Law School Discussion

Retake Advice

Retake Advice
« on: July 03, 2008, 08:19:43 PM »
I'm digging around because friends and family have been of no help.  See if I learn the ins and outs of their pre-professional entrance exams now. 

Just a little background-I'll have a ~3.96, strong LORs, a personal statement (beyond that, who can say?) and virtually no work experience or extracurricular activities.  I may also have to apply relatively late (December, early January, it's a little complicated).  I'm shooting for the top ten (first semi-realistic choice would be Columbia, followed closely by Chicago and NYU, then Virginia, Michigan and Penn). 

In June, I scored a 175.  Given my weakness apart from numbers (I've been invited to but have not joined honor societies and various clubs-I don't think one gets much traction out of Invited-Declined on a resume), I'm considering a retake.  I had to drive home the night before the exam and wound up working on no sleep with a migraine.  Moreover, because I was foolish enough not to do any studying I was really shaken by the experimental games section and wound up guessing outright on the last five.  I didn't know it was experimental and missed 4 on the next section, the time for which I spent hating myself for being so lazy and thinking about canceling.  I've reviewed my incorrect answers and it's pretty clear that they were sloppy mistakes.  Having two or three is normal, but six is really pushing it.

On my practice test, I scored a 178.  The hardest bit was logic games.  On the June test, I didn't miss any on logic games and finished with five or six minutes to spare.  I think going in better prepared, I'd fare better.  I'm worried that it's all ego, but if even a one point boost would help a lot at Columbia, I'd chance it without hesitation.

What do you think?

Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2008, 08:35:37 PM »
I think you need your teeth slammed with a pipe.

Gone

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Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2008, 08:43:12 PM »
You should retake for sure and then when you get a lower score we can all laugh at you

Mori

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Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2008, 09:18:55 PM »
"*sigh* I can't believe it. I only got a 175!! Whats wrong with me? Should I re-take the test again? I know there is no way a T14 will look at my application. What should I do? I mean should I have studied more? Any hope of getting into law school? I mean I did get some choice invites to honor societies because I am Mr. HotShotSmartypants. I really want a higher score! I am so embarrassed with my 175, *slaps hand to forehead* how could I be THAT stupid! Arghhhh. what should I do?

Humbly yours,

Moron McJackass "



---

Ok so I am totally exaggerating how you sound, but in all seriousness, read and re-read what you wrote. 3.96 GPA and 175 LSAT... and you are trying or a 176+.  ???

Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2008, 10:13:19 PM »
all things considered, you have pretty strong hard factors, so i dont think you should stress the score too much. besides, with your limited extracurricular involvement, the adcoms may not look too positively on your retaking a 175, even if you do significantly better on the second test. you wouldn't want them thinking "wow, this kid probably never leaves his dorm room cause hes studying for the lsats all day"  :)

good luck!

Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 10:26:25 PM »
all things considered, you have pretty strong hard factors, so i dont think you should stress the score too much. besides, with your limited extracurricular involvement, the adcoms may not look too positively on your retaking a 175, even if you do significantly better on the second test. you wouldn't want them thinking "wow, this kid probably never leaves his dorm room cause hes studying for the lsats all day"  :)

good luck!

This is what I'm thinking.  He's in HYS range - he should get into all those schools on numbers, assuming he's not an ax murderer.  OP, I wouldn't worry - get your apps in before the New Year and you should be fine, although you might get less scholarship money than you would have if you applied earlier.

(Jubileeez, you have a 3.8 from Swat?  That's really impressive.  Nice work!)

Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2008, 10:38:09 PM »
thanks, Laura! unlike you though, i didnt score a 180...simply amazing! congratulations!! looks like it'll be a very happy 4th.

1 lucky day << 4 years of work.  I still say you win.   ;D

Happy Independence Day!

Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2008, 11:09:09 PM »
Rereading it, yes, I do sound like a jackass.  It's even better if one reads Mori's imitation and then my post.  It's seamless.

What I was trying to get across was not that a 175 is a bad score (it's not) or that I'm a hot shot (I'm not), but rather that I was hoping to leverage my score against my blank resume.  I also made a crack (not a good one) about putting Invited-Declined on my resume, which apparently came across as boastful.  I don't think there should be any boasting involved in silly college clubs or honor societies.  Rather, I'm afraid my disengagement from college activities is going to play a major role in the decisions made at top law schools.  The admissions committees can't follow applications around to make sure they have social lives.  Therefore, they extrapolate a candidate's roundedness (emotionally and intellectually, not physically-there I'd be a lock) from his chairing the glee club or her presidency of the campus Bonzi gardening appreciation society.  I have a bit of a problem here.

It's likely not one a retake would solve, though, I grant you.

jubileeez,

I agree.  Well done.

Laura,

I'll agree about your 180 someday. 

Someday.   

Mori

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Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2008, 07:26:17 AM »
MYOH:

If you are applying for the 2008-2009 cycle, one piece of advice I can give you, if you really want to go to Columbia or really any T14 is to apply EA/ED. The earlier you apply the better your chances IMHO.

As far as the lack of extracurriculars on your application, I wouldn't worry too much about that. Play up what you have done in a sincere way, and your application will be as strong as any other candidate. LOR, Personal statement, diversity statements...work on these. I'm sorry if my imitation offended you, just gets under my skin when people consider retaking the exam after achieving a 170+.

Point is, what you have is good. And its a sure thing. Retaking the exam means less time spent on refining your applications. Not only that, can you predict the future? How do you know that you will get a higher score in October? Maybe your car breaks down, you get the flu, you get stomach poisoning, you hear some bad news, your neighbors were up partying the night before....

Just relax, perfect your applications, and the Adcomms will notice you :)

Re: Retake Advice
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2008, 11:36:58 AM »
It didn't offend me.  You had a point.  As I said, if you read your imitation and then read my post it's hard to tell the difference between the two.  I really do sound like a jackass.

Early decision at Columbia is not a bad idea.  I'm not sure I'd get any merit aid anyway.