Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Prepare for the LSAT or discuss it with others in this forum.
orion

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Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby orion » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:02 pm

Hey everyone,
I'm currently going into my senior year of college, and I am registered for the Sep 8 LSAT. I am taking a Kaplan prep course, along with summer college classes, and my practice tests are scoring in the 145-150 range. I know I don't have a decent shot at admissions at my top choice schools without a 160+, and I don't feasibly see it happening by September. I'm considering either sitting for the September LSAT and taking a gap year if I don't score 160+, sitting again in November (not sure how much I will benefit in 2 months), or withdrawing from the LSAT and sitting for the GRE instead sometime between now and November. I feel like I have a much higher chance of admission if I take the GRE instead. I'd appreciate any opinions. About half my goal schools accept the GRE, so I'd be sacrificing a shot at some schools by not taking the LSAT, but is a 145-150 even worth it?

Thanks!

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:36 pm

I mean technically you have about 3 months from now till November exam. If you go balls to the wall until then, I feel like you might have a chance.

orion

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby orion » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:52 pm

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:I mean technically you have about 3 months from now till November exam. If you go balls to the wall until then, I feel like you might have a chance.


I thought about it as well, but with 20 units and work, it's going to be one hell of a time-crunch until then. Somewhat of a predicament. I think I need to take the LSAT and score less than their diagnostic to get me $1500 back too? Somewhat of a predicament.

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Sun Aug 19, 2018 8:55 pm

orion wrote:
JoblessAndHopeless wrote:I mean technically you have about 3 months from now till November exam. If you go balls to the wall until then, I feel like you might have a chance.


I thought about it as well, but with 20 units and work, it's going to be one hell of a time-crunch until then. Somewhat of a predicament. I think I need to take the LSAT and score less than their diagnostic to get me $1500 back too? Somewhat of a predicament.



Full course work and work, yeah that sounds too much.
But maybe just take the September exam as a "practice". From what I hear, sounds like most schools usually take the highest score. You could get a feel for what the actual LSAT is like on September as a valuable experience.

Just curious, do you think the Kaplan course is worth it? I'm going to take a prep course as well and trying to decide between Powerscore vs Kaplan vs Testmasters.

nixy

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby nixy » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:26 pm

If you're scoring 140-150, I don't think taking the exam in September is at all worth it. I know there are unlimited takes now and so there's no real harm, but I don't see how having a score that low on your record will be worth the "practice" you'd get from the exam. Withdraw and sign up for November, and see what your improvement looks like by then. Or if you reallllly want practice, take the exam but cancel the score.

orion

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby orion » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:18 am

Something else I'm keeping in mind is the fact that I can only get my LSAT prep course refunded or repeated if I score lower on the actual LSAT than the diagnostics. It was ~$1,500 Kaplan course, and they require me to send an official score in to get a refund or repeat it. I'm thinking of getting the refund and taking the GRE prep course instead.

I'm really gunning for USC or UCLA, my stats should be ~3.75ish LSAC GPA in POSC @ a UC, hopefully coupled with a good test score. Not an URM, strong extracurriculars.

nixy

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby nixy » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:40 am

Do you think retaking the course is going to be more effective than using the self study materials identified elsewhere on this site? FWIW, Kaplan is generally considered terrible for LSAT prep.

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:28 pm

orion wrote:Something else I'm keeping in mind is the fact that I can only get my LSAT prep course refunded or repeated if I score lower on the actual LSAT than the diagnostics. It was ~$1,500 Kaplan course, and they require me to send an official score in to get a refund or repeat it. I'm thinking of getting the refund and taking the GRE prep course instead.

I'm really gunning for USC or UCLA, my stats should be ~3.75ish LSAC GPA in POSC @ a UC, hopefully coupled with a good test score. Not an URM, strong extracurriculars.


FYI, keep in mind that the median LSAT for UCLA is 168 and for USC it is 165.

orion

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby orion » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:01 pm

nixy wrote:Do you think retaking the course is going to be more effective than using the self study materials identified elsewhere on this site? FWIW, Kaplan is generally considered terrible for LSAT prep.


I thought the course would offer some sort of a "magic bullet" to solving the problems initially, but I quickly realized it's all practice based. I don't think repeating the course would help, but getting my $1500 back would be pretty nice considering it didn't really help my score.

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:
orion wrote:Something else I'm keeping in mind is the fact that I can only get my LSAT prep course refunded or repeated if I score lower on the actual LSAT than the diagnostics. It was ~$1,500 Kaplan course, and they require me to send an official score in to get a refund or repeat it. I'm thinking of getting the refund and taking the GRE prep course instead.

I'm really gunning for USC or UCLA, my stats should be ~3.75ish LSAC GPA in POSC @ a UC, hopefully coupled with a good test score. Not an URM, strong extracurriculars.


FYI, keep in mind that the median LSAT for UCLA is 168 and for USC it is 165.


My friend was rejected from both with above a 3.9 and 160 score, so I realized how heavy they are on a good LSAT score. It might be beneficial for me to take time off to hone my skills. I was pretty dead-set on going the K-JD route though.

JoblessAndHopeless

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby JoblessAndHopeless » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:25 pm

orion wrote:
nixy wrote:Do you think retaking the course is going to be more effective than using the self study materials identified elsewhere on this site? FWIW, Kaplan is generally considered terrible for LSAT prep.


I thought the course would offer some sort of a "magic bullet" to solving the problems initially, but I quickly realized it's all practice based. I don't think repeating the course would help, but getting my $1500 back would be pretty nice considering it didn't really help my score.

