Stuck in the 160s...help!

admitmenowplzkthxbai
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Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby admitmenowplzkthxbai » Wed May 27, 2015 11:03 pm

Hey everyone,

Long time lurker here. A lot of the info I've found on this forum to be immensely helpful. However, I've seem to hit a plateau earlier than I thought, and I'm struggling to conquer it. Any input/advice would be much appreciated.

I started a prep class in March to prepare for the June LSAT, which I am still currently registered to take. Prior to the class, I had done a bit of random studying on my own, but nothing too rigorous or structured. The first diagnostic I took with for class I scored a 161, then on the second one a 166. Needless to say, I was excited about the progress.

However, in the several weeks since the 166, I haven't been able to break through that ceiling. The class gave me a great deal of practice questions to work with, all of which were grouped by question type so I could focus on each question type and game type. I've gotten a 165 and then another 166, but a couple of my other practice tests have swung from the 161-164 range. On good days I've missed 3 on logic games, on other days I've missed as many as 6. I feel like I've gotten better at games (though I'm by no means perfect), but I think what is holding me back the most is my performance on logical reasoning. The least I've ever missed in two sections combined is 5, while I've also had -10, -12, and -13 (total, for 2 sections combined) on several practice tests.

Does anyone have any practical advice for me to help break through the 166 ceiling? I've scored well enough in each section on separate tests to know that I can do well overall, but so far it hasn't come together on a single test. As I mentioned I'm registered for the June LSAT, but I'm not opposed to postponing till October if that would mean a better score.

If it helps to know, at this point I'm planning to ED to Chicago. I have decent work experience (1 year at LGBT impact litigation org.) and ECs, and a 3.99 GPA. But this darn test is probably going to be the biggest challenge in my law school app endeavors :'(. Thanks for all your help!
Last edited by admitmenowplzkthxbai on Thu May 28, 2015 12:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

PoopNpants
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Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby PoopNpants » Thu May 28, 2015 12:15 am

ED to Chicago sounds like it's going to entail a lot of debt I'd highly recommend against doing that especially with your GPA and even with a 161 would be pushing it. If necessary just re-take in Oct

admitmenowplzkthxbai
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 10:53 pm

Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby admitmenowplzkthxbai » Thu May 28, 2015 12:21 am

Hey Poop :) thanks for your thoughts. I'm considering Chicago ED because I got a full ride to undergrad and so $$ isn't AS big a factor as it might normally be. I know law school is still crazy expensive, but at this point (with the LSAT scores I'm seeing now), getting into the best school that I like is the priority for me.

The PTs where I've gotten 161-163 have usually been when I misdiagrammed some rules in a LG game (and thus f'ed the section up) or missed a wild amount (6+) of questions on reading, which is usually my best section (the least I've missed on an RC section is -1).

I'm wondering if some of it may just be mindset or something when it comes to doing better on LR, but perhaps I just don't have the fundamentals down yet.

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Clearly
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Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby Clearly » Thu May 28, 2015 2:09 am

The people that say sticker is too expensive are doing so ASSUMING you have no undergrad debt. If you had UG debt too, they'd be way more vocal about how insane that is. You'd be a fool not to retake if you didn't do as well as you wanted. I got a score in that range, retook twice and went up many more points. With your GPA stopping after the first score (or before you maximize) would be absurd and I'd be personally offended if you did.

PoopNpants
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Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby PoopNpants » Thu May 28, 2015 2:28 am

Yeah seriously use the tools and calculate how much $$$ you'd end up having to a month while working biglaw if you do Chicago at sticker. EDing isn't a good option unless you have the moolah to pay for school without loans or atleast pay a substantial amount without loans. I'd be nervous doing Harvard at sticker let alone Chicago
Seriously, buckle down and work hard on the LSAT, take it as many times as you can until you get the right score. There alotta great resources on TLS that can help you on your way. I've been studying since last august FWIW and Im still aren't comfortable in the 170 range

admitmenowplzkthxbai
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 10:53 pm

Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby admitmenowplzkthxbai » Thu May 28, 2015 9:20 am

Thanks Clearly and Poop for your helpful words of advice! I actually plan on going into public interest after law school, but I guess even with LRAP in mind EDing to any school that doesn't guarantee a scholarship may be a risky endeavor...I'll definitely take a look at those finance tools.

