Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

dkb17xzx
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:25 pm

Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby dkb17xzx » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:35 pm

I bombed the June LSAT. I was PTing around 172 and got a dismal 165. On top of that, this was my retake. Original was a 166. I have a T-14 (+Texas) or bust mentality. This now means a retake. I have talked to some people and know that I am not the only one in this situation. Therefore, I wanted to create a thread specifically for people taking the LSAT a third time to get advice from those have been there and done that (and others who have useful information). I would really appreciate it if people who have taken the LSAT three times are able to answer the following questions. TIA

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

4. How long did you prepare for?

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share


EDIT: Correct something I had overlooked
Last edited by dkb17xzx on Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

seacow
Posts: 78
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby seacow » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:04 am

Greetings, all. DKB, let's do this.

Here's my story: Retook a Feb. 2012 159 and got a June 2012 164. I'm happy that I can now reach the 20-30 ranked schools but I know I am capable of much more. The feeling I have now is of relief, but not one of satisfaction. This is the reason for my retake.

My cold diagnostic was 159. After a period of improvement, I leveled off at the high-160s with only high - not low - outliers. My scores started to decline (ominously) prior to Feb 2012. I scored a 159.

To answer your questions:

1. I am mostly self-motivated. I want to be the absolute best I can be.
2. It was very difficult to prove to myself that I could do better than a 159. Especially when everyone around was saying "just go to law school and forget it!" or "you've done well already. why retake?" I felt validated today when the scores came out. And because my score breakdown is noticeably less than I am capable of (-10 RC, -2LG) I feel confident that I can do even better.
3. Feb/June/Oct 2012 will be my tests
4. Since October 2011.
5. 1st time - I knew every question. 2nd time - I spent most of this time with my girlfriend, lots of reading, and spent a lot of time working. I prepped psychologically. It worked. But my LGs slacked and I faltered in RC for some reason.
6. No effect on admissions yet. None that I foresee. I think the top schools care much more about multiple scores. But remember there is no score that can guarantee you into anywhere - although some come close, it's ultimately the decision of a bunch of individuals in the admissions committees.
7. Can't answer this. I will comment that, as a result of my June score, I am pretty psyched that a scholarship is likely now at a few of my safety schools.
8. Let's do this. And let's keep this conversation going.

User avatar
akili
Posts: 1950
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:21 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby akili » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:16 am

December 09 - 160, October 10 - 160, December 10 - 169

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time
Honestly, I got pissed. I KNEW I could do much better.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)
I just knew I was capable of scoring much higher. My PT average was in the 170s so I knew I could do it, I just needed to get more consistent.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?
It was just October --> December

4. How long did you prepare for?
Just the 3 or so weeks in between October score release and December

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?
I took a PT every day and really reviewed all my answers.

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?
It's hard to say. Because of the December test I was a little late in applying and I think my results were in line with a late applicant with a 169.

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?
I didn't notice any difference. My scholarship were I ended up attending was the same as everyone else.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share
It's frustrating and hard and annoying, but COMPLETELY WORTH IT. Especially since you'd be taking October with more time to prep and no late applications. All of my reach schools became safety schools and I ended up at a school I'm really happy with.

Fark-o-vision
Posts: 590
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2009 6:41 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby Fark-o-vision » Tue Jul 03, 2012 12:34 am

I think it hurt my cycle a little. Although both retakes were big leaps up, I think a guy who studies for a year and gets a 175 is better off than a guy who got a 160, a 168 and a 175. I have no evidence of that, other than my own cycle, and there might have been a flaw elsewhere on my app.

dkb17xzx
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:25 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby dkb17xzx » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:04 am

Thanks a lot for responding guys, especially akili. I think the frustration part is definitely credited - to have to sit through this again is mind-numbing, but ultimately much better than fretting over finals at a school where only the top 10% have a shot at biglaw. And I think ultimately we are the lucky ones because there are very few second chances and this will be our third.

