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Author Topic: When Should I Take the LSAT?  (Read 851 times)

silverdoe91

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When Should I Take the LSAT?
« on: July 21, 2014, 09:15:39 PM »
I am having trouble deciding when I should take the LSAT.

I took the LSAT once before, and I got a 159. My score was a huge disappointment for me, because I was scoring much higher on my practice tests (timed, 5 sections, etc.) My diagnostic test score was a 152, without studying, so of course, a seven point increase after seven months of self-studying was pretty much a bummer. Especially since my average score on my timed practice tests was a 165.6 (I took about 20-25 altogether). I think I just wasn't used to the test taking conditions of the actual test (proctor, lots of other test takers, small noises, ANXIETY). So I am considering on taking a prep course that will give me five-six proctored exams during the length of the course. This course will last two months, and then four days later the September exam will take place. I don't know whether I should take the September test (right after the course is over) or take some time off to study on my own for two months, practice the methods I learned and then take the December test. The only problem with that is, I won't be able to retake the test afterwards, if I mess up (I don't plan to mess up, but then again I didn't plan to mess up the last time I took this test, either!)

Or, the third option is, should I just wait until the June LSAT, take the Spring course for that test, then study for four months after the prep course to take the October LSAT, with the option of retaking it in December?

Personally, the third option is my favorite (especially since the last time I took this test I waited until I was "super ready" and took the December LSAT, and that left me with absolutely no choices to retake the test once I bombed, since we all know the February LSAT doesn't count for most schools). BUT, at the same time, I don't really want to wait another year just to take the test. I've already been out of school for a year and the whole application process takes another year, so I don't really know if it's in my best interest to prolong this even more. What do you guys think? Sorry if this sounded so long-winded. I just typed out what's been sitting in my head for months now, I couldn't even put it in coherent sentences, because I am so confused about all this! PLEASE HELP! :(

*the prep course I am considering on taking is Blueprint. Have any of you guys taken this course, and if you did, do you know if two months is enough to study or should I study for a couple months more after the course? Does this course actually get you ready for the test in just two months?

Thanks, in advance. Any helpful comments would be gratefully appreciated!

I.M.D.Law

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 12:36:40 AM »
sooner vs later
you can always repeat

Citylaw

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 11:27:22 AM »
Practice scores mean very little and a 159 is not a bad score. You can get into a number of law schools with it.

You can keep paying for LSAT courses and putting off law school and perhaps you wil boost your score a few points or do worse. Or you could apply with a 159 then get into an ABA law school pass the bar and become an attorney.

Once you start law school and eventually take the bar the LSAT will seem like a joke and the truth is nobody really cares what law school you went to they care about you getting results. Of course Harvard, Yale etc open doors, but even with a 170, which realistically your probably not going to get your not getting in.

So many OLs myself included years ago when I was in your position over think the LSAT, the admissions process etc and pay these for these courses that pray on your anxiety.

Blue book might help your score it might not and the reality is if you scored 159 you finished in nearly the top 20% of college graduates that were motivated enough to actually show up for the LSAT, which is pretty good, but everybody has their limit.

You will need to learn that once you enter law school as well. 100% of students at any ABA school are smart, hard-working and motivated and believe they are finishing, but 90% will be wrong. When you enter law school you will think the same, but there is 90% chance you won't and a 50% chance you will finish in the bottom half of the class, this is nothing personal against you just the reality and I hope if you retake you get a 180 and become Valedictorian at Harvard, but it is probably not happening.

Bottom line is enroll in law school if that is what you want to do don't keep putting it off and spnding money hoping to add a few points to your LSAT, which be irrelevant to your actual legal career.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Odyssey

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 10:13:47 PM »
Here's my take, and as a disclaimer I am an LSAT instructor. It is my experience that everybody (barring 160+ diags) can gain 20 points from their first diagnostic if they're willing to put in the work. 152 + 20 =172 so I disagree with the notion that you're not capable of getting into the 170's. It takes a TON of work to do it and the time spent studying may be better spent in a lower ranked law school studying to become a lawyer, that's a decision only you can make.

