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Author Topic: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?  (Read 1020 times)

icedtea

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Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« on: August 04, 2008, 02:33:29 AM »
A little background:

I'm a junior (starting this Sept.) in a public university in California, female & Asian-American, and I've got a shoddy set of grades due to some family issues that I'm hoping will improve in the next two years. Because of these grades, I've decided to not apply for law school straight out of college (I'm only 19, so I figure I've got some extra time to spare, right? haha...) and I'm going to be a fellow for 2 years post-graduation (I've already interviewed and been accepted for the position), working for an advocate of a public interest group called US PIRG, in either DC or Sacramento. I took a Kaplan Practice  Test fall quarter of my freshman year, with no prior studying (administered under test conditions by Kaplan, not one I bought and took at home) and got a 161.

The issue:

Like I said, I've got a shoddy set of grades, so I'm looking to make myself out to be a splitter, just in case my GPA doesn't rise to the number I want it to be. This means raising my LSAT score by 10+ points. My hope is that, along with the work exp and high LSAT, I can balance out my GPA. So I've got a couple questions regarding the ways that worked for any of you to raise your score by that much:

- I want to take the 2010 June LSAT--the month after I graduate--should I start studying now, or would I burn out and end up hurting my score? Should I take the 2009 one instead? If I do start studying now for the 2010 test, what are ways to study without running out of materials/burning out/etc etc before the actual date of the exam?

- What test prep books/classes/materials have you personally had success with?

- What are your tips for staying on track, studying-wise?

- I've heard that certain groups are better for people at certain LSAT score levels. (ie. Go to Kaplan if you're in such and such a range, Testmasters if you're in another, etc) Is this true, and if so, which ones would work best for my starting point (high-150's/low-160's)?

Thank you all ahead of time for your help, and I apologize if these questions are redundant, or make me come off as uninformed...I'm just trying to get a feel for how to go about this most effectively! (:

Lindbergh

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2008, 07:24:35 PM »
Is your father molesting you?  If so, report him to the authorities.

Seriously, if you broke 160 on your first diagnostic, you can probably break 170 on the real thing.  Study hard, over a few months.  Work through at least 25 prep tests, preferably more.  Read the powerscore bibles (twice) or take a TM/PS/BP course. 

summerisnear

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2008, 07:46:02 PM »
I don't know if people will agree with me, but I would suggest taking the LSAT while you're still in college.  I took it 2 years after I graduated and didn't do amazingly well.  I'm still off to law school this month, but to this day I still regret not taking the LSAT while I was still a student.  I think I would have done much better, for various reasons.  Just my two cents...

BrianBHarrison

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2008, 12:51:04 AM »
Is your father molesting you?  If so, report him to the authorities.

Seriously, if you broke 160 on your first diagnostic, you can probably break 170 on the real thing.  Study hard, over a few months.  Work through at least 25 prep tests, preferably more.  Read the powerscore bibles (twice) or take a TM/PS/BP course. 

haha, hilarious, but that's definitely the way to go. 25+ prep tests with a 160 diagnostic gives you really good chances to break 170 on the real thing.  I would try getting my hands on as many prep tests as possible and taking the full test during one sitting after you feel comfortable with your strategies for each section.  Try to take them under real test conditions.  No breaks, no phone, no digital timers, no other people helping you, etc.

Good luck!

icedtea

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2008, 12:20:26 PM »
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Is your father molesting you?  If so, report him to the authorities.

It would have been really awkward if this was true... but luckily, no, that's not the family issue!

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Study hard, over a few months.  Work through at least 25 prep tests, preferably more.  Read the powerscore bibles (twice) or take a TM/PS/BP course.

Thank you all for your advice--I will definitely start amassing practice tests ASAP. Is there any difference to TM v. PS v. BP? As in, is one better for LG or etc etc, or are they all generally the same?

Also, considering that I want to wait a while before applying, should I space out the number of tests I take to every 2 weeks or so? The problem is that I don't have much time over the school year (and by that I mean I barely have time to eat/sleep, so studying 10+ hours a week is going to be hard), so I'm banking on cramming this summer and then again next summer and at the earliest taking the Oct '09 test. Is this advisable, or will I end up having to re-learn everything I forgot over the school year, and might as well wait till next summer to study? Or is it really just a case-by-case basis?

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I don't know if people will agree with me, but I would suggest taking the LSAT while you're still in college.

If I take it in June 2010, it will be the month that I graduate--so is that close enough? Also, I'm hoping if I'm ready by then and I'm PTing consistently high enough, I might take it before then, during my Senior year.

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No breaks, no phone, no digital timers, no other people helping you, etc.