Fark-0: could you elaborate a little? I understand that a guy with only a 175 is much better than someone with 3 takes and the same score. But what about a point higher? What schools did you experience this with? (if you don't wanna out yourself, the range is sufficient).

seacow...i know some other people who might be interested in this. i'll collate the names and send a pm to see if we can get a drinking study group going.

User avatar
tmon
Posts: 1242
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:52 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby tmon » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:29 am

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

Nope. That's basically it. If soul-crushing debt doesn't motivate you, I don't know what would. I mean, that and having physically seen that you can do better and knowing how much better off you'd be as a result.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

Do stuff to build confidence and get back into studying. Untimed work, taking a test you know you can kill, run through some games if that's your strength, etc. For me, I just wasn't going to accept being below a certain line, and since I knew I could do better I went at it, albeit somewhat lighter for the third time. See next answer.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

I studied for the 2nd one for quite a long time. Started around Feb intending to take in June, wasn't ready and ended up doing October. Since I underperformed and knew it was nerves, I didn't think waiting long and and doing another cycle was feasible, so I forced myself to do December and say "that's that." So, to answer, only about a month or so of studying between, but I felt pretty maxed out on what I'd actually learn and improve on between the two.


4. How long did you prepare for?
My first take was with very little prep, like many people. But I did take a prep course, which laid a good foundation. When I started in Feb like I said in the last answer, I already felt better off, even though the course was a year or two in the past at that point. To generalize though, I studied from Feb to the December test of last year. I don't recommend it.


5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?
It was all about nerves and chilling out for me. It wasn't a content issue. I could a game section blindfolded, in the dark, during a tornado by the time I took the 2nd time, yet I still missed like 4 or 5, which was totally unacceptable based on past performance for me. Similar story with the other sections, I just wasn't as strong there usually. I did a test or two a week, kept a looser schedule, and really made a point to talk up my successes and minimize my failures to build confidence. What helped was that I'd seen all the tests I was taking, so the actual scores I was seeing were great. Obviously I knew they weren't representative, but since I was scoring into the mid to high 170s before the 2nd take I knew I was more than capable.


6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?
Didn't effect me. There are ways to address it in an addendum for schools that want to know, but many just don't care. The TLSer you're speaking of turned out quite well, if it's the one I'm thinking of, for the record. How likely is your application to be completely tied except for the fact that you're a retake and the other person isn't? Probably pretty unlikely.


7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?
At the schools where I expected generous scholarships, my expectations were met. No negative effects perceived.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share

I was 149 diag (not one of the three) 157, 164, 168. Still fell short of where I really wanted to be, but oh well. If it's a psychological thing for you, I do think there may be a ceiling because of it, but it's not necessarily where you just tested. Confront the issue, and find a way to control it. For me it came down to one, huge, stupid thing: I was doing things differently on test day. I don't mean I was having a different snack than usual. I was pushing myself to go faster, not proving every answer to the extent I always had on practice tests, and generally was letting myself become unfocused far easier than previously. So when I finally took the third test, instead of thinking "i have to do this on LG, and this on LR, and remember to _____, and don't forget X, Y, and Z," I simplified things to "Do what you know works." Was I still jittery and a little less focused on test day than I wanted to be? Yup. But the score was a lot closer to my expectation. I still wish I'd been able to do a little better, but for the vast majority of test takers that's the reality. You just have to use up as much hard work and time as you reasonably can because this test is so important.

Also remember, TLS is a bubble. It's unbelievably skewed toward the very top of test takers who go to the best schools, and I don't think that's a bad thing with the state of things. But it can help to step back and say "I just scored in the ninety-_____ percentile...holy shit." Seriously. I tutored for a while after my last test and the percentage of people who seemed to have the combination of willingness to work and basic smarts to get a great score was really really low. It's just good to keep things in perspective.

If I can help with anything, I'm more than willing to respond to PMs. Good luck :)

User avatar
Richie Tenenbaum
Posts: 2162
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:17 am

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:32 am

Taking the LSAT for the third time was one of the best decisions I ever made--I ended up at my dream school with a substantial scholarship when I had been waitlisted at that school before. Getting your score into the 170s is worth the plain of another retake. Will add a much more detailed post answering your questions in the OP when I get the chance later this week.

