Question

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NorCalBruin
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Question

Postby NorCalBruin » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:29 pm

Asking this for my friend:

Does canceling your score right after you take it look any different (to LSAC or to schools) than canceling a few days before?

My friend is applying for fall 2012, is signed up for the February LSAT, but doesn't feel like he's ready yet. Given that he's probably going to take the test again in June anyway, shouldn't he just take the February LSAT for the experience? Or in case he feels like he rocked it? Unless of course, cancelling after you sat looks way worse than before you sat.

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LSATWIZ
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Re: Question

Postby LSATWIZ » Tue Jan 25, 2011 3:31 pm

NorCalBruin wrote:Asking this for my friend:

Does canceling your score right after you take it look any different (to LSAC or to schools) than canceling a few days before?

My friend is applying for fall 2012, is signed up for the February LSAT, but doesn't feel like he's ready yet. Given that he's probably going to take the test again in June anyway, shouldn't he just take the February LSAT for the experience? Or in case he feels like he rocked it? Unless of course, cancelling after you sat looks way worse than before you sat.

No, it's the same thing. One cancellation won't affect anything, but can he really predict his score regardless? If he does it, it's just for the experience.

Kurst
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Re: Question

Postby Kurst » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:08 pm

Tell your friend he should not take the test until he is ready. Since the change test date deadline has past, his options are (a) take and cancel; or (b) not show up. (b) is not classified as a cancellation; it is a "no show." It does not count toward his limit of three LSATs in two years, nor does it have the same stigma as a cancellation. Since he is not ready, he should simply not show up.

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EarlCat
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Re: Question

Postby EarlCat » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:26 pm

Kurst wrote:Tell your friend he should not take the test until he is ready. Since the change test date deadline has past, his options are (a) take and cancel; or (b) not show up. (b) is not classified as a cancellation; it is a "no show." It does not count toward his limit of three LSATs in two years, nor does it have the same stigma as a cancellation. Since he is not ready, he should simply not show up.


No show = flake. Cancel it properly.

LSATtom
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Re: Question

Postby LSATtom » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:03 am

Also depends on the school he wants to attend. Many only consider the highest score, some average it. He should research that fact first - if its the former, then why not take it for the experience?

benito
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Re: Question

Postby benito » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:35 am

EarlCat wrote:
Kurst wrote:Tell your friend he should not take the test until he is ready. Since the change test date deadline has past, his options are (a) take and cancel; or (b) not show up. (b) is not classified as a cancellation; it is a "no show." It does not count toward his limit of three LSATs in two years, nor does it have the same stigma as a cancellation. Since he is not ready, he should simply not show up.


No show = flake. Cancel it properly.



This is a good example why you need to be careful listening to anonymous advice on online forums. Stated so succinctly and with conviction it sounds like someone speaking from some base of knowledge, but it is utter bullshit. Just call admissions offices and ask, since they can't distinguish people who did just flake from people who had a serious issue (medical family etc.) one absence is not a major issue at all. More than one is a different story. Canceling, although if only once its not a HUGE deal either, is worse because it shows you've been exposed to the test. I researched this thoroughly when faced with the question myself last year, as long as its on a one time basis absence beating cancellation was the wide consensus.

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northwood
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Re: Question

Postby northwood » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:38 am

most schools will look past one cancellation or absence. You can have one, but not the other. More than one absence= flake. more than one cancellation is better than absence( but not good), because you can always say you had a bad test experience, or if you have a cancel- score- cancel, state that you knew you didnt do better, and didnt want to do worse. That may be fine in admissions peoples eyes, but i wouldnt recommend doing it.

serdog
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Re: Question

Postby serdog » Wed Jan 26, 2011 12:40 am

I would show up, small change of been see as a flake<<<<losing one LSAT writing because your not ready

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suspicious android
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Re: Question

Postby suspicious android » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:48 am

By the way, this is all bullshit, it doesn't matter as long as you've got a good score. I had an absence, a cancellation and a couple retakes (I work for a prep test company so re-took a 170+ just to improve my marketability). Even with all the extra crap, I got accepted to multiple t14's, at just about the exact places my highest score would indicate I would.

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Jeffort
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Re: Question

Postby Jeffort » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:10 pm

benito wrote:
EarlCat wrote:
Kurst wrote:Tell your friend he should not take the test until he is ready. Since the change test date deadline has past, his options are (a) take and cancel; or (b) not show up. (b) is not classified as a cancellation; it is a "no show." It does not count toward his limit of three LSATs in two years, nor does it have the same stigma as a cancellation. Since he is not ready, he should simply not show up.