You said that you are leaning towards the third option that you mentioned and that's fine, but I would tweak the approach a bit. If you're planning on applying next cycle then you have plenty of time to be ready for the June test. This will give you an advantage in the admissions cycle because you will be able to apply early (most law schools have rolling admissions). That means you could take a course leading up to the February exam and then study the extra months on your own and be ready for June with the fall back position of October (a much better fall back). I hope this helps you get a better idea of your options and the best approach to take if you decide to wait until next year to take the exam. If you have any questions feel free to PM me!

Citylaw

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 01:27:37 AM »
It may be possible to get a 170+, but as you said it takes a ton of work. So does having 6 pack abs, learning a language, etc all of us are capable of doing all of these things, but we often do not accomplish it. I have known many people in my life that were studying for the LSAT and continually put it off for years waiting for everything to be perfect. Years passed and they never took the LSAT or attended law school. I took the LSAT and did not score a 170, but I was accepted into an ABA law school; passed the bar; and love my job as an attorney.

I guess the main point of my post was to not wait for everything to be perfect I think that is the flaw of many 0L's and practicing lawyers. Odds are nothing will be perfect and you are unlikely to get into Harvard, Yale, etc I hope the OP gets into Harvard, but 90% of practicing lawyers did not attended the top 10% of schools.

I am sure you are a great LSAT instructor and if you find a student motivated enough to get a 170 you could help them get there, but many people love to say they will put in the work and sincerely believe they will, but the majority of people do not get a 170 on the LSAT for a reason and that reason is most people do not actually have the focus to get a 170, have six pack abs, know seven languages, etc although most of us are capable of doing so.

The OP had a 159, which is by no means an awful score having the courage to show up and take the LSAT is something to be commended and a 159 is sufficient to get into over half the ABA schools in the country.




Odyssey

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 04:08:22 PM »
I completely agree with your main point of not waiting for everything to be perfect, I've seen the same thing happen to many people as well. The advice about motivation is spot on as well, half of my job is motivating students to do more work than they thought was possible. A 159 is a respectable score and could definitely get the OP into some good schools, but a 163 could get them into those same schools with scholarship money and the OP has demonstrated that they can achieve higher than that. I've seen a lot of students raise they're score the second time around without much prep because the anxiety isn't getting in their way as much. I would say definitely don't wait for everything to be perfect (because it probably never will be), but do be deliberate in your plan going forward.

I.M.D.Law

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 05:37:49 PM »
I've seen people worry about admissions so long that others are worrying about the bar while they are still worried about admissions

At a certain point, you have to live your life.

Citylaw

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 10:32:17 PM »
Agree with both follow-up posts and particularly. Newlyminted's as I have seen that as well. I literally took the LSAT only, because I a girl I was dating in college  had flaked on it four times and I just said I would take it as support. We both went, but she cancelled her score this occurred eight years ago last time I talked with her I was a 2L and she was still studying for the LSAT.

She was a smart girl and probably would have done fine and hopefully she eventually did, but if OP got a 159 why not apply to some law schools and see what happens. If he/she is admitted with scholarships to several schools they can consider it, if everything is a disaster retake.

There are economic realities to delaying as well. The longer you wait to attend law school the less time you have to recoup your investment saving $10,000 on a scholarship is nothing when compared to using  two full years of employment as an attorney.


silverdoe91

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 07:36:52 PM »
A big part of my desire to retake the exam is to get scholarship money. Going to a top-notch school would also be great, too, because graduates of such universities are more likely to get jobs in their field. Or at least that's what the statistics on Above The Law say. I don't know how much of it is true. But if I do go to law school, I want to minimize my risk of doing so as much as possible. Which means not graduating with debt, and going to a respectable school, that will not ostracize me from the market. I am hoping that getting a higher score will help me do that.

silverdoe91

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Re: When Should I Take the LSAT?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 07:39:05 PM »
sooner vs later
you can always repeat

But if I repeat, law schools will be able to see my test scores--even if they're really bad!