User avatar
JamMasterJ
Posts: 6688
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:17 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:51 am

dkb17xzx wrote:6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

ahem.... :oops:

I think scholarship stuff ended up being OK since merit-based aid is pretty numbers-based. I don't think adcomms look at it negatively as much as hesitantly. I think for the most part, this cycle was weird for everyone with numbers like mine; the multiple scores didn't help, but I don't think they were the primary reason that things went oddly for me.

As far as retake advice: I took the test after studying a month or so the first time and just a tiny bit the second time. I felt like things were finally starting to come together as far as really understanding the test. When you start getting to the 170s, there's a big difference between being good enough to score highly here and there, and being able to do it virtually every single time. I knew that I hadn't hit that point, even before the second test, and after getting the second score, I knew that I couldn't justify not retaking.

User avatar
Clearly
Posts: 4165
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby Clearly » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:12 am

This will be me come Oct. Still have some kinks to iron out apparently. I think I literally just had an off day, coupled with a test that avoided my strengths and a brutal curve that accentuated my weaknesses. I dropped 10 points from my last PT!

User avatar
KevinP
Posts: 1324
Joined: Sat Sep 26, 2009 8:56 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby KevinP » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:49 am

dkb17xzx wrote:1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

A single score has one of the biggest influences on where I'll end up in life after law school. Not sure what other motivation I would really need.

dkb17xzx wrote:2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

I knew I could do better because I didn't study for the LSAT that hard initially. My problem was that I was a full-time student and working a job (sometimes two). Whatever time I used to study came out of my already-low sleep time. My other problem was that I'm not a native speaker of English, so I worked on improving my knowledge of dense terminology.

dkb17xzx wrote:3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

Around a year break between my last score and my second to last.

dkb17xzx wrote:4. How long did you prepare for?

I prepped for 3 months. For my last take, I was only working and therefore didn't have to deal with school.
dkb17xzx wrote:5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

I used LR/LG bibles and LR/RC/LG Manhattan guides. I also studied with some friends online and looked for patterns. Ultimately, I don't think there was a significant change in my strategy however. I just had more time to devote to studying.

dkb17xzx wrote:6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

Not sure. My application was really, really bad. Although I got into CLS with money in the end.

dkb17xzx wrote:7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?

I don't think multiple LSATs really affect scholly chances. Pretty sure schools only care about the highest score, especially amidst a decline in applicants.

dkb17xzx wrote:8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share

Don't be satisfied with a subpar score.

shntn
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby shntn » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:10 am

For perspective, I went from cancel (Oct 2010) to 167 (Dec 2010) to 179 (Jun 2012).

dkb17xzx wrote:
1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

I had the "luxury" of a lengthy gap between my first two and my third LSAT. My past performance was distant enough that it didn't discourage me this time around. Also, working in biglawl, I was all the more motivated to do well, go to a good school, and move to the fee-earning side of the business that I've come to enjoy quite a lot.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

A cold practice test (after some logic game review) was enough to convince me that my old score wasn't as good as it got for me.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

December 2010 :arrow: June 2012

4. How long did you prepare for?

I started in March and really started hitting it hard in April.

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

Full PTs. I did about two before my second LSAT. I did closer to 20 for my third. This is the single most important factor.

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

I'll let you know once I apply. I have a cancel and two scores, so we'll see.

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?

Dunno yet.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share

PTs. PTs. PTs. Do them all. And don't settle if you know you can do better. The LSAT is one thing in life you cannot settle on. Do whatever it takes to get the best score you're capable of getting. If you have to sacrifice your social life or spend money on prep courses, do it.

User avatar
PDaddy
Posts: 2073
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:40 am

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby PDaddy » Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:39 am

Always anticipate a 5-point drop on the real thing unless you are consistently near 180. Although the drop may not be a reality for some test-takers, most scores drop by 3-5 points on the real test. Anticipating that you are not as good as you appear to be in practice can only help you work harder.

