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so discouraged and need some advice

EarlCat

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Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2011, 10:41:31 PM »
So yes the LSAT is an IQ test that measures someone's ability to think like a lawyer.



I don't understand how you can rationally think anyone can be in the top 20% when only 20% of people can be in the top 20%.

You're assuming that "anyone" means "everyone."  And even with that assumption, you're still mistaken because the percentiles are set before anyone takes the test.  If by some fluke every single test taker scored a 163, they would all be in the "20th (or whatever) percentile."

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Well why doesn't everyone get a 170 then.

Because a lot of them would have to practice for 10 years to do it, which would be stupid.  That doesn't mean they can't do it.  They simply choose not to because getting the damn thing over with and going to law school is more important than breaking 170.

Tossy

Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2011, 10:50:55 PM »
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This is because human beings have limitations I imagine even you cannot pull a 180 on the LSAT no matter how hard you try.

Actually, I would take the bet that Anti09 could pull pretty damn close to the 180--with some practice, if the incentive were great enough.  LSAT performance is highly trainable.  There is actually no real debate about that.  All the testing companies are selling themselves on the fact that LSAT performance is trainable.  Will some people plateau before 180?  Yes, likely, but most of the low scores aren't going to be attributable to folks who are inherently stupid and have low IQs (which is not legitimately measured through multiple choice questions).  It'll be because they have poor attention spans, don't really prepare, are bad readers, have had inadequate exposure to collegiate vocabulary or just plain have bad luck on exam day (several people were informed in the middle of my own exam administration that their cars were being towed--I'm certain that affected their scores).  The fact is that most people whom I have met who can score in the high 160s don't have these problems, and could, with adequate preparation (not in 10 years time, more like 10 weeks time) score in the 170s. 

bigs5068

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Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2011, 11:45:17 PM »
Well if it was just that easy I am surprised more people don't go to Harvard. I would bet against anyone scoring a 180 and I would likely become a rich man. There is no dispute you can raise your score by learning how to take the test. However, just take your diagnostic test everyone's diagnostic differs. There is a reason for this and generally you can improve 10-20 points from this score. If you don't mind me asking what was your LSAT score and did you yourself get a 180?

Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2011, 04:49:58 AM »
I don't understand how you can rationally think anyone can be in the top 20% when only 20% of people can be in the top 20%.

1. The Lakers are about to play the Celtics.
2. Either team could win.
3. Only one team actually will win.

Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2011, 07:42:40 AM »
Well why doesn't everyone get a 170 then. If it is just work ethic everyone should be able to get a 170 or 175.

First of all, I didn't say I thought everyone could get a 170 or 175 - obviously you recognize the distinction between the 80th percentile and the 99th percentile.  And the reason why everyone doesn't get a 170, or a 160, or whatever, is precisely because of their lack of work ethic.  The LSAT is an immensely trainable test, and with enough time and practice, it is possible for most people to improve their score.  How much they improve is almost entirely up to them and how hard they are willing to work at it.

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Anti improved by 18 points and 151 + 18 as I understand it is 169. Maybe we should set the bar at 170 if you can't get a 170 on the LSAT you should not be in law school. You can set the bar wherever you want and at some point only a few people will be able to achieve it. This is because human beings have limitations I imagine even you cannot pull a 180 on the LSAT no matter how hard you try.

I don't consider a 180 impossible at all.  I don't think I'd be ready by Feb, but if I studied all spring I think I'd have a good chance at scoring in the deep 170s by June.  To be honest, I feel I could have scored better in Dec, but a stupid mistake on LG cost me my 170. 

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This is because only 20% of people can finish in the top 20%. If you are not in law school yet you will realize the same thing happens with your grades. On the first day of class everyone is convinced they will be in the top 10% and your grades will be based on work ethic etc. Some people at the beginning go so far as to say they cannot understand how anyone could not finish in the top half of the class. Sadly the people that make those kind of statements don't realize they have a 50% chance of being in the bottom 50% and 50% of the time they end up in the bottom half.

sigh

Have you ever taken a statistics class?  Maybe... take one.

Tossy

Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2011, 08:53:18 AM »
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There is no dispute you can raise your score by learning how to take the test. However, just take your diagnostic test everyone's diagnostic differs. There is a reason for this and generally you can improve 10-20 points from this score. If you don't mind me asking what was your LSAT score and did you yourself get a 180?

My diagnostic put me in the low 150s.  Two intense weeks later, with self-study advice and a single borrowed book from a friend, I was in the 170s.  I ultimately scored in the 170s.  I have 5 undergraduate classmates who went on to law school in the 4 or so years following graduation.  All of them, every last one, had final scores in the 170s, all of them diagnosed in the low 160s or below.  One classmate had English as her 3rd language, she started in the 140s and she still ended up in the 170s, it just took her longer to get there.  I'm not going to be modest and pretend we weren't all pretty bright, but we also weren't geniuses.  We were extremely disciplined, willing to do whatever it took to become good test-takers for this particular test, and we all agree that is what made the difference.

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Well if it was just that easy I am surprised more people don't go to Harvard.

Harvard fills their classes until they are full.  The dean of the school has admitted that they have far far more qualified candidates than they can hope to accept.  Even if the world were filled with people who had scored 180s, only 400 or so folks are going to be in the class every year.  Besides, there are many things to choose from besides LSAT scores, and given the abundance of high scores, Harvard differentiates based upon other things.  Short answer -- a 180 doesn't guarantee Harvard, neither does a 179, 178 etc. on down the line.  Not to speak of the folks who turn Harvard down to go to schools more to their liking.


