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What to do to turn 50% to a 100%

excuse typos. my phone is annoying.

I’m a URM. AA Female.
3.5
“170”

I really want HLS. Maybe Stanford but I don’t wanna go to Cali & Yale is a funny joke with my numbers - but that would be nice too.

I’m confused because when I ask or search forums for people chancing URMs with my combo of numbers & sometimes lower #s closer to 3.2/165, 90% of respondents are like - “ENJOY HARVARD YOU’RE IN THERE FOR SURE!!!!!”

But then the lsn & other online calculator predictors will show the chance of URM with those same #s being in the 20% acceptance range. I get that the generators have smaller samples, usually like 5 applicants & so they get to their 20% with like 3 rejected, 1 waitlist 1 admit. but still.....

The confidence of respondents vs what these #s show makes me complete unsure of what to expect....

I guess I’m asking you guys some questions. So:

1) Why do people seem to think my #s and AA URM stat is a gimme at Harvard despite LSN & other # generators seeming to show otherwise.

2) Besides the obvious short answer of “softs” - when we have two applicants, both AA female / URM, both 170, both 3.5 - but one is rejected and the other accepted : what kind of softs are compelling enough? If my numbers ARE fine and it comes down to my softs - what kinds of things will push my borderline #s into being a lock at HLS???
* of course I know everyone’s lived different lives. if ones a war hero and the others a couch potato. But. Ya know.

Comments

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma
    1. To phrase it politely, they probably don't know much about law school admissions. That or they are trying to be nice. I'm not sure which I would say is more likely, tbh.
    2. No one is 100% at YHS, realistically. But if you're looking for an example of a 'lock,' then it's a high LSAT/GPA legacy or first-generation/low-income [URM] with a compelling story that is somehow directly related to the law. Of course there are the 'generic' top-tier softs like Rhodes Scholar, prestigious position in the military, etc., but something depressing and uplifting like overcoming traumatic childhood circumstances or some other such thing probably means more. If you have been able to establish your dedication/commitment to the law in some other way, I would imagine that would go a long way too. Unique work experience is good. Diversity is hugely important to these top schools.

    The problem is, most of us can't simply up and decide to secure a killer soft, 'generic' or otherwise. Most of these things take hard work, a hard-to-come-by degree of foresight, and almost always at least a little bit, but most likely lots, of luck. We can't necessarily choose to be diverse in ways that are important to law schools.

    Once you have your GPA and LSAT, the most you can contribute to your application is a few effective essays. What makes an "effective essay" is a whole other post, though.

  • calcal101calcal101 Alum Member
    582 karma

    I don’t think you’re an absolute auto-admit, but a 170 as a URM is really solid for HLS. As you stated, the sample size on LSN is small and there are a whole host of reasons why URM folks might not get into HLS despite numbers like yours; maybe those applicants had iffy LORs, applied really late, weaker personal statement, etc. Those things are always a possibility, for URMs and other folks as well.

    As for softs, it’s really hard to say bc the most impressive softs for a place like Harvard aren’t things you can achieve overnight or even in a matter of months: very prestigious scholarships/fellowships (Rhodes), Olympic-level athlete, etc. More “normal” but still impressive softs to a place like Harvard: grad degree from top tier school (think master’s in engineering from MIT or PhD in humanities from Harvard/Princeton/Stanford), work experience at a very prestigious, selective employer (Mckinsey, BCG, etc), and the like. I’ve heard Harvard and Yale have a real TFA soft spot, too.

    So what can you do? Make the most of your free time. Try to learn a new language or build proficiency in one you’re already learning. Volunteer more. Develop your tech skills. Pick up hobbies that you enjoy and can talk about in a personal statement or interview in an intelligent manner. This could be virtually anything—you just want it to be memorable: glass blowing, novel writing, jazz dance, whatever.

    If you’re applying next cycle, REALLY perfect your personal statement. Get feedback from multiple people, and try to put together a compelling diversity statement. Make sure your LORs are amazing. Getting those bits perfect will be more powerful than trying to build up your “softs” in the next few months

  • 262 karma

    @goingfor99th said:
    1. To phrase it politely, they probably don't know what they're talking about when it comes to law school admissions. That or they are trying to be nice. I'm not sure which I would say is more likely, tbh.
    2. No one is 100% at YHS, realistically. But if you're looking for an example of a 'lock,' then it's a high LSAT/GPA legacy or first-generation/low-income [URM] with a compelling story that is somehow directly related to the law. Of course there are the 'generic' top-tier softs like Rhodes Scholar, prestigious position in the military, etc., but something depressing and uplifting like overcoming traumatic childhood circumstances or some other such thing probably means more. If you have been able to establish your dedication/commitment to the law in some other way, I would imagine that would go a long way too. Unique work experience is good. Diversity is hugely important to these top schools.

    The problem is, most of us can't simply up and decide to secure a killer soft, 'generic' or otherwise. Most of these things take hard work, a hard-to-come-by degree of foresight, and almost always at least a little bit, but most likely lots, of luck. We can't necessarily choose to be diverse in ways that are important to law schools.

