low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

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wmbg
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low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby wmbg » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:40 am

Hey guys, new member here. :D

I've just received my score from the Feb LSAT, and I got my PT average of 170. Now not to sound ungrateful, but this was one of my dreaded scenarios. Getting a 168-170 along with my middling 3.5x LGPA puts me in a kind of grey area in terms of whether I should retake or take my chances applying.

I've taken a look at LSN and the conclusion that I've come to from the past few cycles is that my stats at the moment should in theory get me something from Michigan down.

So I've come to the y'all for some advice:

1) What do you think my chances are at T-14?
2) If I want a strong chance (as much of a "lock" as possible) to get something in the top 10, how much (if any) do I need to improve?
3) Is it worth it, in your opinion, to study and retake, or is it a case diminishing returns in terms of time spent vs possible gains?

Some other info about me:

1) Probably average recs, assume decent PS.
2) Softs will be two internships and WE- I'll be starting work at a (non-management) consulting firm after graduation and plan on working there for at least a year before applying (i.e. in no hurry to apply).

Thanks!

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bk1
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:44 am

A 172 would probably start to be helpful. Ideally more like a 174+.

I'd retake. You're right that you're not necessarily a lock for the T14 (though you've got a good shot). A lower score isn't going to hurt you and a higher score could definitely help you. Granted as it stands now your chances of going up aren't very high since you hit your average, but I'd say it's at least worth trying for. I'd definitely ED to maximize your chances if your LSAT doesn't change. Probably one of MVP.

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knickerbocker
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby knickerbocker » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:50 am

When making the decision, bear in mind that last year, only 55.5% percent of LSAT re-takers with your LSAT score (170) actually improved their score on their retake (see the data here: http://www.lsac.org/LSACResources/Data/ ... erdata.pdf). Getting a lower score or the same one will not strengthen your law school applications and may even weaken them.

justicefishy
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby justicefishy » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:08 am

I'd say take a few more PTs, see how you do. If you go up, great, retake, if not, then maybe retaking isn't the best idea. I'm into 2 of MVP with a 3.4 and 170 (non-URM too!) and your softs should help if you're borderline (which is probable). It's not a lock, certainly, but I think you've probably got a decent shot of one or more of MVPDCNG.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:01 am

I definitely think someone in the top 10 will bite. You can greatly increase those chances with an ED to somewhere if you know where you want to go. I would take a break for a month or two, and pick it back up. Take a few practice tests and see how you're doing. Sometimes people do better after the first test, but it's something you're going to need to feel out for yourself.

srfngdd6
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby srfngdd6 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:05 am

i think youd have a good shot at penn or uva ED and you would prob get cornell and gtown

wmbg
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby wmbg » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:32 pm

thanks everyone for your input!

any other takers? :D

t14fanboy
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby t14fanboy » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:05 pm

Retake if you want, but you can definitely snag a t10 school without. Just apply early. If you want to maximize your chances pick one of MVP and ED.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:15 pm

wmbg wrote:2) If I want a strong chance (as much of a "lock" as possible) to get something in the top 10, how much (if any) do I need to improve?


The only way to lock anything in the top 10 is to apply ED. That would still be true if you bumped the LSAT up to the 172-173 range. After that NYU becomes sort of a safety.

wmbg
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby wmbg » Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:42 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
wmbg wrote:2) If I want a strong chance (as much of a "lock" as possible) to get something in the top 10, how much (if any) do I need to improve?


The only way to lock anything in the top 10 is to apply ED. That would still be true if you bumped the LSAT up to the 172-173 range. After that NYU becomes sort of a safety.


So its possible to "lock up" NYU with a 3.5x/174, but still be unable to ensure anything else in the top 10 with the same score and no ED?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:28 am

wmbg wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:
wmbg wrote:2) If I want a strong chance (as much of a "lock" as possible) to get something in the top 10, how much (if any) do I need to improve?


The only way to lock anything in the top 10 is to apply ED. That would still be true if you bumped the LSAT up to the 172-173 range. After that NYU becomes sort of a safety.


So its possible to "lock up" NYU with a 3.5x/174, but still be unable to ensure anything else in the top 10 with the same score and no ED?


Look at my cycle.

ahnhub
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby ahnhub » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:30 am

Splitters are unpredictable. I would vote retake. You might get a point or two just from being familiar with the experience.

If you don't retake, I would say you need to ED somewhere, given your goals--UVA, Penn, or Michigan. If you get a 173+ I think you can afford to roll the dice and blanket T-14 RD.

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thisiswater
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby thisiswater » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:49 am

I have a 3.49 (which is below that 3.5 floor that I think some schools seem to use) and a 170 and I am retaking. Maybe with an ED you would be okay, but 4 points would almost guarantee that. Did you prep, where were you pt-ing, etc.?

wmbg
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby wmbg » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:07 pm

thisiswater wrote:I have a 3.49 (which is below that 3.5 floor that I think some schools seem to use) and a 170 and I am retaking. Maybe with an ED you would be okay, but 4 points would almost guarantee that. Did you prep, where were you pt-ing, etc.?


This was actually my second time taking the LSATs; first go around I had to cancel because I totally crapped the bed and by the second section I already had ~5 blanks. There was a huge time management issue the first time around because I was barely keeping it under 35 minutes during prep. The first time I prepped for roughly 6 months, but in a very lackadaisical way. Probably did about 5 real timed tests while doing a bunch of sections to drill.

The second time, I was a lot more methodical, but only had 2 months to truly prep. I did at least 15 timed tests, and used the other sections to prep. Time management was much, much better this time around (my top priority), but there were still moments where I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I ended up ranging from 167-174 on my practice tests with the majority being around 169-171.

What really bothered me was my spread: I was missing roughly 5 on all my RCs, regardless of how difficult they were. I was also missing about 2 on each LR, and 1 on the LG. I'm positive I can do better on my RCs, and hopefully can bring my LRs down to ~1-1.5 per section.

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JDizzle2015
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Re: low 3.5x / 170 ... retake?

Postby JDizzle2015 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:46 pm

Similar numbers. My GPA is actually a hair below your GPA and my LSAT was on a retake as well. I got three T14s this cycle by applying extremely early (check my profile for LSN if you're interested).

I'm pretty sure I could have gotten one or two others if I didn't withdraw from waitlists and showed more interest (higher quality Why X or writing a sincere LOCI). I got a great school in November so I lost motivation to endure waitlist purgatory (except for Columbia's which I won't be pulled off of--they haven't called anybody up from TLS in the last two years--so take that with a grain of salt).

Some negatives to consider with retaking is the possibility of getting a lower score and the opportunity cost of your study time. But if you have the extra time/can balance life and studying for the LSAT, I'd say go for it. If you have another option like a somewhat fulfilling job or want to enjoy summer without the LSAT, you should do just fine by applying super early next cycle with your numbers as is. Most of the people that applied with our numbers early on got at least one T14.

Plus, I honestly don't think a 171/172 would have changed my outcome as far as school options are concerned, but a point or two would have probably gotten me some $$ from a T14. I think you'd have to break 174+ to change the game and lock down NYU/make CLS in play. Good luck!




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