar with it as a whole, but also to build endurance and start working on your specific approach to common problems, such as not having space to set up a game, etc.).

Also, believe in yourself, be disciplined with taking notes and take it seriously and gains will come. You'll start to get in the zone where things just click and make sense because you are seeing the Matrix.

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Rawlberto
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby Rawlberto » Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:26 am

Initial Diagnostic: 142

2-3 Months of actual studying: 167 in December.

I could have done better, but froze up during a game. If I can increase 25 points, then certainly you can increase 15.

nametaken
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby nametaken » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:47 pm

My diagnostic was around 155, and I ended up scoring a 175 on the test. I took an amazing class, went through the powerscore books, and took tons of practice tests (literally almost every one available... and some twice). Your score will be a result of how much time you put into learning the test.. which means lots of practice tests and learning the patterns. Good luck!

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sadcat16
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Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby sadcat16 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:16 am

UPDATE-

Hi, everyone! So I just wanted to say, thanks for all the encouraging words on this thread 1 year ago. I decided to wait until after graduation, and practiced for 3 months all summer on my own with the power score books + preptests.

While I was PTing between a 161 and a 168, games was a make or break for my score. I never quite got consistent there... and got a 161 in October.

I am excited because it's much higher than last year. Sad because it was at the lower end of my PTs, and I'm not sure a re-take would go well.

But anywho, thanks again for all the support :) I am no longer a sad cat. I am goin taaa law school!!

griffin.811
Posts: 217
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:30 am

Re: disappointed by december ... do i have a chance?

Postby griffin.811 » Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:34 am

sadcat16 wrote:UPDATE-

Hi, everyone! So I just wanted to say, thanks for all the encouraging words on this thread 1 year ago. I decided to wait until after graduation, and practiced for 3 months all summer on my own with the power score books + preptests.

While I was PTing between a 161 and a 168, games was a make or break for my score. I never quite got consistent there... and got a 161 in October.

I am excited because it's much higher than last year. Sad because it was at the lower end of my PTs, and I'm not sure a re-take would go well.

But anywho, thanks again for all the support :) I am no longer a sad cat. I am goin taaa law school!!

Congrats!!! Good luck in law school!




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