    Once you have your GPA and LSAT, the most you can contribute to your application is a few effective essays. What makes an "effective essay" is a whole other post, though.

    Thank you! THANK YOU. So much of this is so useful as I look back at my life and try to pen these personal and diversity statements.

    So. What are your thoughts on the “chance” for a 170/3.5/AA-URM?

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    @HarvardHopeful said:

    @goingfor99th said:
    1. To phrase it politely, they probably don't know what they're talking about when it comes to law school admissions. That or they are trying to be nice. I'm not sure which I would say is more likely, tbh.
    2. No one is 100% at YHS, realistically. But if you're looking for an example of a 'lock,' then it's a high LSAT/GPA legacy or first-generation/low-income [URM] with a compelling story that is somehow directly related to the law. Of course there are the 'generic' top-tier softs like Rhodes Scholar, prestigious position in the military, etc., but something depressing and uplifting like overcoming traumatic childhood circumstances or some other such thing probably means more. If you have been able to establish your dedication/commitment to the law in some other way, I would imagine that would go a long way too. Unique work experience is good. Diversity is hugely important to these top schools.

    The problem is, most of us can't simply up and decide to secure a killer soft, 'generic' or otherwise. Most of these things take hard work, a hard-to-come-by degree of foresight, and almost always at least a little bit, but most likely lots, of luck. We can't necessarily choose to be diverse in ways that are important to law schools.

    Once you have your GPA and LSAT, the most you can contribute to your application is a few effective essays. What makes an "effective essay" is a whole other post, though.

    Thank you! THANK YOU. So much of this is so useful as I look back at my life and try to pen these personal and diversity statements.

    So. What are your thoughts on the “chance” for a 170/3.5/AA-URM?

    I think your chances are pretty good, which is to say how good they are will depend mostly on how well your essays turn out/are received. [There are other considerations like LORs but I assume yours are pretty good?]

    So, you have not applied yet? Next cycle, then? I can take a look at your essays if you want.

  • 262 karma

    @calcal101 said:
    I don’t think you’re an absolute auto-admit, but a 170 as a URM is really solid for HLS. As you stated, the sample size on LSN is small and there are a whole host of reasons why URM folks might not get into HLS despite numbers like yours; maybe those applicants had iffy LORs, applied really late, weaker personal statement, etc. Those things are always a possibility, for URMs and other folks as well.

    As for softs, it’s really hard to say bc the most impressive softs for a place like Harvard aren’t things you can achieve overnight or even in a matter of months: very prestigious scholarships/fellowships (Rhodes), Olympic-level athlete, etc. More “normal” but still impressive softs to a place like Harvard: grad degree from top tier school (think master’s in engineering from MIT or PhD in humanities from Harvard/Princeton/Stanford), work experience at a very prestigious, selective employer (Mckinsey, BCG, etc), and the like. I’ve heard Harvard and Yale have a real TFA soft spot, too.

    So what can you do? Make the most of your free time. Try to learn a new language or build proficiency in one you’re already learning. Volunteer more. Develop your tech skills. Pick up hobbies that you enjoy and can talk about in a personal statement or interview in an intelligent manner. This could be virtually anything—you just want it to be memorable: glass blowing, novel writing, jazz dance, whatever.

    If you’re applying next cycle, REALLY perfect your personal statement. Get feedback from multiple people, and try to put together a compelling diversity statement. Make sure your LORs are amazing. Getting those bits perfect will be more powerful than trying to build up your “softs” in the next few months

    I wasn’t sure that posting here would be too helpful .. you know ... another semi “what are my chances” post.

    This is invaluable. Thank you so much.
    I have very goodish softs that span several years, but didnt even think to attempt to boost them between now and next cycle. I will def do a little something in the summer. Something I never considered but would def tie together my past years worth of softs with a transition to law school and my legal passion. Thank you!!

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    Those online calculators are garbage. They use outdated and self-reported data. I doubt you're going to find a meaningful answer here or even from a professional consultant.

    For the traditional applicant it's already vague how decisions are made. When you throw in the URM factor, I think it only gets more confusing. I'm not on the camp that thinks URM means any school will take you, but I do believe that it is a significant boost.

    My guess–based off various URMs sharing their acceptance statuses– is that you have a great shot at being admitted. If you don't get into Harvard, it's going to be to another amazing school.

  • calcal101calcal101 Alum Member
    edited March 2018 582 karma

    Glad you find it helpful. So if you’re only applying next year, here’s the thing...getting your LSAT higher will be more helpful than trying to build your softs. Your GPA is locked in, but your LSAT isn’t. It’s still up in the air. I know that’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. So if you’re deciding between committing X hrs/wk to community service or X hours/wk to studying for the June LSAT, STUDY! And then work on your softs. A 172+ will essentially make you—I think—a VERY likely in at Harvard. Those points—even just 2–will be more effective than extra community service, elementary proficiency in a new language, or new coding skills (after all, you can’t become a Rhodes scholar or Olympian overnight).

    Also, be sure to apply early. That’ll help a lot

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    3072 karma

    Yeah, higher LSAT will mean a lot.

