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Urgent Inquiry on LSAT Test Date

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Hi,

So I am a bit nervous on what is the right thing to do...

I want to apply for law school for 2021. I just recently decided I want to pursue law school which means I generally have less time on my hands.

I majored in criminology and law in terms of my undergrad therefore I am well versed in terms of writing multiple choice tests like LSATS and I believe I acquire enough knowledge and expertise to do good on it. But I can be wrong about that. 

I was thinking of writing the LSATS on Oct. 3rd but I just learned that it is non-disclosed. There's a LSAT Test happening in Nov. 14th which is disclosed, however, its after the deadline of applying to law schools (Nov. 1). There doesn't seem to be an issue with that as most law schools are accepting LSAT scores that are written by January 2021. 

Now my questions are: 

1. Does it matter if I write a LSAT Test that is disclosed or non-disclosed? Due to my circumstances (that I have only about 2 months to prep and study)... is it better for me to write the October test or the November test?

2. If I go with writing the November test, would it impact my application in anyway?

If anyone can provide me with some guidance, I would greatly appreciate it!! 

Thank-you!

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Posted (edited)

https://www.lsac.org/lsat/taking-lsat/lsat-scoring/disclosed-nondisclosed-lsats

 

Just fyi, the difference between disclosed and non is that you either get your answers back or not. It would be helpful to know where you went wrong, especially if you haven't started studying yet.

November is better than February, but I think you may be over thinking. Take the test when you feel ready, so long as you don't exceed the February exam. Some schools only take exams January and prior, I believe. 

Edited by castlepie

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Also the lsat has almost nothing to do with knowledge of the law or criminology, your undergraduate background will not help you significantly. To really get a feel for the lsat you need to write a practice test under timed conditions to see what your level is at and how much you need to study

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3 hours ago, Humaza493 said:

Also the lsat has almost nothing to do with knowledge of the law or criminology, your undergraduate background will not help you significantly. To really get a feel for the lsat you need to write a practice test under timed conditions to see what your level is at and how much you need to study

Agree with this. Without a diagnostic you won't know whether you should do October, November, or January. But I will say that most people need more than 3 months. 

https://7sage.com/the-three-worst-lsat-mistakes/


Don't rush a test like the LSAT. It's one of the major components of your law school application and it's not good for your headspace. Come back with a score (maybe it's really good!) and we can help you more. The kind of score band you would need also depends on what your GPA is (cGPA, L2, B2). Of course the better the LSAT score the better but if you've got an amazing GPA then that at least gives you more room to breathe.

One thing to note about disclosed vs. not disclosed. If Flex ends up continuing, there's a good chance that a disclosed administration might end up becoming non-disclosed. And I would bet that Flex continues through until at least the end of this year, with how COVID is still messing around with everything. 

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4 hours ago, Humaza493 said:

Also the lsat has almost nothing to do with knowledge of the law or criminology, your undergraduate background will not help you significantly.

IIRC criminology is one of the undergraduate backgrounds that scores the lowest on the LSAT on average.

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Posted (edited)

It should be noted that the LSAT is a standardized aptitude assessment test, not a multiple choice exam for an undergraduate course primarily designed to assess your information retention and recall abilities within the scope of a certain subject area. While certain broad strategies you may have learned during your undergraduate to facilitate multiple choice exam taking may be cross applicable to the LSAT (for example, disqualifying glaringly incorrect answer choices first before comparing two or three likely correct answer choices), not all will be.

As someone who also completed a degree in criminology before applying to and receiving an offer of admission to Osgoode amongst other schools, I can promise you absolutely no class material you may have covered and internalized will be relevant to the LSAT; the LSAT assesses test takers' analytical and logical reasoning abilities, as well as their level of reading comprehension. This means that you must develop an understanding of how the LSAT will assess your analytical and logical reasoning abilities, as well as your reading comprehension level to do well on the test; any substantive knowledge you may have about the topics or subjects covered within LSAT questions across each section of the test will not help you.

2 months; in my personal opinion; is not enough time to sufficiently study for the LSAT, except for persons who- following multiple diagnostics- can consistently attain scores in the mid 160's to low 170's. Take a diagnostic LSAT (under timed conditions which mirror those on test day) to determine what level of understanding of the test you are starting from, and THEN decide when to schedule your first official attempt.

Edited by LabouriousCorvid

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, CleanHands said:

IIRC criminology is one of the undergraduate backgrounds that scores the lowest on the LSAT on average.

