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Author Topic: Should I take the LSAT again?  (Read 885 times)

seg815

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Should I take the LSAT again?
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:56:27 AM »
I got a 165 my first time, and I have a 3.4 GPA from a top Liberal Arts school (the GPA is low, I know, but at my school, it qualified me as cum laude).

I'd like to apply to GW, Northwestern (I have two years of really diverse work experience and a father who did undergrad there), and maybe Virginia. I feel like I'm on the cusp of them. Ideally, I'd like to take the LSAT again and get a 170, but I'm worried. During my first round of studying, I got dumped, alienated my roommate and basically was the most miserable I've ever been. I know if I study the same way again, I can bump my score up, but I don't know if I want to put myself through that again. Thoughts?

eric922

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Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 12:52:09 PM »
Honestly if you are pretty confident you can get a 170 I'd say go for it.  It may be a lot of work, but it will open a lot of doors for you both in terms of school and scholarships. Your GPA isn't great (mine isn't either so not trying to be rude) so you need as high an LSAT score as you can get.  The truth is lawschools will probably only look at the numbers, they won't care if your school was hard or if you were Cum Laude so it's important you get your number as high as possible on the LSAT.  It could translate into better schools, more scholarship money and possibly a better job one day down the road.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 01:20:56 PM »
With a 3.4/165 you can into plenty of law schools, and even get full scholarships at many.

Retaking the LSAT is a calculated risk. Unless you have some very specific, identifiable reason which leads you to believe that you'll perform better the second time around, I'd be careful. There is a big difference between a 165 and a 170, and you could easily go a down a few points, too.

Honestly, I think the LSAT is a reality check for a lot of people. We all like to think that we're smarter than a standardized test would indicate. When we get a disappointing LSAT score we think "Oh, that's wrong. I must have had a bad day. I can do better." Maybe, maybe not. The fact is, your LSAT score doesn't just represent your individual aptitude. It measures your aptitude against thousands of other takers, and there are lots of very smart people in the world.

My view is that absent some catastrophic event on test day, the LSAT is fairly accurate at defining the outer parameters of the taker's abilities. I don't mean that to sound critical towards you personally, it's just my opinion. Try to objectively evaluate your performance, and assess the overall probability of acheiving a higher score.

livinglegend

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Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 01:25:58 PM »
I'm not sure, but I believe most schools have dropped the LSAT average score and currently you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by retaking the LSAT. I remember when I applied schools simply asked for your highest score and if your score improves great if not your highest score is a 165 which can get you into plenty of schools.

I would schools you are interested to make sure that is correct, but if they all say we simply take the highest LSAT then go for it as it is a nothing to lose everything to gain scenario.

eric922

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Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 01:28:07 PM »
With a 3.4/165 you can into plenty of law schools, and even get full scholarships at many.

Retaking the LSAT is a calculated risk. Unless you have some very specific, identifiable reason which leads you to believe that you'll perform better the second time around, I'd be careful. There is a big difference between a 165 and a 170, and you could easily go a down a few points, too.

Honestly, I think the LSAT is a reality check for a lot of people. We all like to think that we're smarter than a standardized test would indicate. When we get a disappointing LSAT score we think "Oh, that's wrong. I must have had a bad day. I can do better." Maybe, maybe not. The fact is, your LSAT score doesn't just represent your individual aptitude. It measures your aptitude against thousands of other takers, and there are lots of very smart people in the world.

My view is that absent some catastrophic event on test day, the LSAT is fairly accurate at defining the outer parameters of the taker's abilities. I don't mean that to sound critical towards you personally, it's just my opinion. Try to objectively evaluate your performance, and assess the overall probability of acheiving a higher score.

Most of what you say is true, but he did indicate he was going through a bad time during his studies so that may very well have hurt his score.  I actually do disagree on one thing.  I don't think the LSAT measures your aptitude.  It isn't an IQ test.  It measure logical thinking and that can be learned.  I think it is a learnable test, but the question Seg815 will have to answer is does he think he will have the time to devote to studying so that he can learn it better?

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 02:15:49 PM »
Yes, I agree with you. The LSAT measures your aptitude at taking the LSAT, as obvious as that may sound. It does not measure overall intelligence.

Nonetheless, we all probably have a plateau score beyond which extra studying becomes an issue of diminishing returns. This is true in every academic field, not just the LSAT.

The purpose of undertaking a critical, realistic analysis of your performance is to attempt to separate your actual abilities from your hopes. It's extremely difficult to ascertain the degree to which particular life circumstances impacted your LSAT score. It's a speculative undertaking at best, and there's no reason to assume that other unforseen problems won't arise the second time around. For example, the pool of test takers could be slightly better prepared during the next administration, which could result in a lower score even if the OP's personal problems are not a factor.

I'm not suggesting that the OP avoid retaking, I'm just suggesting that the OP carefully consider the probability of acheiving a higher score.