Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

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SunDevil14

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Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby SunDevil14 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:27 am

I think I know the answer to this one, although I would like some outside confirmation. Thanks in advance guys.

Is it better to take the LSat in September or wait until December, assuming one believes one can improve?

I do not have any pressing responsibilities/time commitments other than the Lsat now, nor would I in the next few months. Furthermore, I have already taken the test once, and do not want more than one retake. Given the low opportunity cost, and the potential for a massive pay out through both scholarships and school/career opportunities, I think I am better off waiting until December.

Stats:

Current Lsat Average: 168 (Few Recent tests in the 170+ Range, Few 166's)
GPA 3.83 (Summa Cum Laude)

First attempt on Lsat I got a 160. Over my prep period of the last 3 months, I have improved my average by 8 points. Given a modest improvement in the future of 4 points my average score would be 172 with mid 170's potential. Given and in aggressive improvement another 8 points my average score is 176 with high 170's potential. Currently, I get -0 on the games easily. On LR I have the ability to get -0's -1's -2's, and do so a decent chunk of the time, but also have a wide distribution because sometimes I will get -5 -6 -7. RC is fairly constant at around -4 (expect least improvement on that section). Also worth noting is LG was originally my worst section, and the section I worked on the most.

The point being is that I want to leave no stone unturned, and I think that I still have a fair amount of potential to score higher (especially if I can average -2 or better on both LR sections of a given test).

StopLawying

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby StopLawying » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:43 am

If you're applying this cycle might as well take Sep. If you do well you're done and you can apply early. If you're not happy with the score you just take again in December.
If you're not applying this cycle then I'd tell you to wait. Not worth wasting a take if you think you can score higher in December.

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SunDevil14

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby SunDevil14 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:47 pm

Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby StopLawying » Wed Sep 14, 2016 1:23 pm

SunDevil14 wrote:Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.


Why? Schools only take your highest score. If you're set on applying this cycle, Sep can only help.

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SunDevil14

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby SunDevil14 » Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:16 pm

StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.


Why? Schools only take your highest score. If you're set on applying this cycle, Sep can only help.


^That very well may be the case for many of the schools, though I am operating under the assumption that the very best schools look more favorably on fewer retakes. I also saw something interesting regarding that in some cases the average is taken.

I aiming for Chicago, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley and would not mind having a small chance at Standford Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that 168 is not great, and I am looking to score the low to mid 170's, with anything above being a bonus. I am not sure how taking it in September would help me, though I suppose you are operating under different assumptions. Thoughts?

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby StopLawying » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:34 pm

SunDevil14 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.


Why? Schools only take your highest score. If you're set on applying this cycle, Sep can only help.


^That very well may be the case for many of the schools, though I am operating under the assumption that the very best schools look more favorably on fewer retakes. I also saw something interesting regarding that in some cases the average is taken.

I aiming for Chicago, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley and would not mind having a small chance at Standford Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that 168 is not great, and I am looking to score the low to mid 170's, with anything above being a bonus. I am not sure how taking it in September would help me, though I suppose you are operating under different assumptions. Thoughts?


Also looking to attend the top 14. The way I look at it is that it's a numbers game. Schools only need to report your highest score for rankings. With the exception of Yale, I don't think schools average anymore. Let's say you get a 168 in Sep, and then a 170 in Dec. Schools will not look at you any differently if you have a 160,168, and 170 than if you had a 160 and 170. Just my opinion.
Also, if you choose to skip Sep and only take Dec, you'd be putting all your eggs in one basket. T-14 schools don't accept Feb scores so you'd have to kill the Dec test in order to attend those schools.I think you'd be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. It's dec or bust.
And lastly, you can apply early if you take the Sep test and do well. If you choose to wait until Dec you'd be applying later in the cycle which puts you at a small disadvantage.
In short I think there's a lot more to gain taking Sep than just waiting until Dec.But this only applies if you're adamant about applying this cycle.

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Rupert Pupkin

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby Rupert Pupkin » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:40 pm

StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.


Why? Schools only take your highest score. If you're set on applying this cycle, Sep can only help.


^That very well may be the case for many of the schools, though I am operating under the assumption that the very best schools look more favorably on fewer retakes. I also saw something interesting regarding that in some cases the average is taken.

