Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.  (Read 1939 times)

BearlyLegal

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6273
  • And the greatest threat to America is... Bears!!!
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Newjoetm
    • View Profile
    • Email
Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« on: May 15, 2007, 04:39:20 PM »
My Situation:
I am currently studying for my LSAT, registered to take it June 11th; I do very, very well on Reasoning and RC. My accuracy on games approaches 100%, but I am very slow to diagram and make deductions. As a result, I end up completing 2 games, and the remaining Grab-A-Rule questions. The LSAT practice tests I have taken thus far have been disappointing primarily due to this weakness: 159, 157, 162, 159, 158.

I have been studying for about 2 months or so, and as you can see, my results are not improving, and I do not feel that my games are going to get much faster. With only 3 weeks to go until the big day, I feel I may be incapable of helping myself much more.

My UGPA situation is significantly brighter. I graduated from an unremarkable public UG (CUNY) with a GPA of 3.9+ in a Liberal Arts Major with a concentration in Legal Studies. I worked full-time throughout my UG career at a small law lirm, and have been employed for a year since my graduation at a very prestigious NYC Biglaw Firm as a Junior Paralegal.

I realize that unless I raise my LSAT score, I will have a very tough time making a top 20 School, but I know I have the work ethic and innate intelligence to do well wherever I end up, so I feel that transferring or making top 15% is a possibility for me.

Please rate my chances at achieving acceptance at the following schools:
Fordham (PT) -
Cardozo (PT) -
Cardozo (FT) -
St. John's (FT) -
GULC (PT) -
GW (PT) -
Florida (FT) -
Miami (FT) -
Hastings (FT) -
UCLA (FT) -
USC (FT) -
Tulane (FT) -

Additionally, I am not tied to the NYC market, and am more than happy to move to a second-market city to achieve my career goals and to avoid a fate doing Doc. Review or ID work. If you have any advice on other Law Schools that I should consider, I would greatly appreciate any input.

Many thanks in advance to anyone with constructive replies.


pipster215

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2007, 05:02:41 PM »
The logic game section is by far the most learnable. Once you get it, you're golden. You've still got time to get it. Are you using a book or taking a class? I thought Kaplan did a good job on the logic games.
UVA '10!

Sooner

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 481
    • View Profile
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2007, 05:27:45 PM »
Why not add Brooklyn and Cornell to your list?

I'll bet that you would be competitive at Cornell with a 3.9/166.

Also, I don't think you should neglect studying for the other sections because you think that you're strong at them and that games will be your undoing...you may be surprised at the results for the actual test when you get an easy games section and a "ridiculously hard" RC/LR section. Maybe you should work harder on your LR and RC abilities to hedge against your expected bad score in the games section. I assume you're not getting perfect scores in RC & LR.

Generally, you're going to need to score in the low to mid 160s to get to your targets. The time to worry about targets is after the LSAT, though. Retake in October if necessary.
The University of Chicago
The Law School

BearlyLegal

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6273
  • And the greatest threat to America is... Bears!!!
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Newjoetm
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2007, 05:35:21 PM »
Responses *much* appreciated. Thank you.

In response to the posters urging me to continue running through games, I am inclined to follow your advice, and perhaps even postpone my LSAT to September unless I can consistently get 3 games by June.

I actually posted partially to see what my options would be like with a worst-case scenario to calm myself a little bit.

According to Inspector J's data, I should be able to comfortably manage St. John's, Florida, Miami, and Tulane with reasonable odds at Fordham, Dozo, and Hastings. All of these schools except St. John's are acceptable to me, and I would not feel like I have hit a career dead end by attending them. This helped me out a great deal.

I intend to keep studying, and depending on my improvement with games, decide on whether I should take the LSAT in June or postpone to September.

Pipster - I am studying with a class (Princeton Review). I was a little bit behind on my work due to the professional demands of a Biglaw caseload, but I have recently begun to catch up. I feel very comfortable doing games untimed, and I do very well on all the games I attempt, but I haven't been able to get to that point where I can do more than 2 games. It's ridiculously frustrating.

I have a copy of the Logic Games Bible, and I intend to study those techniques as soon as I am fully caught up with the PR material. Does anyone have any further advice as to how to improve upon this weakness?

