should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

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lawschool111
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should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby lawschool111 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:17 am

I took the December 2012 LSAT and got a horrific 149. i was consistently scoring high 150s (158-159) in my PTs. i had two RC sections back to back and I panicked and completely bombed the real RC section.

I took the February LSAT today, and I am confident that I killed logic games like i did in December. did okay on the RC, did well on one LR...but one of the LRs I think I MIGHT have bombed. One of the LR sections was harder than usual for me so I don't know...

Because I got blindsided in December, and am feeling nervous about the February LSAT (what if I met the same fate as I did in December?), I wanted to weigh my options and get some opinions.

What is the drawback of keeping my score or cancelling? Most law schools take the higher LSAT score so would it matter if I happened to have done worse or got around the same score +/-3? Assuming that I take some time off and change my approach, and take the LSAT for the 3rd time and get in the 159-161 range, would it better for me to cancel my score now or keep it?

Here are my two scenarios right now....would admissions give me more leniency under scenario 2, or does it not matter as long as I perform considerably better?

Scenario 1: 149, 146-152, get a 159-161 range the third time
Scenario 2: 149, cancel score, get a 159-161 range the third time

secretagentman811
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby secretagentman811 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:39 am

If you're planning on taking a third time anyway, might as well see how this one plays out. You're already going to have to do an addendum having taken it 3 times and wanting a school to take the highest on it's own, IMO.

Trajectory
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Trajectory » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:56 am

Im sort of in the same boat. I took the '12 October LSAT and got a 155, realized I didnt study how I was supposed to and retook it February. Completely lost focus, freaked out and became very anxious. As I couldnt focus more this all became worse for me. Had to guess completely on 1 whole LG, some sections..SECTIONS of LR looked like binary code to me at that moment. ...Probably could have done a few things better in the time leading to this exam too. But I was PTing around 163-166.

Now I am thinking of canceling this LSAT I just took and retaking in June. I feel like I did bad enough to cancel and not even let it appear. But I am not sure I fully understand the negatives (if any at this point) of doing it.

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northwood
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby northwood » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:02 am

cancel your score. you guessed a lot and likely didnt score so well.

study again in June with the understanding that this is your third attempt. best of luck

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cahwc12
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby cahwc12 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:29 am

I don't think there's any reason to ever cancel a score anymore since law schools don't care. You admit that you could have done a few points better than your 149, so just keep it and hope that's the case. If it's a few points worse, it's not going to matter if you can pull up the third one to a 160. And it's not going to matter to any school accepting a 149 if you got a 146 on your second attempt. You already took the test, just get your score. The only cases it might matter are if you scored, say, a 179 on your first try, applied to yale, retook for a 180 and got a 162.


It really, really, truly, really doesn't matter and you should just take the score, whether it's a few points higher or lower, or even significantly lower. There's just no real advantage (or disadvantage) for most people to cancel anymore.

Trajectory
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Trajectory » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:50 am

Would that advice on why not to cancel hold up only if the score is just a little off from the first exam? Sorry not trying hijack the thread but I figured since our situations are similar. I just think I may have messed up on the exam a little more. As in which looks worse/or for sure needs an addendum? Say, 150-cancel-165 or 150-140-165. If theres absolutely no disadvantage or advantage in using this option whats the point of having the ability to cancel?

soontobelawschooler
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby soontobelawschooler » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:59 am

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Last edited by soontobelawschooler on Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

B90
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby B90 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:16 pm

Trajectory wrote:Would that advice on why not to cancel hold up only if the score is just a little off from the first exam? Sorry not trying hijack the thread but I figured since our situations are similar. I just think I may have messed up on the exam a little more. As in which looks worse/or for sure needs an addendum? Say, 150-cancel-165 or 150-140-165. If theres absolutely no disadvantage or advantage in using this option whats the point of having the ability to cancel?


An addendum should only be written if you have a legit reason (i.e. you got a migraine/stomach flu in the middle of the second section and were unable to finish) and you also have a significantly higher score. The addendum will explain why the low score is an anomaly.
There are situations where you have reason to believe you will score significantly worse than you know you are capable, but you do not have a valid reason for an addendum (i.e you were hungover or you blacked out for part of the test due to an adverse reaction to the illegal drug you took before the test). In these cases it would be better to cancel rather than have a 142 which you cannot reasonably explain.
The question you ask in your first sentence does not make sense in light of your hypo. You ask about a score that is "a little off" and then pose a hypo where you go from a 150 to a 140 and then a 165. That is not "a little off"; those are significant jumps.

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PickMe!
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby PickMe! » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:27 pm

cahwc12 wrote:I don't think there's hardly ever any reason to ever cancel a score anymore since many law schools don't care.


