Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: flhelms on September 22, 2014, 09:35:35 PM

Title: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: flhelms on September 22, 2014, 09:35:35 PM
Hello,
I am taking the LSAT on Saturday September 27. If I perform similar to how I've been doing on PrepTests, I will be lucky if I get a 150. And with a less than stellar college transcript that's not good (GPA around 3.0).  My diagnostic was a 141 I think if that. I've read nearly two-thirds of the PowerScore Bibles. And a little less than half of The LSAT Trainer. I've been using 7 Sage videos some for LG prep and explanations. I ran out of time to study for reading comprehension and I am still not a giving a strong performance in any of the other sections. Time and guessing a lot being my biggest downfall. But there are major question types in LR that I am just not getting. PowerScore seemed to me to be more aligned to the way I think. But it is very detailed and at times too much information.

I feel I will more than likely retake the test. Due to a dire financial situation, I will probably wait until June to retake it. And I will start law school in 2016. I'm not a morning person anyway. Being in school won't be an issue with finding time to study. I was thinking of taking an LSAT prep course. Right now I am deciding in between taking a PowerScore course or a 7 Sage course.  PowerScore is significantly more expensive but may be more tailored to my learning style with detail and in person teaching. Regardless, cost may have to be the deciding factor. However, 7 Sage has been excellent prep especially for help on LG. And seems to be very visual which is also suited to my learning style. So I wanted to ask if anyone had any experience with either course and any pros and cons I may not be considering.

Thank You.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: Citylaw on September 23, 2014, 08:42:03 AM
I see many people do this and continually put off the LSAT, which puts their whole life on hold. It sounds like you have put in a lot of effort for the LSAT. If you really think you put in a good faith effort on the LSAT then take it this Saturday.

Or you can put it off until 2016 and you will likely have the same pre-test jitters and put law school off until 2018. So many people I went to undergrad with put off the LSAT for years and I graduated and pass the bar while they were still putting their life on hold waiting to take the LSAT.

If you do not perform well then maybe law school is not for you, and there is no shame in that. If you get a 150 you will have a few options. With a 3.0 150 there are between 10-20 ABA law schools you can get into. Harvard is not an option, but 99% of lawyers did not go to Harvard.

Basically, just ask yourself will you really put in your more effort next time you take the LSAT or will this situation be the same? If your parents divorced, your girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with you, and were getting evicted from your apartment then you might have enough distractions to put the LSAT off, but from your post it sounds like none of those factors are present.

That is the other thing to consider life throws a lot of curveballs your way, and all those things may come in 2016 even if your really prepared, and put the test off longer.


Conclusion:

Don''t make life complicated take the LSAT and get a score. Once yo have a score you can know whether law school is an option or not, and more importantly you will feel relief taking the test. Even if you do poorly it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there, and actually take the LSAT. Many people spend years talking about it, but never get score, which is really sad in my opinion.

Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: barprephero on September 23, 2014, 05:40:01 PM
Agreed. Most schools take the HIGHEST score too, so even if you bombed it there is no need to cancel . They used to average out the scores, but almost none do that anymore. Now you could get three 125s (in theory) and one 170 and only the 170 would count.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: Citylaw on September 23, 2014, 05:53:05 PM
Excellent additional point, yes almost every school takes the highest score so you really have everything to gain and nothing to lose by taking the LSAT.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: flhelms on September 23, 2014, 08:47:52 PM
I really do not want to put the LSAT off waiting my life to be in the right place. If I had things my way, I would be preparing to ace this test and start law school next fall. But that's unlikely to happen. When I lost my job in May I knew the LSAT and law school was what I wanted to do to start over. I'm ready to get life moving. But my finances from losing my job are a complete wreck. So, its more that I am putting off law school for financial and vocational reasons. As you said, I know there are a number of law schools I could get into with my GPA and LSAT score. I feel its more that I need time to prepare for law school. And while I'm at it why not try the LSAT again and try really hard to do better. Because I know I can do better and I want this. I was asked a couple weeks ago if I thought law school was for me and I've done some soul searching and it is what is right for me.

