173 - worth it to retake?

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furrrman
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173 - worth it to retake?

Postby furrrman » Sun Feb 09, 2014 10:56 pm

I'm just wondering if there's anybody in a similar situation who found that they greatly improved on a retake. This was my first attempt, and I was (and still am) very happy with my score. Thing is, I've been reading around here that you should be doing around 30-40 PTs, whereas I did only 16, which I thought was a lot (hah). This isn't to say I slacked, I studied hard for three months and did a lot of drilling. That said, I always felt like I could have done a little better, that there was just some wall I just needed to break through and then I'd be in the 175+ range. My last ten or so PTs were all in the 169-172 range (I hit 174 once but that seemed like an outlier). So I definitely stayed on the high end of my range, which I was happy about, but now I'm left wondering what a new study regime/retake might bring.

Just looking for some general advice and wisdom.
Quick background: GPA is 3.6x (low end), so I need all the lsat points I can get. Already put out applications this cycle, and gotten a few acceptances while still waiting on the bulk of them. Retake would be for the chance for more $$ and better schools.

Right now I'm thinking try for the June lsat. If I don't do markedly better I'll stick with what I've got. If I do do better, then perhaps sit out and reapply.

All advice welcome, thanks.

BerkeleyMan5
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Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 1:33 am

Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby BerkeleyMan5 » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:00 pm

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Last edited by BerkeleyMan5 on Wed May 21, 2014 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Jeffort
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby Jeffort » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:08 pm

Some people that re-take after a 170s range score have scored higher and others haven't, but that information isn't really relevant to the issue of whether or not it's worth it to try.

Unless you are willing to go into full throttle hard core LSAT prep mode for an extended period again with drilling, review, practice tests, etc. at least as intensely as you did before, it's unlikely to pay off with a higher score since you pretty much need to be close to perfection to beat your current score. If you're willing to put in that type of dedication again for a few more months while you wait, there really is no downside other than opportunity cost from the required prep time you have to invest to have a good chance at beating your current score.

It really boils down to your level of motivation and whether it's the most worthwhile use of your time between now and June given the possible payoff compared to the results your current score generates once you get decisions on your current pending apps.

random number
Posts: 231
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby random number » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:14 pm

furrrman wrote:I'm just wondering if there's anybody in a similar situation who found that they greatly improved on a retake. This was my first attempt, and I was (and still am) very happy with my score. Thing is, I've been reading around here that you should be doing around 30-40 PTs, whereas I did only 16, which I thought was a lot (hah). This isn't to say I slacked, I studied hard for three months and did a lot of drilling. That said, I always felt like I could have done a little better, that there was just some wall I just needed to break through and then I'd be in the 175+ range. My last ten or so PTs were all in the 169-172 range (I hit 174 once but that seemed like an outlier). So I definitely stayed on the high end of my range, which I was happy about, but now I'm left wondering what a new study regime/retake might bring.

Just looking for some general advice and wisdom.
Quick background: GPA is 3.6x (low end), so I need all the lsat points I can get. Already put out applications this cycle, and gotten a few acceptances while still waiting on the bulk of them. Retake would be for the chance for more $$ and better schools.

Right now I'm thinking try for the June lsat. If I don't do markedly better I'll stick with what I've got. If I do do better, then perhaps sit out and reapply.

All advice welcome, thanks.


Mind if I ask what your scoring breakdown was? Improving LG is much different than improving RC.

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furrrman
Posts: 186
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby furrrman » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:21 pm

random number wrote:
furrrman wrote:I'm just wondering if there's anybody in a similar situation who found that they greatly improved on a retake. This was my first attempt, and I was (and still am) very happy with my score. Thing is, I've been reading around here that you should be doing around 30-40 PTs, whereas I did only 16, which I thought was a lot (hah). This isn't to say I slacked, I studied hard for three months and did a lot of drilling. That said, I always felt like I could have done a little better, that there was just some wall I just needed to break through and then I'd be in the 175+ range. My last ten or so PTs were all in the 169-172 range (I hit 174 once but that seemed like an outlier). So I definitely stayed on the high end of my range, which I was happy about, but now I'm left wondering what a new study regime/retake might bring.

Just looking for some general advice and wisdom.
Quick background: GPA is 3.6x (low end), so I need all the lsat points I can get. Already put out applications this cycle, and gotten a few acceptances while still waiting on the bulk of them. Retake would be for the chance for more $$ and better schools.

Right now I'm thinking try for the June lsat. If I don't do markedly better I'll stick with what I've got. If I do do better, then perhaps sit out and reapply.

