Unrealistic Expectations?

ashore333
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Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby ashore333 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:31 pm

I'm taking the June LSAT tomorrow, and I'm curious about whether my expectations are off.

I've been lurking these boards on and off since last year, and I'm already aware that in order to get a score in the highest percentiles it's important to put in a good month's worth of daily practice. However, I'm content to attend a regional state school with a partial scholarship (I have less than 2K of undergraduate debt, just a loan my parents told me I should take out and make some payments on to start building credit, so taking on 50K or so doesn't seem like the end of the world to me). I'm also expecting considerable help from my family in terms of living expenses (my parents will be paying for rent/room and board, health insurance, transportation, etc.). The biglaw environment doesn't appeal to me at all, and I base this opinion on the kids I know that have graduated from law school recently and gone on to work for huge firms. Nothing at all against those who do want to work for such firms -- it simply isn't my ambition.

Nonetheless, though I've studied Kaplan prep books covering the three multiple choice sections of the test, I have only done a couple timed practice tests, and the posters here seem to emphasize that test day scores tend to dip from practice test levels. As someone who has never had any problems with test-day anxiety harming my performance, I don't think this would apply to me, but I would appreciate it if anyone would share their experiences with this issue. Is it peculiar to the LSAT? Does it just depend on the individual? Does it depend on preparednes? Basically, should I expect to walk out tomorrow with a 155? Anything around 160 would satisfy me, and my practice scores so far have been just above that.

My UGPA, for reference, is above 3.9 - it may be closer to 4.0 with A+ grades factored in, of which I've received at least one every semester - so I'm not worried about offsetting a low GPA.

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dowu
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby dowu » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:35 pm

ashore333 wrote:I'm taking the June LSAT tomorrow, and I'm curious about whether my expectations are off.

I've been lurking these boards on and off since last year, and I'm already aware that in order to get a score in the highest percentiles it's important to put in a good month's worth of daily practice. However, I'm content to attend a regional state school with a partial scholarship (I have less than 2K of undergraduate debt, just a loan my parents told me I should take out and make some payments on to start building credit, so taking on 50K or so doesn't seem like the end of the world to me). I'm also expecting considerable help from my family in terms of living expenses (my parents will be paying for rent/room and board, health insurance, transportation, etc.). The biglaw environment doesn't appeal to me at all, and I base this opinion on the kids I know that have graduated from law school recently and gone on to work for huge firms. Nothing at all against those who do want to work for such firms -- it simply isn't my ambition.

Nonetheless, though I've studied Kaplan prep books covering the three multiple choice sections of the test, I have only done a couple timed practice tests, and the posters here seem to emphasize that test day scores tend to dip from practice test levels. As someone who has never had any problems with test-day anxiety harming my performance, I don't think this would apply to me, but I would appreciate it if anyone would share their experiences with this issue. Is it peculiar to the LSAT? Does it just depend on the individual? Does it depend on preparednes? Basically, should I expect to walk out tomorrow with a 155? Anything around 160 would satisfy me, and my practice scores so far have been just above that.

My UGPA, for reference, is above 3.9 - it may be closer to 4.0 with A+ grades factored in, of which I've received at least one every semester - so I'm not worried about offsetting a low GPA.

If you're PTing around where you need to be, then theres a good chance that you'll score around that area. Whether it's above or below is all about how you perform on game day.

However, you shouldn't sell yourself short. You should absolutely retake it if you don't break 165. I know 50k doesn't seem like a lot, but it will be once those bills come rollin through. I think a better goal for you would be to have zero debt coming out of law school. Now how awesome would that be?

P.S., good luck tomorrow. You can always retake if you don't perform, so don't let those nerves get to you.

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chuckbass
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby chuckbass » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:37 pm

Anyone on these boards will tell you to aim higher. With that GPA every school is in play depending on your LSAT score. Even if you don't want biglaw, why not go to a top school with a big scholarship and have a better shot at whatever sort of job you want.

bananapeanutbutter
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:40 pm

Whatever you decide on doing, now shouldn't be the time. You should get sleep for tomorrow.

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chuckbass
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby chuckbass » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:42 pm

bananapeanutbutter wrote:Whatever you decide on doing, now shouldn't be the time. You should get sleep for tomorrow.

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dowu
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby dowu » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:45 pm

scotth724 wrote:
bananapeanutbutter wrote:Whatever you decide on doing, now shouldn't be the time. You should get sleep for tomorrow.

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Tekrul
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby Tekrul » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:47 pm

Edited. Your test is tomorrow. Don't want to say anything to put you off your game tonight. Good luck on the test.

If I remember I'll come back and put back what I originally wrote.

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Jeffort
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby Jeffort » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:48 pm

scotth724 wrote:Anyone on these boards will tell you to aim higher. With that GPA every school is in play depending on your LSAT score. Even if you don't want biglaw, why not go to a top school with a big scholarship and have a better shot at whatever sort of job you want.


