163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

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AT9
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163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby AT9 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:47 pm

I've seen enough retake threads to know what everyone will ask (and what the answer will likely be). Got a 163 on my first attempt in June, 79 Raw:

LR -4
LG - 8 :shock: (I was getting down to -4 or -5 in PT's -and I felt good about these games, too)
LR - 3
RC -6

My 5-section, test-like condition PT average leading up to the test was about 165.5, with my highest being 167 (highest 4-section, non-test-like condition was a 170 the weekend before the test). All study has been self-study. I began by going through the Bibles last fall (did the questions/examples in the book but no PT's, drilling, etc), took a break during most of December (too much traveling to get anything done...), tried cramming for Feb but decided to pull out, and then did a mixture of drilling, PT's, timed/untimed sections, and reviewing before the June test. Now, I know this is probably where I'll get crucified - I only completed 4 or 5 5-section, test-like condition PT's (once a week) leading up to the test. Those scores ranged between 164 and 167.

So, my actual score isn't way below my PT or anything, but I felt like I did much better on the test than my 163. I was expecting something between 165 and 168. I finally went through my missed questions and was able to get at least 9 of them right. Granted, that was just going through each question individually and un-timed, but it's not like all those missed questions were over my head or something.

I really, really don't want to prepare for the test again. I'm married, have a full-time job, and really didn't enjoy stressing about work AND the LSAT over the past several months. What advice would you share? If you advise a re-take in Oct (plan to apply for 2014), how would you recommend preparing for it? Based on what I've posted, do you think it's likely that my score would make a reasonable increase by October? Or was a 163 more or less spot-on?

Thanks in advance!

Username123
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby Username123 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:12 pm

AT9 wrote:I've seen enough retake threads to know what everyone will ask (and what the answer will likely be). Got a 163 on my first attempt in June, 79 Raw:

LR -4
LG - 8 :shock: (I was getting down to -4 or -5 in PT's -and I felt good about these games, too)
LR - 3
RC -6

My 5-section, test-like condition PT average leading up to the test was about 165.5, with my highest being 167 (highest 4-section, non-test-like condition was a 170 the weekend before the test). All study has been self-study. I began by going through the Bibles last fall (did the questions/examples in the book but no PT's, drilling, etc), took a break during most of December (too much traveling to get anything done...), tried cramming for Feb but decided to pull out, and then did a mixture of drilling, PT's, timed/untimed sections, and reviewing before the June test. Now, I know this is probably where I'll get crucified - I only completed 4 or 5 5-section, test-like condition PT's (once a week) leading up to the test. Those scores ranged between 164 and 167.

So, my actual score isn't way below my PT or anything, but I felt like I did much better on the test than my 163. I was expecting something between 165 and 168. I finally went through my missed questions and was able to get at least 9 of them right. Granted, that was just going through each question individually and un-timed, but it's not like all those missed questions were over my head or something.

I really, really don't want to prepare for the test again. I'm married, have a full-time job, and really didn't enjoy stressing about work AND the LSAT over the past several months. What advice would you share? If you advise a re-take in Oct (plan to apply for 2014), how would you recommend preparing for it? Based on what I've posted, do you think it's likely that my score would make a reasonable increase by October? Or was a 163 more or less spot-on?

Thanks in advance!


I know it sucks to study for a retake, but I think you should really consider it. A 3.8 shows you're intelligent and I think you haven't reached your full LSAT potential until you've reached -0 in games. Think about it, you go -0 in games and you're near a 170 looking at T14.

Take a look at TheNoodleyOne's guide, Pithypike's guide, and DD's guide in this forum and make your study routine based on that. Focus on your weaknesses, drill like a madman, and take a good amount of PTs, all while reviewing correctly where you can understand the reason behind each choice you make (correct and incorrect). With that 3.8, a 163 is an underachievement and I'm sure you know you can do more.

Good luck!

lalalany
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby lalalany » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:14 pm

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Last edited by lalalany on Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

scandk
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby scandk » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:19 pm

AT9 wrote:LG - 8 :shock: (I was getting down to -4 or -5 in PT's -and I felt good about these games, too)


If you felt good about them, but missed 8, did you by any chance skip a bubble towards the end?

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Nova
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby Nova » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:07 pm

Come on, OP. You know the answer.

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ScottRiqui
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby ScottRiqui » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:16 pm

Nova wrote:Come on, OP. You know the answer.


+1

I'm in the same boat as you, OP. I went -8 on LG for a 167 last month. You can't leave those points on the table; "get right" with games and then crush it in October.

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AT9
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby AT9 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:50 pm

Nova wrote:Come on, OP. You know the answer.


But, but....I don't wanna retake!

Seriously, though. My main questions were whether or not you all thought my slight drop was expected and, more importantly, if everyone thinks my score was a pretty accurate picture of my LSAT potential (it seems maybe yes to the former and no to the latter from your responses). I somehow missed question #6 on games....such an easy question and such a stupid mistake cost me a 164 vs. a 163. One question. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to give it a second shot.

