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What's the consensus on a 4th attempt?

trendnet12345trendnet12345 Member
in General 7 karma

I just took my third take yesterday and quite disappointed in my performance. I was pting within my goal of mid-160s. After my second take of 154, I decided to access my strengths and weaknesses and do drill sets accordingly. I fool proofed the LG Bundle, revisited the CC and drilled by question type with PTing and BRing once a week. However, I have this condition where my neck gets excessively tight and I just lose focus. I've had a spinal tap done and multiple ct scans but no diagnosis. This happens sporadically and unfortunately it happened Sunday morning and I just didn't want to take the test come Monday but I did anyways. I failed to pace myself, missed whole bunch of questions in LR, and missed a passage in the RC. LG was easy but I could have finished in half the time if my neck didn't tighten up. I even forgot to reset my watch on two sections. I don't think I'm eligible for accommodations nor do I even want them but would a fourth try be even worth the attached stigma.

Comments

  • Daniel.SieradzkiDaniel.Sieradzki Legacy Member Sage
    edited June 2017 2301 karma

    Hi @trendnet12345,

    Very good question. I have heard mixed things from some people in admissions counseling. The reality is that there is no consensus regarding how admissions will look at 4+ takes. This situation has been very limited in the past because not many people waited 2 years to do a fourth take (old retake rule).

    That being said, my personal belief is that it will only have a minor effect outside of Yale and maybe Stanford. As others have mentioned in the past, the way rankings our set up makes only the top score relevant for ranking purposes. Thus, I believe most schools will just look at your top score and not really care that you took it four times. On lawschoolnumbers.com, I have seen people with four takes and a high last score who got into some really great schools that only their high score could have gotten them into. As I said, this is a small sample because not many people took 4+ takes before this new unlimited takes rule. However, there are some good outcomes from this small sample.

    I think the more important question is what score you need to get into your goal schools. For example, if you have a 154 and are trying to get into mid-160s law schools, your old score would not get you in anyway. Thus, you have nothing to lose by retaking for these schools. Even if they look down on 4th takes, a 4th take is the only way that you could get a score that could get you in.

    I hope this helps. I am really sorry about your experience on this test and your condition. I think a fourth take makes a lot of sense if you want to get into schools that expect mid-160s LSAT scores. I wish you all the best in the future!

  • hon132hon132 Member
    122 karma

    Don't see anything wrong with the 4th attempt, Schools look at your best school and if you're already, use the extra time to find other ways to be a more appealing candidate. Work experience, better references, volunteer work, etc.

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    The belief as of now with the old "4th takers" (before the unlimited rule) was that it wasn't great but of course preferable to whatever the lower score is. I suppose as of now if you haven't waited 2 years for your 4th take, then there is no precedent yet. I don't imagine it will change much. It's ALWAYS going to be better to take and improve then to not retake.

  • trendnet12345trendnet12345 Member
    7 karma

    @"Daniel.Sieradzki" @hon132 @"Alex Divine" thank you for your responses! I'm shooting for Fordham, BC, or BU. I'm waitlisted at Northwestern but admittance seems unlikely.

    I'm uncertain how to proceed though. My BR scores are around 168 with a variance of 2-3 pts, while my pt scores have been constantly 162/163. I don't want to start PTing senselessly. I was hoping to schedule a session with a sage to review and comment on a recorded PT and how I could possibly narrow the disparity between the BR and PT scores. Any advice guys?

    Thank you in advance!

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @trendnet12345 said:
    @"Daniel.Sieradzki" @hon132 @"Alex Divine" thank you for your responses! I'm shooting for Fordham, BC, or BU. I'm waitlisted at Northwestern but admittance seems unlikely.

    I'm uncertain how to proceed though. My BR scores are around 168 with a variance of 2-3 pts, while my pt scores have been constantly 162/163. I don't want to start PTing senselessly. I was hoping to schedule a session with a sage to review and comment on a recorded PT and how I could possibly narrow the disparity between the BR and PT scores. Any advice guys?

    Thank you in advance!

    Yes, I think at this point a tutor/sage is exactly what you need to get that last few points with consistency. I wish I could help. I hope to one day be a sage and serve the sagers!

    If you can score a 168 on BR, you can do it on the real thing. You just need the time and help to get there. After all, you've got the will and that's the most important thing.

    Good luck!

  • poohbearpoohbear Alum Member
    edited June 2017 496 karma

    Agree with what most other people have said about the 4th take.

