Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: AMB22 on April 28, 2005, 09:01:31 PM

Title: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 28, 2005, 09:01:31 PM
I'm trying to help a friend study for the June LSAT...I had him take a practice test from 1993 today to see where hes at and he got a 138. If he studies hard from now until the test, what is a feasible score he could get? I'm trying to remain optomistic that he could hit 155-160 if he busts his ass but I don't want to give him false hope...does anyone know anyone with experience starting around a 138 and improving? Is it conceivable to improve 20 points?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 28, 2005, 09:16:14 PM
Did he have any previous knowledge of the test contents?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Thou on April 29, 2005, 01:06:59 AM
All work and no play makes Thou a dull boy.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 06:12:22 AM
He knew what the test was like and looked at some questions but in general it was a cold test.



Did he have any previous knowledge of the test contents?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 06:13:03 AM
What do you suggest?





Iím very confident your friend can score in that range with the right study plan. 
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 06:26:14 AM
When is he planning on taking the test?

He needs to get the LRB and LGB, and work through them slowly and diligently, doing some every day.  If he had issues with reading comp, he needs to start reading more challenging material to help with his speed and comprehension.

Maybe do a practice test every 2 weeks or something while he's working through the Bibles to track his progress.  Each time he takes a test, he really needs to sit down and review it afterwards.  Figure out what ?s he's getting wrong, why he got them wrong.  Really work on this.  He needs to learn everything he can, and going slow with this is probably the only way to do it.

Once he goes through the Bibles, work only with real tests.  Hopefully his score will improve, but there's so much in the Bibles that he'll still be working on remember and applying it all, and getting to the point where the skills and tricks are coming naturally.

I also say work on accuracy first, and when he's getting the flow of the questions down and starts to get more right, *then* start trying to add speed into the mix.  By the end of studying, he needs to have found that balance of speed and accuracy that works for him.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: desmo on April 29, 2005, 06:29:16 AM
What do you suggest?


Have him try randomly filling in the ovals..
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 07:34:39 AM
This is why you shouldn't take an initial diagnostic before you know what you're doing.  All it will usually do is discourage you, and it tells you very little about how well you will do after adequate prep.

The first thing I would do is emphasize to him that an intial diagnostic is essentially meaningless.  Then, as noted, have him review prep materials and begin working completely untimed on practice exams.  This should help build his confidence.  He can gradually increase speed once he's improved his accuracy.

Oh, and yes, it's very possible to increase 20 points, especially when you're starting that low. 
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 07:36:48 AM
and it tells you very little about how well you will do after adequate prep.
 

Actually, it does tell you how you can do with adequate prep.  It's not unreasonable to aim for 150-160 from there, but I'd put money down that this kid's not gonna be hitting 170.  The starting point gives you something to work towards and lets you set realistic goals.

But if knowing your starting point is discouraging for you, then maybe there's some other self-esteem issues going one.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 07:54:58 AM
Yeah, I don't really expect him to break 160. His goal is 160 but he'll probably be OK with a 155. Hes looking at Seton Hall w/ a 3.15 I think and when I ran it in Chiashu a 155 maybe him about 50/50 and a 160 was more or less a lock. I'm aiming to get him to a 160 but it probably won't happen.

As for his test: (btw it was the Feb 1993 test from 10 Real...)

I was hoping he'd be weakest on LGs but he seems to be the worst at LR and overall he doesnt have any real strengths. My plan is this for now: I'm going to go over the test with him on Saturday and explain to him why his answers are right/wrong and what hes doing wrong. Then on Sunday, I'm going to have him take another practice test. After that I'm going to have him work through the LGB and LRB bible slowly and then maybe do a whole test untimed to see how he does. After that I feel like the best way to study is to take as many preptests and go over the test well and see what mistakes he is making, etc. He doesn't really have the time or $$ for a class and with materials and me helping I don't think it is really necessary for him.

I'm just curious if anyone has any experience with someone who scored around a 138 and then studied and made big improvements. I think if I can get him to bust his ass over the next month, a 20 point increase is possible.

Any other suggestions are welcome and thank you to all who have posted so far.





and it tells you very little about how well you will do after adequate prep.
 

Actually, it does tell you how you can do with adequate prep.  It's not unreasonable to aim for 150-160 from there, but I'd put money down that this kid's not gonna be hitting 170.  The starting point gives you something to work towards and lets you set realistic goals.

But if knowing your starting point is discouraging for you, then maybe there's some other self-esteem issues going one.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 08:15:34 AM
He wants to take it in JUNE???


Big mistake.  HUGE mistake.  You can't even crack the LRB or LGB in that amount of time. He could maybe read through most of the LGB, but the LRB is LONG.  He needs MUCH longer than a month to benefit from the Powerscore books.  You not only have to read them adn work through them, but you have to be actively learning it every second, or else when it comes time to apply this stuff, you're going to forget 90% of it.

20 points is NOT going to be possible in 1 month.  He should be taking it in October at the earliest.  If he's already registered, he needs to pay the fee and reschedule.  Why didn't he start thinking about this 3 months ago?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 08:24:49 AM
and it tells you very little about how well you will do after adequate prep.
 

Actually, it does tell you how you can do with adequate prep.
 

No, not really. I know many people who had similar starting points, but ended up in very different places.  Doing an LSAT cold tells you very little, except that you're dumb in the first place for doing it.


It's not unreasonable to aim for 150-160 from there, but I'd put money down that this kid's not gonna be hitting 170.  The starting point gives you something to work towards and lets you set realistic goals.


I'd put money down that 98% of the population isn't going to hit 170, without even seeing their intial diagnostic.  So what?

An intial crappy score doesn't give you anyhing to work towards, not does it help you set realistic goals, because it doesn't really tell you anything about what you're capable of once you actually understand the concepts underlying the exam.  All it does is potentially discourage you from putting in the time and energy that will be necessary to do so, no matter what your initial score is.  

(What you should work towards, of course, is the best possible score you can get, and this is always a realistic goal.  Artificially limiting that early on seems pretty pointless, since all it will do is lower your ambition, and consequently the amount of time and effort you'll likely be willing to expend.)


But if knowing your starting point is discouraging for you, then maybe there's some other self-esteem issues going one.


Really?  I think a 138 would probably be discouraging for anyone.  given that you think a 151 sucks, I'm not sure how you could disagree.  

Again, it simply doesn't make much sense to take a timed LSAT cold.  Almost no one will do very well on it, and all it will do is give you an unrealistically negative view of what you can do when you actually understand the concepts.  (The LSAT is intimidating enough for most people without creating this kind of unnecessary negative energy early on.)  

