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Need good advice on September LSAT

NMF62091NMF62091 Alum Member
edited August 2016 in General 15 karma
Hi there! I am scheduled to take the September 24th LSAT and I am needing advice on whether I should postpone and take the December LSAT or go ahead with the September LSAT as a trial run and cancel my score and then take the December LSAT. I have only taken three PT's as of last week, my first, which I bombed with a timed score of 136 and BR 161. However, my second PT, I went up 6 points to a 142 and BR to a 164 and third PT remained at 142 but BR score went up to 166. My weakest area is LG-- I have not been able to successfully complete the section in its entirety (taking over 10 minute a game) but I am improving. I figure once I have the LG down then my score with dramatically improve. Also, I have completed the curriculum and have been studying since the beginning of May 2016. I have been studying at least 4 hours a day during the week and 8 hours/day during the weekend. I can’t seem to shake the test anxiety under the timed conditions and I fear this with a lack of confidence in my LG section is really hurting me. I am now planning now on doing 4 PT's a week until the exam date and strengthen my low points in between PT days. I have been researching discussions on similar situations regarding postponing/canceling LSAT's and it does discourage me and make me question whether I should do the same. I realize that there is a month before the September LSAT but I still believe that I can raise my score to level my BR (mid 160's) within the month despite how foolish it may seem. My plan as of right now is to go through with the September LSAT regardless but I would only keep the score if I see significant/consistent improvement in the next two weeks (leveling with my BR score or close to) and If I do not see significant improvement then simply use it as a trial run and cancel my score after, then retake in December. I REALLY do not want to postpone for next year and really want to do anything and everything to be able to attend law school in fall 2017. Does anyone have any good advice/considerations/tips haven't taken into account? Will taking the December LSAT hurt me as far as admission applications? Is a cancellation a bad idea? I really appreciate any helpful advice.

Comments

  • NMF62091NMF62091 Alum Member
    15 karma
    cancellation*
  • Nanchito-1-1Nanchito-1-1 Yearly Member
    edited August 2016 1762 karma
    Hi, first of all, congrats on your improvement thus far, there is an upward trend and it seems like you have a fairly good understanding of your fundamentals with a few weak spots you have to work on. Right now it might be to best to cancel your test and postpone it to another date when you feel ready and you're more confident in your abilities. Otherwise your anxiety and the immense pressure you're putting on yourself may get the best of you. On test day, you can expect to get the around the same scores you've been getting in the last 5ish tests. It's really only the beginning of pts for you and it's hard to know.

    Think about what happens in lg? Are you hitting those easy games in 5 minutes or less? Do you make quick inferences? Can you draw a good sketch? Do you freeze? It's great that you're improving. The more you expose yourself to your weakness the more you familiarize yourself with it's patterns and recognize what you need to do in a given situation. You'll build more confidence in time, but make sure you actually give yourself time.

    Please do not take 4 pts a week, it will burn you out, and you cant br them properly. It's not about quantity.

    Taking a strictly timed pt should be almost like the real thing and risking a take when you dont feel ready is a really bad idea. It will make you feel like crapola and you'll have to pick yourself up from that. It's just a waste of emotions and time.... trust me.

    Whats your target score, you should focus on that instead of a date.

    Depending on what school you want to go to they will accept a Feb score or even a June score.

    What will happen if you don't go to law school next year? What do you think will happen if you don't get the score you want in both sept and dec, and the next time with in 2 years? The risk outweighs everything in my opinion and you should really wait until you feel like you're ready.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27801 karma
    What is your target score? So much depends on what your goals and expectations are. I mean, if you're aiming for a 145 then you're probably good to go with just a few improvements to your study strategy. If you're looking for 170+ then that's a whole other scenario entirely.