Most people are probably cutting themselves "breaks" (on timing, discrepant book markings, etc.) that will not occur on test day. The good news is that some people score higher on the real thing, which most test-takers hope to do. Practicing harder can make that more likely.

User avatar
Clarity
Posts: 110
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:05 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby Clarity » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:31 am

shinton88 wrote:For perspective, I went from cancel (Oct 2010) to 167 (Dec 2010) to 179 (Jun 2012).

dkb17xzx wrote:5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

Full PTs. I did about two before my second LSAT. I did closer to 20 for my third. This is the single most important factor.[/b]


With your full PTs how did you space them out? One a week? Two a week? Also, did you add a fifth section in to imitate the experimental section?

cts2012
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:40 am

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby cts2012 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:06 am

I took the LSAT three times, Cancel, 158, 167.

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

I was so disappointed in myself with the 158 so I used that as motivation. I knew I could score better and I was determined to do so.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

I scored below my PT average with a 158, so I knew I could improve at least ~4-5 points. After that, I figured if I put in the effort to re-learn the test and strategies, then I could improve my my score by even more. I just kind of knew that the 158 was not reflective of what I thought I could score.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

June to December. I applied within two days after I received my December score. I don't think it impacted my cycle whatsoever, I was accepted to schools with scholarships that I didn't anticipate.

4. How long did you prepare for?

I think I took all the LSAT questions available between the three times. For the December test I took maybe 4-5 five section tests per week for the final two months.

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

I thought I knew most of the strategy, so I focused the first two weeks on reinforcing techniques until I was confident with them. After that, I started taking four section tests untimed; I would shoot for a 180 every time regardless of how long it took. Because I had seen a lot of the questions before, I tried to circle/underline the part of each answer choice that made it incorrect. I think this forced me to really understand why I was eliminating certain answer choices. Once I was scoring 178+ consistently, I moved into taking 5 section timed tests. I continued circling the part of every answer choice that made the answer incorrect. By the time I took the December test, I was PT'ing between 171-173 (I miss diagrammed a logic game on the Dec. test and missed the whole game).

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

I was actually pleasantly surprised with my cycle. I have a GPA below 25% at all my target schools and I was still accepted at schools with scholarships where my highest LSAT was their median.

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?

I don't think this hurt me, maybe at BU? BU didn't offer me anything, and Fordham only $15, but from what I can tell, Fordham is fairly stingy across the board.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share[/quote]

I think it can be easy to just blow through questions because you've seen them before. When your retaking tests you've taken before, you have to find a way to force yourself to understand the logic. Even questions I remembered, I would force myself to diagram them correctly and then mark why all the answers were wrong - I did this for easy and hard questions and I think it helped a lot.

User avatar
sanjola
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby sanjola » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:22 am

cts2012 wrote:I took the LSAT three times, Cancel, 158, 167.

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

I was so disappointed in myself with the 158 so I used that as motivation. I knew I could score better and I was determined to do so.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

I scored below my PT average with a 158, so I knew I could improve at least ~4-5 points. After that, I figured if I put in the effort to re-learn the test and strategies, then I could improve my my score by even more. I just kind of knew that the 158 was not reflective of what I thought I could score.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

June to December. I applied within two days after I received my December score. I don't think it impacted my cycle whatsoever, I was accepted to schools with scholarships that I didn't anticipate.

4. How long did you prepare for?

I think I took all the LSAT questions available between the three times. For the December test I took maybe 4-5 five section tests per week for the final two months.

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

I thought I knew most of the strategy, so I focused the first two weeks on reinforcing techniques until I was confident with them. After that, I started taking four section tests untimed; I would shoot for a 180 every time regardless of how long it took. Because I had seen a lot of the questions before, I tried to circle/underline the part of each answer choice that made it incorrect. I think this forced me to really understand why I was eliminating certain answer choices. Once I was scoring 178+ consistently, I moved into taking 5 section timed tests. I continued circling the part of every answer choice that made the answer incorrect. By the time I took the December test, I was PT'ing between 171-173 (I miss diagrammed a logic game on the Dec. test and missed the whole game).

