Low LSAT score

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justin8509
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Low LSAT score

Postby justin8509 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 10:59 pm

I've done some poking around on this board and seen the vast majority of people scoring well into the 160s on their PTs. Pretty jealous. It's always been my dream to be a lawyer. My father is one, as was my grandpa. I have never had pressure from them I will add.

Searched for other forums but this seems like the most popular... (not sure if it's only for the people aiming for TOP law schools??)

Either way, I have been scoring in the 140s (yes, rough I know) on my last 2 practice tests. I plan on doing either the June or October test. I have a very light load of classes this semester and no other commitments, so my extra time can be spent studying for this. I would like to aim as high as possible, but I'd be satisfied with a 156+. Logic games are giving me the worst time. I have the powerscore bible and workbook, have yet to crack it open. Just got them in the mail a few days ago. Have heard that's the easiest section to crack.

My question is --- have any of you guys seen scores jump from 15-20 points if given enough hard work and determination? Or am I just screwed. I am not aiming for a high up school, but rather a local school by me in California which is in the 50-70 range. Lower tuition and I can live at a place we have over here, and their LSAT avgs are in the 150s. Due to some commitments I need to stay local.

I'm trying not to let these low scores deter me from my goal. Hope to get some answers on here.

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papercut
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby papercut » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:16 pm

Former LSAT instructor here. I've seen many people make such jumps. Certainly, it is an above average result. They all worked extremely hard. They probably put in 20-30 hours a week of studying and practice for about two months. You can study longer too.

The LSAT is a lot like a math test. You need to learn some procedures for solving problems and then you need to practice the hell out of them.

Take a prep course. You'll be glad you did. Do some research on the courses available. The best thing to do is to sit in on a class with the instructor you would have if you sign up. There can be pretty big differences in instruction between different instructors within the same prep company.

xmking07
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby xmking07 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:28 pm

My personal experience says yes. Diagnostic of 148, studied with the LG bible and the MLSAT series, got an actual score of 167, but practice tests were in the 170's. So yes, it can be done. But it takes a hell of a lot of time and effort. It's worth it in the end, however.

SparkyZZZ
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby SparkyZZZ » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:30 pm

I agree, a prep course is the way to go. Do some research on the best courses/instructors in your area, and don't be afraid to spend some money.


The thing is, a prep course will FORCE you to at least spend 8 hours a week just by attending the classes. So even if you slack off occasionally or you forget/get too busy to study on your own, you will at least be getting the basics.


$1-2K now could make a HUGE difference on the quality of school you get into and, subsequently, how much you will eventually make.

I had a 10+ point jump BTW.

Anyway, I think you could definitely bump your score.

Correct me if I am wrong papercut, but I would assume with a prep course there is a lot more movement with the lower scores. Is a jump from 140 to 155 more common after a course than say a 158-168?

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papercut
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby papercut » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:46 pm

SparkyZZZ wrote:I agree, a prep course is the way to go. Do some research on the best courses/instructors in your area, and don't be afraid to spend some money.


The thing is, a prep course will FORCE you to at least spend 8 hours a week just by attending the classes. So even if you slack off occasionally or you forget/get too busy to study on your own, you will at least be getting the basics.


$1-2K now could make a HUGE difference on the quality of school you get into and, subsequently, how much you will eventually make.

I had a 10+ point jump BTW.

Anyway, I think you could definitely bump your score.

Correct me if I am wrong papercut, but I would assume with a prep course there is a lot more movement with the lower scores. Is a jump from 140 to 155 more common after a course than say a 158-168?


A jump of 20 points is possible from the high 150s, but they are more common from the 140s to the mid 150s.

The thing is, the people scoring in 158-168 tend to have pretty good study habits and discipline, so they tend to improve enough to be happy too.

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Clearly
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby Clearly » Sat Jan 18, 2014 11:58 pm

I jumped 26, but I concede that's kind of an outlier.

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papercut
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby papercut » Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:06 am

Clearly wrote:I jumped 26, but I concede that's kind of an outlier.