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    I think it is honorable that you are shooting for a high score and that you set youe goals high by looking at Harvard. I would say that it would be more productive to focus all your efforts on achieving the 170 and come to us once you have a score on file. That being said, even without a 170, you could get into HYS. I have an acquintenance who got into stanford with a high 160s score, he was urm as well.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    --

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    She already has a 170. I saw her post about it.

  • edited March 2018 262 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    @HarvardHopeful said:

    @goingfor99th said:
    1. To phrase it politely, they probably don't know what they're talking about when it comes to law school admissions. That or they are trying to be nice. I'm not sure which I would say is more likely, tbh.
    2. No one is 100% at YHS, realistically. But if you're looking for an example of a 'lock,' then it's a high LSAT/GPA legacy or first-generation/low-income [URM] with a compelling story that is somehow directly related to the law. Of course there are the 'generic' top-tier softs like Rhodes Scholar, prestigious position in the military, etc., but something depressing and uplifting like overcoming traumatic childhood circumstances or some other such thing probably means more. If you have been able to establish your dedication/commitment to the law in some other way, I would imagine that would go a long way too. Unique work experience is good. Diversity is hugely important to these top schools.

    The problem is, most of us can't simply up and decide to secure a killer soft, 'generic' or otherwise. Most of these things take hard work, a hard-to-come-by degree of foresight, and almost always at least a little bit, but most likely lots, of luck. We can't necessarily choose to be diverse in ways that are important to law schools.

    Once you have your GPA and LSAT, the most you can contribute to your application is a few effective essays. What makes an "effective essay" is a whole other post, though.

    Thank you! THANK YOU. So much of this is so useful as I look back at my life and try to pen these personal and diversity statements.

    So. What are your thoughts on the “chance” for a 170/3.5/AA-URM?

    I think your chances are pretty good, which is to say how good they are will depend mostly on how well your essays turn out/are received. [There are other considerations like LORs but I assume yours are pretty good?]

    So, you have not applied yet? Next cycle, then? I can take a look at your essays if you want.

    My LORs are great!!
    BUT none are from an academic professor, so I may need to possibly look into a 3rd LOR - as long as it’s also strong - from a prof? If that makes a true difference.

    I am applying next cycle & am aiming to apply Day 1 of the cycle To at least have the time benefit in my favor. I have already started working on my essays. Right now just jotting down thoughts of the direction I even want to go in. Thank you a million times: I WILL take you up on your offer if it still stands in the next few weeks when I have some semblance of coherency in a very rough draft.

  • 262 karma

    @westcoastbestcoast said:
    I think it is honorable that you are shooting for a high score and that you set youe goals high by looking at Harvard. I would say that it would be more productive to focus all your efforts on achieving the 170 and come to us once you have a score on file. That being said, even without a 170, you could get into HYS. I have an acquintenance who got into stanford with a high 160s score, he was urm as well.

    @10000019

    Yeaaaaa. I already have a 17x. But it is on the super low end of the 170s .... suuuuppppeeerrrrr low.

  • edited March 2018 262 karma

    @calcal101 said:
    Glad you find it helpful. So if you’re only applying next year, here’s the thing...getting your LSAT higher will be more helpful than trying to build your softs. Your GPA is locked in, but your LSAT isn’t. It’s still up in the air. I know that’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth. So if you’re deciding between committing X hrs/wk to community service or X hours/wk to studying for the June LSAT, STUDY! And then work on your softs. A 172+ will essentially make you—I think—a VERY likely in at Harvard. Those points—even just 2–will be more effective than extra community service, elementary proficiency in a new language, or new coding skills (after all, you can’t become a Rhodes scholar or Olympian overnight).

    Also, be sure to apply early. That’ll help a lot

    @goingfor99th

    sigh

    the truth has been spoken. twice. honestly
    seeing the score in the 170s was equal parts amazing & equal parts “man. I can do a couple points better than that.” I managed to shove the retake idea out of my head. But the feeling that i need to keeps popping up....

    i do NOT not NOT want to retake but yea... a couple points would change things....

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    @HarvardHopeful said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    @HarvardHopeful said:

    @goingfor99th said:
    1. To phrase it politely, they probably don't know what they're talking about when it comes to law school admissions. That or they are trying to be nice. I'm not sure which I would say is more likely, tbh.
    2. No one is 100% at YHS, realistically. But if you're looking for an example of a 'lock,' then it's a high LSAT/GPA legacy or first-generation/low-income [URM] with a compelling story that is somehow directly related to the law. Of course there are the 'generic' top-tier softs like Rhodes Scholar, prestigious position in the military, etc., but something depressing and uplifting like overcoming traumatic childhood circumstances or some other such thing probably means more. If you have been able to establish your dedication/commitment to the law in some other way, I would imagine that would go a long way too. Unique work experience is good. Diversity is hugely important to these top schools.

    The problem is, most of us can't simply up and decide to secure a killer soft, 'generic' or otherwise. Most of these things take hard work, a hard-to-come-by degree of foresight, and almost always at least a little bit, but most likely lots, of luck. We can't necessarily choose to be diverse in ways that are important to law schools.

