Law School Discussion

How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want

MEMEMEME

How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« on: November 22, 2010, 04:26:03 PM »
After taking several practice tests, you just know your LSAT score isn't going to be what you want (three weeks until the test date). You know in your heart it isn't that people who get excellent scores are necessarily more intelligent than you, but it's something else. Whatever that is, it doesn't matter. You can only do your best and your score is definitely good for the T3 and T4 schools, but puts you on the 50/50 line for T2 and you like to think of yourself as capable and intelligent. How do you just deal with this fact? I don't want my score to make me feel like I am forever in the 68th to 78th percentile of lawyers in intelligence. I mean, great for those of you who knocked the LSAT out of the park and I am not suggesting you're not highly intelligent, but I don't want to feel like I don't have great capabilities because I couldn't figure out a test in time to do that well. Anyone have any advice or words of encouragement?

bigs5068

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Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2010, 06:34:39 PM »
There is nothing wrong with being the 60th best percentile in the LSAT. In fact you are doing better than 60% of other intelligent college graduates. Anyone who takes the LSAT is or will be a college graduates with a good GPA's. Bottom line is intelligent people go to law school and there is not much you can do.  Not everybody gets into Harvard. 99% of intelligent college graduates do not get into Harvard Law School. If you want to be a lawyer take the score you get and and go. There are plenty of successful students from tier 2,3, and 4 schools. Everyone would go to Harvard, but what makes Harvard so impressive is that you have to be SPECIAL to get in. 

Just like when I was in high school I was 6'8 and pretty good player. Still Duke and UCLA were not knocking down my door.  I am only 6'8 that is not tall in the Basketball world. It is very tall with normal people and I feel like a monster in law school. On the same token anyone who goes to law school even a tier 4 is pretty smart. It is the equivalent of being 6'6-6'8 basketball player you are way above the norm, but with the top top you don't have the potential. Still some of the greatest players in the NBA have been 6'6 Jordan, Kobe, Barkley etc. There have been plenty of 7'0 busts. There have also been a ton of GREAT 7'0 guys. Going to Harvard or Yale is like being 7'2 things will be easier for you. Unfortunately most people are not 7'2 and cannot pull a 175 on the LSAT. You are smart if you are scoring in the 68th percentile on the LSAT. You have the capability to succeed, but you are going to have to work hard.

The bottom line is most people do not have EXCEPTION INTELLIGENCE, PHYSICAL SKILL, OR ANYTHING THAT WILL SIMPLY ENTITLE THEM TO WALK THROUGH LIFE. Few people look like Brad Pitt, or have the size of Shaq, or the intelligence to get into Harvard. You can succeed with your LSAT score, but you will have to work hard.

Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2010, 07:18:10 PM »
Make sure you've put your absolute, 100% best effort into preparing for the LSAT, leave the test with zero regrets.  Live the rest of your life in the same way.  In my experience, the LSAT isn't that hard, its just different from what most folks are used to doing and takes a ton of practice.  Some people can get a great score with minimal work, others will have to work really hard.  A few won't be able to get a great score no matter what they do.  For the most part doing well on the test (and in undergrad) isn't based so much on innate genetic traits as it is lots of hard work.  The lsat score is not a big deal for being a lawyer.  Being at the absolute cutting edge of shear brainpower isn't as critical as having some common sense, an exceptional work ethic, good organization, emotional stability and that sort of thing.

MEMEMEME

Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2010, 08:43:08 PM »
First of all thanks for both of your responses, I guess it's just that I did undergrad with minimal effort and I have disabilities so being intelligent was sort of my thing. It's also that my recently deceased mother had a 200 IQ and was accepted to a law program in England in the sixties but her father didn't believe in the education of women so she never went. I wanted to do better than this in her memory. But you're right, the LSAT is only one thing in my life. I aced an aba approved paralegal program and already write briefs. In any case, I found out my scores range between 76th and 84th. Let's hope for the latter. I agree the LSAT isn't hard, but it takes work unless you're just naturally gifted at the subject matter. I suppose everyone has strengths and weaknesses. But again, thanks for both of your responses, I will definitely consider them. And nice analogy about the basketball players, bigs.

bigs5068

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Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2010, 11:07:54 PM »
In my experience, the LSAT isn't that hard, its just different from what most folks are used to doing and takes a ton of practice.  Some people can get a great score with minimal work, others will have to work really hard.  A few won't be able to get a great score no matter what they do. 

BikePilot you got into Harvard the LSAT is easy for you. It is easy for me to dunk a basketball, because I am 6'8 and pretty athletic. Most people even 6'1 guys could work their whole life to dunk and might not be able to. They may even be great basketball players i.e. Steve Nash who cannot dunk. I compare the LSAT to dunking in basketball it is impressive, but in regards to being a good player it means nothing. Just like getting  good score on the LSAT does not mean you will be a good lawyer. However, way more potential to be a good lawyer if you can get a 170+ on the LSAT and you have way more potential to be a good basketball player if you can get above the rim. I have seen awful players do amazing dunks and great players that cannot touch the rim. There are great lawyers who got a 148 and bad lawyers that went to Harvard. Obviously, most guys that can do amazing dunks are pretty good and most Harvard lawyers are pretty good. Obviously there are exceptions. I imagine you are going to be a great lawyer if you are capable of getting a 170+ you are obviously pretty damn smart. You studied at Oxford before going to Harvard. What is easy for you is not easy for the majority of people. 99% of people do not take the Oxford - Harvard route. That is amazing! Do not be so naive to think that most people do this and that it is easy.