 

bigs5068

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Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2011, 09:50:35 AM »
 I have 5 undergraduate classmates who went on to law school in the 4 or so years following graduation.  All of them, every last one, had final scores in the 170s, all of them diagnosed in the low 160s or below.  . Also can I ask what undergrad you were attending? If you were attending Harvard undergrad I would expect all of you to achieve a 170 on the LSAT. We could then trace it back to the SAT where again not everybody scores a 1500+.  This is again because people have their limitations.



 


You diagnosed in the 160's and improved your score by roughly 10 points. Not everyone diagnoses at 160 in fact not everyone diagnoses at 150 or even 140. Simply because you started somewhere does not mean everyone else does. I don't understand how you argue this. People start from different areas and you can train your brain to improve, but everyone has their limits. If you start at 160 odds are you are going to have a much higher score than someone who diagnosed at 145. If your diagnostic starts at 160 you have knack for the test. A 180 is probably not impossible if you start at that score at 160. Again, I highly doubt the vast majority of people have a starting score of 160. It is AWESOME that you yourself did. Many people diagnose at 140-145 they can improve 10-20 points from there.

You might be right in that if someone literally spend 10 years studying for the LSAT they could go from 145 diagnostic to 170. However, that is also unrealistic unless you have rich parents that will pay for all your LSAT courses and let you sit around unemployed for 10 years. Even with all that I still don't know if someone that diagnosed at 145 could achieve a 170. It might be possible, but unlikely.





bigs5068

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Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2011, 10:21:59 AM »
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This is because only 20% of people can finish in the top 20%. If you are not in law school yet you will realize the same thing happens with your grades. On the first day of class everyone is convinced they will be in the top 10% and your grades will be based on work ethic etc. Some people at the beginning go so far as to say they cannot understand how anyone could not finish in the top half of the class. Sadly the people that make those kind of statements don't realize they have a 50% chance of being in the bottom 50% and 50% of the time they end up in the bottom half.

sigh

Have you ever taken a statistics class?  Maybe... take one.

I have not yet taken a statistics class, but maybe you can enlighten as to how more than 20% of people can finish in the top 20%. Maybe I am way off base, but as my rudimentary math skills go if I had 10 people taking a test only 2 of them could finish in the top 20% of test takers. If I am mistaken on that premise then the Los Angeles Unified School District failed me miserably and hopefully you can help me out.

Tossy

Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2011, 10:38:43 AM »
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You diagnosed in the 160's and improved your score by roughly 10 points. Not everyone diagnoses at 160 in fact not everyone diagnoses at 150 or even 140.

No, I diagnosed in the low 150s.  I scored below a 155 on both of my initial diagnostics.  Actually, they were a 151 and a 153.

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You might be right in that if someone literally spend 10 years studying for the LSAT they could go from 145 diagnostic to 170.

I told you, I know someone who did it, on her own.  She did not take a class and it took her nowhere near 10 years.

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People start from different areas and you can train your brain to improve, but everyone has their limits.

Of course people will hit natural plateaus but it is a mistake to attribute the bulk of these plateaus to the test taker's native intelligence (and to be clear, we are talking 'IQ' here).  Of course intelligence plays a part, but effort, discipline and general educational preparation play a much greater role in LSAT performance and in life.   

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We could then trace it back to the SAT where again not everybody scores a 1500+.  This is again because people have their limitations.

Wow, no.  The SATs are their own ugly beast, but they don't measure intelligence either.  Nowhere close, though at least scores on the SAT aren't manipulated into percentages in the manner of the LSATs and those sitting for the exam don't have as high a degree of self-selection.  The key to the SAT (way back in the day when I took it--before there was a writing section) was a large vocabulary and an understanding of math tricks; it was all factual knowledge and little skill beyond time management.  To prepare, I sat down and memorized a list of 200 words that frequently appeared on the SAT.  Then I bought an SAT math tricks book and did a bunch of the problems.  Neither of those things really made me any smarter, but my SAT score certainly went up.




bigs5068

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Re: so discouraged and need some advice
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2011, 03:56:45 PM »

[/quote]You might be right in that if someone literally spend 10 years studying for the LSAT they could go from 145 diagnostic to 170. [/quote]

I told you, I know someone who did it, on her own.  She did not take a class and it took her nowhere near 10 years.



I am not surprised someone did it. You can make that argument all day. You said you diagnosed at 151 that is not a bad starting point. I started with a 141 diagnostic. I ended up with a 155. Had I studied for a few more months maybe a year I might have been able to get to 160. I really do not think I could have scored much higher than that. You started at 151 although in your previous post I was pretty sure you said you diagnosed at 160. However, odds are you can probably improve 20 points from your diagnostic with a LOT of studying. With that start if you spent a year and a few thousand dollars and did not hold a job I would imagine you could get a 170. Most people do not have the time or resources to study for the test for a year. Even if they do the improvements will vary by individual. I am sure the person you listed might have gone from 140 to 170 with little effort it is certainly possible. My whole point on this entire thing it results differ and not everyone can achieve a 170. The test is learn able and you can certainly improve your score, but everyone has their plateus. Some people might be able to improve their diagnostic by as much as 20 -25 points while other can only improve 10-15.