The reason Prep companies do this, in my opinion, is so they can claim large score increases after the first diagnostic (even though such increases are pretty much inevitable for anyone who does any prep).  As such, they are acting more in the interests of their marketing needs than in the best interests of their students.  But if you think it's a good approach, you're certainly free to follow it.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 08:27:47 AM
He wants to take it in JUNE???


Big mistake.  HUGE mistake.  You can't even crack the LRB or LGB in that amount of time. He could maybe read through most of the LGB, but the LRB is LONG.  He needs MUCH longer than a month to benefit from the Powerscore books.  You not only have to read them adn work through them, but you have to be actively learning it every second, or else when it comes time to apply this stuff, you're going to forget 90% of it.

20 points is NOT going to be possible in 1 month.  He should be taking it in October at the earliest.  If he's already registered, he needs to pay the fee and reschedule.  Why didn't he start thinking about this 3 months ago?

This much I agree with. Pretty much everyone should start at least three months beforehand, and preferably even earlier.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 08:28:15 AM
Well his situation is kind of unique in that he's trying to get an educational extension from the army (ROTC) to go to law school (they would pay) and then fulfill his service requirements in JAG. He has to apply for the extension (he's not reallt sure how hard it is to get the extension but he needs an LSAT score in the Summer so would have to take in June) but he needs to do well enough that he could get into a decent law school.

You're right, he should have been thinking about this months ago...I gave him all my prep materials in Sept and told him to start studying and I'd help him get ready for June...he wasn't sure what he was going to do and then out of nowhere he decided a few days ago he was going to take the LSAT in June and do whatever it takes to try to get the educaitonal extension. I don't think its possible for him to take in Oct and apply for the extension. I can't change the stupid situation he is in, all I can do is help him the best from now until the test.

You think it is impossible to go up 20 points for June starting at a 138? I studied for about the same amount of time last year and went up 15 points from my first preptest and was hitting close to a 20 point increse on preptest leading up to the test. Is 20 worth trying or should I more or less tell him to give up?







He wants to take it in JUNE???


Big mistake.  HUGE mistake.  You can't even crack the LRB or LGB in that amount of time. He could maybe read through most of the LGB, but the LRB is LONG.  He needs MUCH longer than a month to benefit from the Powerscore books.  You not only have to read them adn work through them, but you have to be actively learning it every second, or else when it comes time to apply this stuff, you're going to forget 90% of it.

20 points is NOT going to be possible in 1 month.  He should be taking it in October at the earliest.  If he's already registered, he needs to pay the fee and reschedule.  Why didn't he start thinking about this 3 months ago?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 08:30:40 AM
Well I wanted him to take a full test to see generally where he is at in terms of a score and if he had any glaring strengths or weaknesses. His test was pretty much a disaster overall thats I'm asking if its possible to go up 15-20 points in a month starting with a 138 cold.




He wants to take it in JUNE???


Big mistake.  HUGE mistake.  You can't even crack the LRB or LGB in that amount of time. He could maybe read through most of the LGB, but the LRB is LONG.  He needs MUCH longer than a month to benefit from the Powerscore books.  You not only have to read them adn work through them, but you have to be actively learning it every second, or else when it comes time to apply this stuff, you're going to forget 90% of it.

20 points is NOT going to be possible in 1 month.  He should be taking it in October at the earliest.  If he's already registered, he needs to pay the fee and reschedule.  Why didn't he start thinking about this 3 months ago?

This much I agree with. Pretty much everyone should start at least three months beforehand, and preferably even earlier.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 08:32:06 AM
i took a full test on august 31 - totally cold - and scored 155.

october lsat: 174.

study methods: powerscore weekend course, about 10 practice tests, lots of timed sections.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 08:34:02 AM
Yeah he was looking into weekend courses but I think he said the only one he could find/get into was a week before the test. If he could take one like this weekend it would be worht it but a week before the test probably won't be any good.


i took a full test on august 31 - totally cold - and scored 155.

october lsat: 174.

study methods: powerscore weekend course, about 10 practice tests, lots of timed sections.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 08:36:52 AM
If this is really what he wants to do, I really suggest he wait and put it off a year.

The biggest regret that's voiced is that people wish they'd put more time into studying for the lsat, or had studied differently.  He's not going to realistically be able to prepare for the june test in a month.  If he took the test cold and scored in teh mid 150 or 160s, I'd say sure, take some more tests and give it a go.

But starting from a 138 says that he has a lot of work to do, especially if he doesn't really have any strenghts.

Also, 1 month is NOT enough time to get him familiar with the timing of the lsat, IMO.  Lots of people would do MUCH better on the test if the time limits were taken away.  You need to practice enough so you can finish a decent amount of the sections, adn I don't see that happening in a month.

It's his life, so he can take the gamble if he wants to.  But just make sure he's 100% aware that a score lower than 150 is going to make it VERY VERY hard to get into the school he wants.  Say he scores a 145.  If he decides to take again, he'd need to score a a 165 to average out to a 155 (some schools will take the higher score if you score that much higher, but not all do).  So doing poorly on the first test would be a severe handicap.  If he knows and understands this, and decides to try, then that's his decision.

But if I were him, I'd rather regret missing law school for 1 year instead of regretting a low score that would follow me around for 5 years.  (or is it 4?  Either way, it's a significant period of time)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 08:38:39 AM
i took the one right before the test. actually the timing was perfect for me becuase i knew what i needed to pay attention to and what i could ignore based on how i was doing on my own. depending on how he's doing, it might still be worth it.  The weekend course seemed to help me break from the low 170s to the higher 170s.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 08:39:53 AM
Well I wanted him to take a full test to see generally where he is at in terms of a score and if he had any glaring strengths or weaknesses. His test was pretty much a disaster overall thats I'm asking if its possible to go up 15-20 points in a month starting with a 138 cold.




He wants to take it in JUNE???


Big mistake.  HUGE mistake.  You can't even crack the LRB or LGB in that amount of time. He could maybe read through most of the LGB, but the LRB is LONG.  He needs MUCH longer than a month to benefit from the Powerscore books.  You not only have to read them adn work through them, but you have to be actively learning it every second, or else when it comes time to apply this stuff, you're going to forget 90% of it.

20 points is NOT going to be possible in 1 month.  He should be taking it in October at the earliest.  If he's already registered, he needs to pay the fee and reschedule.  Why didn't he start thinking about this 3 months ago?

This much I agree with. Pretty much everyone should start at least three months beforehand, and preferably even earlier.


I guess the only time it would make ANY sense to take a diagnostic cold is if you're dumb enough to consider taking the LSAT with only a month of prep.

