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Author Topic: i SUCK at standardized tests!  (Read 38544 times)

riceowl

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i SUCK at standardized tests!
« on: May 24, 2004, 07:05:56 PM »
I don't want to beat this topic to death, but I am in desperate need of some advice.  I currently have a 3.93 GPA at Rice, but have been unable to score as high as I would like on the practice LSATs that I have taken so far.  My first score was a (ghastly) 155, and my second a 154.  Last week I scored a 168, only to score a 159 three days later.  Today I scored 167. What the hell is going on?  Is there any way to prepare for this test??  I know that I am capable of scoring reasonably well, but I cannot be confident that I will do so on test day (June 14th) when I keep alternating between scores in the high 160s and mid-to-high 150s.  I really need to keep my score in the high 160s (or even low 170s) to get into the law schools on my list (Harvard, Berkeley, Chicago, Michigan, Penn, Cornell, UT, NYU).  Any advice?

Thanks!
155-154-168-159-167-165-164-161(ouch)

jacy85

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2004, 07:34:48 PM »
First, you didn't say how long you've been studying.  Have you take 5 practice tests?  (you list 5 scores...) or have you taken 20?

My advice?  You should have started studying earlier.  Or you can push it off and take the October test, which, considering the list of schools you want to go to, might necessitate taking a year off.

Looking at the brighter side, you WILL eventually even off into an average 5-6 point range with work. (i.e. right now, I'm scoring regularly between a 163 and 168).

Your wide range of scores has NOTHING to do with your ability to take the LSAT.  So don't freak out about that.  It's absolutely normal.  I'm sure most people on this board will say the same thing.  I've been noticing that among people here that have posted their practice scores thus far, most people tend not to even out until after taking between 7 and 10 practice tests.  So either keep working and taking tests like mad, or push it off and perhaps try a prep course (I highly recommend powerscore, and others here have said good things about Testmasters).  If you really, really want over a 170, and don't start hitting it soon, this may be something to seriously look in to.

Best of luck studying! 

riceowl

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2004, 07:48:48 PM »
Thanks for the advice. 

I have only taken 5 practice tests, but have been attending a Princeton Review course for the past few months (they do not seem to recommend taking several tests a week, and administer tests only every ther week).  I have noticed, however, that most people on this discussion board seem to believe that frequent testing is the best way to prepare.  Thus, I will take between 2 and 3 tests a week until June 14th.  I am hoping that this method will produce more significant results than PRs slow-paced, non-frequent testing approach. 

In case anyone has been considering taking a Princeton Review course, I wouldn't recommend it. I have been unable to justify spending well over $1000 for information that I could have easily obtained by purchasing a $30 book.
155-154-168-159-167-165-164-161(ouch)

Hermioni

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2004, 09:27:22 PM »
rice, this board has a thread about cucumbers and the like, I think. Why don't ya visit it?! It might prove helpful to ya! Have A Nice Day!

riceowl

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2004, 09:34:25 PM »
Cucumbers?
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riceowl

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2004, 09:34:42 PM »
cucumbers?
155-154-168-159-167-165-164-161(ouch)

dta

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2004, 12:22:02 AM »
Hey riceowl - i'm in your same boat man. Sometimes, on bad days, i score as low as 156. On other days, I score as high as 168. It's crazy - i'm all over the place. Genius to doofus to genius to doofus - back and forth.

I've quit trying to figure out the perfect plan anymore. I'm just taking a crapload of preptests and reviewing all my mistakes. I take 4-5 each week now. And I know what you mean about PR. Total waste of money. If i could do it over again i would just go into their proctored tests to get the experience of taking the tests with lots of sniffling strangers around me. They don't check id's or anything - so i could easily just walk in and take a proctored test without actually paying for the course.

There's one book i'd really recommend though - Kaplan 180. Even if you're not shooting for a 180, but like me just trying to consistently stay in mid to upper 160's, it's really helpful.

Anyway - good luck bud. Just study your ass off so that after the test is done you can say you studied hard and did you best.

NYBound05

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2004, 12:24:58 AM »

My advice?  You should have started studying earlier.  Or you can push it off and take the October test, which, considering the list of schools you want to go to, might necessitate taking a year off.


What makes you say that by taking the October lsat, he/she may have to take an entire year off?  Regardless of the caliber of schools that are being applied to, unless he/she is aiming towards an early acceptance decision, what benefit comes from taking the June lsat instead of the Oct lsat for Fall 2005 admittance?

jacy85

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2004, 08:52:44 AM »
It's a fact that for rolling admins, you have a much better shot by getting your apps in early.  I don't know what the rest of riceowl's app will look like, but just from a numbers stand point, if you're going for high caliber schools, you really should be trying to get everything in and done by the end of October.  That's at least been my experience from seeing people I know apply.  Schools like Harvard, Penn, Cornell, etc have so many applicants, that if they don't see your scores/app until December, your chances are much lower from what they'd have been in October.  If he takes the October lsat, scores and files won't be complete until sometime early December, and there will be a fewer spots and thus a more competitive admission pool.  I have a friend that got her acceptance to Cornell two weeks before Christmas, and she *didn't* do early decision.  Do you think these schools are going to wait till the deadline to admit people?

And I didn't say he'd *have* to take a year off.  I said he *might* need to take a year off, looking at his list of schools.  Granted, the rest of his application may be stellar with tons of off the beaten track experiences, or he may end up getting that 178 we all shot for, who knows.  His GPA is a big boost, but as some people find out, it's the whole package that matters.  But by the October lsat, there's already acceptances being offered, and there's less of a chance for some of the higher ranked schools, hence my statement that it "might necessitate taking a year off"

riceowl

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Re: i SUCK at standardized tests!
« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2004, 10:36:27 AM »
Thanks, dta - I'll look into the Kaplan 180 book.  I think that taking 4-5 tests per week is probably the best way to go at this point.  Also, in case you are still in need of a good prep book, I would highly recommend Nova's "Master the LSAT".  I bought it yesterday, read 50 pages, and have already acquired more valuable information than I was able to obtain after seven weeks of PR!

I totally agree with jacy85 that it is best to get your apps in as early as possible when applying to a school with rolling admissions.  That is why I am scheduled to take the June test.  Unless my score does not stabalize some time before June 12th, I do not plan on rescheduling. 

As for my extra curricular activities/work experience, I think that I am in decent shape.  I have not found a cure for cancer or volunteered in Nigeria.  I have had to work my way through school (and Rice is quite expensive).  My work experience is wide ranging, and includes everything from an internship with a Texas Senator in Washington to tutoring high school students in Algebra and German.  I have worked at the Rice School of Continuing Studies for the past 3 years as an A/V technician (approx. 30 hours/week), while simultaneously interning at the James Baker Institute for Public Policy (and going to school, of course).  Additionally, I am a regular opinion columnist for the student body newspaper.  I HOPE that I can use my resume to offset a bad LSAT score.  I realize that I could have been more "involved in my community", but there was not enough time with work and school.

Anyways, thanks for your advice - it is greatly appreciated.
155-154-168-159-167-165-164-161(ouch)