    Either way though:
    @NMF62091 said:
    I am now planning now on doing 4 PT's a week until the exam date
    Don't do this. This is a really brute force, quantity over quality method that is not going to help you. Taking PTs doesn't really do anything if you aren't learning the lessons they have to teach you, and there's no way you are taking the time to hear what they're telling you at this quantity. If you want to improve, don't study more material, study less material better. It'd be better to only take 5 PTs and learn 100% of what they can teach you than to take all 78 at 80%.
    @NMF62091 said:
    go ahead with the September LSAT as a trial run and cancel my score
    The trial run LSAT is a bad idea. I did this and I'd do about anything to have that test back. There's just no benefit to taking the first one for the experience. You gain nothing and losing a take is an enormous loss, so there's just no justifying it.
  • NMF62091NMF62091 Alum Member
    15 karma
    @nanchito @"Cant Get Right" Thank you so much for your feedback. My goal was to score at least 165 in September and then take it in December and get 169+ to average it out to a 169 which is what I need for the schools I am interested in, with a good scholarship. So with this information, it sounds like I should really just postpone, not cancel, and then take the December LSAT. My only hesitation with the December LSAT was the application process-- I would have to submit my application incomplete (pending score) and I wasn't sure how this would affect my chances of getting admitted? Also, I have been advised that taking the February LSAT or June LSAT puts you at a huge disadvantage for fall 2017 admissions- is this correct? Obviously, a good score outweighs this but I’d like to explore all my options. Now that it looks like my best course of action is to postpone and take the December LSAT, then I really need to get 169+ and since I have been studying for 4 months and scoring 142 on my PT's,so I must be missing something. I have been reviewing PT's with JY's video explanations, and have been doing practice LG games (print out 20 copies of a game and doing it back to back, as JY advised). However, I don't feel like I am improving too much with this because I am able to memorize the solutions and when I am presented with a new game, I tend to freeze. Also, I will definitely take your advice and not do 4 PT's a week and focus on the quality of studying rather than quantity. In addition to using 7sage, I have been reviewing the Logic Bible flashcards for LR and LG but have not read either bible. Do either of you have any tips/suggestions for other materials that have been a huge help in raising your score? My weakest sections are LG, as I stated, and RC comes second. Should I read the bibles or go back and redo some of the core curriculum? What have you found helpful? I really appreciate any suggestions/advice.
  • BreeBreeBreeBree Member
    219 karma
    HI Im in the same boat as you, i was scoring 155-157, but unlike you I was completing the LG on time and scoring 20-23 in that section, my weakest sections are RC and then LR and I was also scheduled tot take the September exam. I decided to postpone to December because I felt it would be best to get just as good on the LR and RC before jumping in. I don't think postponing is a bad idea, with lots of practice your LG score is bound to increase.
  • Nanchito-1-1Nanchito-1-1 Yearly Member
    1762 karma
    @NMF62091 said:
    I should really just postpone, not cancel, and then take the December LSAT.
    You should postpone until further notice, or until you reach your target score.
    @NMF62091 said:
    My only hesitation with the December LSAT was the application process-- I would have to submit my application incomplete (pending score) and I wasn't sure how this would affect my chances of getting admitted?
    If you're ready by dec and you submit an incomplete app, it shouldn't seriously affect your chances of getting in.
    @NMF62091 said:
    Also, I have been advised that taking the February LSAT or June LSAT puts you at a huge disadvantage for fall 2017 admissions- is this correct?
    Not necessarily, just kick ass on the lsat. Easier said than done though...
    @NMF62091 said:
    However, I don't feel like I am improving too much with this because I am able to memorize the solutions and when I am presented with a new game, I tend to freeze.
    Yea I feel you, have you drilled the bundle? You can expect huge gains from doing it.
    @NMF62091 said:
    Do either of you have any tips/suggestions for other materials that have been a huge help in raising your score?
    The trainer helped me in flaws and rc, I recommend it. Additionally just some good old BRing, on drilled sections. I'm not at the point were I want to take new pts again, but ive increased and reinforced my understanding of fundamentals and test strategies immensely.
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @NMF62091 said:
    Hi there! I am scheduled to take the September 24th LSAT and I am needing advice on whether I should postpone and take the December LSAT or go ahead with the September LSAT as a trial run and cancel my score and then take the December LSAT. I have only taken three PT's as of last week, my first, which I bombed with a timed score of 136 and BR 161.
    Postpone until you are ready; not just December, or some arbitrary test date.