In this case, I guess it will at least let the guy know that he should wait until October.  However, for most people, it probably makes more sense to simply assume you'll need 3+ months of solid prep, and begin accordingly.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 08:43:01 AM
Well, I think the problem is that he can't put it off a year. If he doesn't take in June he can't apply for the extension and would get a branch assignment and would ahve to start his 4 year military committment which without a law degree he couldn't do JAG. The extension allows him to go to law school and continue his  education and then use it in the JAG for his military committment rather than just take a standard officer's position.

I'll check with him about if its is possible to take in Oct, but the way I understand it, its June or nothing.





If this is really what he wants to do, I really suggest he wait and put it off a year.

The biggest regret that's voiced is that people wish they'd put more time into studying for the lsat, or had studied differently.  He's not going to realistically be able to prepare for the june test in a month.  If he took the test cold and scored in teh mid 150 or 160s, I'd say sure, take some more tests and give it a go.

But starting from a 138 says that he has a lot of work to do, especially if he doesn't really have any strenghts.

Also, 1 month is NOT enough time to get him familiar with the timing of the lsat, IMO.  Lots of people would do MUCH better on the test if the time limits were taken away.  You need to practice enough so you can finish a decent amount of the sections, adn I don't see that happening in a month.

It's his life, so he can take the gamble if he wants to.  But just make sure he's 100% aware that a score lower than 150 is going to make it VERY VERY hard to get into the school he wants.  Say he scores a 145.  If he decides to take again, he'd need to score a a 165 to average out to a 155 (some schools will take the higher score if you score that much higher, but not all do).  So doing poorly on the first test would be a severe handicap.  If he knows and understands this, and decides to try, then that's his decision.

But if I were him, I'd rather regret missing law school for 1 year instead of regretting a low score that would follow me around for 5 years.  (or is it 4?  Either way, it's a significant period of time)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 08:44:53 AM

I guess the only time it would make ANY sense to take a diagnostic cold is if you're dumb enough to consider taking the LSAT with only a month of prep.
 

excuse me? i went from a 155 to a 174 in only a month of prep. i resent being called dumb.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 08:47:10 AM
Yeah he was looking into weekend courses but I think he said the only one he could find/get into was a week before the test. If he could take one like this weekend it would be worht it but a week before the test probably won't be any good.


i took a full test on august 31 - totally cold - and scored 155.

october lsat: 174.

study methods: powerscore weekend course, about 10 practice tests, lots of timed sections.


Let me just emphasize:  There is NO WAY IN HELL this guy should even consider taking in June.  He probably won't get into any law school, much less the one he wants, with a score below 150.  There's also no real downside to waiting until October, at least not in this context.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: thelawfool on April 29, 2005, 08:48:42 AM
i went from a 153 cold to a 155.  studying didn't go so well.

did he spell his name right?  i think you get a 140 for doing that...
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 08:48:54 AM
yeah there is. aren't you paying attention to the op? it's june or bust. it's his only chance to get it paid for.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 08:49:11 AM
Then unfortunately, I have nothing other to say other than he really f*cked up, and did himself a huge disservice putting this off for so long.

I hope he does well.  I'm sure he has other qualities that will strengthen his application, but a low lsat score (read: 140s) is going to pretty much make him an autoreject at almost any school he applies to.

There's also no real downside to waiting until October, at least not in this context.

He's saying that he can't do JAG or get the time off to go to law school if he waits.  That could be a huge downside.  Although, not waiting could mean not getting into law school anyway, so you're sort of damned if you do, damned if you don't here.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 08:51:28 AM

I guess the only time it would make ANY sense to take a diagnostic cold is if you're dumb enough to consider taking the LSAT with only a month of prep.
 

excuse me? i went from a 155 to a 174 in only a month of prep. i resent being called dumb.

Let me clarify.  You're not dumb, but your approach wasn't the best.  You happened to be very gifted, and very lucky, and I'm happy for you.   

But most people who only give themselves a month to prep probably aren't exercising very good judgment.  The test is obviously very important, and most people need significantly more time than that to really max out.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 08:55:11 AM
Ok, I think we can stop the bickering. I pretty much understand he should have been studying sooner and that its his own fault for waiting....I'm just trying to gather how screwed he is and if its worth putting in both of our time to get him as ready as he can be or if its a complete lost cause. I think I'm going to see how well he does on the next test and if hes making consistent improvement stick with it but if hes not improving I'll just tell him its not feasible to get the 155 or so he'll need.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 08:56:33 AM
Ok, I think we can stop the bickering. I pretty much understand he should have been studying sooner and that its his own fault for waiting....I'm just trying to gather how screwed he is and if its worth putting in both of our time to get him as ready as he can be or if its a complete lost cause. I think I'm going to see how well he does on the next test and if hes making consistent improvement stick with it but if hes not improving I'll just tell him its not feasible to get the 155 or so he'll need.

Why wouldn't he wait until October?  That will at least give him a chance to do the best he can (which might be pretty good, after all). 

Or is he only willing to expend 4 weeks of effort on the test?


EDIT:  Okay, missed the other post you made.

Hope he can take in October.  If not, I guess he might as well bust his ass and do the best he can now.  Maybe an early weekend course, then a ton of practice exams.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 08:59:37 AM
actually, considering the situation, it was pretty thoughtful. i decided 8/31 that i was going to apply to law school. i signed up for the lsat immediately, knowing that if i wasn't comfortable with my score walking out of the test, i could cancel and retake in december with more prep, but without the early application advantage. because i scored higher than i originally expected, i decided to wait an additional year in order to minimize the effect of my low gpa and gain more work/volunteer experience.

unfortunately, all this guy can do is study hard without getting burned out, and do his best. if i remember correctly, ambs22 had a high score and should be an asset to his friend. just make sure he's studying the right stuff when he studies - lrb/lgb - and is taking timed sections often with full length timed tests with the practice section included on a regular basis. i did 2-3 per week, on the weekends for the most part. he'll only be out the time and $$ if he isn't scoring well enough by the june date.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 09:05:50 AM
Something else to think about:  If this guy is going JAG, then it might not matter a whole lot where he goes to law school.  With a score in the mid-high 140's, he has a shot at Cooley, which will presumably be fine for JAG.  After that, he'll have actual courtroom experience, so he may even be marketable for other positions.

In other words, getting into law school, per se, probably is attainable by June with some good effort.  And if that's all he needs, then he should be fine. 

