Retaking a 99th percentile score

03152016
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby 03152016 » Sat May 26, 2012 6:00 pm

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Mista Bojangles
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby Mista Bojangles » Sat May 26, 2012 6:02 pm

I retook a 173, and improved to a 179. Two factors at play though:

- My overall average over 30+ PTs was high 170s, and my last 8 PTs were all 178-180, so I knew the 173 wasn't a good outing for me and I had good evidence to suggest I'd get a better score on a retake.

- I had a 3.8 and really badly wanted HLS specifically. A 3.8/173 isn't likely to land H, so there was a very specific reason for me to retake for 176+ to get above H's 75%.

(I'm still on the waitlist at HLS, but that's neither here nor there with regard to your question.)

If I didn't have both of those factors at play I doubt I'd have retaken. Once you're in that scoring range, it's just too difficult to be sure where you'll end up on test day.

In your case, I'd understand your frustration if you scored below your usual range - but since your numbers are already so strong you might be risking a bit too much here by retaking. If you retake and end up with a lower score (or even the same one) it's going to look a little ugly.

I'd say take a swing for HYS this round and see what sticks - your 174 is already above the median at every school in the country.

03152016
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby 03152016 » Sat May 26, 2012 6:08 pm

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American_in_China
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby American_in_China » Sat May 26, 2012 9:45 pm

Veni Vidi Vici.

175+ consistently isn't luck. My last 6 practice exams were 176, 180, 178, 179, 179, 180. I tutored LSAT 20 hours a week after my first take, and studied on my own about 10 hours. After a month I was certain I would score higher so I took it again. No way I would be going to Chicago next year with the 172 I got the first time.

Good luck.

law2015
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby law2015 » Sat May 26, 2012 10:26 pm

I think you will get Harvard as is. Before I retook and scored a 173, my average was 177. On the actual test I made 4 mistakes in games when I averaged at most one mistake per 5 game sections. To improve that 174 you will need to be near perfect on the actual test day. It is just too unpredictable for it to be worth retaking a 174!

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2014
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby 2014 » Sat May 26, 2012 10:47 pm

I spent a lot of time going back and forth over whether to retake a 175 or not. I missed 5 I think on RC which was bad for my PT average and felt positive that I could -0 LG any test thrown at me and end up with -3 combined for LR. It was really easy looking at the numbers to see that it was completely plausible that I would retake at a 177-178 but ultimately looking at the repeater data and LSN it was clear that the idea was stupid. The risk of dropping is very real.

If you end up dropping a point or two you probably run a real risk of an adcomm questioning your judgment and if you improve the score by the same 1 or 2 points, it is still within your original score band and doesn't say anything new about you as an applicant.

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cloudhidden
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby cloudhidden » Sun May 27, 2012 12:44 am

One does not need to attend a T14 to answer this. At the bottom of this article, http://www.top-law-schools.com/retaking-the-lsat.html , all schools are listed by what they claim they do. Most school take the highest score. Some schools claim they average, but data suggests otherwise (for instance, a 165/175 would likely do better than a 171).

That article no longer reflects the present reality. The trend has definitely been toward taking the higher. Remember that "considers all scores" doesn't necessarily mean that a school averages, either.

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grossindiscretion
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby grossindiscretion » Sun May 27, 2012 2:32 am

Lots of good advice, keep it coming; I really appreciate the comments.




This says this was last updated in 2010. Is the information still current?

@American_in_China: thanks for the encouraging comment. Were those 30 hours of LSAT work the only hours you spent leading up to your retake?

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soj
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby soj » Sun May 27, 2012 10:48 am

grossindiscretion wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote: You're above both of H's medians.


Is this true? Isn't their LSAT median 174?

No, 173.

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badfish
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby badfish » Sun May 27, 2012 10:54 am

As a recent graduate of one of these schools, let me let you in on a secret. The difference between H,Y,S,C,C,N and the rest of them isn't that great. It's certainly not worth putting yourself through the ringer all over again. Take your 3.9/174 and enjoy wherever it takes you. How you perform while you're at school will matter a great deal more than which one of top 6 schools you actually end up going to.

American_in_China
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby American_in_China » Sun May 27, 2012 12:58 pm

grossindiscretion wrote:Lots of good advice, keep it coming; I really appreciate the comments.




This says this was last updated in 2010. Is the information still current?

@American_in_China: thanks for the encouraging comment. Were those 30 hours of LSAT work the only hours you spent leading up to your retake?


That was per week. Spread over 2 and a half months. (Granted I was getting paid to do 20 of those hours per week) I went through the entirety of Kaplan's (classes and tutoring) Logic games and Logical Reasoning books. I ended up doing every modern logic game (by type first, then practice sections) and over 1500 logical reasoning question (again, first by type and then practice sections). I did two practice RC sections a week. I didn't take a single practice test until the last month before, and I only took 6. The only way to improve within the 99th percentile is to work by question and game type (so that you spot the patterns and see the different approaches you need for each type). If you're just going to take 30 practice tests you won't improve. For example, if your weakness is parallel reasoning problems, taking test after test is a dumb way to improve. Going to the parallel reasoning question section and doing 70 in a row is the right way.

