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Author Topic: Advice greatly appreciated  (Read 14601 times)

mattb23

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Advice greatly appreciated
« on: October 04, 2004, 08:16:35 PM »
Hey y'all-

New to the board; first post, and any input would be greatly appreciated, as I'm gonna have to make a final decision on the following situation in the next day or two.

A little background: 23 y/o white male, graduated from UPenn in '03 with a 3.6 in poli sci (first year was by far the worst, I was above a 3.8 for each of the last three years, and about 3.85 in my major). Worked since graduation as a paralegal at an NYC factory.

I had registered for the October LSAT and prepared fairly exhaustively--I was hitting very consistently between 171 and 174, with 168-169 really being the worst case scenario. Then, unfortunately, the night before the exam, my mother was suddenly hospitalized. Most importantly, she's fine, but the incident largely resulted in my getting no sleep this past Friday night. I'm not someone who needa ton of sleep to function, so I'd figured I'd go ahead and take the exam. Overall, while I don't think that I did poorly, it certainly wasn't my best day, not even close. Throughout my practices, I had a pretty accurate gut sense of what the score was gonna be; usually at the conclusion of a test, I could estimate with accuracy the maximum number I might've gotten wrong. Saturday, though, I had no feel for it all--I was sluggish, out of it, and worked consideraly slower than usual. I was still able to answer all the questions on both LR and the RC without any type of random guessing, but alot of the LR answers weren't particularly confident ones; and I definitely had a shaky day with the games.

My overall sense is that its probably anywhere between 165-168, and, frankly, the 168 is definitely best case; and it also wouldn't shock me, given my mental state, if it's 163-164. It waa just that kind of day.

My top schools are Penn, Cornell, Georgetown, GW, BC, Duke, and UNC, which are obviously ultra-competetitive.

As of today, I'm leaning strongly towards canceling Saturday's score and taking the test in December. I guess I could just basically use some advice as to whether y'all think this is the right choice. My reasoning is basically this:

-even if I did somehow pull the 168-169, it still wasn't a good day; I feel like the LSAT is an important enough exam that it really merits my best crack at it.

-if it's lower than the 168, then I was gonna have to take it again anyway to really have a good shot at some of those schools above, given that my GPA is middle of the pack, so I'd just as soon not take the risk of keeping the score and having it come back really low.

Of course, the downside is that I won't be able to apply early notification and my apps I guess won't be reviewed until after New Year's at the earliest. I'm definitely not an expert on the process, so I really just want to confirm that the extra LSAT points (which I'm extremely confident of getting in Dec) are worth the cost applying later.

My apologies for such a long post--and thoughts would be really helpful. Thanks alot in advance.

-Matt

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2004, 08:58:04 PM »
This is the type of scenario that warrants cancelling. And I wouldn't worry - you'll do much better on December, and you'll be an ideal candidate. I doubt applying that late will have a dramatic effect on your admits/rejects. 6-10 points on your LSAT score, however, will. Glad your mom is OK.

EKC

mattb23

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2004, 08:59:41 PM »
Thanks alot, much appreciated.

jacy85

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2004, 09:11:06 PM »
I second this.  You mom being hospitalized is definitely something that would ruin your concentration, not to mention the lack of sleep you got the night before.

Dec isn't too far away, and if you just keep up some practice (doing some sections here and there, with some full exams in the couple of weeks before) you should be fine.  You've consistantly hit where you want to hit, so you're not working on learning skills.  You're just maintaining where you're at, which is much easier, imo.

And I'm glad your mom's ok!

mattb23

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2004, 09:13:50 PM »
Thanks alot :)

NigerianGrl

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2004, 09:15:54 PM »
I would second what everyone else has already said here tonight if not for a law school panel I was fortunate enought to attend this afternoon.  According to the adcom (from a very prestigious school in fact, one on your list) approx. 60-70% of all applicants are already admitted by January which is when your application woud hit the schools if you cancel and wait until Dec.
I would advise you to think about it a littl bit longer and keep in mind that most schools average the scores.
Also..you could always bring the situation to their attention in an addendum..

Good luck!

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2004, 09:20:04 PM »
The thing is, with a 3.6 and a 171-174, he's likely going to be admitted no matter when he applies because he is a strong candidate, whereas with a 163 he'll be auto-rejected no matter when he applies. I don't see how taking in December can hurt, considering the circumstances. If it were only going to be a few points difference, then I can understand that, but if I thought I was going to get a 163, I'd be canceling and retaking in December, and I had no extenuating circumstances. Seems like it's the borderline candidates (like me, with split numbers) that get screwed by applying late.

jacy85

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2004, 09:22:12 PM »
If I read in an addendum that my lsat score was low because my mom was put in the hospital the night before the test, I'd think two things...

1.  Ok, so this person could have potentially scored much higher.  His situation is pretty understandable.

2.  Why didn't this person take advantage of the option to cancel the score when something this drastic happened before the test?  Now, I think he could have done better, but I'll never know for sure....

I think situations like this are the main reason lsac created the option to cancel.  If mattb was scoring consistantly in the 170s, I think with his gpa and a score of 170+, he'd still be wanted at most (if not every) schools he applied to.  Yes, applying later in the game does hurt you, but he'll most likely have an lsat score that will make that a minimal detraction.

NigerianGrl

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2004, 09:25:06 PM »
I guess I might agree if he did have schools like Cornell, G-Town, and BC listed which were the exact schools represented at the panel today.
There is no way to be sure what his exact score is and most likely if he was scoring consistently very high he probably didn't screw up as much as he thinks.
Also, he is not straight of undergrad. and has a very high GPA so I don't think the LSAT will be as impt. as it might seem.

With such strong credentials I don't think its too much to say wait and see and if things don't turn out well--the scores get averaged anyway.

jacy85

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Re: Advice greatly appreciated
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2004, 09:30:29 PM »

Also, he is not straight of undergrad. and has a very high GPA so I don't think the LSAT will be as impt. as it might seem.


Are you kidding?  The lsat becomes more and more important the longer you are out of school.  He'll only have 2 years of work experience by the time he starts ls, true, but he still needs a good lsat.

And if my mom went into the hospital, I'd be more likely to say that I probably scored in teh lower part of my estimate, due to the fatigue adn stress of the situation.

As much as adcoms say you should send them in early, 60-70% is not all, and sometimes I think that it's a bit of an exaggeration.

And why average a 164 adn a 172, when you can just take the higher score?  To say "oh, they just get averaged anyway" doesn't seem very helpful in this case.  It's true a higher score isn't guaranteed, but I'd put money down that however he did this past saturday, he'd do better in Dec just due to the circumstances he was dealing with.