Is 170+ possible before September?

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onlyhere4fun

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Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:25 am

So I'm AA male, currently enrolled in a Blueprint Course. The two practice tests I have taken are the diagnostic and the second exam. My scores for both test were a 158. On the diagnostic I performed really strongly in logical reasoning and much less so in reading comp and especially less so in logic games. My performance on reading comp and logic games improved in the second exam but my logical reasoning score dropped enough to offset the difference. Although my instructor tells me that it's normal not to improve from the diagnostic and second exam, I'm still worried because September is inching closer and closer. Outside of doing all of the hw made available to me by the class, I am drilling question types I have a harder time with, and reviewing thoroughly everything I get wrong. I feel like I'm starting to really find my stride in reading comp and logic games and logical reasoning seems like it will get back to normal, but I still have big issues with timing (reaching the last passage or reaching the last game in a section while maintaining high accuracy). I have been trying to put in around 5-6 hours a day for studying. Is it feasible for me to reach a 170 (or at least very close to it) by September? Or should I seriously start to consider pushing the test back to December? I'm not working over the summer so I have more time than I will ever have to focus on this test solely, but if I push to December I will have to find a job and balance studying with it. Also if I take it in December then that may put me at a disadvantage in the admissions cycle and I'm not sure if it would be better at that point for me to wait another year(I'm already taking 1 year off to work between law school and undergrad. Any more time and my mom would not be happy with that lol) And finally there is also a financial incentive for me to write in September; my alma mater's honors program is offering to reimburse 50% of my expenditure on LSAT Prep given that I take the next available LSAT (September), and I apply to a law school. I know the money I invested in LSAT prep is a drop in the bucket compared to significant scholarships or great school offers but all of these factors are making me more stressed, and consequently making me work a lot harder, to try to be prepared by September.

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pretzeltime

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby pretzeltime » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:40 am

The first time I took the LSAT I was basically in your position (time frame wise) and tried to rush to take the test. I didn't have a job so I could study full time.

For me personally, full time study crammed into a small time frame completely backfired. I also wanted to score 170+ but I wasn't ready for the test, my PT scores were not high enough for me to have taken the test. I tanked (relative to my potential I guess) and got a 160. Cramming really did not work for me.

I took 2 months off, went back to studying, and my practice test scores instantly popped up about 10 points. Kept studying, got them even higher, and got above my target score the next time around.

Just my experience. This is probably not what you want to hear, but I think it would be unlikely that you'll pull off 170+ by Sept.

It's tempting with the reimbursements etc etc but as you say it's a drop in the bucket and having a higher score means scholarships etc.

You won't be totally screwed if you apply in Jan.......not ideal but not screwed.

onlyhere4fun

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:47 am

pretzeltime wrote:The first time I took the LSAT I was basically in your position (time frame wise) and tried to rush to take the test. I didn't have a job so I could study full time.

For me personally, full time study crammed into a small time frame completely backfired. I also wanted to score 170+ but I wasn't ready for the test, my PT scores were not high enough for me to have taken the test. I tanked (relative to my potential I guess) and got a 160. Cramming really did not work for me.

I took 2 months off, went back to studying, and my practice test scores instantly popped up about 10 points. Kept studying, got them even higher, and got above my target score the next time around.

Just my experience. This is probably not what you want to hear, but I think it would be unlikely that you'll pull off 170+ by Sept.

It's tempting with the reimbursements etc etc but as you say it's a drop in the bucket and having a higher score means scholarships etc.

You won't be totally screwed if you apply in Jan.......not ideal but not screwed.


Owwww that hurts :( :lol: .

But seriously thank you for your input. I need to hear the truth to plan accordingly. I have taken the test before and I've made the mistake of trying to rush into it. If it really does not pan out then I won't make the same mistake again and I'll give myself more time to study for December.

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RamTitan

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby RamTitan » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:50 am

onlyhere4fun wrote:
pretzeltime wrote:The first time I took the LSAT I was basically in your position (time frame wise) and tried to rush to take the test. I didn't have a job so I could study full time.

For me personally, full time study crammed into a small time frame completely backfired. I also wanted to score 170+ but I wasn't ready for the test, my PT scores were not high enough for me to have taken the test. I tanked (relative to my potential I guess) and got a 160. Cramming really did not work for me.

