Advice needed

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w0w
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Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:45 pm

Advice needed

Postby w0w » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:42 pm

Okay so I have a 3.84 GPA and took the LSAT in June of 2010, which was a year after I graduated. Although I was prepping in the low 170's consistently, I completely choked on LG and scored a 165. I was planning on retaking in October but got a job on a campaign out of state for the midterm election. That job led to what I have been doing since then. During this time I have always planned on retaking the LSAT but the job I have been doing has been consistently demanding and required me to travel a lot. I have studied on and off this whole time and got serious about it again for the June test. I signed up for a class with Testmasters, which I really did just for the built in structure and schedule and access to materials and tips. My score peaked about a month ago in the mid 170's but since then I have been consistently scoring in the high 160's with 170 being my high for the month (three tests ago). I have one more prep test to take (December 2012) before next monday and I would really just like some advice on what you would do in my situation. I am aiming for NYU or Harvard and I think with a score of around 170 I'd have a good shot at NYU with my GPA, the chances at Harvard are much smaller. I know the work experience I have is highly valued by most law schools (esp NYU) and the thing is I feel like im so close to being a much more competitive applicant with just a small score increase but the thought of continuing to study for this test makes me crazy.

I put in a TON of time the last two months and did so much work. Last time I tested I was worried about LG because even though I could answer all the questions correctly, if one game tripped me up (as it did) I would just go WAY over time. Thats not a problem anymore. I'm finishing LG -1 or -0 with 2-5 mins to spare almost every time. My LR range is -6 to -3 pretty much always. Reading comp is whats killing me this time. Which came as a big surprise since it was never an issue in the past. I CAN go -4 to -3 on RC. However, I go -9 to -7 more often than I'd like and if that happens on test day i'm screwed.

In addition to this I plan on applying this fall but will probably end up deferring, so worst case senario I can apply again next year as well. Best case senario I would like to just be accepted and able to relax, continue to work, and pay off some debt the following year.

So here are the questions I have:

1. If I test on Monday, and decide to retest will whatever disadvantage of three scores be offset by the fact that one of them was three years ago?

2. Has anyone dramatically improved RC? I've read a few threads on here and have followed a lot of the tips, which have been helpful. With LG I found that so many of the LG are exactly the same that its become second nature and its easy to anticipate questions. Ive found this is the case with some RC passages as well. Has anyone drilled them to the point that they can anticipate the questions and can fly through them? I'm starting to feel that way every once in a while as some passages I can spot things that I know will be mentioned again but its not as frequent as LG. I'd like to pick up on any pattern that can help with speed and accuracy.

3. Any other general advice is welcome. I'm just kinda unsure of what to do about Monday, although I'm starting to feel a cold (i'm hoping is really just allergies) coming on, so that decision may be made for me.

Sorry about any grammar errors - I am exhausted right now.

Thanks in advance.

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Advice needed

Postby bp shinners » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:30 pm

w0w wrote:I know the work experience I have is highly valued by most law schools (esp NYU) and the thing is I feel like im so close to being a much more competitive applicant with just a small score increase but the thought of continuing to study for this test makes me crazy.


What exactly was your role? Most people have an "inflated" view of how much their work experience will be valued by law schools, more than just lip service.

In addition to this I plan on applying this fall but will probably end up deferring, so worst case senario I can apply again next year as well. Best case senario I would like to just be accepted and able to relax, continue to work, and pay off some debt the following year.


Why apply with the plan of deferring? There are legitimate reasons, but there are usually better reasons to wait it out, especially in this age of steadily decreasing applicants. It'll probably be easier to get in next year.

1. If I test on Monday, and decide to retest will whatever disadvantage of three scores be offset by the fact that one of them was three years ago?


Three tests can be a slight negative, but only if they differ radically in score. If the second is a 171 and the third is a 174, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

2. Has anyone dramatically improved RC? I've read a few threads on here and have followed a lot of the tips, which have been helpful. With LG I found that so many of the LG are exactly the same that its become second nature and its easy to anticipate questions. Ive found this is the case with some RC passages as well. Has anyone drilled them to the point that they can anticipate the questions and can fly through them? I'm starting to feel that way every once in a while as some passages I can spot things that I know will be mentioned again but its not as frequent as LG. I'd like to pick up on any pattern that can help with speed and accuracy.


You can dramatically improve RC by focusing on the passages AND the question types. Most people ignore the latter. And yes, they're very predictable. After teaching the test for 3 years, I can predict most of the questions just from the passage content, and I can answer most questions right without even reading the passage. While the patterns aren't as strong as LG and LR, they're there, and they control a lot of the test.

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w0w
Posts: 570
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:45 pm

Re: Advice needed

Postby w0w » Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:57 pm

bp shinners wrote:
w0w wrote:I know the work experience I have is highly valued by most law schools (esp NYU) and the thing is I feel like im so close to being a much more competitive applicant with just a small score increase but the thought of continuing to study for this test makes me crazy.


What exactly was your role? Most people have an "inflated" view of how much their work experience will be valued by law schools, more than just lip service.



I'm basing this on the fact that one of my past coworkers is currently at NYU and one of the adcoms hand wrote a personal note on his acceptance letter saying that "working at --- is the perfect experience to have before law school." That may just be the case for NYU but I'm guessing if NYU feels that way it at least carries some weight with the other schools in their league. Also at the time he applied he has been on the job for under a year and I will have been doing this work for three years this fall.

In addition to this I plan on applying this fall but will probably end up deferring, so worst case scenario I can apply again next year as well. Best case scenario I would like to just be accepted and able to relax, continue to work, and pay off some debt the following year.


Why apply with the plan of deferring? There are legitimate reasons, but there are usually better reasons to wait it out, especially in this age of steadily decreasing applicants. It'll probably be easier to get in next year.


Mainly because I want to keep the possibility of attending next fall open. I will probably defer but I would like the option to attend if things change.

1. If I test on Monday, and decide to retest will whatever disadvantage of three scores be offset by the fact that one of them was three years ago?


Three tests can be a slight negative, but only if they differ radically in score. If the second is a 171 and the third is a 174, I wouldn't worry too much about it.



Do you think the fact that one is a while ago will bear any weight or not really?

2. Has anyone dramatically improved RC? I've read a few threads on here and have followed a lot of the tips, which have been helpful. With LG I found that so many of the LG are exactly the same that its become second nature and its easy to anticipate questions. Ive found this is the case with some RC passages as well. Has anyone drilled them to the point that they can anticipate the questions and can fly through them? I'm starting to feel that way every once in a while as some passages I can spot things that I know will be mentioned again but its not as frequent as LG. I'd like to pick up on any pattern that can help with speed and accuracy.


You can dramatically improve RC by focusing on the passages AND the question types. Most people ignore the latter. And yes, they're very predictable. After teaching the test for 3 years, I can predict most of the questions just from the passage content, and I can answer most questions right without even reading the passage. While the patterns aren't as strong as LG and LR, they're there, and they control a lot of the test.


Thank you for this advice. I really think that I have room for improvement. I've always been an avid reader with the exception of the last year and its noticeable. Do you have experience with the Manhattan RC book? I've heard good things. Do they go over question types?




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