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Author Topic: Disappointed with my score. Looking for short-term prep alternatives. HELP?  (Read 2481 times)

ThomasUnderling

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I got my score and did worse than I wanted, 159. Was aiming for a 164 about so I could apply to my number 1 choice for law school so while I can start applying for my alternative law schools, I wanted to retake the LSAT to try to get me into the range I want for my number 1. I self-studied for the test originally but am considering alternative methods this time around.

I searched for Kaplan vs. Princeton Review and came here with posts telling me to go for TestMasters or Powerscore. Unfortunately, my schedule with school is very packed so most available in-person test prep dates are not available for me. That or the prep courses have already begun (TestMasters).

My main options are:

Powerscore's Virtual Course
Start Date: 10/21/09
End Date: 12/2/09
Meeting time: Monday/Wednesday: 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Cost: $995

or

Princeton Review's Accelerated LSAT Classroom Course
Start Date: 10/17/09
End Date: 11/22/09
Meeting Time: Saturday/Sunday: 9:00am - 1:00pm
Cost: $1199


So I wanted to ask, when the difference between the two is in person vs. online between Powerscore and Princeton Review, what would you guys recommend I do. I know this is a fairly last minute decision as one class starts tomorrow but this was the soonest I could tell if I would have to. :(

Any opinions on Powerscore virtual course in general? I thought my self study regime would have helped me better than I actually did, so I'm not trusting myself as much this time around with such a short period of time for studying.


Edit: People may be interested in alternative self methods as well. So if you really think I/we/us should stick with self-study, even for the short period of time until the December 5th test, then please feel free to tell us what you did or what you recommend.


Thanks to everyone for the advice. I know many of you are feeling elated or upset about your score right now. Perhaps this can distract you from your sorrows or can allow you to help someone who didn't do as well as you. :D Either way, I am thankful.

Jeffort

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Your 159 is not a terrible score by any means with its corresponding percentile rank if you are not seeking admission to a first tier Law School.  How it bodes for your admission chances to wherever greatly depends on the Law Schools you are seeking admission to.

An LSAT score of 164, had you achieved that, is significantly (by large amounts) higher in percentile rank than a 159 and would dramatically change the range of LS's you have a chance of admission to.

Since it seems that you have decided to re-take, the prep method to choose greatly depends on your learning style and time availability.  Some people learn better in a classroom environment, others do better by hibernating alone with a bunch of books. 

If you sign up for a classroom course and miss classes and/or do not keep up on doing the homework to put it all together you likely will not benefit as much.

You have to decide which of those ways works best for you or if a combination is appropriate, all things considered.  There is no 'one size fits all' strategy for achieving a highly ranked score on the LSAT.

No matter the way you do it the most important part for your future re-take score is you spending time reviewing the substance of the instruction you are given, applying it to the sections of the test, identifying your errors as you go, working to correct for them, and then lather rinse repeat.


ThomasUnderling

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Your 159 is not a terrible score by any means with its corresponding percentile rank if you are not seeking admission to a first tier Law School.  How it bodes for your admission chances to wherever greatly depends on the Law Schools you are seeking admission to.

An LSAT score of 164, had you achieved that, is significantly (by large amounts) higher in percentile rank than a 159 and would dramatically change the range of LS's you have a chance of admission to.

Since it seems that you have decided to re-take, the prep method to choose greatly depends on your learning style and time availability.  Some people learn better in a classroom environment, others do better by hibernating alone with a bunch of books. 

If you sign up for a classroom course and miss classes and/or do not keep up on doing the homework to put it all together you likely will not benefit as much.

You have to decide which of those ways works best for you or if a combination is appropriate, all things considered.  There is no 'one size fits all' strategy for achieving a highly ranked score on the LSAT.

No matter the way you do it the most important part for your future re-take score is you spending time reviewing the substance of the instruction you are given, applying it to the sections of the test, identifying your errors as you go, working to correct for them, and then lather rinse repeat.



Well I am not looking at going to any school below a tier 1 law school. Thus my interest in retaking the test. My number one choice law school is UCLA. Which has a 25th-75th of 164-168. My GPA is kind of strong (currently 3.56), so it is my LSAT score I am more concerned about. I was also looking at Loyola Law School which has a 25th-75th of 159-163, since I was hoping to get around 164 I wasn't that worried about it, but now that I am down at 159, I am concerned.

