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Should I Cancel My LSAT Score?


Today’s post comes from Ann Levine, president and chief consultant at Law School Expert. Ann is the former director of law school admissions at two ABA-approved law schools and the nation’s leading law school admission consultant. Law School Expert offers hourly and beginning-to-end consulting, and Ann has personally guided over 2,000 law school applicants through the law school admission process. Ann is also the author of the bestselling law school admission guidebook The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.

You have 6 days to cancel your LSAT score, and there is no advantage to canceling on the first day. Take your time, sleep on it, and see how you feel when the exhaustion has passed. And, when you wake up, here are some things to try to consider objectively before canceling your LSAT score:

Was this your first time taking the LSAT? It’s a bit safer to cancel a score when you still have two more opportunities in front of you. If this was your third time taking the test in 2 years, you have to be pretty sure the results aren’t going to be better than your previous scores in order to risk throwing away your last opportunity for a better score.

Was this your second time taking the LSAT? If so, you need to make a strategic decision about whether you can be ready in December. That will be your last chance for this admission cycle. And if you aren’t ready in December, or decide not to take the test for some other reason, you may decide to postpone your application cycle in order to maximize your chances of improving on your third LSAT attempt. I know there is a rumor going around that taking the LSAT three times is “bad.” It’s not “bad” if you improve your score, or if you can still submit applications in January. It’s only “bad” if it shows lack of judgment because your three LSAT scores are the same, or if you cancel your first two tests and everything rides on the third and then the third doesn’t go well.

How would you rate your anxiety level? If you felt no anxiety during the LSAT, there is something terribly wrong with you. Of course you felt anxious. The question is whether the anxiety interfered with your ability to perform on the test. For some people, a moderate level of anxiety actually heightens their awareness and focus. If you found yourself becoming distracted after a particularly jarring question, but within a few questions you recover, then you may not want to cancel your score: a new question type or insecurity over a response is normal. However, if it got to the point where you were totally thrown and unable to recover, even on a new section of the test, you may want to cancel your score.

Was lack of preparation the problem? Sometimes eavesdropping on other LSAT takers and hearing how much they prepared for the test, that they took ten timed practice tests and worked with a private tutor, can cause people to realize that they did not do nearly enough to prepare for the LSAT. If this is the case, consider that if you wait for your October score, you’ll only have a month to prepare for the December test—which isn’t a lot of time—but if you get started now, you’ll have two months to turn things around. Of course, you can prepare for the December LSAT without canceling your October LSAT score—or waiting for scores to be released.