Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

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bobbypin
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Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby bobbypin » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:37 am

I have had a rough year personally. I was planning on taking the June LSAT but pushed it to October because of personal issues. I have contemplated not taking October's test either but since there is no refund and the school I would like to attend only takes the highest score upon retake, I've got nothing more to lose.

Prior to the June test, I took a full Powerscore class online. I constantly was able to answer questions in all of the sections correctly even under some time constraints. During the class, I was able to see or work out what the answer should be. However, when it comes to prep-tests, I suck. My cold diagnostic was a 150. I have taken 2 other tests, PT 62 and PT 66. I scored 155 and 154 respectively. The difference between my diagnostic and my other tests is LG. I have learned some skills for tackling the games. With a 3.3 GPA, I need at least a 160 to attend my local law school. For any hope of $$, I was aiming for a 165.

For PT 66 (June 2012): -8 RC, -8 LR, -9 LG (didn't even get to the last game), -13 LR.

I'm drilling on my LG, still trying to improve my inference making. I took 7sage's advice and have made 10 copies of sets of LG that I have completed. I am drilling these this week. Started this weekend. I know that in order to improve my LG score, I need to be able to finish the section on time.

But are there any quick and dirty tips for improving LR? I scored my test to determine what types of questions I am missing. There doesn't seem to be a pattern across the 3 tests I have taken. With one exception, at least three of the questions I got wrong, I narrowed the answer choice down to 2 and chose the wrong answer.

One last thing, the PS method does not work for me. What other LR resources are online that are different?
Any tips or constructive suggestions are welcome. TIA!

ncc5
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby ncc5 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:04 am

I always found slowing down when you are stuck between two answer choices helped in LR. Make sure that you can argue (in your head) why the answer you choose is correct AND the answer you didn't pick is wrong. If you can't do both, you are either choosing the wrong answer or aren't thinking of the question in the appropriate way. That should gain you an easy +2 per LR.
Last edited by ncc5 on Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby Nova » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:25 am

With one exception, at least three of the questions I got wrong, I narrowed the answer choice down to 2 and chose the wrong answer.


When you get down to 2 choices, try figuring out which answer choice is wrong, rather than which choice is right.

TBH, you are not prepared to take the test in October. In all likelihood, you wont magically jump from the 60th percentile to the 80th by Saturday. 3 PTs is a joke. Put in the work. TAKE MORE PTs & read this, viewtopic.php?f=6&t=396

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boblawlob
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby boblawlob » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:28 am

Don't take the LSAT. PT 66 LGs was easy in my opinion. I've seen much worse.


I'm (or I've been) on the same boat as you.

I took the LSAT the first time with a great understanding of LG but everywhere else I had a very rudimentary understanding and scored in the 150s (ran out of time on LG). 2nd time around I had a slightly improved understanding of LR and I still scored in the 150s (even with an improved LG score).


I deeply regret taking it the first time. 2nd time, well I was in a time and place where I just had to.

Don't sell yourself short. Don't take the October test. Purchase/Download Cambridge Logic Games organized by Game Type. And drill.

And take more tests. My cold diagnostic was lower than yours and I'm PTing much higher than you are at the moment. Honestly if you put in some more work, you could score easily 165+.

afitouri
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby afitouri » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:45 am

Well, I took the Powerscore logic games stuff, and it was *very* effective for me.

The logic reasoning was semi-effective, but the Manhattan combined with it took it to the next level.

Maybe you need to review the books before taking another PT.

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cahwc12
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:58 pm

Stories like these are beginning to affirm my belief that for almost everyone, a prep course is a stupendous waste of money.

I stumbled upon another prep class that was reviewing the other day for a top prep company and my heart went out to these people who had shelled out each north of $1000 and they couldn't solve a basic 3-4 minute game in less than 10 minutes, and couldn't solve a pretty straightforward parallel flaw question except after what seemed like 10-15 minutes of group discussion.

I think this is a failure of people to realize (or prep companies to convey) that a prep class is not analogous to a social science course. You can't sit there, pay attention, then study a little and get a top score.