I've seen several 29s, but never a 30+. I'm sure they are out there though. Congrats on your jump.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby Nonconsecutive » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:02 am

OP, yep, such jumps are quite possible. I jumped 21 points myself and I started in the mid-150s. A lot of it was working through each section to form a baseline of skills. I've heard a mantra thrown around TLS a few times that "mastering" LG gets you to the 160s, LR to the high 160s, and RC to the 170s. While I think for some people LR and RC are interchangeable (for me it was RC), LG definitely seems to be crucial to getting up to that 160 mark. I don't know you, nor your study habits but I really think you can do better than your goal if you put in the right kinds of effort. Not sure what your goal school is, but from the sounds of it you'll be wanting as close to full ride, if not full ride as possible. Start with Powerscore (Its getting a bit on the dated side, but I still found it useful in parts). I'd also look into the Manhattan Guides and the LSAT Trainer. Most importantly you need to spend a lot of time drilling and doing PTs with the blind review method.

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Jeffort
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby Jeffort » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:07 am

justin8509 wrote:I've done some poking around on this board and seen the vast majority of people scoring well into the 160s on their PTs. Pretty jealous. It's always been my dream to be a lawyer. My father is one, as was my grandpa. I have never had pressure from them I will add.

Searched for other forums but this seems like the most popular... (not sure if it's only for the people aiming for TOP law schools??)

Either way, I have been scoring in the 140s (yes, rough I know) on my last 2 practice tests. I plan on doing either the June or October test. I have a very light load of classes this semester and no other commitments, so my extra time can be spent studying for this. I would like to aim as high as possible, but I'd be satisfied with a 156+. Logic games are giving me the worst time. I have the powerscore bible and workbook, have yet to crack it open. Just got them in the mail a few days ago. Have heard that's the easiest section to crack.

My question is --- have any of you guys seen scores jump from 15-20 points if given enough hard work and determination? Or am I just screwed. I am not aiming for a high up school, but rather a local school by me in California which is in the 50-70 range. Lower tuition and I can live at a place we have over here, and their LSAT avgs are in the 150s. Due to some commitments I need to stay local.

I'm trying not to let these low scores deter me from my goal. Hope to get some answers on here.


Try not to be discouraged by your basically virgin run practice test scores, they do not determine or limit your potential score. The LSAT is a very learn-able test with quality prep and dedicated effort. Improvement from 140s to high 150s range is pretty common amongst people that put in dedicated effort with a good prep plan and good prep resources. A good quality full length LSAT prep class from a reputable company would certainly help. To improve your score from your starting point you need to learn the fundamentals of the LSAT and the good approaches/techniques for various question types and practice a lot. A good course teaches you that stuff in an interactive environment where you can participate and ask questions to build your foundation. There are also a few good self study prep books you can get if you cannot afford a class and/or want to cover all bases like many people do.

Improvements of around 10 points from cold first practice test starting scores are very common amongst people that take a good course and/or dedicate themselves to a good study plan with a significant amount of study/prep time over roughly two-three months. Bigger than 10 point gains are less common overall but fairly common in people that really really dedicate themselves to serious sometimes long term LSAT prep and don't give up easily when the gains don't happen quickly. Serious improvement of 15+ points typically requires a high level of commitment/determination over a longer period of time since improvement sometimes happens slowly, but it is possible for those willing to work hard enough to get there that can tolerate a lot of frustration over several months or more without giving up. The biggest reason why 15+ point gains are less common is probably just that only a small portion of people are determined enough and willing to fight with the LSAT for as long as it takes to achieve a particular goal and adjust their life timeline accordingly to get the desired score.

Some people have fast learning curves and go up fast once they learn the basics of the test too, so until you get started and see how things go, there is no way to know how much time and effort it will take you personally to improve your score. Just know that it is possible if you study smart and hard and get started to see how things go for you. The LSAT is an intimidating test to everyone at first, accept it as a challenge instead of being scared of it and you can make big gains.

I started with a 151 cold first diagnostic score and achieved 177 on test day. Big gains are possible and there are many people that frequent this board with awesome success stories of big point gains and high scores. This board can be intimidating due to many high achievers, but please instead view it as a resource and source of motivation towards what you can accomplish if you prep properly.
Last edited by Jeffort on Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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papercut
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby papercut » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:11 am

Jeffort wrote:
justin8509 wrote:I've done some poking around on this board and seen the vast majority of people scoring well into the 160s on their PTs. Pretty jealous. It's always been my dream to be a lawyer. My father is one, as was my grandpa. I have never had pressure from them I will add.