No show = flake. Cancel it properly.



This is a good example why you need to be careful listening to anonymous advice on online forums. Stated so succinctly and with conviction it sounds like someone speaking from some base of knowledge, but it is utter bullshit.


Earlcat is someone with an extensive base of knowledge and experience. He's been teaching and tutoring LSAT students for years and achieved 99th percentile scores on two actual LSAT administrations. He knows what he is talking about.

I agree with him, pulling a no show does create the appearance of being a flake unless you actually had a legit sudden medical or emergency situation or something that prevented you from being able to get to the test center on test day. If you have that, then you can write a short addendum stating such. If you don't have such a situation and pulled an absent because you weren't ready (and don't lie in an addendum about having the flu or getting into a car accident when you didn't), it does indicate flake.

Sure, absent an addendum describing extenuating circumstances that caused a no-show to be on your score report, admission committees cannot know the real reason you registered but did not show up, but they will still wonder why you didn't show up and sit for the test you planned to take if you physically could have. Without providing them a good/valid reason to believe otherwise, it's reasonable for them to think that maybe you didn't show up because you weren't prepared for the test on time, hence flaked out on going.

Admissions committees are not stupid. I wouldn't believe for a minute that when they see the larger proportion of applicants this cycle with absent on their score reports than has been the case in cycles before LSAC changed the test date change deadline that they are going to assume that all those people got the flu or into car accidents. It's pretty obvious that tons of people are now pulling an absent because they are not prepared and possibly don't want to waste one of their 3 allowed takes of the LSAT.
Last edited by Jeffort on Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EarlCat
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Re: Question

Postby EarlCat » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:17 pm

benito wrote:This is a good example why you need to be careful listening to anonymous advice on online forums. Stated so succinctly and with conviction it sounds like someone speaking from some base of knowledge, but it is utter bullshit.

Well spoken, anonymous poster.

Just call admissions offices and ask, since they can't distinguish people who did just flake from people who had a serious issue (medical family etc.) one absence is not a major issue at all. More than one is a different story. Canceling, although if only once its not a HUGE deal either, is worse because it shows you've been exposed to the test.

You're assuming (wrongly, but with conviction) that admissions people know whether you canceled during the test, after the test, or right before the test.

People who have medical issues write addendums to explain why they missed the test. Flakes don't. Unless you're recommending a no-show lie and make up an excuse for blowing off the test, they will be seen as a flake--someone who signed up, denied a waitlisted student a seat, and then didn't have the decency to tell anyone that they weren't going to make it on test day. There is no way a no-show gets a more favorable presumption than a cancel.
Last edited by EarlCat on Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Grond
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Re: Question

Postby Grond » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:21 pm

Jeffort wrote:
benito wrote:
EarlCat wrote:
Kurst wrote:Tell your friend he should not take the test until he is ready. Since the change test date deadline has past, his options are (a) take and cancel; or (b) not show up. (b) is not classified as a cancellation; it is a "no show." It does not count toward his limit of three LSATs in two years, nor does it have the same stigma as a cancellation. Since he is not ready, he should simply not show up.


No show = flake. Cancel it properly.



This is a good example why you need to be careful listening to anonymous advice on online forums. Stated so succinctly and with conviction it sounds like someone speaking from some base of knowledge, but it is utter bullshit.


Earlcat is someone with an extensive base of knowledge and experience. He's been teaching and tutoring LSAT students for years and achieved 99th percentile scores on two actual LSAT administrations. He knows what he is talking about.



And you, sir, have even more experience than EC. :)

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EarlCat
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Re: Question

Postby EarlCat » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:22 pm

Grond wrote:And you, sir, have even more experience than EC. :)


He's also MUCH older. hahahahaha :D

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Grond
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Re: Question

Postby Grond » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:26 pm

This is a good example why you need to be careful listening to anonymous advice on online forums. Stated so succinctly and with conviction it sounds like someone speaking from some base of knowledge, but it is utter bullshit.[/quote]

Earlcat is someone with an extensive base of knowledge and experience. He's been teaching and tutoring LSAT students for years and achieved 99th percentile scores on two actual LSAT administrations. He knows what he is talking about.[/quote]


And you, sir, have even more experience than EC. Seriously kids, Jeffort and EC are very knowledgable lsat types.

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Clarity
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Re: Question

Postby Clarity » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:41 pm


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suspicious android
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Re: Question

Postby suspicious android » Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:52 pm

Clarity wrote:LSAT Blog.