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

I was actually pleasantly surprised with my cycle. I have a GPA below 25% at all my target schools and I was still accepted at schools with scholarships where my highest LSAT was their median.

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?

I don't think this hurt me, maybe at BU? BU didn't offer me anything, and Fordham only $15, but from what I can tell, Fordham is fairly stingy across the board.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share

I think it can be easy to just blow through questions because you've seen them before. When your retaking tests you've taken before, you have to find a way to force yourself to understand the logic. Even questions I remembered, I would force myself to diagram them correctly and then mark why all the answers were wrong - I did this for easy and hard questions and I think it helped a lot.


I'm re-taking in October after a 158 and your post has given me tremendous hope.

Thank you! :D

dkb17xzx
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:25 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby dkb17xzx » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:35 am

This is great stuff guys. I think the recurring message here is 1.) no one cares that it is a third retake; 2.) if you under-performed and have the opportunity to retake, then go for it; and 3.) for some people it is not all about the content of the test but rather learning how to mitigate factors such as anxiety, stress, etc.

I forgot to post this before, but JamMasterJ has an incredibly helpful guide for retakers, especially those who suck at RC like I do (-8 yesterday): viewtopic.php?f=6&t=173647

I also should clarify that on point # 6, I was mistaken. That individual has been accepted to a T6 with a scholly. I should have checked before I posted that. Sorry! That retake definitely paid off.

User avatar
Scotusnerd
Posts: 813
Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:36 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby Scotusnerd » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:12 am

Hey, 3-time retaker here. Scored a 157, 151, and then a 164.

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time
Motivation is all about a desire to move your life along a certain rail. I did this in a risky manner, but it turned into a great motivation tool. I moved out to this state a year early for the express purpose of going to law school. When I took the test and got a 151 the second time, it hurt. Bad. But I was stuck. I HAD to do better. It was not optional. My fiance would have killed me, and my life would have gone into a sinkhole of unemployment and misery. I was not willing to let this happen. So I overcame my negative feelings and simply kept on plugging.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)
The best thing you can do is come up with a new and effective strategy. Obviously, something went wrong in the previous test. Your goal is to address that problem and any others that came up when you took the test. Your goal is no longer to learn the test, but to correct your mistakes. This requires a new strategy, and only you can figure out what that strategy is.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?
I did not take a break in between the 2nd and 3rd test, except to receive my score. After getting it, I joined a test-taking group on Manhatten LSAT to keep myself on track, and used some peer pressure to motivate myself.

4. How long did you prepare for?
I prepared from November until December when the next test was. So less than a month.

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?
It was very different. My strategy before was to learn how to do problems, and to understand the reasoning behind them. My new strategy was to take as many tests as possible, at the test-taking time, to get comfortable with the environment and the performance aspects of the test. I spent three-four hours every other day in the local university library taking a test. I would then score it, highlight problem areas, and go over them the next day. I made sure that my practice schedule ended with me taking the test on a normal 'practice' day.

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?
I don't think my school cared. To be blunt, it depends on your competition. If you are trying to get into a top school in a competitive market, they are looking for reasons to narrow down the (extreme) competition. My school was not as competitive as HYS. I chose it for scholarship chances, and ties to the area I wanted to practice law in. Also, that person would likely not be waitlisted this time, since LSAT takers have been reduced dramatically in the past year. Schools can't be as choosy as they were anymore.

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?
It affected it positively. I went from median the LSAT score at my school (157) to seven points above it (164.) As a result, I got a half scholarship with no stipulations. I can't complain about that.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share
The LSAT is the first step in which you show dedication to the school. What you are saying to a school with your LSAT score is 'I am talented, I am hard-working, and I wish to attend law school.' If you only want to attend a T14 school, you might wish to broaden your horizons. Do you want to be a lawyer? Or do you just want to be successful? Not everyone can make it into a top T14 school, but a top T14 school is not what everyone needs, either.