    I don't ever think taking the LSAT for a trial run is a good idea. It is a waste of a take. If you want to simulate test day, go to a library and just take it under timed conditions using the 7Sage proctor and see how you do :)

    @NMF62091 said:
    My weakest area is LG-- I have not been able to successfully complete the section in its entirety (taking over 10 minute a game) but I am improving. I figure once I have the LG down then my score with dramatically improve. Also, I have completed the curriculum and have been studying since the beginning of May 2016.
    You'll get there! Believe me, I was having the same issues with LG about 3 months ago. I just studied nothing else for LG for a month. Fool proofed every game PT 1-38 and never looked back. Came back and began finishing sections and going -4. Before I did this it was taking me 10-12 minutes to finish simple linear games and I was still missing questions. I think I missed 20 on my diagnostic for LG! But the fool proofing method works wonders if you put the work in!
    @NMF62091 said:
    I am now planning now on doing 4 PT's a week until the exam date and strengthen my low points in between PT days.
    If you are scoring in the high 130s don't do any PTS! You just aren't going to get much out of them. You need to focus on learning and drilling at this point. I'd actually suggest going through the curriculum again or trying The LSAT Trainer. You say you started in May and are already done? Spend some more time focusing on your problem areas and learning the fundamentals. I think you have a large gap in your fundamentals if you have a 25 point difference in your BR and PT. You get faster when your strategies and skills are polished. Don't take next month, there just isn't enough time for anyone to have a 25 point increase in that time. Dedicate that time to figuring out exactly what is tripping you up and really focusing on the fundamentals of the LSAT. Things like the lessons on conditional logic, valid/invalid argument forms. To me, having a grasp on those concepts in essential to doing well on the test.

    @NMF62091 said:
    My plan as of right now is to go through with the September LSAT regardless
    Well I hope we have changed your mind. Don't waste a take when you will not be ready. Sure you have 3, but don't waste one... Take it once and do it right is my motto. and if you don't do as well as you hoped when you do take it, you have 2 extra takes.

    @NMF62091 said:
    I REALLY do not want to postpone for next year and really want to do anything and everything to be able to attend law school in fall 2017
    I felt the same way before I postponed. But would you rather go to a school where you get in with a ~140s LSAT or a top school after studying for a year and having reached your potential? If someone told you if you study for a year you could get a 170 and have a good shot at any school wouldn't you take it? The LSAT counts for WAY WAY more than your GPA. This is something I never fully understood. I thought, "wait! you mean my great i worked so hard for doesn't count for much?" And the answer is an unfortunate no. There are tons of 3.9 GPAS out there and even tons of 4.0s. But good LSATS are rare! And they can often overcome a bad GPA. So dedicate yourself to a target score you want and don't sit for the exam until you are confident you can reach it on test day. A year is nothing if it decides you entire future career! :)
  • NMF62091NMF62091 Alum Member
    15 karma
    @BreeBree @nanchito @"Alex Divine" Thank you so much for putting things in perspective and for all your advice. I feel at ease knowing that the smartest course of action is to postpone and I will take all your suggestions and put them to use and hopefully see some results!
  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    @NMF62091 said:
    Thank you so much for putting things in perspective and for all your advice. I feel at ease knowing that the smartest course of action is to postpone and I will take all your suggestions and put them to use and hopefully see some results!
    :) The results will come. And in my opinion, they come a lot quicker when you don't have the stress of a test date approaching so quickly. It really gives you the ability to focus on what it most important in your prep without having to sacrifice.
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