Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

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AmicusTheCat
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:22 pm

Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

Postby AmicusTheCat » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:08 am

Hello TLS community, I would appreciate your input on a tough decision I need to make in the next few days.

First, please know that I am seeking admission to one of HYS. My GPA was 4.0 and I was my class's valedictorian at a private, top 50 liberal arts college. I have good softs, but nothing extraordinary. I am white and I am male.

Walking into the December '12 LSAT yesterday, I had taken around twenty preptests under strict timed conditions. I usually missed around six questions, netting me scores predominantly in the 174-177 range depending on the test, with one at 171 as a clear outlier.

In each of my exams, I never failed to answer all of the questions with extra time to spare, usually five minutes for each of the LR and RC, and variable amounts for LG.

Yesterday, the day of the exam, the first three sections went incredibly well, save for the last Logic Game in which I failed to answer two of the questions. I had ripped through the first three with fifteen minutes to spare, but when I ran into trouble on the last game I panicked and almost threw up from the stress.

Still, heading in to the break I felt very confident about my overall score.

That's when I made the foolish mistake of chugging carrot juice for the first time in my life. Friends had advised me that carrot juice helped the brain stay focused and alert, so I thought a large helping would keep me on my toes for the second half of the exam. It could have been the large amount of juice I drank, or perhaps the fact that the juice wasn't properly refrigerated. Either way, I had stomach cramps and then headaches during the second half of the exam.

I failed to answer two more questions on the LR outright, and the RC felt unusually shaky as a result.

Assuming the outright -4 for failing to answer questions, plus the -6 I usually miss, I probably missed a total of -10.

So here's the only reason I wouldn't cancel: December LSATs for the last several years have had -14 curves, a curve that would place my score at 173/174, my target for admission to HYS.

Here are the problems with that assumption - first, the curve could be harder this year, though with the lower number of administrated tests this year I think I stand a good chance of receiving that generous curve (correct me if I'm wrong). Second, I could be optimistic about my performance apart from the four skipped questions, resulting in a -11 or worse (I may have missed fewer questions, however).

Finally, assuming I decide not to cancel and the score turns out to be lower than 173 (perhaps even in the 160s), could that hurt me in a significant way that simply canceling would not if applying to HYS? Do the risks of this low score outweigh the possible gains of a good score?

Thank you for your help.

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wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

Postby wert3813 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:00 am

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Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

AmicusTheCat
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:22 pm

Re: Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

Postby AmicusTheCat » Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:00 am

Thanks for the reply, good to hear you didn't cancel your score! So you don't think HYS would ding me just for an earlier, lower score?

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wert3813
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:29 pm

Re: Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

Postby wert3813 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:14 am

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Last edited by wert3813 on Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sabanist
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Re: Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

Postby sabanist » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:07 pm

No, HYS won't automatically throw you out just because you're a retaker, but a significantly lower score could knock you out of the running at Y. They have all the room in the world to be picky. Bear in mind, though, that no one is truly a lock at Y unless they have a Nobel, so apply anyway.

I haven't studied S that much, but the hivemind seems to think they place a heavier emphasis on GPA, so it may not hurt you as much there. Someone else could probably elaborate much better.

As for H, it seems they're already dipping below median for non-URMs this cycle. I had a below 25th first take and an above 75th second, and I got my JS1 email only two days after my application went complete. You absolutely stand a good chance there with a strong retake.

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jkpolk
Posts: 896
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 10:44 am

Re: Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

Postby jkpolk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:11 pm

you're thinking too much. keep the score - worst case it's a funny story about carrot juice

AmicusTheCat
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:22 pm

Re: Help needed: to cancel or not to cancel?

Postby AmicusTheCat » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:36 am

Thanks everyone for your input! I really appreciate it




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