I'll never forget, during orientation for my undergraduate the department chair asked a full lecture hall of 1st year crim students how many wanted to be lawyers. Nearly the entire room raised their hand. 

There are a handful of crim majors in my law school class year (including myself) at best lol

Edited by LabouriousCorvid
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Hey, I took the November LSAT last year and got in, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. Other people are right though, 2 months isn't a whole lot of time to study. I would take a diagnostic and check out 7Sage. On top of studying for and writing the LSAT, you also need to write multiple entrance essays, contact your references, pay for applications and tests, etc. Law school isn't going anywhere. If you wait another year, dedicate a solid chunk of time to the test and then score well, you'll be in a great position for the 2022 cycle. 

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I'm going to concur with other answers here and say a couple of months is probably not enough time. A lot of people dedicate ~4 months full-time to studying for the LSAT. I did 9 months "part-time."  The latest you can write it to apply for the 2021 cycle is January, as you noted, but the rest of your application has to already be in, and writing that late delays assessment of your file. Any exam earlier than that won't cause a delay.

If you take a diagnostic and you're already scoring around or over 160, you might be able to pull it off depending on your GPA. But you'd still have to research what schools you're interested in, write a personal statement for each one you want to apply to, get references, figure out your finances, how willing you are to move, etc. I'd suggest waiting until next Fall to apply, and that way you have lots of time to research and to study. If you're dead-set on applying this year, I would wait to take the November or January LSAT.

No undergrad program prepares you for this exam more than another. Occasionally on practice tests, a RC passage will talk about something I'm familiar with, but it's mostly from information I've learned outside my major. 

 

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23 minutes ago, lh22 said:

I'm going to concur with other answers here and say a couple of months is probably not enough time. A lot of people dedicate ~4 months full-time to studying for the LSAT. I did 9 months "part-time."  The latest you can write it to apply for the 2021 cycle is January, as you noted, but the rest of your application has to already be in, and writing that late delays assessment of your file. Any exam earlier than that won't cause a delay.

If you take a diagnostic and you're already scoring around or over 160, you might be able to pull it off depending on your GPA. But you'd still have to research what schools you're interested in, write a personal statement for each one you want to apply to, get references, figure out your finances, how willing you are to move, etc. I'd suggest waiting until next Fall to apply, and that way you have lots of time to research and to study. If you're dead-set on applying this year, I would wait to take the November or January LSAT.

No undergrad program prepares you for this exam more than another. Occasionally on practice tests, a RC passage will talk about something I'm familiar with, but it's mostly from information I've learned outside my major. 

 

I think it’s pretty rare for people to study 4 months full time for the LSAT.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Sambo1261 said:

I think it’s pretty rare for people to study 4 months full time for the LSAT.

Is it? I've heard a couple people reference somewhere in the ballpark of that number (or use their summer to study, which is also a four month period). I suppose it also depends on what someone considers full time?

I just did a quick Google search and different sites are recommending 3 - 6 months, depending on how many hours per week you dedicate. For the 3 month end, I see ~20 hours a week. If you extend that to 4, that's around 18 hours a week to hit the full 300 hours, no?

Edited by lh22

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Posted (edited)

  Whether a test is disclosed or undisclosed is of little import to the application process. It depends on whether you want to see which questions you got right or wrong. 

 300 hours of study is what is generally recommended as preparation for the test. You may need more or less than this amount.  Assuming you need about 300 hours to study, taking the test in October means studying about 43 hours per week and taking the test in November 14th requires you study about 23 hours a week. Personally, I'd recommend taking the test in November because the LSAT is not a test you can cram for, and you're more likely to absorb the particular way of thinking it requires over a longer period of time. Plus, just from a stress management perspective, taking the test in November is best. 

Your degree in criminology will do nothing to aid you in taking the LSAT, but just because Crim majors tend to score lower on the test, doesn't mean that you're at a disadvantage. Beware of faulty statistical inferences. I think the reason why you have a lower average score for Crim majors is because a larger segment of their population wants to be lawyers. This may mean that just because of the sheer size of interested applicants, they're more representative of society at large, and given that the LSAT is a pretty hard test meant to search for above average applicants, more Crim majors will get a lower score. On the other hand, it could be the case that Criminology is a discipline that attracts people who score lower on the LSAT than other disciplines. In this case, you might want to worry. 

