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I don't know what to feel - help [2.91, 142]

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Has anyone ever got in with a 142 score or anything in the 40's range?  I'm disappointed/discouraged but also I am happy in some sense. 

The first time I wrote the test was in Nov2020 where I scored a 134. I tried again 2 months later in Jan2021 where I scored a 142

For both these instances, I lacked preparation big time. Loads of family conflict between. But it is at-least a jump from my first score right?

I guess my chances are very bleak right now for 2021 entry. Most likely need to swallow the fact I won't get accepted. 2022 would be my year... so that being said,

What can you guys recommend for me to do? 

I have the LSAT TRAINER, I am going to also purchase 7stage starting today. Is there anything else I really need if I got these two resources?

ALSO, when should I write my test again, considering that I am working towards the 2022 cycle? August 2021 perhaps? That gives me 7 months from now.

(btw my cgpa calculated by soap is 2.91... but from what I was told by my uni was a 3.33) my last 2 years gpa would be even greater.

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I wrote the October LSAT and began studying in June. I took a prep course with Princeton review and scored a 150 on my first diagnostic and by the end of the course was scoring between around 166-170 each time and ended up getting a 166 on my test. I would 100% take a prep course and if you feel that the LSAT is not one of your strong suits get an early start on that and spend the time between the end of the prep course and your test doing lots and lots of practices.

I have the same cGPA as you and have already been accepted to Calgary. With a score in the 165+, you would have a real shot at a bunch of schools (apply widely) I know how discouraging a low gpa can be during this process but focus on raising your LSAT score, you have loads of time and with enough practice can no doubt get it done :) 

best of luck! 

Edited by legallybrunette866
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Not going to sugarcoat this for you, but with those stats your chances are essentially nil for this year's cycle. 

There is a silver lining in knowing that however, as it frees you up to start thinking about how you can strengthen your position for future application cycles. You should also take some comfort in the improvement you've shown between your first LSAT write and your second LSAT write. 

My advice would be to start studying for the LSAT now with a plan to write it in August or September of this year. That should give you enough dedicated study time to improve your score. Realistically, with a GPA in that range, you're going to want an LSAT in the mid to high 160s at least, so you have a ways to go. Good news is that it's a learnable test. 

If you're just finishing your undergrad this year you should also consider delaying your graduation in order to take some more courses to try to improve your GPA somewhat. 

Edited by PlayALawyerOnTV
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If you lacked preparation and scored 142, imagine what you are capable of if you really put in dedicated study time? You can and will do it when the timing is right! :)

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I hope someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's incredibly rare to get in with a score that low. However, please don't lose hope. A good amount of schools don't average your LSAT scores and instead take your highest score. Aim to write the test again as late as you can to give yourself the most study time possible and in the meantime completely overhaul your LSAT studying. Address your weakest areas and try to really understand what mistakes you're making and why you're making them. 

I personally really liked the powerscore books. 

Hope this helps. Good luck :)

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Hi, 

I have not been in the 40s, but i am also stuck at a lower score, unfortunately, so as much as I wish I could give advice to help you, I'm afraid that i'm not the best source. However, my reasoning for commenting back on your post is just to honestly say that i can relate to you and that you're doing amazing. Don't be disappointed in yourself and celebrate these small wins. Trust me, I know it's very difficult to be content with low numbers when you see everyone else succeeding, but be proud of yourself for what you've done so far and accomplishing this much in your journey. Just keep practicing, drilling, and reviewing and I know you can do it! 

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope 2021 does it for us, but if not 2022 is our year!

On a side note, depending on what section you feel you are struggling with, I would recommend 7sage for games, their videos are very helpful and Brad Barbay for logical reasoning. 

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Above posters have provided you with good advice and I think they're right that the focus should be on improving the LSAT starting from now.

The only thing I would like to add, and this is something I wish I did myself, is to have the right LSAT resources before you write or even register for your next LSAT. What resources did you use for your past two tests? Did you self study? 

Make sure you know what your weaknesses are and prepare a study plan that is reasonable and practical. Give yourself at least 4 months of daily studying before you register. 

