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Messages - Jeffort

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Yes, its technically a 4th time.  I wanted to postpone, but it was too late to do so, so when I went into the Sept test I knew I would cancel.  Around Nov 09 I was robbed and I don't think that I was in a good state of mind.  I felt better about this test.  I was mostly the end of the third game and 4th game that I do not remember, but I believe that I got at least 2 in the last game correct.  I got 2 in LR wrong, but I feel good about at least 22 of the other ones (I don't remember the questions now, but after the test, I scoured forums online for the topics of the questions and recalled the answers from there)  So far, my answers for RC also go along with everyone else's but only a few of the questions were discussed.  I want to relax and forget about it because I cannot do anything about, but its very hard for me not to.  I guess I'm nervous about this one because if I do poorly its not because of bad circumstances, its mostly due to my own studying/mental capabilities, what a self-esteem blow that would be.  Thanks for the reply!

Interesting set of circumstances, especially the getting robbed part shortly before taking the test last year.  At the very least, with that you have something very compelling to present in an addendum to explain your multiple takes/scores that I think would very much help get admission committees to somewhat look past having multiple test takes and just focus on your highest reported score.

Being the victim of a serious crime is a major life event that can be very traumatizing, psychologically disturbing/harmful if not also physically harmful depending on what went down.  The psychological/mental/emotional aftereffects of the event as well as from all the stuff you have to go through/do to recover from it typically persist in various ways for long periods of time. 

That means that you have something good to write about in an addendum or otherwise work into your application that will very much stand out in the crowd from the typical lame pedestrian excuses tons of applicants that have taken the test multiple times submit as reasons for the multiple re-takes.  As the saying goes, "When you get lemons, make lemonade", and you got lemons by being a crime victim. 

I was a cancel Sept 09, 157 dec 09 and I dont know how I did in Oct 10.  My PTs rose to 172 right before, and I would stay in the low to mid 170s, but I messed up on LG and who knows how I did on the rest.  If I retake it will be June 2011, I think I am more of an afternoon person.  But I feel so emotionally...discouraged?  I get freaked out by the thought "Maybe I'm not meant for this."

First of all, given the info you supplied, if you take the LSAT again it would be your 4th time, not 3rd.

Sorry to hear you are feeling discouraged.  Just so you know, you are not alone.  Everyone that seriously preps for and takes the LSAT seeking admission to Law School experiences similar feelings at times during the process unless they are a robot without human feelings.  It can be a challenging stressful journey.

A few important issues you should be contemplating if you aren't already.  Are you considering canceling your October score or are you going to let it ride and keep the score?  It sounds like your practice test scores were going well leading up to test day. 

Did something go horribly wrong when you took the test last weekend that you think may have knocked your potential score significantly down from your recent practice test scoring range or do you think it just might be the typical post-test uncertainty thing everyone goes through?  What do you mean by saying you messed up on the LG's?  Did just one game give you some trouble cuz it was hard or did something more dramatic happen (like not being able to address and answer many of the questions, several games because of running out of time)?

You have to make your decision right away about whether or not to cancel.  LSAC rules dictate that to cancel you must send a written cancellation request that they RECEIVE within six calendar days of the test.  Given that you already have one reported score (157, which could get you admitted to some LS's depending on your UG GPA), a previous canceled score and now the October 2010 test, you are locked into the situation of having multiple (3) takes of the test noted on your score report that admission committees will use to evaluate your application. 

If you think that you scored significantly higher than 157 this time, given that it is your 3rd time taking it (which will be noted on your score report whether or not you cancel), I 'd keep the score if I were you.  Several reasons why:  First big reason is because you are limited by the rules to only being allowed to take the LSAT 3 times in any two year time period.  That means that whether or not you cancel, you will not be eligible to take the test again until the October 2011 administration.

There is a way to get an exception to that limit that is not that hard to get if you are determined to re-take the test in June 2011, but given that you are already stuck with three reported instances of taking the test, I would proceed with caution in making your decision about such a plan.  Having multiple takes, scores and cancels on your score report generally raises suspicion about your academic abilities/potential to perform well in LS when admission committees review your application. 

You should definitely think through this and all the ramifications TODAY since you have to decide to keep or cancel your October score right away.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Preptest 13, St 1, #4
« on: October 13, 2010, 03:58:29 PM »
Hi all. :D I need your help, please.