I totally agree with this.

Trajectory
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Trajectory » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:43 pm

B90 wrote:
Trajectory wrote:Would that advice on why not to cancel hold up only if the score is just a little off from the first exam? Sorry not trying hijack the thread but I figured since our situations are similar. I just think I may have messed up on the exam a little more. As in which looks worse/or for sure needs an addendum? Say, 150-cancel-165 or 150-140-165. If theres absolutely no disadvantage or advantage in using this option whats the point of having the ability to cancel?


An addendum should only be written if you have a legit reason (i.e. you got a migraine/stomach flu in the middle of the second section and were unable to finish) and you also have a significantly higher score. The addendum will explain why the low score is an anomaly.
There are situations where you have reason to believe you will score significantly worse than you know you are capable, but you do not have a valid reason for an addendum (i.e you were hungover or you blacked out for part of the test due to an adverse reaction to the illegal drug you took before the test). In these cases it would be better to cancel rather than have a 142 which you cannot reasonably explain.
The question you ask in your first sentence does not make sense in light of your hypo. You ask about a score that is "a little off" and then pose a hypo where you go from a 150 to a 140 and then a 165. That is not "a little off"; those are significant jumps.


I see. While I did finish the test its for sure significantly worse than what I am capable of. I figured they would need some sort of explanation for the cancelled score. Well, personally what I got the 1st was a 155, this second time just now I completely screwed it up, pretty much everything that could have gone wrong went wrong prior to test day and during test day. I was PTing ~165....the LSAT I took yesterday sure as hell does not seem like a 160 even, with all the guessing I did. So the reality for me is that I have the 155 and now I feel like itll be much lower and I was just guessing at a 140-145, idk, but I am fairly certain I can pull of a 165 at least. Even more so now that I can take it in June and thats a ways away. I guess by calling 150-140-165 a little off, im just trying to make it sound better in my head but thats what its looking like right now, or 150-cancel-165. Which in my mind in the 1st one I would have to explain why my scores are messed up and as you said theres no reasonable explanation because im clearly not going to write about how things just went wrong and i freaked out, but the 2nd option at least my score isnt visible. Maybe that does some sort of damage control. I may be wrong about everything. I'm still just very frustrated with what happened/my performance.

B90
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby B90 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:23 pm

Trajectory wrote:
B90 wrote:
Trajectory wrote:Would that advice on why not to cancel hold up only if the score is just a little off from the first exam? Sorry not trying hijack the thread but I figured since our situations are similar. I just think I may have messed up on the exam a little more. As in which looks worse/or for sure needs an addendum? Say, 150-cancel-165 or 150-140-165. If theres absolutely no disadvantage or advantage in using this option whats the point of having the ability to cancel?


An addendum should only be written if you have a legit reason (i.e. you got a migraine/stomach flu in the middle of the second section and were unable to finish) and you also have a significantly higher score. The addendum will explain why the low score is an anomaly.
There are situations where you have reason to believe you will score significantly worse than you know you are capable, but you do not have a valid reason for an addendum (i.e you were hungover or you blacked out for part of the test due to an adverse reaction to the illegal drug you took before the test). In these cases it would be better to cancel rather than have a 142 which you cannot reasonably explain.
The question you ask in your first sentence does not make sense in light of your hypo. You ask about a score that is "a little off" and then pose a hypo where you go from a 150 to a 140 and then a 165. That is not "a little off"; those are significant jumps.


I see. While I did finish the test its for sure significantly worse than what I am capable of. I figured they would need some sort of explanation for the cancelled score. Well, personally what I got the 1st was a 155, this second time just now I completely screwed it up, pretty much everything that could have gone wrong went wrong prior to test day and during test day. I was PTing ~165....the LSAT I took yesterday sure as hell does not seem like a 160 even, with all the guessing I did. So the reality for me is that I have the 155 and now I feel like itll be much lower and I was just guessing at a 140-145, idk, but I am fairly certain I can pull of a 165 at least. Even more so now that I can take it in June and thats a ways away. I guess by calling 150-140-165 a little off, im just trying to make it sound better in my head but thats what its looking like right now, or 150-cancel-165. Which in my mind in the 1st one I would have to explain why my scores are messed up and as you said theres no reasonable explanation because im clearly not going to write about how things just went wrong and i freaked out, but the 2nd option at least my score isnt visible. Maybe that does some sort of damage control. I may be wrong about everything. I'm still just very frustrated with what happened/my performance.

