Dilemma

Trajectory
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Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:40 am

So I have taken the LSAT twice and cancelled once. I really underperformed on the October 2013 test that just past. I was scoring 170-174 on PT's. Taking one every day and grading it the next day etc. in the month leading up to the test. This did indeed feel like it overworked me a little bit but I did take that Friday off. Didn't help much but nonetheless I brushed off being a little overworked. I suspect this because my thinking was very cloudy but I figured I could rely on my machine-like instincts since I'd been prepping madly.

Well test day, with the pressure of thinking its my last time, and well you know...just crazy pressure, I started second guessing everything. Choked on logic games, -3. Ran out of time on both LR on last 1-2 questions. RC I don't even remember. Obviously my internal struggle to keep calm compounded as the test progress bc I knew it wasn't normal of me to run out of time, second guess and just be that slow. 160.

I don't even know what to do anymore. I slept like a baby the night before, everything was great up until opening that book. How could nerves have this affect? I wanted to throw up and bury my face in it yesterday when I saw my score.

Any advice at this point would be greatly appreciated! Even if its criticism. I suppose I just need some direction here as time is ticking for the December test...and I don't even know how this would look on my application. The cancellation doesn't count as a take. but still.

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AAJD2B
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Re: Dilemma

Postby AAJD2B » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:44 am

Trajectory wrote:The cancellation doesn't count as a take. but still.


Oh, I think it does. :(

Trajectory
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:48 am

Before test scores came out, I curiously went to LSAC.org and attempted to sign up for an LSAT...just messing around...and it let me, but cautioned that it was my last time in red letters. I got interested and started searching around, found out that you could take it. It was either a FAQ on LSAC or someone on here posted an email correspondence with an LSAC official about cancelations that stated it didn't count, hence the reason I was allowed to sign up.

Void
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Void » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:52 am

Now that you've done it for real, you won't be as nervous the next time around. I took it twice and got +13 points on #2, mostly because I was much more calm. There's no way to prepare for how you'll feel on game day, other than actually going to the game. Stick with it, and you'll do much better in December.

edit: oops- looks like I misinterpreted your post. This was already your #2, right?
Last edited by Void on Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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AAJD2B
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Re: Dilemma

Postby AAJD2B » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:53 am

Trajectory wrote:Before test scores came out, I curiously went to LSAC.org and attempted to sign up for an LSAT...just messing around...and it let me, but cautioned that it was my last time in red letters. I got interested and started searching around, found out that you could take it. It was either a FAQ on LSAC or someone on here posted an email correspondence with an LSAC official about cancelations that stated it didn't count, hence the reason I was allowed to sign up.


Right, that follows given the three attempts rule. Your cancellation and October exam counted as two and DEcember will be your last attempt within whatever two year period from your initial test date.

Either way, I would start with this: http://www.cambridgelsat.com/retakers-checklist

Trajectory
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:59 am

Just to avoid confusion...I have October 2012---cancel Feb.--October 2013. December would be the "third" ..final..and last time...within 2 years etc.

Thats what I've gathered and its what is giving me some hope at least. But I could be misinterpreting everything.

Void
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Void » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:00 am

Trajectory wrote:Just to avoid confusion...I have October 2012---cancel--October 2013. December would be the "third" ..final..and last time...within 2 years etc.


Sorry about my post.

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JWP1022
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Re: Dilemma

Postby JWP1022 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:02 am

Trajectory wrote:Just to avoid confusion...I have October 2012---cancel Feb.--October 2013. December would be the "third" ..final..and last time...within 2 years etc.

Thats what I've gathered and its what is giving me some hope at least. But I could be misinterpreting everything.


I hate to break this to you man, but you've used your three takes. The cancel in Feb. counts as a take. :(

Trajectory
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:06 am

Yea I just went back and checked, I guess it changed after the scores came in or something. But it was letting me register a few days ago before score release. Well, that makes not knowing what to do now even more of a problem I suppose.

Void
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Void » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:08 am

Trajectory wrote:Yea I just went back and checked, I guess it changed after the scores came in or something. But it was letting me register a few days ago before score release. Well, that makes not knowing what to do now even more of a problem I suppose.


That sucks man. Was the 160 on #2 better than your score on #1?

