Good school, high GPA...low LSAT?

<p>Hi everyone, </p>

<p>I took the LSAT today and walked out SERIOUSLY disappointed (not to mention tired, anxious, etc.). I'm in a total panic, and even more so because I won't find out my score for another 3 weeks. Ok, my issue is this: I am going to an Ivy (Cornell), and I have a GPA of 3.69 in History. I'm looking to apply to PSU Dickinson, Pitt, Duquesne, and a couple of other schools in PA. That being said, I'm concerned that IF I did badly on the LSAT (say I got a 140-something), do you think my chances are shot for getting into these schools? Maybe I'm underestimating my score, but I have to think of the worst-case scenario. I've gotten a couple of scholarships/awards here at Cornell, and am President of an academic organization. I just don't test well at all (the time limit on reading comp. really screwed me up!). I'd really like to go to Dickinson, so it would mean a lot to me to know whether, even if I did badly on the LSAT, I could still get in. Can someone give me an idea (on a percentage scale) of my chances with, say, a score of 147-148? </p>

<p>Thanks so much!</p>

<p>Blaker...please forgive me...but having read your post and knowing lots about Cornell and what it akes to get a 3.69 there, I'm gonna guess you did a good bit better than that. Relax, take a deep breath and come back in 3 weeks.</p>

<p>Thanks for the advice. I had a good nap, and although I'm being antisocial at the moment (holed up in my room), I think I may be overreacting about my possible score. I don't think I did that horribly on the test, it's just the factor of stress and not knowing my score, plus the fact that it's not like I can go check my answers in some book to see whether I got it right or not. I would have had to have missed a bunch of questions to do that badly, and my performance was mediocre at worst only on the reading comp. section (I'm not sure if I absolutely bombed it). Maybe I'll drink some tea and watch a comedy to help liven things up, as stressing is not going to do me any good.</p>

<p>Thanks again, and I will be back to let you know my score whenever I receive it.</p>

<p>Just wait and see.</p>

<p>My advice: if you really think you did that horribly, re-take it. Sure, you'll have to delay law school for a year - but that's probably the best thing you can do anyway. (Seems as if the people who went straight from undergrad are feeling the most burnt out, and we're only one semester in.) While it is frowned upon to take it more than once, re-take it and explain that you had the worst possible day. If your score substantially improves, they may average them, or, should you have a good explanation for today's score, they'll just take the higher one. </p>

<p>Also, consider your SATs. If you don't take standardized tests well, law schools will account for that. If your SATs were 1200 and you made a 3.69 at Cornell, it's probably pretty likely that you'll do really well at law school despite a low LSAT. </p>

<p>Get some more sleep. Go to a movie. Realize that a 3.69 from Cornell would put you in the running for almost any law school (incl. HYS), so relax. Enjoy your junior or senior or whatever year you're in. </p>

<p>Lastly - the LSAT is graded on a strict percentile basis. Assuming that your practice tests were better, you probably did fine on this one. It is entirely possible that the test was just so hard that no one did as well as they thought.</p>

<p>Hey Blaker,
I swore a while ago that I wouldn't post on any of these cuz the reality is the reality and there's no changing it, but I'm pretty impressed by the civility and support of this forum. I looked at another discussion board yesterday, and those ****<strong><em>s were freaking ruthless...It's like take a chill-pill, guys, you're real special you got your 178s and 3.99's from princeton, but no need to make people like me feel worse than I already feel...
Anyway, Blaker--as did I, you already got your LSAT score...and I'm thinking you weren't quite thrilled with it...The truth is, if you walk away with a bad feeling, it didn't go well...That's what happened to me....I worked my ASS off to prepare, but all the while I knew it was gonna go horribly...And it did...Trust me...I'm reluctant to share what I got, but it's bad...I'm reluctant, btw, because I'm almost done applying to everywhere I'm going to apply and I don't want people telling me I have no chance of getting in anywhere...I already feel that myself, so I'd rather just wait with my fingers crossed...But anyway, Blaker--I really feel for you, because I'm in the same boat...I go to Columbia and I have a 3.65 in Economics-Philosophy and a minor in History...I studied abroad for a semester...I have some work experience (part time and during the academic year), including at the D.A.'s office...Moreover, I really am a very hard worker, and sadly it just did not show in my LSAT score...I'm really sensing this is your case as well...
I'm just wondering where you're at now...Where do you think you and I stand at this point? Is there any redeeming value in the fact that you and I go to ivy league schools, and clearly work our asses off to do well there?
I read somewhere on this forum that 40% of all law school applicants don't get in anywhere (that kinda reminded me of 'did you know that 73% of statistics are made up?'), but honestly--what do you think is in store for you (and me)?
Here are some thoughts I have had on the matter, and feel free to weigh in:
I did horribly but I refuse to take it again. The LSAT is really unlike any other test I've ever taken...It's even completely different from the SAT...the SAT is a standardized test, replete with the weaknesses typical of all standardized tests, but to some extent it assesses some pretty testable skills--vocabulary words, some basic math skills. These are things you can practice and definitely do better at eventually...The LSAT is simply not like that...You cannot possibly study any particular subject to do better...I really did everything I could and I failed miserably...I did most of the games sections I had several times, and went over what I did wrong. I looked at every argument I got wrong, and devised all kinds of strategies for getting it right the next time...It simply did not work. Period. The LSAT is like an IQ test...The only way to do better at any IQ test is maybe to take it several times and therefore get more familiar with the layout and time constraints and stuff, but your IQ doesn't actually go up...That was a very brief (trust me, I got tons more to say on the evilness of this test) tirade on why I will NOT take the test again.
What *</em></strong>es me off is that I actually did very well on the SAT, yet I am still convinced that I do badly on standardized tests, or at least the LSAT-kind of test...I worked my ass off for the SAT and I did well, but that's because there was always geometry to practice and words to learn...The two tests are simply not comparable, I think, and I don't like it when people say you can make a case that you're a bad standardized test taker if you did badly on both SAT and LSAT...I just don't agree...
Anyway, this rant is over...I'd love to hear from you, Blaker or anyone else who's got something to say...Thanks for hearing me out.</p>

