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Not sure what to do

TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
in General 1723 karma

I have been aiming for the September test for a while and believed I would be ready. After a few PT's, I've realized I'm not very close to my target score at all....far away with 2 months and change to go.

What makes me nervous is that if I push this back to next June, I would be applying almost 2 years out of school. I know schools look at what you have done work wise and all I have been doing is working as a server to pay bills (not really using that Poli-sci degree doing that). I'm worried that will be a mark against me. I'd like to try to get some legal office experience in the mean time.

I really believe I can beat this test, is just taking a bit longer than others. Any idea how this would impact my application? @"david.busis" what are your thoughts?

Comments

  • LSAT Is ComingLSAT Is Coming Alum Member
    530 karma

    You're the best judge, of course, but if "a few PT's" means 5 or fewer, then your experience is not atypical. Jumps in your LSAT score come randomly and often unexpectedly, but rarely will significant gains occur within groups of 5 or sometimes even 10 practice tests.

    After going through the Core Curriculum, the most important thing you can do to raise your average score is to keep taking practice tests, and to keep going over them by using the Blind Review method. If you're putting in that effort, then your score will improve significantly over the next 2 months.

    If you think 2 months might not be enough time, then certainly consider postponing the test, but your options are not limited to September and next June. You can take it in December or February, and I am pretty sure there are other Digital dates as well. That said, these later dates will make the application process that much more stressful and uncertain.

    I'd recommend trying your hardest with September as your target exam date. If you are not ready two weeks before the date, then push it to December. (Or take it in September with a possible retake in December at the back of your mind.)

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    I'd like to see if there is a possibility with September still. I'm very iffy with December and wouldn't take it beyond that in the current cycle.

    Like I said I'm pretty far off on my target score (over 15 pts). I feel like there are plenty of things I need to work on. I do work part time so I can't give 8+hours a day unfortunately. I'm just concerned September may not be feasible for me.

  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    3112 karma

    If you are that far off from your goal, I think you need to first write out what your weaknesses are then revisit the CC for those weaknesses. Drill them. Get used to them. Learn more about yourself. Which brings me to my next point: understand how you take the test. Are you doing different things every time? Do you have consistent strategies? What are your strategies? Write everything from weaknesses to strengths to post section break downs to reasoning structures of passages and even sentence by sentence LR stimuli analyses. Literally everything.

    A 15 point jump in three months is definitely going to be a tough nut to crack. There is a lot of understanding that you are leaving out there. I would advocate if you are going to PT, use PTs from before 36. That way it is like you are drilling and those PTs aren't too similar, but they are similar enough to give you an idea of what you need to work on. Once you decide to ramp things up (but before the PT phase), drill full sections. I still do this and it is quite helpful.

    Believe it or not, I know how you are feeling. I know what it is like to study forever. I know what it is like to feel like you can beat this test, even when it seems like you have to climb Mount Freakin Everest to do so. I have even seen that this test is the sole thing holding me back. True, it is probably a good idea to find legal employment. But I am telling you, if you want this, don't give up. Don't ever give up. You can do it and everyone here on 7Sage is here to help. :)

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    Thanks @JustDoIt I really appreciate the encouragement. I will say, this is my second time through this rodeo and I have re-visited the questions in the CC quite a bit and remember the a lot of the answers so I am a bit worried this will alter my results. Thoughts?

  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    3112 karma

    I remember a lot of things too. But it's about the processes, not the results. It doesn't matter if you know the answer, you have to know how to get there because that's what you're going to do on test day. Sure you may remember some of the drills and if you don't have to watch all of the videos. But instead make your own using other questions of the same type from pre-36 PTs. There's plenty of similar material out there!

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    Why are you so unwilling to take and apply next cycle? Work experience is always a big plus, but relative to admissions it seems like just another good soft. Even as a server, you've got something to put down and I don't think it will keep you out anywhere your number would get you in with the exception of HYS.

    The above advice is good, but take what time you need. 15 points is a big jump in any amount of time. I believe you can kill it no matter where you are right now, but that might mean dedicating more than a few more months.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    Thanks @"Alex Divine" @JustDoIt I am a bit nervous waiting a cycle because I don't know how that would affect my chances with admissions since I'd be out of school for a while amd don't have a "big boy job."

    @JustDoIt you are right about the CC. Need to see it from the "why" prospective.