I understand and sympathize. Did you finish the test? How many answers were random guesses? What I am asking is what exactly makes you think you got a 140-145? Have you ever taken a PT under real conditions where you got 140-145?
It is very rare for someone to accurately predict a score while in an emotional state. My advice is to not cancel unless you have a real reason to believe you scored more than 2 or 3 points worse AND there is also no reason to think you may have scored the same or better. For example, you left several questions blank or randomly guessed on a significant number of questions. If instead you just have a bad feeling or there were questions where you took a 50/50 shot I would not cancel.
The first time I took the LSAT, I ran out of time on LG and left about eight questions completely blank. This was due to nerves/being psyched out by a particular game and letting it get to my head. However, I was able to regroup and felt ok about the rest of the test. I decided to not cancel. I knew I would score below my "ability" or potential, but I also knew that I could still get a respectable score. I also know myself and know that if I canceled I would be forever haunted by not knowing what my score was, and it would drive me crazy. When I received my score I was disappointed, but was able to put it behind me and focus on my retake.
My advice is to clear your head. Then if you need help figuring out if you really did score under 150 or are just being emotional, feel free to pm me. I have some experience with talking people through these things. I can't make the decision for you, but I will strongly advise against cancelling as a knee jerk reaction. There are times when cancelling makes sense; you want to make sure whatever you decide it is for the right reasons and you can live with your decision. I know it sucks, but it is highly unlikely that you will ever break 160 unless you are able to move past this (and it can be done). Not sure if this helps, but you are neither the first nor the last to go through this experience. Good luck.

Ti Malice
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:02 pm

lawschool111 wrote:What is the drawback of keeping my score or cancelling? Most law schools take the higher LSAT score so would it matter if I happened to have done worse or got around the same score +/-3? Assuming that I take some time off and change my approach, and take the LSAT for the 3rd time and get in the 159-161 range, would it better for me to cancel my score now or keep it?


Just keep it. YHS are the only law schools that (might) care about retakes. Every other school, especially in the current climate of declining applications, will only be concerned with your highest score. You may have done considerably better than you're expecting. If you didn't, it's not going to affect you anyway.

Trajectory
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Trajectory » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:44 pm

B90 wrote:
Trajectory wrote:
B90 wrote:
Trajectory wrote:Would that advice on why not to cancel hold up only if the score is just a little off from the first exam? Sorry not trying hijack the thread but I figured since our situations are similar. I just think I may have messed up on the exam a little more. As in which looks worse/or for sure needs an addendum? Say, 150-cancel-165 or 150-140-165. If theres absolutely no disadvantage or advantage in using this option whats the point of having the ability to cancel?


An addendum should only be written if you have a legit reason (i.e. you got a migraine/stomach flu in the middle of the second section and were unable to finish) and you also have a significantly higher score. The addendum will explain why the low score is an anomaly.
There are situations where you have reason to believe you will score significantly worse than you know you are capable, but you do not have a valid reason for an addendum (i.e you were hungover or you blacked out for part of the test due to an adverse reaction to the illegal drug you took before the test). In these cases it would be better to cancel rather than have a 142 which you cannot reasonably explain.
The question you ask in your first sentence does not make sense in light of your hypo. You ask about a score that is "a little off" and then pose a hypo where you go from a 150 to a 140 and then a 165. That is not "a little off"; those are significant jumps.


I see. While I did finish the test its for sure significantly worse than what I am capable of. I figured they would need some sort of explanation for the cancelled score. Well, personally what I got the 1st was a 155, this second time just now I completely screwed it up, pretty much everything that could have gone wrong went wrong prior to test day and during test day. I was PTing ~165....the LSAT I took yesterday sure as hell does not seem like a 160 even, with all the guessing I did. So the reality for me is that I have the 155 and now I feel like itll be much lower and I was just guessing at a 140-145, idk, but I am fairly certain I can pull of a 165 at least. Even more so now that I can take it in June and thats a ways away. I guess by calling 150-140-165 a little off, im just trying to make it sound better in my head but thats what its looking like right now, or 150-cancel-165. Which in my mind in the 1st one I would have to explain why my scores are messed up and as you said theres no reasonable explanation because im clearly not going to write about how things just went wrong and i freaked out, but the 2nd option at least my score isnt visible. Maybe that does some sort of damage control. I may be wrong about everything. I'm still just very frustrated with what happened/my performance.

