My situation's a little weird. I walked out of the test center thinking it was very unlikely I would cancel. Now I'm seriously entertaining the idea.
I took the test in June '09 and scored a 166, even though I was PTing in the 167-176 range (avg of 171). Basically just missed all the problems I had narrowed down to 2 (or 3) and had a lot of problems with the dinos logic game (and a second game because of the time the dino game took). That PT avg of 171 was acquired solely through self study: Powerscore and Preptests.
I am not sure if I want to apply to Law School this fall; probably less than 50/50, but it would be nice to be able to bank a solid LSAT score for the next few years. So on the last possible day, like 2 and a half weeks before this June's test, I semi-spontaneously signed up, despite only slight-to-moderate prep in the weeks before. I had a 169 preptest day of signing up and figured I'd be able to boost that a few points. But despite reasonably rigorous prep over the last couple of weeks, my PT range was not quite up to my 171 average this time (it was in fact right around 169).
In any event, I think I scored in the 165-171 range on this test. Probably 168 if I had to guess. Unfortunately, I had to guess on 5 questions, and speed through one of the RC passages in 5 minutes (Aussie Law), where I went with whatever jumped out on me. Other than that I felt really good about things, but I think those difficulties will preclude me from scoring above 170. The time stress was the biggest problem in this test for me this time -- in June '09 it was a moderate problem.
I told myself going in I wasn't going to stress out over the results, but in reading the boards over the last couple of days, I've concluded that I probably could do at least a few (and quite possibly several) points better on average by taking a highly recommended Prep-course, perhaps PowerScore's. I had been telling myself "self-study is just as good," but I'm thinking it might not be optimal in my case (and you don't know until you try it). In addition, I just saw this kick-ass 35 minute countdown watch posted on the boards that really, really would have helped me on test day, since I was having trouble budgeting time (and knowing exactly how much time was left in the critical last few minutes, the proctor only gave us a 5 minute warning, and the clock was poorly synchronized with what she wrote on the board).
(Here's the watch:
Anyway, I've got a 3.75 from an Ivy (not H or Y if that matters), am a few years out of school with an interesting but somewhat haphazard resume, and I've decided I'm only going to Law School if I get into a t14 (or get good money from a t30 maybe). My parents both went to UVA (one grad, one law) so I think I'd have a good shot there. My 166 in the bank probably is enough to keep me out of HYS and possibly even CCN, since my understanding is that most of those guys average scores. But I've got this confidence that I could get 172+ given optimal test prep and improved time management on the day of the test. So what i'm trying to figure out is, should I take my likely-to-be slightly improved test score (although it may be the same or slightly worse), or cancel and bank on taking it a 3rd time fully prepared using the things I've learned? Or would a 166/168/17x be ok? I'm trying to figure out if a same-ish score makes taking the test a 3rd time look kind of desperate, especially if God Forbid I didn't improve much. I know the cancel is somewhat easy to explain away, but part of me hates throwing away what might be a 169-170 since maybe that is closer to my natural ceiling than I think.