I aiming for Chicago, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley and would not mind having a small chance at Standford Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that 168 is not great, and I am looking to score the low to mid 170's, with anything above being a bonus. I am not sure how taking it in September would help me, though I suppose you are operating under different assumptions. Thoughts?


Also looking to attend the top 14. The way I look at it is that it's a numbers game. Schools only need to report your highest score for rankings. With the exception of Yale, I don't think schools average anymore. Let's say you get a 168 in Sep, and then a 170 in Dec. Schools will not look at you any differently if you have a 160,168, and 170 than if you had a 160 and 170. Just my opinion.
Also, if you choose to skip Sep and only take Dec, you'd be putting all your eggs in one basket. T-14 schools don't accept Feb scores so you'd have to kill the Dec test in order to attend those schools.I think you'd be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. It's dec or bust.
And lastly, you can apply early if you take the Sep test and do well. If you choose to wait until Dec you'd be applying later in the cycle which puts you at a small disadvantage.
In short I think there's a lot more to gain taking Sep than just waiting until Dec.But this only applies if you're adamant about applying this cycle.


I agree with this ^

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SunDevil14

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby SunDevil14 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:01 am

jagerbom79 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.


Why? Schools only take your highest score. If you're set on applying this cycle, Sep can only help.


^That very well may be the case for many of the schools, though I am operating under the assumption that the very best schools look more favorably on fewer retakes. I also saw something interesting regarding that in some cases the average is taken.

I aiming for Chicago, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley and would not mind having a small chance at Standford Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that 168 is not great, and I am looking to score the low to mid 170's, with anything above being a bonus. I am not sure how taking it in September would help me, though I suppose you are operating under different assumptions. Thoughts?


Also looking to attend the top 14. The way I look at it is that it's a numbers game. Schools only need to report your highest score for rankings. With the exception of Yale, I don't think schools average anymore. Let's say you get a 168 in Sep, and then a 170 in Dec. Schools will not look at you any differently if you have a 160,168, and 170 than if you had a 160 and 170. Just my opinion.
Also, if you choose to skip Sep and only take Dec, you'd be putting all your eggs in one basket. T-14 schools don't accept Feb scores so you'd have to kill the Dec test in order to attend those schools.I think you'd be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. It's dec or bust.
And lastly, you can apply early if you take the Sep test and do well. If you choose to wait until Dec you'd be applying later in the cycle which puts you at a small disadvantage.
In short I think there's a lot more to gain taking Sep than just waiting until Dec.But this only applies if you're adamant about applying this cycle.


I agree with this ^


Apparently the ABA does no longer requires law schools to report the average, but rather the higher score. Is this what are you referring to?
Last edited by SunDevil14 on Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Rupert Pupkin

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby Rupert Pupkin » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:35 am

SunDevil14 wrote:
jagerbom79 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.


Why? Schools only take your highest score. If you're set on applying this cycle, Sep can only help.


^That very well may be the case for many of the schools, though I am operating under the assumption that the very best schools look more favorably on fewer retakes. I also saw something interesting regarding that in some cases the average is taken.

I aiming for Chicago, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley and would not mind having a small chance at Standford Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that 168 is not great, and I am looking to score the low to mid 170's, with anything above being a bonus. I am not sure how taking it in September would help me, though I suppose you are operating under different assumptions. Thoughts?


Also looking to attend the top 14. The way I look at it is that it's a numbers game. Schools only need to report your highest score for rankings. With the exception of Yale, I don't think schools average anymore. Let's say you get a 168 in Sep, and then a 170 in Dec. Schools will not look at you any differently if you have a 160,168, and 170 than if you had a 160 and 170. Just my opinion.
Also, if you choose to skip Sep and only take Dec, you'd be putting all your eggs in one basket. T-14 schools don't accept Feb scores so you'd have to kill the Dec test in order to attend those schools.I think you'd be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. It's dec or bust.
And lastly, you can apply early if you take the Sep test and do well. If you choose to wait until Dec you'd be applying later in the cycle which puts you at a small disadvantage.
In short I think there's a lot more to gain taking Sep than just waiting until Dec.But this only applies if you're adamant about applying this cycle.


