Archive for the ‘LSAT’ Category

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Happy Dance!

December 28, 2009

I woke up this morning to find my December LSAT score sitting in my Inbox. Turns out, it was worth taking the test again, after all! September’s score: 157. December’s score:

160

I’m very happy with a 3-point improvement, and that score is what I was originally shooting for. It brings me from “maybe having a chance” for getting into CU and DU to “having a solid chance.”

Percentile-wise, I went from 72 to 81. Big difference!

Even though logic games was still not my strongest section, my score in that section improved dramatically. It really helped to study for it and having that section first instead of last. My logical analysis sections were also very strong (for me). In fact, one of the sections was my best ever, even on practice tests. Surprisingly, the reading comprehension section gave me a bit of trouble. I typically get no more than 4 questions wrong on that section, but for some reason I really struggled with it this time and got 9 wrong. If I had gotten 5 more questions right in that section, it would have put me at a 163. So that’s the only downer, but overall I’m happy.

Now it’s crunch time! I’ve got my personal statement 2/3 written. I’ve got to finish that this week, no excuses. I’m also waiting for LSAC to show the second LOR in the database. Until that comes in, I’m a little stuck, too. My goal is to apply to CU and DU before the end of the week. Wish me luck!

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Glad THAT’S Over!

December 5, 2009

Today I took the LSAT for the second time in hopes of a higher score. I was so not into it this time. I don’t suppose that’s good, but at the same time — no nerves.

I won’t rehash the whole boring thing for you again, but I will point out some differences. This test was on the same campus as my first time but in a different building. The first time, I was tucked into a tiny little auditorium chair with an itty-bitty fold-down desk for work space. This time, I was in the actual Law building, which has roomy, cushy chairs and tables for work space. Nice!

Last time, they crammed several hundred people into the auditorium. This time, we were split up into classrooms, and I was in a room with about 50 others. The same room, in fact, where I spent Discovery Day. It’s a newish building, and DU is very proud of the fact that it is “green.” It’s beautiful, but apparently, green = freezing to them. My toes were like icicles.

The administration of the test was also radically different. Last time, the proctors were incompetent and probably overwhelmed. Procedures were lax, and it would have been so easy to cheat or at least bend the rules. This time, the proctors were very methodical and strict — which is fine with me.

Unfortunately, I had a sniffer/snorter sitting right behind me. It really started to get to me and I had trouble focusing. During the break I anonymously slipped him a stack of my tissues. He used them and the situation improved dramatically in the second half. I can handle the occasional sniff, cough, or sneeze … but chronic snorting of the snot back into the sinusus I CANNOT TAKE!

As far as the actual test … I’m guessing I did very similar to my first test. I am not expecting a big difference. I am cautiously optimistic, however. While last time logic games was my 5th section, this time it was my first section, which I was hoping for. Since it’s the most difficult section for me, I wanted to attack it with a fresh brain. In my experience, it’s better to complete only 18 questions and get 16 right, than to finish all 24 questions and get only 9 right. So I took it more slowly this time. I finished 20 out of 23 questions and I know for a fact that I got more questions right than last time.

The Logical Reasoning sections were pretty typical and I’m guessing I did about as well as I usually do.

I had two Reading Comprehension sections, so the first one is tossed. I’m glad about that because I didn’t feel real good about that one. I usually do pretty well on RC, but this time I surprised myself by taking much more time than usual to complete the sections. I’m not sure why that is … I can only hope that going slower means better accuracy. I’m a little concerned because the five-minute warning occurred while I was still reading the last passage, which means I rushed through the final five questions. On the up side, that passage was easier than the other three.

I did terrible on the writing section. I admit it. By that point I just didn’t care. I mean, it’s passable, but it’s not nearly as good as my first essay. Thank God it’s not scored. Now I am just hoping the admissions boards decide not to read that part. I don’t think it’s bad enough to hurt me, but not good enough to give me an edge. *sigh*

So now it’s wait-and-see. No matter what happens, this is definitely the last time I’m taking that test — EVER!

