I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

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guavaeater

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I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby guavaeater » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:48 pm


Please do not quote this post in your replies. Thank you


So I don't think I did as well as I should have on yesterday's exam. I know for certain that I did not break past the upper 160's. I've been averaging 172 on my PT's, but due to test anxiety (perhaps also poor preparation) I could hardly maintain focus on the real thing. I messed up on RC and LG especially. I'm going to re-take in December and I hope (with intensive study and a lot more PTs) I'll manage to actually score around my average.

I'm thinking of cancelling my score because 1) It's going to be bad 2) I don't want it to ruin my chances of getting into any of the T14 and it's the second reason that I'd appreciate your input on. Some background information: Last yr, I stupidly took the LSAT cold (I already know how awful this was. I regret it deeply) and scored a 156. I'm a non-traditional student; I completed an online degree while still a homeschooled high-schooler. I have a 3.85 GPA. I'm 18 years old right now and I'll be nearly 19 around the time I want to begin LS (Fall 2017).

Sorry to use hypotheticals, but assuming I score at least a 170 on the December LSAT and a 160 this time, what looks worse to the T14 (specifically CCN, Georgetown, and UVA. Not including HYS)? A 156 - Cancel - 170 or a 156 - 160 - 170? I know multiple takes looks bad on an applicant, especially when they follow the second pattern, and I don't want these multiple scores to ruin my chances at admission more than they have to.

I'm not necessarily T14 or bust. Out of the unlikely chance I also score poorly on the December LSAT then I want to have a shot at UF, which is why I'm hesitant about cancelling my score. It could be good enough to be admitted there.

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RamTitan

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby RamTitan » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:58 pm

Definitely do not cancel; multiple takes do not look bad on an applicant

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby Alpal29 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 2:59 pm

Don't cancel your score, but I also wouldn't retake it again yet. Strap in because I'm about to hit you with some hard advice.

You are to young to go to law school right now, and you would be doing yourself a disservice. No matter what your score is, you're going to have a harder time getting into law school because of how young you are. You are also going to have a harder time on the other side securing a job. You're in a great position right now, you're young, you're clearly intelligent, go work for a few years. It doesn't matter where or doing what, but don't waste that GPA applying so young. Work for a few years and get some real life experience before you go re-center and study for the LSAT and take it again. If you apply in two years you'll still be on the younger side of your class, but will have so much life experience.

Now if you tell me "Age won't matter! They can't discriminate!" Damn straight they can't, but they can not take you due to "fit" both in jobs and school, if you're going to keep it hidden, that's easier said then done. You want to be able to have conversations on shared experiences. Graduating college so early and in a unique way, while a great accomplishment does rob you of those experiences. Go work a job so that you can talk about what you learned as an adult, before you apply.

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby tskela » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:24 pm

Alpal29 wrote:Don't cancel your score, but I also wouldn't retake it again yet. Strap in because I'm about to hit you with some hard advice.

You are to young to go to law school right now, and you would be doing yourself a disservice. No matter what your score is, you're going to have a harder time getting into law school because of how young you are. You are also going to have a harder time on the other side securing a job. You're in a great position right now, you're young, you're clearly intelligent, go work for a few years. It doesn't matter where or doing what, but don't waste that GPA applying so young. Work for a few years and get some real life experience before you go re-center and study for the LSAT and take it again. If you apply in two years you'll still be on the younger side of your class, but will have so much life experience.

Now if you tell me "Age won't matter! They can't discriminate!" Damn straight they can't, but they can not take you due to "fit" both in jobs and school, if you're going to keep it hidden, that's easier said then done. You want to be able to have conversations on shared experiences. Graduating college so early and in a unique way, while a great accomplishment does rob you of those experiences. Go work a job so that you can talk about what you learned as an adult, before you apply.


i agree that OP's age might hurt him in LS admissions but "life experience" is super overrated. speaking as someone who took a year after UG to work full time, it's boring and mundane and only really "valuable" in that it's made me 200% certain I want to go back to school. there's no magical transition to adulthood that happens as you're grinding 9-5. you don't suddenly get all wise and seasoned. you just burn yourself out on trivial admin-type BS which is the only kind of thing you're really qualified to do with a humanities degree from State U.

not that i disagree with your overall advice that OP should not apply to law school at 18/19. but he should wait to improve his chances at getting in, not in the hopes of gaining "valuable life experience"

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guavaeater

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby guavaeater » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:10 pm

I'm mentally and legally an adult. I'm at an age at which most Americans are still completing a degree, and I'm already in the midst of a gap year, trying to build up some formal work experience. It feels like a delay at best, it is one at worst. This stage in life (18-early 20's) is an ideal time to be in school--I'm still relatively young, I have no familial obligations, and the job opportunities currently available to me are subpar, i.e. probably worse than they would be if I was 20 or 21. I'll only be about two or three years younger than the average student. I'll be fine, I just need a good application. Nonetheless, I really appreciate everyone's advice and insights. Seriously, thank you.