There's tons of materials out there but if you are someone who is struggling with the basics, sign up for a class. If you can afford it, HarvardReady offers a great course. Some people can achieve a 170+ within a month of practicing but for others, it takes a bit longer. 

Lastly, I know how disheartening and discouraging the LSAT process can be. Hang in there and don't lose hope :)

Good luck!

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I feel you - I also consistently scored really really low, while my peers who started studying the same time as me would get amazing PT scores. My biggest issue was that I always rushed my studying just to say I studied for the day. This had a really big impact on actually understanding the fundamentals of LG, LR, & RC. I also want to note that you should find a way to study that works for you. I took a prep course (Harvard Ready) but zoom fatigue got to me and I wasn't able to focus during lessons. Once I bombed my first take - I knew I had to do to things completely differently, so I took a different approach of really learning the fundamentals through self studying and I saw 10-15 point improvement. You are in a good spot because it is easier to prep to raise your low score than it is to raise a score in the high 160s/low 170s :) I recommend The Loophole for LR, it really helped me!

Edited by MissRune363
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The LSAT Trainer and 7Sage are great resources, but you will need to go beyond LSAT prep material.

I've heard so many stories of people studying for months, repeating the test, and seeing very little movement in their score. Fortunately, you've already made significant improvement. However, with a below 3.0 cGPA, you'll probably need a 165+ LSAT (assuming you aren't applying with special considerations) to be considered by most schools. To make that big a leap, you'll need to significantly change how you read and even think to accommodate the skills tested by the LSAT. I'd definitely spend a significant amount of time reading the most dense and complex material you can get your hands on to improve your reading speed, comprehension, and reasoning skills. Also, work through every PT available, and be sure to analyze each under a microscope. Good luck!

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A lot of really good information has been shared so I won't bother repeating it - but I think that I could provide some insight as I started out in a very similar situation

My first ever LSAT I wrote was a 145 - I was dumbfounded. I thought I was smart! I read voraciously, I play sudoku, I get good grades... how could I score so far below the median after practicing? I came to the realization that the LSAT measures how well you can take the LSAT, nothing more nothing less. 

Sure you have to read but everyone who's applying to law school can read - and the fact that you can objectively improve your score by employing certain strategies demonstrates that your LSAT score is determined by how you prepare. After my first LSAT I enrolled in 7sage, I heard great things about it from r/LSAT. I can tell you now, it's worth the investment. I managed to raise my score to a 167 when I took the test a year later, it took me about 3 months to work through the cirriculum and then I just drilled practice tests until I was scoring in my desired range. In my opinion, 7sage is the only resource you need, it has tutorials, explanations, and every single preptest created with answer explanations.

I have three pieces of advice that were invaluable to increasing my score using 7sage.

1) Blind. Review. Everything. Most people after writing an LSAT will just check their score and move on - that is singlehandedly the most wasteful thing you could do in preparing for the LSAT. Your wrong answers are a treasure-trove of information about how you can improve. After you write a time-simulated LSAT, don't look at the answers. Instead, start again, but take as much time as you need. Work through every question as dilligently as possible, you need to be 100% certain of every answer. This will take you between 4-6 extra hours per test. Yes it sounds like a lot, but what you get out of it is knowing which questions you understand, which ones you don't, and which ones you could get if you had more time. On my first LSAT I wrote with 7sage, I had an actual score of 152, and a "blind review score" of 160. I missed 8 points from time alone, but seeing your growth potential is a huge confidence booster on its own. 7sage has answers for EVERY SINGLE QUESTION WRITTEN, so take the time to understand every single answer on every single test you write, this is the most important thing you can change for your studying habits

2) Create a schedule and stick to it. Treat LSAT studying like a job. This test is first (and arguably hardest) hurdle on your way to a fufilling and potentially lucrative career - carve out x number of hours per week that you want to study and make it an immutable part of your schedule. The biggest detractor from a test score is a lack of discipline - if you manage to stick to a regular study schedule your test scores will skyrocket.

3) Get off Lawstudents.ca and LSAT forums. The last thing you need is to see people getting 170's and complaining about it. If you want to go to law school, you absolutely can do it. Admissions are forgiving in the sense that you can counteract a shitty GPA with an amazing LSAT - use that to you're advantage. But you're infinetly more likely to be knocked off your path if you're looking at success stories that make you feel behind.