I took 2 months off, went back to studying, and my practice test scores instantly popped up about 10 points. Kept studying, got them even higher, and got above my target score the next time around.

Just my experience. This is probably not what you want to hear, but I think it would be unlikely that you'll pull off 170+ by Sept.

It's tempting with the reimbursements etc etc but as you say it's a drop in the bucket and having a higher score means scholarships etc.

You won't be totally screwed if you apply in Jan.......not ideal but not screwed.


Owwww that hurts :( :lol: .

But seriously thank you for your input. I need to hear the truth to plan accordingly. I have taken the test before and I've made the mistake of trying to rush into it. If it really does not pan out then I won't make the same mistake again and I'll give myself more time to study for December.


A 158 is a really good diagnostic. If I were you, I would not rush into applying to law school; take your time studying. You'll see that time, not cramming, develops these skills.

onlyhere4fun

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby onlyhere4fun » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:01 am

RamTitan wrote:
onlyhere4fun wrote:
pretzeltime wrote:The first time I took the LSAT I was basically in your position (time frame wise) and tried to rush to take the test. I didn't have a job so I could study full time.

For me personally, full time study crammed into a small time frame completely backfired. I also wanted to score 170+ but I wasn't ready for the test, my PT scores were not high enough for me to have taken the test. I tanked (relative to my potential I guess) and got a 160. Cramming really did not work for me.

I took 2 months off, went back to studying, and my practice test scores instantly popped up about 10 points. Kept studying, got them even higher, and got above my target score the next time around.

Just my experience. This is probably not what you want to hear, but I think it would be unlikely that you'll pull off 170+ by Sept.

It's tempting with the reimbursements etc etc but as you say it's a drop in the bucket and having a higher score means scholarships etc.

You won't be totally screwed if you apply in Jan.......not ideal but not screwed.


Owwww that hurts :( :lol: .

But seriously thank you for your input. I need to hear the truth to plan accordingly. I have taken the test before and I've made the mistake of trying to rush into it. If it really does not pan out then I won't make the same mistake again and I'll give myself more time to study for December.


A 158 is a really good diagnostic. If I were you, I would not rush into applying to law school; take your time studying. You'll see that time, not cramming, develops these skills.


You're right. It's a tough pill to swallow, potentially putting off law school for a longer period of time, but if it helps me achieve my dreams then the extra time should be worth it. Thanks for your input!

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pretzeltime

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby pretzeltime » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:04 am

onlyhere4fun wrote:
pretzeltime wrote:The first time I took the LSAT I was basically in your position (time frame wise) and tried to rush to take the test. I didn't have a job so I could study full time.

For me personally, full time study crammed into a small time frame completely backfired. I also wanted to score 170+ but I wasn't ready for the test, my PT scores were not high enough for me to have taken the test. I tanked (relative to my potential I guess) and got a 160. Cramming really did not work for me.

I took 2 months off, went back to studying, and my practice test scores instantly popped up about 10 points. Kept studying, got them even higher, and got above my target score the next time around.

Just my experience. This is probably not what you want to hear, but I think it would be unlikely that you'll pull off 170+ by Sept.

It's tempting with the reimbursements etc etc but as you say it's a drop in the bucket and having a higher score means scholarships etc.

You won't be totally screwed if you apply in Jan.......not ideal but not screwed.


Owwww that hurts :( :lol: .

But seriously thank you for your input. I need to hear the truth to plan accordingly. I have taken the test before and I've made the mistake of trying to rush into it. If it really does not pan out then I won't make the same mistake again and I'll give myself more time to study for December.


I know, it sucks. Unfortunately I didn't know tons about the LSAT my first go around (meaning, I had not yet discovered the deeply cynical TLS yet) and I kind of thought I could somehow pull a 170+ out of my ass on test day. My Powerscore teacher etc were kind of yes men. I asked if I should take it and I think he didn't want to say no so he didn't give me the harsh but realistic answer. If I had come to TLS with the same question I would have had about 90 ppl tell me I was not ready. Not sure I would have listened to their advice because I really wanted to apply last cycle. But, there you have it.

