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Messages - squirt10

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: the 170 blues
« on: July 01, 2006, 05:49:36 PM »
If you'd been consistently practicing at 166-168 and a 162 put you out of contention at schools that you wanted to be able to apply to, you'd be bummed out too.

2
Hey all, as many have pointed out, this is all flame. I don't have the money to talk to Anna Ivey, and I'm already into law school. I do think my OP is sound advice for the next cycle (minus the  recs part). Enjoy your applications and good luck everyone!

OWNED. :-[

3
Lets go out on a limb and assume that a 170 drops down to a 97.5 percentile. I don't think it will, but lets use it as a benchmark.

Currently, there are 3000 people who get 170+, out of roughly 140000 test takers. Seeing how the trend has been going downwards for the past several years in number of individual test takers it probably will continue for this year, but we'll assume that it doesn't and look only at the required increase in retakers required for "2000 more 170+ scorers". We'll also assume that every person who scores above a 170 does not retake, so that we'll have the highest number of individual 170+ possible.

5000/.025= 200,000

This would require a 60,000 test increase.

Or, to put it another way, the number of people who retake the exam would have to triple. And this entire sample pool would have to perform at a level of improvement that we currently see with the fairly self-selected pool of retakers.

To me, this seems a little ridiculous.

Maybe Anna Ivey is trying to drum up some extra business?

HA, great point.  It's absolutely in her industry's interest for the admissions process NOT to be a numbers game.  Still, I don't see why someone who knows they can do better wouldn't retake, even for just one or two points.

By the way, it was very generous of you to share this information with us, even though it may be biased.  Thanks.

4
Studying for the LSAT / Re: um...should I seriously retake a 170?
« on: June 30, 2006, 05:45:14 PM »
How are you risking penalizing yourself at all? 

If you have a 170, retake it and get a 169, retake that and get a 171...well, law schools are going to think you are either an ass or someone with very poor judgement. Neither of these outcomes bodes well. Yeah, you technically have a higher score, but it's likely to count against you on the whole. Human factors count also.

If you can show them you can pull off a 5+ point increase in one go -- well, in that case they are more likely to think that you just had a bad day the first time around, and that you were justified in taking it a second time around.

Also, realize that your entire argument rests on law schools being soulless rankings seeking machines. Clearly law schools are looking out for their own rankings, but T14's have tons of applicants who are pulling in 170-eqsue scores -- they can very easily pass on the person who might have mildly improved scores but absolutely no gauge of their own ability.

I wouldn't retake after getting a 169 on my second try.

And 170 and 175 scores are indistinguishable (in my opinion) when it comes to "ability."  They're pretty much the same score--even LSAC agrees.  Getting the extra points, though, might make it easier for law schools to pick you over someone else, because numerical rankings as computed by USNEWS are simply an important element of a law school's prestige, and, whether they like to or not, law schools care about them.  Some schools, like Berkeley and Stanford, have the luxury of choosing applicants based on real merits, but most schools (judging by the rankings and people's application experiences on lawschoolnumbers) do care about marginal, meaningless differences in LSAT scores.

5
Studying for the LSAT / Re: My situation -- Need Advice
« on: June 30, 2006, 05:26:08 PM »
Hey mike245, I think I read in another thread that you got a 179 in June.  CONGRATULATIONS!

To the original poster: I think you can pay LSAC $30 or so to have your answer sheet "hand scored."  If there are omissions on your answer sheet that you can't explain, it's possible that the scoring machine didn't pick up some of your bubblings-in.  Call them up or search on their website for more details if you didn't already know this was an option.

6
Studying for the LSAT / Re: um...should I seriously retake a 170?
« on: June 30, 2006, 05:21:29 PM »
"if you feel you're not competitive at your #1 choice school, AND you didn't feel 100% on June, then retake.  Otherwise you're just risking penalizing yourself more for marginal improvements."

How are you risking penalizing yourself at all?  Even if you do worse the second time, schools will use your higher, earlier score for admissions purposes, no?  And it seems to me that someone who retakes a 170+ score to get a HIGHER 170+ score is demonstrating extreme confidence in his ability to consistently score high on the LSAT.  What I mean is that the fact that you had a high score in the first place and decided to retake means that you had reason to believe that you could do better.  If it ends up that you actually do a little worse, admissions committees will have an easier time writing the second lower score off as a fluke.

If you start with a low score on your first try and do much better on your second, though, then admissions committees might think that you didn't prepare enough the first time around or that maybe your second higher score is more a product of luck or commercial test preparation strategies than ability.  This is all baselessly speculative overanalysis no doubt, but I just don't see how retaking a high score can hurt you under the new highest score policy.

7
"Second, the rules are more rigidly enforced at the actual test than most people enforce them for themselves when they are prepping."

No, I think most people pretty rigidly enforce the rules (which really just amounts to adhering to the time limits) when they practice.  Otherwise, what's the point?

There's also the matter of taking only one break and not having scratch paper, two rules which I've heard of some people not enforcing when they take preptests.

It's also difficult to add a realistic experimental section to your practice tests.  I added an extra section to all of my preptests, but it didn't exactly work because I always knew which one it was.  On test day, I didn't know which section was the experimental.  When I utterly botched my second games sections, I freaked out.  I'm pretty sure I did 4 points worse than usual on sections 3-5 at least in part because I was worried and discouraged.

8
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Actual LSAT vs. your practice?
« on: June 30, 2006, 02:20:03 AM »
You could still do worse.  But more to the point, I don't think that if you'd gotten that 175 instead of 173, it would make a real difference at those schools, CCN or probably even HYS.

But if they take your highest score.... and I think Harvard and Yale have 75%tile scores of 176 and 175 respectively, so they might consider a 175 to be much better than a 173.  I don't know how the rankings are computed exactly so I dunno.  In any case, I hope you're right and I'll stop being a tool for now.  I'm really stunned sometimes by people's ability to continue to be civil and supportive in the face of boorishness.  Commendable, really.

9
Studying for the LSAT / Re: For those with perfect LG scores.
« on: June 30, 2006, 02:03:07 AM »
in addition to the LGB, i did 30 LG sections from the real lsat test prep books, then i went back and did them again several times.

I did this too, but I only redid a few of the games.

10
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Actual LSAT vs. your practice?
« on: June 30, 2006, 02:01:38 AM »
I don't know if I should retake because I never had a chance at Harvard or Yale anyway, and at Columbia, NYU, and Chicago, a 173 and a 175 are probably considered to be virtually the same score.  If I find out that there's a significant difference between a 173 and a 175, and a lower score on my second try really won't hurt me, I'll be retaking.  A little disappointing, but I'm glad I decided not to cancel.

I don't think you should retake.  There's no real difference between a 173 and 175 -- at that level, it's going to be the other things that make or break your application with the top schools, I think.  GPA, course of study, achievements, resume, personal statement, rec letters, etc. 
[/quote]

I appreciate the input.  The thing is that I'm a loser when it comes to GPA, extracurricular involvement, writing ability, uniqueness, course of study, relationships with professors, work experience, life, etc and a high LSAT was all my application would have had going for it.  A 173 is still pretty high, but with this new ABA policy, there might be more 173s and my score may not mean as much to law schools.  I wish I'd trusted my instincts on that last RC passage instead of assuming I'd misread something.  Oops.

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