I feel like this time around even though I dedicated a lot of time to prep work it perhaps wasn't the right method or that I rushed through the material without having a through understanding or just simply did not do enough because I didn't take it seriously enough. Admittedly, it is my strong point throughout my prep work, but I had to completely neglect preparing for reading comprehension from running out of time. Maybe I was distracted by being broke and unemployed which left me feeling pretty depressed through this process. I see this week's LSAT as a hurdle to jump and in a way prep for the next one. I've put a lot of effort into this. I'm not chickening out and I'm not going to cancel the score. I'm not a quitter. The fees are an issue as well between being unemployed and denied a fee waiver. But I can get in somewhere if I really wanted to.  I just don't feel ready to go to law school. I feel like a poor performance will be motivation to do better next time. I see myself accepting the challenge and succeeding. The last Prep Test I took I scored a 145. I scored a 151 on another Prep Test. I know I can do so much better.

I've accepted the reality of the LSAT. I'm probably not going to score as well as I'd like and I'd like to retake it in June 2015 to give myself time to prepare thoroughly and to also get more prepared for attending law school in 2016. And retake it to get a better score. I'm right now scoring in the 145-151 range on Prep Tests I would like to get in the 160-165 range which is a lot but I think possible based off my current issues and how much improvement I've made in a short time. The 141 to 151 jump was between one prep test.

I know I'm probably not smart enough nor do I want to go somewhere like Harvard. But I don't want to go to a school that accepts 145 LSAT 3.0 GPA either. I'm probably rambling but I hope I've made my point clear. I'm not putting off the LSAT. I've worked too hard. I'm going to take it Saturday and I may just surprise myself. But thinking logically and usually probability I don't think I will do well enough to satisfy myself. And the test will be just another prep test and in a way the diagnostic for taking the big one in June 2015. Also, my finances are horrible right now. So, I am putting off law school for another year. And to help prepare me for the June 2015 LSAT I am thinking I will take a 7sage course to keep me on track with my prep instead of using self-study.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: barprephero on September 24, 2014, 12:59:42 PM
"Rambling" is ok. That is what these forums are for. Ramble away brother.  ;)
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: Julie Fern on September 24, 2014, 05:37:56 PM
september test be hardest ever.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: IlLogicalKurt on September 26, 2014, 01:02:22 PM
Why?
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: Citylaw on September 27, 2014, 09:35:57 AM
As Freshlyminted said ramble on, but after reading your post I think there are several things to consider.

One thing is that a lot of curveballs can be thrown your way. It sounds like you lost your job, and are a little confused right now, but what is to say you will not lose another job in 2015, or obtain a job that requires you to put in 80 hours a week by June 2015, or your best friend will get married on the same ay day as the June LSAT etc.  The longer you put these tests off the less likely you are to actually take the test. Plenty of people put it off, and eventually take it, but most don't.

In June 2015, I guarantee you will feel unprepared as well. There is always more you can do or think you should do. Once your in law school however, when finals come around you will say "oh sh*t" I should have done X, Y, Z, but the final will happen. Same is true with the Bar so on and so on.

Additionally, the fact that the LSAT costs $100-200 bucks really should not be a huge concern. If you go to law school your making a $100,000+ commitment, if $100-$200 is causing you stress, then really think about the reality of the expense of law school.

Finally, again 160-165 is a pretty solid score, and I hope you get hell I hope you get a 180, but scoring a 160 puts you in the top 20% of LSAT test takers, and people that take the LSAT are smart are college graduates, motivated enough to attend law school, and possess the fortitude to actually take the LSAT. There is 80% chance you will not score in the top 20%. 

This reality is something you also need to consider if you go to law school. At any ABA law school even ones that accept 3.0 and 145 GPA's as you refer to them as contain smart, hard-working, and motivated individuals that all think they are special and are certain they will finish in the top 10% of the class. However, 90% of these students end up disappointed.

Again, I really urge you to take the LSAT this Saturday, and if you feel like you terrible cancel the score. However, odds are you will probably score in the 150-155 range, and you can start applying for law school Fall 2015 instead of Fall 2016, which will give you one more year to work as an attorney and start your career. Additionally, almost every school simply takes your highest score so even if you score a 120 every question wrong, which is unlikely you can retake in 2015 and they will take the highest score.

