Thank for the questions! Let me try to address a few different points here, and see if we can improve your chances.
The first question you ask is, are "any of these worries are valid?" That is in reference to, "my age, limited valuable/applicable work experience, low UGPA, a cancelled score, a 157, and the fact that Im taking my third! LSAT so far after my last one." The only two that are a concern there are your UGPA and your work experience. Your age isn't a problem (it's a slight plus, actually), and the cancellation, 157, and third LSAT score do not matter these days since they take the highest LSAT score and ignore the rest. As noted on our blog by our friends over at Spivey
, "the reality is that only the high score is submitted
to the ABA and it is therefore the only score USWNR will ever see. Thus, the high score means everything and the only thing to a school's median LSAT and rankings, and all other scores/takes are meaningless
for reporting purposes" (the bolding is in the article).
Your UGPA is a worry since it's below 3.0, and you also show a negative trend at the end (schools prefer a positive trend over time). There's not much that can be done about that now, however. As for work experience, I can't tell if this is a problem or not. Law schools aren't overly concerned about your work history (not in the way business schools are, at least), so if you've just had a series of normal jobs, you are fine.
At the every end of your message you said, "Im currently in the mid 160s range (diagnostic 154, lowest 163, highest 168) and according to the LSAT Calculator, Id need at least a 167 to have a 50% chance of acceptance into my target schools, and a 169 to have a 75% chance."
The first part here is really useful because it shows you've done your research and that you know what you need to offset your GPA, and that if you can score in that range that you have a decent chance at your target schools. And with a high score of 168 in the bag and a current average of around 166 or so, you are legitimately within range of getting what you need, or even higher (and we all know that every point counts at this level). So that's great news!
The concern I have is with the remainder of your message: "I don't know if my confidence is high enough to assume that Id gain the ability to maintain at least a 167 on every PT between now and October (three weeks)." If you've followed me on this Forum for any length of time, you've seen me repeatedly talk about confidence and the necessity of a positive attitude. I'm like the high priest in the church of positive thinking! (hey, I wrote the LSAT Bibles, so we might as well continue with that theme here
). I truly believe that if you don't think you can obtain a certain score, it's not possible. And, this one mystifies me because you are already so close to getting what you need. It's not like it's 20 points away. So, this is the big thing you need to work on in the next few weeks. You've got to have your Matrix moment ("He's beginning to believe!
") before you step into the October LSAT.
I've written quite a bit about positive thinking (and even did a seminar on it), and so I'm going to link to some of that here. I hope that you read and watch each one of these, and that you absorb it all and make it your own:
- Our Free Test Mentality Seminar, which can be found at http://www.powerscore.com/lsat/help/#free-lessons, it's about the 6th link down. That seminar is about how to mentally approach the test and how to be as aggressive as possible.
Blog: Tom Brady and the LSAT, at http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/bid/326 ... d-the-LSAT. This is more info on test mentality, and probably my favorite blog I've ever written.
And, you might find this whole LSAT Discussion Forum thread interesting, as it is what generated the Tom Brady blog. Plus, you might see some similarities between yourself and Thomas, the student I was corresponding with: http://forum.powerscore.com/lsat/viewto ... f=2&t=4666. It's long, but really informative and he ended up with a 24 point increase
Blog: Andy Murray's Motivational Notes and the LSAT, at http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/andy-mu ... d-the-lsat. Even the great ones need support and motivation.
Blog: How to Increase Your LSAT Score Simply By Using Your Nose, at http://blog.powerscore.com/lsat/how-to- ... -your-nose. Another great example of the power of your mind, and even more links to LSAT test mentality articles.
Last, I'll leave you with this quote from Michael Jordan, followed by a final thought:
- "I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." —Michael Jordan
Failure on practice LSATs is the best possible thing that can happen to you. Why? Because each time you miss a question, you learn about what you need to get better at. Don't look at a low score on a practice test as a bad thing. Look at it for the opportunity that it is, and then capitalize on it. You are really close to your target score. You can do it—you just have to believe in yourself and work hard.
Please let me know if that helps. Thanks and have a great weekend!