Should I retake? Help needed!

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Should I retake? Help needed!

Postby sarahnd21 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:46 pm

Hi All,

I've been a long time lurker and haven't posted much, but I could really, really use some advice. I got my Dec score today (it was on hold) and got a 167. I know 167 isn't a bad score, but I'm really bummed about it. My first PT (without any studying) was 163 and after that I was consistently scoring in the 170s. My last 3 PTs were 175, 180, 175.

December was the first time I took the LSAT (I decided in late fall that I wanted to apply) and I only studied for about 6 weeks. However, I was very confident going into the test and felt well prepared. I tested at UW Madison and the power went out in the middle of the test (2 1/2 mins in the first section, which was logic games for me - ugh!). We had to wait for an hour, and then had to move locations. Needless to say, it was very disruptive and I think it messed with my score. LSAC will be including a letter in my file indicating that this happened and that it "may" have had an affect on my score - but who knows how much law schools will pay attention to that.

My top choice for schools is UW Madison (in-state), but I've also considered applying to U Michigan (for their child advocacy program), U Minnesota and Northwestern.

For some background, I graduated in 2009 (fifth year out) with a 3.817 from Notre Dame. I then did a teaching program similar to TFA for 2 years and received my Masters in Education (3.9 GPA) and have since been working at a health care consulting firm for the last 2.5 years.

My main question is this - should I retake the LSAT in February and attempt to get a higher score? I'm pretty confident I could get into UW Madison with my current score (median = 161, 25-75% = 156-163), but I was really hoping for a significant amount of scholarship money from them (ideally, a full ride). I'm not sure how much an increase would affect my scholarship chances - anybody have any advice?

If I do decide to retake in February, should I still apply now and mention that I'll also be taking in February? Will they still review my application now and then possibly add scholarship money later? I don't want to apply too late in the cycle and really, really don't want to wait another year.

Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Re: Should I retake? Help needed!

Postby kershka » Mon Jan 06, 2014 8:05 pm

Yes, you should retake but you should apply next cycle to maximize both your chances and your scholarships. Six weeks really isn't that much time to put into studying and it sounds as if not only are you are capable of scoring better but you likely would have without the disruptions. Take the June test and submit early next cycle; it'll be worth it, even if you'd rather not wait another year.

A 167 is respectable, but there is no reason to waste that GPA on anything less than a 170 and preferably higher. You have a solid shot at many T14s if you can just raise that LSAT a few points.

It sounds like you want to stay in the Great Lakes region, so shoot for Michigan, NU, and UChi-- you'll have better options than at Madison or Minnesota. If you get that LSAT up, you're likely to net some decent scholarships too.

If you don't mind me asking, why is Madison your top choice? Just because of COA?

ETA: Also, what are your goals exiting LS? The above advice is given under the assumption that you want either a flexible and portable degree or that you want to eventually work in PI/Big Law/Clerkship etc.


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Re: Should I retake? Help needed!

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:00 pm

Absolutely. There's no downside really- you already have the score to be chomping at the heels of the T14. A better score could get you more options and a lot more money, and like you said you had the disruptions.

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Re: Should I retake? Help needed!

Postby ScottRiqui » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:10 am

Definitely retake, especially since you had a major disruption at your testing facility and scored significantly below your recent PTs.

If you look at the rest of your application, between the uGPA, TFA, your master's degree and your work experience, you're well-suited for a run at most of the T14. But your LSAT is the one item that would be a little "out of place". Not saying it's bad, but it's not quite up to the rest of your application. Retake, get a score that's in line with the rest of your application, and I bet you'll have a great cycle.

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