DCB2006 - Thank you very much for your encouraging and insightful reply. Would you suggest that I take this June administration or simply keep drilling away at it until September? While I have looked at the LSN numbers, I am discouraged by how random they seem.

Sooner - My LR and RC scores are usually in the 85-100% range. While I am studying for these, I cannot afford to concentrate on bolstering my strengths for minimal impact. At best, I can buy myself one point. If I could get the time to finish at least a third game, I feel I would have a good shot at scoring in the mid 160's, so I feel like that is where I should concentrate my efforts. Please let me know if you disagree.

Finally, Goose - May I ask where you ended up going with your GPA numbers? I have a feeling that a hint to your school may be hidden in your internet moniker, but I just want to make sure...

Thanks everyone! Any further advice is greatly appreciated.

BearlyLegal

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6273
  • And the greatest threat to America is... Bears!!!
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Newjoetm
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2007, 05:44:46 PM »
HAHA!!

Nope, there is no hint in my moniker, that's actually a reference to golfing star Retief Goosen.

As of right now I'm going to UC Davis, but I might end up at UNC if I get in off the waitlist.  I did not apply to Hastings, but most people that get in to Davis have a good chance at Hastings, so I think I could've weaseled in to Hastings if I wanted to go there.  I also got in to Houston and SMU, both of which might be in your range if you can't crack 161 or so.

Hmmm... Davis.

You know, Davis actually sounds like a very good choice. Are you happy with your decision? Do you feel that you have reasonably good career options at graduation?

Ersatz

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
    • View Profile
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2007, 05:54:38 PM »
To op: I am seconding (or thirding, fourthing, whatever the current tally is) the advice to focus on your LSAT score and consider re-taking it if you do not get a score that you are hoping for. The reason I say that is because with your GPA, you are within striking distance of T-14, and there's no reason not to go for it. It would be one thing if you had substantial problems with RC or LR - those are pretty time-consuming and difficult sections to improve. Logic games, on the other hand, you should be able to get down with no problem. There is absolutely no reason for you to go to e.g. St. John's if you are realistically capable of getting into much better schools.

As far as logic games - do them and redo them to identify your mistakes. The most important thing to do is to find the deductions that you missed. If you do enough of that, you'll start seeing those deductions as you are solving the games. There's a great deal of benefit to re-doing logic games several times (I think), whereas with RC/LR, there's much more of a diminishing returns effect.

Oh, and postponing the LSAT to October instead of June is not the end of the world, so don't feel like you have to take it in June.

BearlyLegal

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6273
  • And the greatest threat to America is... Bears!!!
    • AOL Instant Messenger - Newjoetm
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2007, 06:04:11 PM »
To op: I am seconding (or thirding, fourthing, whatever the current tally is) the advice to focus on your LSAT score and consider re-taking it if you do not get a score that you are hoping for. The reason I say that is because with your GPA, you are within striking distance of T-14, and there's no reason not to go for it. It would be one thing if you had substantial problems with RC or LR - those are pretty time-consuming and difficult sections to improve. Logic games, on the other hand, you should be able to get down with no problem. There is absolutely no reason for you to go to e.g. St. John's if you are realistically capable of getting into much better schools.

As far as logic games - do them and redo them to identify your mistakes. The most important thing to do is to find the deductions that you missed. If you do enough of that, you'll start seeing those deductions as you are solving the games. There's a great deal of benefit to re-doing logic games several times (I think), whereas with RC/LR, there's much more of a diminishing returns effect.

Oh, and postponing the LSAT to October instead of June is not the end of the world, so don't feel like you have to take it in June.

Thank you for your reply. I suppose the problem I am having is the fact that accuracy is not an issue for me during games. Of those games that I get to do, I get 100% right. I have not gotten one game question that I have attempted wrong on any LSAT that I have taken. While that sounds great in theory, in principle, it does not seem to be helping me, because as hard as I try to push myself, I find myself just finishing the second game at the "5 Minute" mark. I don't know how to improve speed on these, and it feels a bit like I am hitting my head against a wall.

I visualize the setups well, I set them up correctly, and make all the right deductions; but by the time I have applied all of this to 6-7 questions, 17+ minutes have passed, and I don't know how to improve this. I suppose I will keep slogging away these next three weeks and see if I feel like I have any real chance at improvement by September.