A prep class (and even a tutor) are to supplement your PERSONAL PREP.

As has already been said, taking 3 PTs is a joke around here. Many would say you haven't really done any prep at all. Learning how to solve questions on a board one at a time or a game at a time when you know the type in advance does NOT translate to LSAT success, which is almost certainly the reason for your failures.

You need to take real PTs in timed conditions, review them thoroughly, and find/eliminate any and all weaknesses you find.




I don't think there is a marked difference between a W and a C, but honestly since you can't get your money back, I would recommend taking and then cancelling your score at the test center. Take it, do the absolute best you can, and then fill in the two bubbles on your answer sheet that indicates you are cancelling your score. Doing this will help take the pressure off when you take it in the future.

You can just say that you were sick or had a migraine or even nothing at all.... no admissions committee will deny you for a cancelled score.

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naillsat
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby naillsat » Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:35 pm

cahwc12 wrote:Stories like these are beginning to affirm my belief that for almost everyone, a prep course is a stupendous waste of money.

I stumbled upon another prep class that was reviewing the other day for a top prep company and my heart went out to these people who had shelled out each north of $1000 and they couldn't solve a basic 3-4 minute game in less than 10 minutes, and couldn't solve a pretty straightforward parallel flaw question except after what seemed like 10-15 minutes of group discussion.

I think this is a failure of people to realize (or prep companies to convey) that a prep class is not analogous to a social science course. You can't sit there, pay attention, then study a little and get a top score.

A prep class (and even a tutor) are to supplement your PERSONAL PREP.

As has already been said, taking 3 PTs is a joke around here. Many would say you haven't really done any prep at all. Learning how to solve questions on a board one at a time or a game at a time when you know the type in advance does NOT translate to LSAT success, which is almost certainly the reason for your failures.

You need to take real PTs in timed conditions, review them thoroughly, and find/eliminate any and all weaknesses you find.




I don't think there is a marked difference between a W and a C, but honestly since you can't get your money back, I would recommend taking and then cancelling your score at the test center. Take it, do the absolute best you can, and then fill in the two bubbles on your answer sheet that indicates you are cancelling your score. Doing this will help take the pressure off when you take it in the future.

You can just say that you were sick or had a migraine or even nothing at all.... no admissions committee will deny you for a cancelled score.


A cancellation after taking it may rid of OP's chance of retaking, if ever needed. I would suggest a cancellation before the midnight of the October test day.

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cahwc12
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:29 pm

naillsat wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:Stories like these are beginning to affirm my belief that for almost everyone, a prep course is a stupendous waste of money.

I stumbled upon another prep class that was reviewing the other day for a top prep company and my heart went out to these people who had shelled out each north of $1000 and they couldn't solve a basic 3-4 minute game in less than 10 minutes, and couldn't solve a pretty straightforward parallel flaw question except after what seemed like 10-15 minutes of group discussion.

I think this is a failure of people to realize (or prep companies to convey) that a prep class is not analogous to a social science course. You can't sit there, pay attention, then study a little and get a top score.

A prep class (and even a tutor) are to supplement your PERSONAL PREP.

As has already been said, taking 3 PTs is a joke around here. Many would say you haven't really done any prep at all. Learning how to solve questions on a board one at a time or a game at a time when you know the type in advance does NOT translate to LSAT success, which is almost certainly the reason for your failures.

You need to take real PTs in timed conditions, review them thoroughly, and find/eliminate any and all weaknesses you find.




I don't think there is a marked difference between a W and a C, but honestly since you can't get your money back, I would recommend taking and then cancelling your score at the test center. Take it, do the absolute best you can, and then fill in the two bubbles on your answer sheet that indicates you are cancelling your score. Doing this will help take the pressure off when you take it in the future.

You can just say that you were sick or had a migraine or even nothing at all.... no admissions committee will deny you for a cancelled score.


A cancellation after taking it may rid of OP's chance of retaking, if ever needed. I would suggest a cancellation before the midnight of the October test day.