    Once you have your GPA and LSAT, the most you can contribute to your application is a few effective essays. What makes an "effective essay" is a whole other post, though.

    Thank you! THANK YOU. So much of this is so useful as I look back at my life and try to pen these personal and diversity statements.

    So. What are your thoughts on the “chance” for a 170/3.5/AA-URM?

    I think your chances are pretty good, which is to say how good they are will depend mostly on how well your essays turn out/are received. [There are other considerations like LORs but I assume yours are pretty good?]

    So, you have not applied yet? Next cycle, then? I can take a look at your essays if you want.

    My LORs are great!!
    BUT none are from an academic professor, so I may need to possibly look into a 3rd LOR - as long as it’s also strong - from a prof? If that makes a true difference.

    I am applying next cycle & am aiming to apply Day 1 of the cycle To at least have the time benefit in my favor. I have already started working on my essays. Right now just jotting down thoughts of the direction I even want to go in. Thank you a million times: I WILL take you up on your offer if it still stands in the next few weeks when I have some semblance of coherency in a very rough draft.

    Yeah, you'll want an academic LOR or two if you can find them. I'm less familiar with Harvard's process but I know Yale much prefers academic ones. Are there any other professors you connected with? Your call.

    Okay, sounds good. Best of luck. Oh, and not sure about day one applications at YHS but you should ask around on that.

  • 262 karma

    Ok. Yea.
    So. I’ll get my application airtight.
    I am retaking in June. I am applying next cycle regardless of a better/worse June score. I am kinda connected with professors sorta ....? I’ll have to reach out to try and get an academic LOR.

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    edited March 2018 8392 karma

    You've already gotten some great advice here, just want to also emphasize that yes, you probably need an academic letter. From what I've seen, the only real exceptions are if you've been out of school for a while. Like minimum 5 years, but probably more like 7+ years. And from what I've read, Yale pretty much always wants one, full stop. I imagine Harvard wouldn't be much different in that regard.

    I really do think you have a very strong chance, it's just that all of this is so unpredictable but even more so when additional variables are added in like being URM. I think a strong academic LOR, any more points you can squeeze out on the LSAT by this summer or September, and that will give you your best chances.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    Ok. Yea.
    So. I’ll get my application airtight.
    I am retaking in June. I am applying next cycle regardless of a better/worse June score. I am kinda connected with professors sorta ....? I’ll have to reach out to try and get an academic LOR.

    June is fine, but you can always retake later in the cycle too. You should apply when the cycle opens, but could still retake afterwards with a September, December, or February score.

    I would say you really want ideally to get an above median score. With a 173 or 174 its hard to imagine them turning you down.

  • PearsonSpecterLittUpPearsonSpecterLittUp Alum Member
    588 karma

    I know you said you're aiming for Harvard and not Yale specifically, but this article on Yale's admission blog may convince you that an academic LOR may be a necessity rather than just a strong suggestion:
    https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admissions/ask-asha/bad-idea-jeans-biggest-mistake-you-can-make-your-yale-law-school-application
    Hope this helps!!! :smile:

  • 262 karma

    @adillpickle said:
    I know you said you're aiming for Harvard and not Yale specifically, but this article on Yale's admission blog may convince you that an academic LOR may be a necessity rather than just a strong suggestion:
    https://law.yale.edu/admissions/jd-admissions/ask-asha/bad-idea-jeans-biggest-mistake-you-can-make-your-yale-law-school-application
    Hope this helps!!! :smile:

    I actually don’t necessarily prefer Harvard to Yale. Maybe I do? Yale just seemed a little more unrealistic, but I’m definitly going to aim & prep for Yale - 250 & all. If I got into both I don’t know which I’d pick. So thanks for this! I wouldn’t have known the importance without the article!

  • 262 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

    Hmmm tough call here. Obviously, you have a very good handle on the test. Your PT scores are phenomenal. There's definitely a strong bias around here for 7sage and I actually think it wouldn't hurt if you have the money for the Starter course. I'm assuming you probably have all the prep tests already so that wouldn't be a big draw to doing a higher course. But the core curriculum ("CC" as we call it) covers a lot of stuff that could potentially help. It's very in depth with things like LSAT grammar and lessons in conditional logic. Some of the notations might be different and you'll want to keep your own system, but I think it couldn't hurt to have extra help. And the 7sage Starter course is pretty much the cheapest course you'll find, but it's so so good.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

    An in-person course? No. A 7sage course? Maybe. Probably not since you're already at 170+. We should talk sometime, though! I may be able to help.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

    What area exactly are you weakest? If it's logic games you might not need the course.

    I retook a 172 studied for without 7 sage largely by first doing the core curriculum, then using the 7sage foolproofing method and free logic games explanations to perfect that section, and finally by just by blind reviewing lots of practice tests. I wouldn't change a thing since I wound up with a 180. However, the least important part of those three steps for me was the core curriculum from the starter course. It didn't confuse me, but it bored me at times.