Actual testimony from admissions officers trumps all other data here: no show > cancel

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EarlCat
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Re: Question

Postby EarlCat » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:23 pm

suspicious android wrote:
Clarity wrote:LSAT Blog.


Actual testimony from admissions officers trumps all other data here: no show > cancel


Followup.

Anna Ivey's statement, "I still don't think one absence is the end of the world, but it does signal that someone couldn't follow directions, and that's a pretty big deficit for someone who wants to be a lawyer," is rather telling. So is Michigan's suggestion, "If you’re really worried about the notation of an absence, you’re more than welcome to submit a couple of lines in explanation along with your other application materials, but it truly is not necessary."

Of course, if there were no reason to worry, (or if it truly didn't matter) they wouldn't suggest submitting yet another document for the admissions committee to read. IMHO, an addendum to explain anything unusual on your application is always a good idea. So tell me which addendum looks better: "I sat for the test and did not feel that I performed up to my potential, so I chose to cancel my score and retake in October," or "I wasn't ready for the test but I missed the deadline to postpone, so I just stayed in bed on test day."

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Jeffort
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Re: Question

Postby Jeffort » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:33 pm

suspicious android wrote:
Clarity wrote:LSAT Blog.


Actual testimony from admissions officers trumps all other data here: no show > cancel


It's not as cut and dry as that and depends on each individuals circumstances and what they present in their application package to each LS.

There is a difference between an explained/excusable absence from an important high stakes test and an unexplained one. Adcoms take many factors into account when reviewing applications and making admit/reject decisions and I believe it would be foolish to think that they are going to treat a validly explained/excusable absence the same as an unexplained absence when comparing applicants because an unexplained absence brings up and begs the question "Is this applicant flaky? Is (s)he going to be able to excel in LS by keeping up with and doing the work on time and show up prepared to take the exams?"

If you do not have and supply a valid excuse for pulling a no-show other than "I wasn't ready" (which does indicate lack of planning and preparation, aka flaky), I think admcoms are going to pay attention to that with those applicants and take it into account, especially since they are now getting a lot more applicants with no-show on their score reports than they ever did before the LSAC deadline change. Remember, LS application volume is at or close to a historically record high and there are limited numbers of qualified applicants each highly ranked LS can admit.

BTW: LS adcom members public comments about specific details of the secret internal workings and policies used to guide their decisions are notorious for always being vague.
Last edited by Jeffort on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Clarity
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Re: Question

Postby Clarity » Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:33 pm

EarlCat wrote:
suspicious android wrote:
Clarity wrote:LSAT Blog.


Actual testimony from admissions officers trumps all other data here: no show > cancel


Followup.

Anna Ivey's statement, "I still don't think one absence is the end of the world, but it does signal that someone couldn't follow directions, and that's a pretty big deficit for someone who wants to be a lawyer," is rather telling. So is Michigan's suggestion, "If you’re really worried about the notation of an absence, you’re more than welcome to submit a couple of lines in explanation along with your other application materials, but it truly is not necessary."

Of course, if there were no reason to worry, (or if it truly didn't matter) they wouldn't suggest submitting yet another document for the admissions committee to read. IMHO, an addendum to explain anything unusual on your application is always a good idea. So tell me which addendum looks better: "I sat for the test and did not feel that I performed up to my potential, so I chose to cancel my score and retake in October," or "I wasn't ready for the test but I missed the deadline to postpone, so I just stayed in bed on test day."


Later in that same blog post she is quoted as saying "I'm inclined to think absences are OK for those day-of catastrophes (waking up with the flu), but as long as admissions officers don't have insight into why someone was absent, it's all a big question mark, and an absence can't really be held against the applicant.

Regarding cancellations: I do think admissions officers take those into consideration to a small degree when analyzing the subsequent score. No matter why someone cancels (dry run vs. screwed something up on the test in a big way), people who have taken the real thing before are going to have some advantage on the margin over someone who hasn't, and so people who have canceled will be assumed to have the benefit of that dry run (again, whether they did it for that reason or not)."

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EarlCat
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Re: Question

Postby EarlCat » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:19 pm

Clarity wrote:Later in that same blog post she is quoted as saying "I'm inclined to think absences are OK for those day-of catastrophes (waking up with the flu), but as long as admissions officers don't have insight into why someone was absent, it's all a big question mark, and an absence can't really be held against the applicant.

