154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

bogydog
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154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby bogydog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:16 pm

I'm taking the LSAT in February really hoping to go to UW-Madison in the fall and my friend thought I was crazy for thinking of going into it cold, so just to be on the safe side I just spent pretty much the whole past weekend taking practice tests. The first three (154, 154, 157) really made me nervous, since Madison's median is 162... I've always been good at standardized tests (top 1%) and especially like logic, so I have to say I was a little shocked to see such low scores. They were all from the 2013 LSAT book from my school's library. After I took all the tests in that book, I moved to the 2012, and got a 171. Has the LSAT really gotten that much harder over the past year? Or would I have gotten that much better just from 3 practice tests? Or are the books flawed in some way?
Then the 166 was from the free 2007 test on the LSAC website, and honestly is more or less what I would have expected to get. I'd like to believe that score is the most representative of what I'll get on the actual LSAT...but I'm not sure since it is so much older.

Can someone explain this to me? I'm pretty sure the 2007 and 2012 tests were actually way easier and it wasn't just random luck or improving as I went along...but if they really are that much harder in 2013 I guess I'll probably have to skip my track meet and not watch the Superbowl this weekend and study like crazy before the 9th....

Thanks!! :)

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby StylinNProfilin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:19 pm

when you say 2013 and 2012 books, were these actual practices tests from June/Oct/Dec 2012 and 2011?

bogydog
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby bogydog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:21 pm

They're from the McGraw-Hill book... does that mean they're not actual and just written by the textbook company? Because that might explain a lot, but still that's quite a discrepancy from 2012 to 2013...

Theopliske8711
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:22 pm

Yea, don't take Preptests from a book. Check to make sure they haven't "adapted" the questions in anyway. You should just take actual LSAT Preptests.

bogydog
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby bogydog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:31 pm

Okay, so the books are junk. I guess that's encouraging!

But does anyone know if the LSAT has actually gotten harder since 2007?

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:31 pm

Theopliske8711 wrote:Yea, don't take Preptests from a book. Check to make sure they haven't "adapted" the questions in anyway. You should just take actual LSAT Preptests.

This is the best advice. Buy the tests from Amazon or get them used for cheaper.

Also, is this the only studying you're planning on doing?

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:33 pm

bogydog wrote:Okay, so the books are junk. I guess that's encouraging!

But does anyone know if the LSAT has actually gotten harder since 2007?

I think RC has gotten harder and they've thrown in a few weird game types in recent years if memory serves, but the test is graded so that a 170 on one test equals a 170 on any other test. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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objection_your_honor
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby objection_your_honor » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:34 pm

The consensus is no, not really. Very minor changes in style but the difficulty has remained the same.

Theopliske8711
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:36 pm

I'm not saying they are, but since you mentioned McGraw-Hill..

As for difficulty, the change since 07 hasn't been too noticeable. Tests from the 50s and 60s are rather similar, perhaps they may have changed a bit since they 60s, but on the whole I don't think it's too great. Here or there the curve changes a bit, which may explain the difference in score. The difference is more noticeable between the 20s and 50s/60s than between the 50s and 60s. It's hard to measure these things.

The RC starts to change once they started with the dual passages, and many have commented that they have become more difficult (especially the latter).

bogydog
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby bogydog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:39 pm

Well, I really want to go to UW-Madison. I would be willing to do more studying if there's a chance I wouldn't get in, but I'd rather not skip the track meet/superbowl if I don't have to. I like the games, but the reading is already the worst part so I hope it's not significantly worse than the 2007 test.

If I bought those books on Amazon, they might not even get here in time at this point... I'll have to check the public library since my school library didn't have anything like that.

Thanks everyone! Good to know I don't have to put too much stock in those first low scores.

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RhymesLikeDimes
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby RhymesLikeDimes » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:23 pm

Are you timing yourself properly? A lot of people who wait until the last minute to study don't bother with the 35 minute time limit, then get mauled on test day. 166 untimed could be a <140 on the real thing.

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:36 pm

bogydog wrote:Well, I really want to go to UW-Madison. I would be willing to do more studying if there's a chance I wouldn't get in, but I'd rather not skip the track meet/superbowl if I don't have to. I like the games, but the reading is already the worst part so I hope it's not significantly worse than the 2007 test.