Voyager

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby Voyager » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:29 pm

Yes, I know 2 people who went from sub-160 to a 170+.

But recognize you have a ton of work to do...

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texasellewoods

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby texasellewoods » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:43 am

Have you considered taking both September and December? I took June and September, and having that first real life testing experience helped so much going into the second - I was considerably less nervous and stressed. It sounds like you have some financial concerns already so that may not be possible for you, but if it is I recommend thinking about that. Best case, you get your target score in Sept and can apply then - worst case, you are more prepared for December!
I would also recommend you start working through more practice tests soon. I found those helped me much more than drilling until I was really fine tuning each section. LG is the most important section to focus on IMO, because it is the easiest to learn and improve on.
Good luck!!

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RamTitan

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby RamTitan » Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:25 pm

texasellewoods wrote:Have you considered taking both September and December? I took June and September, and having that first real life testing experience helped so much going into the second - I was considerably less nervous and stressed. It sounds like you have some financial concerns already so that may not be possible for you, but if it is I recommend thinking about that. Best case, you get your target score in Sept and can apply then - worst case, you are more prepared for December!
I would also recommend you start working through more practice tests soon. I found those helped me much more than drilling until I was really fine tuning each section. LG is the most important section to focus on IMO, because it is the easiest to learn and improve on.
Good luck!!

I'm using a 2nd take in Sept., so this is great to hear haha

MyNameIsntJames

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Re: Is 170+ possible before September?

Postby MyNameIsntJames » Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:18 pm

onlyhere4fun wrote:So I'm AA male, currently enrolled in a Blueprint Course. The two practice tests I have taken are the diagnostic and the second exam. My scores for both test were a 158. On the diagnostic I performed really strongly in logical reasoning and much less so in reading comp and especially less so in logic games. My performance on reading comp and logic games improved in the second exam but my logical reasoning score dropped enough to offset the difference. Although my instructor tells me that it's normal not to improve from the diagnostic and second exam, I'm still worried because September is inching closer and closer. Outside of doing all of the hw made available to me by the class, I am drilling question types I have a harder time with, and reviewing thoroughly everything I get wrong. I feel like I'm starting to really find my stride in reading comp and logic games and logical reasoning seems like it will get back to normal, but I still have big issues with timing (reaching the last passage or reaching the last game in a section while maintaining high accuracy). I have been trying to put in around 5-6 hours a day for studying. Is it feasible for me to reach a 170 (or at least very close to it) by September? Or should I seriously start to consider pushing the test back to December? I'm not working over the summer so I have more time than I will ever have to focus on this test solely, but if I push to December I will have to find a job and balance studying with it. Also if I take it in December then that may put me at a disadvantage in the admissions cycle and I'm not sure if it would be better at that point for me to wait another year(I'm already taking 1 year off to work between law school and undergrad. Any more time and my mom would not be happy with that lol) And finally there is also a financial incentive for me to write in September; my alma mater's honors program is offering to reimburse 50% of my expenditure on LSAT Prep given that I take the next available LSAT (September), and I apply to a law school. I know the money I invested in LSAT prep is a drop in the bucket compared to significant scholarships or great school offers but all of these factors are making me more stressed, and consequently making me work a lot harder, to try to be prepared by September.



Only you can answer this. My advice to people in a "should I take this exam" position is to just register for it and study your ass off up until the day before the exam. If it comes down to September 23rd and you're still feeling iffy about it, just withdraw and eat the $180 and do December. However, should you find you're PTing 170+ CONSISTENTLY before the exam starts then go for it. If you're off/on 170+ then it's your gamble.

Questions like this require you to be honest with yourself. Be honest with how much you think you'll actually study, how much test anxiety actually affects you and your capacity to absorb new information and problem solve in the form of figuring out what hurdles you need to mentally jump in order to break 170+.

Everyone is different. Some people take a year to break that, some people pick up the prep materials and start breaking 170+ in a month. Not always raw intelligence, the test is heavy on one's linguistic and verbal fluidity and it plays to that strength.

Good luck. Once again to reiterate, I always recommend people just sign up for the exam and if you aren't feeling it or you know you aren't in your target score range a day or two before the exam, then just cancel and eat the $180. It won't kill you.



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