Law School Discussion

Re-take LSAT?

Re-take LSAT?
« on: August 23, 2008, 02:09:56 PM »
Thanks in advance for your help!

I took the LSAT in February and scored a 166. I know I can do better, I have consistently scored in the 171-4 range on practice tests. My GPA is 3.75 (huge upward trend since freshman year) at Northwestern. Up until a few days ago I was planning on re-taking the test in October and having my applications all ready to go by the end of that month. Now, though, I've been hearing that re-taking the LSAT is heavily frowned upon and that I will be asked to explain why I took it twice. The truth is simply that I was underprepared for the test- I wasn't sick and no one in my family died. I was just stupid about it. I didn't study very much and didn't take a class.

My top choice schools are Northwestern and Michigan, and you can see the other schools I want to apply to below. Should I re-take the LSAT? If I don't, and apply with a 166, do I have a chance at any T14 schools? If I do re-take, and score in the 170-172 range, would my chances increase significantly despite the stigma of having re-taken the test?

Last question, unrelated, but I received a fee waiver from Duke. Is that any indicator of my chances there, or do they simply send them to a bunch of people who may or may not be qualified?

Thanks again!
GPA: 3.75 from Northwestern U.
Feb. 2008 LSAT: 166
Oct. 2008 LSAT:
Will apply to: Penn, UMich, N'western, Cornell, Cal, Duke, UChicago, G'town, Harvard, GW, Vanderbilt, UVa

Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2008, 02:20:08 PM »
They average the scores, so if you got a 172, you would really have a 169 taking your first test into consideration.

Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2008, 01:07:30 AM »
i practiced at a solid 175 going into the test date on the most recent exam and scored a 168. your drop doesn't seem to be too out of line, so make sure you consider that. B/c if you don't do well (i.e. lower, same, or a 1 or2 point increase), law schools will very much question your judgement. I think you have a great chance at top 14 with your credentials, especially considering that you come from a prestigious undergrad. Cornell, Duke and Berkeley all seem like possibilities to me.


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Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2008, 11:19:31 AM »
I would study and retake.  It sounds like you'll probably score higher, and with a 172+ you should be a lock at Michigan and Northwestern.
Columbia 2011

Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2008, 02:34:50 PM »
From what I've heard from a number of friends already at law school, fee waivers are no indication that you will get into a particular law school. That being said, from your numbers, you look like you have a great shot at Duke.

I'm not sure if someone mentioned this above, but if you retake in December you will be significantly later in the application cycle. Its pretty well documented that applying earlier in the cycle increases your chances well beyond what a potential few point bump on the LSAT will give you, not even considering the awful possibility that you could score lower on a second try.

Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2008, 12:21:51 PM »
Absolutely retake as long as you are willing to put yourself through studying again. My prep tests almost all fell in the 170 - 173 range with the lowest score being a 168. When I took the actual test, I was shocked when my score came back as a 163. With my 3.5 GPA that fully placed me out of the running for my dream school (Michigan). I re-studied and retook the test and managed a 172 on my retake. I start Michigan orientation today. (=

As far as I can tell, they don't average the scores. I didn't even have to send any information explaining the score. If you are confident you can score higher with a retake, then go for it. Only negative is it sucks having to go through studying for the exam again, but if the score goes up then it is well worth the extra effort.

Best of luck!
Michigan 1L


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Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2008, 12:28:19 PM »
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2008, 11:31:35 AM »
oh good lord, please retake.  i was in your exact situation a few years ago...
* Columbia Law, Class of 2011 *


Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2008, 11:42:37 AM »
oh good lord, please retake.  i was in your exact situation a few years ago...

And look at where you are now:

working too hard in Legal Methods, that's where.

Re: Re-take LSAT?
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2008, 11:43:12 AM »
You guys are sounding like it's guaranteed that he/she will do better...which, statistically speaking, not a safe bet. I would suggest focusing on the personal statmeents, cuz unlike what a lot of people here say, it counts a lot!