Retake success stories?

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Retake success stories?

Postby cml442 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:25 pm

I'm looking for any/all "success stories" of people who retook the LSAT and were able to get into a law school they were aiming for (aka, those who didn't need to "settle" for a lower-ranked school that they weren't crazy about, due to a poor LSAT score).

My GPA is a 3.78, from a decently ranked large university. I took the LSAT for the first time this past December. I tanked, got a 153, which was 7 points under my cold diagnostic score. I knew pretty much immediately after the test that it went badly, but I didn't know it went that badly or I would have cancelled. I'm definitely retaking and applying for next cycle, and I knew that the minute I walked out of the exam. I've come to terms with this but I'm kind of super freaking embarrassed about the score, because I work at a law firm (two of the partners wrote me supplemental LORs) and everyone was rooting for me, assuring me I'd do great... I just didn't devote enough time to studying (about six weeks), and my weak point (Logic Games) was the first section on my test. It completely threw me for the rest of the test.

I feel pretty confident that if I retake (currently aiming to study intensively this summer after graduating, for an October retake) I can improve my score by 15+ points, because I know I didn't come close to giving my all to test prep. The plan then would be to apply very early in the Fall 2015 admission app cycle (late October/early November).

Basically, the point of this post (aside from relatively useless venting) is to ask: will having multiple LSAT scores/having this 153 really harm my chances? I'm not a stickler for T14-- I'd be really happy to get in anywhere in the top 25/top 30 with a bit of money.

What score should I be aiming for in my retake at this point? Top choices are (realistically): UCLA, USC, UC Irvine, UC Davis, Fordham. My "reach" top choices are NYU and Columbia. I want to practice in either CA or NY. I'm aware that I'm not going to get into any of the schools I've listed with the 153. I'm confident that I can break 160 in the retake, but of course I'm aiming for 170+. If I manage to pull off that score jump, will an addendum be necessary? What the hell do you even write in that situation? "I studied a lot harder"?

Thoughts/advice of any kind much appreciated. Thanks for reading.

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Re: Retake success stories?

Postby Jeffort » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:17 pm

Don't stress about the score. As long as you achieve a high score in range for your target schools on a re-take, the 153 won't matter. Schools pretty much only care about your highest score these days, looking at the average of multiple scores is a relic of the past. Some schools want an addendum when you have two wildly different reported LSAT scores, but it's also nothing to stress about. Many schools don't care about an addendum for a big LSAT jump since the reason is pretty obvious, you were better prepared! Anyway, brush it off, the 153 isn't going to hurt your admissions chances if you end up getting a good score that is in range for your targets.

The answer to your second question is easy, shoot for the highest score you can achieve. Depending on your GPA, for USC or UCLA, you'll need high 160s range to have a solid chance of admission. UCLA median LSAT for CO2016 is 167, USC is 166, NYU 170, Columbia 171.

Just put this behind you, put together a solid prep plan, get started and work hard from now until test day since you have a high target to hit for your goals.


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Re: Retake success stories?

Postby xylocarp » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:17 pm

Last edited by xylocarp on Tue Jan 30, 2018 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Retake success stories?

Postby phireblast » Sun Jan 26, 2014 3:31 pm

Studied on my own for the LSAT over several years while at UG. Was all over the place using Princeton Review, Powerscore Bible, and any other material I could get my hands on. Thought I was preparing the right way, until I tested in October of senior year and my test-day score was nowhere near my practice tests. Panicked and took the December test, and received the same exact result (I kept studying on my own, daily, between reception of the October scores and December test day).

The score wasn't terrible, but I knew I could do better. Made the hard decision and decided to take a year off. I mean, it wasn't hard for me... I knew it was the absolute right thing to do. But pressure from outside almost got to me. People just assumed that "Not going to law school right away" meant "I can't get into law school and probably will never go". Most of the time when people ask me what I'm doing I just say "I don't know, things are up in the air right now." to avoid having to explain my situation :lol:

But alas, I studied exclusively with a formal LSAT tutor. One of the things that made me bang my head against the wall is that there are huge advantages to just focusing on one approach to each section of the test. In this case, I pretty much erased everything I learned about the LSAT and only followed the tutor's methodology. Everything made more sense. Instead of arriving at a particular question and trying to apply Princeton Review's teachings, Powerscore's teachings, and whatever else's teachings, I just focused on the single methodology that at that point, was engrained into my brain.

Long story short, my worst section was logic games and that became my most successful section.
Had a modest bump in my score and getting acceptances with money I wouldn't have gotten a year ago.

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