    Just wanted to chime in on the neck tension issue. Since you've gotten spinal taps and mutiple CT scans I'd check to see if it was a muscular issue. It might not be a neck related injury, but more of a shoulder or upper back strain or severely tense muscles (they're ll connected and you'd be surprise how they can cause pain in various other areas-- I've even gotten tension headaches from my neck injury before). I'm not sure where your neck pain might come from but I strained my neck/shoulder area from bench pressing and since then it's been a constant annoyance especially when I'm trying to study. At one point it was so bad I couldn't make it through a full PT and had to take pain killers in order to sit through a full PT. But I've realized that this isn't sustainable or healthy in the long term (how are we suppose to make it through law school and law school exams with neck pain?!?) so I've started to really figure out ways to alleviate this.

    I started getting physical therapy, with a combination of acupuncture and cupping which has helped tremendously! I've also started becoming more aware of my posture and try to stretch and foam roll/lacrosse ball several times a day. I now carry a lacrosse ball with me in my bookbag whenever I head off to the library because I find my shoulders and neck tensing up really badly when I study for long periods of time.

    Check out some of these videos-- they've been super helpful for me:

    Best of luck, hopefully this helps a little and you won't have to suffer from neck pain anymore!

  • trendnet12345trendnet12345 Member
    edited June 2017 7 karma

    @"Alex Divine" mentor to sage, tangible goals! Any particular sage you had in mind?

    @poohbear Wow! Thank you! I think I may have strained my neck after a day at the beach about two years ago. I experienced impaired vision and extreme fatigue thereafter. It always make a crackling noise when I move my head side to side now. I got accupuncture done hoping to relief some of the neck tension but no luck. I think multiple sessions may have done the job. How often do you get cupping/accupunture? Also, have you had spinal adjustments done through a chiropractor? I'll try the excerises you posted. I like the lacrosse ball one in particular!

  • theLSATdreamertheLSATdreamer Alum Member
    1287 karma

    wait so whats the rule? is the 2 year rule still in affect? i tried googling did not get a clear response.

  • Zachary_PZachary_P Legacy Member
    659 karma

    @theLSATdreamer said:
    wait so whats the rule? is the 2 year rule still in affect? i tried googling did not get a clear response.

    Unlimited takes starting in September. Also, the LSAT will be offered 6 times instead of 4 for the 2018-19 cycle.

  • theLSATdreamertheLSATdreamer Alum Member
    1287 karma

    @Zachary_P WOHHOOOO thats exactly what i wanted !! to take it 6 times in a year, its like crack im addicted lol ... thats good though, i took my first one now, but who knows i may really need 18 tries

  • doyouevenLSATdoyouevenLSAT Monthly Member
    609 karma

    so wait i can PT in RL until i get 170

  • inactiveinactive Alum Member
    12637 karma

    @MichaelTheArchAngel said:
    so wait i can PT in RL until i get 170

    Sure, why not?

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @MichaelTheArchAngel said:
    so wait i can PT in RL until i get 170

    Isn't it awesome! :) That's exactly how I tend to view this exam as well. I'm just going to keep working and studying on the side until I can reach that 170. It's why I'll never understand taking this test before you are ready, confident, and know what your potential is!

  • Gladiator_2017Gladiator_2017 Yearly Member
    1332 karma

    @poohbear thanks so much for the videos! The tension in my neck also causes headaches (almost every other day sigh). I just tried the lacrosse ball video and I already feel better. Thanks!!!

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @Gladiator_2017 said:
    @poohbear thanks so much for the videos! The tension in my neck also causes headaches (almost every other day sigh). I just tried the lacrosse ball video and I already feel better. Thanks!!!

    The neck pain for beginners I found very helpful. I also get headaches that I suspect are related to some upper neck pain.

  • poohbearpoohbear Alum Member
    496 karma

    @Gladiator_2017 @"Alex Divine" yay!! I'm so glad they help! :) Studying for the LSAT can definitely be tough if our physical bodies aren't 100%. I recently slipped down the stairs and injured my tailbone and you won't believe how much of a struggle it's been trying to study-- definitely took something so small like being able to sit upright for granted...

  • poohbearpoohbear Alum Member
    496 karma

    @trendnet12345 I've only gotten it a couple of times when the pain was really really bad. For the most part, I just try to take a lot of breaks, stretch, and lacrosse ball. And sorry, I haven't tried the chiro yet but I think it's probably worth giving different things a shot because pain can be super distracting when you're trying to study and focus for a long periods of time. Best of luck!!

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