You can test three times in two years, but you're right that that is something to consider.

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bobbypin
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby bobbypin » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:34 pm

I understand that you think that 3 PT is pathetic. Ok.
I also understand that you think that I shouldn't take October's test. However, I stated in the OP that I am taking it.

So, my question is this, between now and Saturday, what can I do and what resources can I check out online, to help increase my score?

Telling me to cancel doesn't help.

Thank you.

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cahwc12
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:30 pm

Four different people have given you the same advice--take more PTs and comprehensively review them.

Being pigheaded and defensive isn't going to increase your score, nor is thinking of the LSAT with a "last minute" approach. You asked for advice and everyone in this thread has given it to you. The questions you ask get asked almost every day and the same answers can be found in almost every thread.


Put in the requisite work and you'll have a hard time NOT getting the score you want. The work for you requires doing many more than 3 PTs and comprehensively reviewing each PT after you finish it.

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buddyt
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby buddyt » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:31 pm

bobbypin wrote:I understand that you think that 3 PT is pathetic. Ok.
I also understand that you think that I shouldn't take October's test. However, I stated in the OP that I am taking it.

So, my question is this, between now and Saturday, what can I do and what resources can I check out online, to help increase my score?

Telling me to cancel doesn't help.

Thank you.


No resource exists that will help you to improve your score by the amount that you want within the time frame that you want. By taking the test this Saturday you are doing yourself a huge disservice and selling yourself immeasurably short. I got a 157 in June 2011, retook in October and got a 161, applied and even got into my top choice (state school), but deferred. Now I've sat out a year, gained a year of full-time professional work experience, and I'm PTing fairly consistenly in the 170s. If I perform on Saturday, I will likely go to that same state school for free. Sitting out a cycle was a very, very good decision, and it is the same for almost everyone who isn't PTing at their target score.

To answer your question, the best you can do at this point to improve your score between now and Saturday is drill your weak areas in these five remaining days. No special "resource" is needed, just drill and take a PT or two.

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boblawlob
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby boblawlob » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:44 pm

cahwc12 wrote:Stories like these are beginning to affirm my belief that for almost everyone, a prep course is a stupendous waste of money.

I stumbled upon another prep class that was reviewing the other day for a top prep company and my heart went out to these people who had shelled out each north of $1000 and they couldn't solve a basic 3-4 minute game in less than 10 minutes, and couldn't solve a pretty straightforward parallel flaw question except after what seemed like 10-15 minutes of group discussion.

I think this is a failure of people to realize (or prep companies to convey) that a prep class is not analogous to a social science course. You can't sit there, pay attention, then study a little and get a top score.

A prep class (and even a tutor) are to supplement your PERSONAL PREP.

As has already been said, taking 3 PTs is a joke around here. Many would say you haven't really done any prep at all. Learning how to solve questions on a board one at a time or a game at a time when you know the type in advance does NOT translate to LSAT success, which is almost certainly the reason for your failures.

You need to take real PTs in timed conditions, review them thoroughly, and find/eliminate any and all weaknesses you find.




I don't think there is a marked difference between a W and a C, but honestly since you can't get your money back, I would recommend taking and then cancelling your score at the test center. Take it, do the absolute best you can, and then fill in the two bubbles on your answer sheet that indicates you are cancelling your score. Doing this will help take the pressure off when you take it in the future.

You can just say that you were sick or had a migraine or even nothing at all.... no admissions committee will deny you for a cancelled score.


I've taken 2 prep courses by two different companies and I've learned the most about the LSAT from the 6 months of self prep that I did on my own.

Prep courses are good crash courses for the LSAT. But they won't sufficiently help you get to the elite scores if you don't put in a lot more extra work.

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IAFG
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby IAFG » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:46 pm

boblawlob wrote:I've taken 2 prep courses by two different companies and I've learned the most about the LSAT from the 6 months of self prep that I did on my own.

Prep courses are good crash courses for the LSAT. But they won't sufficiently help you get to the elite scores if you don't put in a lot more extra work.