I agree with this ^


So presumably take the September test with the intention of taking the December test. The exception being that you do extremely well on the September Test. Could you still apply early if you're waiting on the December score or are you forced to use the September score for the early application?


I wouldn't take the Sept test with the intention of taking the December test. I would take it with the intention of crushing it and being done.Dec just gives you a backup test in case Sept kicks your ass unexpectedly--If that is the case, you have 1 more take in the current cycle. If you don't care about applying this cycle, then maybe don't take sept.. and take your time till you have exemplified true mastery of the exam. I don't think you will be able to apply early (if you have to take dec), but if you have your app done and submit the day you get dec scores you still have a great shot in the cycle.

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SunDevil14

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Re: Signed up for Septemeber, Considering Postponing to December

Postby SunDevil14 » Thu Sep 15, 2016 3:06 pm

jagerbom79 wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:
jagerbom79 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:
StopLawying wrote:
SunDevil14 wrote:Applying to for this cycle. I'd rather not have 2 retakes.


Why? Schools only take your highest score. If you're set on applying this cycle, Sep can only help.


^That very well may be the case for many of the schools, though I am operating under the assumption that the very best schools look more favorably on fewer retakes. I also saw something interesting regarding that in some cases the average is taken.

I aiming for Chicago, Columbia, NYU, and Berkeley and would not mind having a small chance at Standford Harvard or Yale. Bottom line is that 168 is not great, and I am looking to score the low to mid 170's, with anything above being a bonus. I am not sure how taking it in September would help me, though I suppose you are operating under different assumptions. Thoughts?


Also looking to attend the top 14. The way I look at it is that it's a numbers game. Schools only need to report your highest score for rankings. With the exception of Yale, I don't think schools average anymore. Let's say you get a 168 in Sep, and then a 170 in Dec. Schools will not look at you any differently if you have a 160,168, and 170 than if you had a 160 and 170. Just my opinion.
Also, if you choose to skip Sep and only take Dec, you'd be putting all your eggs in one basket. T-14 schools don't accept Feb scores so you'd have to kill the Dec test in order to attend those schools.I think you'd be putting a lot of pressure on yourself. It's dec or bust.
And lastly, you can apply early if you take the Sep test and do well. If you choose to wait until Dec you'd be applying later in the cycle which puts you at a small disadvantage.
In short I think there's a lot more to gain taking Sep than just waiting until Dec.But this only applies if you're adamant about applying this cycle.


I agree with this ^


So presumably take the September test with the intention of taking the December test. The exception being that you do extremely well on the September Test. Could you still apply early if you're waiting on the December score or are you forced to use the September score for the early application?


I wouldn't take the Sept test with the intention of taking the December test. I would take it with the intention of crushing it and being done.Dec just gives you a backup test in case Sept kicks your ass unexpectedly--If that is the case, you have 1 more take in the current cycle. If you don't care about applying this cycle, then maybe don't take sept.. and take your time till you have exemplified true mastery of the exam. I don't think you will be able to apply early (if you have to take dec), but if you have your app done and submit the day you get dec scores you still have a great shot in the cycle.


I understand your point, though I tend to be pretty cynical and hard on myself. I am working hard, and will continue to work hard to improve my weakness in the next week. That being said, perhaps I average 170 on the next 3 or 4 tests I take before the September exam. I do not believe that an average increase of more than a few points is realistic in a week. Getting a 171 172 173 on any given test (i.e. test day) is within my capabilities, though would be on very top end of my standard distribution, and thus the chances are not great. Ideally I want 173+.

After further research I found that the Top14 tend to give your highest score greater weight, and that the ABA only requires schools to report the highest score. Although the top tier YHS, CCN, as well as most ranked in the single digits consider all scores. Under certain circumstances they average and others require addendums and explanations. So, theoretically an applicant with 173 on the first take is better than a 173 on a retake, which in turn is better than a 173 on a second retake (all other factors being equal). I am not sure to what extent to schools really factor the other test and addendum, though a addendum claiming that, "you thought you could score and higher and or were not quite ready" doesn't seem to work in your favor in my opinion.

Just trying to play devils advocate to better the discussion. Furthermore, I am more concerned with 2nd retake being counted against me than the possibility of doing really poorly on a given test. I find that the average of my last 5 test with a deviation of 2 points in either direction to be a very reliable indicator.



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