    So I would say a course won't hurt, but you might not need it(especially if you happen to have some room for improvement on games).

    Make sure you are blind reviewing since if you are not you are missing out on a lot of opportunity to improve each practice test.
    https://7sage.com/the-blind-review-how-to-correctly-prep-for-lsat-part-1/

    Additionally, if you are not consistantly -1 or -0 on logic games I highly recommend foolproofing tests 1-35 worth of logic games.
    https://7sage.com/how-to-get-a-perfect-score-on-the-logic-games/
    After a while you can start using this abbreviated foolproofing method.
    https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/2737/logic-games-attack-strategy/p1

  • 262 karma

    @"Leah M B" said:

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

    ...the 7sage Starter course is pretty much the cheapest course you'll find, but it's so so good.

    thanks! i thought I’d have to gun for the ultimate!

    I’ll keep you guys posted, as per usual.

  • 262 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

    What area exactly are you weakest? If it's logic games you might not need the course.

    I retook a 172 studied for without 7 sage largely by first doing the core curriculum, then using the 7sage foolproofing method and free logic games explanations to perfect that section, and finally by just by blind reviewing lots of practice tests. I wouldn't change a thing since I wound up with a 180. However, the least important part of those three steps for me was the core curriculum from the starter course. It didn't confuse me, but it bored me at times.

    So I would say a course won't hurt, but you might not need it(especially if you happen to have some room for improvement on games).

    Make sure you are blind reviewing since if you are not you are missing out on a lot of opportunity to improve each practice test.
    https://7sage.com/the-blind-review-how-to-correctly-prep-for-lsat-part-1/

    Additionally, if you are not consistantly -1 or -0 on logic games I highly recommend foolproofing tests 1-35 worth of logic games.
    https://7sage.com/how-to-get-a-perfect-score-on-the-logic-games/
    After a while you can start using this abbreviated foolproofing method.
    https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/2737/logic-games-attack-strategy/p1

    i am very inconsistent in where i lose points. it usually an even spread, or on my 177-178 PRs it will be all points lost in a completely different section from test to test. those 1-2 super tough Qs per section always get me.

    • yes, a consistent -0 / -1 on LG. but the occasional -2........... super careless mistakes.

    RC always feels terrible & i am never very confident on about 10 LR questions.

    i have never blind reviewed or foolproofed in my life. so maybe no prep course immediately. i will learn how to foolproof & blind review & see how that goes for a month. i still have about 20 [old] untouched PTs to play with.

    you guys are the best.

    confreakingrats on the1freaking80.
    where did you end up? what year law student are you? how is it? how did you feel walking out of the test center of your 180? did you know?

  • edited March 2018 262 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

    We should talk sometime, though! I may be able to help.

    Can we? Soon? Please? Message me, please. Thanks!

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    edited March 2018 4423 karma

    @HarvardHopeful said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @HarvardHopeful said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" @"Leah M B" @goingfor99th

    So since I’m not as done with the LSAT as I swore I was, especially after that brutal Feb release waiting trauma, I have a question. This may not be the best place to ask ? .... buttttt should I do a course? If so ... ? which one?

    So far I’ve only self studied.I read & watched explanations for super challenging questions I’d get wrong. For RC/LR - Manhattan forums & LG free YouTube 7Sage videos.

    I PT between 173-180 Last 10 PTs.
    Part of me feels like for this last whack I’m taking at the LSAT, maybe a course will push my score up a few points? fill in some blanks from a different POV? If so? What course???

    Other part of me feels like I’ve come this far alone, I should investigate more were I’m weakest and drill, strengthen & study on my own because - do I have time to UNLEARN and relearn? Would that potentially hurt my score if I’m too busy during the actual test trying to sort through my method + new methods???

    What area exactly are you weakest? If it's logic games you might not need the course.

    I retook a 172 studied for without 7 sage largely by first doing the core curriculum, then using the 7sage foolproofing method and free logic games explanations to perfect that section, and finally by just by blind reviewing lots of practice tests. I wouldn't change a thing since I wound up with a 180. However, the least important part of those three steps for me was the core curriculum from the starter course. It didn't confuse me, but it bored me at times.

    So I would say a course won't hurt, but you might not need it(especially if you happen to have some room for improvement on games).

    Make sure you are blind reviewing since if you are not you are missing out on a lot of opportunity to improve each practice test.
    https://7sage.com/the-blind-review-how-to-correctly-prep-for-lsat-part-1/

    Additionally, if you are not consistantly -1 or -0 on logic games I highly recommend foolproofing tests 1-35 worth of logic games.
    https://7sage.com/how-to-get-a-perfect-score-on-the-logic-games/
    After a while you can start using this abbreviated foolproofing method.
    https://7sage.com/discussion/#/discussion/2737/logic-games-attack-strategy/p1

    i am very inconsistent in where i lose points. it usually an even spread, or on my 177-178 PRs it will be all points lost in a completely different section from test to test. those 1-2 super tough Qs per section always get me.

    • yes, a consistent -0 / -1 on LG. but the occasional -2........... super careless mistakes.