(If he can take it in October and get a better score/school, that of course would be even better.)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 09:09:23 AM
Actually, it's fairly competitive to get into a JAG program from what I understand.  Maybe it's different if you're already enlisted and doing something similar to what AMB's friend is.  He should look into that though.

And just going to Cooley isn't the best idea either, given the fact that only 25% of the class graduates.  I'm sure the OP's friend would feel better and enjoy his time in LS more if he wasn't worried about being one of the 75% of Cooley students that don't make it.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 09:15:57 AM
actually, considering the situation, it was pretty thoughtful. i decided 8/31 that i was going to apply to law school. i signed up for the lsat immediately, knowing that if i wasn't comfortable with my score walking out of the test, i could cancel and retake in december with more prep, but without the early application advantage. because i scored higher than i originally expected, i decided to wait an additional year in order to minimize the effect of my low gpa and gain more work/volunteer experience.

unfortunately, all this guy can do is study hard without getting burned out, and do his best. if i remember correctly, ambs22 had a high score and should be an asset to his friend. just make sure he's studying the right stuff when he studies - lrb/lgb - and is taking timed sections often with full length timed tests with the practice section included on a regular basis. i did 2-3 per week, on the weekends for the most part. he'll only be out the time and $$ if he isn't scoring well enough by the june date.

Hey, LisB.  

Again, I'm glad things worked out for you, and given that you didn't even decide to go to law school until a month before the test, your actions are certainly understandable.  I apologize if I sounded critical.

But I think it's important to realize how rare you are.  By definition, your score on the exam puts you around the 1 in 1000 category, and your aptitude for the test was probably even more rare.  The fact that you were able to reach this level in only a few weeks only underscores the fact that you have much stronger aptitude for the exam than most.  

For most people with other options, however, this approach probably wouldn't make much sense, because it will take most people at least 2-3 months to really max out in terms of their LSAT performance (and because it's difficult to predict how you actually did until you see your score).

(How long did it take you to get through the LRB?)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 29, 2005, 09:16:53 AM
I don't see why a month, or in this case a month and a week, isn't enough time.  Yeah, it would be nice to spread it out, but he has 38 days.  Is anyone suggesting that he couldn't put 100 hours into this in 38 days?  I would say that if the kid is motivated, he could get through what he needs to get through, but that doesn't mean he will top 155.  Some people just can't do it.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: BigTex on April 29, 2005, 09:19:28 AM
there was a guy who used to post on this board long ago - "dsong" was his name. He had the most outrageous score improvement i've ever seen. It was well over 20 points i think. He scored in the 170's. Do a search. He posted quite elaborately on *exactly* what he did to achieve his improvement.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 09:20:54 AM
Actually, it's fairly competitive to get into a JAG program from what I understand.  Maybe it's different if you're already enlisted and doing something similar to what AMB's friend is.  He should look into that though.

And just going to Cooley isn't the best idea either, given the fact that only 25% of the class graduates.  I'm sure the OP's friend would feel better and enjoy his time in LS more if he wasn't worried about being one of the 75% of Cooley students that don't make it.

This is true, which is why I noted it would be even better to attend a better school if possible.  (And there are other schools with lower entrance standards.)

I just didn't want the OP or his friend to think the situation was totally hopeless, if June is in fact the only option.  Cooley is in fact one possible option even with a sub-150 score, as are others. (Though I have no idea what the JAG req's are in this area, and this should obviously be looked into.)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: AMB22 on April 29, 2005, 09:21:57 AM
Although I agree anyone capable of scoring a 174 on the LSAT has a high natural aptitude for the test, I don't necessarily think that most people need 2-3 months to max out their scores. I reached a plateau fairly quickly as did a few others I know and from reading posts on here it does seem that although some people continue to make steady improvement for long periods of time, many others reach their max pretty quick. Its really impossible to say what percentage max out fast because we don't have a large enough sample and there are so many variables (studying methods, etc) but I know at least for myself that I don't think 2-3 more months of studying would have gotten more than possibly a point or two higher on the LSAT. That being said, I do agree I wish I had studied a little more because 1-2 points would probably have made the difference in some of the decisions I got that I wish were acceptances.







actually, considering the situation, it was pretty thoughtful. i decided 8/31 that i was going to apply to law school. i signed up for the lsat immediately, knowing that if i wasn't comfortable with my score walking out of the test, i could cancel and retake in december with more prep, but without the early application advantage. because i scored higher than i originally expected, i decided to wait an additional year in order to minimize the effect of my low gpa and gain more work/volunteer experience.

unfortunately, all this guy can do is study hard without getting burned out, and do his best. if i remember correctly, ambs22 had a high score and should be an asset to his friend. just make sure he's studying the right stuff when he studies - lrb/lgb - and is taking timed sections often with full length timed tests with the practice section included on a regular basis. i did 2-3 per week, on the weekends for the most part. he'll only be out the time and $$ if he isn't scoring well enough by the june date.

Hey, LisB. 

Again, I'm glad things worked out for you, and given that you didn't even decide to go to law school until a month before the test, your actions are certainly understandable.  I apologize if I sounded critical.

But I think it's important to realize how rare you are.  By definition, your score on the exam puts you around the 1 in 1000 category, and your aptitude for the test was probably even more rare.  The fact that you were able to reach this level in only a few weeks only underscores the fact that you have much stronger aptitude for the exam than most. 

For most people with other options, however, this approach probably wouldn't make much sense, because it will take most people at least 2-3 months to really max out in terms of their LSAT performance (and because it's difficult to predict how you actually did until you see your score).

(How long did it take you to get through the LRB?)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 09:24:41 AM
I don't see why a month, or in this case a month and a week, isn't enough time.  Yeah, it would be nice to spread it out, but he has 38 days.  Is anyone suggesting that he couldn't put 100 hours into this in 38 days?  I would say that if the kid is motivated, he could get through what he needs to get through, but that doesn't mean he will top 155.  Some people just can't do it.

I certainly think he could improve significantly over 38 days, and he may even be able to hit mid-high 150's.  (Again, a cold initial LSAT isn't that predictive.)  

My point was simply that he was unlikely to reach his maximum performance level in that time, which I think most people would agree with.  Time away from prep is also usually important, and he won't have as much time to absorb and digest everything in the time available.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Thou on April 29, 2005, 09:25:04 AM
All work and no play makes Thou a dull boy.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Thou on April 29, 2005, 09:25:42 AM
All work and no play makes Thou a dull boy.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: BigTex on April 29, 2005, 09:27:23 AM
there was a guy who used to post on this board long ago - "dsong" was his name. He had the most outrageous score improvement i've ever seen. It was well over 20 points i think. He scored in the 170's. Do a search. He posted quite elaborately on *exactly* what he did to achieve his improvement.

