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HumanCalculator

Should I avoid writing the LSAT? Advice needed.

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Hi friends. Essentially here's my situation: I'm a QC resident and ideally would like to study law and practice here in QC. By far my #1 choice would be McGill, however I would be content with studying at UdeM. This cycle, I unfortunately only applied to McGill and was refused. While they did not provide a specific reason, they did say that this year was especially competitive. I'm hoping the fact that I just completed my undergrad in the summer, whereas last cycle I applied in November with a little over 30 credits remaining. I'm also hoping that a better personal statement and another summer to work on some EC's will give me a better shot. 

 

Now the reason why I've been getting a lot of anxiety from the LSAT is because truthfully, I've been studying the past two weeks, and while I know it is not a lot of time to gauge my true potential, I am not entirely confident that I can achieve a preferable score in time for the November LSAT. Of course writing it will provide me with more options in Ontario, but I'd be disappointed to end up below 160 (below McGill's median among those who do write) and hurt my chances at my #1 school. It's tough to consider the possibility of studying for the next 4 months to achieve a score that would otherwise hurt my chances at my #1 school, but it would also be very unfortunate to not write it and be left once again with no options. It may also be worth mentioning that I just finished my undergrad this summer with a 4.0/4.3 GPA.

 

Apologies if this seems like a silly predicament, but the past couple weeks have been very anxiety-inducing for me given all this uncertainty and some advice would be very appreciated. 

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Before making a decision re. writing or not, have you tired taking a few timed diagnostic tests to get a sense of what you might score on the real test? 

You might surprised yourself with how well you do. Or it might confirm that it's best to apply without an LSAT score.

 

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LSAT is not as difficult as you may think - there's an initial learning curve because you are training your brain to think in a certain way that is not directly intuitive. With practice, you will become better. Give yourself more time to write the LSAT if you think you need more than 4 months. You can apply for QC schools concurrent to writing the LSAT. There's also absolutely no rush at all to get into law school, so try to take it easy.

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4 hours ago, HumanCalculator said:

Apologies if this seems like a silly predicament

I'm sorry, but it really is, when nothing in your post suggests you've even taken a diagnostic test. Nobody can really provide any helpful advice unless you can let people know where you're landing there. You need to do a diagnostic test and let people know how it goes if you want any meaningful feedback.

2 hours ago, capitalttruth said:

there's an initial learning curve because you are training your brain to think in a certain way that is not directly intuitive.

Respectfully, I completely disagree with this statement. For some people the LSAT is extremely intuitive and a competitive score can be achieved with minimal or no studying or effort. And while it's learnable to an extent, other people will never be able to achieve a competitive score regardless of how hard they work towards it. Of course, this is an individual thing and one's mileage will vary, but the OP hasn't provided enough indication for anyone to get a handle on their innate aptitude yet.

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@HumanCalculator

The LSAT is a very learnable test. A lot of LSAT success comes from learning the specific strategies for each question type, perfecting them and developing muscle memory (autopilot).

In my opinion, learning how to take the LSAT is more like learning how to play an instrument than studying for a test. You have to get the mechanics down first. If you're anything like the vast majority of people, you can't expect to score 160+ right away, the same way you can't expect to play a Bach suite on piano within your first week of piano lessons. 

Breaking 160 in 4 months is definitely doable depending on your study schedule and what resources you use. I did it in 3 and my diagnostic score was abysmal. I couldn't even make it through a single game. It was bad.  

If I can give you some advice, try to relax and trust the process. Studying for the LSAT has the tendency to make people feel dumb or inept, especially at the beginning. It sure made me feel that way when I started. 

I'm willing to bet that that if you were smart enough to get a 4.0/4.3 GPA, you're smart enough to score 160+ on the LSAT. Can you do it in 4 months? It's certainly doable. But if it takes you a bit longer, that's perfectly fine too. Like capitalttruth said, there's no rush to get into law school. 

Best of luck, and feel free to PM if you have any questions. 

 

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I figured I could bump this thread since I've had some more practice and have a better feel for how I may perform.

 

I'm PT'ing in the low 150's right now, I can't say that the test is coming along as well as I had hoped it would, particularly for reading comprehension, where my results can be very volatile. As mentioned, my main concern is staining my application for McGill by achieving a 150 range LSAT, I'm not certain that November is very realistic for me to perform as well as I had hoped for. I'm entertaining the idea of writing in January, as I don't think it's too late for any Canadian school, but again, I'm not 100% certain that I should if I can't get my score up in that time. 

 

Maybe I should be posting in the McGill forum, but does anyone know what the application process would be like if I submit all my documents by the deadline, but I am not sure as to whether or not I'm actually going to register for the January LSAT? Like would I be able to go "ready for review" and then decide after the deadline that I want to write in January and then later disclose it? What if I indicate on my application that I intend on writing in January but then decide against writing, would my application for McGill be cancelled? Ultimately, I'd like to attend McGill, but would settle for a Civil Law QC school, but of course if I can't get in anywhere in QC it would be disappointing to delay by yet another cycle if I don't write the LSAT.

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It was my understanding that yes, November is more preferable since it is earlier but January would be a completely viable option, as they will accept it and while my application will be delayed, the majority of acceptances only happen later in the cycle (again, as I understand). 

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1 minute ago, HumanCalculator said:

It was my understanding that yes, November is more preferable since it is earlier but January would be a completely viable option, as they will accept it and while my application will be delayed, the majority of acceptances only happen later in the cycle (again, as I understand). 

No, it is not "more preferable" - your file will be incomplete and not  reviewed until the January scores are released. No idea how long that takes (late Jan, early Feb?) McGill reviews files on a rolling basis. Yours won't even be reviewed until after the first round of acceptances occur. I was accepted in Jan/Feb (waaay back in the day). Not to argue semantics but McGill explicitly warns you of potential consequences so I  fail to see how that is a completely viable option... I mean, it is technically an option, but I'd hardly qualify that as viable.

You have a killer GPA. Is U Ottawa French Common Law an option for you? Or the civil schools? Heck, a 4.0 with 155+ could land you in some of the GPA-centric schools lie Ottawa's English Common Law. And it may not exactly eliminate you from McGill either - you might need to rethink your application package. I was accepted (again, a while back) with a 3.8/4.3 and no LSAT from the same uni you graduated from.

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