100% this^

OP, you should aim much higher and put in a bunch of time to prepare more extensively for the LSAT than you have so far. It sounds like you haven't prepared that much for the test and are not nearly as fluent with it as you could be given more and better prep. It would be a shame to waste a near perfect GPA with an LSAT score that is significantly below where you could otherwise score if you were more motivated and better prepared. Even though you are not motivated by and shooting for big law does not mean that your future legal career would not be better and have more opportunities if you get a better LSAT score and go to a better law school than you can with a 160ish score.

Even though you have a good comfortable situation going forward financially with parental help to avoid lots of debt, it is still hard to get a good job after law school, big law or not, if you don't graduate from a highly ranked school.

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sublime
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby sublime » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:52 pm

..

ashore333
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby ashore333 » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:54 pm

Thanks for the good wishes, guys. I'll take the advice and come back to the topic tomorrow.

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crestor
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby crestor » Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:59 pm

Good luck too tmw OP.. I'm in same boat taking test tmw thatnis

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Jeffort
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby Jeffort » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:03 am

Seriously guys?? Have all TLS regulars with wisdom and LSAT smarts gone to bed already or something?

A poster with a 3.9 gpa planning on taking the test tomorrow after studying for only one month with a Kaplan book, only took a few practice tests with a 155-160ish PT range and everyone is saying get some sleep and do your best tomorrow? Am I on the right TLS site?? Geeze, over the last few days the board has been encouraging a few people to postpone that have been scoring high 160s/low 170s because not consistently hitting 173+ enough times on PTs but the advice an LSAT novice with a 3.9 and 155-160 range gets is 'get some sleep, hope you hit your goal'?? WTF???

OP, if you take the test tomorrow and score 160 or below (likely since that is your range with only one month of limited self-prep and a few practice tests) you will regret your decision over the next few months as you put together your applications and figure out which schools are and are not within your reach (which would be with your GPA and a higher score) with that score. You may not be motivated much past 160 right now but the more research you do about going to law school and career prospects after LS and how much they depend on the rank of the school you attend over the next few months, the more you will realize that you really do want (or rationally should want) a higher score and get motivated to prep more seriously unless you are totally satisfied with mediocrity and not doing your best.
Last edited by Jeffort on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sublime
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby sublime » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:11 am

..

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Jeffort
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby Jeffort » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:14 am

sublime wrote:
Jeffort wrote:Seriously guys?? Have all TLS regulars with wisdom and LSAT smarts gone to bed already or something?

A poster with a 3.9 gpa planning on taking the test tomorrow after studying for only one month with a Kaplan book, only took a few practice tests with a 155-160ish PT range and everyone is saying get some sleep and do your best tomorrow? Am I on the right TLS site?? Geeze, over the last few days the board has been encouraging a few people to postpone that have been scoring high 160s/low 170s because not consistently hitting 173+ enough times on PTs but the advice an LSAT novice with a 3.9 and 155-160 range gets is 'get some sleep, hope you hit your goal'?? WTF???



13 hours before the test is past the point to begin the "should I take this test" debate. Regardless, he is likely going to take it tomorrow, and I do sincerely hope he does well. However, the chances are that he will struggle, hopefully be persuaded to cancel the score, and then do a solid amount of prep in order to write in October.

While I think you are right in your ideas, pragmatically, this is not the time.


True, no time for debate and extended discussion of all the reasons OP should consider. Soo, just time for a last minute big hail mary piece of advice/command to OP: DO NOT TAKE the test tomorrow, trust me, you'll thank me later. If you do take it, plan on most likely cancelling the score if you decide you want better than a 160. We can talk about all the reasons later.

magickware
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby magickware » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:16 am

How are you satisfied with a 160 LSAT score when you have a 4.0 GPA?

In what world does that make sense at all?

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Jeffort
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby Jeffort » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:18 am

magickware wrote:How are you satisfied with a 160 LSAT score when you have a 4.0 GPA?

In what world does that make sense at all?


Thank god I'm not the only one thinking that right now!

chadbrochill
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby chadbrochill » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:22 am

I don't think a 160 semi-cold is an unrealistic expectation, but you should be aiming higher. I would not take the test tomorrow in your situation.
Last edited by chadbrochill on Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

magickware
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Re: Unrealistic Expectations?

Postby magickware » Mon Jun 10, 2013 12:27 am

In slightly more detail-

Even if you don't want to go into Big Law, going to a good law school(and conversely getting a good grade there) and having a high LSAT score means you can pretty much get whatever job you want once you graduate from law school. Being content with a 160 score and going to a middle of a run regional school is shooting yourself in the foot.

I find it difficult to believe that someone with a 4.0 gpa wouldn't be driven to do the best they can, whatever they choose. Don't want to go into Big Law? Fine. I don't think most people here do either, but wouldn't you still want to do the best? Going to Big Law isn't the "best" for a law career, after all.




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