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low 1st LSAT, studying for Jan 2021, Should I apply for this cycle or next one?

buiztolawbuiztolaw Monthly Member

Hi all,
Canadian LSAT taker here.
So my first LSAT score wasn't really ideal (154) and I'm hoping that with the help of 7Sage this time I can get a better score. My question is, do you see any harm in applying this cycle given the fact that the application deadline for my top choice is on Dec 2nd? Even if I get a good score, do I even have a chance or is it too late since admission offers are sent out on a rolling basis?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks ❤️

To apply or not to apply?
  1. When should I apply?34 votes
    1. This cycle (2021)
      52.94%
    2. Next one (2022)
      44.12%
    3. Give up and choose a different career path
        2.94%

Comments

  • juliaseo94juliaseo94 Alum Member
    edited November 2020 15 karma

    The deadline (Dec 2nd) you mentioned is for ED?
    I think it is good to try out for Jan anyway! If the result isn't satisfying you can still aim for 2022 anyway

  • buiztolawbuiztolaw Monthly Member
    38 karma

    @juliaseo94 said:
    The deadline (Dec 2nd) you mentioned is for ED?
    I think it is good to try out for Jan anyway! If the result isn't satisfying you can still aim for 2022 anyway

    Thanks for your comment. As far as I know, the Dec 2nd deadline is for all applicants, so no other application will be accepted afterwards.

  • CardsnHogzCardsnHogz Alum Member
    168 karma

    Warning long/cheesy (yet realistic) motivational post incoming:154 is an AWESOME starting point! You are already around and probably above the 50% percentile against a bunch of smart people that studied too much for this test. I don't know your score breakdown, but that indicates you have a solid fundamental understanding of what this test is testing. And that means you have potential to score very, very well.

    Care to share your score break down? Was the test the first time you've ever seen it? Did you do it under fully timed conditions? ie 35 mins a section? How was your logic games score? What did you THINK about those logic games if it was the first time seeing them? (fyi, those are imposing but are the most "learnable" of the entire test. You basically learn how to draw diagrams so you don't have to remember all the rules, and it makes the games infinitely more manageable. Many students actually master this section with lots of work and score perfectly)

    If your games score was low, (they usually are for most people taking a diagnostic test), with a 154 starting point, you could rise up QUICKLY. If you were in a crunch and said, "What do I focus on to have the biggest score increase the quickest?" The answer is logic games. And 7sage is unanimously considered among the elite in logic games teaching if not the absolute best. You CANNOT go wrong learning your logic games here.

    Also, at 154, I guarantee you there are a lot of little "quick tricks" you can learn for extra points. DISCLAIMER: This test is a SKILLS test. It is not a test where you can just memorize a bunch of stuff and increase your score. But a few do exist. And at your score level, I guarantee you missed a few questions because you just didn't understand "The LSAT Way" and once you know that way, you'll be like oh well duh, ok I'll never miss that again.

    For instance, did you know the word "some" can mean "all" on this test? I certainly did not. Colloquially, I always think of "some" as specifically NOT all, but on the lsat it CAN mean all. Or the "logical" opposite of "all" is not "none". That's the polar opposite and the LSAT don't care about polar opposites except to use it as a trap answer choice to trick you (***see note below about this). The logical opposite of all is "not all". I didn't know to think about this! You may though and good for you! My point is, there are some easy "pickup points out there". Not many, but some do exist.

    Regarding when to take the test and apply to law school, the general advice is that you apply when you feel you have truly achieved your potential on the LSAT and I guess your application in total (but let's be honest, we mostly all care about that lsat score here). It really is/can be that important depending on your situation. I had a low gpa that would by itself keep me FAR FAR away from any good law schools. Yet, if I can reach my goal score I have a very good chance of that one test score making up for 4 years of lazy college effort. It's crazy and im grateful. But, the amount of time/effort you put into this test may change based on your goals. If you know what school for certain you want to go to, and you don't mind paying tuition, then studying the test longer may not be necessary if you think you can hit their acceptable scores. But if you like the idea of going to that law school on a full scholarship, or go to a top ranked law school, hell maybe a top ranked school on a full scholarship!, then it is usually worth the wait. A good score on this test can literally be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over your 3 law school years, which is a short term return on investment. This return may grow into the long term if you get into a better school with better job prospects that you may not have gotten with a lower score.