The best advice I can give you for scoring higher is to figure out your goal, what you want to improve. After you figure that out, create a plan to improve it. Then stick with that plan. That is the way you will be successful. Good luck!

User avatar
gaud
Posts: 5790
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:58 am

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby gaud » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:35 am

Three time taker. 159 - 164 - 170

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

I just felt pathetic. Could have had to do with this site and all of the high scores, or possibly the prospect of attending a TT school at a cost of roughly 100k. Ultimately, whatever it was, I was unsatisfied and I realized that there isn't much to lose by giving it another (3rd) shot... yet there was so much to potentially gain. I believe that everyone needs to realize just how much good a high score can do.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

My score improved 5 points (159 - 164) on my second retake. Most of my practice tests were a bit higher, and even though I'm certain they were inflated from previously seeing some of the questions, the fact that I could attain those scores helped drive me towards a third shot. Your PT scrores aren't lies and although they may not be exactly what you will score on test day, they are something to keep in mind. If you've been pt-ing in the upper whatevers and you didn't do as well as you may have liked on test day, give it another shot. I'll reiterate, there's not much to lose and plenty to gain.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

My second attempt was June 11 and my third was October 11

4. How long did you prepare for?

I prepared for roughly a year in total. I believe the first 3-4 months were a complete waste. I never took the test as seriously as I should have. I had the mentality of "oh, school has always been a joke for me so this test will also be like that." All in all, I'd say I had roughly 6 months of solid prep.

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

My strategy the third time around was only practice tests. I knew from my second go (164) that I had a solid enough foundation and that I knew the basics. It was time to fine tune those skills and build endurance. I did 5 and 6 section tests (pt #40 - most current) with experimentals from the older tests and would always throw out the section I did the best on. Chances are that it threw my scores off a little by doing this, but I didn't want to sell myself short since I believed/knew that my scores were inflated. My schedule was something like pt-review-off and on the review days I would literally just redo the test untimed making sure that I knew why each and every answer choice was correct or incorrect. Also, for lg, I would diagram the game differently and see if I could create a more efficient plan of attack.. even if I had schooled them all with 10 minutes remaining. It's all about improving everything you are doing and fine-tuning those skills.

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

I believe having my third score gave my application a chance to be considered by admissions at some of the t14's I applied to. My problem was that the rest of my application was lacking. I hadn't had too great of WE and things like that which may have held me back a little. Also, I didn't have a t14 or bust mentality since I do have a family so I was really aiming to minimize my total student debt... so, what I'm trying to say is, I could have worked harder to gain t14 acceptances. I do not believe that admins view multiple retakes negatively.. I think having three scores with a high of 170 will look worse than a single 170, but I also believe that ultimately all they care about is the #s

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?

I don't think it hurt my scholarship chances at all. I received the same amounts as applicants who had only taken the test once.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share[/quote]

Don't be scared to ask for help when you need it. There are a ton of posters on this site who love the opportunity to 'pay it forward' and you should take advantage of it. Again, there is nothing to lose and SO MUCH to gain. Even if you have to take time off, if you're serious about having a career in law, what a high score can do for your career makes it all worth it.

ETA: if any of this didn't make sense or you have questions you'd like to ask, whoever you are, feel free to PM me. I'd be glad to help.

shntn
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby shntn » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:42 pm

Clarity wrote:
shinton88 wrote:For perspective, I went from cancel (Oct 2010) to 167 (Dec 2010) to 179 (Jun 2012).

dkb17xzx wrote:5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

Full PTs. I did about two before my second LSAT. I did closer to 20 for my third. This is the single most important factor.[/b]


With your full PTs how did you space them out? One a week? Two a week? Also, did you add a fifth section in to imitate the experimental section?