I remember that guy.  Wasnít his score so high compared to his GPA that LSAC did an investigation? That was one of the first posts I remember reading on LSD.

Ok, done hijackig.

Oh yeah. That's right. His score was crazy high, upper 170's - he got automatically investigated. And his first practice test was in the low 150's. Insane improvement. But i think he had a regimented plan he followed over a couple months.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 09:29:26 AM
 Time away from prep is also usually important, and he won't have as much time to absorb and digest everything in the time available.

I think this is very important also when using the PS books.

There's a lot of info, and I think many people hit plateaus and don't break them because they've stopped asimiliating this info and start to just go on autopilot through the test.

I did this, and never really realized it, until 2 weeks or so before.  By then I'd sort of burned myself out.  So I wished I'd studied a little bit longer and studied differently with the bibles  (although the LRB wasn't available at the time)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 29, 2005, 09:32:05 AM
Time away can be important, but how much time.  I started in Feb. so I have had the luxury of taking time off, but I have never thought that I needed significant time off.  I think the real question is how long it will take for this guy to learn the basic priniciples (diagraming the games, LR question types).  Just how long it takes to realize what the questions mean.  After you realize this, I think all that is needed is practice and review.  If it takes him two weeks to just figure out the basics of diagraming, it will be tough.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 09:35:29 AM
Although I agree anyone capable of scoring a 174 on the LSAT has a high natural aptitude for the test, I don't necessarily think that most people need 2-3 months to max out their scores. I reached a plateau fairly quickly as did a few others I know and from reading posts on here it does seem that although some people continue to make steady improvement for long periods of time, many others reach their max pretty quick. Its really impossible to say what percentage max out fast because we don't have a large enough sample and there are so many variables (studying methods, etc) but I know at least for myself that I don't think 2-3 more months of studying would have gotten more than possibly a point or two higher on the LSAT. That being said, I do agree I wish I had studied a little more because 1-2 points would probably have made the difference in some of the decisions I got that I wish were acceptances.


How long did you prep?  

It's true that different people may take different amounts of time to reach their max.  However, given that this is true, it would presumably make sense to give yourself as much lead time as possible, in case it takes you longer to do so.  (In my experience, and most of the people I know, it did take awhile to really max out.)  

Some people plateau for awhile, then make further increases down the road, especially if they take a break.  But as you noted, even small increases can be helpful, especially at the upper ends of the scale.  

Bottom line, if you start out 3 months beforehand, and get where you want to be in 1 month, you can always chill for awhile, and start up again a few weeks before the test.  However, if you start one month before, and are nowhere close to where you want to be, you're pretty much screwed unless you can postpone for a later test date, or can wait a year.  
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 09:39:41 AM
Time away can be important, but how much time.  I started in Feb. so I have had the luxury of taking time off, but I have never thought that I needed significant time off.  I think the real question is how long it will take for this guy to learn the basic priniciples (diagraming the games, LR question types).  Just how long it takes to realize what the questions mean.  After you realize this, I think all that is needed is practice and review.  If it takes him two weeks to just figure out the basics of diagraming, it will be tough.

The length and frequency of breaks is up to the individual, but what's important is that he is in fact able to take the time he needs, when he needs it.  Otherwise, he's liable to get burnt out, and not learn as much or as effectively, as noted by Jayc.

You're right that learning the concepts is an important part, and for most people, even after doing so, they'll want to work through as many practice exams as feasible to really polish those skills.  These can also be time-consuming, of course, and generally require some break time in-between.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 09:45:27 AM
my point was that people can certainly reach their max within a month of studying. i didn't use LRB/LGB - i used just the tests, then the PS book that they give out at the weekend course, which is basically a combination of the LRB & lgb. that weekend was enough for me to get the info that i needed from those books becaues i knew what to look for.

i think a lot of people make the mistake of studying TOO long for the lsat - but, again, everyone is different. i certainly think that this guy can reach his max in 5 weeks if he really stays organized and dedicated to learning the test.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 29, 2005, 10:09:22 AM
I got my third highest score (out of 17) so far on the fourth practice test I had taken in three days.  I think time off is nice, but perhaps not necessary.  But it could differ by the person of course.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Perversely on April 29, 2005, 10:20:34 AM
i took the one right before the test. actually the timing was perfect for me becuase i knew what i needed to pay attention to and what i could ignore based on how i was doing on my own. depending on how he's doing, it might still be worth it.  The weekend course seemed to help me break from the low 170s to the higher 170s.

really?  where are you headed?  what have you been offered?  you're the very first person i've ever met that went from the 150s to the 170s.  that's nearly impossible.  did you know that?  that, that's nearly impossible that is...
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 10:26:02 AM
as i mentioned above, i'm applying for '06. when i took the diagnostic, it was honestly the first time i had seen the test. i had maybe seen a couple LR questions earlier that day, had never seen games (although i used to do them for fun when i was little) and took it on the computer. but it was timed, i used scratch paper, etc. my second score was a 168, then i dropped to around 165 for a couple, then bounced up to the low 170s for a couple, and was routinely scoring high 170s before the test including one 180.

and i resent the implication that i'm not being truthful. as was mentioned earlier, i'm not the only one to make a huge jump.

i'm looking at schools in the DC area. However, i have a low GPA that will prevent me from getting into any place really exciting.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: thelawfool on April 29, 2005, 12:05:24 PM
are people so caught up in this thread that no one has mentioned lisbeth's avatar? 

holy moly!
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on April 29, 2005, 12:06:42 PM
Eh, it's old news.  She's had that before.  Last time she used it as her avater, it was up for quite some time.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: thelawfool on April 29, 2005, 12:09:15 PM
i have like 400 posts.  never seen it.  not old news to me.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: _EKC_ on April 29, 2005, 12:10:34 PM
that's because for a while i didn't venture off the georgia thread. sorry if i distracted you.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: BigTex on April 29, 2005, 12:12:50 PM
Eh, it's old news.  She's had that before.  Last time she used it as her avater, it was up for quite some time.

the picture is memorable. LizBeth, didn't you used to go by something else? etc? something like that?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: SummertimeAndTheLivingIsEasy on April 29, 2005, 12:26:02 PM
Eh, it's old news.  She's had that before.  Last time she used it as her avater, it was up for quite some time.

the picture is memorable. LizBeth, didn't you used to go by something else? etc? something like that?

I think it was EKC
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 06:40:59 PM
my point was that people can certainly reach their max within a month of studying. i didn't use LRB/LGB - i used just the tests, then the PS book that they give out at the weekend course, which is basically a combination of the LRB & lgb. that weekend was enough for me to get the info that i needed from those books becaues i knew what to look for.