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Wishing logic games were actually fun

November 9, 2009

I’m taking advantage of two weeks of relative quiet in my home to focus a lot on my LSAT prep, and logic games in particular. I bought a logic games tutorial at Border’s just so I can put extra emphasis on that. I can’t say I’m enjoying myself. I’ve done 10 games in the last 24 hours, and so far all I can say I’ve accomplished is that I’ve identified which type of game I like best: ordering.

Oh, did you know there are three types of games and some hybrids? No? Lucky you.

The book contains 100 games, and my hope is that by the time I reach 100 (if), I have a pretty good handle on it, at least enough to improve my score by at least 3 points in December.

I discovered it’s better to take my time and finish only 16 or 18 questions, rather than rush through and finish them all. Typically, when I finish only 3 games, I get almost all of them right. But when I rush through, I get at least half wrong. So the lesson is to just not let time pressure get to me and make sure I’m confident of my answers, even if I am a bit slow.

Of course, the point of doing all this practice is to get good enough at the games that I pick up my speed. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m shooting for at least 3 entire prep-tests each week as well. I’ve taken two tests in the last two days and got 158 on both of them.

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Well, I did it

October 27, 2009

I registered to retake the LSAT on December 5. I have to say, I pretty much had to hold my nose and do it. I’m not looking forward to it, and worse, I’m not motivated to prepare.

However, $132 is a lot of money, and the possibility of a better score is important, so November will be yet another month of preparation. I’ll have to spend more time on logic games and see if I can nail that section down better.

Right now, though, the idea of running a bed and breakfast is really appealing.

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LSAT Score

October 16, 2009

I was expecting to get my LSAT score by email on Monday, October 19. I got a nice little surprise and received it today, around 9:00 p.m.

157

That is my score. I am still processing this. It’s lower than I was hoping for. 72 percentile. Eh. Right now, I’m not sure what this means for me as far as moving forward with the whole law school thing. My husband wants me to go ahead and apply or even retake the test. I am sort of feeling like I don’t want to. I’ll mull it over.

While a bit disappointed, I’m not surprised. It’s smack-dab in the middle of my prep-test score average. I suppose it’s about what I should have expected, although I felt good about it afterwards, thinking it could be higher than that.

I was happy with my performance on the Reading Comprehension and both Logical Reasoning sections. They were at or even a little above my typical prep-test performances. But the fifth section, the last one, was my most difficult–Analytical Reasoning (a.k.a. “logic games”). I don’t know exactly what happened, but I crashed and burned on that section. If I could have held to my prep-test average for that section, I would have scored around a 160. But I was fatigued at that point, and it’s my weakest area. Out of 23 questions, I only got 9 right. I have NEVER done that badly before. I have NEVER gotten more than half of the questions wrong–even if I didn’t finish. I’m a little annoyed with myself because I changed a lot of answers in that section, and it turns out that for four of them, I changed the answer from right to wrong. ANNOYING! Too much second-guessing myself, I suppose.

I needed 5 more correct answers in order to score a 160, which was my minimum goal. Just five more!

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Understanding the LSAT Scores

September 27, 2009

People keep asking me what score I hope to get. And when I tell them, they ask what that means. So let me help you (whomever you are) out.

The LSAT scores range from 120 to 180, with a 180 being a perfect or near-perfect score. According to Wikipedia, the median score (50th percentile) is 151. Someone wrote to me once:

I had a 174 on my LSAT…got in everywhere I wanted.  Had friends with 4.0 GPAs and recommendations from Senators and had LSAT scores of 150 or so and only got into third tier schools. 
But, if the LSAT is not high, but is above 160, a great personal narrative might get you ahead of other 160 candidates with similar GPA.