    RC always feels terrible & i am never very confident on about 10 LR questions.

    i have never blind reviewed or foolproofed in my life. so maybe no prep course immediately. i will learn how to foolproof & blind review & see how that goes for a month. i still have about 20 [old] untouched PTs to play with.

    you guys are the best.

    confreakingrats on the1freaking80.
    where did you end up? what year law student are you? how is it? how did you feel walking out of the test center of your 180? did you know?

    It sounds like the foolproofing might not be necessary for you or just for a few game types if you are already that good at logic games.

    Blind review is important and will really help you to figure out what you don't know. Some version of the course might be helpful mostly for the Core Curriculum on your weak spots in LR and RC. I think you should be able to use the free 7 sage analytics to see whether there is a specific pattern to the question types you miss or are not confident in within LR.
    https://7sage.com/score-lsat-test/

    I'm a 0L and this is my application cycle so I'm not sure where I'll end up yet. I'm hoping to minimize debt so I think its going to come down to scholarships.

    I definitely didn't know it was a 180 walking out. I had an awful case of the flu mixed with a cough and was really spacey for most of the test and had the dry heaves during the break so I was a little worried I might have underperformed. Other than the advice to foolproof and blind review the reason I probably owe 7 sage the most for my score is that when I considered skipping the test because I was sick people reassured me that taking it was the best route available. However, when I walked out I knew I had finished the logic games section with time to spare and knew that I hadn't got below a 176 when finishing the logic games section for over a month so I definitely wasn't going to cancel. I ended up missing one question on games and none on the rest of the test. You don't need a perfect 180 to get into great schools and you don't need to be perfect on the test to get a 180. But in both cases, you'll happily take any point you can get.

    Good luck!

    Enjoy Yale, Harvard, or whatever promising destination you end up at!

  • splitter_sagasplitter_saga Member
    60 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" can you walk me through your motivations for re-taking when already at a 172? I have a 173 but a sub 3.0 GPA and so am mulling over a re-take. Also would be interested to hear about your experience starting studying back up, already answering questions at over a 90% clip, what did returning to studying look like? Thanks in advance.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @splitter_saga said:
    @"Seeking Perfection" can you walk me through your motivations for re-taking when already at a 172? I have a 173 but a sub 3.0 GPA and so am mulling over a re-take. Also would be interested to hear about your experience starting studying back up, already answering questions at over a 90% clip, what did returning to studying look like? Thanks in advance.

    I didn't study particularly seriously for my first 172 take compared to what is typical on 7 sage. I studied for three or so weeks starting at the end of my Christmas break and had my wisdom teeth pulled in the middle of that and was heavilly pain medicated for part of my study time. I also had never blind reviewed or foolproofed. I had mainly done tests, checked the answers, looked at my score and then reviewed the incorrect answers and tried to figure out why they were right. Reviewing logic games was how I found 7sage.

    I was PTing at 173 going into the test only having finished a small percentage of the logic games sections that I had taken. The February test last year was no exception. I didn't finish the logic section, barely finished bubbling in the random guesses in that section, and moved on.

    I told myself that I would not retake if I got a 175 or higher which looked to me like it boosted the percent of students in law school numbers recieving $150,000 merit scholarships in the Top 14 and specifically at Michigan considerably. The reason $150,000 was the scholarship number I was aiming for was first because they seem more common than full tuition and second because I was trying to decide whether or not to ED Northwestern with the guaranteed, but binding $150,000 scholarship if accepted. People had advised me not to with a low 170s score and a 3.8, but I wanted to make sure I ended up in a comparable position as far as scholarship opportunities in the Top 14. 176 might have made a better cutoff for people aiming to go to Harvard and Yale since that is often their 75th percentile. I also told myself I probably wouldn't retake a 174, would lean slightly toward retaking a 173, and would probably retake a 172 or below. I don't know why I told myself that exactly though.

    Anyways, when I got my 172 I was happy and treated it as what it was. I had just locked in a really good score and now might as well try to better it. I took in February of my junior year so I was already waiting a cycle before I would apply.

    I began researching how to improve at logic games and quickly read on both top law schools and 7sage that logic games were the easiest section to perfect through foolproofing. I also read about lots of people regularly missing -0 on logic games and averaging below -1 on the section who had started out just as bad or worse than me at games. I waited until summer break since I had a busy class schedule and then decided to begin foolproofing games. I had already seen the logic games explanations and appreciated them so I bought the 7sage starter course to show my appreciation and because I figured the Core Curriculum couldn't hurt. When I browsed to see what came with the course, I saw that I had access to the first 35 practice tests. I used this access to print 4 copies of every logic game per the Pacifico Logic Games Attack Strategy. About a week later I found out that I never should have had access to those printable tests through the Starter course. After this, I went through the Core Curriculum focusing mainly on the Logic Games related videos, but making sure I understood everything. Since LR and RC already came so naturally to me and my part time summer tutoring job hadn't started yet, this took a little over two weeks.