I'm leaning toward taking this score and moving on, but I'm still considering the cancel. I'm just worried about sending two mediocre scores to a T14 because they could (and probably will) be viewed in worse light than is usual considering my age and my degree. I'm female and racially/ethnically half-URM/ORM (Puerto Rican/Asian), in case that might allow me some 'leniency'.

Please do not quote this post in your replies. Again, thank you

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby grades?? » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:36 pm

I don't think you understand. If you go to a t14, most of the job searching is done at OCI after your 1st year of law school. If you start law school at 20, you are at max 21 when going through OCI and where the majority of your class will get their job for after graduation. Firms will not hire you that young. They want you to have experience. The difference between my friends who are 22/23 with no experience between UG and law school had a much harder job search than 25/26 year olds who had a few years between law school and undergrad.

This has nothing to do with school, but getting a job. You will not do well at this age. No reasonable firm will hire a 20/21 year old. Even 22/23 year olds really struggle. Go do anything but go to law school. Seriously.
Last edited by grades?? on Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mr. Archer

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:36 pm

If you took the LSAT cold, it's hard to argue you're mentally an adult, even though its' a year later. That just screams immaturity. The people telling you that you're too young are correct. The age factor isn't just about admissions, it's about employment opportunities and the law school experience.

I would actually be interested to know what people think about your admission chances given you apparently did high school and college at the same time. I know that if I were looking at your degree, I wouldn't take it as seriously as I would if you had just racked up AP classes in a traditional high school and then graduated college two years early but attended a non-online school.

The female/URM status will help your admissions, but I'm not sure that would be enough to get in at a T14 if you think your highest score will be a 160. That would be a low score and no experience (arguably less than usual since most young applicants still have college activities). Applications have been down though, so I could be wrong about the LSAT cut off score.

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby tskela » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:43 pm

grades?? wrote:I don't think you understand. If you go to a t14, most of the job searching is done at OCI after your 1st year of law school. If you start law school at 20, you are at max 21 when going through OCI and where the majority of your class will get their job for after graduation. Firms will not hire you that young. They want you to have experience. The difference between my friends who are 22/23 with no experience between UG and law school had a much harder job search than 25/26 year olds who had a few years.

This has nothing to do with school, but getting a job. You will not do well at this age. No reasonable firm will hire a 20/21 year old.


law school prestige >> grades at said school >>>>> pre-law school job experience. i have a friend at each of harvard, virginia and gtown who all ended up top third and had no issues with hiring despite being KJD and having nothing but UG activities on their resumes

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby grades?? » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:47 pm

tskela wrote:
grades?? wrote:I don't think you understand. If you go to a t14, most of the job searching is done at OCI after your 1st year of law school. If you start law school at 20, you are at max 21 when going through OCI and where the majority of your class will get their job for after graduation. Firms will not hire you that young. They want you to have experience. The difference between my friends who are 22/23 with no experience between UG and law school had a much harder job search than 25/26 year olds who had a few years.

This has nothing to do with school, but getting a job. You will not do well at this age. No reasonable firm will hire a 20/21 year old.


law school prestige >> grades at said school >>>>> pre-law school job experience. i have a friend at each of harvard, virginia and gtown who all ended up top third and had no issues with hiring despite being KJD and having nothing but UG activities on their resumes


Good for your friends. A regular KJD will be 23/24 at OCI. This person will be 20/21. That is a huge difference. And at my mid-t14 school, there was a clear difference in outcomes within my school from KJDS and non-kjds.

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby tskela » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:49 pm

grades?? wrote:
tskela wrote:
grades?? wrote:I don't think you understand. If you go to a t14, most of the job searching is done at OCI after your 1st year of law school. If you start law school at 20, you are at max 21 when going through OCI and where the majority of your class will get their job for after graduation. Firms will not hire you that young. They want you to have experience. The difference between my friends who are 22/23 with no experience between UG and law school had a much harder job search than 25/26 year olds who had a few years.

This has nothing to do with school, but getting a job. You will not do well at this age. No reasonable firm will hire a 20/21 year old.


law school prestige >> grades at said school >>>>> pre-law school job experience. i have a friend at each of harvard, virginia and gtown who all ended up top third and had no issues with hiring despite being KJD and having nothing but UG activities on their resumes


Good for your friends. A regular KJD will be 23/24 at OCI. This person will be 20/21. That is a huge difference. And at my mid-t14 school, there was a clear difference in outcomes within my school from KJDS and non-kjds.


I'm sure there is a considerable difference, but only with all else (school + grades) being equal.

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby grades?? » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:51 pm

tskela wrote:
grades?? wrote:
tskela wrote:
grades?? wrote:I don't think you understand. If you go to a t14, most of the job searching is done at OCI after your 1st year of law school. If you start law school at 20, you are at max 21 when going through OCI and where the majority of your class will get their job for after graduation. Firms will not hire you that young. They want you to have experience. The difference between my friends who are 22/23 with no experience between UG and law school had a much harder job search than 25/26 year olds who had a few years.