What's a good timer to use that's LSAC approved, then? It would be handy to get used to the timer I'd be using in the actual test before I show up to take it (:


Again, thanks to everyone for their help and fielding my million questions!

amassherst

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2008, 12:41:40 PM »
Good luck splitting.  I don't have suggestions for you really.  I haven't taken a diagnostic LSAT test yet but, like you, I hope to split and I hope to split hard!  My UG GPA was just 3.0.  I had some non-molestatory issues too but the low academic record was largely just my fault.  So, I worked full time for a bunch of years and I'm probably going to take the LSAT in June 2009.  I'll be 27 then, so a somewhat old splitter.  With my years of work experience and if I supersplit it, maybe Northwestern will give me a shot. But I'd be delusional to really think a 3.0 can get me into NU and it's very hard to even gauge where I stand score wise since I haven't even done a practice test yet.  But I will soon and I'll have a number (however dreaded it may be) to work with.

icedtea

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2008, 02:28:08 PM »
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but, like you, I hope to split and I hope to split hard! 

Yeah...I know how you feel about the GPA thing. If it makes you feel any better, I'm below-3.0 right now so...hah. Hopefully my Jr and Sr year grades will balance it out a little bit and push me over that barrier, but...blahhh. And yeah, it's so hard to blame it on family issues because I mean, no matter what, it's still your fault because you couldn't deal with it, y'know?  ): I'm hoping they'll take some pity on me, though, because right when I got into college, within the span of about 1 1/2 years, both my aunts on my mom's side were diagnosed with breast cancer and had to go through chemo, and then they found a small, benign (THANK GOD) lump in my mom's breast too. So I'm hoping to pull on the zomgcancer heartstrings, because it was honestly NOT a fun time for me.

Buut anyway, sorry for the word vomit just now. I was looking over at LSN and it looks like NU and Georgetown are both the friendliest towards low-GPA, high-LSAT-ers out of the T14, so don't be too down on yourself about NU!!! With some hard work and good marketing on your app, I have faith that you'll be able to get in (: Check it out: http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/graphs3.php?school_code=1565

And GU: http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/graphs3.php?school_code=0007

MauveAvenger

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2008, 02:50:11 PM »
You are worrying about this really, really early. I would wait until six months or so before you want to take the test to start studying. 1) You'll have a year+ of school under your belt, which helps! 2) If you start now you'll probably burn out, and 3) six months is plenty of time.

Good luck!

eruffin

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2008, 03:01:32 PM »
Op,

If you're concerned with the LSAT this early (which you obviously are) the first thing you should do is take a real practice test under timed conditions.  The free Kaplan administrations are not actually administered tests.  Go and buy Next Ten Official Lsat prep tests (19.99 from LSAC) and take one of those tests.  161 is a really solid score, but 161 on a previously administered LSAT is a more valuable baseline than a Kaplan administration.

Regarding your study plan: LSAT skills can become rusty over time, especially if you go for weeks without practicing.  This means that you should find time to study regularly once you begin serious preparation. If you study hard for a summer, ignore the test for 9 months, and then study hard again the next summer, your improvement from the beginning of summer 1 to the beginning of summer 2 may be marginal because skills sharply honed during the first summer will have dulled before the beginning of the second.

As an aside, you have a good chance to score 170+.  My first diagnostic was 162 and I took it during the summer before my junior year.  I sat for the June test and got a 175, so it is doable. 

Best of luck...
3.65, 175

icedtea

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Re: Hoping to be a splitter...161 --> 170+?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2008, 10:50:11 PM »
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I would wait until six months or so before you want to take the test to start studying. 1) You'll have a year+ of school under your belt, which helps! 2) If you start now you'll probably burn out, and 3) six months is plenty of time.

Yeah, I'm worried about burnout, but I figured that I could always take the test earlier if I hit my goal? I dunno...blahh, I guess I just wanted to give myself a head start. If I started now, though, would a good test date to shoot for be the Feb. test then?

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the first thing you should do is take a real practice test under timed conditions...

LSAT skills can become rusty over time, especially if you go for weeks without practicing...skills sharply honed during the first summer will have dulled before the beginning of the second.

As an aside, you have a good chance to score 170+.  My first diagnostic was 162 and I took it during the summer before my junior year.  I sat for the June test and got a 175, so it is doable.

So a few things in response to your post--first, I am planning to get the 10 Real...books and practice on them...but for books like Kaplan or SuperPrep, which say they have real tests in them, are these going to be repeats of tests from the 10 Real...books? Should I not waste my money on prep books for the sake of compiling real LSATs? (I bought the Kaplan because it said it had real LSATs in it)

Also...what is one way to not do intensive studying but keep my mind sharp between summers? Would it be enough to just continue taking practice tests, or just continue to read the PS bibles, or would that be ineffective and a waste of my time?

And lastly: What did you do to raise your score? I'd like to learn a thing or two from your success! (:

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How did I miss this?  Split baby split, spread that stuff wide!

lulz.