Good luck my friend - I wish you the best on your LSAT journey. Don't give up, this test is conquerable. If Rudy Guilani can make it to law school (and pass the bar), so can you.

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You need to realistically evaluate your ability to self-study your way to a 30+ point increase, because you're in a very different position than an average applicant who starts with a 145 diagnostic and gradually works their way up to a 160 using a prep book or two.  

That difference may require you to do things a little bit differently: consider hiring a private tutor for a few sessions so that they can pinpoint your exact weaknesses, don't submit applications until you're consistently scoring in the 160s, and resist the urge to put timelines on your progression. Good luck! 

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1 hour ago, MissRune363 said:

I feel you - I also consistently scored really really low, while my peers who started studying the same time as me would get amazing PT scores. My biggest issue was that I always rushed my studying just to say I studied for the day. This had a really big impact on actually understanding the fundamentals of LG, LR, & RC. I also want to note that you should find a way to study that works for you. I took a prep course (Harvard Ready) but zoom fatigue got to me and I wasn't able to focus during lessons. Once I bombed my first take - I knew I had to do to things completely differently, so I took a different approach of really learning the fundamentals through self studying and I saw 10-15 point improvement. You are in a good spot because it is easier to prep to raise your low score than it is to raise a score in the high 160s/low 170s :) I recommend The Loophole for LR, it really helped me!

What other resources did you use to help you understand the fundamentals? I'm stuck in the low 150's and mid-high 150's for PT's. I was using the Khan Academy prep but feel like I've plateaued with it. 

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Lots of good advice here. The LSAT Trainer almost instantly took me from a 157 PT to a 165 PT, which i eventually scored even higher than. YMMV but that book really helped things click for me. Really pay attention to how the trainer tells you to approach the test. Slow things down, take some sections untimed, do some blind reviews and really see whats going wrong. Once you have a better grasp on the test and are scoring in the higher 150's, you'll hopefully be losing your points on a number of specific types of questions, as opposed to losing points everywhere. Buy as many of the practice tests as you can afford at this point (if by some crazy stroke of luck you are near me, you can just have my old ones) I used the trainer, Khan academy and the powerscore bibles to target these types of questions specifically and thats what helped me squeeze a couple more points out of the test. Just remember that this all takes time, to be gentle with yourself, and that you CAN do this. 

Edited by birdlaww
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23 minutes ago, Midori11 said:

What other resources did you use to help you understand the fundamentals? I'm stuck in the low 150's and mid-high 150's for PT's. I was using the Khan Academy prep but feel like I've plateaued with it. 

LG - Powerscore LG bible to get the fundamentals down, and then I drilled by question type on 7sage, and then timed sections which I consistently got 0 to -4 on (never really cracked the rule substitution questions)

LR - The Loophole by Ellen Cassidy - she really breaks down each question type stimulus, answer choices, and strategy that just makes it easier to understand. The book is super engaging with drills and pop culture references that made it fun to study lol. After going through the book, I did timed sections on 7sage as well as drilling question types I was weak at. 

RC - I never used a prep book but I did use these tips that others provided me, https://lawstudents.ca/forums/topic/66297-help-reading-comp/?tab=comments#comment-891021 I went from a -21 on my worst RC section to a -7 on my best RC section. Still not the best, but following these tips alone helped me significantly. I also had a strategy to do three passages instead of four if I was slow on time. I found this helpful because I was able to be more accurate on three passages instead of rushing through four with lower accuracy on individual passages.

After understanding each sections fundamentals and strategies, I did practice tests every few days in strict test conditions.

I recently wrote the Jan test using these strategies, I didn't get the most amazing score but I got a score I am happy with! If I don't get in this cycle I will prep for the LSAT more. I think the most important thing is finding prep materials that work specifically for you. My biggest learning lesson through this process was that if something isn't working, it is okay to try other strategies :) 

 

Edited by MissRune363
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Wow... thank you all so much for the wonderful advice you all have given me. Just reading each one of these replies made me smile and feel much better. I really do appreciate you guys for responding to give me some sense of what I need do next.