Now that is anecdotal evidence to be sure, but it gave me an idea of where I wanted to score. That, and I looked at ABA Law School Data on the median LSAT scores for some law schools’ admissions (CU-163, DU-159, and for the heck of it, Harvard-173). Based on what I could find, I was shooting for a score in the 160s at least. That would guarantee (theoretically speaking) a spot at DU and a pretty good shot at CU.

Wikipedia has some more information:

Adjusted scores resemble a bell curve, tapering off at the extremes and congregating near the median. For example, an examinee who scores a 175 may have missed only 3–5 questions more than an examinee with a 180. However, the number of uncredited responses that separates a 155 from a 160 could be 9 or more. Although the exact percentile of a given score will vary slightly between examinations, there tends to be little variance. The 50th percentile is typically a score of about 151; the 90th percentile is around 163 and the 99th is about 172. A 178 or better usually places the examinee in the 99.9th percentile.

So if I get anywhere around a 163, I have every right to be proud of myself. My prep-tests ranged anywhere from 152 to 166, averaging around 157. However, I do think I did quite well on the real thing compared to the prep-tests, and I feel confident of at least a 160. I would be thrilled with anything more than that; I would be over the moon with anything approaching 170. It’s not likely, but not outside the realm of possibility. I told myself if I score a 170 I will apply to Harvard just for the heck of it.

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Sample Analytical Reasoning Questions

September 27, 2009

Just to give you an idea of what the LSAT can be like, here are a group of questions from the Analytical Reasoning section of one of the prep-tests. Give yourself, on average, about 1.4 minute to read and answer each question. This whole section should take only about 8.75 minutes.

Six reviewers–Frank, George, Hilda, Jackie, Karl, and Lena–will review four movies–Mystery, Retreat, Seasonings, and Wolves–according to the following conditions:

  • Each reviewer reviews exactly one movie, and each movie is reviewed by at least one of the six reviewers.
  • Hilda reviews the same movie as Frank.
  • Lena reviews the same movie as exactly one other reviewer.
  • George reviews Mystery.
  • Jackie reviews either Mystery or else Wolves.
  • Hilda does not review Wolves.

1. If Lena reviews Seasonings, which one of the following must be true?

  1. Hilda reviews Retreat.
  2. Jackie reviews Seasonings.
  3. Karl reviews Mystery.
  4. Karl reviews Retreat.
  5. Karl reviews Wolves.

2. If Karl does not review Seasonings, which one of the following must be true?

  1. Lena reviews Mystery.
  2. Lena reviews Retreat.
  3. Lena reviews Seasonings.
  4. Frank and Hilda review Retreat.
  5. Frank and Hilda review Seasonings.

3. Which one of the following is a complete and accurate list of the movies each of which could be the movie that Lena reviews?

  1. Mystery, Retreat
  2. Retreat, Seasonings
  3. Mystery, Seasonings, Wolves
  4. Retreat, Seasonings, Wolves
  5. Mystery, Retreat, Seasonings, Wolves

4. Which one of the following can be true?

  1. Frank and George review Mystery.
  2. Frank and Lena review Wolves.
  3. George and Jackie review Mystery.
  4. Karl reviews Wolves and Lena reviews Mystery.
  5. Lena reviews Retreat and Frank reviews Seasonings.

5. Lena can review any of the following EXCEPT

  1. Mystery with George
  2. Mystery with Karl
  3. Retreat with Karl
  4. Seasonings with Karl
  5. Wolves with Jackie

6. If Karl reviews the same movie as exactly one other reviewer, which one of the following is a complete and accurate list of the movies any one of which could be the movie that these two reviewers review?

  1. Mystery, Retreat
  2. Mystery, Seasonings
  3. Retreat, Seasonings
  4. Mystery, Seasonings, Wolves
  5. Retreat, Seasonings, Wolves

Correct answers: 1) 1;  2) 5;  3) 5;  4) 5;  5) 2;  6) 3