The main reason I am considering taking a class is because my first time around I self-studied and didn't do as well as I wanted. Perhaps I was missing something with it. I used the SuperPrep Book, individual prep tests, and a third party LSAT study book that had decent reviews. I studied for 3 months.

I'm in class or work all day Monday-Thursday and am unavailable until 8pm at night. So I'm wondering if paying for a class will also keep me on track as well as give me reason to study at night. Do you feel that just buying the powerscore or testmakers books can give me the same experience? I am usually very good at self-study so classroom vs. books is pretty much the same to me.

My main hope is to increase my score to the 164 minimum.

Jeffort

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Your 159 is not a terrible score by any means with its corresponding percentile rank if you are not seeking admission to a first tier Law School.  How it bodes for your admission chances to wherever greatly depends on the Law Schools you are seeking admission to.

An LSAT score of 164, had you achieved that, is significantly (by large amounts) higher in percentile rank than a 159 and would dramatically change the range of LS's you have a chance of admission to.

Since it seems that you have decided to re-take, the prep method to choose greatly depends on your learning style and time availability.  Some people learn better in a classroom environment, others do better by hibernating alone with a bunch of books. 

If you sign up for a classroom course and miss classes and/or do not keep up on doing the homework to put it all together you likely will not benefit as much.

You have to decide which of those ways works best for you or if a combination is appropriate, all things considered.  There is no 'one size fits all' strategy for achieving a highly ranked score on the LSAT.

No matter the way you do it the most important part for your future re-take score is you spending time reviewing the substance of the instruction you are given, applying it to the sections of the test, identifying your errors as you go, working to correct for them, and then lather rinse repeat.



Well I am not looking at going to any school below a tier 1 law school. Thus my interest in retaking the test. My number one choice law school is UCLA. Which has a 25th-75th of 164-168. My GPA is kind of strong (currently 3.56), so it is my LSAT score I am more concerned about. I was also looking at Loyola Law School which has a 25th-75th of 159-163, since I was hoping to get around 164 I wasn't that worried about it, but now that I am down at 159, I am concerned.

The main reason I am considering taking a class is because my first time around I self-studied and didn't do as well as I wanted. Perhaps I was missing something with it. I used the SuperPrep Book, individual prep tests, and a third party LSAT study book that had decent reviews. I studied for 3 months.

I'm in class or work all day Monday-Thursday and am unavailable until 8pm at night. So I'm wondering if paying for a class will also keep me on track as well as give me reason to study at night. Do you feel that just buying the powerscore or testmakers books can give me the same experience? I am usually very good at self-study so classroom vs. books is pretty much the same to me.

My main hope is to increase my score to the 164 minimum.

Ok, with tier 1 schools as your goal, especially UCLA and others in the Socal area, you definitely need a higher LSAT score to be competitive in the admissions race.  As a USC LS grad I will try to refrain from commenting about those silly Bruins that like to wear blue!   ;)  :D

Since you are looking at good Socal LS's, your GPA is pretty good and in range for UCLA, Loyola, or USC.

To prep properly for your December re-take, since you sound pretty busy, you need to have available and commit a good amount of time for prep many days and hours each week both for class time and homework/study time

I cannot emphasize this enough:  Time spent in an LSAT prep course receiving instruction is typically not enough.  You need to and should spend at least double that amount of time doing outside of class LSAT homework.  That entails applying, practicing, reviewing, and refining your understanding of what a course taught you about how to do well on the test.  Many students that take a prep class mistakenly think that just attending class is enough.  It is not.  Class and/or books supply you with the concepts of what is tested and techniques to use when attacking the questions, then it's up to the student to apply the knowledge and practice it by working and reviewing questions. 

With your busy schedule/time constraints I'm wondering how you would be able to fit in the necessary homework/practice time. 

Which 3rd party book did you use before?  On this board and from various other sources, the Powerscore Bibles are renowned as the best affordable commercially available LSAT prep books.  The Superprep book from LSAC is also very good but not nearly as comprehensive in terms of providing detailed strategies and such. 

Given your busy schedule, if you decide to take a class instead of doing self study again, with your two options I would go with the Powerscore Virtual course.  You can review each lesson anytime you want at will as well as access the other included online resources whenever you want.

* No-Shill disclaimer * :  I have been teaching LSAT prep courses and tutoring students seeking Law School Admission for about 9 years and currently work for Powerscore.