I think a very small minority of people may be able to reach their max within a month of studying.  However, from everyone I've spoken to, including tutors, etc., and everything I've seen, most cannot.

Again, you have to remember that you have an extremely strong aptitude for the LSAT, one that is highly unusual.  Someone like you may be able to grasp the concepts very quickly, but, again, this is very unusual. 

(For what it's worth, you could probably have scored even higher with more prep, but I'm sure you did fine as it is.)

i think a lot of people make the mistake of studying TOO long for the lsat - but, again, everyone is different. i certainly think that this guy can reach his max in 5 weeks if he really stays organized and dedicated to learning the test.

I think very few people study too long for the LSAT. I'm really not sure how you could.  And I'm sure this guy would do better with 2-3+ months prep if he can swing it, but if not, I certainly hope he gets close, and I certainly think he can significantly improve over the next 5 weeks if he focuses.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 06:43:07 PM
I got my third highest score (out of 17) so far on the fourth practice test I had taken in three days.  I think time off is nice, but perhaps not necessary.  But it could differ by the person of course.

As your mental muscles develop, you generally need less and less time off.  Near the end, you should be able to do repeated exams fairly close together, and this is good practice for endurance. 

Time off is more important near the begining, and you may of course also find that you need a few more breaks in the future.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 06:44:20 PM
i took the one right before the test. actually the timing was perfect for me becuase i knew what i needed to pay attention to and what i could ignore based on how i was doing on my own. depending on how he's doing, it might still be worth it.  The weekend course seemed to help me break from the low 170s to the higher 170s.

really?  where are you headed?  what have you been offered?  you're the very first person i've ever met that went from the 150s to the 170s.  that's nearly impossible.  did you know that?  that, that's nearly impossible that is...


I dont' think this is impossible at all, or even really that unusual.  I went from the 150's to the 170's, and I'm sure a good number of other people do as well.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 29, 2005, 06:48:05 PM
as i mentioned above, i'm applying for '06. when i took the diagnostic, it was honestly the first time i had seen the test. i had maybe seen a couple LR questions earlier that day, had never seen games (although i used to do them for fun when i was little) and took it on the computer. but it was timed, i used scratch paper, etc. my second score was a 168, then i dropped to around 165 for a couple, then bounced up to the low 170s for a couple, and was routinely scoring high 170s before the test including one 180.

and i resent the implication that i'm not being truthful. as was mentioned earlier, i'm not the only one to make a huge jump.

i'm looking at schools in the DC area. However, i have a low GPA that will prevent me from getting into any place really exciting.


Hey, Lis, I believe you.

If anything, your story is good evidence for the idea that initial diagnostics are essentially worthless.

And don't sell yourself short on schools unless you've researched them all very carefully.  You can get into a LOT of good schools with a 174, no matter what your grades are.  Most schools are LSAT whores, pure and simple. I'd say you probably have a shot at everything from GW on down (and you could always apply to Gtown just in case.)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 29, 2005, 06:51:07 PM
I just have to interject before you go for a fiver.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Leshy on April 29, 2005, 08:13:34 PM
ok boys and girls... I did a little digging and found the exact "dsong02" thread... here it is

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,1285.0.html

He claims to be "dumb" which, I can't really refute since I don't know who he is.  He mentioned in some other thread that his ugpa was something like a 2.6.  In any case, he went from a 153 to a 178 on the actual test, rather impressive.

I can tell you that I myself, although I have yet to take the test, started with an initial diagnostic, completely blind to the lsat, of 144.  My practice test scores are now around 165, but I've also been studying really hard for the past 3 months.  My personal advice would be LGB & LRB, and then lots of actual prep tests.  I never had to work on reading comp, I'm pretty good with that stuff from all my English classes.  I'm not sure how much you can actually get done in 5 weeks though, but I'm sure he can break a 140.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: sleazyd on April 29, 2005, 08:32:04 PM
I don't know about 1 month of studying but if he is a reasonably intelligent person willing to commit a significant amount of time he can hit 170+!  Laugh all you want but my Testmasters instructor tested at a 142 first time and we all know Testmasters people are 99% percentilers.  He got a 171 after a Kaplan (lol) prep course and he said he studied about 20-40 hours a week.

Tell him to study during the summer the summer and take the October exam...no real reason why he shouldn't take the extra time. 
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 29, 2005, 08:44:03 PM
There are plenty of "reasonably inteligent" people who study their butt off and don't come near a 170.  More than 1% of test takers are very intelligent and study hard, and they don't all get 170+.  Yeah, there is a chance, but it is very presumptuous to say that some guy you don't know can do it.  This scenario is probably less likely than him scoring below 140 with practice, not that either is likely.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 30, 2005, 01:22:13 AM
I just have to interject before you go for a fiver.


Thanks.   ;)

I was on a roll!
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: lawschoolfeign on April 30, 2005, 09:54:19 AM
He can't take in Oct. because that is too late to appy for a military educational extension.



I don't know about 1 month of studying but if he is a reasonably intelligent person willing to commit a significant amount of time he can hit 170+!  Laugh all you want but my Testmasters instructor tested at a 142 first time and we all know Testmasters people are 99% percentilers.  He got a 171 after a Kaplan (lol) prep course and he said he studied about 20-40 hours a week.

Tell him to study during the summer the summer and take the October exam...no real reason why he shouldn't take the extra time. 

On my first practice exam I actually scored a 143 (almost made me rethink this entire process!)...but I ended up scoring a 161 on the real thing (I even scored 164 on the practice test the day before the exam).

What you friend needs is some serious serious discipline...he needs to be studying EVERYDAY RELIGIOUSLY

Does he have real exams? If he hasn't ordered any from LSAC, the books "10 Actual LSAT's" and "10 More Actual LSAT's" will work fine.  He definitely needs both Powerscore bibles.  During the last two weeks, I literally took a practice test everyday.  It's so draining but it's worth it.

I had more time to prep after that first practice test (about 8 weeks) but I think with some hard work he should be able to crack 155 and hopefully 160
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 30, 2005, 02:31:41 PM

We think.


He can't take in Oct. because that is too late to appy for a military educational extension.



I don't know about 1 month of studying but if he is a reasonably intelligent person willing to commit a significant amount of time he can hit 170+!  Laugh all you want but my Testmasters instructor tested at a 142 first time and we all know Testmasters people are 99% percentilers.  He got a 171 after a Kaplan (lol) prep course and he said he studied about 20-40 hours a week.