I worked on this game for 20 minutes and didn't score horribly but could have done better (I missed two out of seven). I didn't realize this was a pattern game until I finished the last question. I applied the rules to each question and answered them accordingly but my question is, how do you establish what the pattern(s) is based on the information provided in the rules? I've provided an example below:

23.)   N O T
         S O P
         N S T
         P O T

^That is the diagram I made based on the question info and by applying the rules. I did this for every question. At the end of the game I realized that there must be an inherent pattern governing the position of each variable, so I arrived at this:

Year1: p1 p2 p3     and     p1 p2 p3    (p= position)
Year2: p4 p2 p5                p4 p2 p5
Year3: p1 p4 p3                p1 p5 p3
Year4: p5 p2 p3                p4 p2 p3
Year5: p1 p4 p5                p1 p4 p5

Are these two patterns/diagrams correct? If so, how do you create these diagrams based on the information from the rules? As I mentioned earlier, I didnít have a diagram (know of the patterns) for this game until after I completed it.

Thank you for your time,

~Michelle :)

Your sets of combinations of recurrence that are governed by the rules, (each clan has to appear 3 times in the 5 year cycle, 3 appear per year, etc.) the 5 variables have to abide by due to the math established is incorrect.

This game is a rare freaky/unusual mind bender that typically F's up most students when they encounter it during prep since it is a total oddball.

There is an easy way (that I wouldn't expect anybody to decide to do under timed pressure and have never yet witnessed happening) to figure out the 5 different combinations of recurrence that govern the distribution of the 5 variables (each variable goes with one of the combinations).  Take the five letters, pick an order for them, the order doesn't matter, then write out that set of 5 in the same order 3 times, dividing them up into the 5 years with 3 per year.  Then calculate the year number combination of recurrence for each variable and you get the five combinations you can use to help solve the questions. 

Given the unusual nature of the game and improbability that anyone would think to do that during their ~9 minutes when faced with it timed, there is another much less mathematically involved straight forward 'I've got decent LSAT skills' way to comfortably handle and possibly breeze through the game.

Once you are clear about the rules and realize 'WTF? this is weird, nothing much to jot down for a set-up is coming to mind so I guess I should jump into the questions before they call time to try and grab a few points', you go with the basic rule driven and POE approach.  Basically the fall back brute force method when none of the typical strategies seem to be working to get you anywhere for some reason but you want to bubble something in the credited ovals! 

That means instead of staring at the page in confusion while the clock ticks, jump in applying the basic rules and few obvious deductions to the questions and answer choices to do it like a Pro possibly also scrapped for time since it is the last game of the section, and look for shortcuts that might be/are right in front of your face since time is running out soon. 

# 18:  easy with rule driven POE
# 19:  F'k! got rid of A and B easily but now am feeling screwed, make a bunch of brute force hypos or move forward and try to come back if I have time? hmm
# 20:  Super easy, that's the most obvious deduction of the game and is a no brainer point to get, bubble in the answer before they call pencils down!
# 21:  Process of elimination using the basic rules works to quickly dump (B), (D) & (E), then brute force hypo and/or review/spot check the rules and deductions made during the set-up time to try to get it done fast, but maybe double check a minute or so later if you are one of the people that finishes game sections with time to spare and want to put your final answer tentatively on hold.
# 22:  Plug in the local condition from the stem and make a partial hypo using the rules really quickly.  N O S in the first year, P & T don't so they have to appear in year two and 2 more times in years 3 through 5 without being in 3 consecutive years.  So, with the stated numerical distribution parameters (don't need to have figured out the pattern combos to conclude this), they both have to participate in year 5, bubble answer choice (D) and move on really fast.
# 23:  Another local question stem.  Make a hypo, plug in that info then apply the given rules focusing on the impact it has on distribution.  P is not in year 1, so it must be in year 2 and therefore cannot be in year 3 because that would make it appear 3 years in a row.  Not that many steps of analysis and you determine the credited answer choice fast.
# 24:  Run with the local info apply the rules and scratch out a quick partial hypo.  Neither P nor T in year 1 so they must be in year 2.  Due to the prohibition of participating 3 years in a row and the obvious deduction that each clan participates 3 times per 5 year cycle, P & T have to participate in the 5th year, thus giving you the credited answer choice.

If you have time to spare after #24 to revisit difficult questions you were uncertain about, namely #19, notice that the question stem of #24 (by itself, no brain power involved if you look for shortcuts) gives you the credited answer choice for # 19 that you may have wanted to go back and double check since it seemed like a big time trap.  If you didn't figure it out for POE purposes on # 21, the stem of #24 alone eliminates (E) for that question.

Question #'s 19 and 21 are the two time trap show stoppers of this game people stop and get stuck on that wastes most of the remaining time they have for the game/section but both of them are shortcutted very easily with work from other easier questions along with the question stem of #24.  Most of what is required to see and do this to not only be able to address all 7 questions, but also to use that extra minute or so to review and get the two hardest question correct is good time management and re-use of work/analysis from other questions.