Searched for other forums but this seems like the most popular... (not sure if it's only for the people aiming for TOP law schools??)

Either way, I have been scoring in the 140s (yes, rough I know) on my last 2 practice tests. I plan on doing either the June or October test. I have a very light load of classes this semester and no other commitments, so my extra time can be spent studying for this. I would like to aim as high as possible, but I'd be satisfied with a 156+. Logic games are giving me the worst time. I have the powerscore bible and workbook, have yet to crack it open. Just got them in the mail a few days ago. Have heard that's the easiest section to crack.

My question is --- have any of you guys seen scores jump from 15-20 points if given enough hard work and determination? Or am I just screwed. I am not aiming for a high up school, but rather a local school by me in California which is in the 50-70 range. Lower tuition and I can live at a place we have over here, and their LSAT avgs are in the 150s. Due to some commitments I need to stay local.

I'm trying not to let these low scores deter me from my goal. Hope to get some answers on here.


Try not to be discouraged by your basically virgin run practice test scores, they do not determine or limit your potential score. The LSAT is a very learn-able test with quality prep and dedicated effort. Improvement from 140s to high 150s range is pretty common amongst people that put in dedicated effort with a good prep plan and good prep resources. A good quality full length LSAT prep class from a reputable company would certainly help. To improve your score from your starting point you need to learn the fundamentals of the LSAT and the good approaches/techniques for various question types and practice a lot. A good course teaches you that stuff in an interactive environment where you can participate and ask questions to build your foundation. There are also a few good self study prep books you can get if you cannot afford a class and/or want to cover all bases like many people do.

Improvements of around 10 points from cold first practice test starting scores are very common amongst people that take a good course and/or dedicate themselves to a good study plan with a significant amount of study/prep time over roughly two-three months. Bigger than 10 point gains are less common overall but fairly common in people that really really dedicate themselves to serious sometimes long term LSAT prep and don't give up easily when the gains don't happen quickly. Serious improvement of 15+ points typically requires a high level of commitment/determination over a longer period of time since improvement sometimes happens slowly, but it is possible for those willing to work hard enough to get there that can tolerate a lot of frustration over several months without giving up.

Some people have fast learning curves and go up fast once they learn the basics of the test too, so until you get started and see how things go, there is no way to know how much time and effort it will take you personally to improve your score. Just know that it is possible if you study smart and hard and get started to see how things go for you. The LSAT is an intimidating test to everyone at first, accept it as a challenge instead of being scared of it and you can make big gains.

I started with a 151 cold first diagnostic score and achieved 177 on test day. Big gains are possible and there are many people that frequent this board with awesome success stories of big point gains and high scores. This board can be intimidating due to many high achievers, but please instead view it as a resource and source of motivation towards what you can accomplish if you prep properly.


+1

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withoutapaddle
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby withoutapaddle » Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:50 am

my first test was a 154

I scored a 171 on my last PT and just did a games section and got -1

my first test I scored - 13 on my first games

It's 100% possible

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justin8509
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby justin8509 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:27 am

Appreciate all the responses. Great advice !!

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Nova
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby Nova » Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:01 am

I got from the 50th to the 95th percentile

The LSAT is very learnable

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WaltGrace83
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby WaltGrace83 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:15 am

You CAN absolutely 100% do it. Not only is going from 140s to 156 possible, it is incredibly likely if you study a bit. Most people jump into the low 160s pretty quickly, it is just a matter of learning some methods and practicing them. So I've heard, getting into the 170s is the real challenge. However, a 140s diagnostic isn't too terrible especially if you've never seen an LSAT before this.

SparkyZZZ
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby SparkyZZZ » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:26 pm

Also, if you were just taking these diagnostics alone in your room I think that can lower your score a bit. I really think you need a realistic/proctored diagnostic test to know where you are truly at. I always tested better when it was a realistic setting...the adrenaline helps.

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calle_25
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby calle_25 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:39 pm

.
Last edited by calle_25 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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justin8509
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby justin8509 » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:01 pm

All the answers have been awesome. Thanks guys! I hear everyone saying learn how the LSAT test makers are structuring and asking the questions, for example, on logic reasoning. Will I read about these methods when I crack open a LR book? (premises, conclusions, inferences, etc.)

