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 Tnkim
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#13162
Hey Dave,

I just took the LSAT and I'm feeling pretty confident about it. The first three sections, I definitely just completely demolished, and the last two sections I think I did fairly well. The first three were two LR's and 1 LG - I think one of the LR was an experimental, but hey, it doesn't matter, they were just totally owned, both of which I finished, somehow, with more than 4 minutes to spare (which honestly never happened to me before). The LG section was just totally wrecked - I finished it with around 3 minutes left and checked the questions where I wasn't too sure - all of which were okay after making sure the other answer choices were not acceptable, except one, where I changed the answer because after glancing at it, I quickly realized my mistake, and chose the other answer (where I was split in between the two). The first three sections were just mine.
The last two sections were LR and RC. The LR section was a little harder, but managed to finish with a minute to spare, and checked my answers on the last page to make sure they were okay. Although it was a little harder, I finished on time (which doesn't usually happen on the harder LR for me most of the times) and all in all, I was able to check the last page pretty adequately, and I think I did pretty well on the section.
RC was, like usual, the hardest section, but not only did I finish with several minutes to spare, I was able to quickly glance at my answers, which I wasn't sure of, and corrected one of them that I know was going to be wrong because I misinterpreted what the answer choice stated, and realized that mistake, and picked an answer I was pretty confident in, but again, wasn't too sure only because I wasn't able to quickly refer to the passage - they called time.

An the essay section.. well, it was a breeze. I used up all the space allotted and although I don't think my argument was as strong as it could've been if I just brainstormed my ideas earlier, I think it was good enough.

My biggest worries coming into the test was timing. Ultimately, when I was going through the sections, I realized I was the first to turn the page among my peers on every section and even realized I lapped several people in terms of the pages on the LG section.

I feel really good and I can't believe it's over. I can't stop myself to think: what if I mis-transferred my answers? what if the answers I thought were right were actually wrong? what if i misread the question stems?
But I realized I was pretty diligent about reading the question stems, and reading the answer choices, and if I were to make a mistake, there's honestly nothing I could do about it now.

I think this is the best I've performed yet, although I keep having doubts about my RC (can't help it - I just wanted more time to look over ALL my answers on it to be safe), but it was a great experience.

Thanks Dave for all your help. It means a lot - I stayed positive, and ultimately, I think I pulled through.
Your help was indispensable!
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 Dave Killoran
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#13180
Hi Thomas,

Thanks so much for the update. I was really looking forward to hearing from you, and its awesome that you feel this good about your performance. It sounds like you were able to take the stress of the LSAT and turn it into positive energy and focus. That is a major achievement, and instead of letting it get you down, you used it to your advantage. Congrats!

That post-LSAT second-guessing process is very typical and everyone has moments of that. You sound like you have it under control. When scores come in early January you are the first person I'm going to want to hear from. Fortunately I know that in the interim you'll be waiting for those scores with anticipation, not dread 8-)

I'm glad I was able to help out, but you did the heavy work and you really worked hard to apply what we talked about. I'm proud of you :-D Congrats again, and let me know if I can help you out in any way while we wait for the scores to be released.

Thanks!
 Tnkim
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#13204
Definitely, you will be the first to know!
The last two sections are what I'm worried about - I'm hoping my feelings about these sections aren't just overconfidence, which I realize happened a lot during the final weeks coming up to this exam. It doesn't matter now, but these doubts linger anyways. As you can tell, I'm excited, and maybe more anxious to get my scores ASAP (I really want to know!!), but I'm going to be focusing on the personal statement for now.
Is there any general advice I should adhere to in terms of writing the personal statement? I know for a fact that my letters of rec (2 of them) are very strong because the professors and I had a pretty close relationship during and post-class, and they turned in the LoR before November.
Was there anything I can do to enhance my personal statement or maybe tips to avoid in writing?

Thanks Dave!
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 Dave Killoran
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#13206
I completely understand how you feel :-D The score release cannot come soon enough.

As far as the personal statement, I have many thoughts. Let's start here: if you haven't already, check out the Personal Statement seminar I held recently, available for free at http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/#free-lessons (see the very last link). That provides a ton of information and establishes the basis for how we think about the personal statement.

Second, in our LSAT Free Help, there is an Admission portion, and we cover a lot of ground about applications and personal statements. See http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/index.cfm, and then click on the Admissions tab for that.

Last, you should also check the Admissions portion of this Forum at http://forum.powerscore.com/lsat/viewforum.php?f=9. We've taken a lot of questions over the years on this topic, and there is a lot of good info in there :-D

That's a start! Let me know when you have questions or want to discuss ideas for an essay draft. Thanks!
 Tnkim
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#13885
Hey Dave!

Got back my score really late last night (it was totally unexpected for me) and received a 167. I'm proud of the score, but honestly, I feel like I could've done better. Just looking through my answer sheet, I realized there were several answers where I put the right answer up first, but changed it to a different one. All in all, the section I thought I was going to do worst in was a section I actually did well in, which was the 2nd LR, missing 3. I was actually pretty surprised I missed 1 on my LG; kind of pedantic, but I really thought I missed 0 on that section.