Conclusion:
The biggest thing standing in most people's way is themselves. I can see you are putting a lot of thought, and stress into this, but it is really not that complicated. All you need to do is take the test this Saturday. If you absolutely hate the experience you are out $100-$200 and a Saturday afternoon. Odds are however, you will get a decent score and be able to start applying to law schools right now.

Or you can wait around for your another year and in June 2015 you will have this same feeling, and then either take the test or put it off for more time.

I am just a random internet poster so take my advice with a grain of salt, but one of the most important things you learn in law school is how to not over complicate things.  In your first year of law school I guarantee you all your textbooks will be highlighted to no end you will read case after case and be freaking out, but by the time third year rolls around you will skim a case and know the important things to look for, and think to yourself what an idiot you were 1L spending so much time on something that really was not that hard.

Once you take the LSAT whether it be this Saturday or next year, I am sure you will feel great once it is done. However, if putting it off the stress and frustration can be overwhelming, and there is no worse feeling than knowing you didn't try for something you wanted.

Good luck whatever you decide.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: barprephero on September 27, 2014, 09:55:06 AM
Dang, City provided one of the most quality posts I've seen on these threads in years (most of the other law school threads are just populated by homophobic racist comments for some reason anymore) I'd toss on top of his comments the fact that if you lost your job that student loans will cover living expenses since most law schools don't have on campus  housing and food plans for their grad the way they do for undergrad (some do though, and if you want that, factor that in while picking) It also tends not to counts as "income" against unemployment benefits.

I knew a few people who went to grad school just because they were laid off from their job. It worked out ok for them, and while I wouldn't make it the only reason to do it, it's ok to let that be a factor too.

Some schools have decent MSL degrees that let you take classes side by side with law students but be done in a year if you want to "Test the waters" and get a legal degree without going full JD. The only down side to that is that they tend not to transfer for credit into the JD, so if you did like it, you'd have to do a lot of those same classes again later in the JD. Then again that would increase the odds that you could get a 4.0 and honors when you did them again since you'd already know what to do. Kind of a crazy idea, but I figured it was worth tossing out there too.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: flhelms on September 29, 2014, 11:02:53 AM
So, I took the LSAT on Saturday and I have no plans to cancel my score. LR and RC seemed to be easier than expected but LG killed me. It was exhausting but I did it. I had other reasons for this as well but I was awake for 21 hours straight right before the LSAT, during, and after. I expect my score to be 150-155. As a precursor to today's post, I am very stubborn. I don't see myself as putting off life by planning to start law school in Fall 2016 as opposed to Fall 2015. I see myself as being better prepared and taking the necessary steps to achieve my goal.

Law school has been an option in my head for a long time but I've never put serious thought into it. Earlier this year I had a dream I attended law school and I had some other things telling me law school was the answer. And when I lost my job law school was my option to start over. And you are right there is no guarantee I won't lose my job next June or I won't have some other extenuating circumstance. But I feel if I prepare better on LG alone, I will get a better score the second time I take the LSAT. As you said, my score will allow me to get in and start somewhere but I am not ready. I need to take the steps to get there. 

I visited UNC-School of Law Friday and I mentioned that my LSAT score was going to be bad. The tour guide, who was a 3L, said her score was on the lower end and that she wrote addendums. And I definitely plan on writing one for my GPA. I had a major depression one semester and against the advice I received I did not drop any classes. My aunt taught me to never quit and be strong in hard times. But because I didn't quit, my GPA suffered. I think I had a 1.8 that semester. Anyway, that was a tangent but point being I could write an addendum for a lower LSAT score as well. While on the topic of my visit to Carolina Law, I spoke with a fellow visitor about putting off law school for another year and told him I was trying to get more financially ready. He said "when will that ever happen?" And he's right to an extent. I will never be fully financially ready but I can be more ready than I am now. And the same goes for the LSAT I think I will never be fully ready but I can feel  and be more ready than I felt Saturday. Honestly, if its on the high end of my expected score range of 150-155 I may not retake it. But I will never know if I can't get in a better financial situation. I'm broke right now, I have nothing in savings. I was unexpectedly denied a fee waiver. My account is on hold right now because I registered when I thought the fee waiver would be approved and I will never be able to get my score if I don't get a job and pay the fees. I'm worried about $170 test fee because I have nothing right now.

