--> divine angst: it's over

Saturday, October 02, 2004

it's over

So the LSAT is over.

My test administration took almost exactly five hours, from check-in to get-the-hell-outta-there. I feel pretty confident about the test—nothing seemed particularly difficult or unfamiliar. I was lucky to get a reading comprehension section for my experimental section; I just don't know which one of the reading comps will count since I had them both in a row in the first half of the test.

My proctor was sort of odd—she was obviously unused to reading aloud and often stumbled while reading the instructions. She was also pretty snappy with the fellow helping her out, at one point snapping her fingers sharply and pointing at him to pull the room door shut. We had one clown in the room who didn't listen to instructions well and when he began writing the "I certify that.." statement on his answer sheet before she'd instructed us to, she got a little pissy.

Anyway, it's over and done with, and I am pleased. I feel that I did as well as I could have done—I don't feel like I needed to study more or take more practice tests. I think my score will pretty accurately reflect my abilities on the LSAT. (Note that I say "on the LSAT," since I'm not convinced the LSAT measures anything but how well you understand the LSAT.)

I'd thought about making this post a recap of what I did to prepare for the test, but as I began writing it, I saw how terribly boring such a post would be. So instead of including a long narrative about my prep, I'll give just a little recap:

I did not take a prep course because I am cheap and believe prep courses are a waste of money. This is my opinion and my opinion only, so don't take offense if you took a prep test to good effect. I just can't justify it, mostly because, again, I am cheap.

I used the Logic Games Bible to learn about games, since I bombed the games on my first diagnostic.

I also used Kaplan 180 to get further practice on games and some insight into Logical Reasoning. (Once I felt I'd improved as much as possible on games, I went to my next worst section, Logical Reasoning.) Kaplan 180 is actually a pretty good book for getting extra practice. But it's not a good book for someone just starting out—there's a lot of presumed knowledge in the writing of it.

I only took 8 practice tests, and my average score was not terrific. But my score tracked upwards over time, enough that I feel I did well enough today to get into a least some of my target schools.

I can't recommend my approach to everyone, or even anyone. I am a good test taker, and my score on first practice test was high enough to get me into many schools. But because of my particular geographic restraints on where I go to law school, and my desire to make myself as marketable nationwide as possible after law school (so I can go where my husband needs to go if he has obligations to fulfill for his degree, etc.), I knew I needed to do better. As I said, though, I am cheap, so I went the self-study route. It won't work for everyone.

One final note: I am sort of on the non-trad cusp—I've been out long enough to have a career and a life, and law school was never in my "master plan." But I haven't been out long enough to be really "non-traditional"—I'm only a few years older than most law schools' students' average age. At any rate, I felt sort of odd taking the LSAT today, as several college students were chatting with me about things, clearly assuming I was still in college. (I look really young for my age, and in fact was carded tonight at dinner. It doesn't really upset me, but it's a fact of life that I often look twelve.) I don't know where that observation was going, it's just an observation. There were two older gentlemen in my test room, but no older women. I wonder what statistics there are on non-traditional women in law school—how many there are, whether or not they have kids and prior careers, etc. It's just something I'd be interested in seeing.

Update: I forgot to mention that my wonderful husband bought me good-luck flowers last night. They smell like honeysuckle and are in such lovely fall colors. :::::sigh:::: he's a peach.