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JWP1022
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Re: Dilemma

Postby JWP1022 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:09 am

Trajectory wrote:Yea I just went back and checked, I guess it changed after the scores came in or something. But it was letting me register a few days ago before score release. Well, that makes not knowing what to do now even more of a problem I suppose.


It sounds from your PT range that your goals are T14. How old are you/how many years out of college are you (if out of college)? If you're still in college or just a year out I would take a step back, skip this cycle, hit the books again next summer, and then retake in October 2014.

Either way, yes, this is a shitty situation. But the good news is, if you decide to wait for next year, that you have all the time in the world to figure out what the heck goes wrong on test day. Persistence and hard work will pay off, trust me. I took in December 2012 when I wasn't really ready and cancelled due to blowing games (nerves related). I retook in June, then didn't get the score I wanted because I blew games (again) due to nerves. I retook in October and got my 170+.

Trajectory
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:16 am

Yea 153 with barely any studying, no TLS, etc. And now this. In between I graduated, some interning, TLS, realized what this was about..restructured studying and went after it. I put in some serious work to get my scores up to 170s, PTs at least. I just don't see what I can do with a 160.

Im 24. Graduated. Traveled a bit, ..a lot? ...internship, some work. Took time off everything to really hit the books for 3-4 months and get into the 170s. Yea T14 or T20 you know, I guess right now Im depressed and just basically saying that if a school accepted me I'd go 100% no questions sticker price. Realistically, a decent school with some $$.

Taking some time off...let me be very honest, that would feel like I failed miserably. As well as I don't know how I'd explain this to family. I know that seems trivial. But being European and having family across seas watching you try to make moves here puts some added pressure. Im sure ppl here understand as we all have someone that waits for us to get through this and get the scores and get in etc

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JWP1022
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Re: Dilemma

Postby JWP1022 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:18 am

Trajectory wrote:Yea 153 with barely any studying, no TLS, etc. And now this. In between I graduated, some interning, TLS, realized what this was about..restructured studying and went after it. I put in some serious work to get my scores up to 170s, PTs at least. I just don't see what I can do with a 160.

Im 24. Graduated. Traveled a bit, ..a lot? ...internship, some work. Took time off everything to really hit the books for 3-4 months and get into the 170s. Yea T14 or T20 you know, I guess right now Im depressed and just basically saying that if a school accepted me I'd go 100% no questions sticker price. Realistically, a decent school with some $$.

Taking some time off...let me be very honest, that would feel like I failed miserably. As well as I don't know how I'd explain this to family. I know that seems trivial. But being European and having family across seas watching you try to make moves here puts some added pressure. Im sure ppl here understand as we all have someone that waits for us to get through this and get the scores and get in etc


You won't get T14 or T20 with a 160. Your only real option, if those are indeed your goals, is to wait and retake next year. You're only 24. Plenty of people go to law school when they are 26 or 27.

Failure hurts, I get it. It sucks. It's humbling. It can also be motivating. Take a step back, and hit it again next year. Trust me, you'll make it. What was your study plan like?

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Re: Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:26 am

Oh no I meant with the 170. I have a 3.5, I wanted a 170 or higher of course. Knew there was a chance to underperform by 4 points or so, so I got to 174-175 on PTs to cover that. With that idea I was going to apply to some lower T14 or a little lower as well, with hopes of acceptance and some $$. Wasn't depending on miracles and full rides here. But the 160...I don't even know if that would get me in my undergrad university.

Thats sound advice and I understand, I just don't know how to approach it. Failure was humbling the first time around! Well I was acquainted with the LSAT this time around, so I bought the LSAT Trainer, went through that, thoroughly. Followed that study plan for a month. Got my question types down for LR. Got the Cambridge Difficult LR packet which saved my life (obviously not) ...got me to avg -2 -3 on both LR. Then I spent a month on RC bc I was getting like -8. Got down to avg -4 or so. In the mean time I practiced LG. My strong point. -1..-0. During the last month I took 24 PTs (mid 40s to the last LSAT available) in the morning...4 sections. 1 per day. On Saturday's I woke up early, simulated test conditions as best I could..etc. 5 sectioned test. Thats about it.