Anonymousjeet

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I too am disappointed with my score. I got a 158 and this is the second time doing it. I was expecting 165+ as my average score on timed preptests (with an extra section included) was 164. I was wondering whether I should rewrite or keep the score with my cumulative gpa which is around 3.0-3.1, and my last gpa for my last 60 credits is ~3.2. Like what type of schools can I get into in Canada and in the states?

Jeffort

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I too am disappointed with my score. I got a 158 and this is the second time doing it. I was expecting 165+ as my average score on timed preptests (with an extra section included) was 164. I was wondering whether I should rewrite or keep the score with my cumulative gpa which is around 3.0-3.1, and my last gpa for my last 60 credits is ~3.2. Like what type of schools can I get into in Canada and in the states?

It depends on which schools you are willing to consider.  Your GPA is certainly on the low end and will probably impair your ability to get accepted into highly ranked schools.  The main workaround for that is a stellar LSAT score.  Otherwise, you need to do some serious research about the numbers game/index stats for various Law Schools to get an idea of which schools in whichever region you qualify for admission to.

US News and World reports publishes an annual ranking of Law Schools that contains many detailed admission statistics.

You can also find similar useful data as well as tons of other sobering LS related info from a different source here:

http://www.ilrg.com/
http://www.ilrg.com/rankings.html
 

ThomasUnderling

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Thank you for the great info Jeffort. I hate having to spend almost a grand for a class but if it has the potential to increase my score, then I can't see why I shouldn't. My days are pretty packed but I should be able to get it taken care of if I plan appropriately. Worse still is the fact I am on a quarter system and I will have finals starting on December 7th, just two days after the LSAT test. So planning will be key.

I just realized that the classes are based on east coast time so my 8pm course will not work. My only option is to lose 6 hours of work a week and go for the one that is at 12:00pm - 3:00pm Eastern (9am - 12pm Western for me). That is assuming I can find someone to take on that time.

Q:Would you recommend I take the course and independently purchase the "Powerscore Bible" or would that be excessive? Also, since you have been instructing for Powerscore, what is the average improvement you have seen in students using the course (online and in-person)? If I am at a 158 already, will it help me improve further? Or is it like the Kaplan and PR classes which seem to be made more for people wanting to boost their score from way low to mid 150's?


@Anonymousjeet: I would recommend signing up for US New's Ranking of America's Best Graduate Schools. They have an online data base for $14.95 and a physical book you can get as well. It gives you all the current rankings for all major law schools (1st tier down to 3rd) and tells you all the academic information you need (from GPA rating to LSAT score, etc). It even allows you to compare schools.

beakerboy

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I too am disappointed with my score. I got a 158 and this is the second time doing it. I was expecting 165+ as my average score on timed preptests (with an extra section included) was 164. I was wondering whether I should rewrite or keep the score with my cumulative gpa which is around 3.0-3.1, and my last gpa for my last 60 credits is ~3.2. Like what type of schools can I get into in Canada and in the states?
Re: Canada

When I talked to some students (and admissions) at UBC I was told that the average incoming LSAT was mid-low 160, though I'm not sure what the average GPA was.  Admissions told me that a high 160s would be very competitive with a bad undergraduate GPA but substantial work experience.

On the low end of the scale, Windsor I think was the one that told us they accepted mid-low 150s, though I could be wrong on that.  I wasn't paying much attention during her spiel after I decided that Windsor wasn't for me.


EarlCat

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Busy schedule + short-term pre is a formula for disappointment.  I understand scheduling conflicts, but I'm also concerned about the overall amount of time you have to dedicate to studying the LSAT.  If the problem is truly scheduling, and not an overall lack of time, you should consider hiring a tutor.  That'll give you more comprehensive prep and a flexible schedule.

Re: Courses
While I'm a strong advocate for taking prep courses, but I'm not a big fan of taking abbreviated courses.  I've taught Princeton Review's accelerated course, and I'm not a big fan.  The course simply moves too quickly to get into any real deep discussion of the materials.  The longer Hyperlearning course is gold.  Unfortunately I don't know anything about Powerscore's virtual course, but it appears to have just as few hours as TPR Accelerated.  Again, tutoring is probably a better option.

EarlCat

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Kaplan and PR classes which seem to be made more for people wanting to boost their score from way low to mid 150's?

This is nonsense.