If I bought those books on Amazon, they might not even get here in time at this point... I'll have to check the public library since my school library didn't have anything like that.

Thanks everyone! Good to know I don't have to put too much stock in those first low scores.

Hold on, when are you planning on taking the LSAT? February? And you haven't really studied? And you're not willing to skip the superbowl or a track meet to study? If you study hard and do amazing on the LSAT you can go to UW Madison for free, bro. Or like, Harvard? No? Ok.

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:38 pm

bogydog wrote:I'm taking the LSAT in February really hoping to go to UW-Madison in the fall and my friend thought I was crazy for thinking of going into it cold, so just to be on the safe side I just spent pretty much the whole past weekend taking practice tests. The first three (154, 154, 157) really made me nervous, since Madison's median is 162... I've always been good at standardized tests (top 1%) and especially like logic, so I have to say I was a little shocked to see such low scores. They were all from the 2013 LSAT book from my school's library. After I took all the tests in that book, I moved to the 2012, and got a 171. Has the LSAT really gotten that much harder over the past year? Or would I have gotten that much better just from 3 practice tests? Or are the books flawed in some way?
Then the 166 was from the free 2007 test on the LSAC website, and honestly is more or less what I would have expected to get. I'd like to believe that score is the most representative of what I'll get on the actual LSAT...but I'm not sure since it is so much older.

Can someone explain this to me? I'm pretty sure the 2007 and 2012 tests were actually way easier and it wasn't just random luck or improving as I went along...but if they really are that much harder in 2013 I guess I'll probably have to skip my track meet and not watch the Superbowl this weekend and study like crazy before the 9th....

Thanks!! :)

You are crazy. Postpone until June and study your ass off. This could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. PLEASE. Your future self will thank you so much.

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:40 pm

What is your GPA?

Edit: are you a URM?

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DoveBodyWash
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby DoveBodyWash » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:51 pm

francesfarmer wrote:You are crazy. Postpone until June and study your ass off. This could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. PLEASE. Your future self will thank you so much.


+10000

The financially/professionally responsible thing to do is to take some time off, invest some real time into prep and apply in the next cycle. Whether or not you have a low/high GPA or are/are not URM, having a higher LSAT and applying earlier will IMMENSELY improve your options, and thus improve your financial position and career prospects. Taking a year off isn't so bad =P.

Applying after the February LSAT is risky even when you have a great LSAT.

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feralinfant
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby feralinfant » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:52 pm

you should absolutely study. if you usually finish top 1% on standardized tests you should be able to clear 170 w/o too much work.

and mcgraw hill books are absolute garbage. I found the princeton review books to be a little helpful but the best thing is to carefully work over actual tests you order from LSAC.

seriously this could be worth so much money to you. don't take the feb. lsat. postpone till june and start studying in april/may.

ETA: Why are you fixated on UW-Madison? I suggest spending some time on this site and Law School Transparency looking at what job prospects are like at various schools and you'll start to understand why even if you go to UW-Madison you're going to want as little debt as possible and the way to do that is crush the LSAT.

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h_jane_w
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby h_jane_w » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:55 pm

God aren't you guys sick of like, BEGGING this people to re-think and re-take. Gonna go to buzz feed now.

DUDE. If you get a better score, you can go to T10, or go to Madison and get a HUGE scholarship, money. thousands of dollars. Please take the LSAT in June.

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:57 pm

h_jane_w wrote:God aren't you guys sick of like, BEGGING this people to re-think and re-take. Gonna go to buzz feed now.

DUDE. If you get a better score, you can go to T10, or go to Madison and get a HUGE scholarship, money. thousands of dollars. Please take the LSAT in June.

We don't know if OP will be stubborn yet :)

bogydog
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby bogydog » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:02 pm

Yikes okay well yes I timed myself, no I'm not a URM, GPA 4.0, and before you ask, I majored in Spanish at a small liberal arts school in WI.

Yes I'm taking it in February, and I haven't studied other than what I posted. Honestly I'm not sure how much good studying would even do because looking back on all the questions I missed, other than maybe 2 questions it was mostly just stupid mistakes like skipping over the word "not" in questions and stuff like that...

