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LSAT Diary: Score Release Wait

LSAT Score Release Wait Diary
UPDATE: Lisa got a 175!

Here's what she wrote:

"I got my LSAT score yesterday and was thrilled to find out that I got a 175. I really want to thank you for all the information you put on your blog and for offering the 3-month-study schedule that I followed...There's not enough I can say to thank you."

If you want to be in LSAT Diaries, please email me at LSATUnplugged@gmail.com. (You can be in LSAT Diaries whether you've taken the exam already or not.)

Please thank Lisa for her advice below in the comments!

(And see her previous LSAT Diary here.)

Lisa's LSAT Diary:

The window by my desk looks across the snow-covered roofs of dozens of houses in my sister’s subdivision in south-central Wisconsin. When I first began studying for the LSAT, the roofs were not covered with snow; rather the trees were covered with leaves: green leaves, then shades of orange and red. Now the leaves are gone, and my comfortable schedule of getting up, studying for the LSAT, making dinner for my husband and sister, watching The Office, and going to bed, has ended. The December LSAT has come and gone, and I’m left reluctantly facing the real world again.

Last year, my husband and I celebrated Christmas in Taiwan (where houses are condos, crowded together in multi-story buildings, and not a flake of snow is to be found). The season was marked with excitement: Despite having no idea whether any of our plans would turn out, we had decided to go ahead and leave our jobs in the spring, travel around Europe for three months, and move 13 time zones away to Wisconsin, where I grew up. We turned our backs on the security of jobs or even a good back-up plan because we both knew that the time had come to move on.

Eight months later, some of our plans had fallen through but new and unexpected ones had emerged. Like my plan to go to law school, and our plan to live with my sister and brother-in-law until we found jobs. I soon discovered that studying for the LSAT was much more rewarding than looking for a job. After all, when I finished a PrepTest, I was only a minute away from a score. I never heard back from most companies I sent resumes to. Yet a strange dichotomy emerged: Somehow I could regularly snag scores of 172 and up on PrepTests and yet couldn’t seem to figure out how to get someone to notice my resume. As strange as this may sound, the LSAT had become a method of procrastination.

And procrastinate I did. I followed the 3-month LSAT study schedule. I took 20+ PrepTests. Slowly, PrepTest after PrepTest I began to see patterns in logical reasoning questions, the section I most needed to improve. The correct answer for necessary assumption questions, a weakness, started to take on a certain “feel.” I came to relish sufficient assumption questions for the relative simplicity of “connecting the dots” to make the conclusion work.

I improved my speed and accuracy on long parallel reasoning or parallel flaw questions by carefully diagramming the stimulus and then mimicking that diagram with dots and arrows beside each answer to see if the argument followed the same flow. I wrote out why the correct answer was right for every logical reasoning question I got wrong.

When the actual LSAT came in December I was confident and ready. The LSAT had truly “become my friend.” The LSAT had restored my confidence in my academic abilities. Six years of work had made me wonder if I had the mental stamina to “hit the books” again.

When I started studying, I realized two things: The college student in me was long gone, and that was a good thing. As a college student, studying was simply something I did. As an unemployed professional, studying was an investment that could possibly see a return as scholarship funds. As a college student, the world and all its choices lay ahead of me. As a married woman pushing 30, I was becoming more deliberate about my choices because I realized they come with an opportunity cost.

Now I am left waiting for my score, finishing up my applications and finally facing the job market. Just this past week I lost an opportunity to work at a law firm as a paralegal because I honestly answered pointed questions about my future plans. Realizing that my honesty would probably close the door on any full-time, permanent positions, I am now looking for temporary jobs. Fortunately, the people in staffing agencies seem to think there is a place for out-of-work editors and I already have a promising job lead. In the meantime, if you need something proofed, let me know.


Update:

I got my LSAT score yesterday and was thrilled to find out that I got a 175. I really want to thank you for all the information you put on your blog and for offering the 3-month-study schedule that I followed. I was unsure at first about using so many preptests as a part of prep, but quite a lot of advice I found seemed to support that, and now I am very glad that I decided to go that way and study on my own. After a while, it seemed that I had reached some sort of "plateau," but I really do think that consistently working on my weaknesses and studying each test (each question) thoroughly helped me to improve so that the last 5 or 6 tests before the LSAT my average was at 175-176. How I was able to actually score my average despite test nerves, I don't know, though I do have to thank LSAC for giving the December LSAT such a generous curve.

There's not enough I can say to thank you. I absolutely recommend self-study for anyone who has the initiative and discipline to keep at it. I think I was able to do better through self-study rather than a program because I had to depend on myself and not a teacher for my test prep.


Photo by carbonnyc



3 comments:

  1. Nice story- and one I can relate to.

    I also set out to study as a means of procrastination. Like you said, it kind of gets to be fun after a while!

    Hopefully we get our scores today! (nice job on predicting Monday, Steve).

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  2. Haha, I said if I had to guess. There was good reason to believe it'd be Monday.

    Maybe, after seeing my guess, LSAC just decided to mess with me by not releasing them on Monday.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wouldn't put it past them. They're sly- like a fox. Foxes? Foxi? Nope, just fox.

    What were we talking about? Stupid ADD...

    ReplyDelete