I know I am most definitely capable of scoring in the 160's range, the only problem for me was that I live in a very disruptive/toxic environment and because of COVID, I do not have any options to make my learning environment any better. I believe, that is one of the reasons why I couldn't prep at all for the LSAT; I just decided to give it my best that I could in the situation I was currently in. So basically to say, I did not use any proper resources for the past 2 tests I did. I briefly browsed KhanAcademy Prep and that was it.

Yes, I know my score is definitely below average and my chances are probably zero for 2021, but I am have come to terms with that and I am now motivated to give it my all for 2022. However, yes I do feel proud knowing I made a decent jump from a score of 134 to 142 within a 2 month time frame and this gives me a lot of hope. With intensive preparation, i'll be capable of scoring a lot higher. I did cancel my first score, the 134 so it would not be shown.

From all the advice given here, I just purchased the 7stage at this moment and will pair it along with the lsat trainer. I'll start my dedication to study from today and work towards writing my next LSAT late this year, around August or September 2021. Sucks that this will be my THIRD attempt at it but oh well.

I have already completed my studies, I graduated in Nov2019 from CarletonU. I think what I can do in terms of my CPGA, is maybe I can take free courses from Harvard, to show initiative. Or... I can simply redo my courses from first/second year that I did horrible in. I don't know which option is wise for the CGPA aspect. 

Do I have a non-law school plan B? - Honestly, becoming a human rights lawyer is my dream and I will fulfill it, whether it takes me time or not. Since I now believe I have been backed up by another year to get in, in the mean time I will be applying to jobs and try to work in the government that relates to my field of study. I graduated with a BA Honours in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Law.

Thank you all once again, kindness is such a beautiful thing.

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There's a lot to unpack here.

12 hours ago, Audicious said:

Yes, I know my score is definitely below average and my chances are probably zero for 2021, but I am have come to terms with that and I am now motivated to give it my all for 2022. However, yes I do feel proud knowing I made a decent jump from a score of 134 to 142 within a 2 month time frame and this gives me a lot of hope. With intensive preparation, i'll be capable of scoring a lot higher. I did cancel my first score, the 134 so it would not be shown.

I'm sure that you can improve your score, but for context a 134 is a 4th percentile score and a 142 is a 15th percentile score. I encourage you to do whatever you can to prepare, but being realistic you should be aware that you are quite significantly lacking in natural aptitude for the LSAT. In addition to this, your GPA means that you will need a decently above-median LSAT score to be competitive anywhere. That's a long way to go.

It is learnable to an extent, but you are going to need to put in a lot of work and take advantage of every resource available to have a shot here. And I think that this thread has been unduly optimistic and the idea that absolutely anyone can receive a competitive LSAT score with enough time and effort is actually a damaging rather than a helpful one, that ends up wasting some peoples' time and money and making them feel like shit.

12 hours ago, Audicious said:

From all the advice given here, I just purchased the 7stage at this moment and will pair it along with the lsat trainer. I'll start my dedication to study from today and work towards writing my next LSAT late this year, around August or September 2021. Sucks that this will be my THIRD attempt at it but oh well.

There is no purpose in writing an official LSAT again unless and until you are getting respectable scores on practice tests. Focus on improving and getting reliably decent PT scores first.

12 hours ago, Audicious said:

I have already completed my studies, I graduated in Nov2019 from CarletonU. I think what I can do in terms of my CPGA, is maybe I can take free courses from Harvard, to show initiative. Or... I can simply redo my courses from first/second year that I did horrible in. I don't know which option is wise for the CGPA aspect. 

I'm open to correction, but I'd be surprised if those free HarvardX were for credit and recognized by Canadian universities for law school admissions GPA calculation purposes. Triple check that before going that route. I'd love to be wrong about this (and if I am, please emphatically call me out for it here for everyone to see, because that would be a great resource for applicants if legit).

12 hours ago, Audicious said:

Do I have a non-law school plan B? - Honestly, becoming a human rights lawyer is my dream and I will fulfill it, whether it takes me time or not. Since I now believe I have been backed up by another year to get in, in the mean time I will be applying to jobs and try to work in the government that relates to my field of study. I graduated with a BA Honours in Criminology and Criminal Justice with a concentration in Law.