    Then I began foolproofing following a fairly strict schedule. I went over each game at least 4 times. The first time I did it cold. Then I watched the explanation video and replicated it on the spare space on my first game. Then I redid the game on a fresh sheet. I also redid the game the next day and exactly one week later. I did this every day. About half way through I switched to foolproofing whole sections at a time. I would do a game section, watch all the videos, redo all 4 games, redo the previous days section, and redo the previous week's section. I sometimes split this up, but often did it in a single setting before going to sleep. It felt more exhausting to me than a single test at first, since I was doing 3 different sections of logic games every day and doing one of them twice and since the section was my worst. Eventually, it got easier though and every time I finished a fresh section on time it felt so much better than the section I hadn't completed on the real test. Alongside the foolproofing, I did two PTs back to back and blind reviewed them each Saturday. At first my scores didn't improve much(about 174 or 175 on average), but when I finished my first logic games section on an actual PT I recieved my first and only 180 on a PT. By then I knew the foolproofing was working and my scores only dropped below a 175 twice. Once was when I really struggled on a games section. The other time about 3 weeks before the test, I was trying a medication which turns out to sometimes cause cognitive impairment. I got a 168 and the really strange part was that even in my cognitively impaired state(I couldn't speak very coherently) I still finished the logic games section perfectly. That shook my confidence a little, but my next couple scores were back in the high 170s.

    On the September test, I had two concerns. The first was lingering fear from the 168 PT. The other was that I had caught a strange case of the flu or a cough or something. I briefly considered not taking the test the day before. I couldn't sleep the night before vommiting a few times. Additionally, the last section or so of the test I was deeply worried they might not let me finish the test. They made me keep my water bottle under the desk instead of sipping it most of the time which I did the first three sections. As a result, I started coughing a lot which could have been disturbing though there were plenty of other sick people coughing in the testing center. Further, I knew I wanted the test to count because I had finished the logic games section right before the break.

    After the test was turned in, I was mostly worried that I might have done worse because of the distractions caused by being tired and sick, but I had only finshed a logic games section and scored below a 175 the one time so I wasn't all that worried. I was shocked when the test score came out and it was my second ever 180 including all the PTs, but was amused at where my one mistake came from(logic games).

    Takeaways:
    Scholarships are a useful motivator for retaking an already high test score. I don't know exactly how big the difference is for extreme splitters, but know you can probably get a good guess by looking at scholarships on law school numbers sorted by either LSAT or scholarship amount.

    If you are disproportionately making mistakes in logic games you should almost always foolproof and retake even with a 172 or a 173.

    Once you have a score like a 172 or 173 in your pocket, there isn't anything that should really panic you during the test. The worst reasonable outcome is that you score a few points lower and they look at the highest score anyway.

    If you didn't study as seriously the first time as many on 7sage do and there is still room for improvement, it is worth a retake with a more structured drawn out study time than you started with.

    Sorry if this is long rambly or typo ridden. I proofread it quickly, but I am learning to touch type so I'll be a faster and better typist when law school exams come around.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Sorry if this is long rambly or typo ridden. I proofread it quickly, but I am learning to touch type so I'll be a faster and better typist when law school exams come around.

    You don't touch type already!? That's surprising.

  • splitter_sagasplitter_saga Member
    edited March 2018 60 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" haha I also am not a proficient touch typer.. thank you for the in-depth response! Yeah I guess I would say my main re-taking fear would be having a bad day and scoring even say a 170-172 (I had one 174 PT but most were in that low 170's range) and then I just can't believe that wouldn't lessen the luster of my 173 at least a little. I went -4LR/-3RC/-2LG with both LG incorrects being rule substitution q's. I was normally a -0/1LG guy so that did bother me.

    On the other hand, I did take a full month off of studying a few months before my test and my PT's had improved like 2 pts on avg from the break so that makes me think another return from break could see another performance step-up.

    If I end up not getting T14 admission I will be kicking myself if an extra LSAT point or two could've made the difference. The < 3.0/>170 data on myLSN is so slim it is hard to gauge, especially when you are just pushing yourself from 3 pts above a 75th line to 4 or 5 pts above.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Sorry if this is long rambly or typo ridden. I proofread it quickly, but I am learning to touch type so I'll be a faster and better typist when law school exams come around.

    You don't touch type already!? That's surprising.

    I use all my fingers, but most of the time my eyes are locked on the keyboard. I also use the wrong fingers for some letters. I have a cardboard box that's going to fix it along with the internet though. I'm using typingclub.com right now for free and trying to just type everything for school with the cardboard box stopping me from looking. There are a lot of typos before I read over things right now, but hopefully from now until law school starts and until the actual exams I get get my speed and accuracy all the way up to the normal for touch typers.

    I also think I might try to write a book in the model of the November National Novel Writing Month book people sometime early this summer and edit it and revise it the rest of the summer. I have been working really slowly and carefully on a book for years now, but don't feel ready to write it yet let alone fast. So I think I want to try to come up with some other idea and then just write to both get practice at writing a novel while I have time and to get practice touch typing better.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Sorry if this is long rambly or typo ridden. I proofread it quickly, but I am learning to touch type so I'll be a faster and better typist when law school exams come around.