JoblessAndHopeless wrote:
orion wrote:Something else I'm keeping in mind is the fact that I can only get my LSAT prep course refunded or repeated if I score lower on the actual LSAT than the diagnostics. It was ~$1,500 Kaplan course, and they require me to send an official score in to get a refund or repeat it. I'm thinking of getting the refund and taking the GRE prep course instead.

I'm really gunning for USC or UCLA, my stats should be ~3.75ish LSAC GPA in POSC @ a UC, hopefully coupled with a good test score. Not an URM, strong extracurriculars.


FYI, keep in mind that the median LSAT for UCLA is 168 and for USC it is 165.


My friend was rejected from both with above a 3.9 and 160 score, so I realized how heavy they are on a good LSAT score. It might be beneficial for me to take time off to hone my skills. I was pretty dead-set on going the K-JD route though.



So you think Kaplan course is not worth it? What do you mean "it's all practice based?" They just let you loose and do preptests by yourself all day?

Look, in the grand scheme of things, $1500 is not all that much. I know as a broke college student, it may seem a lot now, but really it's not that big of a deal going forward with your career and life.

Where did your friend end up going to law school? 3.9 is pretty freaking high, and 160 is decent enough.

nixy

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby nixy » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:51 pm

Re: Kaplan, I think they meant that the only way to get better is practice rather than find a magic bullet, not that Kaplan is specifically practice-based.

orion

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby orion » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:28 pm

nixy wrote:Re: Kaplan, I think they meant that the only way to get better is practice rather than find a magic bullet, not that Kaplan is specifically practice-based.


Exactly this, I thought we’d do specific lessons and stuff but we’re basicallt going over a book and the same generic practice problems that anyone with the $50 book can do.

E: he went to a school in the 40s with minimal scholarship.

AdamLSAT

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby AdamLSAT » Tue Aug 21, 2018 1:31 pm

A few answers to questions posed in this thread from a former BigLaw Attorney, T-14 Grad, and LSAT instructor/tutor

1. Sit for the September LSAT. It's true you will not be able to get your best score by September, but sitting for an exam will do you no harm as schools will only care about your highest LSAT score. Study your balls off for the November exam and kill it. Apply for law school. While they are considering your application, take the January LSAT in the hopes of improving your November score (even if only by a point).

2. Kaplan has shitty courses and shitty instructors. I used to teach for Blueprint as well as a few smaller regional companies. If you are dead-set on a course, go with Blueprint, Testmasters, PowerScore, or Manhattan Review. Better yet, most people would benefit more from buying curriculum books, such as the three PowerScore Bibles, self-studying, then doing one-on-one tutoring with the money they would have spent on a course. The basic curriculum isn't the hard part, its the fine tuning of applying the curriculum to difficult questions which is a skill that benefits tremendously from expert help.

After leaving Kirkland & Ellis, I've went back to teaching the LSAT. If you are interested in tutoring or in talking more about the LSAT, feel free to message me at adamkravatz@gmail.com

orion

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby orion » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:36 pm

AdamLSAT wrote:A few answers to questions posed in this thread from a former BigLaw Attorney, T-14 Grad, and LSAT instructor/tutor

1. Sit for the September LSAT. It's true you will not be able to get your best score by September, but sitting for an exam will do you no harm as schools will only care about your highest LSAT score. Study your balls off for the November exam and kill it. Apply for law school. While they are considering your application, take the January LSAT in the hopes of improving your November score (even if only by a point).

2. Kaplan has shitty courses and shitty instructors. I used to teach for Blueprint as well as a few smaller regional companies. If you are dead-set on a course, go with Blueprint, Testmasters, PowerScore, or Manhattan Review. Better yet, most people would benefit more from buying curriculum books, such as the three PowerScore Bibles, self-studying, then doing one-on-one tutoring with the money they would have spent on a course. The basic curriculum isn't the hard part, its the fine tuning of applying the curriculum to difficult questions which is a skill that benefits tremendously from expert help.

After leaving Kirkland & Ellis, I've went back to teaching the LSAT. If you are interested in tutoring or in talking more about the LSAT, feel free to message me at adamkravatz@gmail.com


Thanks. Do you think I should invest anything into GRE prep?

AdamLSAT

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby AdamLSAT » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:01 pm

There's too many variables involved for me to answer that question. Is there a reason you think you'd score higher on the GRE than the LSAT? What was your diagnostic LSAT score (I see you're PTing from 145-150, but how much have you improved?)? I would lean towards no on prepping for the GMAT since it would take away from LSAT study - unless you felt you can get a much higher score on the GRE than the LSAT to make up for the loss in schools who do not accept the GRE.

orion

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby orion » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:39 pm

AdamLSAT wrote:There's too many variables involved for me to answer that question. Is there a reason you think you'd score higher on the GRE than the LSAT? What was your diagnostic LSAT score (I see you're PTing from 145-150, but how much have you improved?)? I would lean towards no on prepping for the GMAT since it would take away from LSAT study - unless you felt you can get a much higher score on the GRE than the LSAT to make up for the loss in schools who do not accept the GRE.


So specifically I took the initial diagnostic @ 145, and scored 144 on the midpoint. Not reassuring scores, but I haven’t invested too much into studying due to summer school. Still need to take the final. I’m thinking the vocab section on the GRE might give me a leg-up, but the math skills might equalize it.

AdamLSAT

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Re: Should I still sit for the September LSAT?

Postby AdamLSAT » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:11 pm

There isn't a compelling reason to take the GRE over the LSAT and 144 is an above average diagnostic score. I had a student go from a 140 to a 168. There is still a lot of room for more improvement if you invest the time and resources into getting a great score.



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