Law School Discussion

LSAT Preparation => Studying for the LSAT => Topic started by: aorman on September 18, 2016, 04:52:39 PM

Title: Low Diagnostic Score & Study Timeline
Post by: aorman on September 18, 2016, 04:52:39 PM
Please forgive me, I'm sure this is a regurgitation of someone else's post, but I just took a diagnostic test and am unhappy with my score: 134. In my own defense, I was not concentrating (at all), skimming through the passages, and did not time myself (i.e., not working "under pressure").
I am set to take the LSAT in December, and have signed up (cringes) for an online Kaplan prep course, coupled with a few study guides (LSAT for Dummies and Barron's). Assuming I really "hit the books", is there a realistic chance I can score in the 150s-160s range?
I am not aiming to go to a top 10 school, my desire to attend law school is to come back to my small town and help in the education sector in helping low-income families navigate the system as well as revising policies (I am a teacher right now and am finishing up my Masters, if that's of any benefit).
Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you much.
-A
Title: Re: Low Diagnostic Score & Study Timeline
Post by: loki13 on September 19, 2016, 08:19:55 AM
Please forgive me, I'm sure this is a regurgitation of someone else's post, but I just took a diagnostic test and am unhappy with my score: 134. In my own defense, I was not concentrating (at all), skimming through the passages, and did not time myself (i.e., not working "under pressure").
I am set to take the LSAT in December, and have signed up (cringes) for an online Kaplan prep course, coupled with a few study guides (LSAT for Dummies and Barron's). Assuming I really "hit the books", is there a realistic chance I can score in the 150s-160s range?
I am not aiming to go to a top 10 school, my desire to attend law school is to come back to my small town and help in the education sector in helping low-income families navigate the system as well as revising policies (I am a teacher right now and am finishing up my Masters, if that's of any benefit).
Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thank you much.
-A

So, let's start with the basics.

First, that is a really, really low score. There's no way around it. And time pressure should make it worse, not better. It would be easier to analyze if you had taken it more seriously.

What does it mean? Well, the LSAT does not correlate perfectly to professional success, but it does have some predictive power in "thinking like an attorney." If, after real preparation, your score does not significantly improve (to, say, 150 minimum) I would seriously reconsider going to law school.

So two points-

First, the two primary areas that you can see improvement on are general test taking strategies, and logic games (or whatever they are called now). Some people just aren't good at understanding how to approach standardized tests- this is something that you can work on. Logic games are something that can be improved through specific strategies that you may not have. Remember that- and work hard on learning how to do them.

Second, the benefit of a high LSAT score given your desires is to get a scholarship at a lower-ranked school. Scholarships will be based on your uGPA (undergrad GPA) and LSAT score. You want to minimize your cost of attendance- look at state schools as well.

Finally, there are websites (such as lawschoolnumbers) that will provide snapshots of how other applicants are doing, and websites (lawschooltransparency) that provide good metrics on the lawschool based on publicly available information. Do you research, and don't rely on the schools' brochures.

Good luck.