Should I retake?

cincinnatus19
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:15 pm

Should I retake?

Postby cincinnatus19 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:22 pm

I have already taken the LSAT twice and I am considering testing a third time in October. Most recent (and highest) score was a 172. Given my GPA (3.65), an extra point or two on the LSAT would make me that much more competitive at CLS and NYU, which are my top choices. Is it worth the risk of scoring lower and potentially weakening my application? I know that most law schools really only consider the highest score (even if they claim to average or look holistically), but I don't want to score significantly worse and have that be the difference between acceptance and waitlist / rejection.

maxmartin
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Should I retake?

Postby maxmartin » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:51 pm

cincinnatus19 wrote:I have already taken the LSAT twice and I am considering testing a third time in October. Most recent (and highest) score was a 172. Given my GPA (3.65), an extra point or two on the LSAT would make me that much more competitive at CLS and NYU, which are my top choices. Is it worth the risk of scoring lower and potentially weakening my application? I know that most law schools really only consider the highest score (even if they claim to average or look holistically), but I don't want to score significantly worse and have that be the difference between acceptance and waitlist / rejection.


what is your first score? and what is your PT average?

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Malakai
Posts: 105
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 11:18 pm

Re: Should I retake?

Postby Malakai » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:00 pm

cincinnatus19 wrote:Is it worth the risk of scoring lower and potentially weakening my application? I know that most law schools really only consider the highest score (even if they claim to average or look holistically), but I don't want to score significantly worse and have that be the difference between acceptance and waitlist / rejection.


Only if you truly believe that you can, and have the time to dedicate towards actually correcting your mistakes. What's your schedule like? Have you identified or begun to identify your weak areas?

As silly as it may sound, for low 170's capable and steady-scorers (myself included) it becomes more than just general improvement at this point; it involves the actual and processual correction of your mistakes. If you honestly feel as though you hit a ceiling and fear the risks are too much to bear, then I would not retake. If you feel whether you are capable of scoring higher and are certain (to yourself) that you would not score lower, then I would go for it. This is a burden of being in the low 170's that you'll obviously have to weigh out for yourself.

Relating this to my own experience: I am retaking because I have assured myself that the few extra months could either give me a higher (if not at least the same score) as opposed to a lower score. Of course this is dependent on my own assessment of not having reached my 'ceiling'. Anyway, and to avoid sounding redundant, just find what you can assure yourself offset her you've met your ceiling** and base your decision off that.

Also, and given your situation, you could consider working on improving your softs + work experience a bit more to make yourself more competitive, while avoiding what could potentially be a riskier venture. This, since you seem to be unsure of whether or not you can exceed the return over your risk of retaking. Just a suggestion. Either way, best of luck!

- M

Edit: see **
Last edited by Malakai on Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

cincinnatus19
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Should I retake?

Postby cincinnatus19 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:56 pm

maxmartin wrote:
cincinnatus19 wrote:I have already taken the LSAT twice and I am considering testing a third time in October. Most recent (and highest) score was a 172. Given my GPA (3.65), an extra point or two on the LSAT would make me that much more competitive at CLS and NYU, which are my top choices. Is it worth the risk of scoring lower and potentially weakening my application? I know that most law schools really only consider the highest score (even if they claim to average or look holistically), but I don't want to score significantly worse and have that be the difference between acceptance and waitlist / rejection.


what is your first score? and what is your PT average?


First score was 167. PT average was low 170s leading up to first test and mid to high 170s leading up to second. Not sure if two occurrences of scoring below my average warrants a pattern (test day jitters?) or just the luck of the draw, but I have at least some reassurance knowing that I am capable of stringing together several tests in a row in the 174-178 range regardless of insignificance of these practice tests.

maxmartin
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Should I retake?

Postby maxmartin » Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:56 pm

cincinnatus19 wrote:
maxmartin wrote:
cincinnatus19 wrote:I have already taken the LSAT twice and I am considering testing a third time in October. Most recent (and highest) score was a 172. Given my GPA (3.65), an extra point or two on the LSAT would make me that much more competitive at CLS and NYU, which are my top choices. Is it worth the risk of scoring lower and potentially weakening my application? I know that most law schools really only consider the highest score (even if they claim to average or look holistically), but I don't want to score significantly worse and have that be the difference between acceptance and waitlist / rejection.


what is your first score? and what is your PT average?


First score was 167. PT average was low 170s leading up to first test and mid to high 170s leading up to second. Not sure if two occurrences of scoring below my average warrants a pattern (test day jitters?) or just the luck of the draw, but I have at least some reassurance knowing that I am capable of stringing together several tests in a row in the 174-178 range regardless of insignificance of these practice tests.


How do you handle test pressure? Do you have test anxiety? If not i think your average PT warrant another retake.

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TheRainMan
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:41 pm

Re: Should I retake?

Postby TheRainMan » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:59 pm

Yes.

cincinnatus19
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:15 pm

Re: Should I retake?

Postby cincinnatus19 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:00 am

maxmartin wrote:
cincinnatus19 wrote:
maxmartin wrote:
cincinnatus19 wrote:I have already taken the LSAT twice and I am considering testing a third time in October. Most recent (and highest) score was a 172. Given my GPA (3.65), an extra point or two on the LSAT would make me that much more competitive at CLS and NYU, which are my top choices. Is it worth the risk of scoring lower and potentially weakening my application? I know that most law schools really only consider the highest score (even if they claim to average or look holistically), but I don't want to score significantly worse and have that be the difference between acceptance and waitlist / rejection.


what is your first score? and what is your PT average?


First score was 167. PT average was low 170s leading up to first test and mid to high 170s leading up to second. Not sure if two occurrences of scoring below my average warrants a pattern (test day jitters?) or just the luck of the draw, but I have at least some reassurance knowing that I am capable of stringing together several tests in a row in the 174-178 range regardless of insignificance of these practice tests.


How do you handle test pressure? Do you have test anxiety? If not i think your average PT warrant another retake.


I don't feel like I have test anxiety but who knows. I feel fairly confident that I could at least match my previous score and I would be thrilled if I could even boost it by a point or two given that that could make all the difference in the world with CLS/NYU. But I also don't have much room for improvement. On my most recent LSAT, I aced both LR sections (which is generally my best section), answered incorrectly on 2 or 3 LG questions (I typically PT anywhere from 0 to -2 on LG), and bombed one of the RC passages, which happens from time to time if I am having a hard time focusing. So it may come down to maintaining focus throughout the exam for me. I don't mind committing the next 3 1/2 months to prepping, but I am concerned that if I score lower it will look poorly. I know that the conventional wisdom says that the highest score is usually all that matters for most schools, but does anyone have any anecdotal evidence to suggest that it wouldn't hurt me if I were to score in the mid-160s, let's say, on a third sitting? I suppose I could cancel the exam if I feel like I didn't do my best coming out of it and at this point, I usually have a pretty good idea of how I did on each PT before scoring it.

Thanks for all of the help.




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