Chances/retake?

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amc987
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Chances/retake?

Postby amc987 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:03 pm

Hey all. I am a longtime lurker and occasional poster on this board. I just took the Feb LSAT and got a 166. This was on the lower end of my practices (I was PTing around a 172/173 average, with a few in the high 70s). I also had a 3.5 in Politics from HYP (upward trend, but I know the adcoms don't care), and average softs. By average I mean did a couple of int'l internships during the summer, I have some political campaign experience (at school with the College Dems and outside volunteering for progressive candidates), taught/tutored inner-city kids, and I was an RA. I believe I'd like to pursue a career in international law and human rights (I'm not 100% certain of this, but I know I'd like to explore these types of courses and programs wherever I end up going.)

I had been shooting for a top 10 school, but obviously my LSAT score and GPA combo (I retook a 15X score in Oct) make this difficult. I am also an AA male, which I've heard can give you a bit of a boost, but a) I have no idea how far that boost goes, b) I don't actually believe it goes as far as some people here say it does and c) I'd have a hard time knowing that I went to a school that I only got into because of a URM boost. I don't mean to start some vigorous debate on the subject, but that's how I feel.

What do people think about a retake? I'm feeling a bit burned out at the moment, but I'm sure I could probably get the motivation back for one last go around. If I could get a score in the 170s on my third try, would it even make a difference at CCN and down? I'm afraid with 2 scores outside their range, I might just be wasting my time. What do you all think?

I'd appreciate any advice you all might have. Thanks!

thecynic69
Posts: 170
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:33 pm

Re: Chances/retake?

Postby thecynic69 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:34 pm

amc987 wrote:Hey all. I am a longtime lurker and occasional poster on this board. I just took the Feb LSAT and got a 166. This was on the lower end of my practices (I was PTing around a 172/173 average, with a few in the high 70s). I also had a 3.5 in Politics from HYP (upward trend, but I know the adcoms don't care), and average softs. By average I mean did a couple of int'l internships during the summer, I have some political campaign experience (at school with the College Dems and outside volunteering for progressive candidates), taught/tutored inner-city kids, and I was an RA. I believe I'd like to pursue a career in international law and human rights (I'm not 100% certain of this, but I know I'd like to explore these types of courses and programs wherever I end up going.)

I had been shooting for a top 10 school, but obviously my LSAT score and GPA combo (I retook a 15X score in Oct) make this difficult. I am also an AA male, which I've heard can give you a bit of a boost, but a) I have no idea how far that boost goes, b) I don't actually believe it goes as far as some people here say it does and c) I'd have a hard time knowing that I went to a school that I only got into because of a URM boost. I don't mean to start some vigorous debate on the subject, but that's how I feel.

What do people think about a retake? I'm feeling a bit burned out at the moment, but I'm sure I could probably get the motivation back for one last go around. If I could get a score in the 170s on my third try, would it even make a difference at CCN and down? I'm afraid with 2 scores outside their range, I might just be wasting my time. What do you all think?

I'd appreciate any advice you all might have. Thanks!



So two things up front: more points always help, and your chances at getting one or more of the T10 are pretty good as you stand. I feel the extra 5 points or so are particularly useful for attempting CCN, since you are probably looking at ding there (right now). I think low 170's gives you a fighting chance at CCN, and while it wouldn't make you autoadmit, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you got in.

I think the following advice is going to be pretty standard (btw, I'm going to assume you applied this cycle and informed schools you were retaking in Feb.): Push ahead with apps, and see where you get in. Study and retake in June if you are ready, October if you have any sort of time obligations that interfere with full time studying. If you feel like taking an offer, quit your studies and live large; otherwise, grab the extra 5+ points and see if you can't snag one of CCN next cycle. Also, you should take advantage of EA, if you go the retake route.

As far as affirmative action goes, that is up to your own conscience. I go back and forth on the issue--whether AA should exist, whether I am going to get into schools because of my race and not my merit, etc. In the end, I always decide that I'd be stupid not to check the relevant boxes on an application; the world's a tough place, and passing up opportunities isn't a winning strategy.

For what it's worth, what bothers me most about AA is not the idea of taking the spot of some more meritorious applicant--what bothers me most is that affirmative actions causes me to link the disadvantages I faced with my race when they are in fact the result of poverty--I went to a bad high school because I was poor and therefore lived in a poor neighborhood, not because I'm black or Hispanic; I couldn't afford an LSAT prep program because I'm poor, not because I'm black or Hispanic; etc. I suppose it is a little redeeming that part of the logic behind AA is that you bring something of value to law schools by being a URM--diff values, diff perspectives, etc.

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amc987
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Re: Chances/retake?

Postby amc987 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:02 am

thecynic69 wrote:So two things up front: more points always help, and your chances at getting one or more of the T10 are pretty good as you stand. I feel the extra 5 points or so are particularly useful for attempting CCN, since you are probably looking at ding there (right now). I think low 170's gives you a fighting chance at CCN, and while it wouldn't make you autoadmit, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you got in.

Thanks for the quick reply! I actually didn't apply this cycle. I wanted to make myself more competitive for the top schools and I knew that my 15X wasn't going to get the job done. Hopefully, I'll be applying by Sept/Oct of this year for Fall 2012.

thecynic69 wrote:As far as affirmative action goes, that is up to your own conscience. I go back and forth on the issue--whether AA should exist, whether I am going to get into schools because of my race and not my merit, etc. In the end, I always decide that I'd be stupid not to check the relevant boxes on an application; the world's a tough place, and passing up opportunities isn't a winning strategy.


Yeah, I see your point. I didn't want to start an Affirm Action debate. I think it should exist, and I'm also not opposed to checking the box and benefitting from the maximum number of opportunities you can. I just meant that I would feel funny applying to, being accepted by, and eventually attending a school that I thought I would have no chance to get into if I weren't AA.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Chances/retake?

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:27 pm

An AA male with an LSAT score of 166 & a 3.5 GPA from H,Y or P should be a very strong candidate for admission to several top 10 law schools. Retake if you want, but it isn't necessary, in my opinion.

P.S. How did you prepare for your second LSAT which raised your score by 10 or so points ?

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amc987
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Re: Chances/retake?

Postby amc987 » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:11 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Retake if you want, but it isn't necessary, in my opinion.

Thanks for the advice. I'm thinking I will retake, mostly because I feel like another 5 or 6 points could make a big difference with the Top 10/Top 6. What does everyone else think???

CanadianWolf wrote:P.S. How did you prepare for your second LSAT which raised your score by 10 or so points ?

I took a Testmasters class. To be fair, I had taken the class before my 15X score too, but I think I pushed myself to take the test in October before I was really ready. This time, even though I scored below my practice test range at least my practices were lining up with scores that I was hoping to get on test day.
I would say the biggest difference this time was just focusing on specific weaknesses I had. Games are particularly challenging for me, so I spent a lot of time drilling those and particular LR question types that were giving me trouble. I think the best thing one can do to improve on a retake is honestly assess their weaker areas and then review whatever conceptual issues they have. After that it's more a matter of repetition--doing lots of practice questions and tests until whatever concepts you're having difficulty with become clearer and you can apply your new understanding to real testing conditions. Like I said, I'll probably be doing my own version of this until June. I know it can be painful and frustrating to do this (especially multiple times) , but hopefully we'll be rewarded with big score increases. Good luck!




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