Fortunately, my stats should get me into UF and FSU without a problem, which I'd be willing to consider having in-state tuition and all. So, at least I have that to fall back on, which should alleviate some of the pressure in a re-take.

I'm leaning towards re-take, I just don't want to waste time if it looks like I've more or less met my potential. On one hand, I feel like I could (and should) have gotten at least 4-5 more questions right. On the other hand, I've been studying for months and it's not like I was PT'ing in the 170's. Guess I need to study better.

To answer the LG question - no. I didn't mis-bubble anything. I had to guess on three and just made uncharacteristic mistakes on the others. I thought for sure I probably got -3 or -4, at the very most -5.

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Jeffort
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby Jeffort » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:16 pm

As much as I can imagine you would like to put the LSAT behind you and not have to go through the prep routine and associated stress again, you already know the correct answer is to re-take.

Your achieved 163 shows that you have pretty good LSAT skills with the core stuff, given that that is overall a pretty good score, especially for someone that only took 5 practice tests and didn't drill much.

With some good focused drilling by Q types for LR and by game types for LG with thorough review plus a bunch of full timed practice tests to get better at putting it all together timed you certainly can achieve a significantly higher score.

As motivation to put in the time and effort to re-take, take a look at the percentile ranking chart for scores from 163 on up. It jumps from ~88th% up to 95% pretty quick with just a few more scaled points, hence not many more raw points. A 167 for instance is a significantly better score for admission purposes than a 163 since it would take you up ~7% to the ~95th percentile, which is a big percentile gain for just four scaled points. One you get into the mid-high 160s you become competitive for many good highly ranked schools that would be out of reach with a 163. In fact, getting 167+ would open up the doors to many schools that your current 163 will not.

With a bunch of quality drilling, review and timed practice tests you should, without too much trouble, be able to at least get yourself close to 170 if not beyond. With your current 163 scoring abilities you don't have to learn much of anything new to get ready for a re-take, you mainly just need to practice and review a lot to refine everything so you don't make silly mistakes on test day (such as missing 8 LG questions!). Sooo, you already know what to do, start preparing for your re-take so you can grab a score more worthy of your potential.

EDIT (just saw your new post): No, your 163 DOES NOT represent your true LSAT potential, you didn't take enough timed practice tests to hit your highest potential score.

kiyoku
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby kiyoku » Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:26 pm

You spent 4 years getting that 3.8 gpa. You should do it justice... after all you only need to spent a few more months and i'm sure you'll do better. 163 is probably not anywhere near your potential and an increase in the lsats will open up a lot of doors.

retake

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radar714
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby radar714 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:30 pm

hey man, first off be proud of your first score being just shy of the 90th %tile. Having said that, you should 100% retake. How many years out of UG are you just out of curiosity? (Although I still think the answer is irrelevant; unless you're above 30 you should retake)

I went from a 162->166 and fought the retake sentiment really hard at first because I was convinced that my circumstances were different. I'm smart, I told myself. I'll live at home and my parents had generously offered to pay for school anyway, so what's the difference? Hell, maybe I'll just transfer I would say to myself.

What I SHOULD have been thinking (and thankfully, I eventually did) was that whats the real difference 1 fucking year would have on my life. I was a god damn anthro major so you know I'm not swimming in fucking jobs either, but I realized that I had would:

1) have another year to further research and understand what the fuck I was about to get myself into
2) have to opportunity to actually do some shit I wanted to do like you know, read, go hiking, learn a language, smoke weed, play video games, do whatever
3) the chance to SIGNIFICANTLY increase the prestige of the school I ultimately graduated from (and subsequently my career prospects) as well as decrease the potential cost of attending schools b/c of increased merit scholarships

and all of this could be achieved by just studying a little harder for 1 god damn test. If you want to "just transfer" (which is a crapshoot b/c of how high your grades have to be/subjectivity of grading) you'll be taking ~8 tests in addition to studying about 50-100x more for the opportunity to change schools without any scholarship money, AND have to compete against kids that have grades as good as you and have been going to that school since 1L.

I went from Loyola LA 96k -> USC 60k because I retook, and I can tell you right now EVEN if I hadn't gotten off USC's waitlist and had to attend a lower ranked school, it still would've been worth it because all my scholarship money practically doubled cuz I got 4 more questions right.

It's simply the right choice to make here, and look at it as an opportunity to develop yourself as a person in anyway that you want, AND to meaningfully impact the future of your life. My GF is in the same boat right now with a 3.95/164/165 and she's retaking for her 3rd time because she knows even 1-2 more points could mean thousands of dollars in scholly money and/or way higher ranked schools.

GL but we both know there's only 1 choice to make here! Don't let fear or impatience goad you into making a poor decision!

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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby hephaestus » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:34 pm

Nova wrote:Come on, OP. You know the answer.