Anyways, thanks for all the help Dave. Sorry I didn't hit that 170. But your help was definitely integral to my prep. And I'm actually pretty happy about being 3 points short. Acknowledging the fact that I jumped 24 points since the beginning makes me feel pretty good! Of course, I couldn't help constantly nagging myself last night and this morning about those few answers I shouldn't have changed, but my overall feeling about my LSAT score is content and pretty happy.

I'm still writing my personal statement, but I'm about to finish up.
I remember in the beginning, you were telling me that a 168 would definitely put me in the safe spot for law schools, and I actually ended up with a 167.
Do you think I'm eligible to apply to 2-3 t14 schools? What do you think my game plan should be in terms of sending off my applications?
Thanks Dave. I really appreciate your help.
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 Dave Killoran
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#13890
Hi Thomas,

Thanks for the reply! You know I was eagerly awaiting your update :-D Let me first offer you my congratulations on the 167—that's a great score!

Next, my first thought was even though you didn't quite reach 170, the fact that you set that bar probably helped you get higher than you otherwise would have. After starting at 143, a lot of people would have said they wanted a 160, but by going after a 170, you ended up getting very close and overall doing really well.

Finally—and I'll expand on this later—this test has some sneaky difficulty to it. With a -14 scale for a 170, but no obviously superhard game or passage, you know there are a lot of really attractive wrong answers floating around in the questions.

Definitely move forward with applying to some of the T14s—you have a shot. Specifically, just from the numbers, your best chances are the schools you would expect: Northwestern, Georgetown, and Cornell. Are your chances great? You know I always answer honestly, and the answer is no. It's less than 50% at Northwestern and Gtown; Cornell is the best shot: see the Cornell graphs over at one of my favorite websites, LSN, for the best visual representation. There are a lot of people with your numbers who were accepted last year at Cornell. So, for the other schools, you'll need to jump off the page and grab their attention with your personal statement (and as I mentioned by personal message earlier, I'll read through yours this weekend, but the opening looked promising :-D ).

Again, congrats on the score! You are living proof that you should always set your goals as high as possible; even if you fall just barely short, you still end up doing exceedingly well 8-)
 Tnkim
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#13893
Thanks Dave!

I was going through the PowerScore Youtube series, particularly the 4th video, which is the Letters of Rec one. I understand that the "softs" or the ps, lor, and resume, will only be looked at once the lsat/gpa number checks out. I checked out the Law School Numbers graphs and looked at the current cycle and last year's cycle and it looks like I'm on the borderline for a lot of them. Kind of a stupid question, but I just want to make sure, would my numbers qualify for my softs to have a chance at being looked at with the borderline schools?
I know my lor are very strong (or my professors tell me they are) and I think my resume too (I've been in 4 different types of extracurricular activities like student gov, student alumni association, etc. and 3 jobs - one of which I worked as a legal assistant). However, for my extracurriculars, 3 of the 4 positions I took were directorships in regards to video and cinematography. I love filming, but they have nothing to do with law or law school, and I'm wondering if those positions wouldn't count as actual positions taken in the eyes of law school admissions?

And thanks for reviewing my personal statement. I've been told by several of my professors that I use too many robust vocabulary words on my paper. I took that into account when I wrote the ps, but I can't help to feel that maybe I should even tone it down a little further. It's definitely a recurring theme, so let me know if I was too wordy! :)
 Tnkim
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#13903
Hey Dave!

Sorry, another question: if an essay is optional on top of a ps, then is it recommended to write one?

Thanks Dave!
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 Dave Killoran
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#13909
Hi Thomas,

Your numbers are good enough that they are going to look at your entire folder. So, your softs are going to come into play here, and they'll be looking for a reason to put you in the class if they can find one (or keep you out, if there is something negative). As far as extracurriculars not directly related to law school, those are no problem at all. The key with ECs is that they show a depth of interest. In that respect, you'd much rather have five ECs based around one activity unrelated to law school as opposed to five ECs based around five different activities. What you are showing the committee there is that you have interests in your life, and that you aren't involved in a surface manner--you go deeper than that. what they want to see are people who get involved and make a difference. It doesn't matter if that is filming--they'll be ok with it :)

I read your essay and sent you back a set of comments. I'll leave it at that for now and we can discuss it directly 8-)

Last, it's recommended to write the optional essay if you have something viable to say. If you feel like there's something more that you want to express, then definitely do so. But don't write the essay just to write it; it won't come off well and it will seem like you are a bit superficial. Use it if you can use it to your advantage.

Please let me know if that makes sense. Thanks!
 Tnkim
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#13921
Hey Dave,

Yes everything makes sense! Thanks Dave. :) I'm really relieved now! It's nice to know that my file will likely be fully reviewed! And I was a bit worried of my resume, but taking what you said into consideration, I think it may actually be decent. I just have to definitely polish it a little.

About the "why ________" essays, is there anything that law schools are looking for in particular?
Should I do research on the school and pick out facts that I like about the campus and describe them if I don't have a reason beyond receiving the best education I can get?

Thanks again Dave.

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