I agree with this. Prep courses are a great place to start, and I am very glad I took mine (Powerscore). But it wasn't anywhere near enough. Far from it, I needed many more months of independent prep and PT-taking. I took a year to prep, in total. I could have done it in 6 months if I'd had better focus and discipline, but not less.

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Cerebro
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby Cerebro » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:36 pm

1. Stop freaking out. Freaking out can only hurt your score. Since you've already decided to move forward with the test on Saturday, just accept the fact that you'll probably get a subpar score and try to be at peace with it.

2. You still have a few days left before the test, so you should try to get a handle on the types of questions that trip you up the most. You won't be able to do all the questions perfectly, but if you can master one or two more concepts between now and Saturday morning, this may make the difference between a -38 and a -35 or better.

3. Bone up on your guessing strategy. Since you're undoubtedly having timing issues, don't get stressed out about not finishing a section. Instead, understand the probabilities associated with the correct answer choice letters. How frequently does D appear as the correct answer in the last 5 questions? On the last two questions? On the section as a whole? What about A? B? C? E? If you can guess better than 20% of the correct answer letters, you'll be killing it.

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patel529
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby patel529 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:30 pm

Lots of good advice has already been given, but I thought I'd add one more. LR is my strongest section. I approach the LR section like Ray Allen and Reggie Miller would approach free throw attempts. The questions are similar to free throws in basketball (at least to me). The correct answer is in front of you; you just have to find it. This requires intense focus and you have to block out all the other factors so that you can find the right answer. Don't focus on what number you're on, how many you need to get correct to get score X, or anything else. Focus on the question in front of you. Take each question one at a time.

Just my two cents. Hope it helps you. Good luck!

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby PeanutsNJam » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:36 pm

You took 3 PT's, that's like... 6 hours.

The 180 test taker advice suggests upwards of 40 PT's over several months. That's like... 80 hours. They also mention extensive review of the tests that they take, so make that 140-160 hours. This is also not counting any powerscore bibles or manhattan books they went through. I would give a conservative estimate of 200 hours spent studying over 3 months for many 180 test takers.

They've studied at the very minimum 20x what you have.

You can't raise your score without similar amount of effort accumulated over a long period of time.

Don't give attitude to people who tell you 3 tests is not prep because they're right.

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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby lawyerdude » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:53 pm

If you're getting -38 this late in the game, you need to get 18 more correct to get -20 (~165). This will be EXTREMELY difficult, but not impossible. First, I'd read Dave Hall's thread completely. After adopting his strategy of reading question stem and then carrying out the required task, I jumped up quite a few points. Memorize a list of flaws and look for the gap in every argument.

Additionally, for the next three days, do as many logic games as you can and youtube explanations for the ones you don't get. If each one takes 8 minutes, and an explanation video takes around 12-20, you could probably fit around 3-4 LG sections a day depending on how hardcore you are.

For reading comprehension, google some speed reading methods.

Realistically speaking though, you're probably not going to score a 165, given the additional pressure on test day. However, the above recommendations are the best options you have for the next few days.

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relevantfactor
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby relevantfactor » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:14 pm

This is why the average for the LSAT is around 152. 3 PTs or make it even, like 9 PTs is a joke. My scores started around 150s without prep. After around 400 hours of study(if not more) I'm constantly PTing around 172-178. I have taken more than 40PTs, some I even re-took, and I will tell you that even when I was doing my 10th PT, there was still a lot that I didn't know about the test - and that's a given that I read, outlined, re-read the PS bibles, Manhattan all three books, even took Velocity for LR and went through an used TM book that I bought second-hand. At one point I was doing 100 LR questions + review per day and around 8-12 games. So yeah, if you want to go take the LSAT this coming Saturday, please go ahead and do yourself a favor of scoring low, because you deserve it.
EDIT: Now that I read this again, maybe I was a little too harsh.

In relation to your question:
Try reading the question stem before the stimulus. Might save you some time.