All advice welcome, thanks.


Mind if I ask what your scoring breakdown was? Improving LG is much different than improving RC.


It was very random. If I did better on an LR section, I would make up for it by missing more on RC, or vice versa. On average, I would miss between 0-2 LG, 2-8 LR (combined), 1-7 RC. It was actually very frustrating, because it was difficult for me to pinpoint where I needed to improve, as it was more a question of staying consistent.

FWIW, test day I missed 0 LG, 2 RC, 6 LR. LR kinda bummed me out b/c I missed some really easy ones, eh.

random number
Posts: 231
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby random number » Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:26 pm

Supposedly, LG is the easiest to improve, so bringing up your LR and RC may present a bit of a challenge. I'll let someone who is more experienced in working in these areas take over, but I will suggest investing in a set of practice tests (I would recommend buying the book of 52-61 from LSAC's website) and focusing on the LR and RC sections. Your fluctuating scores suggest that you might benefit from becoming more familiar with the common question styles preferred by the test makers.

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thewaves
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby thewaves » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:12 am

Some people have gotten into Harvard with 3.6 176+, so if that's your goal, it's possible. Otherwise, your score should get you NYU.

knicker
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby knicker » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:09 am

With a 173, you're at or above the 75th for every school. There isn't enough data to be sure, but it's a very reasonable guess that the marginal value of each additional point diminishes after you beat a school's 75th percentile. If you're confident you can get to the high 170s, it might be worth it. Just adding 1-2 points probably won't matter.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:49 am

^ Maybe you mean median because there are several schools that have 75'ths that are higher than a 173.

OP- I do think that a higher score would be a tangible benefit to you. However, be aware that the last several, in your case 7, points are the hardest to get; you will really have to study diligently from now until June, especially since you haven't been PT'ing at that level before. You'll likely master the material pretty quickly, but the trick will be to avoid silly mistakes and be in complete control of timing, which is why people take so many PT's.

Improvement is possible, and it would likely help you, but it will require a lot of work.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby Nonconsecutive » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:50 pm

knicker wrote:With a 173, you're at or above the 75th for every school. There isn't enough data to be sure, but it's a very reasonable guess that the marginal value of each additional point diminishes after you beat a school's 75th percentile. If you're confident you can get to the high 170s, it might be worth it. Just adding 1-2 points probably won't matter.


wat

I thought you made a typo until I went on to read the rest of your response.

OP FWIW I retook with a similar score (I have a slightly higher GPA), scored 175+ and I'm honestly not that sure how much it changed my cycle as of right now, since I had been accepted to my top school already with the first score, however I am waiting on scholarships where that 175+ might indeed make a difference.

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furrrman
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby furrrman » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:02 pm

Thanks for the responses. I think I will start some regular PTing soon and see how it goes. A lot will depend on what else happens this cycle. Thanks again.

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mirroroferised7
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Re: 173 - worth it to retake?

Postby mirroroferised7 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:55 pm

random number wrote:
furrrman wrote:I'm just wondering if there's anybody in a similar situation who found that they greatly improved on a retake. This was my first attempt, and I was (and still am) very happy with my score. Thing is, I've been reading around here that you should be doing around 30-40 PTs, whereas I did only 16, which I thought was a lot (hah). This isn't to say I slacked, I studied hard for three months and did a lot of drilling. That said, I always felt like I could have done a little better, that there was just some wall I just needed to break through and then I'd be in the 175+ range. My last ten or so PTs were all in the 169-172 range (I hit 174 once but that seemed like an outlier). So I definitely stayed on the high end of my range, which I was happy about, but now I'm left wondering what a new study regime/retake might bring.

Just looking for some general advice and wisdom.
Quick background: GPA is 3.6x (low end), so I need all the lsat points I can get. Already put out applications this cycle, and gotten a few acceptances while still waiting on the bulk of them. Retake would be for the chance for more $$ and better schools.

Right now I'm thinking try for the June lsat. If I don't do markedly better I'll stick with what I've got. If I do do better, then perhaps sit out and reapply.

All advice welcome, thanks.


Mind if I ask what your scoring breakdown was? Improving LG is much different than improving RC.


I have to say, I am/was in the same boat as you. I got LG down, and had trouble with RC, LR. I tried Manhattan and Powerscore for both. My RC improved dramatically (mainly thanks to Powerscore.), but LR still fluctuated a lot. I had a February retake and feel that I did better than my 170 in October. But I just have to wait and see for now. Lsatqa is invaluable in targeting problem areas when it comes to LR.




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