Edited by GoblinKing
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300 hours of studying for the LSAT strikes me as excessive. I think that advice tends to be for American schools, where you actually need a strong LSAT to get into a good school, not Canadian schools where mediocre scores are the norm  

Really, OP needs to write a diagnostic. Any advice regarding timing is useless until then. They could get a 165 and easily be ready in a month, or they could get a 130 and need to plan to study extensively. 

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5 hours ago, BlockedQuebecois said:

300 hours of studying for the LSAT strikes me as excessive. I think that advice tends to be for American schools, where you actually need a strong LSAT to get into a good school, not Canadian schools where mediocre scores are the norm  

Really, OP needs to write a diagnostic. Any advice regarding timing is useless until then. They could get a 165 and easily be ready in a month, or they could get a 130 and need to plan to study extensively. 

[7]Sage advice.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, lh22 said:

Is it? I've heard a couple people reference somewhere in the ballpark of that number (or use their summer to study, which is also a four month period). I suppose it also depends on what someone considers full time?

I just did a quick Google search and different sites are recommending 3 - 6 months, depending on how many hours per week you dedicate. For the 3 month end, I see ~20 hours a week. If you extend that to 4, that's around 18 hours a week to hit the full 300 hours, no?

Dunno about you, but I’d consider 40-50 hours a week full time. I’m personally taking 2.5 months “off” and planning on studying full-time during that while working part time and I consider that a bit excessive. I also think people posting online are mostly exaggerating the amount of time they spend actually studying.

Edited by Sambo1261
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1 hour ago, Sambo1261 said:

Dunno about you, but I’d consider 40-50 hours a week full time. I’m personally taking 2.5 months “off” and planning on studying full-time during that while working part time and I consider that a bit excessive. I also think people posting online are mostly exaggerating the amount of time they spend actually studying.

The exaggeration is probably true. I only did somewhere between 100 - 150 hours, despite my long time frame. If I had to do it again I would never drag it out that long - I only had a consistent schedule a month before the exam because I had two separate burnouts from the long haul. 

Not sure if you've just started studying or not, but I assume you're taking the September or October LSAT, right? Best of luck in any case! 

Also, to OP - I did suggest waiting instead of trying to cram, but if you go ahead with this best of luck to you too. 

 

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I wanted to add that for me,  studying LSAT is more like changing and improving the way of thinking. It is a skillset. It does take time for my brain to adapt and changing the old habit of thinking.

I think over a time lapse of few months is easier for the brain to build up that muscle and change habit despite how many hours have been studying. Also this is not a type of study that can put 20 hours straight to memorize stuff. The most challenge for me is to have a fresh mind to read and analyze the argument. Find the best time that is uninterrupted and have a fresh mind. If you look into that probably only 6-8 hours in a day is max.

Hope my 2 cents help.

Good luck

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, many2021 said:

I wanted to add that for me,  studying LSAT is more like changing and improving the way of thinking. It is a skillset. It does take time for my brain to adapt and changing the old habit of thinking.

I think over a time lapse of few months is easier for the brain to build up that muscle and change habit despite how many hours have been studying. Also this is not a type of study that can put 20 hours straight to memorize stuff. The most challenge for me is to have a fresh mind to read and analyze the argument. Find the best time that is uninterrupted and have a fresh mind. If you look into that probably only 6-8 hours in a day is max.

Hope my 2 cents help.

Good luck

I think this is fair portrayal of how studying for the LSAT changes one's subjective experience of reasoning about and with different stimuli. One could argue that, if law school teaches you how to think like a lawyer, and to think like a lawyer requires a certain set of logical and analytical reasoning abilities, the LSAT assesses your capacity to learn those abilities necessary to be taught to think like a lawyer.  

Edited by LabouriousCorvid
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Hey everyone, 

I'm in a very similar position as @Audicious, but was wondering if it would be best to write the October AND November LSAT? 
Most schools take either the higher score or the average, so would that be the best way to go? 
And then, worst case if those still aren't satisfactory, take the January one as well? 

 

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28 minutes ago, halloitskiko said:

Hey everyone, 

I'm in a very similar position as @Audicious, but was wondering if it would be best to write the October AND November LSAT? 
Most schools take either the higher score or the average, so would that be the best way to go? 
And then, worst case if those still aren't satisfactory, take the January one as well? 

 

If money is no object, then possibly. Your two concerns would be burnout and the LSAT retake limits (3 per year, 5 in a 5 year period, 7 overall). 

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