Regarding cancellations: I do think admissions officers take those into consideration to a small degree when analyzing the subsequent score. No matter why someone cancels (dry run vs. screwed something up on the test in a big way), people who have taken the real thing before are going to have some advantage on the margin over someone who hasn't, and so people who have canceled will be assumed to have the benefit of that dry run (again, whether they did it for that reason or not)."


It makes no sense that an admissions committee would assume that one who cancels must have "had the benefit of a dry run." Someone very well might have canceled before the test even started. It also makes no sense to assume that a no-show who gives no explanation had some innocent exigent circumstance rather than merely skipped out on the test. Honestly, absent any explanation, which assumption is more likely to be in the back of the admissions person's head? I doubt they think all the no-shows got the flu that day.

And if you actually had the flu, why wouldn't you drop a note in the application? On the other hand, nobody is going to write an addendum confessing that they stayed home because they weren't confident in their abilities and wanted at least three more bites at the apple.
Last edited by EarlCat on Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EarlCat
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Re: Question

Postby EarlCat » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:49 pm

Also note the language on Michigan's FAQ:
Second, if your conflict is not with the test date itself but with the necessary preparation . . . you have two choices: (A) take the test and roll the dice with the score, or (B) take the test and cancel the score.

Notice that if the issue is "with the necessary preparation" they do NOT recommend being a no-show, or even present it as an option you should consider.

Further, for schools like Northwestern who interview applicants, they likely will ask you point-blank why you didn't show up. Nobody is going to commend you for staying in bed when you weren't sick.

benito
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Re: Question

Postby benito » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:01 am

I think I'll go ahead and listen to the information I received directly from adcoms over the random dude with the psychopathic cat fetish..... congratulations on the 99th percentile notwithstanding....

Kurst
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Re: Question

Postby Kurst » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:39 pm

I am surprised no-one has quoted Anna Ivey's unequivocal advice:

Anna Ivey wrote:I've been fielding some questions about what I said in this blog post. On reflection I'm thinking that applicants SHOULD go with a no-show rather than a cancellation after all if it's too late to reschedule the test. I talked to a number of admissions officers about this, and while there is some split in opinion, the no-show camp ended up persuading me.

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Clarity
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Re: Question

Postby Clarity » Thu Jan 27, 2011 11:50 pm

EarlCat wrote:Also note the language on Michigan's FAQ:
Second, if your conflict is not with the test date itself but with the necessary preparation . . . you have two choices: (A) take the test and roll the dice with the score, or (B) take the test and cancel the score.

Notice that if the issue is "with the necessary preparation" they do NOT recommend being a no-show, or even present it as an option you should consider.

Further, for schools like Northwestern who interview applicants, they likely will ask you point-blank why you didn't show up. Nobody is going to commend you for staying in bed when you weren't sick.


I e-mailed the Michigan Law School Admissions for further explanation of that quoted FAQ you presented. I asked "Why is taking an absence not an option? Is that something that is looked down upon when compared to taking the test and canceling the score?" The reply I received was:

"The portion of the FAQ you quoted is only speaking to a situation in which a prospective applicant registers for the LSAT and arrives on the test day feeling unprepared. It says “if your conflict is not with the test date itself,” then those two options apply. In your situation, it sounds like you do have a conflict with the test date. Missing the LSAT once won’t raise any eyebrows, so please rest assured that you can just register for the next LSAT and everything will be fine. In the event that you miss the LSAT more than once, our reviewers may begin to question the appearance of a pattern. In that case, we would suggest submitting an addendum with your application explaining the circumstances surrounding the missed exams."

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EarlCat
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Re: Question

Postby EarlCat » Fri Jan 28, 2011 12:07 am

Kurst wrote:I am surprised no-one has quoted Anna Ivey's unequivocal advice:

Anna Ivey wrote:I've been fielding some questions about what I said in this blog post. On reflection I'm thinking that applicants SHOULD go with a no-show rather than a cancellation after all if it's too late to reschedule the test. I talked to a number of admissions officers about this, and while there is some split in opinion, the no-show camp ended up persuading me.


That "unequivocal" advice was posted 9 months before she adjusted her position (again), saying that "it does signal that someone couldn't follow directions, and that's a pretty big deficit for someone who wants to be a lawyer." I don't hear a ringing endorsement to be a no-show in there.

I think all parties agree that one cancel or one absence is not the end of the world, but it's frankly pretty lazy and rude to skip out on an appointment without explanation. And if you do happen to be asked about your absence, there just isn't a positive way to explain how, when you don't feel prepared, you just bail.




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