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Hoping for feedback on whether I should sign for September

danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
in General 4181 karma
Okay, this question is outside the possibility of signing up now and possibly withdrawing. I am asking specifically about actually taking the test on September with no plan to withdrawal. Here's why...

I've been studying for a while now and have all but completely met my LSAT goals. I'd say I'm about 1-2 points away from the score I want to at least sometimes hit, though this is mainly to secure plenty of leeway to score within a desired range.

Since I've been studying for a while, I have absolutely decided to take the test in order to apply for next year's cycle. With this in mind, I really only have three test dates from now to the application process for the upcoming cycle ends. While I may not be 100% ready for September, I'm awfully close with just over a month to get closer.

Should I not achieve my goal from a September take, I still have two more takes (December and February), and September would only be a wasted take insofar as the potential impact a retake would have on my psyche. But should I count on being fully ready - which I believe I would likely be by December - I would only have one more potential retake available.

I would really love input on this from fellow 7Sagers, and I'll refrain from citing my personal pros and cons for taking in September no matter the circumstances until/if I get some feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    Why waste a take if you know you can do better in December which doesn't even pose a threat to your application cycle?
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    Then again you do seem to be in good shape for September.
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @danielznelson

    Hmm this is hard because you are so close to your goal and have a good amount of time left. ~6 weeks-ish.
    @danielznelson said:
    I've been studying for a while now and have all but completely met my LSAT goals. I'd say I'm about 1-2 points away from the score I want to at least sometimes hit, though this is mainly to secure plenty of leeway to score within a desired range.
    This shows me you are fairly confident and know your stuff... Are you essentially hitting your goal score and now would like to ensure a few points to mitigate any drop in your test day score? I just want to make sure I understood that correctly.
    @danielznelson said:
    While I may not be 100% ready for September, I'm awfully close with just over a month to get closer.
    If you have any doubt in your mind you will not be 100% ready, I think you should wait until December. There's really nothing to lose by waiting. But you could lose a take by taking it in September when you're not 100% ready. I think the 3 extra months is worth it. If you're 1-2 points away from consistently hitting where you want, 3 extra months will only make you more consistent and confident. Two things I think are tremendously important for the LSAT. Waiting until December seems like a win-win to me.

  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @"Alex Divine" I'm a point or two below my desired score (I think). I haven't been taking raw tests lately, and while my test scores see an at least slight bump on retakes, some retakes seem to be reliable indicators of how I'd perform on a raw test, given that I haven't seen them in two years. If that is the case, I'm at least hitting my target score. Regardless, I know my understanding of the test is far superior to what it was when I first started scoring in my current range. But to be perfectly clear, my scores are within my acceptable range, though my current best score(s) on a new test are only three points higher than my lowest acceptable score. I suspect I will be scoring more towards my highest score, however.

    My biggest issue is losing a chance to take the test three times, if necessary. Should I pass on September, I only have two takes before the next cycle, which I absolutely will be applying to. While I may not be ready for September fully, I think I'd have a good chance of falling in the low end of my acceptable range. In effect, a poor score in September would only maybe affect me psychologically. I wouldn't be wasting a take per se, since I'd only have two more takes anyway given the test dates.

    @montaha.rizeq That's another factor I have been considering. While I realize retakes aren't as big of a deal as some people assume, it probably wouldn't hurt to have only one take. I would also risk getting an even lower score on a retake. I don't know the perception law schools have of that. I know I haven't maxed out my score potential, but I also realize I'm close to my ceiling.
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @danielznelson

    You have a very hard choice there, no doubt. I definitely see what you are saying about having September as a chance to try your hand and see if you can hit your target score....

    So you have to apply this cycle? There is no way around that I am assuming?

    If that is the case, I guess taking in September seems to make the most sense. Then you have December, and February as well. The only thing I don't like about endorsing your September take is it almost seems like you are gambling. I just can't 100% endorse a take when you don't believe you will be 100% ready. But that is just a stubborn opinion of mine; not fact or dogma.

    From a strategical standpoint, if you are 100% sure you are going for broke this cyle then I think it can make sense to sit for September and immediately be ready to take in December.

    Although part of me also thinks that just taking in December being 100% ready seems to be the better move. Why go through the retake at all when spending the extra 3 months will put you in a much better position?

    Have you considered this scenario?

    You take in September, score in the lower part of your goal range, and then don't retake.

    You take in December, this gives you extra time to score in the high end /exceed your goal, and now get extra scholly $$$ and better chances are you dream schools.



  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    @"Alex Divine" I've skipped two cycles, so yeah, I will go to law school next year unless I am physically incapable of doing so, haha. And again, I'm at least so close to being ready that I can't not take it this year. And I'm with you - I'm all about being 100% and tell everyone to do so the same. Had I not, I would've foolishly taken the test a long time ago. But it hit me that I only have a max of three takes regardless.