You never need to know the set of distribution combinations the variables must abide by to get down and dirty to race through this game.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Conditional Question
« on: October 09, 2010, 12:41:32 PM »
Conditional linkage and inferences have always been my weakness.  I have something that i'd like verified.  Thanks!

J --> S
S --> J
does NOT equal J <--|--> S

J --> S
S --> J
DOES equal J <--|--> S

Simply because of 'necessary' vs 'sufficient' differences.

Is this correct?

Your conclusions are correct.  The first situation basically means that you have to have at least one of the two (J and/or S) and does allow you to have both, whereas the second situation establishes that J & S are mutually exclusive to each other, meaning that you cannot have both of them selected, but it does allow for having neither of them in the in group.

Did you just work the infamous birds in the forest in/out grouping game?  cuz that is where to get the frequently talked about ~J ---> S rule from.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Not all
« on: October 04, 2010, 07:51:00 PM »
Not all means:  some are not/at least one is not.  How many beyond one that ARE NOT whatever is uncertain.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Are mechanical erasers allowed?
« on: September 23, 2010, 11:56:53 AM »
You're right; probably best to play it safe.  But you'd think LSAC would be more clear and unambiguous...

You'd think, but then again they are old people that are familiar with and used to using old fashioned tools like wooden pencils, slide rulers, an abacus for math, spears and torches to chase enemies away from the village and to suppress native uprisings , etc.  If they walked into an Office depot or a computer store to check out new things they could risk going into some sort of culture shock and get really confused trying to figure out how to use the 'fancy new fangled' devil devices! 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Are mechanical erasers allowed?
« on: September 23, 2010, 11:15:56 AM »
Yeah, the kind that you click.


Simply to avoid any potential trouble at the test center (you don't want that, you'll already be under enough pressure/stressful circumstances) I say play it safe and go with a standard eraser to avoid having an extra distracting thing to stress and worry about.  While worrying/stressing about the test while waiting in line and checking in I sure as $hit wouldn't want to also have the extra worry of 'are they going to take my eraser away'.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Are mechanical erasers allowed?
« on: September 23, 2010, 10:23:54 AM »
I know mechanical pencils are prohibited, but what about mechanical erasers?  I prefer them over block erasers because they're more precise.

Are you talking about one where you click it to make more eraser come out of the end?  Other than that I'm not sure what you could mean by 'mechanical eraser'.  The language of the LSAC rules just says that erasers are allowed but does not define what types.  I would guess that since they banned mechanical pencils (for whatever reason, why is still a mystery to me!), and that since a 'mechanical' stick eraser is similar to and resembles a mechanical pencil, that it would qualify as a banned item. 

Play it safe and get used to using a block eraser.  Hello Kitty ones are kinda cool still!  :D


Studying for the LSAT / Re: Just wanted to confirm testing regulations...
« on: September 23, 2010, 10:12:33 AM »
Thank you for your informative help. My first test was taken in Feb. 2009 so I would have no problem signing up for the June 2011 LSAT right? I just don't want to study again for the test and find out that I am unable to take it again.

Correct.  Without getting a LS waiver letter giving you permission to take it again sooner, with the first of the 3 reported times you took the test being February 2009, you are clear to register for and take the June 2011 LSAT.

More importantly for Law School admissions purposes, what has been the problem holding you back from scoring high enough to have a good chance of admission to your LS's of choice?   If you are going to take another bite at the apple you really need to figure out what held you back from scoring up to your potential the previous times you sat for the test and prep better to make sure taking it a fourth time will be worthwhile to improve your admission chances.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Just wanted to confirm testing regulations...
« on: September 22, 2010, 06:50:49 PM »
No, you would be allowed to take it again before February 2012.  The LSAC policy is that you are only allowed to take the LSAT 3 times within any given 2 year time window.  That means that if your 3rd take was February 2010, you would count the two years from the date of the first of your three takes, not the last one.  As soon as it has been 2 years since the first of the 3 takes you can take it again since then you would only have taken it twice within the previous 2 year period.

Yes, you are correct, it doesn't look great to LS's to have taken the LSAT several times rather than just once or say twice with one cancellation and one reported score.  How it is viewed would of course also depend on what is on your score report in terms of whether you have multiple reported scores or which combo of scores, cancellations, and/or no-shows you have. 

BTW, there is an easy way get an exception to the 3 times in two years limit.  All you have to do is get the admissions office of any LS to write LSAC a letter saying they grant you permission to take the LSAT again and the limit is waived.

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