Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

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gmreplay
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Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby gmreplay » Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:55 pm

I think I messed up pretty badly on the LSAT today (didn't do well on the LG, did well on the first, experimental, reading and poorly on the second). So now my issue is whether to cancel the score or to just get it and take the test again. Will schools prefer to see a nasty 160-163 on the admissions form, or a nasty cancelled score?

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beach_terror
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby beach_terror » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:24 pm

If you're sure you did poorly then cancel. Take a few weeks off then start studying again.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:29 pm

Almost all schools just take the highest score these days. If this is your first test, go ahead and wait it out unless you're ABSOLUTELY sure you bombed it. I've seen people be surprised and end up with much higher scores than they thought they had when they walked out. If it comes back badly, just study some more and retake in June, knowing practically every school will take the higher score.

Amelie
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby Amelie » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:31 pm

I had a similar dilemma after June, and I ended up not canceling. HUGE REGRET... I wish I had known about TLS at the time. If you really think you did poorly, and are interested in applying to HYS, cancel.

gmreplay
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby gmreplay » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:33 pm

Why the regrets, maggie? I'm not interested in the top 3, I can't make the cut. I'd love to go to Michigan, but at this point the highest I could reasonably expect was a 166.

Amelie
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby Amelie » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:40 pm

.
Last edited by Amelie on Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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booboo
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby booboo » Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:50 pm

I would go with your instincts, if they usually pan out correctly for you. I am like maggie, I wish I had canceled in September after an atrocious RC section, but, of course, I had two RC sections. I re-took in December, scored much closer to where I was originally expecting. Of course, as maggie also noted, it won't matter if you aren't interested in HYS. Columbia and NYU (NYU steadfastly) claim to average or at least consider the average, but cycles of retakers seem to show that isn't readily apparent.

:).

gmreplay
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby gmreplay » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:11 pm

So if I'm thinking Michigan and below I generally don't have to give a damn about one bad score? (yes this was my first run)

Norwood
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby Norwood » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:32 am

I was sure I bombed my december lsat cuz i was sick but didn't cancel since it was my third time. I regret it because i did bomb it and had to write an addendum.

Why gamble? Just cancel, prepare for the lsat again, and lock up the high score this June. You'll be in great shape for next cycle. I think a cancel + high score is easier to explain than a bad score + high score.

lawman335
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby lawman335 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:45 am

i better suggest you to retake the test as your score is very low........

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kumba84
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby kumba84 » Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:46 am

I'm really thankful I decided to cancel my first test. I debated about it for awhile, but my gut told me that I did a lot worse than I was PTing, and after taking the test the second time, I know I did so much better and would have regretted not canceling the first time. I know it sucks to feel like you're throwing away all that effort, but you should trust your instincts.

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kazu
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby kazu » Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:11 am

vanwinkle wrote:Almost all schools just take the highest score these days. If this is your first test, go ahead and wait it out unless you're ABSOLUTELY sure you bombed it. I've seen people be surprised and end up with much higher scores than they thought they had when they walked out. If it comes back badly, just study some more and retake in June, knowing practically every school will take the higher score.

+1... it really depends on how accurate you usually are about predicting your score. If you are aiming for HYS though, then you might be better off canceling based on gut instinct since they are known to usually average, but otherwise I would suggest you wait it out. Like vanwinkle said, I've also seen a lot of people be pleasantly surprised with their much-higher-than-expected scores.

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JCougar
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby JCougar » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:19 am

Don't cancels show up on your LSAC report as well? I can't see how much worse a cancel could be compared to getting a low score and then scoring higher. Most schools care about the statistics they report to LSAC more than anything else, and they only have to report your top score. Unless you're applying to HYSCCN, which can afford to be picky, I'm not really sure a low score is much worse than a cancel.

Of course, the fact that February is an undisclosed test from which you can't learn from your mistakes if you choose to accept your score means that if you really know you did bad, perhaps you should cancel.

Aias
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby Aias » Sun Feb 07, 2010 3:24 am

I regret not cancelling my feb 09 score (161) and think it has had an affect on my cycle.

gmreplay
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby gmreplay » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:24 pm

Where were you trying to go Aias? I don't think I have a chance in hell of getting into anything above #10, so the HYS concerns are out the window. Why would a low score (which I can explain partly due to the fact that I wasn't feeling well) affect my chances of getting into, say, Georgetown, more than a cancelled score would? I need to decide on this asap. I was certain I wanted to keep it (despite its high probability of being embarrassing) because I have a desire to know and also because I can probably explain it away, but now you're making me think otherwise.
Last edited by gmreplay on Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ariadne86
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby ariadne86 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:38 pm

One thing that helped me make my decision to cancel was deciding which section I bombed - my weakest or my strongest? For the September 09 test I knew I ended having to guess some LG since I'm weakest at grouping/in-out games, and there were 2. Since games are usually my best section, I knew there was no way I was going to do my best. Plus I definitively knew there were some LR I wasn't sure about either. I canceled and think I might have done better than I expected, but still not my best (maybe 170-172).