    You don't touch type already!? That's surprising.

    I use all my fingers, but most of the time my eyes are locked on the keyboard.

    That's so interesting to me. Amazing.

    What is your typing speed?

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    3072 karma

    I suppose it would be difficult to achieve high speeds without touch typing since you have to copy text in order to gauge your typing speed.

    https://s17.postimg.org/5xrtb4xan/91wpm.png

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    edited March 2018 4423 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Sorry if this is long rambly or typo ridden. I proofread it quickly, but I am learning to touch type so I'll be a faster and better typist when law school exams come around.

    You don't touch type already!? That's surprising.

    I use all my fingers, but most of the time my eyes are locked on the keyboard.

    That's so interesting to me. Amazing.

    What is your typing speed?

    It varies from about 25 to 35 words per minute on the transcription type tests. I don't know that reading the screen makes a huge difference for me. I read way faster than that so there is some part of the time spent reading the words I am about to type and memorizing them but mainly, I am able to type even when copying something.

    I probably could improve that speed without learning touch typing. Non-traditional typers are able to type up to 70 words per minute(I think this was when not copying), but if I'm going to put a lot of time into it, I might as well learn it right.

    An additional problem is that I have a harder time catching mistakes when typing since I'm looking down instead of watching the words appear.

    However, there certainly is a learning curve.

  • goingfor99thgoingfor99th Member
    edited March 2018 3072 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Sorry if this is long rambly or typo ridden. I proofread it quickly, but I am learning to touch type so I'll be a faster and better typist when law school exams come around.

    You don't touch type already!? That's surprising.

    I use all my fingers, but most of the time my eyes are locked on the keyboard.

    That's so interesting to me. Amazing.

    What is your typing speed?

    It varies from about 25 to 35 words per minute on the transcription type tests. I don't know that reading the screen makes a huge difference for me. I read way faster than that so there is some part of the time spent reading the words I am about to type and memorizing them but mainly, I am able to type even when copying something.

    I probably could improve that speed without learning touch typing. Non-traditional typers are able to type up to 70 words per minute(I think this was when not copying), but if I'm going to put a lot of time into it, I might as well learn it right.

    An additional problem is that I have a harder time catching mistakes when typing since I'm looking down instead of watching the words appear.

    However, there certainly is a learning curve.

    Yeah, I spent my entire childhood on video games, messaging services, forums. That is all I did most nights/early mornings. I recall many days that I would skip school to play turn-based strategy games and chat with friends. I used to spend a lot of time on dictionary.com or in the OED, too.

    You probably spent all your time reading. Your working memory is insane-o. Learning modes are real; the human brain is amazing. ;]

    It will take a little bit to get it but it's definitely worth it. I took notes in college on my laptop and touch typing made it very easy. I generally spent more time in-class organizing/re-organizing my notes than actually taking them.

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:

    @goingfor99th said:

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Sorry if this is long rambly or typo ridden. I proofread it quickly, but I am learning to touch type so I'll be a faster and better typist when law school exams come around.

    You don't touch type already!? That's surprising.

    I use all my fingers, but most of the time my eyes are locked on the keyboard.

    That's so interesting to me. Amazing.

    What is your typing speed?

    It varies from about 25 to 35 words per minute on the transcription type tests. I don't know that reading the screen makes a huge difference for me. I read way faster than that so there is some part of the time spent reading the words I am about to type and memorizing them but mainly, I am able to type even when copying something.

    I probably could improve that speed without learning touch typing. Non-traditional typers are able to type up to 70 words per minute(I think this was when not copying), but if I'm going to put a lot of time into it, I might as well learn it right.

    An additional problem is that I have a harder time catching mistakes when typing since I'm looking down instead of watching the words appear.

    However, there certainly is a learning curve.

    Yeah, I spent my entire childhood on video games, messaging services, forums. That is all I did most nights/early mornings. I recall many days that I would skip school to play turn-based strategy games and chat with friends. I used to spend a lot of time on dictionary.com or in the OED, too.

    You probably spent all your time reading. Your working memory is insane-o. Learning modes are real; the human brain is amazing. ;]

    It will take a little bit to get it but it's definitely worth it. I took notes in college on my laptop and touch typing made it very easy. I generally spent more time in-class organizing/re-organizing my notes than actually taking them.

    I think that definitely sounds like a good way to take notes. From everything I have read, you really shouldn't be using typing speed to take notes in class (trying to write down large portions of what the teacher says). Instead you keep your mind activated best when writing down a few important things and spending most of class time determining what things are important.

    I have spent plenty of time on the internet though not really during my childhood. We had a computer but didn't use it much when I was little. Additionally, I didn't start using a laptop regularly untill typing papers in late middle school. However, by then I had already cemented the bad habit of staring at my fingers while I type.

    The human mind can adapt to my stupidity pretty well, but it is probably best to let it focus on things like my classes and exams during law school instead of distracting it with other tasks.

    This will also make things like typing in the dark with the screen brightness all the way down and blinking more often and for longer while typing easier which might make for a more comfortable experience.

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