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I got a 163- cancel!?

strugglebus23strugglebus23 Member
edited August 2019 in July 2019 LSAT 6 karma

Hey all,
I can’t make the big webinar on whether one should cancel July, but I am freaking out and am at a loss for what to do.
Stats things:
I have only taken the July LSAT and scored a 163
I graduated from an Ivy League school magna cum laude with a 3.87 GPA and won an award for my senior thesis.

I am 100% interested in schools with strong public interest programs, and am in love with NYU and Berkeley. I do not technically count as a URM but identify as a queer person of color; my background is middle eastern. I have slaved over this test for a year, neglecting my personal statement and going through a lot of emotional turmoil because me and tests don’t mesh so well. I was scoring 165/167 before the test, so I chalk up the drop in my score to test day nerves and starting 3 hours late. I think maybe I could do better, but really wanted to start my PS and get a move on the rest of my application. I have been working for over a year at a prestigious public interest org- with a rec from my employer, my thesis advisor, and a professor, I think in terms of recs I'm pretty set. I am a good writer and feel that the rest of my application is very strong, but I know my score is seriously lacking for the places I want to be. ‘Holistic’ application assessment seems like a myth, too.

So, with all that said, should I retake?

Comments

  • MissChanandlerMissChanandler Alum Member Sage
    3256 karma

    With those stats, there's almost no chance of T14. T20 would be your target schools, and T30s are your safeties. The 7sage predictor gives you a 13 percent chance at Berkeley, so it's a pretty big reach but a slight chance. If you're okay with T20/T30 with money, then don't retake and focus on getting in a solid early app. If you're set on T14, you definitely need to retake. You don't necessarily have to cancel, you could keep it and still retake if the LSAT fee isn't a burden for you

  • lsatplaylistlsatplaylist Monthly Member
    5211 karma

    Maybe take 2-3 PTs with BR and see how it goes. There's a lot of excellent T20 and T30 universities. This score is very good and could be useful if you're submitting apps before a retake, and then after that's scores in it could help with navigating different offers.

  • cooljon525cooljon525 Alum Member
    912 karma

    If you want to play it safe, maybe apply to schools this year while continuing to take the LSAT till July. You'll get into T20's and if your lsat score increases significantly, you can drop your acceptances and reapply to better schools next cycle. If it doesn't then you at least have acceptances already in your hand.

  • BranTwiceBranTwice Alum Member
    204 karma

    If you are set on a T14 school, I would cancel your score and retake the test in October. You can still apply, and mention in an addendum that you will be taking the October test. You will still be able to get the advantages of applying early, and you will still be eligible for scholarships. It will also give you time to get your application put together and increase your LSAT score. Regardless of what you do, good luck!

  • AudaciousRedAudaciousRed Alum Member
    edited August 2019 2689 karma

    163 is close to what you were testing at. I say keep it, and pay for a retake. Don't cancel what you have, tho. Tests are very often 3 or 4 points off from what we test at home, especially if you are still seeing a wide variance in your PT's.

  • Better every dayBetter every day Legacy Member
    246 karma

    @trkamran said:
    Hey all,
    I can’t make the big webinar on whether one should cancel July, but I am freaking out and am at a loss for what to do.
    Stats things:
    I have only taken the July LSAT and scored a 163
    I graduated from an Ivy League school magna cum laude with a 3.87 GPA and won an award for my senior thesis.

    I am 100% interested in schools with strong public interest programs, and am in love with NYU and Berkeley. I do not technically count as a URM but identify as a queer person of color; my background is middle eastern. I have slaved over this test for a year, neglecting my personal statement and going through a lot of emotional turmoil because me and tests don’t mesh so well. I was scoring 165/167 before the test, so I chalk up the drop in my score to test day nerves and starting 3 hours late. I think maybe I could do better, but really wanted to start my PS and get a move on the rest of my application. I have been working for over a year at a prestigious public interest org- with a rec from my employer, my thesis advisor, and a professor, I think in terms of recs I'm pretty set. I am a good writer and feel that the rest of my application is very strong, but I know my score is seriously lacking for the places I want to be. ‘Holistic’ application assessment seems like a myth, too.

    So, with all that said, should I retake?

    Unless you really need the money I would keep that score and pay for a retake in November. It sounds like you have a strong application, if you can bump that up 3-4 points I think you will be able to get into a T14. I personally always did about 2-3 points below my PT average on actual test day, that 163 is probably fairly representative, but there is always the chance you can have a great day on your next take and knowing you have a solid score to fall back on might help alleviate test day nerves.

  • Pride Only HurtsPride Only Hurts Alum Member
    2181 karma

    Some others have said this but I figured I’d throw in some advice too. 163 is a pretty normal score for someone scoring in your range. You will likely need to get that score up if you want to feel confident about your chances at some of those schools. I wouldn’t cancel because until you’re PT averages go up I wouldn’t expect anything higher than a 165. That being said, the LSAT is only part of your application. A 163 is not the end of the world. With a strong application who knows what will happen.

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