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At a crossroad, need some ADVICE

Simple ManSimple Man Alum Member
in General 448 karma

Hey 7 Sagers!

I'm not a good test taker - at all. I've consistently scored mid to high160s on my PTs. But when test days rolls around, I am unable to achieve my full potential for whatever reason. For the 4th time, today I found out I scored below a 160. So I now find myself at a crossroad.

I have a 158 on record as my highest score. This is a score that will get me into the schools I am looking at, but I am unsure about how much scholarship money I will receive for this score. I know I am capable of scoring over a 160, but I'm wary of taking the LSAT for a 5th time, especially if I only would gain a few more points.

Should I just go ahead and plow forward with my 158? Should I apply with my 158 and retake, and notify law schools if I have an increase in score? Or, should I start buckling down and go for my 5th attempt and submit applications assuming that score would be my highest?

I've been studying for almost a year now, and am becoming very frustrated with this test. It feels absolutely insane to have taken it so many times. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated!!!

At a crossraod
  1. What should I do moving forward?18 votes
    1. Apply with my highest score of 158
    2. Apply and retake LSAT for a 5th time
    3. Take LSAT one last time, then apply


  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    Doesn't it just depend on your determination and will? Only you know yourself if you can/should/will retake or not. If it were me, I would retake, because I think I there is always room for improvement.

  • acsimonacsimon Alum Member
    1269 karma

    I'm curious as to why you decided to take the test four times over only a year-long period. The best advice I could give you is that, if you do decide to retake again, please do not take the test within the next six months. I understand that this means (by now) sitting out a cycle, but you cannot do yourself any favors by compressing your natural progression in mastering the sections. Of course, if you already have your target schools locked in and are a competitive applicant, then by all means apply this cycle and forego the test. But, if you have other schools in mind as well whose medians are a bit higher or if you are keen on being competitive for scholarships, then you should take a breather and then bear down with a plan of taking the test in 9months to a year and applying next cycle. That's my two cents, anyways, for what it's worth. Either way, I hope that everything looks up for you in your decision.

  • drbrown2drbrown2 Alum Member
    2227 karma

    Retaking and improving a 158 would leapfrog a huge percentile of test takers. A 160-163 would be a 6%-15% improvement over your best score on record. If you are able to target a specific area of the test and make it your mission to improve that one area that type of improvement would be likely. Get LG mastered and that might be a major confidence boost that could improve your test day performance and your PT consistency. Are your PTs being taken with strict timed conditions and answer sheet bubbling? Maybe your timing could improve from watching some of the live section recordings that JY has included on some of the PTs.

    JY has described the improvement process in the past as a range of possible outcomes based on your mastery over the material. As you get better the range goes up (improved accuracy) and the range narrows (consistency, speed, confidence/concentration). A 158 was probably within your range of outcomes if you are having trouble finishing sections or are struggling with certain game types or whatever.

    Don't get discouraged! Make sure to BR everything so you don't get in a results oriented mindset and you will score higher next time. You are already PTing in a target range that would make you a completely different applicant compared to a 158. Keep working hard and trust the process!

  • _oshun1__oshun1_ Alum Member
    edited September 2018 3652 karma

    4 times in a year? Either apply as is this cycle, or give yourself a few months off to regroup and figure out what you really want, and then take next September. You shouldn’t be taking the lsat so many times in a cycle unless ie you were sick the first time and had a panic attack the second...nobody is going to improve much within a few weeks so that is why you are frustrated with the lsat. It’s like if you were training for a marathon but instead of training for a year straight you just run a marathon every other month and obviously don’t improve and have nothing to show for your year of training in the end.

  • Raising The BarRaising The Bar Free Trial Member
    22 karma

    Honestly, you sound burnt out from the test and if you decide to retake you should take a break for a few months. Sitting for a test can be draining, I can only imagine how frustrating it is to do it four times.
    I think the answer depends on how determined you are to apply this cycle. If you are super determined it would probably be in your best interest to apply with an addendum and see what happens. If not, you should follow the rest of surfy surf's advice.

  • Logic GainzLogic Gainz Alum Member
    edited September 2018 700 karma

    @acsimon could not have said it better

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