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Should I retake my LSAT after a disappointing Feb LSAT

june62016goalsjune62016goals Legacy Member
So I just received my results and ended up with a 163. My gpa is a 3.1 and I've been out of school for about 2 years. Worked for a year right after graduating and then stopped working to study for my LSAT. If I apply now, is there any shot of me getting into Fordham, Brooklyn, Yeshiva, St. Johns or even Iowa (ranked high but lsat and gpa are not as competitive), or should I retake the LSAT again? This was my second time taking the LSAT. the first time i canceled my score cause my nerves on test day interfered with my ability to take the test.

Comments

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25300 karma
    hourumd.com/?lsat=&gpa=
    Plug your numbers in here and see what it says. Take whatever it says with a grain of salt. Not sure if its really a representative sample. US News also gives you the ranges that accepted applicants fall into, although that may be a paid feature.

    Ultimately, what do you have to lose by taking it again? More studying may seem like an agonizing prospect, but you have so much to gain by improving your score by even a few points. You’ve got plenty of time until the next admission cycle comes around. You can take it again and have plenty of time left to get in on early admissions. I say go for it.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    I would retake in June or September. Even if you could sneak into Fordham you would be paying sticker. And I wouldn't advise taking on much debt to attend the others. Retaking represents only opportunity.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    I agree with a retake, if you're dead set on attending this year, you could always apply and attempt to use June as scholarship leverage.

    But that can be an expensive game to play with seat deposits and such. Plus if you don't already have your application stuff ready it would be best tonspend your time studying for a retake rather than spending time on application stuff.

  • amurphyamurphy Member
    9 karma
    Well, people say that retaking does not have much chance of significantly increasing your score, so do keep that in mind.

    I didn't listen. My first LSAT was in December and my score sucked. I put a lot of effort into practice tests going into February and felt much better about my performance on the February test, but just got my score and I increased by 1 point.

    I'm very disappointed in myself and my top three schools are almost certainly out of the question now. Even my second and third choice schools are not that likely, so I'm considering how I'm going to respond.

    I don't think I'll take the LSAT again, at least not without taking a course. But the February LSAT was the last chance for my top 2 schools, so a retake would not help for admission there this year, no matter how well I did.

    I'm not trying to bring anyone down, but it's best to be realistic about prospects.

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25300 karma
    @amurphy said:
    I'm very disappointed in myself and my top three schools are almost certainly out of the question now. Even my second and third choice schools are not that likely, so I'm considering how I'm going to respond.
    This happened to me after the December LSAT except I actually went down one point. That was a really, really bad day. That was a really bad month. You’re in a relatively dark place right now @amurphy. I know, I’ve been there. It’s easy to be discouraged, but it gets better. Take some time before making any decisions. I had almost decided to call the whole thing off entirely. After I climbed out of my pit of despair, I decided the best course for me was to delay a year, redouble my efforts, and take one more shot at it. I may be setting myself up to get crushed, but I decided it’s worth the risk. Good luck, whatever you decide.
  • PacificoPacifico Alum Inactive ⭐
    8021 karma
    @amurphy said:
    a retake would not help for admission there this year, no matter how well I did.

    If you get yourself on a WL with your current score, then a higher June LSAT can absolutely get you into a school for this fall. Schools don't take June as a first score for admissions purposes when applying for the same fall, but they definitely take them to get off of the WL.

    @amurphy said:
    I don't think I'll take the LSAT again, at least not without taking a course.
    Did you just blindly take PTs or did you actually use some sort of self study method? If it was the former I would highly recommend taking a course and retaking in June or September.
  • mimimimimimimimi Member
    368 karma
    Hey I took LSAT three times and increased my score in every retake by 4-5 points, although my 2nd retake was a disaster because I could not sleep the night before. I think you need to take a break first. Just relax for two months and do nothing LSAT. Then you can start planning for Sept - still in time for next cycle.
  • amurphyamurphy Member
    9 karma
    I used LSATMax to prepare. It seems decent enough, but I'm not sure how well it helped me. I used a lot of free study materials online too.


    I felt my biggest mistake in December was spending too much time with the study materials and not enough with timed PTs. It's definitely the time that is killing me though, as I can score 170+ untimed, but managing to stay accurate within the time limit is what this test is all about...

    My top two choice schools have application cutoffs of February 1 and the February LSAT is the last they will take for admission this year.

    I believe I have a strong personal statement (I had professional editing help with it) and I'm sure my letters of reference are good. I'm also applying after working in a different career for 15 years, so my only hope, albiet a very slim one, is that these other factors will get me an offer.

    I live in Southern California and there are third tier and below schools I could get into, but the idea of facing competition against graduates from the top local schools for jobs does not appeal to me.

    But I'm not making any firm decisions yet. And I'm definitely not withdrawing any applications - I know my chances are slim to non-existent (at the top schools), but I see withdrawal as the only way to guarantee I would not be admitted.

    Good luck to everyone else who is in a similar situation!
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    @170Feb2016 LSAC's admission chances tool can give you a pretty good idea of how others fared with your stats. Entering a 3.1 GPA and a 163 LSAT into their calculator gives you the following chances:
    Fordham 29-39% (at the median LSAT, quite a bit below median GPA)
    Brooklyn 90-100% (you're above both their medians)
    Yeshiva Cardozo 80-90% (above median LSAT, below median GPA)
    St. John 90-100% (above median LSAT, a bit below median GPA)
    Iowa 48-58% (above median LSAT, quite a bit below median GPA)

    Not dreadful chances, but probably no scholarship at Fordham and Iowa. The others might be tempted by your LSAT and offer you some cash.
    If your applications are ready, can't really hurt to try while preparing for a June retake - can use that to negotiate better scholarships or to reapply next year if you don't get any compelling offers
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    @amurphy I'm sorry you are walking through the valley of the shadows right now. But while there is no guarantee that a retake will improve your score, there are plenty of stories on 7Sage (@"Quick Silver" and @"Nicole Hopkins" come to mind immediately) where retaking ultimately paid off handsomely. However, you have to take a step back and think about what went wrong in your previous takes - was it that you never improved enough in your practice tests, or did you improve but significantly underperformed in the official test? Whichever one it is, there are a lot of people and a lot of helpful information here to help you do better next time.
    Of course you're the best judge of when you've had enough, but take a nice long break before you decide what you're going to do - you've waited 15 years, so maybe another year would be worth it for less debt and better employment prospects.
    Best of luck whatever you decide!
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Legacy Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    You're pretty much border line with many of those schools. If it helps, I know Iowo really pushes the holistic admissions approach.
    In any case, retaking probably wouldn't hurt you. Given your screen name, I would retake in either June or October. You're 7 points away from your target score. A 170 would get you into any of those schools, likely with a decent scholarship offer.
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