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JWP1022
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Re: Dilemma

Postby JWP1022 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:36 am

Trajectory wrote:Oh no I meant with the 170. I have a 3.5, I wanted a 170 or higher of course. Knew there was a chance to underperform by 4 points or so, so I got to 174-175 on PTs to cover that. With that idea I was going to apply to some lower T14 or a little lower as well, with hopes of acceptance and some $$. Wasn't depending on miracles and full rides here. But the 160...I don't even know if that would get me in my undergrad university.

Thats sound advice and I understand, I just don't know how to approach it. Failure was humbling the first time around! Well I was acquainted with the LSAT this time around, so I bought the LSAT Trainer, went through that, thoroughly. Followed that study plan for a month. Got my question types down for LR. Got the Cambridge Difficult LR packet which saved my life (obviously not) ...got me to avg -2 -3 on both LR. Then I spent a month on RC bc I was getting like -8. Got down to avg -4 or so. In the mean time I practiced LG. My strong point. -1..-0. During the last month I took 24 PTs (mid 40s to the last LSAT available) in the morning...4 sections. 1 per day. On Saturday's I woke up early, simulated test conditions as best I could..etc. 5 sectioned test. Thats about it.


Actually sounds a lot like my study plan! It sounds like you know the test and what you need to focus on is mitigating the effect of your nerves on test day.

If/when you study again, take PTs in places where it's hard for you to focus (coffee shops, bars, etc.). As test day approaches, simulate test day EXACTLY. Take all of your PTs in/near your test center (if you can). Hell, whenever you PT, wait an hour or so at your table before you start to simulate the wait before the real thing.

Basically, get your mind as familiar as you can with the process on test day, to the point that when you take the real thing, it will feel just like your practice tests.

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Re: Dilemma

Postby Void » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:39 am

You'll get this advice all over this site, but let me throw my personal opinion on the pile. I took the LSAT twice at age 27-28, applied when I was 28, ended up going to a second tier (ranked in the 50-60 range) with a full scholly, graduated in top 15%, got the job I wanted, passed the bar, and it all worked out. However, I can tell you from this end of things that I was VERY lucky to have gotten what I wanted out of the law school experience. I don't know anyone from my school who got biglaw- I know maybe 10 people who ended up at large regional firms making $80-90k. Most others I know with jobs are at small personal injury firms making like $50-60. And, of course, most people I know are still looking/moving back in with parents/applying to Starbucks. Those are not exaggerations.

I ended up at the state govt level, which is what I wanted from the beginning. But if I had wanted biglaw or to pull in 6 figures right out of school, I would be miserable right now. Still, I am ridiculously fortunate to get where I am, and I spent three years working my ass off and stressing like a maniac because the odds were so overwhelmingly against me. My point is this: compared to the amount of studying and waiting and applying and rejection you will experience in law school, waiting an extra year for a real shot at MUCH better employment odds is a drop in the bucket. I know from where you're sitting it feels like it will take forever and you'll feel worthless for another year and you just want to get started right now, but I promise you: from my end, my life would have been so much easier if I had just broken 170 on the LSAT.

I know it feels like you put in lots of work and ended up with less than what you wanted. But it's better to feel that way now than 3 years from now.

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JWP1022
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Re: Dilemma

Postby JWP1022 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:42 am

Void wrote:You'll get this advice all over this site, but let me throw my personal opinion on the pile. I took the LSAT twice at age 27-28, applied when I was 28, ended up going to a second tier (ranked in the 50-60 range) with a full scholly, graduated in top 15%, got the job I wanted, passed the bar, and it all worked out. However, I can tell you from this end of things that I was VERY lucky to have gotten what I wanted out of the law school experience. I don't know anyone from my school who got biglaw- I know maybe 10 people who ended up at large regional firms making $80-90k. Most others I know with jobs are at small personal injury firms making like $50-60. And, of course, most people I know are still looking/moving back in with parents/applying to Starbucks. Those are not exaggerations.

I ended up at the state govt level, which is what I wanted from the beginning. But if I had wanted biglaw or to pull in 6 figures right out of school, I would be miserable right now. Still, I am ridiculously fortunate to get where I am, and I spent three years working my ass off and stressing like a maniac because the odds were so overwhelmingly against me. My point is this: compared to the amount of studying and waiting and applying and rejection you will experience in law school, waiting an extra year for a real shot at MUCH better employment odds is a drop in the bucket. I know from where you're sitting it feels like it will take forever and you'll feel worthless for another year and you just want to get started right now, but I promise you: from my end, my life would have been so much easier if I had just broken 170 on the LSAT.