In any case, I appreciate the confidence in my ability to (eventually?) conquer the LSAT! :P I guess my question now then is should I just reschedule to October or take the test in June as scheduled? Is there some value to taking the test now and potentially doing well, versus holding off until October?

Like I said, I would be more than thrilled with an acceptance from Chicago or somewhere like Penn, but I also don't want to sell myself short and not shoot as high as possible. I'm just trying to think about what my retake study plan of attack would be, and whether or how much I can realistically improve my score. As I said before, I started studying last year (maybe around August?) and I seem to have hit an invisible wall. The culprit is either that I haven't mastered the fundamentals or am just throwing everything out the door when it comes to taking actual practice tests. I've found some helpful study guides on this forum and may just try starting with a blank slate and replicating one of those. Thoughts or suggestions on this would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again for all your help!

PoopNpants
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Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:40 pm

Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby PoopNpants » Thu May 28, 2015 12:37 pm

Theres no problem with taking in June and then October, it's past the deadline to do a date change (I'm pretty sure)
Check out the 7sage method for mastering games, it helped me a ton I get consistently near -0 now. To get a high score, it's pretty much a given that you must do well on LG.

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gnomgnomuch
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Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby gnomgnomuch » Thu May 28, 2015 12:56 pm

If you're going to do an ED, why not do ED to NU? It's an excellent school and comes with a full ride. Get a score in the high 160's and I can see you getting it with that GPA. However, if you break the 170 threshold, why not just apply across the board, you'll end up with a full ride most likely somewhere, and possibly in YS - most likely in at H.

admitmenowplzkthxbai
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 27, 2015 10:53 pm

Re: Stuck in the 160s...help!

Postby admitmenowplzkthxbai » Thu May 28, 2015 3:50 pm

Thanks y'all. I'm going to take June and do my best to shatter the 166-ceiling I haven't been able to conquer so far. I doubt it will be anything in the 170s so I'm going to plan on retaking in October as well.

I've been using 7sage and Cambridge packets to drill for LG, but like in the last practice test I took yesterday (164), there are still some random games that will just throw me. My plan now and after I take the June LSAT is to keep drilling games and really make sure I cover the fundamentals. Before I started drilling I was taking up to 8 or 9 minutes on easy linear sequencing games, but now I can do them quickly as I've developed (what I think) is a feel for how games in general work. My plan this summer will be to make this true for all game types, not just simple sequencing and ordering games. I'm not sure if I just learn really slowly or I've hit the limits of my intellectual capacity (hopefully not!) but I still haven't been able to get a perfect games section even after beginning studying last summer. But there's more work to be done and I'm up for the challenge. Anyone like me who struggled mightily at games at the beginning but managed to conquer the section--would love to hear your thoughts on how you got better and how long it took for you to get there.

LR will take a bunch more work than I've been putting in. I drilled for a bit with the Cambridge packets, but so far I'm not sure if it's made much of a difference, as my LR scores swing wildly between PTs. I'm weakest, ironically, at weakening questions, and I'm not too sure why. I often think that there's no way for me to get significantly better at LR because the content of each question type varies from test to test, after all. But that tells me that I still haven't gotten to the level of familiarity yet where I'm seeing the underlying patterns for each question type. Apart from drilling, I think I also need to be more rigorous about how I review missed questions on PTs and going through each answer choice and knowing why they are either wrong or right.

Gnom, I wanted to do ED to Chicago because it's my top choice for a number of reasons. Small student body, "rigorous academics," faculty interaction/1st year classes taught by the marquee faculty, constitutional law offerings, etc. I really didn't get any of that at the large university that I ended up attending (read: was forced to because of scholarship money; wanted to attend a small liberal arts college in the Northeast ). But I recognize that law school by no means comes cheap so still thinking through my options.

Appreciate all the feedback I've been getting!




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