Honestly, if I believed I could get a 170 or higher the LSAT trust me I would done everything in my power to get that score. I worked my ass off to get a 155 I could not do any better. You went to Oxford then Harvard that is not easy. You are quite intellectually gifted and it was easy for you to get a 170+ just like it is easy for me to dunk. I would never tell oh it's easy to dunk just you know run around and life weights and you will be doing 360 dunks. Most people could never do it no matter how hard they tried. Just like most people no matter how hard they tried could not get into Oxford then get a 170+ on the LSAT and go to Harvard.  The reason Harvard, Stanford etc is so impressive is because most people 98% of the population cannot get the SAT, GMAT, LSAT, MCAT score to get into those schools. So it is not easy and MOST people will not get a score in the 90th percentile of test takers. In fact only 10% of test takers can score in the top 10%, which is what is necessary to get into any school like Harvard etc.

MEMEMEME

Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2010, 02:51:49 AM »
I'd say it's more than 98 percent of the population. It''s more like 99.999 because you're forgetting the people who would never even attempt to take any of those tests. Look, you're good at basketball and got a decent LSAT score, so you're rounded. Some people are really great at a few things and horrible at many others. A very small portion of the population are good at nearly everything.


Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 09:21:19 AM »
Your point is well taken.  Just for reference, it wasn't easy in the sense that it wasn't a ton of work, it was easy in the sense that it is possible to study for the test and do better (as opposed to the notion that the test is one of IQ and one's score cannot be influenced by study and hard work).  I took every single released practice test and did everything in the kaplan program twice. I think that with similar effort, many, perhaps not most, people could get a similar result.  I'm certain that most people could get a 3.9x gpa in most undergraduate programs with sufficient effort.  Some classes did come easily to me - I can get perfect scores in most econ courses without much study, however others were a huge amount of work (chemistry, calculus, etc). I've tutored many college subjects and taught LSAT courses and have seen first-hand the improvements students can make when they really apply themselves and get the instruction and help they need.

I think there is also a bit of luck involved in the LSAT.  My practice scores bounced around by almost 10pts and my actual score ended up higher than my highest practice score.  I strongly suspect I may have had a little help from Above there.

BTW congrats on the BB skills, no matter how tall you are there's still a lot of work involved there too I think.  I played BB for a bit, but I pretty much suck at it - 5'10" here and not an especially natural shooter.  I am, very arguably, approximately the 5th fastest long distance off road motorcycle racer in the States so that's my claim to non-academic/legal fame ::) 

Anyway, my comments were meant to be a point of encouragement for those studying - unlike your height which (within reason) there is nothing a person can do to alter, a person does have a fairly robust, though certainly not unlimited, ability to alter their lsat scores.

 

bigs5068

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Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2010, 09:56:15 AM »
My post was meant to compliment you.  It is amazing to go to Oxford then Harvard. I also took every prep test etc. I took a practice test before ever studying and  got a 143. I then studied for 6 months almost non-stop and was getting between 154-159 and my score ended up being 155. I never took a prep class, but I know plenty of people that did who scored under 150. If I remember correctly my score was in the 66th percentile. That means 66% of people who are college graduates and motivated enough to actually take the LSAT did worse than me. I got into tier 2,3,4 schools. You must have done better than 90% of those people on the LSAT.  I imagine your entire life you have always been one of the smartest kids growing up. I am sure in high school you had outstanding grades were in AP classes etc. You are really smart, which is awesome! Of course you put work into it, but so do most people. You just have a natural gift.

In regards to the 3.9 thing it is not easy. In fact many people cannot get a 3.0, but most law students students think you can just be a corpse and get a 3.0, but that is not true. Anybody at any ABA law school is pretty good academically. You are probably more academically gifted than 90% of the population even if you attend Cooley. Again, I will draw a basketball analogy. If I go to the gym and play b-ball. I can automatically tell if someone played college basketball. Within 5 minutes of playing with someone I can tell they played somewhere. Whether it was Timbucktu Western State or UCLA. If you play college basketball at any level you are better than 95% of the population at the game. If you attend law school you are academically gifted probably better than 90% of the population. I believe only 30% of American's have bachelor's degrees and that is the bare minimum to get into law school. The majority of college grads do not have 3.0. Then you need to score in the 55th percentile or so to have a chance at an ABA school. So that leaves anybody at any law school in the top 10% of the population in regards to academics.

Now Bikepilot you are academically f'ing awesome! The majority of people cannot accomplish what you have academically no matter how hard they try. On top of that I would probably kill  myself riding a motorcycle so congrats to you on that.  :)

Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2010, 10:51:47 AM »
You are too kind - I was the dumb kid in my highschool peer group and spent as little time studying as possible, didn't do any ap work (was too busy with motorcycles and outdoor stuff).  In this way I was somewhat anomolus among my law school friends.  In college I mostly dropped the fun stuff and studied in a serious manner, though I was working more or less full time as an auto mechanic to pay my way through so couldn't physically put in the hours that some friends did.  Most of my college time was at GMU, Oxford was just for a semester.

Bringing up your score from 143 to 155 is awesome, congrats on that.

Your math is probably a little biased in our favor as lawyers - it assumes that all smart people in college then go to law school.  I suspect that a large portion of the naturally gifted never apply to law school, but go on to do PhDs and such.  In any event, the point is well taken.

Anyhow, I wouldn't get too caught up in all the numbers, just work hard and have fun  8)

MEMEMEME

Re: How to get over the fact your score won't be what you want
« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2010, 10:53:35 AM »
I know I am a bit out of the loop at this point, but I guess the amount of work BikePilot says mentions to achieve his score is the difference. I work full-time and then work one day for an attorney on top of that. I literally haven't had time to dedicate more than probably seven hours a week to the LSAT, so  I suppose knowing I could have done better will make me feel better. I'm not sure I could get a 175 or higher in either case and I don't think most people can because of the quality of their undergraduate education and/or natural talent. Thanks to both of you though