Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

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perplexedconfused
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Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

Postby perplexedconfused » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:14 pm

Hello fellow law school hopefuls!

Many years ago, probably 2008-2009, I took the LSAT twice and bombed it, twice (this is after taking the PowerScore prep course and vigorously studying). I scored a 149 and canceled the other score because I knew it was awful (I was scoring in the high 150's and thought I would magically reach my goal of mid 160's on test day). :roll: I blame most of this on test anxiety, but was so frustrated and discouraged that I threw in the towel and stopped prepping for the LSAT altogether and thought maybe I was not destined to be an attorney. After debating if I want to go get my MBA or give law school another crack, I have come to the conclusion that I should follow my law school dreams and I am now starting to study again. I am hoping that the last 3 year hiatus to focus on work will improve my focus and overall studying and LSAT score.

Has anyone else experienced a similar situation or taken a few years off and then succeeded on the LSAT? Has anyone thought of following a different career path due to LSAT discouragement? Any thoughts, recommendations, advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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spicyyoda17
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Re: Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

Postby spicyyoda17 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 10:45 pm

perplexedconfused wrote:Hello fellow law school hopefuls!

Many years ago, probably 2008-2009, I took the LSAT twice and bombed it, twice (this is after taking the PowerScore prep course and vigorously studying). I scored a 149 and canceled the other score because I knew it was awful (I was scoring in the high 150's and thought I would magically reach my goal of mid 160's on test day). :roll: I blame most of this on test anxiety, but was so frustrated and discouraged that I threw in the towel and stopped prepping for the LSAT altogether and thought maybe I was not destined to be an attorney. After debating if I want to go get my MBA or give law school another crack, I have come to the conclusion that I should follow my law school dreams and I am now starting to study again. I am hoping that the last 3 year hiatus to focus on work will improve my focus and overall studying and LSAT score.

Has anyone else experienced a similar situation or taken a few years off and then succeeded on the LSAT? Has anyone thought of following a different career path due to LSAT discouragement? Any thoughts, recommendations, advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!


I took the LSAT summer 2010. During that time, I was struggling with accepting my parents pending separation. I definitely underestimated the negative effect that it had on my focus. I arrogantly and foolishly took the test anyway. The result was 7 points lower than my first practice test. Defiantly, I told myself that maybe it was a sign I shouldn't go to law school. Luckily, I was able to see within a few weeks that I had just been unwilling to accept that I had made a bad decision. I learned a good lesson concerning self-awareness that summer, even if it was hard to swallow at the time.

Earlier this year, after having been working for 1.5 yrs, I decided that I felt like it was still a good choice for me to go to law school, so I took a Kaplan prep course and focused diligently to take the LSAT in June. I was able to perform 8 points higher this summer than 2 years ago. To me, it wasn't so much an affirmation that "yes, I should go to law school," but rather, " yep, I was definitely foolish in taking it 2 years ago."

So with that in mind, you have to think about how this go around will be different than from a few years ago. If you studied rather diligently then and put forth your best effort, you shouldn't expect to see a huge improvement UNLESS your work experience has helped you develop better some skill relevant to the LSAT. If, however, you feel like you could have done better in terms of preparing, then you should jump both feet in and give it a go!

Feel free to PM if you want to discuss further - best of luck!

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aw45
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Re: Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

Postby aw45 » Sun Aug 19, 2012 11:44 pm

I'm in the same boat! Taking the December LSAT and started studying early rather than waiting last minute. Good luck to you.

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ilovelawtays
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Re: Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

Postby ilovelawtays » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:05 am

The first time I took the LSAT was less than a month after I'd recently lost my first "real" job. I think that was 2007.
The second time I took the LSAT was 3 months after some heavy family tragedy type stuff. This was in 2008.

I had no business taking the test, or a prep course, either of those times. Each time it ended up being a huge waste of time and money. I also didn't understand how important and learn-able this test really is. I was also 22, so there's that... :roll:

Anyway, I'm sure you'll see some great improvement this time around. You're hopefully in a better mental place and a little more mature. I've improved 11 points since my June diagnostic, and I promise you I haven't actually gotten smarter in the last six years; I've just become more disciplined, and I am fortunate to have put a lot of the bad stuff behind me. :)

Good luck!

manbear
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:12 pm

Re: Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

Postby manbear » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:08 am

I took the LSAT twice and scored 12 points higher the second time. It sounds like you did a lot of studying, but was it effective studying? Replicating realistic testing conditions, including strictly timing yourself while sitting at an uncomfortable desk in a room lit with florescent lights, is very useful. I also suggest practicing with as many real, released LSATs as possible. I exclusively used the books from LSAC and didn't find any of the strategy books helpful. For me anyway, practicing plain old LSAT questions A LOT helped the most. Try to make the practice as close to the real thing as possible.

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99.9luft
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Re: Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

Postby 99.9luft » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:21 am

agree with everyone above.

with the right focus and discipline, anything is possible.

i've tried to study for this test while working full-time, part-time, not working. I got shiTTTy scores, cancels. I've gone through crazy personal drama in the past several years while I claimed to be studying. and failed. over an over again.

i, just like you, have thought whether all this work (not necessarily all successful work) was/is worth it. Especially in this shit of a law market/economy. i tried to convince myself that an MBA is a better route, but that's just lying to myself, since i know exactly what law school and law jobs entail on a day-to-day basis and I STILL WANT TO DO IT.

IMO, it doesn't matter how much time you take off. If and when you do decide to "turn it on," though, go all out. Think this is the olympics. It doesn't matter how many times you failed to qualify or take the gold. What matter is how you will approach it this time to be the best you can possibly be.

Don't believe the nay-sayers who tell you not to go to LS just because you haven't hit a 170 or because of your sunk costs (years).

Screw everyone. Be true to yourself. Do not give up.

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perplexedconfused
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Re: Retaking the LSAT after taking a few years off...

Postby perplexedconfused » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:45 am

Thank you EVERYONE for your replies. What everyone has said has definitely made me feel better. I do not think my studying several years ago was really studying to the best of my ability. Also, I don't think I was taking the principles I learned and really applied them to the test, but I think this time around I will improve and move forward with my dreams! I especially appreciate someone suggesting "do not give up" as it is so very easy to do that.

"Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed." - Abraham Lincoln




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