I understand and sympathize. Did you finish the test? How many answers were random guesses? What I am asking is what exactly makes you think you got a 140-145? Have you ever taken a PT under real conditions where you got 140-145?
It is very rare for someone to accurately predict a score while in an emotional state. My advice is to not cancel unless you have a real reason to believe you scored more than 2 or 3 points worse AND there is also no reason to think you may have scored the same or better. For example, you left several questions blank or randomly guessed on a significant number of questions. If instead you just have a bad feeling or there were questions where you took a 50/50 shot I would not cancel.
The first time I took the LSAT, I ran out of time on LG and left about eight questions completely blank. This was due to nerves/being psyched out by a particular game and letting it get to my head. However, I was able to regroup and felt ok about the rest of the test. I decided to not cancel. I knew I would score below my "ability" or potential, but I also knew that I could still get a respectable score. I also know myself and know that if I canceled I would be forever haunted by not knowing what my score was, and it would drive me crazy. When I received my score I was disappointed, but was able to put it behind me and focus on my retake.
My advice is to clear your head. Then if you need help figuring out if you really did score under 150 or are just being emotional, feel free to pm me. I have some experience with talking people through these things. I can't make the decision for you, but I will strongly advise against cancelling as a knee jerk reaction. There are times when cancelling makes sense; you want to make sure whatever you decide it is for the right reasons and you can live with your decision. I know it sucks, but it is highly unlikely that you will ever break 160 unless you are able to move past this (and it can be done). Not sure if this helps, but you are neither the first nor the last to go through this experience. Good luck.


Yes I finished the test. In the beginning it was hard to focus, like every question was written in code or something. Surely as that happened and time slipped I fell behind even more. That lead into more panic and so on. I was 50/50 on a few LR questions and completely had to guess on 2 at the end on each section. ...somehow got through RC...I dont know how. Then I had to guess, just bubble something in, for 1 LG because I didnt have any time to go back to it. That was 6 right there. Alone. Thankfully that was the last section for me so it happened at the end of the exam!

Sure I had some 149-150s, when I first took a full PT. I was aiming for ~165...which was what I was PTing before this exam. I know how that felt like so I feel like this was just a disaster in comparison! Wasn't anywhere close to the same feeling. LG...is my strongest -1 -2 usually. A few times -0. What I'm saying is that 6 shots in the dark on games alone seems like a sure indicator to me that something was wrong (a fault on me, not anything else). First time stressing out like that and losing focus/having anxiety for me. Throughout undergrad I never had test anxiety or anything! Theres still a few days left for cancelations, and I definitely try to avoid quick reactions to problems without thinking through. I thought about not knowing the score and that doesnt bother simply because my performance just had to be horrendous and so I would be ready to move on and prep even more for the next one. As in with a cancel I accept the fact that I will never know. I appreciate the help and guidance though, for 1 it does actually help these tough situation and 2 sometimes its good to know that you arent the only one!

jvsj
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby jvsj » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:46 pm

i would cancel if you're planning on taking one more time...

Ti Malice
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Ti Malice » Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:51 pm

jvsj wrote:i would cancel if you're planning on taking one more time...


Why? What's the benefit?

PRgradBYU
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby PRgradBYU » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:19 pm

jvsj wrote:i would cancel if you're planning on taking one more time...


Yeah, this makes no sense. OP is better off seeing their score and then deciding whether the retake is necessary or not (and it probably will be).

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cahwc12
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby cahwc12 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:15 am

PickMe! wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:I don't think there's hardly ever any reason to ever cancel a score anymore since many law schools don't care.


I totally agree with this.


The data run counter to schools that claim that they care. Even the deans that frequent the forum say it doesn't really matter.

bp shinners
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby bp shinners » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:57 pm

cahwc12 wrote:
PickMe! wrote:
cahwc12 wrote:I don't think there's hardly ever any reason to ever cancel a score anymore since many law schools don't care.


I totally agree with this.


The data run counter to schools that claim that they care. Even the deans that frequent the forum say it doesn't really matter.


The averages don't matter, and they'll calculate based on your highest score. But if your highest score puts you in the "Eh, maybe" range, then having two much lower scores vs. one and a cancel might make a difference. Big might there.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:00 pm

There are many people on TLS, myself included, who ended up doing much better than expected. The only reason to cancel is if you actually leave the testing center before the test is over.

Also, please really study for this thing the third time. Don't use up that third take if your PT scores are still in the 150s.

Trajectory
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Re: should i cancel or keep my score? need advice

Postby Trajectory » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:35 pm

Tough decision. Idk how OP feels but I feel like its not even one of those where...lets say my target score is 165 and after the test I just dont feel like I hit that but got a 160 or something close, instead this feels like a bombed test in UG. Where you just know. Its not "ah damn should have gotten an A but this ones definitely a bit lower" ...straight D in my current situation. Theres mixed results on canceling but overall I feel like from a psychological perspective it would be better to look at a cancel score that will never be known than a low score on someones test history, since I feel like a cancel can be better explained if needed.




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