How I Got My 180

BPPshinners-lsat-blog-180

My first reaction to my LSAT score was disbelief. If it was a “most strongly supported” question, I would have picked: “(A) – The LSAC software generated a place-holder score report with a 180.”

Why? Did I luck into that 180?

In short, yes. Anyone who gets a 180 lucked into it. There are too many small things that can go wrong on test day to guarantee perfection. That’s why only somewhere between .02% and .03% of test takers receive the score – with ~100,000 individual tests taken, that’s between 20 and 30 with a perfect score each year.

Here’s some advice and information from 10% of them (both from among the Blueprint students who received a 180 this year).

Josh and Elizabeth both received a perfect score on the October LSAT (which was no easy feat – prion disease is a killer, both in the real world and on the LSAT).

As far as their initial goals, both were aiming high – 170+, quickly shifting to 175+ when their instructors talked to them about their initial diagnostic. However, neither was aiming for a 180. That’s a smart move – it’s not a score you can guarantee, so setting your sights at a more likely LSAT score and hoping for perfection is the way to go.

And that’s what both saw during their practice. While Josh earned a 180 on a practice test, his average was more modest. And Elizabeth never broke 176. I’m closer to Elizabeth, with an average closer to 174 heading into my test day. Learning to excel under pressure is just as important as learning the LSAT material!

Neither Josh nor Elizabeth felt like they had attained perfection when leaving the test center. Both felt good about the test (which is a rarity – I almost canceled my score because I felt awful coming out of the test center), but they each had reservations about a few questions.

Similar to my reaction, our two students were each in a state of disbelief. Elizabeth logged in and checked her full score report before believing it. Josh, on the other hand, dropped a jar of pasta sauce because he was so shocked. We here at Blueprint imagine it swirling slowly towards the ground, classical music playing in the background, like a scene from The Godfather. Apparently, though, Josh’s reaction was, “I ain’t even mad.”

So how did they reach this pinnacle of LSAT ninja-dom?

Both relied on the Blueprint materials, utilizing class time to get the basics down. They both took a number of practice tests outside of the class – Josh doing one every week. They both worked through the problem sets from the homework and some of the extra problem sets available from the student pages.

So it seems like it comes down to hard work.

Finally, some advice from both of them:

Elizabeth:
“My advice would be to complete all of the assigned homework according to the class schedule. The skills needed to do well on the LSAT cannot be learned overnight, so it is crucial to practice consistently over a period of several months. Also, I recommend not becoming too absorbed in your LSAT studying because you will end up becoming bored with the material. On test day, I still viewed the LSAT as a fun challenge, which I believe helped me stay focused throughout the entire exam.”

Josh:
“If I was going to give advice, I would say that it’s all about diagnosing your weaknesses. I figured out that Reading Comp was my worst section and that I always struggled with finishing it in time. I worked a little extra on that and eventually it just felt like it was coming to me when I would read passages. Once I got to a point where I felt like I could get every question right if I had enough time, I started doing more full tests to work on the timing, and I think that is what really put me over the top.”

So good luck in your own pursuit of perfection! But, remember, 180s come from preparation AND luck, so if you fall a few points short, you’re still in great shape.

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