    So, you do you. 154 is so promising though. I scored 144 and it took me so long to get where you are at. I think you at least owe it to yourself to give it a good try. 7Sage will definitely help you pick up some points quickly. If you sign up, don't skimp on the Core Curriculum. That is your "class". That is where your knowledge that you will apply to tests will come from. (Also do not be discouraged if you don't improve on your first tests after doing the curriculum. You may actually score worse because you are applying new methods. But you will become faster and more accurate at the same time. Also, no need to rush into timed sections. Go untimed for a bit to REALLY learn the different types of questions. This test is DEEP but not infinitely so.

    Quick tips: Your practice test scores will probably fluctuate as you go. That 154 may turn into a 157 on your next test. Or maybe even a 151. It can take several tests to truly confirm that you have improved. Some people say you need 3 160 practice tests scores to be comfortable saying you would score 160 on the test. Others say at least 5 tests. For many if not most people, please be aware, that if there is a score. Point being, if for some reason you only needed a 154 for your chosen school, you probably want at least some practice test score a bit higher just in case your score dips on the actual test.

    Pro Tip: STUDY HOW TO STUDY. It's easy but different. Don't just take practice tests over and over. STUDY those practice tests fully after you take them. You'll learn "blind review". This is the sucky part. But it is also the golden part. This is where you get better and you get more points. Take ALL THE TIME YOU NEED in blind review. At 154, yes you are on a great start, but, you are still missing a lot of questions. Honestly, I would even blind review the entire first couple of practice tests. You will learn from things from questions you got right the first time anyway. You also might miss a question the second time that you got correct the first! Don't freak out. That's an opportunity to get better! You will become the greatest self-analyzer the world has ever seen. You will say things like, "why did I choose this? why did I not choose this? Why is this right? Why are these wrong? Over and over and over. It's a game of repetition. You are learning a new test. And someone smart like you seem to be is going to start noticing there are some interesting patterns in the questions and you'll start anticipating the direction the question is going. This pattern recognition is going to turn into free points and with enough practice, could lead to mastery of the material. There really is only so much they can test you on, but the test writers are masters and making a new coat of paint seem like something completely new/different to the untrained eye. But the trained eye will see right through those dirty tricks! (see note below)

    Another tip: Learn about the test. There is a "general difficulty curve" in the Logical Reasoning section as they generally get harder as you progress from the first to last questions, while some easy/hard ones are sprinkled throughout to keep you off guard. Remember the easiest questions are only worth one point. Also remember the hardest questions are also only worth 1 point, but may take 3 times the amount of time to solve. If you are in a rush to take the test, you may want to look into time strategies because skipping a hard question (and guessing! always guess at least!) may save you so much time you get two more questions correct.

    ****Note that I mentioned above and it's a good one, the golden tip of my rant. It is:

    The test takers are trying to trick you. It is a perpetual game of deceit. If you choose to study this test, you may become a master bullshit detector. This test is full of it and this is a good life skill and certainly one you'll want as a lawyer. I mean seriously, some of the answer choices are just outright funny how wrong they are. Other incorrect answer choices are masterfully crafted to prey on common errors in reasoning students may use. They are so devious and you leave the question thinking you got it correct when you didn't. The test is filled with traps. But learnable and predictable traps.

    I love games, video games, board games, puzzles, all of it. My mental approach to this is that it's like one big dense game with all of these little rules/worlds I need to learn about. Overall, simply studying for this test isn't gonna "make you a great lawyer". But I, obviously not in law school, and my best friend, who scored in the 170's and graduated Berkley, both agree that it is excellent practice for developing skills that are extremely useful and maybe even required of a successful lawyer. So if you take that mindset, you're kinda already starting your law school prep work. Hell, just call it law school why not. No one will care and neither will you. One last thing:

    This test can be oddly fun...for a test. But it's a game test not a civics test. But don't burn out. Burn out is real. Take time off. Don't force yourself to study (in my opinion) EVER.

    I hope things go well for you! You should seek out some high scorers that would love to help you with more specific things. But, I don't have to be scoring in the 90th percentile to be able to understand what this test is. I think these general things I mentioned are accurate and I will stake my 144 diagnostic on it any time!

    Are you doubting what you read yet? Was this all meaningless? A waste of time?

    I truly don't know.

    You tell me.

    Good luck stranger.

  • buiztolawbuiztolaw Monthly Member
    38 karma

    @CardsnHogz said:
    Warning long/cheesy (yet realistic) motivational post incoming:154 is an AWESOME starting point! You are already around and probably above the 50% percentile against a bunch of smart people that studied too much for this test. I don't know your score breakdown, but that indicates you have a solid fundamental understanding of what this test is testing. And that means you have potential to score very, very well.

