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LSAT D-Day: Postpone or Power Ahead?


D-Day is coming. Quickly.

If you check out the LSAC website, you will see that this Sunday, November 15, is the deadline to postpone your test date.

Actually, if you are stuck in the 1980s, fondly remember legwarmers, and own the Jane Fonda Workout video, then today is the day to FAX the news over to LSAC. But those of us who have actually figured out our way around the information superhighway have until Sunday.

To give you some history, this was not always how it worked. Until this year, students could postpone their test date right up until game day. You used to be able to wake up on test day and just decide whether or not you were going to take the test. But no more.

There has been loads of discussion related to the strategy for changing your test date. Here is some advice from the bird guy that preceded the last exam.

Since you are still three weeks away from test day, significant improvement is still possible, if not probable, with some hard work. In my mind, there is only one reason why you would want to postpone your test date at this time. If you are more than 15 points away from your happy score and you will be able to continue to study for a later test date, then you should think about it.

(By happy score, I do not mean your dream score. I mean a score that you would be happy with. Yes, a 168 would be awesome, but you would probably be happy with a 164. This is akin to choosing a spouse. We would all love to find a 10, but most of the time we are thrilled with an 8.)

If your score does not improve as much as you are hoping in the next few weeks, this does not mean that you are forced to walk in and take a beating at the hands of this damned test. You can just not show up and a “no show” will appear on your LSAC record. Now that might make you uneasy. Nobody wants to be seen as a quitter. However, law schools have reported to us that having a “no show” on your record is not a big deal at all.

Believe it or not, all three of the following candidates are in a very similar position when it comes to admissions.

Candidate 1: LeBron

December 2009:      164

Candidate 2: D-Wade

December 2009:      No show
February 2010:      164

Candidate 3: Kobe

December 2009:      Cancel
February 2010:      164

Yes, I am aware that you are probably not competing against NBA all-stars in the admissions process (and that it is highly dubious that they would be scoring anything near a 164), but my point remains the same.

Now, there is a big caveat here. You only get one mulligan. If you cancel or “no show” more than once, that could start to have an effect on your chances. We like to give people a second chance, but a third chance? If you meet someone who has been to rehab, hey, we all make mistakes. If you meet someone who has been to rehab twice, well, other than saying “Better luck next time, Lindsay”, it starts to raise some real questions.

So there it is. Now get back to studying and don’t let all of these thoughts about canceling and retaking and rehab cloud your thoughts over the next couple weeks. You should be solely focusing on upping your score.

In my next post, I will channel my best Miss Cleo-esque psychic powers and make some predictions about the December test.