Can I ask what you envision being a "human rights lawyer" entails? I ask because it's a label that law school applicants tend to use far more often than law students or lawyers. And depending on what your conception of that is, it's very possible that you could do work more closely aligned to it at a non-profit (or something similar) with a bachelor's degree as opposed to being an actual lawyer (with less time, effort, expense, debt considerations, etc).

Edited by CleanHands
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There are only two possible scenarios that can save you and get you a competitive LSAT.

1) You are in the boat of people who look at LSATs and have no idea what they are doing. Some of my non-law-school interested, yet still smart, friends are in this boat. You need to know basically how to map an LG question in short hand; you need to know how much time you can allocate to reading a passage in RC so you get through all four sections, etc.

2) You are the type of person who bombs under pressure what they have to do an "official" test.

For the first problem, study the LSAT. For the second problem, work on stress management. 

Overall, though, you might have to accept that law school might not be right for you.

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Copying the advice I gave to somebody else:

This will sound a little harsh but scoring 142 means that you're missing 56-57 questions on average. There aren't that many questions in a single test that hinge on logical subtleties, which means that there are still significant parts of the core curriculum that you don't understand yet. Your understanding should be at a level where you're able to explain the question/concept in writing, which means that it's not a bad idea to practice writing explanations for questions to see if you really get them. This process also helps other people assess your understanding. You can cross reference your explanations with the free ones on the Manhattan Prep forum and the LSATHacks blog.

It's not enough to understand concepts like sufficient and necessary conditions. You should also be able to apply them without hesitation. This has to do with timing - you shouldn't be happy with getting an easy question (usually the first 10-15 questions in a section) correct if it took you 3 minutes and had trouble deciding between two answer choices. Review all the questions that you "spun your wheels" over, even if you got them right.

Edited by stbajeff
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Sounds like a motivation problem. My diagnostic was 135, first test was 145, and this was all about 2 years ago. I couldn't manage to study more than 1 or 2 weeks at a time. Saw little improvement over time and I had all the resources most here have mentioned - 7sage, trainer, etc. I just scored my goal in the 160s, but it was definitely a battle. If motivation is the problem, I would suggest getting a tutor and/or going with a prep course that has class like sessions. I haven't tried LSAT Lab, but their highest tier subscription has weekly tutoring and they have on going classes during the week. They got a lot of free materials on YouTube I used during prep and they seem to know their stuff, I would say their explanations are better than 7sage for LR and RC (not sure of LG, but I assume J.Y. is a god at this so I didn't bother looking into any other method). 

With your GPA, you will definitely need 165+  to get in a school. It's not going to be easy, starting in the 130s means you have a lot of deficient skills for this test (I know from experience). BUT, with the proper guidance and being consistent, you can get there by the end of this year. I would register for LSAT Lab or get a tutor on 7Sage that can guide you through the CC and give you tips as you progress. 

I know if I would have got a tutor or went with a more traditional type of prep, I would have probably cut my study time in half. I half assed a lot of the prep (haven't fully finished trainer, haven't fully finished CC on 7sage, and many other books/courses I haven't finished either). This was never a problem for me in undergrad as I had other people I was competing with and assignments and tests that kept me accountable. Hard to go from that to keeping yourself fully accountable. 

Any questions, I'm more than happy to help. Just send me a PM!

EDIT:

Sorry didn't read all of the comments before posting the above, but @CleanHands comment and any others that are negative here on this forum; don't look into them. I am a classic example of someone who can go from the 130s to the 160s and I half assed most of the studying. If I had got a tutor and had been motivated, I think I could have easily gone up to 170+. Yes, it takes time and dedication; but this test is 100% learnable. I truly believe anyone with an average IQ can get 165+. Although there are diminishing returns after 165 as each question you get wrong is worth so much more points; and yeah some questions aren't going to click for someone for a long ass time no matter how long you study. But a lot of the test up to 165, its common sense and learnable; you can definitely get a score in the 165 to 170 range if you put in 100% effort. It's good you got a 7sage subscription, the community there is way more supportive than this one and there are MANY LSAT takers with a similar starting point like you who have improved to 170+.

Edited by LSATGRIND69
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