Tell him to study during the summer the summer and take the October exam...no real reason why he shouldn't take the extra time. 
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 30, 2005, 02:37:08 PM
He can't take in Oct. because that is too late to appy for a military educational extension.



I don't know about 1 month of studying but if he is a reasonably intelligent person willing to commit a significant amount of time he can hit 170+!  Laugh all you want but my Testmasters instructor tested at a 142 first time and we all know Testmasters people are 99% percentilers.  He got a 171 after a Kaplan (lol) prep course and he said he studied about 20-40 hours a week.

Tell him to study during the summer the summer and take the October exam...no real reason why he shouldn't take the extra time. 

On my first practice exam I actually scored a 143 (almost made me rethink this entire process!)...but I ended up scoring a 161 on the real thing (I even scored 164 on the practice test the day before the exam).

What you friend needs is some serious serious discipline...he needs to be studying EVERYDAY RELIGIOUSLY

Does he have real exams? If he hasn't ordered any from LSAC, the books "10 Actual LSAT's" and "10 More Actual LSAT's" will work fine.  He definitely needs both Powerscore bibles.  During the last two weeks, I literally took a practice test everyday.  It's so draining but it's worth it.

I had more time to prep after that first practice test (about 8 weeks) but I think with some hard work he should be able to crack 155 and hopefully 160


Generally good advice, though I think some days off might also be helpful overall.

Also, if he's going to get the books of exams, and only do 20, he should probably skip the first book of "10 Actual", and just do the last 2 books ("10 More", and "Next 10").  Also, he would be best served by doing the most recent individual exams as well, instead of earlier exams.  (I think there are 6 or 7 recent individual exams now available.)

Whatever you do, don't order this stuff from LSAC, which takes forever to deliver.  Express order from Amazon.com (for the books of 10, unless you find them in bookstores) or from Powerscore.com (for the individual exams.)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 30, 2005, 02:41:09 PM
How long does it take for LSAC to send the tests?  I have the three books and preptests 42 and 43, but I just ordered the rest on Wed.  They will get here by May 20th or so, right?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 30, 2005, 07:07:22 PM
What credentials do you have to say that adderal will help you?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: hilljack on April 30, 2005, 07:12:04 PM
If you have made it through undergrad w/o it, chances are you don't need it.  Like it helps or something?
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 30, 2005, 11:02:17 PM
How long does it take for LSAC to send the tests?  I have the three books and preptests 42 and 43, but I just ordered the rest on Wed.  They will get here by May 20th or so, right?


Maybe, maybe not.  I've heard horror stories about them.

If I were you, I'd cancel the LSAC order, and make a new one with Powerscore.com (or any other company that provides express delivery). 

If you're planning on actually using the tests for June, you obviously don't want to be compromised by some organization's inefficiency.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on April 30, 2005, 11:07:35 PM

I was going by:

" I don't think its possible for him to take in Oct and apply for the extension... I'll check with him about if its is possible to take in Oct, but the way I understand it, its June or nothing."


Apparently, you've checked, and we now know this is in fact the only option.


We know.



We think.


He can't take in Oct. because that is too late to appy for a military educational extension.



I don't know about 1 month of studying but if he is a reasonably intelligent person willing to commit a significant amount of time he can hit 170+!  Laugh all you want but my Testmasters instructor tested at a 142 first time and we all know Testmasters people are 99% percentilers.  He got a 171 after a Kaplan (lol) prep course and he said he studied about 20-40 hours a week.

Tell him to study during the summer the summer and take the October exam...no real reason why he shouldn't take the extra time. 
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: emarejay on May 04, 2005, 08:56:25 PM
those of you saying that the situation is hopeless are the same people that probably would say the same to someone who starts studying for a final exam the night before. If it is possible to get a B on a final after an all nighter, Id say it is possible to jump 20 points in a month.

As we all know that initial jump is easy to acheive. He may need only one month to get from a 138 to a 155 which is great for him. That next 2-5 points could take months, but who wants to spend that much time worrying about a damn test? I sure don't. Ill take my 160 after a month of studying and never look back.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on May 04, 2005, 10:09:03 PM
Update: He gave up. I didn't discourage him at all or tell him it was impossible. I told him it wasn't impossible to go up 20 points in a month but would take a lot of work and far from guaranteed. He gave up and said he'll reconsider LS after his committment in the Army. Basically, he probably knew he wouldnt be able to put in the time and effort so it was pointless. Plus. even if he went up 20 points he wasn't a lock to get the educational delay so the whole thing was a real long shot. Oh well, its his fault for not worrying about this earlier. As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, I gave him all my study materials and preptests in Sept and told him I'd help him how ever much he wanted from then to get ready for the June test and then he didn't really do anything and wasn't realling interested in LS anymore until a few weeks ago when he decided to try for the delay.

Here's a good reason not to take an initial diagnostic -- he would've at least had a chance if he hadn't gotten discouraged, and now he has absolutely no chance.

But he sounds kind of lame anyway in this regard, no offense.  Just doesn't seem like he was all that motivated.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on May 04, 2005, 10:16:18 PM
That next 2-5 points could take months, but who wants to spend that much time worrying about a damn test?


Maybe the people who want a $50K plus scholarship to the same school, or want to attend a better school so they don't have to worry as much about getting a job. 

Given that law school takes three years and generally costs around $150K (not counting opportunity costs), I'm amazed that someone would slack on an exam that has the potential to save someone $100K in tuition, or help them earn even more over the first few years of practice. 

Obviously, how much you prep is completely a personal choice, but I'd much rather prep hard for a few months and ensure admittance to a better school than have to compensate by working my ass off for three years.  It's simply far easier to do the former.  But again, it's a personal choice.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on May 05, 2005, 08:03:07 AM
Yeah, I had dobut about his dedication from the beginning. I don't really see what was wrong with taking an initial diagnostic to see where you are at. With a limited time frame he had to find out his weaknesses quickly and see that he had a lot of work to do. I agree it can discourage some people, but others could see it as evidence of the great amoutn of time and effort they need to put in to hit their target which gets them extra motivated. I think in this case, it was so much disocuragement from the diagnostic, but more that even if he hit his target, getting the extension was still a long shot. I think its hard to get motivated to work hard when you know that even if you improve to what you want there is still a lot that is out of your control and it could all be a waste. Maybe he'll actually go through with LS after the Army but I doubt it.