    I haven't considered your final point. I certainly considered the possibility of retaking to get a higher score, but I would definitely bee taking a risk getting a score on the lower end of my acceptable range, only to try to get a slightly higher score three months later. This is, of course, assuming I won't be fully ready come September, but there would undoubtedly be pressure on getting a few more points on a later test date.
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    I think you're in good shape, @danielznelson. This will be your first time taking the LSAT and you're right, it won't be as hurtful if you take it this time and decide to take it again. You aren't in my situation where I blew two of my takes and I'm currently on my third attempt so it's pretty much do or die for me because although law schools only take your highest score, taking it more than 3 times can have a disadvantage to your app (future reference, I guess) for you though, taking in September seems like a good idea. I say this because you want to apply for this coming cycle...so if you wait until December, you'd only have Feb available and if you're aiming for a t14, feb is considered late, acceptable, but late nonetheless. I support your decision on taking in Sept only if you will make sure if your score comes back lower than what you'd like that you won't let that bog you down and make you LSAT-depressed! The pdf of your test will be available to you for a short period of time so use it to see where you were weak in and use that time (after you've taken a week or two off) to drill the shit out of your weak areas so you can come back stronger. Who knows though, maybe you won't need December afterall! time will tell. Just don't worry, you're a mentor on here so you of all people should know you're in the best of care :D we got your back!
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    @danielznelson said:
    I would've foolishly taken the test a long time ago. But it hit me that I only have a max of three takes regardless.
    So glad you've accepted this early on!
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @danielznelson

    I think @montaha.rizeq makes some good points in her last post. +1 to everything she said.

    I guess what it comes down to for me is you are 100% applying this cycle. That said, I suppose it makes sense to give yourself Sept and Dec. You are 1-2 away from your goal score, and I think the 6 weeks until September is adequate for you to reach that goal if you continue to work hard, PT, and BR. If not, you always have December which is certainly a nice fall back.

    And as Montaha says, Feb is acceptable, but on the late side. The good news is you can submit your apps with your Sept/Dec score and then submit Feb once you get it if it is better. So overall, I think you are going to be just fine.

  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma
    @"Alex Divine" said:
    You are 1-2 away from your goal score, and I think the 6 weeks until September is adequate for you to reach that goal if you continue to work hard, PT, and BR. If not, you always have December which is certainly a nice fall back.

    And as Montaha says, Feb is acceptable, but on the late side. The good news is you can submit your apps with your Sept/Dec score and then submit Feb once you get it if it is better. So overall, I think you are going to be just fine.
    Exactly!
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Alum Member Sage 🍌
    27317 karma
    @danielznelson said:
    I've skipped two cycles, so yeah, I will go to law school next year unless I am physically incapable of doing so, haha.
    This is what I was looking for.

    Go for it.
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Thank you all for the great feedback. With your init in mind, I'll make a decision by tomorrow.
  • runiggyrunruniggyrun Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    2481 karma
    @danielznelson I'm all for waiting until you're 100% ready, but I think the reverse of that coin is that unless you're consistently scoring 180 you can make yourself think you're not ready yet for way longer than it would be useful.
    At some point you have to put on your showtime clothes and face the beast in the real arena. You've studied for 2 years, you're probably running low on fresh PT's and it's therefore becoming more difficult to assess exactly how close you are to your goal. You've given the basics time to sink in, and you've practiced them on a lot of real PT's, both fresh and repeats, and your scores on fresh tests appear to be within your desired range (3 points above the "minimum acceptable" is probably right in the middle of "acceptable").
    I don't think an extra 3 months of studying in your specific case would outweigh the benefit of having three chances this application cycle. NB: this is not advice I'd give to someone who said "I've been studying for 10 weeks, and I'm scoring 10 points below my goal, but I did get as close as -3 points on a repeat, and I really want to take September just to see what this test is like; I can always take December if it doesn't work out". To those people I'd say wait, but you're not those people. You've approached your studies with a slow and steady wins the race mentality, and you've put in the time. Realistically your "bad scenario" is probably that you score at the low end of your acceptable goal. In that case you have a decent score in your pocket to apply early and you can take December with a lot less pressure to try and get an extra few points. The "good scenario" is that you score in the upper half of your range and you get to forget all about the LSAT come October.

    Go get them!
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    This is great @runiggyrun! Thank you! I did sign up for September, and I fully intend to NOT back out. Thanks again, everyone for the input.
  • Nanchito-1-1Nanchito-1-1 Yearly Member
    1755 karma
    Alright @danielznelson!!! Goodluck!!! You will do great!!!
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