delay test until December?

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walterwhite
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delay test until December?

Postby walterwhite » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:39 pm

I'm currently registered to take the test in October, but honestly my preparation has a hit a wall over the last few weeks since I got back to school. I'm finding it's harder to fit in study time during the school year than I thought it would be.

Basically my only concern with taking the test during December would be that I would be applying way too late in the cycle. I have read on the forums that's a myth, and that it's perfectly ok to take the test in December. However, I've heard from just as many (if not more) people that admissions officers just say that, when in reality you're at a huge disadvantage if you send your apps around Christmas/ New Year's. So I was just wondering what the consensus was regarding the December test.

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objection_your_honor
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby objection_your_honor » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:59 pm

I think consensus is that December is not ideal, but if it gains you even a single point on the LSAT then the pros outweigh the cons.

A 170 in December should fare better than a 169 in October.

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Jeffort
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby Jeffort » Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:47 pm

The majority of decisions about submitted applications are not made until January or later so it does not put you at a serious disadvantage.

The most important part of the applying early is advantageous advice is typically left out when people tell it to others, namely the all other things (meaning your numbers) being equal part. So, it assumes that you would be applying with the same LSAT score later as you would if you took in October and applied earlier. This assumption doesn't hold true in reality if you push back your test day and continue to prep since you should therefore end up applying with a higher score than you would have achieved taking it earlier in October. Admission chances are for sure increased with a higher score even if the application is submitted later, that is verifiable fact you can bank on.

As the previous poster said, even just a few more points (or even just one point higher) from a later score increases your admission chances more than any perceived advantage from applying earlier with a slightly lower score.

The bottom line reality is that admissions committees do not lower their admission standards for early applications. If your numbers are weak/low for a particular school, ad comms are not going to cut you a break and overlook mediocre numbers just because you are an early bird. Ad comms don't think things like "oh, even though her LSAT score is a few points lower than what we normally need with her GPA, she applied really early and seems like a motivated go getter so we should cut her some slack and give her a shot."

No matter when you apply, if your numbers are not reasonably within range for a particular school (within or above the 75% - 25% LSAT numbers range for admitted applicants at the school), your chances of being accepted do not increase because you applied earlier than many others. The advantage only applies when you have good enough numbers within range but that are marginal, meaning in the middle to lower numbers range of admitted students that put you in the big 'maybe' stack where the decision could go either way depending on how it compares to other similar applications they receive and how many competitive applicants the school actually gets for its limited number of seats.

A simple way to put it is that applying early cannot increase admission chances for applications with numbers that give very little or no realistic chance for acceptance in the first place regardless of when you apply and how much competition you face. Basically, you have to at least be decently in range to get a boost from applying early.

Unfortunately many people interpret the advice to mean what they want it to actually mean due to wishful thinking and hope that applying early will compensate for/overshadow a weak/below range LSAT score. It does not!!!

In short, you should only apply early or even be thinking about it/planning to do it if you have the numbers you need locked in. Applying early with a lower than needed for decent admission chances LSAT score pretty much only helps to make sure you get your rejection letter sooner.

If you reasonably think that you will be able to achieve a higher score in December with more prep time than you'll be able to pull off on the October test, it would be a big mistake to settle for an earlier lower score in order to get your application in earlier since you'll actually be reducing your admission chances, not increasing them.

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walterwhite
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby walterwhite » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:44 am

i just noticed the change test date deadline has passed. if i withdraw from the test, will that appear on my record, in the same way a cancelled score stays on your record?

rebexness
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby rebexness » Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:50 am

walterwhite wrote:i just noticed the change test date deadline has passed. if i withdraw from the test, will that appear on my record, in the same way a cancelled score stays on your record?

Similarly, does a cancel prior to the test show the same as a cancel during/after the test?

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Jeffort
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:56 am

rebexness wrote:
walterwhite wrote:i just noticed the change test date deadline has passed. if i withdraw from the test, will that appear on my record, in the same way a cancelled score stays on your record?

Similarly, does a cancel prior to the test show the same as a cancel during/after the test?


No, it does not. When you withdraw your registration prior to test day it prevents anything about it from showing on your LSAC report that schools see.

If you withdraw from a test by the deadline 11:59pm ET the day before, schools will never know you were originally signed up unless you tell them, which there would be no reason to do since they wouldn't care.

Don't worry about it, the only harm is the lost reg fee $$, it doesn't count against the three takes in two years limit either.

Just don't forget to login to your account and withdraw the registration before test day, otherwise you'll get a nasty Absent mark on your score report that makes you look flakey to schools.

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Brettanomyces
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby Brettanomyces » Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:48 am

If you're--without a doubt--going to apply to law school this cycle, take both exams. It can't hurt, unless you've already taken a couple. If you're flexible, take it when you're ready. Study up until the 4th and if you think you're not ready, withdraw. If you think you are ready, but you're actually not, take it, and then cancel later. December is fine for admissions as long as you're sure you'll do better then than in October.