I did at least two a week, one on Saturday and one after work on some weekday. Closer to the test I was doing one every other day. Sometimes I'd do two in a row on Saturday, though this isn't for those who have trouble with mental endurance. I was always pretty drained afterwards. I never added in a dummy experimental section since I'd know which it was and thought that would defeat the purpose of having one. Some people say it helps, though.

abc12345675
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:27 am

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby abc12345675 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:53 pm

gaud wrote:Three time taker. 159 - 164 - 170

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time

I just felt pathetic. Could have had to do with this site and all of the high scores, or possibly the prospect of attending a TT school at a cost of roughly 100k. Ultimately, whatever it was, I was unsatisfied and I realized that there isn't much to lose by giving it another (3rd) shot... yet there was so much to potentially gain. I believe that everyone needs to realize just how much good a high score can do.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)

My score improved 5 points (159 - 164) on my second retake. Most of my practice tests were a bit higher, and even though I'm certain they were inflated from previously seeing some of the questions, the fact that I could attain those scores helped drive me towards a third shot. Your PT scrores aren't lies and although they may not be exactly what you will score on test day, they are something to keep in mind. If you've been pt-ing in the upper whatevers and you didn't do as well as you may have liked on test day, give it another shot. I'll reiterate, there's not much to lose and plenty to gain.

3. How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?

My second attempt was June 11 and my third was October 11

4. How long did you prepare for?

I prepared for roughly a year in total. I believe the first 3-4 months were a complete waste. I never took the test as seriously as I should have. I had the mentality of "oh, school has always been a joke for me so this test will also be like that." All in all, I'd say I had roughly 6 months of solid prep.

5. What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?

My strategy the third time around was only practice tests. I knew from my second go (164) that I had a solid enough foundation and that I knew the basics. It was time to fine tune those skills and build endurance. I did 5 and 6 section tests (pt #40 - most current) with experimentals from the older tests and would always throw out the section I did the best on. Chances are that it threw my scores off a little by doing this, but I didn't want to sell myself short since I believed/knew that my scores were inflated. My schedule was something like pt-review-off and on the review days I would literally just redo the test untimed making sure that I knew why each and every answer choice was correct or incorrect. Also, for lg, I would diagram the game differently and see if I could create a more efficient plan of attack.. even if I had schooled them all with 10 minutes remaining. It's all about improving everything you are doing and fine-tuning those skills.

6. How did three tests affect your admission cycle? I can recall one TLS’er who scored in 99th percentile on the 3rd try but was waitlisted at almost all T6’s. Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?

I believe having my third score gave my application a chance to be considered by admissions at some of the t14's I applied to. My problem was that the rest of my application was lacking. I hadn't had too great of WE and things like that which may have held me back a little. Also, I didn't have a t14 or bust mentality since I do have a family so I was really aiming to minimize my total student debt... so, what I'm trying to say is, I could have worked harder to gain t14 acceptances. I do not believe that admins view multiple retakes negatively.. I think having three scores with a high of 170 will look worse than a single 170, but I also believe that ultimately all they care about is the #s

7. How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?

I don't think it hurt my scholarship chances at all. I received the same amounts as applicants who had only taken the test once.

8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share


Don't be scared to ask for help when you need it. There are a ton of posters on this site who love the opportunity to 'pay it forward' and you should take advantage of it. Again, there is nothing to lose and SO MUCH to gain. Even if you have to take time off, if you're serious about having a career in law, what a high score can do for your career makes it all worth it.

ETA: if any of this didn't make sense or you have questions you'd like to ask, whoever you are, feel free to PM me. I'd be glad to help.[/quote]

You make me wish I would have tried a 3rd time. I went 157 to 163. Didn't try again. Probably should have

User avatar
AmoryB
Posts: 120
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:39 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby AmoryB » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:01 pm

3-time test taker here. It definitely sucks, but it was worth it for me in the long run. I don't think the multiple LSAT's affected my cycle at all. 166, 164, 171 and I was accepted CCN down and wait listed at Harvard and Stanford.

shntn
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby shntn » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:24 pm

gaud wrote:8. Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share

Don't be scared to ask for help when you need it. There are a ton of posters on this site who love the opportunity to 'pay it forward' and you should take advantage of it. Again, there is nothing to lose and SO MUCH to gain. Even if you have to take time off, if you're serious about having a career in law, what a high score can do for your career makes it all worth it.

