Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

danparkuss
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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:07 pm

Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby danparkuss » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:25 pm

Hey sorry guys about another topic asking people regarding cancellation.

PT avg : 173 ish. Range is 168-179 (more towards the 173-175 range)
LSDAS gpa : 3.31 (high upward trend -- dean's listed last two years of UG - 3.5-3.83)
Half a year removed from UG and working (temporary contract employment) for a translation/doc-review on a landmark international lawsuit.
UG major : Double majored in History and Chinese
Desired Law school : >178 - Columbia/NYU, >172 - Penn/Michigan/Georgetown

June 2010 was pretty much a disaster.
I took it confident that my LG would boost me. For some reason the first section (experimental LG) had this one about student/faculty houses. I blanked out (which I rarely do -- I was too overconfident) and ended up spending the 12 mins I had on it guessing the last 3. This shocked me and I can't honestly say that I did the rest of the exam quite well. I really can't remember too much of it. The "real" LG section was a bit more friendly -- though I ended up guessing the last two of the 4th game. In other words --- I failed. I was aiming for somewhere within my PT avg -- definitely above 170. I honestly don't believe that I hit that. I struggled with the last RC too due to time constraints... the first section really set off my mental stress for the rest of the exam.

Disregarding all the talk about how difficult this exam was and the guesses on the curve. I'm pretty sure my score isnt below 165, and if it is below 170, I will be retaking it in October with proper preparation to get above 172 definitely. Does this look bad for the schools I plan on applying to? This is assuming the rest of my application (LORs, PS, etc.) are great.

Say I get like a modest 173+ (do-able in my opinion... my RC/LR total wrong are usually like 5-7.. my LG used to be -0/-1).
I know that a lot of the schools I'm looking at average their scores. However, I feel that knowing the score I got on the June LSAT that I just took, I feel, would better prepare me for whatever is to come my way in October.

I don't plan on going to law school unless it's T14. I know my GPA is a mess... it stands as my biggest regret.

Cancel or not... and if anyone could relate to this by experience, share it or just state "experience."

Thanks. I know it was long.

P.S. I just added some miscellaneous stuff like work experience/major to maybe give perspective. I honestly don't know too much about the application process.... only stuff I've read from blogs. I figure it might take "some" weight off the numbers.

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LSAT Blog
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Re: Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby LSAT Blog » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:26 pm

Sorry to hear about your test day experience. Sounds like the experimental LG really got to you and affected the rest of your exam.

For that reason, I'd say canceling is the way to go here.

You need to spend a lot of time taking practice tests under test-like conditions and working on reducing Test Day stress. Throw yourself some curveballs as you do full-length timed exams. You need to be able to put previous sections behind you when you're completing the next ones.

For law schools that average (some of which you're considering), it's obviously better to have a cancel and a high score rather than a low score and a high score. One cancellation has no impact on your admissions.

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JWicker10
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Re: Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby JWicker10 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:32 pm

I think you should keep your score and find out what you got. Who knows. You can't neccessarily expect to score in your PT range however, that's just not reality for many people. Practice tests are just that, practice--and a 173+ is anything but modest.


Good luck.

UTexas
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Re: Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby UTexas » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:40 pm

My score came back about eight points higher than I was expecting. I really thought I had bombed my LSAT (relative to my practice performance). I thought about canceling all the way up to the deadline. That would have been a terrible decision, though I guess I would never have known.

Maybe you did better than you think.

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JWicker10
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Re: Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby JWicker10 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:41 pm

UTexas wrote:My score came back about eight points higher than I was expecting. I really thought I had bombed my LSAT (relative to my practice performance). I thought about canceling all the way up to the deadline. That would have been a terrible decision, though I guess I would never have known.

Maybe you did better than you think.


Exactly.

The pressure of the test may really skew your own perception of how well you performed. Moreover, maybe you'll get lucky.

mst
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Re: Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby mst » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:12 pm

Well let's look at the facts:

-3.3 GPA. For a t14 this is pretty darn bad (sorry), and you need a good LSAT score to counteract this, and by this I mean mid 170's. You have good softs, so this might counteract that a bit, but I would come to terms with the realistic competition you face with that GPA.
-You can score in the 170's.
-What's nice about the 170's is you can basically track down your score based off the number of questions missed with near perfect accuracy. Let's say you're going for a 173/175, you could probably miss -7 to -5.

That all settled, you got around a -2 in your LG. If you believe that you missed more than the 5 or 6 total in the other sections, you probably didn't break 172. It seems like you weren't in your normal state if you did bad on the exp LG, so you really need to evaluate how this effected your score. A lot of people can't really remember the questions on the test, so this shouldn't translate to you that you did bad necessarily.

I normally wouldn't suggest cancelling for anybody with an LSAT above 165 unless they were looking only into schools that average. Your case is unique though...

For the T14, you have the following schools that DONT average and instead take the highest: Chicago, Penn, Michigan (sort of), Northwestern, Cornell (if it's 3 points or more higher).

So you're kind of betting on averages with this group. If you get a 168 this time and a 174 next time, you're still averaging out to a 171 at 9 of the schools, and with your GPA... this is basically killing your chances with several schools, and with you refusing to go to any other school this isn't something I bet you're willing to risk.

On the other hand, let's say you cancel. Let's say you calm those test nerves down rigorously and get a 173 or 174 next time. With a 173/3.3 you stand a good chance with at least 4 schools in the t14, and several obvious admits in the t20. With a 174, you stand about the same chances but you're a safe bet at Cornell, and even better your application get's at least looked at by NYU.

Combined together, the schools you really stand a chance with either way (cancel and get a 174 or don't cancel and get a 174) are going to be the same ones, since they take only the highest score... And either way you're going to have to get a 174 at one point or another. You realistically don't have much of a shot at the top 6 or so either way.

Conclusion:
If you decide to cancel you have to perform at 174 next time, but you leave the SMALL chance of getting into NYU open. However, you lose your pretty decent score of a 167+ on this test, which could be useful if you change your mind and decide you want to go to a T20, or if you bomb the next test due to weird circumstances.

If you decide not to cancel you still have to perform at a 174 next time, AND you basically shut out NYU and other schools above it. However, you have a VERY decent backup plan to get into schools in the T20 or so, and you don't risk putting everything on the success of your next LSAT going super well.

Your call. Hope this analysis helped some.

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nycsoul87
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Re: Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby nycsoul87 » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:31 pm

There are other T14s that take the highest LSAT:

UVA takes the highest LSAT if you write an addendum.

Georgetown takes the highest if you've only taken the LSAT twice.

Duke takes the highest if you write an addendum.

(And Michigan Law will take the highest if its 6+ points higher or you write an addendum).

All in all, 8/14 of the top schools take the highest LSAT. So unless you really want T5, I would keep the score and see where you end up.

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Ragged
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Re: Another cancel or not topic -- first time here

Postby Ragged » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:34 pm

Keep your score. Schools you are looking at only take the highest.




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