Law School Discussion

Not happy with LSAT score - completely unsure of what to do next. Advice?

Hi all! 

I recently got my scores back from the October LSAT and ended up scoring lower than I had hoped.  On my practice tests I had been scoring consistently scoring 160 flat (by consistently I mean I scored the same on the past 4 tests I had taken timed). I received a  156 on my actual LSAT.  The average margin for the schools I am interested in is somewhere between 163-165.  I have a strong 3.7 GPA and am not sure what my next steps should be.  I am only a second semester junior and have the benefit of time, however I have already taken a prep course through Kaplan.  Would it be worth the time and money to enroll in another prep class?  I am concerned that because I have already taken an "introductory" type LSAT class that it would be a bit of a bore to sit through one again.  Has anyone had experience in this type of situation or could recommend a specific type of prep work?  I am pretty set on re-taking the test. 

I have also considered private tutoring however its a little out of my budget right now.  I can't afford to spend anymore than $1200 on this next prep session. 

Any thoughts/resources are much appreciated!

Well one thing to realize is that getting a 163-165 is not easy it puts you in the top 13% of test takers. . People that take the LSAT are college graduates who want to go to law school so they are generally quite bright and scoring n the top 13% is not easy.

This same logic will apply wherever you attend law school everybody is pretty confident they will be in the top 10% of their class, but again people that go to law school are good at school and 100% cannot be in the top 10%.

As to your score you stated you typically got a 160 in practice and a 156 overall that seems about right as many people do a little worse under the "REAL TIME and REAL STRESS" situations. However, one positive is that I believe most schools no longer average LSAT scores so if you retake you have nothing to lose and you also have plenty of time, but getting a 163-165 may not happen. If everybody was capable of getting into Harvard, Yale, UCLA, etc people would do it, but everybody has a ceiling.

156 can get you into plenty of ABA schools with a scholarship. I had a 3.2/158 and got into numerous schools with substantial scholarships.

I have also posted on this board several times about factors to consider when choosing law schools and going to the "best" one is not always best for your specific situation. If you want to pay a private tutor you can, but there are no guarantees and if you realistically did everything you could do it probably won't improve that much and in all honesty a 156 is not a terrible score you were in the 34% of people who are ambitious enough to go to law school and actually followed through with the test.

Livinglegend gave you some good advice, however I am of the opinion that given enough time and work a person can always score higher on the LSAT.  It is a learnable test, in my opinion.  Also, most schools only take your highest score so taking it twice isn't that big of a risk anymore.  As to a prep course if you had gone with any other company but Kaplan I would be very wary of advising you to take another one, however I've read so many horror stories about Kaplan that I really think they may have hurt you rather than help you.  If you can afford another one I'd suggest looking into Powerscore or Testmasters.  Also, what areas did you struggle on the most you think? If it was logic games or logical reasoning that is actually good as they are the most learnable parts of the test.  I'd suggest buying the Powerscore Bibles for those two sections and working through them.

I heard a lot of schools are doing away with the averaging of LSAT scores, but I am just some guy on the internet. I would recommend contacting the schools you are truly interested in and see whether they simply accept the highest score or average scores. I am sure each school has their own policy on this and nobody knows these policies better than the admissions workers of each school.

As to Eric's post a lot of people say it is a learnable test and it may be I never took a prep course or anything, but I did a lot of self-study and got my score up 11 points from my initial diagnostic test. You may be able to get it up, but you may not.

I knew a few people in undergard who took the LSAT so many times and continually thinking they would get a better score or cancelling their score everytime. One girl I knew was doing it for 3 years and she could have graduated school school in the amount of time she spent studying for the LSAT. With a 156 you have options, but if you truly think there is a room for improvement then go for it, but if you did everything you can do a 156 is a respectable score.