ETA: if any of this didn't make sense or you have questions you'd like to ask, whoever you are, feel free to PM me. I'd be glad to help.

Ditto this. My PM inbox is always open.
Last edited by shntn on Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

FloridaCoastalorbust
Posts: 1302
Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:43 pm

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby FloridaCoastalorbust » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:32 pm

1. How did you motivate yourself to go through this again? I understand fear of unemployment is a big one but there has to be something more that drives you to study for this b**** a third time.
Wanted more scholarship money, realizing that debt sucks.

2. How were you able to convince yourself that you could do better than your test performance (especially for those who saw their score dip on the 2nd take)
Simply knowing I hadn't hit my full potential.

3.How long of a break before the 2nd and the 3rd test?
Oct, Dec

4.How long did you prepare for?
From 2-3, several months

5.What was your strategy this time around? How was it different from the first time and the second time (if at all)?
I knew I wasn't hitting my potential and knew something had to change. Most significantly, I changed my mental outlook. After my second retake I was accepted at an MVPB and retook the third time because I wanted a scholly. Going into the test I completely rearranged my studying. Because I had already "mastered" the various sections/questions of the LSAT, I started taking maybe one PT/week. It was quite low stress. I would go out 4 nights a week. In fact, I remember going to the bar the night before my highest score. To me this is important. Primarily, it demonstrates that you need to be mentally comfortable taking the LSAT. Often, you'll read forums about what kind of food to eat, when to wake up, when to study, etc. Throw this all out. Do what makes YOU comfortable, especially after you master the fundamentals.

6.How did three tests affect your admission cycle? Do you feel admins view multiple retakes negatively?
I was given a slightly lower scholly than those with my same score. The reason for this was, IMO, because I had a retake. This is anecdotal, but still good evidence that t14s don't favor individuals with multiple LSATs like they do those with only one.

7.How did three retakes affect your scholarship chances, if at all? Did you notice any negative trends in this regard?
I was offered $5k/year less than every individual with my highest LSAT score, due to (presumably) my retakes.

8.Any miscellaneous thoughts / advice / whatever you’d like to share
Just relax. Get your life back. And get in a good spot mentally for the LSAT. TLS is so masochistic. Don't get sucked in to the pressure on test day.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, some of those questions will fall your way and some won't. I missed 6 on LG, where I had averaged -1 for my last 20 PTs. I think about it too much. But you can't do anything about it, so let it go.

User avatar
marlborofillet
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:12 am

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby marlborofillet » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:06 pm

1. I felt like a failure; not breaking into the 170s haunted me.

2. My first two tests were 5 points lower than my pt average. I knew that at least a few of those points were due to testday anxiety.

3. Dec 11 - June 12

4. In preparation for my first test, I took a five / sex section practice test five days a week. For the second two I studied for roughly five hours by reviewing past errors whenever I felt like it.

5. My strategy: sit back and relax. As noted, I didn't spend more than five hours preparing. I had already been accepted into a program I was excited about with more than half of my tuition covered. I rolled into the test center with a completely different mindset. This wasn't about sinking or swimming; it was about getting more money. It worked.

6. I used my most recent score to leverage even more money from a T-20.

7. See above.

8. Live long and prosper.

edit: Sorry, y'all. I didn't want to out myself.

User avatar
espressocream
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 12:51 am

Re: Calling all past and potential THREE TIME LSAT TAKERS...

Postby espressocream » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:08 am

So for those of us who have the foundations and just need to drill, drill, drill - when are you guys planning to start studying?
I know personally that I can't start until late July - I will burn out.

Classes start Sept 10 for me, so I'm thinking I'll work on PS, Why X and other app materials till then?

Thoughts on this?




Return to “LSAT Prep and Discussion Forum”