I went on a few dates with this guy. He talked a lot about making a life plan and sticking to it. And seeing everything as a step to get to an ultimate goal. Even though that's I think part of the reason he's 39 and single, he's got a good point. I need to take the necessary steps to get to my goal of going to law school. And I cannot do them all in less than a year. And taking a year another year is one of those steps in order to complete all the little steps.  I cannot feasibly do everything I need to do to start in 2015. But starting in 2016, I can maybe not complete every little step but I can more realistic do what I need to do.

My point is I took the LSAT and I am proud of myself that I did it. I've had days when I can barely get out of bed. And I took the LSAT. And I'm proud regardless of whether I got a 120 or a 180, both of which are unlikely. I think all I can do now is get a job so I can pay the fees. Get my score and I will make a decision from there on whether to retake it. But I think regardless I am going to have to take a year to save up some money to prepare for law school. I have a lot of cost/fees with preparing for law school (test fees, CAS fee, my computer is on its last days, application fees, etc.) Plus, I got into some trouble and my credit cards are on a debt management program which I will complete in spring 2016 just keeping the payments the same so that will be alleviated by time I start school. Finances are a big concern for me right now. And I need it to be better for entering law school. I am definitely considering the cost of law school. But I know I will qualify for loans and need based grants, etc. I am stubborn, driven, and I do not give up. So, I am going to law school, I just have to be a bit realistic.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: Citylaw on September 29, 2014, 02:06:37 PM
Excellent to hear you took it as Woody Allan said 90% of life is just showing up and whether you get a 120 or 180 you took the LSAT. I cannot tell you how many people put it off, but you can literally start applying to law schools in three weeks, and there is no harm in signign up to take the December LSAT now.

As for the application fees one way to save a lot of money on that is attending an LSAC forum or just registering. Here is a link to the LSAC page for the forums http://www.lsac.org/jd/choosing-a-law-school/forums-and-other-events .

I registered and attended one of these and got more fee waiver's than I knew what to do with. Literally go up to every school's booth you even though of applying to write down your LSAC number and most will come back with a fee waiver, and in your application you can say you stopped by the admissions officer's booth. This can give you a slight bump on your application and at the end of the day it is a numbers game, but it never hurts to talk to school's directly and save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on applications.

Again, congrats on taking the LSAT it is a big accomplishment to put yourself out there and even if you did terribly at least you put yourself out there.

When I was going through law school, LSAT, etc this quote got me through all of it.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. "

You put yourself out there and whether you failed or succeed on this small test, you put yourself out there, which is something very few people do, and it is why I love the quote so much.

Good luck in
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: flhelms on September 30, 2014, 03:06:09 PM
Thank you for your kind words. I'm feeling pretty confident just on the fact I took the LSAT. I can't believe its over and I don't have to study right now. I think all I can do now is wait to get the score back and make a decision from there about my next move. Attending a forum may be a good idea, the next one and the closest one to me is in Atlanta in November (I'm outside of Charlotte, NC). The benefit there is I have friends in Atlanta I could stay with so no hotel costs but I know they are busy. Also, they are full of themselves. Yeah, there's the cost of the train ride or a tank of gas but if it saves me a lot of money on applications it could be worth it. It's something to think about. Worst case scenario, I'll wait until next year. Right now though, I need to focus on getting a job so I can get the hold removed from my LSAC account so I can get my score. But once again thank you for your kind words.
Title: Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
Post by: Groundhog on September 30, 2014, 03:38:54 PM
Attending a forum, if you can do so at minimal cost, is an excellent idea even if you ultimately decide to wait until next year. It is almost the only chance you will have as an applicant to meet admissions committee members and school representatives. Make a list of schools at the forum in which you'd be interested, hopefully a mix of reaches, targets, and safetys if you know your LSAT score by then. Approach them and ask thoughtful questions about their school and programs, not general questions about law school or the application process. If there is an opportunity for a chat, you can introduce yourself and tell them a little about yourself. You can also potentially get fee waivers. It may not give you a shot somewhere you weren't being considered, but demonstrated interest in the school and its programs can make a difference on the border/wait list.

It is good that you have taken the LSAT so now you will have the final piece of objective information you need to consider your future for now. But, if you have to wait until next year, it is not the end of the world. Admissions committee members won't hold it against you. Remember, law school will always be there.