As for postponing - it is a possibility, but I want to be able to apply as early as possible. I understand that this is a serious advantage.

I don't feel that December is a real option for me. I am not willing to spend yet another year out of Law School. It is very depressing to be doing interesting, attorney-level work at a great firm, but being paid 5-10 times less than attorneys who are no more than 2-3 years older than me.


Sooner

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 481
    • View Profile
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2007, 06:07:47 PM »
Bearly, I'm just saying that you may not be as strong at RC and LR as you think, and those sections constitute most (3/4) of the test. The test writers throw a lot of curve balls in the LR sections in particular. I notice a lot of monovision on this site with repect to studying for the LSAT and the LG section. Clearly you need to improve at LG, but don't discount needing to improve at LR and RC. Again, that's 3/4 of the test...and 85% to 100% is a variance of 4 or 5 questions in a section...that's a variance you want to eliminate. You should at least give that a little more effort to make sure those sections really are your strength.

85% * 3 sections = 12 questions missed
2 full games answered randomly = 10-14 questions missed?

It's not as inconsequential as first perceived.

Remember, also, that the real thing is a lot different than practice. The stress can force you to make quick decisions. People frequently do much worse on the real thing than they did during practice.
The University of Chicago
The Law School

Ersatz

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 465
    • View Profile
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2007, 06:13:24 PM »
To op: I am seconding (or thirding, fourthing, whatever the current tally is) the advice to focus on your LSAT score and consider re-taking it if you do not get a score that you are hoping for. The reason I say that is because with your GPA, you are within striking distance of T-14, and there's no reason not to go for it. It would be one thing if you had substantial problems with RC or LR - those are pretty time-consuming and difficult sections to improve. Logic games, on the other hand, you should be able to get down with no problem. There is absolutely no reason for you to go to e.g. St. John's if you are realistically capable of getting into much better schools.

As far as logic games - do them and redo them to identify your mistakes. The most important thing to do is to find the deductions that you missed. If you do enough of that, you'll start seeing those deductions as you are solving the games. There's a great deal of benefit to re-doing logic games several times (I think), whereas with RC/LR, there's much more of a diminishing returns effect.

Oh, and postponing the LSAT to October instead of June is not the end of the world, so don't feel like you have to take it in June.

Thank you for your reply. I suppose the problem I am having is the fact that accuracy is not an issue for me during games. Of those games that I get to do, I get 100% right. I have not gotten one game question that I have attempted wrong on any LSAT that I have taken. While that sounds great in theory, in principle, it does not seem to be helping me, because as hard as I try to push myself, I find myself just finishing the second game at the "5 Minute" mark. I don't know how to improve speed on these, and it feels a bit like I am hitting my head against a wall.

I visualize the setups well, I set them up correctly, and make all the right deductions; but by the time I have applied all of this to 6-7 questions, 17+ minutes have passed, and I don't know how to improve this. I suppose I will keep slogging away these next three weeks and see if I feel like I have any real chance at improvement by September.

As for postponing - it is a possibility, but I want to be able to apply as early as possible. I understand that this is a serious advantage.

I don't feel that December is a real option for me. I am not willing to spend yet another year out of Law School. It is very depressing to be doing interesting, attorney-level work at a great firm, but being paid 5-10 times less than attorneys who are no more than 2-3 years older than me.



I don't know if there is any way to improve your speed short of just doing lots of games. (I'm just going by what's worked for me, mind you.) I don't know if three weeks will give you enough time to do that. Maybe I've missed it upthread, but how long have you been studying for the LSAT? In other words, do you feel like you've maxed out as far as your LG potential?

Just out of curiosity, what kind of work do you do as a Junior Paralegal, and how is it different from a regular / senior position?

pipster215

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
Re: Help a (possible) High GPA - Low LSAT splitter.
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2007, 06:21:49 PM »
Definitely keep working on the RC and LR sections, but if you've got the most to gain on LG, I would put the bulk of my time there. For me, there was a breakthrough moment on that - I just got it, after awhile. Does Princeton Review or PowerScore give you schematics for the sketching? I found that to be really key to finding all the deductions, which I think someone else mentioned. The sketching seems like a waste of time at first, but it helps a lot.
UVA '10!