Then I just made a bargain with myself that no matter what, I was going to keep the Dec. 2009 score. I ended up getting the exact number of questions wrong I usually PTed, which was 6. Due to the generous curve, that happened to be a 177, which made me really happy about my first decision to cancel.

Another factor you could consider is what score you need for schools you're aiming at. I have a pretty low <25% gpa for pretty much every single school I wanted to go to, so I knew I had to get >75% or basically had no chance. Even though a 169-172 range score is pretty good for many schools, that wasn't going to compensate for my poor gpa.

gmreplay
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby gmreplay » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:44 pm

I bombed logic games (my weakest), and probably did poorly on the reading (used all my mental energy on the first one). So I think the best I can possibly do is maybe 163 compared to my usual 166. Again, I don't much care if the score is poor provided schools won't look down upon me for keeping it. I'll be retaking without question.

By the way, I think you're a bad person for getting a 177. That hurts me. Ouch.

09042014
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:50 pm

If you aren't gunning for HYS, and you aren't sure you did poorly (for example you misbubbled a section) I really think you should stick it out.

Because there is no guarantee you will do better next time. You may even do worse. Many many people do worse on the real thing every time they take it.

Also adcoms know what a cancel means. In fact they may assume worse. Not many cancel a 161 when they are gunning for 166.

You might get a lucky curve, or do better than you thought.

Unless you are 80% sure you can do better in June canceling shouldn't even be a consideration.

gmreplay
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby gmreplay » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:59 pm

I am quite certain I can do better next time. I got LG up front and I was totally dejected when my hard work on the first reading was for naught. But I still don't see the benefit in cancelling.

njskatchmo
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby njskatchmo » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:10 pm

If you think you can do better greater than 50% of the time on an LSAT than you did on Sat. Cancel. If it's your first you don't want to waste it on a bad score. You can take the test three times, but you only want to do so if one of them is a cancel. Taking three scored tests means they will likely average (Plus any big jump is likely to be seen as a fluke since the other two were low). Just cancel and move on. I never thought "I did awful" and ended up doing great. I have thought the reverse though.

Also, since its the february test they won't tell you what you got wrong, so you will just be stuck with a bad score and no useful information from it.
Last edited by njskatchmo on Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:10 pm

gmreplay wrote:I am quite certain I can do better next time. I got LG up front and I was totally dejected when my hard work on the first reading was for naught. But I still don't see the benefit in cancelling.


You might get dejected next time as well. You have potential to do better, but it is not a certainty.

I don't really see the benefit either.

09042014
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:11 pm

njskatchmo wrote:If you think you can do better greater than 50% of the time on an LSAT than you did on Sat. Cancel. If it's your first you don't want to waste it on a bad score. You can take the test three times, but you only want to do so if one of them is a cancel. Taking three scored tests means they will likely average (Plus any big jump is likely to be seen as a fluke since the other two were low). Just cancel and move on. I never thought "I did awful" and ended up doing great. I have thought the reverse though.


Nobody below the T6 will average.

njskatchmo
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby njskatchmo » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:15 pm

Once you get three scores, you can't rely on single outliers as predictive. Even if they don't average them to get a single score, it will certainly reflect poorly on him if the scores are 164,166, 171. I put less stock in such an applicant than a cancel, 166, 171 applicant.

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JCougar
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby JCougar » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:18 pm

njskatchmo wrote:If you think you can do better greater than 50% of the time on an LSAT than you did on Sat. Cancel. If it's your first you don't want to waste it on a bad score. You can take the test three times, but you only want to do so if one of them is a cancel. Taking three scored tests means they will likely average (Plus any big jump is likely to be seen as a fluke since the other two were low). Just cancel and move on. I never thought "I did awful" and ended up doing great. I have thought the reverse though.

Also, since its the february test they won't tell you what you got wrong, so you will just be stuck with a bad score and no useful information from it.


Where do people get this idea that schools care if you take it a third time? If you look at school websites, most make no mention of this, and some encourage you to retake because it shows persistence. Schools want your high LSAT score, because that's what they can report to US News. The only school I can remember that doesn't automatically take your highest score (other than T6) is UF.

09042014
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Re: Is it better to cancel, or hang on to a (likely) bad score?

Postby 09042014 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:19 pm

njskatchmo wrote:Once you get three scores, you can't rely on single outliers as predictive. Even if they don't average them to get a single score, it will certainly reflect poorly on him if the scores are 164,166, 171. I put less stock in such an applicant than a cancel, 166, 171 applicant.


Schools favor the LSAT because its what the USNWR judges them on. This means top scores rule the admissions game.

And putting less stock in a cancel than a 164 is hilarious. People don't cancel for no reason.




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