Law School Discussion

Yet another advice thread...

Yet another advice thread...
« on: September 28, 2009, 10:20:17 AM »
Híokay, soÖ Sorry about how long-winded this may end up being, but I had a few questions and time is of the essence. I also apologize if this turns out to be a really stupid question Ė I only decided on pursuing law school at the end of this summer, so Iím still kind of green when it comes to knowledge regarding all the ins and outs of the application and acceptance process.

Well, long story short, I had one of those awful LSAT horror stories. My experience was the stuff of nightmares. I took a prep class, was hitting solid 160+s on my practice test, then went into take the actual LSAT this past Saturday and just freaked out. I donít know if I was super nervous or if I was still experiencing the effects of the sleeping pill I took at 8 the night before (Iíve taken them before and I figured Iíd be so nervous that I wouldnít able to fall asleep, thus the pill-poppage) but I simply couldnít focus on the first section of the test Ė which, for me, was reading comprehension, usually one of my stronger points. Alas, I reached the five minute mark and still had a whole passage to read. The shock and awe at my horrible performance carried over into the following section and, although I mostly recovered for the third section it wasnít until I had my 15 minute break that I really got myself back under control. I came back, rocked the last logical reasoning section and did the best Iíve ever done on logic games Ė the area I was worried about the most. Go figure.

Now, my question is this. Iím expecting a score that is significantly lower than what Iím used to. Iím pretty much positive of this. My LSAT prep teacher said that most schools just take the highest of the two scores but should I cancel this test I just took? What if heís wrong and what if I did especially atrocious? The only reason I donít want to cancel is to see how well I did on the last two sections but if having one LSAT score thatís significantly worse than (hopefully) the one I take in December is going to affect my chances at admission in schools I donít want to take that chance. What do yíall think? What would yíall do in my situation? I have six days to cancel and itís been two so I need to make a decision quickly.

Also Ė I know that ideally one should apply right after the September LSAT but, unfortunately, I no longer have that luxury. How shafted am I when it comes to applications and admissions? Is it bad enough that I should wait until the next cycle a year from now? I've been getting conflicting opinions on this, both from friends and from posts on this board. Let me know what you guys thinkÖ

Thanks so much for all your input, guys. Once again, I apologize if I sound like a complete buffoon but Iím a little confused, flummoxed, verklempt, etc.

Re: Yet another advice thread...
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 10:21:33 AM »
Also, I'm going into this with a 3.65 LSDAS GPA.

Re: Yet another advice thread...
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2009, 12:48:28 PM »
Depends on how bad is bad. If you truly think you're going to wind up somewhere in 140-low/mid 150 land, whereas you comfortably feel that your competance is at 165-168, then perhaps cancelling is for you, but remember, even if you were feeling nervous, you don't know exactly what that means for you in terms of score. For instance, one of those sections (not Reading Comp, though, as far as I know) could be experimental, which means you got a pass, and it won't hurt you.

At the end of the day you just have to decide if your performance that day was genuinely different in a substantial way from 1.) your true aptitude, and 2.) from how well you may do on a retest. If it is, you should cancel and retake, if it's not, then wait for the results...

That's just my thoughts though!

Re: Yet another advice thread...
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 07:51:39 AM »
First off, thank you so much for getting back to me!

I suppose my question is this then - I think I can do better on the test and I really don't believe I was anywhere near my best on Saturday. Some people are telling me that most schools just take the higher of the two LSAT scores these days and, maybe because I'm a glutton for punishment, I really want to see my score. I don't know - canceling just seems so ... final. In your opinion, is it really going to look that bad if there's a discrepency in my scores? Will the addendum I put in my application explaining the discrepency alleviate any of the issue?

Once again, thank you so much for your input. I really appreciate all the insight!

Re: Yet another advice thread...
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2009, 06:35:02 AM »
Your situation is nearly the same as mine.

Last year I sat for the Oct '08 LSAT. I was consistently practicing in the low to mid 170 range until the final 2 weeks before the test. I overprepped, my scores dropped and that only served to feed my anxiety.

When test day came, the adrenaline rush literally incapacitated my limbs. They felt numb for the whole first half of the test. I abandoned my approach to the test and felt I was guessing through most of the questions. Moreover, my mind consistently wandered to the "oh *&^%, this is it, im going to fail" place.

Needless to say, I fell short of my potential: a 155.

I decided to take a year off and retake the test in February '09.

For my second test, I took the polar opposite approach. I reviewed the Bibles again just once each. I also ordered the Dec '08 practice test, timed it, and scored a 177 and reviewed it. Perfect. I didn't prep any more.

My second sitting: a 173.

I don't regret my choice to apply this cycle. I would have been at a huge disadvantage, and possibly rejected outright by my first choice schools before the Dec '08 administration.