Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Qua
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:11 am

Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby Qua » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:44 pm

Hey All,

This is my first post on TLS. I thought that creating a topic for all Dec. 2011 re-takes, to discuss the agonizing decision to cancel or keep the score, would be helpful.

Here is my situation:
6/2010 - 168 - Curve was -12 to a 170 (99 total Qs), and I had -14. The format was RC-exp,LR,LG,LR,RC-real.
LR - LR1=-3; LR2=-3 = Total -6
LG = -3
RC = -5
Test started an hour late, rookie mistake only brought a granola bar, and by the time that real RC came about I was dead. Not to mention I muffed the last game (I had 15 minutes to finish it, I guessed on three questions and consequently had x3 wrong), when I was averaging at most -1 on practice exams before the test (last five practice exams were in order 172, 166, 172, 168, 168). After applying to schools, I decided I could do better and studied for three months for the Dec. 2011 test.

12/2011 - ??? - My format was LR, LG, LR, LR, RC. Again the Reading Comp. last, ugh!
LR - I finished one LR with a lot of time to spare (usually a good sign for experimental), and finished the other two with no problems (I had been averaging total -6 for both sections on practice tests and would imagine my actual score this time around lies anywhere between -3 and -8).
LG - Unfortunately, I muffed the games up again; I guessed on three questions and made a 50/50 guess on one more question. (I expect that means at most -4).
RC - RC had been my worst section in practice (scores ranging usually from -4 to -7). In practice I found myself all-too-often leaving only 7 minutes for the final passage, and on the test I charged through reading the passages so all the time I spend on the questions wouldn't kill me too badly. I answered all questions, but admittedly didn't have a firm hold on two of the passages (I expect this to correlate to about a -5)

So my expected scoring range:
Best - LRx2: -3; LG: -4; RC; -4= Total -11
Worse- LRx2: -8; LG: -4; RC: -7= Total -19
My prediction - LRx2: -6; LG: -4; RC: -5 = Total -15

If curve is same as hardest curve in modern era, -14, my expected score is 169, with a range of: 165 - 172. And this moves up/down with the curve.

I want to apply and go to school this year (top 15 dreaming before this retake), but I could apply and re-take in February and June to supplement my application (hoping to gain entry off of a like UCLA waitlist)

Should I play the odds even if I am predicting that I will only improve by 1 point from a 168 to a 169, with equal odds of falling to a 165 or beasting a 172? I was under the impression that I am basically at the 172+ or bust point due to score averaging...

Thanks for any help, I am in agony over here!

guinness1547
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:13 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby guinness1547 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:53 pm

I don't expect the curve will be -14 so it seems likely(very plausible?) that you'll get lower than your previous score of 168.

inflightradio
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:00 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby inflightradio » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:09 pm

guinness1547 wrote:I don't expect the curve will be -14 so it seems likely(very plausible?) that you'll get lower than your previous score of 168.


I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I took Oct 2011 and am not sure I scored better on Dec 2011. Should I cancel? Do schools look really badly on a downward trend or do they just care whenever you hit that 170+?

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ConfidenceMan2
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:04 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby ConfidenceMan2 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:10 pm

I too have been trying to calculate a plausible range of scores for myself based on how I would compare my performance in each section to usual PT performance and plausible curve predictions and I come up with like an 8 point range. While this range may be accurate, it also may not be at all. But, point is, even granting that it IS accurate, 8 points is a hell of a lot of points. That's the difference between sweet sweet success and crushing defeat.

My point is, I suppose, that you're not alone in this anxiety, but please consider that based on what you're saying (no "I totally spaced and bombed 10 q's"), your score could be several different things. Why not just wait it out and retake if necessary?? There's far too much conjecture involved. Maybe the curve is, say, -10, but you still landed a 171? Maybe your guesses were more educated than you think? How will you ever know....

ETA: As far as how schools view your trend, I think it's obvious that they're going to be less impressed with a 169 166 172 than a 169 172. But that "impressive" factor is not the same as what score they're ultimately making their decision off of.

I take it to be more like the distinction between having some nice summer internship under your belt or not than having a 172 or not, if that makes sense. It's in the "soft" category. So don't waste a test unless you have good, substantive reasons to believe you definitely scored lower than you need to.

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willwash
Posts: 318
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:51 pm

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby willwash » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:05 pm

Don't cancel. You could very well have gotten -2 on LG (your 50/50 plus 1 guess out of 3), -4 on RC, and -5 total on LR, for -11 total.

Soudns like you have a legitimate shot at a 170 depending on curve generosity/lucky guesses. Cancelling is for when you run out of time in the 3rd LG or just can't grasp the LR.

guinness1547
Posts: 585
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:13 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby guinness1547 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:10 am

inflightradio wrote:
guinness1547 wrote:I don't expect the curve will be -14 so it seems likely(very plausible?) that you'll get lower than your previous score of 168.


I'm in a somewhat similar situation. I took Oct 2011 and am not sure I scored better on Dec 2011. Should I cancel? Do schools look really badly on a downward trend or do they just care whenever you hit that 170+?


I guess it would depend on how much of a difference you got on the Dec one. If it was significantly lower I'm sure that wouldn't look good, but I don't know how much it would hurt your apps.

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noleknight16
Posts: 943
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 3:09 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby noleknight16 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:20 am

Ride it out.

Qua
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:11 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby Qua » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:26 pm

Ha this feels like freaking Deal or no Deal. Down to two, what suitcase!!

Thanks for all the advice, a few more days to let the test brew and then decision time!

I'm leaning towards canceling, applying again this term, and if I really am T-15 or bust taking the Feb. or June test to supplement. It's not worth risking a lower score. Having taken the WL ride last year at UCLA and BU, it seems like a high score, even if late in the game, helps tremendously and is one of the strongest avenues for breaking in off the WL.

Food for thought, why doesn't LSAC release your answer sheet if you cancel? I paid to take this test, you would think I deserve to know what my score was. Only reason I can think of is that cancellations might fluctuate the curve, but this seems very unlikely. Any other explanations?

sportgirl234
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 12:19 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby sportgirl234 » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:33 pm

Qua wrote:Ha this feels like freaking Deal or no Deal. Down to two, what suitcase!!

Thanks for all the advice, a few more days to let the test brew and then decision time!

I'm leaning towards canceling, applying again this term, and if I really am T-15 or bust taking the Feb. or June test to supplement. It's not worth risking a lower score. Having taken the WL ride last year at UCLA and BU, it seems like a high score, even if late in the game, helps tremendously and is one of the strongest avenues for breaking in off the WL.

Food for thought, why doesn't LSAC release your answer sheet if you cancel? I paid to take this test, you would think I deserve to know what my score was. Only reason I can think of is that cancellations might fluctuate the curve, but this seems very unlikely. Any other explanations?


cancelations don't touch the curve it is predetermined. I agree you deserve to know but maybe they don't want the headache of buyer's remorse. you know there is at least one person who cancels because he or she thinks they bombed it but really did awesome.

Qua
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:11 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby Qua » Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:38 pm

sportgirl234 wrote:
cancelations don't touch the curve it is predetermined. I agree you deserve to know but maybe they don't want the headache of buyer's remorse. you know there is at least one person who cancels because he or she thinks they bombed it but really did awesome.


Yeah buyer's remorse is brutal for the test taker, but buyer's remorse could translate to more retakes for LSAC and thus more $$$$. No?

Qua
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:11 am

Re: Dec. 2011 Retake, To Cancel or Not

Postby Qua » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:47 am

Find out about -14 curve today....and I cancelled. Well now I will never know, but I don't necessarily regret it either. That test was brutal, anything could of happened.




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