Law School Discussion

Applying to Law School => Law School Admissions => Topic started by: greysonfitzgerald on June 14, 2017, 08:39:00 AM

Title: Doing Worse on Second LSAT? Should I Cancel?
Post by: greysonfitzgerald on June 14, 2017, 08:39:00 AM
I just took this past June LSAT, and I'm trying to weigh my options. This might be excessively long, so I apologize in advance. Any input would be greatly appreciated!

This June LSAT really killed me. I started off with the LR experimental (which is arguably harder than usual) and then proceeded to the RC (which, like the LR experimental, is considered to be of elevated difficulty--coupled with the fact that RC is my worst section). By that time, my spirits were already crushed and I was feeling very uncertain about my performance. The only section I nailed was LG, which the general consensus is that it was ridiculously easy.

For the past several PTs that I've taken, I have been able to accurately predict my performance. The questions I mark for BR are the ones that I miss. On this test, however, I felt as though I was doubting every other question and had to blindly fill in the last 3-4 questions for each section (except LG) because of poor timing. I've been PTing in the mid 160's thus far.

I also wrote the Feb LSAT and scored a 162. In contrast to this exam, I was only hitting 158's during that prep. I felt pretty bad about that exam too, but it some how turned out significantly better than what was projected from my PTs. Whilst I'd like to hope that the same thing will happen for the June test, the fear of scoring the same (or worse) is terrifying to me. I'll be applying with a 3.92 GPA and am focusing my efforts on the lower T14 schools (Georgetown, Cornell, Northwestern, etc.).

In short, I'm trying to figure out what I should do. Either:
   -Cancel my score and stick with my 162
   -Cancel my score and try again in September (though I honestly don't know if I have the mental stamina to retake again)
   -Keep my score with the hopes of doing better

And if I do keep my second score and it happens to be worse/ the same, how negatively does that impact my application to low T14 schools? Would a 3rd exam make up for it?

Title: Re: Doing Worse on Second LSAT? Should I Cancel?
Post by: loki13 on June 15, 2017, 06:47:34 AM
So, first some general thoughts.

The LSAT is, in part, an aptitude test. That means that no matter how much you prepare, no matter how much you study, there will be a ceiling to your performance. I say this with caveats; like any standardized test, you can get a few points by understanding test-taking strategies. You can be more comfortable with standardized tests. On the LSAT, in particular, people can increase their LG scores to a certain point by understanding how they work. But once you get past that point, you quickly hit diminishing returns. It's my experience (both having taken the test and done very well and having tutored individuals to take the test) that most people perform optimally, with preparation, the first time. Sometimes the second time. If you keep studying and re-taking the test, you'll burn out, because there is a limit to how much you'll prepare for it.

A 162 is a fine score. It's ... low for T14. But certainly doable for GULC (Geogetown) and the like. Apply to several and see what happens! As for the second test- it depends on your comfort level.

Please note that due to a nearly decade-old change in ABA policy, different schools have different policies regarding multiple LSAT scores. You can look them up! The usual rule is that they will take the highest score, but it varies ... and policies get a little wonky with some of the T14. I know that many top schools view taking the LSAT more than twice as a not-great signal.