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Psib337
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby Psib337 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:35 pm

I was in your position in June, I wanted 165 and was scoring 155-159...I got a 154. The week before the test I drilled took PTs and I think trying to cram all that information in only made it harder, clearly it didn't result in the score I wanted. It also didn't help that I was in complete panic mode and hoping things would magically click. If you're gonna take I would try to relax and absorb as many of the concepts as you can and try and take more PTs if you have time because its different when all the questions are mixed together, you can't really go on autopilot. I would also say to just be mentally prepared for a retake in December if things don't work out. I was ready for a retake in June, when the score came back I was just like, "Well, I can't say I'm surprised," and then I ordered a bunch of new books and waited for them to come in and went right back to work. However, no matter what schools say about only taking the highest score, now I have to deal with the fact that every school I apply to is going to see a 154 and the only thing I can honestly tell them is, "I just wasn't ready and I'm stubborn." Your best bet would probably be to work on games though, they're easiest to fix and can probably push you into the upper 150s, maybe low 160s depending on how everything else falls into place (like having RC that's not really boring).

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Grond
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby Grond » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:38 pm

OP: when was the last time you reviewed the 81 hours (the 36 hours of class time plus the additional 45 hours of lesson recaps) of archived lectures you have available to you in the Powerscore student center? You still have access to it if your prep course was for the June test. If listening to Dave Killoran explain LR doesn't work for you, I don't know what would.

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bobbypin
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby bobbypin » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:45 am

Grond wrote:OP: when was the last time you reviewed the 81 hours (the 36 hours of class time plus the additional 45 hours of lesson recaps) of archived lectures you have available to you in the Powerscore student center? You still have access to it if your prep course was for the June test. If listening to Dave Killoran explain LR doesn't work for you, I don't know what would.


I've been listening to them for weeks. I've been studying since March. But I have not been putting in 40 hour weeks like many of you. I guess I don't want law school that bad.

Thank you to those of you who were kind in your responses. Contrary to some belief, I was not giving attitude in my previous post. I was just hoping to clarify the purpose of my post. Telling me to skip October's test was a wasted post.

I expect that I will be retaking the test in December. However, since the money is already spent and my top choice of law school takes only the top score on a retake, I have nothing to lose by taking the October test.

I'll take the suggestions given here and do my very best in the test.

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IAFG
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby IAFG » Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:50 am

bobbypin wrote:I guess I don't want law school that bad.

So does that mean you won't go if you don't get into a school with acceptable placement, or that you'll go anyway?

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bobbypin
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby bobbypin » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:08 am

IAFG wrote:
bobbypin wrote:I guess I don't want law school that bad.

So does that mean you won't go if you don't get into a school with acceptable placement, or that you'll go anyway?


I wrote that sentence in frustration. There is only one law school in my town. I cannot move to attend any other. The only way I go to law school is to get into this particular school. It is the biggest in my state and places more graduates than the other schools. It has a part time program. The 25% for LSAT scores is a 157. Lower for part time. With my GPA and my current practice testing score, I'd probably be admitted, for full sticker. I have other softs that help.

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IAFG
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Re: Ok. I'm freaking out. Need advice.

Postby IAFG » Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:44 am

bobbypin wrote:
IAFG wrote:
bobbypin wrote:I guess I don't want law school that bad.

So does that mean you won't go if you don't get into a school with acceptable placement, or that you'll go anyway?


I wrote that sentence in frustration. There is only one law school in my town. I cannot move to attend any other. The only way I go to law school is to get into this particular school. It is the biggest in my state and places more graduates than the other schools. It has a part time program. The 25% for LSAT scores is a 157. Lower for part time. With my GPA and my current practice testing score, I'd probably be admitted, for full sticker. I have other softs that help.

Not everyone should go to law school. Not every state has enough jobs to justify going to law school, even at the best-placing school in the state. There is no law school with a 25th of 157 that is worth paying sticker. You're doing a lot of rationalizing in this post and in this thread. I think you need to step back, think, do some more research on schools and employment and monthly debt payments and alternative careers.




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