    Care to share your score break down? Was the test the first time you've ever seen it? Did you do it under fully timed conditions? ie 35 mins a section? How was your logic games score? What did you THINK about those logic games if it was the first time seeing them? (fyi, those are imposing but are the most "learnable" of the entire test. You basically learn how to draw diagrams so you don't have to remember all the rules, and it makes the games infinitely more manageable. Many students actually master this section with lots of work and score perfectly)

    If your games score was low, (they usually are for most people taking a diagnostic test), with a 154 starting point, you could rise up QUICKLY. If you were in a crunch and said, "What do I focus on to have the biggest score increase the quickest?" The answer is logic games. And 7sage is unanimously considered among the elite in logic games teaching if not the absolute best. You CANNOT go wrong learning your logic games here.

    Also, at 154, I guarantee you there are a lot of little "quick tricks" you can learn for extra points. DISCLAIMER: This test is a SKILLS test. It is not a test where you can just memorize a bunch of stuff and increase your score. But a few do exist. And at your score level, I guarantee you missed a few questions because you just didn't understand "The LSAT Way" and once you know that way, you'll be like oh well duh, ok I'll never miss that again.

    For instance, did you know the word "some" can mean "all" on this test? I certainly did not. Colloquially, I always think of "some" as specifically NOT all, but on the lsat it CAN mean all. Or the "logical" opposite of "all" is not "none". That's the polar opposite and the LSAT don't care about polar opposites except to use it as a trap answer choice to trick you (***see note below about this). The logical opposite of all is "not all". I didn't know to think about this! You may though and good for you! My point is, there are some easy "pickup points out there". Not many, but some do exist.

    Regarding when to take the test and apply to law school, the general advice is that you apply when you feel you have truly achieved your potential on the LSAT and I guess your application in total (but let's be honest, we mostly all care about that lsat score here). It really is/can be that important depending on your situation. I had a low gpa that would by itself keep me FAR FAR away from any good law schools. Yet, if I can reach my goal score I have a very good chance of that one test score making up for 4 years of lazy college effort. It's crazy and im grateful. But, the amount of time/effort you put into this test may change based on your goals. If you know what school for certain you want to go to, and you don't mind paying tuition, then studying the test longer may not be necessary if you think you can hit their acceptable scores. But if you like the idea of going to that law school on a full scholarship, or go to a top ranked law school, hell maybe a top ranked school on a full scholarship!, then it is usually worth the wait. A good score on this test can literally be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars over your 3 law school years, which is a short term return on investment. This return may grow into the long term if you get into a better school with better job prospects that you may not have gotten with a lower score.

    So, you do you. 154 is so promising though. I scored 144 and it took me so long to get where you are at. I think you at least owe it to yourself to give it a good try. 7Sage will definitely help you pick up some points quickly. If you sign up, don't skimp on the Core Curriculum. That is your "class". That is where your knowledge that you will apply to tests will come from. (Also do not be discouraged if you don't improve on your first tests after doing the curriculum. You may actually score worse because you are applying new methods. But you will become faster and more accurate at the same time. Also, no need to rush into timed sections. Go untimed for a bit to REALLY learn the different types of questions. This test is DEEP but not infinitely so.

    Quick tips: Your practice test scores will probably fluctuate as you go. That 154 may turn into a 157 on your next test. Or maybe even a 151. It can take several tests to truly confirm that you have improved. Some people say you need 3 160 practice tests scores to be comfortable saying you would score 160 on the test. Others say at least 5 tests. For many if not most people, please be aware, that if there is a score. Point being, if for some reason you only needed a 154 for your chosen school, you probably want at least some practice test score a bit higher just in case your score dips on the actual test.

    Pro Tip: STUDY HOW TO STUDY. It's easy but different. Don't just take practice tests over and over. STUDY those practice tests fully after you take them. You'll learn "blind review". This is the sucky part. But it is also the golden part. This is where you get better and you get more points. Take ALL THE TIME YOU NEED in blind review. At 154, yes you are on a great start, but, you are still missing a lot of questions. Honestly, I would even blind review the entire first couple of practice tests. You will learn from things from questions you got right the first time anyway. You also might miss a question the second time that you got correct the first! Don't freak out. That's an opportunity to get better! You will become the greatest self-analyzer the world has ever seen. You will say things like, "why did I choose this? why did I not choose this? Why is this right? Why are these wrong? Over and over and over. It's a game of repetition. You are learning a new test. And someone smart like you seem to be is going to start noticing there are some interesting patterns in the questions and you'll start anticipating the direction the question is going. This pattern recognition is going to turn into free points and with enough practice, could lead to mastery of the material. There really is only so much they can test you on, but the test writers are masters and making a new coat of paint seem like something completely new/different to the untrained eye. But the trained eye will see right through those dirty tricks! (see note below)

    Another tip: Learn about the test. There is a "general difficulty curve" in the Logical Reasoning section as they generally get harder as you progress from the first to last questions, while some easy/hard ones are sprinkled throughout to keep you off guard. Remember the easiest questions are only worth one point. Also remember the hardest questions are also only worth 1 point, but may take 3 times the amount of time to solve. If you are in a rush to take the test, you may want to look into time strategies because skipping a hard question (and guessing! always guess at least!) may save you so much time you get two more questions correct.

