LSAT Diary: Retaking and Improvement

LSAT Blog Diary Retaking Improvement
This installment of LSAT Diaries comes from LSAT Blog reader Andy, who improved his LSAT score from 154 to 169 after following my 4-month day-by-day LSAT study schedule!

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Thanks to Andy for sharing his experience and advice, and please leave your questions for him below in the comments!

Andy's LSAT Diary:
I will admit it. I was one of those slackers that don’t seem to put much effort in studying and still manage to pull through exams without many scrapes or bruises. Seeing how well I did on all the standardized testing in my life, I thought the LSAT would be no different. I worked with a few practice tests a couple weeks before my test date. Although the score range on my practice tests were particularly large, I decided to go through with it. To say the very least, it was not my best performance. After I received my test score in my email, I banged my head on the wall. Twice, to make sure that it hurt.

Following that fiasco, I decided to retake the exam with better preparation. While looking for tests tips online, I came across the LSAT blog. Comparing it with all the other options out there, I decided it was right for me. I followed Steve’s 4-month day-by-day LSAT study schedule because of my full time job and community service obligations. The first 2 weeks took some adjustment finding time to study, and most of it occurred during my 2-hour commute on public transportation. Transitioning into timed practice tests became a greater difficulty with schedule restraints. Most of the full prep tests happened on the weekend and some on the weekday with nearly daily review.

When test day came, and I was filled with adrenaline. My thought going in is that I had to have studied harder than some of the test takers today. In the end, I scored a 169- 15 points higher than my first official LSAT examination.

I picked up a few things from going through this experience in prepping:

1. Review. Take a break. Review:
For my first initial preptests, I was flabbergasted behind some of the reasoning for the correct answers. On rare occasions, I would spend up to an hour thinking of why B was right over A until I got it. It almost didn’t seem worth it. I revised my strategy for reviewing, circling the questions I really didn’t understand and coming back to them after a nap or a nice run. Mental breaks from problems allowed me to approach the question again from another perspective; whereas without it, I was still stuck in a particular train of thought.

2. Work with a small desk:
I mainly studied on a small, cheap IKEA desk in my room. It was flimsy, bothersome, and pretty similar to my test center conditions. Because I was used to tiny desks normally, I didn’t have to fiddle around like the other test takers around me to adjust on test day.

3. Talk to people:
It can really help to ease the nerves, especially approaching test day. Talking to people before the exam helped, it made me realize we were all nervous people ready to get this over. It also made me realize that quite a number of people were retaking and that it was a-okay.

Photo by bdorfman

1 comment:

  1. lsatggrl12511251June 28, 2019 at 3:46 PM

    Was your low score held against you? I'm in a similar situation. PT scores ranged from 165 to 171 but on test day I was under the weather and managed to psych myself out to the point of having a panic attack during RC and absolutely butchered it. I ran out of time halfway through passage 3 (something I've never done before) and ended up with -16 on RC alone. Since I took RC first, my performance on the rest was shakier performance than usual given that I was aware of my screw up and panicking about how badly reading comp had gone instead of giving the rest of the test my full attention. I ended up scoring a 155 (on par with my first diagnostic) because I let family convince me not to cancel despite my gut feeling. Because of my practice test scores, I feel decently good about scoring 167-170 on September 21st (focusing on reading comp and taking a very different approach to studying all together) but I am concerned about Law schools averaging the scores or otherwise holding the 155 against me because of the large disparity I expect between scores. I'm hoping to go to Fordham and am concerned not only with admission but with qualification for scholarships (3.5 GPA).