Edit/Addendum: Look I'm not telling you what is the right move. But as a heavy splitter, sitting on my first score meant bottom T14 at best (maybe Michigan at best). Retaking lead to being accepted at Chicago, and having a 1/3rd tuition scholly at Michigan. Easily worth it for me. At the same time, I knew I was going to be a tutor for Kaplan, so I already had to commit a ton of time to the LSAT anyways.

But I will tell you this- scoring in the very high end (177+) is not luck. Did I have some luck, in that I didn't have a terrible day, or that no one in my family passed away the day before the exam? Yes. But I put in a ton of work (and worked in an effective way, which is why I think most people in the 99th percentile can't score in the high 170s, even though they have the ability). It takes a lot of effort and time to accomplish that. It was easily worth it for me; you just need to decide whether it's worth it for you.

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StrictlyBusiness
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby StrictlyBusiness » Sun May 27, 2012 1:23 pm

I think a lot of this has to do with the specifics of your 174. I planned on retaking my 173 until I got good money at Chicago, even though it wasn't too much below my averages.

I only studied for about a month (8-10 hours/week) to get that, and my scores were around 176 avg. I really wanted to retake though because I missed 10 questions total, and 8/10 were on reading comprehension. That drove me nuts because I never miss more than 1-2 RCs, it was just the 5th section for me and I zoned out and barely finished. If you gave me that RC section again I'd have missed 1-2 and had a 179, so I wanted to retake almost more to show myself I could rather than for getting into schools (obviously the latter would be a plus too).

So in short, if you messed up something you can fix on the LSAT, I say retake and go for 180. If you missed 2-3 on each section, I say it may be harder to fix, but more practice might get you to the 176+ area anyway, so why not. I can't believe any school would frown upon 174 retaking and dropping to 172: Almost seems like a verification that the first high score wasn't a fluke.

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StrictlyBusiness
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby StrictlyBusiness » Sun May 27, 2012 1:23 pm

Meh, double post. My sincerest apologies.

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echamberlin8
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby echamberlin8 » Sun May 27, 2012 3:27 pm

sunynp wrote:A friend was going to retake a 178 to try to get into Yale. She had Harvard and deferred. She had tutored the LSAT over the summer and was convinced that she could get a 180. She refused to listen to reason because she was sure she could do it. It was not until the night before the exam that it finally dawned on her what a fool she would be to retake.

It was nuts. I wouldn't retake a 174. I don't think the extra points will help. If you do worse you will regret it..


What happened to your friend? Did she end up retaking?

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun May 27, 2012 3:30 pm

echamberlin8 wrote:
sunynp wrote:A friend was going to retake a 178 to try to get into Yale. She had Harvard and deferred. She had tutored the LSAT over the summer and was convinced that she could get a 180. She refused to listen to reason because she was sure she could do it. It was not until the night before the exam that it finally dawned on her what a fool she would be to retake.

It was nuts. I wouldn't retake a 174. I don't think the extra points will help. If you do worse you will regret it..


What happened to your friend? Did she end up retaking?


I'm pretty sure she didn't.

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echamberlin8
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby echamberlin8 » Sun May 27, 2012 3:34 pm

Just a question of curiosity to the people who were LSAT tutors: How did you become one? Were you one immediately after graduation from college, during college, or was it something you did in addition to a full-time job? I can't imagine it being a very high-paying endeavor (although it's something I envy, since, like someone said in here, you get paid to study).

American_in_China
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Re: Retaking a 99th percentile score

Postby American_in_China » Sun May 27, 2012 5:55 pm

echamberlin8 wrote:Just a question of curiosity to the people who were LSAT tutors: How did you become one? Were you one immediately after graduation from college, during college, or was it something you did in addition to a full-time job? I can't imagine it being a very high-paying endeavor (although it's something I envy, since, like someone said in here, you get paid to study).


Kaplan has almost no standards (and unfortunately the other companies don't operate much where I'm from). It was easy getting a job with them (after scoring a 172). I get $20+ per hour to tutor, and I get 8.5 for prep time. Since I'm a tutor, my prep time essentially meant I was being paid to study. It's not fair to say Kaplan has no standards though; they do what they aim to do, which is prepare people with median ability (135-160) and median work ethic (won't self study). For that they need good teachers, but not necessarily high scorers. Most of the teachers in my market are professional teachers who do LSAT classes to supplement their income. They only have to score a 165 or higher, and not on a real test, just on a Kaplan sponsored one (real test questions, just not administered by LSAC). They're extremely effective at teaching the basic and medium skills. I get sent all the students that are already scoring highly on PTs/a previous test, since most of the other teachers can't really help at that point.

The smaller companies (which cater to high scorers) offer $50 an hour in the major markets. Most of them don't pay for prep time though. You have to score significantly higher (usually 99%+) to get a job, and the training is more rigorous (since your students can actually tell how good you are at the LSAT)




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