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Looking for Advice on Retaking a 170

Iron-HanIron-Han Alum Member
in General 184 karma

Let me preface with the fact that I'm SO grateful for my 170 and worked really hard for it! However, given my LSAC GPA (3.73) it looks like I'm still under both medians at most of my top choices/dream schools. I'm already signed up for the November test since I planned to use it as a back-up if things went bad in October. But now I find myself in this awkward place with JUST below median numbers. I guessed on a few questions on the last game of my October test (twas a tough one), which makes me feel like I might've left some points on the table. I'd realistically only be looking to marginally improve to a 171 or 172 (not really shooting for 175+). That being said, who knows, my score could go down.

For context, I'd really like to end up at NYU, Northwestern, Michigan, or Georgetown. I have 3 years of work experience at a law firm, am a first-gen student, my UGPA was a 3.86 because it didn't include study abroad courses (LSAC did), and I think I've got a pretty good personal statement and diversity statement (but so does everybody).

Long story short: to retake or not to retake? Any advice would be helpful, as none of my friends or family understand my dilemma.

Comments

  • lsat_suslsat_sus Alum Member
    1417 karma

    I luh you fam, but how is "IRON-Han" gonna say "not really shooting for a 175+..." LOL.
    That's what the "Plastic-Han" folks say bruhv c'mon now.

    And you got a beast-ass resume there dafuq!! o.O

    Just retake that MF and shoot higher!! Why settle for less when you've put in all that time into this test already!! GET.DAT.BREAD. your highness!! Rooting for ya!!

  • MookieBettsEnjoyerMookieBettsEnjoyer Alum Member
    edited October 2021 76 karma

    I've heard several times that adcomms don't like it if you retake low 170s because they think it shows lack of good judgment or something but I'd say that given last year's cycle it would be ok to retake. That being said, are you sure that you can get at least 170 next time? If the answer is no, then maybe it's good not to take it. What do your last few PTs look like?
    For me, I got 171 in Aug but felt pretty confident that I could do better because my PTs were higher. I took it on Oct. and got 176. Good luck!! Rooting for you :)

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25293 karma

    I retook my 170, and improving it was essentially the same process as improving from my earlier 160s scores. That process plays out very differently at that range, but it’s still the same thing: diagnose your weaknesses, develop a plan to address them, execute the plan, and monitor consistency moving forward. What’s so hard about the 170’s range is that your weaknesses will tend to be more nuanced than something like question type or game type. You have to dig deeper into the substance and get more specific: overlapping sets with subsets, opposition relationships with thresholds, scenario procedure for miscellaneous games, etc. You’ve got to better with your diagnostics. I also can’t stress enough the importance of strategy and procedure at this stage of the game. You may not need to increase your knowledge at all. You may just need to learn how to test more efficiently.

  • BlueRiceCakeBlueRiceCake Alum Member
    302 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" said:
    I retook my 170, and improving it was essentially the same process as improving from my earlier 160s scores. That process plays out very differently at that range, but it’s still the same thing: diagnose your weaknesses, develop a plan to address them, execute the plan, and monitor consistency moving forward. What’s so hard about the 170’s range is that your weaknesses will tend to be more nuanced than something like question type or game type. You have to dig deeper into the substance and get more specific: overlapping sets with subsets, opposition relationships with thresholds, scenario procedure for miscellaneous games, etc. You’ve got to better with your diagnostics. I also can’t stress enough the importance of strategy and procedure at this stage of the game. You may not need to increase your knowledge at all. You may just need to learn how to test more efficiently.

    Hi I'm curious to know what you mean by "overlapping sets with subsets, opposition relationships with thresholds", since this is the first time I've heard about it. I'm a ~165 average scorer, with LG being my weakest section

  • qs2159qs2159 Alum Member
    326 karma

    Following this post! And I think you should try for a higher score if you already signed up for the November test @Iron-Han ! I am in a similar boat, got a 171 in Oct test, which was a bit below the median of some top schools (and my GPA is below 25 percentile of all schools;, and I am debating if to write the Jan test. Any advice is welcome!

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25293 karma

    @BlueRiceCake said:
    Hi I'm curious to know what you mean by "overlapping sets with subsets, opposition relationships with thresholds", since this is the first time I've heard about it. I'm a ~165 average scorer, with LG being my weakest section

    You’ve seen these before, so this may just be a matter of clarifying my terminology. Either way, here’s the basics:

    Overlapping sets with subsets might be something like: “Tennis is the most popular of all racket sports, and ranks as the fifth most profitable international professional sports league. But football is by far the most profitable international sport.”

    So racket sports and international professional sports leagues are the overlapping sets. There are things that are both racket sports and international sports leagues, and there are things that are only one or the other. Tennis is a subset that falls inside of the overlapping sets. Football falls inside the international sports set and outside the racket sport set. I’d expect a question with this sort of setup to try to compare tennis and football somehow, but how it plays out depends on the rest of the information.

    Opposition relationships with a threshold. Opposition is things like hot/cold, big/small. The test writers often want us to mistake opposition for binary (hot/not hot, big/not big). Thresholds are points along the spectrum between hot/cold, for example, where the quality hits a critical point. “I’m comfortable in summer weather until the temp hits 100 degrees.” So the relevant consideration—my comfort levels with heat—does not change slowly as the heat rises. It is static until temps cross the threshold at 100 degrees. We also see a different version of this with language like “the more. . . the more. . .” “The more humid it gets, the more intolerable the summer heat becomes.” This establishes a completely different relationship, and it’s important to recognize the exact nature of the relationship and precisely how each works.

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