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zhenders
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby zhenders » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:07 pm

OP,

Do yourself a favor and get addicted to this website and forum. Seriously -- if you want to score better, I think that's the best advice.

You will run across some not-exactly-friendly folks here at times, but overwhelmingly, you will find a community dedicated to kicking the LSAT and law school's ass. Surround yourself with overachievers -- it rubs off.

If your goal is just high 150's, there is NO reason why that shouldn't happen for you. Search this site for study guides, and get a feel for what others are doing. Jump into the June/September takers threads. You'll find that there are LOADS of folks who started off in the 140s and low 150s who are CONSISTENTLY PTing above 165.

It sounds like you may have a job lined up after graduation. If that's true, then in my mind, getting those extra points (into the 160s) can be pure gold for you, because you can go to whichever school you like that gives you a great scholarship (and with a solid LSAT and only decent university grades, that can happen).

Get addicted to TLS. It will help you now, AND in LS.

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mist4bison
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby mist4bison » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:26 pm

.
Last edited by mist4bison on Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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unodostres
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby unodostres » Sun Jan 19, 2014 10:30 pm

Started at a 134 when I had no idea what I was reading. I'm pting in the 162-165 range. Trying for 168+.

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zhenders
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby zhenders » Sun Jan 19, 2014 11:49 pm

unodostres wrote:Started at a 134 when I had no idea what I was reading. I'm pting in the 162-165 range. Trying for 168+.



Badass gains :) I love it.

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justin8509
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby justin8509 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:37 am

zhenders wrote:OP,

Do yourself a favor and get addicted to this website and forum. Seriously -- if you want to score better, I think that's the best advice.

You will run across some not-exactly-friendly folks here at times, but overwhelmingly, you will find a community dedicated to kicking the LSAT and law school's ass. Surround yourself with overachievers -- it rubs off.

If your goal is just high 150's, there is NO reason why that shouldn't happen for you. Search this site for study guides, and get a feel for what others are doing. Jump into the June/September takers threads. You'll find that there are LOADS of folks who started off in the 140s and low 150s who are CONSISTENTLY PTing above 165.

It sounds like you may have a job lined up after graduation. If that's true, then in my mind, getting those extra points (into the 160s) can be pure gold for you, because you can go to whichever school you like that gives you a great scholarship (and with a solid LSAT and only decent university grades, that can happen).

Get addicted to TLS. It will help you now, AND in LS.


Duly noted! So far learned more in two days than I have in months. I am able to work near home after I go back post-grad (May). However if I am able to crack into the 160s I'm sure, like you said, it'd open up some new opportunities.

unodostres wrote:Started at a 134 when I had no idea what I was reading. I'm pting in the 162-165 range. Trying for 168+.


Feel like it'll be doable after reading this. Badass is right!

mist4bison wrote:Stop PTing and crack open some books!!

Don't worry about the 140 score right now. Just start your actual prep. If you haven't opened a single book, I would say the prep hasn't even begun. Generally, the process is books-->drills-->PTing. Start with the books (or a prep course, if you feel more comfortable doing that). The general consensus is that the bibles, MLSAT, and the Trainer are the best books. Personally, I didn't find the Powerscore LR bible to do much for me, but I've started on the Trainer and like it a lot thus far.


Ordered the Trainer from amazon. Had 19 5-star reviews, nothing less....that was convincing enough. Thanks

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unodostres
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby unodostres » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:21 am

zhenders wrote:
unodostres wrote:Started at a 134 when I had no idea what I was reading. I'm pting in the 162-165 range. Trying for 168+.



Badass gains :) I love it.


Thanks man!

Also, just know that it's taken me a good year of studying to get me in this range. I'm not the best test taker, but I follow the advice from the best on this forum.

My breakdown is usually:

LR -8 to -9
LG -1 to -3
RC -4 to -8

I still have a lot of work ahead of me.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby Nonconsecutive » Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:53 am

unodostres wrote:I still have a lot of work ahead of me.


True, but it sound like you are on the right track. :D

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unodostres
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Re: Low LSAT score

Postby unodostres » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:02 am

It's been hard. I've picked myself up a lot of times when I thought I didn't have anything left in the tank. But thanks for the kind words! I honestly would be at a TTTT if it wasn't for this forum.




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