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RetakeFrenzy
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby RetakeFrenzy » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:36 pm

radar714 wrote:hey man, first off be proud of your first score being just shy of the 90th %tile. Having said that, you should 100% retake. How many years out of UG are you just out of curiosity? (Although I still think the answer is irrelevant; unless you're above 30 you should retake)

I went from a 162->166 and fought the retake sentiment really hard at first because I was convinced that my circumstances were different. I'm smart, I told myself. I'll live at home and my parents had generously offered to pay for school anyway, so what's the difference? Hell, maybe I'll just transfer I would say to myself.

What I SHOULD have been thinking (and thankfully, I eventually did) was that whats the real difference 1 fucking year would have on my life. I was a god damn anthro major so you know I'm not swimming in fucking jobs either, but I realized that I had would:

1) have another year to further research and understand what the fuck I was about to get myself into
2) have to opportunity to actually do some shit I wanted to do like you know, read, go hiking, learn a language, smoke weed, play video games, do whatever
3) the chance to SIGNIFICANTLY increase the prestige of the school I ultimately graduated from (and subsequently my career prospects) as well as decrease the potential cost of attending schools b/c of increased merit scholarships

and all of this could be achieved by just studying a little harder for 1 god damn test. If you want to "just transfer" (which is a crapshoot b/c of how high your grades have to be/subjectivity of grading) you'll be taking ~8 tests in addition to studying about 50-100x more for the opportunity to change schools without any scholarship money, AND have to compete against kids that have grades as good as you and have been going to that school since 1L.

I went from Loyola LA 96k -> USC 60k because I retook, and I can tell you right now EVEN if I hadn't gotten off USC's waitlist and had to attend a lower ranked school, it still would've been worth it because all my scholarship money practically doubled cuz I got 4 more questions right.

It's simply the right choice to make here, and look at it as an opportunity to develop yourself as a person in anyway that you want, AND to meaningfully impact the future of your life. My GF is in the same boat right now with a 3.95/164/165 and she's retaking for her 3rd time because she knows even 1-2 more points could mean thousands of dollars in scholly money and/or way higher ranked schools.

GL but we both know there's only 1 choice to make here! Don't let fear or impatience goad you into making a poor decision!


I had a similar experience!

From Pepperdine last year to Cornell this year!

As long as you do not hit your target score and you have retakes left, utilize! you won't regret it :D

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RetakeFrenzy
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby RetakeFrenzy » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:45 pm

Oh I forgot to add this.

I took LSAT three times (159, 164, 166)

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Pneumonia
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby Pneumonia » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:59 pm

There are some pretty amazing retake stories on here if you need motivation.

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Clearly
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby Clearly » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:13 am

Your potential is 180... You really think 170+ people actually have something you don't have? You barely prepped at all man.

NYstate
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby NYstate » Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:48 am

OP- if you want a better school at a better price and a better shot at a career, all you have to do is study. No one wants to study and retake. If a better outcome isn't important to you, then just settle for what you have. Only you can decide how much you want a law career. If you don't want to make a plan and do the work for it, then take the easy road. Your call.

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AT9
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby AT9 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 1:05 am

Wow, thanks to everyone for the input. TLS really is awesome. Back in January, I posted a thread and asked if I should postpone my Feb test date. Everyone said yes, and I ended up scoring better last month than I would have in Feb. I have yet to receive bad advice on this forum, and I see little reason to turn my back now. I'll start planning for my re-take tomorrow.

To the person who asked: I'm two years out of UG. I've gained significant experience in those two years working at a mass tort firm. With a better LSAT score, I think I'll have a really solid application.

Along with all of your reasoning, the thinking that won me over was this: let's assume I study hard and boost my score by 3 points. Because of those 3 points, whether through increased scholarships or better career options, I end up $10K ahead of where I would have been with a 163 (which I think is probably a modest hypothetical). At 15 hours studying per-week, I'm basically making $55 an hour. Not a bad investment if I can work my way up a few points.

I hate and love you all. Thanks!

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Pneumonia
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Re: 163 and 3.8 GPA - Re-take or No Re-take?

Postby Pneumonia » Sun Jul 07, 2013 2:08 am

AT9 wrote:Wow, thanks to everyone for the input. TLS really is awesome. Back in January, I posted a thread and asked if I should postpone my Feb test date. Everyone said yes, and I ended up scoring better last month than I would have in Feb. I have yet to receive bad advice on this forum, and I see little reason to turn my back now. I'll start planning for my re-take tomorrow.

To the person who asked: I'm two years out of UG. I've gained significant experience in those two years working at a mass tort firm. With a better LSAT score, I think I'll have a really solid application.

Along with all of your reasoning, the thinking that won me over was this: let's assume I study hard and boost my score by 3 points. Because of those 3 points, whether through increased scholarships or better career options, I end up $10K ahead of where I would have been with a 163 (which I think is probably a modest hypothetical). At 15 hours studying per-week, I'm basically making $55 an hour. Not a bad investment if I can work my way up a few points.

I hate and love you all. Thanks!


this is a good outlook, and keep in mind that your time studying could end up being much, much more valuable than this




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