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27377 karma

    Don't worry about it. As you know, my background is also food service, and my results have come through pretty much how my numbers suggested they should: Rejected at the tip top, WL in the middle (with a WL admit at my top choice!), and ins with big money at the lower end of my range. I used my PS to discuss my background, and unless you have a killer topic other than that, taking that opportunity to discuss working class character can really help contextualize things. It's a plus if you sell it right, and if they try to look down on you for that, good numbers will change their tone real quick. Your background becomes a matter of intrigue rather than a detriment. You'll be like Matt Damon from that janitor movie, lol.

    And schools actually brag about how many students they have that haven't come straight outta undergrad. Look at incoming class stats pages. They always cite that stat.

  • imharrisimharris Alum Member
    466 karma

    @akeegs92 i'd recommend pushing back a year if you feel like you aren't going to be ready for september. that anxiety might really keep you from doing well this round.

    also, i imagine that you'll do better in law school with an extra year of real life experience under your belt. remember too that your lsat score is about 80 percent of your application. working as a server for 1 more year won't make or break your application.

    but here's an idea: volunteer! i also work in food service, but volunteer one day a week at the city courthouse. it might be easier to find a cool volunteer gig than an entry level legal job and you might find that you do more meaningful work as a volunteer.

    good luck!

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" said:
    Don't worry about it. As you know, my background is also food service, and my results have come through pretty much how my numbers suggested they should: Rejected at the tip top, WL in the middle (with a WL admit at my top choice!), and ins with big money at the lower end of my range. I used my PS to discuss my background, and unless you have a killer topic other than that, taking that opportunity to discuss working class character can really help contextualize things. It's a plus if you sell it right, and if they try to look down on you for that, good numbers will change their tone real quick. Your background becomes a matter of intrigue rather than a detriment. You'll be like Matt Damon from that janitor movie, lol.

    And schools actually brag about how many students they have that haven't come straight outta undergrad. Look at incoming class stats pages. They always cite that stat.

    @akeegs92

    The above explains it better than I ever could. Don't worry about work experience over numbers either. It can be a plus, but like @"Cant Get Right" says, you can contextualize your background.
    I'm really having trouble thinking of anyone on here or TLS who majorly underperformed their numbers due to lack of a certain type of work background. I've seen great numbers rejected and WL at the top tier, but I think law schools are becoming more understanding of the fact that often, especially if you have a humanities degree, there isn't all that much out there right now under the "big boy" jobs.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    Thanks for the advice everyone! I really appreciate your input; not the easiest decision to make. I definitely feel better now about pushing back if it comes to it. I hate kicking the can down the road again but it is not necessarily a bad thing if it gets me to where I need to be.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    @"Alex Divine" said:

    I'm really having trouble thinking of anyone on here or TLS who majorly underperformed their numbers due to lack of a certain type of work background.

    What do you mean by under-performed your numbers? Is this law school performance based on LSAT numbers?

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @akeegs92 said:

    @"Alex Divine" said:

    I'm really having trouble thinking of anyone on here or TLS who majorly underperformed their numbers due to lack of a certain type of work background.

    What do you mean by under-performed your numbers? Is this law school performance based on LSAT numbers?

    By numbers I just mean GPA/LSAT combo. So it would be your law school admission performance based on those numbers. All I'm saying is, I don't know of anybody with say a 3.95/173 who is getting shut out of T6 due to lack of professional work experience.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    Ahhhh I see what you mean. Thanks for the clarification!

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @akeegs92 said:
    Ahhhh I see what you mean. Thanks for the clarification!

    No problem!

    I feel you on "kicking the can down the road" so to speak re: the LSAT. The thing you always have to keep in mind is that with a good LSAT you'll have a shot almost anywhere. Work experience is a very minor soft that matters way more when looking for legal work than it will for admissions purposes.

  • David.BusisDavid.Busis Member Moderator Admissions Consultant
    6931 karma

    Working as a server for two years after college will have 0 negative impact on your application. Scoring even 1 point higher on the LSAT will have considerable impact. If you don't mind waiting a cycle, then yes, I think you should postpone your test.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    @"Alex Divine" I agree. I was slightly thinking ahead with summer internships and trying to maybe have an extra card up my sleeve showing that I have had previous legal experience.

    @"david.busis" Thank you for your input. That makes me feel a lot better about that option. I hate kicking the can down the road again but its looking like the better deal long term.

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27377 karma

    @akeegs92 said:
    I hate kicking the can down the road again but its looking like the better deal long term.

    Don't worry about it. The road is way longer than any of us realize at the beginning! Top schools are filled with patient students who just kept at it.

  • TexAgAaronTexAgAaron Legacy Member
    1723 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" Couldn't agree more.

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