I never really looked into schools besides Madison, it just seems like a good school which I assumed would also be the best financial option for me as a WI resident. I thought that public schools don't give out very much merit-based financial aid, but maybe that's mainly for undergrad? Anyway while yeah there's a slight chance I could go to Harvard or something, it just seems a little too pretentious for me. Yeah getting a 160k/year job at a big firm sounds a little exciting, but don't think I want my life to revolve around my job.

Anyway let's say I wait until June to test. What do I do all year in the meantime? Actually I would LOVE to do some kind of volunteering/teaching ESL or something like that, but I would have to start looking into it right away. It would also be nice to be 21 when I start law school...

But from a purely financial perspective, I'm not too sure it makes sense. I'll round tuition to 15k/year. Let's say I wait until June to take the test and get an extra 5k/year from a higher score. So for 3 years of law school, I pay 30k total. Let's say I can also earn 15k working from August-May since I would't be in school this coming school year. So in the 4 year span, I'm -15k.
Now let's say I take the test in February and forfeit that extra 5k/year I could *possibly* have gotten taking it later. So I'm down 45k for tuition. Let's say I get a 50k/year paying job right away, so for the 4 year span, I'm +5k. Does that make sense?

Keep throwing advice and opinions at me if you have any!! I don't really have anyone to go to so I'm glad I stumbled onto this forum.

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Zoomie
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby Zoomie » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:20 pm

Umm, you aren't willing to skip the superbowl to study for a test you are taking in a week and a half that could mean in/out, money/no money. Smh....my advice, watch the Super Bowl. Forget about law school.

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:23 pm

http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/

Check out Madison's employment numbers from 2011. The website I would refer you to--lawschooltransparency.com--is being buggy for me right now, so I'll refer you to the ABA. For the class of 2011, 63% of Madison's graduates got full time jobs as lawyers. 10 of those people went into solo practice, which as a recent graduate is extremely volatile in terms of pay. 37 of those people are in firms of 2-10 attorneys, where chances are very high they are making under $50k a year. Taking that into consideration, there is a 44% chance of you having a favorable outcome from UW Madison. Would you bet $50,000 on a 44% chance of a favorable outcome? Would you be taking loans out for cost of living as well as tuition?

You should absolutely take the June LSAT and volunteer during your year off. It will do nothing but good things for your future. With a 4.0 and your natural test-taking ability, the sky is the limit. You could be looking at Harvard, Yale or Stanford (which give only need-based aid, so they may end up costing you less than you think), or a better school in your region with a huge scholarship. Don't limit yourself.

This is a compilation of admissions stats where you can see where people have gotten in in the past (and what money they've gotten) based on manipulating the numbers:

http://myLSN.info/t001g4

Note that no one (on the website this site pulls data from--lawschoolnumbers.com) with a 4.0 and a 170 has gone to UW-Madison.

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:25 pm

Zoomie wrote:Umm, you aren't willing to skip the superbowl to study for a test you are taking in a week and a half that could mean in/out, money/no money. Smh....my advice, watch the Super Bowl. Forget about law school.

Or this. If you can't take your future seriously (in this economy even) you should wait. I'm going to make a blanket statement and say 21 is too young to go to law school. I am thankful every day that I didn't go to law school when I was 20.

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TripTrip
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby TripTrip » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:37 pm

Oh god OP. Take June. Spend the meantime on this site until you understand why we're telling you to wait until June.

Then enjoy T6.

Here's the schools you can go to if you break into the 99th percentile: http://myLSN.info/w3r5ha

Many you'll get for free.

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francesfarmer
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby francesfarmer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:41 pm

TripTrip wrote:Oh god OP. Take June. Spend the meantime on this site until you understand why we're telling you to wait until June.

Then enjoy T6.

Here's the schools you can go to if you break into the 99th percentile: http://myLSN.info/w3r5ha

Many you'll get for free.

This!

170 is 97th percentile, isn't it? (this is me pretending like I don't know as a retaker who went 170-->172 :oops: )

Theopliske8711
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Re: 154, 154, 157, 171, 166.... what's going on??

Postby Theopliske8711 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:42 pm

TripTrip wrote:Oh god OP. Take June. Spend the meantime on this site until you understand why we're telling you to wait until June.

Then enjoy T6.

Here's the schools you can go to if you break into the 99th percentile: http://myLSN.info/w3r5ha

Many you'll get for free.


So even if you have a 4.0 and 180, you only have a 30% shot at Yale and 50% shot at Stanford? :shock:




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