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tigersaresexy
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby tigersaresexy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:51 am

walterwhite wrote:I'm currently registered to take the test in October, but honestly my preparation has a hit a wall over the last few weeks since I got back to school. I'm finding it's harder to fit in study time during the school year than I thought it would be.


Trust me, if you're finding it hard to study in the first few weeks it's going to be even harder to study when all your finals and papers are due. I did what you did last year, ended up having to push my admissions back a whole cycle because I was busy with college stuff the entire semester while I was supposed to be studying.

My advice? If you're close to your goal score, put you social life and non essential classes on hold for the next two weeks and study your ass off. You're not going to study over the semester, and you're going to forget the stuff you're already good at.

That being said, if you're open to the idea and can afford to, take a year off after graduating, study your ass off for next year's october test, write some kick ass apps. If it means moving back home for a few months, do it. I'm glad I got to take a break actually, I was so fed up with classes by the end of senior year I really needed a break from being a student (I just graduated in May)

Edit for anecdote - A friend of mine, who was in a similar situation two years ago, took a bus home in the middle of the night once and announced on FB the next day that she had mono. She stayed out for two and a half weeks and came back to monday after the LSAT. She told me later that she begged her GP to write up doctor's notes for class (he was also a close friend of her parents), and that she took her time off school to cram.

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walterwhite
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby walterwhite » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:03 pm

does anybody know how much the "partial refund" is? knowing the LSAC people it can't be more than like $10- $25

Kimikho
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby Kimikho » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:10 pm

I think it's $50.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby Nonconsecutive » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:29 pm


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walterwhite
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby walterwhite » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:25 pm

i think i'm going to stick with the october test even though i have 4 exams (not including the LSAT) between october 2nd and october 7th... worst 6 days ever haha

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Jeffort
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby Jeffort » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:23 pm

walterwhite wrote:i think i'm going to stick with the october test even though i have 4 exams (not including the LSAT) between october 2nd and october 7th... worst 6 days ever haha


uhhmm, you better already be scoring in your target range on timed PTs, are you?

If you are not in or super close to your target range, it would be a mistake to take the Oct test, especially with your finals schedule. You could very realistically do double damage to yourself with this plan by possibly hurting your GPA from rushing into the LSAT only to get a sub-par score that will be counterproductive to your admissions goals. You don't get do-overs with your GPA!! You'll have no time for LSAT prep during the last week before the test without sacrificing study time for finals! That is a bad situation which guarantees at least one, probably both your GPA and LSAT score will suffer that you can easily avoid to get the best instead of worst of both worlds!

Think very long and hard about this and the reasons why you want to take the October test, I suspect your main reason is just to get it out of the way based on some hope that things will go much better than usual on test day to boost your score from its current level.

If you are comfortably within range on PTs, feel free to ignore everything above. If not, I'll let others chime in to help dissuade you from making a potentially very bad decision.

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walterwhite
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby walterwhite » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:43 pm

Jeffort wrote:
walterwhite wrote:i think i'm going to stick with the october test even though i have 4 exams (not including the LSAT) between october 2nd and october 7th... worst 6 days ever haha


uhhmm, you better already be scoring in your target range on timed PTs, are you?

If you are not in or super close to your target range, it would be a mistake to take the Oct test, especially with your finals schedule. You could very realistically do double damage to yourself with this plan by possibly hurting your GPA from rushing into the LSAT only to get a sub-par score that will be counterproductive to your admissions goals. You don't get do-overs with your GPA!! You'll have no time for LSAT prep during the last week before the test without sacrificing study time for finals! That is a bad situation which guarantees at least one, probably both your GPA and LSAT score will suffer that you can easily avoid to get the best instead of worst of both worlds!

Think very long and hard about this and the reasons why you want to take the October test, I suspect your main reason is just to get it out of the way based on some hope that things will go much better than usual on test day to boost your score from its current level.

If you are comfortably within range on PTs, feel free to ignore everything above. If not, I'll let others chime in to help dissuade you from making a potentially very bad decision.



i feel i can get close to my target score next saturday, but i feel i could build more consistency if i took 2 extra months to study.

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attackpizza
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Re: delay test until December?

Postby attackpizza » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:26 pm

Ugh, I have completely hit a wall and have seen my PT scores drop. I'm seriously considering withdrawing from the October test and getting back in gear to peak for the December test. I work full time and was able to make some serious progress during a lull, but we've picked back up and I haven't been able to sneak-study. I also have a new baby who is getting his first tooth, so sleep hasn't been very consistent. Two weeks ago, I was PTing in my goal range and I could actually feel my brain getting smarter, but today, it feels like the first time I took the test cold, with no prep.

I totally understand your situation and I think that if you (and I) used the extra time wisely, you could get back to where you were. However, I'd be particularly mindful of a false sense of security the extra two months buys -- it's easy to think two months is forever, but you've got to keep pushing. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Good luck!




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