I know it feels like you put in lots of work and ended up with less than what you wanted. But it's better to feel that way now than 3 years from now.


TCR

You clearly have the mental ability to get 170+ (hell, with applications like they are now, high 160s might do it). DO. NOT. SETTLE.

Trajectory
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:06 pm

That really helps, it feels great to know there are words of encouragement out there not just dim reality, or at least what it seems to me right now. It is hard for me right now. Maybe some days to so time passes by will help, I don't know. Right now thats all I can think of. I understand that a 3.5 and 160 doesn't open crazy good opportunities. But maybe finishing up my PS and shooting out some applications to see what happens wouldn't hurt? Miracles happen! Rarely. But really, throwing it all away, or on pause, is what kills. Im afraid ill loose all the skills I learned.

I think its really helping to think that the time spent and failures that have happened in terms of studying for the LSAT and waiting/strategizing is all in all easier than getting in somewhere and banking on being top 10% then having problems/failing that...it seems at that point stakes are even higher, from what I'm getting.

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Re: Dilemma

Postby gatorchomps » Tue Oct 29, 2013 1:05 pm

Would it be at all reassuring if I told you that I'm 34 and will be taking the LSAT for the first time in December? 'Cause 24 years old--yeah, that's not too late for law school :)

Definitely retake. You owe this to yourself!

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Re: Dilemma

Postby Void » Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:58 pm

Trajectory wrote:
I think its really helping to think that the time spent and failures that have happened in terms of studying for the LSAT and waiting/strategizing is all in all easier than getting in somewhere and banking on being top 10% then having problems/failing that...it seems at that point stakes are even higher, from what I'm getting.



Yes, yes, yes. Again, not to belittle your trials and tribulations so far, but studying for and then underperforming on the LSAT is nowhere near as devastating as striking out at OCI (if your school even has OCI) or otherwise failing to find a summer job or unpaid internship (yup- some folks at my school had trouble even finding volunteer positions) or being no-offered or graduating jobless or passing the bar jobless, etc.

Up until now, you've burned a couple of months of free time and a few hundred dollars on the LSAT, and you're disappointed in the results. Compare that to dedicating every waking moment of your life to law school for 3 years and investing $100k+, and coming out empty handed.

Don't blow your future just because you're too antsy to wait until next year to apply.

P.S. According to law school predictor, a 3.5 and 160 would put you at a "consider" at my alma mater. So IF you got in, you'd certainly pay full tuition and then face the aforementioned job prospects. A good friend of mine graduated 6th in our class and was unemployed until last week- over 6 months since graduation. He accepted an offer at a personal injury firm for $45k, no benefits. 6th in the class. Think about that.

Trajectory
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Re: Dilemma

Postby Trajectory » Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:58 pm

It is reassuring, in the grand scheme of things I guess theres time, but as for now its all hitting hard. I understand what you're saying though Void and at the end of the day it would be a lot worse if a dilemma like ones you mention happening throughout your time actually happen. And I guess if its preventable by being very calculated in what you do now since this is a little more easily fixable, it makes sense to do it.

I suppose I'll finish my PS, but also, possibly, just throw my application out to random places to see. I feel like that couldn't hurt at this point in time.

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barrelofmonkeys
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Re: Dilemma

Postby barrelofmonkeys » Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:20 pm

Trajectory wrote:It is reassuring, in the grand scheme of things I guess theres time, but as for now its all hitting hard. I understand what you're saying though Void and at the end of the day it would be a lot worse if a dilemma like ones you mention happening throughout your time actually happen. And I guess if its preventable by being very calculated in what you do now since this is a little more easily fixable, it makes sense to do it.

I suppose I'll finish my PS, but also, possibly, just throw my application out to random places to see. I feel like that couldn't hurt at this point in time.


I'd say even if you have fee waivers, it's not worth the $25 throwing out applications to schools you aren't really interested in with a score you aren't happy with.

First figure out what you want--then go back and see whether what you have right now gets you that goal.

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jordan15
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Re: Dilemma

Postby jordan15 » Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:11 pm

It's not like your application doesn't require any extra work in addition to the LSAT. Take the year off and get your PS and all Why X essays completed as well as making sure your LORs are in early with your transcript.




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