<p>Blaker received a 148 on the LSAT, according to another post, and decided to look at law schools in the south. When s/he last posted, in April, Blaker was chosing between acceptances at two ABA-accredited schools, St. Thomas and Florida Atlantic.</p>

<p>Thanks for letting me know...I didn't even notice s/he posted in 2004.</p>

<p>Maryana, after reading your post, it has really freaked me out about the LSAT. I also want to go to law school but I have not prepped at all for the LSAT though I have seen one sample problem...and it seemed rather tough. I am currently a sophomore at university...I was just wondering what advice do you have for me? Should I start studying now for the LSAT? According to your post, it seems studying is futile despite this being the only known method for preparation.</p>

<p>Hey Zipzoop,
I'm really sorry I freaked you out, though I am glad to hear that someone is finally hearing me out on this matter...Here's the thing about this test: it doesn't require that much studying because if you're good at it, or at least decent, you need maybe 3 months of preparation...but if you're bad at it, you could spend 6 months studying and not fool anyone--you'll still suck...Let me give you a few cases I personally know about it...I would say they're pretty illustrative of what happens to a lot of people...Here goes:
I started princeton review in late July (a course that's supposed to prepare you for the Oct test) along with my best friend...We took our first diagnostic test at the same time, and she scored 8 points higher than me...From that, I soon realized that no matter how much more I studied than her, ultimately she would get about 8 points higher than me on the real test. Here's what happened: by mid-september i was crapping my pants cuz i was still very bad at games/ name it....while she was doing very well...she was scoring like 166-174 consistently for about two weeks leading up to the test....She took the test in Oct, but i got a refund and waited for December...She ended up getting a score in the low-160s, with which she was extremely disappointed, given her track record....I on the other hand trudged on into December--studying all through November 3-4 hours/day, and ultimately ending up with a score 10 points lower than my best friend (as per my prediction)!!! I was devastated, also because I was consistently getting 161-164 weeks before the test....So that's my story....Oh, also important to note is that I went up FIVE POINTS from my very first diagnostic test (literally the first time i had seen an lsat question) and my best friend went up seven points....This is why I say it's an unlearnable skill...Either you got it or you don't....Another close friend of mine also took princeton review, but from from sept to dec, took it in dec and scored ONE POINT higher (in the low-150s!!!) than she did on her first diagnostic test! Someone else I know scored 165 the first time she ever touched an lsat for practice, then got 168 on the real test....Either you got it or you don't! IT'S NOT LIKE THE SAT! EITHER YOU GOT IT OR YOU DON'T...My princeton review instructor once said that going up 7 points on the lsat is like going up 130 points on the (out of 1600) SAT...From my experience and the experiences of my friends, I'd say going up 7 points is more like going up 200+ points on the SAT. Example: I took the SAT in march of my jr year, got a 1300 (after studying a good deal); in oct. of sr year i got 1430...On the LSAT, i improved FIVE POINTS from not knowing anything whatsoever about the test to having studied my freaking hiney off by the time I took it in dec...FIVE POINTS.
I also know people who took it in Oct, did badly and thought they'd retake it in Dec...and surprise surprise, they did badly again in Dec! That's why i'm adamant about not retaking the test....
I also worked with someone last summer who took it june '04, got in the low 160s cuz she was really sick, then retook it in oct and got in the 170s...that's the only person i know about who went up 10+ points, but i repeat, she had a bronchial infection the first time she took it.
The moral of the story is this: take a practice test under test-like conditions...whatever you get on it, i'm pretty certain you're gonna do about 10 points or less better on the real test...But what do i know? If i were so smart, maybe i would have done better on the lsat...</p>

<p>I see, basically, there's no hope in studying? Yet some members on here seem to say that studying works, and to get old LSAT exams to practice...I don't know. I think I will have to study though, because if I don't, I reckon it will be horrible.</p>

<p>I got in the early 1400s out of 1600 on my SAT without studying or doing any prep, which--come to think of it--was rather stupid. Does that equate to about the early 150s on the LSAT? If I do prep for the LSAT, I at least have a chance of breaking 160, right? Man, this test sounds ultra-difficult...does it help to do certain types of problems? I hear that certain majors do better on the LSAT than others.</p>

<p>You should study for it and drill old exams till taking the exam is almost second nature. Nspeds wrote up some good suggestions on studying for the exam. Sometimes people have big issues with the logic games but there's a book out called The Logic Game Bible or something similar that should be looked at.</p>

<p>If you have some knack for this, you're gonna do well. I don't wanna freak you out, but I'm not kidding when I say it's a lot of what you already have in you. I may be intelligent, or I may be plain average, but I worked really hard at this, and it didn't go well--partially, because I didn't have it in me and no amount of studying could help it (though I prayed to the very last that it could otherwise, and that's why I kept on trying). The other part is that I'm not such a good standardized test-taker. What I had going for me on the SAT and SAT II's was that I studied a lot, and I had gained a concrete level of specific knowledge (math, words, history, biology, grammar, etc.) to do well...That's the story. Sad, but true that the LSAT's gotta be this way, and that it's gotta matter so much. I'm living the hell right now, so no one understands better than I do.</p>