Update: He gave up. I didn't discourage him at all or tell him it was impossible. I told him it wasn't impossible to go up 20 points in a month but would take a lot of work and far from guaranteed. He gave up and said he'll reconsider LS after his committment in the Army. Basically, he probably knew he wouldnt be able to put in the time and effort so it was pointless. Plus. even if he went up 20 points he wasn't a lock to get the educational delay so the whole thing was a real long shot. Oh well, its his fault for not worrying about this earlier. As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, I gave him all my study materials and preptests in Sept and told him I'd help him how ever much he wanted from then to get ready for the June test and then he didn't really do anything and wasn't realling interested in LS anymore until a few weeks ago when he decided to try for the delay.

Here's a good reason not to take an initial diagnostic -- he would've at least had a chance if he hadn't gotten discouraged, and now he has absolutely no chance.

But he sounds kind of lame anyway in this regard, no offense.  Just doesn't seem like he was all that motivated.


Your analysis of your buddy seems on point.

I know what you're saying about the rest of it, but to me, it simply seems like the risk of discouragment and negativity is too great from an initial timed diagnostic.  I figure that people should always start early, regardless, because there's a good chance they'll need extended prep, and once they start practicing untimed, that alone should let them know what they need to work on.  And the a raw timed diagnostic might in fact lower expectations to the point where the student loses motivation.  (I'm assuming people will be more inspired if they think 170 is attainable than if they don't.)  

To me, it's like throwing the kid in the deep end of the pool to teach him how to swim.  But that's just me.  People obviously need to decide for themselves if it makes sense.


Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Amanda H. on May 05, 2005, 08:09:27 AM

This is an interesting perspective.

To me, doing better on the LSAT means you don't have to be as much of a gunner in school.  Either you'll be at a better school, where class rank is less important, or you'll have less debt, so class rank and salary will both be less important.

However, I think for most people it's hard not to be a gunner in law school, unless you're either at a top school, or someone else is paying the bills, and you don't need to pay it back.

Do you expect to study hard in law school?  What kind of class rank are you shooting for?  Just curious.


Yeah, I agree that from a logical perspective the best strategy is to try to max out your score and shoot for either the best school or lots of $$ at a less prestigious school, but theres something unsettling about studying for a test for a real long time in my mind. In fact, I advised my brother (in HS) to study for the SAT because I didnt study at all and from reading this board it seems like at least some people prepped extensively and made big gains for the SAT. He did exactly the same as me (for verbal and math) and I know that if he took my advice and studied he probably would have done significantly better and be able to go to a better school or get more $$$ in aid even if he doesnt want to go to an ivy or something. He didn't take my advice and I wouldn't have either at that age or even now just because I don't want to be the kind of person who always wants to one up the competition with extra prep, etc. Its just not the way I am.

I was still making improvements right before teh test and considered cancelling and retaking in OCtober after a few months studying or even retaking this June and averaging my scores (if I did better) and applying next year but in the end I don't want to be that much of a gunner. I mean yeah if studied for an entire year I probably woulc have done at least 3-4 points better and be attending a better school or gotten more scholarship money but I just don't want to be that kind of person. I'm hoping to avoid becoming a gunner in LS.




That next 2-5 points could take months, but who wants to spend that much time worrying about a damn test?


Maybe the people who want a $50K plus scholarship to the same school, or want to attend a better school so they don't have to worry as much about getting a job. 

Given that law school takes three years and generally costs around $150K (not counting opportunity costs), I'm amazed that someone would slack on an exam that has the potential to save someone $100K in tuition, or help them earn even more over in the first few years of practice. 

Obviously, how much you prep is completely a personal choice, but I'd much rather prep hard for a few months and ensure admittance to a top school than have to compensate by working my ass off for three years.  It's simply far easier to do the former.  But again, it's a personal choice.

Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: jacy85 on May 05, 2005, 08:19:42 AM
How does prepping for a test to get into a better school or get more $$ make you a gunner?

It's an absolutely ridiculous notion.  For example, just because I got into Yale with a scholarship (which is argubly the best school/$$ combo out there), that means I have to be a gunner in all my classes?  There's absolutely no logic backing that up, and with that attitude, you're going to miss a lot of opportunities.

You can easily extend that statement into something like this:  Ok, I can spend an extra couple of hours a week to get my outline ready for 1L exams, but I don't want to be the best and be better than everyone, so that means I'm going to be mediocre.  My grades won't be great, but heaven forbid I be better than most people in my class.  I'm happy settling for whatever job I can manage to get, whether it pays something I'm happy with or not because I'm not looking for the best.  I could do extra work with my firm, and aim to become a partner/get promoted, but I've never wanted to be the best, so I'm not interested.

I mean, where do you draw the line?  And it's not about being better than everyone else.  It's about striving to be *your* best, the best you can manage, whether it's better or worse than 90% of your classmates, who cares?  This doesn't seem like the best attitude to take with you into law school.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: dsong02 on July 19, 2005, 11:35:11 AM
unbelieveable how people still talk about stuff that went on a year ago...

ok boys and girls... I did a little digging and found the exact "dsong02" thread... here it is

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,1285.0.html

He claims to be "dumb" which, I can't really refute since I don't know who he is.  He mentioned in some other thread that his ugpa was something like a 2.6.  In any case, he went from a 153 to a 178 on the actual test, rather impressive.

I can tell you that I myself, although I have yet to take the test, started with an initial diagnostic, completely blind to the lsat, of 144.  My practice test scores are now around 165, but I've also been studying really hard for the past 3 months.  My personal advice would be LGB & LRB, and then lots of actual prep tests.  I never had to work on reading comp, I'm pretty good with that stuff from all my English classes.  I'm not sure how much you can actually get done in 5 weeks though, but I'm sure he can break a 140.
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: xindogu on July 19, 2005, 12:21:58 PM
It's even more amazing that people still pick up on threads that are two months old....

:)
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: DMG on July 19, 2005, 12:27:08 PM
Yeah, who cares about this crap?  Ralph Wiggum, I don't think you have a hope in hell of getting 160 on your LSAT. Now put your head back on your desk and go back to sleep - that's where you're a viking. :D
Title: Re: Starting with a 138
Post by: Leshy on July 19, 2005, 01:18:01 PM
there was a guy who used to post on this board long ago - "dsong" was his name. He had the most outrageous score improvement i've ever seen. It was well over 20 points i think. He scored in the 170's. Do a search. He posted quite elaborately on *exactly* what he did to achieve his improvement.

This post piqued my interest, and I was just curious as to how you did it, or if it was actually true.  At the time, I was studying for my LSATs too, so I figured I could both help the OP and help myself, along with everyone else who was interested.  It didn't take that much work to find, and I was truly impressed by your score jump.  I ended up with a 166... 22 point jump... decent, but it would have been better if I started with a 158  ;)