    ****Note that I mentioned above and it's a good one, the golden tip of my rant. It is:

    The test takers are trying to trick you. It is a perpetual game of deceit. If you choose to study this test, you may become a master bullshit detector. This test is full of it and this is a good life skill and certainly one you'll want as a lawyer. I mean seriously, some of the answer choices are just outright funny how wrong they are. Other incorrect answer choices are masterfully crafted to prey on common errors in reasoning students may use. They are so devious and you leave the question thinking you got it correct when you didn't. The test is filled with traps. But learnable and predictable traps.

    I love games, video games, board games, puzzles, all of it. My mental approach to this is that it's like one big dense game with all of these little rules/worlds I need to learn about. Overall, simply studying for this test isn't gonna "make you a great lawyer". But I, obviously not in law school, and my best friend, who scored in the 170's and graduated Berkley, both agree that it is excellent practice for developing skills that are extremely useful and maybe even required of a successful lawyer. So if you take that mindset, you're kinda already starting your law school prep work. Hell, just call it law school why not. No one will care and neither will you. One last thing:

    This test can be oddly fun...for a test. But it's a game test not a civics test. But don't burn out. Burn out is real. Take time off. Don't force yourself to study (in my opinion) EVER.

    I hope things go well for you! You should seek out some high scorers that would love to help you with more specific things. But, I don't have to be scoring in the 90th percentile to be able to understand what this test is. I think these general things I mentioned are accurate and I will stake my 144 diagnostic on it any time!

    Are you doubting what you read yet? Was this all meaningless? A waste of time?

    I truly don't know.

    You tell me.

    Good luck stranger.

    OMG. You're the best. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this very thoughtful comment filled with amazing tips.

    So the 154 was my score on an actual LSAT. I think I did one or perhaps two prep tests using Khan Academy before I wrote the actual test. So I wasn't totally unfamiliar with the test, but I didn't know much either to be honest.

    I'm pretty much done with CC of 7Sage. It's great. I just need to spend more time on logic games to improve my diagramming skills. RC is going ok. Better than what I thought tho because English is not my first language, but I'm doing anywhere from -2 to -0 per timed passage so far. LR is also alright, but since I haven't done a full prep test yet, I don't know what my score's break down will be at this time.

    I'm planning to do around 30-40 prep tests before test date in Jan 2021. Hopefully by then I can get to my goal of 165-7.

    Wish me luck.
    Thanks again for your comment. Genuinely made my day.

  • cpeaks13cpeaks13 Monthly Member
    461 karma

    @CardsnHogz are you able to see the breakdown of your flex test on lsac or are you just meaning on 7sage?

  • CardsnHogzCardsnHogz Alum Member
    168 karma

    @cpeaks13 said:
    @CardsnHogz are you able to see the breakdown of your flex test on lsac or are you just meaning on 7sage?

    im sorry.I have no clue. I read that and then wrote that entire thing from the incorrect viewpoint that op's score was a diagnostic when it clearly is not. this is why I miss questions!

  • CardsnHogzCardsnHogz Alum Member
    168 karma

    OMG. You're the best. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this very thoughtful comment filled with amazing tips.

    So the 154 was my score on an actual LSAT. I think I did one or perhaps two prep tests using Khan Academy before I wrote the actual test. So I wasn't totally unfamiliar with the test, but I didn't know much either to be honest.

    I'm pretty much done with CC of 7Sage. It's great. I just need to spend more time on logic games to improve my diagramming skills. RC is going ok. Better than what I thought tho because English is not my first language, but I'm doing anywhere from -2 to -0 per timed passage so far. LR is also alright, but since I haven't done a full prep test yet, I don't know what my score's break down will be at this time.

    I'm planning to do around 30-40 prep tests before test date in Jan 2021. Hopefully by then I can get to my goal of 165-7.

    Wish me luck.
    Thanks again for your comment. Genuinely made my day.

    Oh the coffee was burning when I wrote that novel. I think I've studied more about this test than what I'm being tested on. Probably time to move to real questions haha.

    You and I may be taking around the same time. I will raise you to the 170s. (hint: you are winning with a great head start)

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