This has nothing to do with school, but getting a job. You will not do well at this age. No reasonable firm will hire a 20/21 year old.


law school prestige >> grades at said school >>>>> pre-law school job experience. i have a friend at each of harvard, virginia and gtown who all ended up top third and had no issues with hiring despite being KJD and having nothing but UG activities on their resumes


Good for your friends. A regular KJD will be 23/24 at OCI. This person will be 20/21. That is a huge difference. And at my mid-t14 school, there was a clear difference in outcomes within my school from KJDS and non-kjds.


I'm sure there is a considerable difference, but only with all else (school + grades) being equal.


Yes. The point is for OP there will be less employment opportunities because of her age at OCI. You go to law school for employment opportunities. Law school qua law school is not a thing.

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby tskela » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:59 pm

grades?? wrote:
tskela wrote:
grades?? wrote:
tskela wrote:
grades?? wrote:I don't think you understand. If you go to a t14, most of the job searching is done at OCI after your 1st year of law school. If you start law school at 20, you are at max 21 when going through OCI and where the majority of your class will get their job for after graduation. Firms will not hire you that young. They want you to have experience. The difference between my friends who are 22/23 with no experience between UG and law school had a much harder job search than 25/26 year olds who had a few years.

This has nothing to do with school, but getting a job. You will not do well at this age. No reasonable firm will hire a 20/21 year old.


law school prestige >> grades at said school >>>>> pre-law school job experience. i have a friend at each of harvard, virginia and gtown who all ended up top third and had no issues with hiring despite being KJD and having nothing but UG activities on their resumes


Good for your friends. A regular KJD will be 23/24 at OCI. This person will be 20/21. That is a huge difference. And at my mid-t14 school, there was a clear difference in outcomes within my school from KJDS and non-kjds.


I'm sure there is a considerable difference, but only with all else (school + grades) being equal.


Yes. The point is for OP there will be less employment opportunities because of his/her age at OCI. You go to law school for employment opportunities. Law school qua law school is not a thing.


right, we're in general agreement. the only point i was trying to make is that if OP does well on his retake and gets into a T14 with a 90+% employment rate (where the vast majority of students who want biglaw get it), i don't think his age and lack of experience will prove an insurmountable hurdle. of course if he wants to maximize his employment chances he should get some job experience.

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby ArtistOfManliness » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:11 pm

Several people at my school were 2-3 years ahead of schedule. They did great at OCI.

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guavaeater

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby guavaeater » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:23 pm

Mr. Archer wrote:If you took the LSAT cold, it's hard to argue you're mentally an adult, even though its' a year later. That just screams immaturity. The people telling you that you're too young are correct. The age factor isn't just about admissions, it's about employment opportunities and the law school experience.


wrt to that decision 'screaming immaturity' you're absolutely right but even so, it's not fair or accurate to evaluate how much of an adult I am based off one poor decision, even if it is something as major as taking the LSAT cold. I realize, however, that it will hurt me in the admissions process. The best way I can remedy it is scoring 170+ in December. There's nothing I can really do about it at this point.

Mr. Archer wrote:I would actually be interested to know what people think about your admission chances given you apparently did high school and college at the same time. I know that if I were looking at your degree, I wouldn't take it as seriously as I would if you had just racked up AP classes in a traditional high school and then graduated college two years early but attended a non-online school.


This is a huge concern of mine and I'd like to know too, because that's how I look at my degree. I've even considered applying to a traditional college this year and going to LS afterward with two undergraduate degrees. It sounds ridiculous; I'm not even sure if it's possible.

Mr. Archer wrote:The female/URM status will help your admissions, but I'm not sure that would be enough to get in at a T14 if you think your highest score will be a 160. That would be a low score and no experience (arguably less than usual since most young applicants still have college activities). Applications have been down though, so I could be wrong about the LSAT cut off score.


160 isn't my highest score. It's an estimate of what I scored on Saturday, and it just might be if I keep my score and happen to mess up in December too. I have a re-take left.

On another note, I'll seriously consider everything I just read (regarding my age and employment opportunities) in this thread.

Please do not quote this post in your replies. Thanks

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Mr. Archer

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby Mr. Archer » Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:52 pm

Whether my statement was "fair" or "accurate" shouldn't be your focus. One of the biggest adult decisions you've made was really bad, so it calls your judgment into question. That's a problem that you face given your age. Yes, you are legally an adult, but that doesn't mean you'll be treated the same as everyone else in law school, even though they might be only two years older if you start at 19. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes by younger people often get attributed to age instead of other factors.

Waiting a year and working or getting another degree might help. When you eventually apply, it might not hurt to write an addendum about taking the LSAT too young. People really shouldn't be taking the LSAT at 17.

You really shouldn't look at this as a delay, considering you are ahead of schedule. If your undergraduate major isn't something that leads to high employability, you might consider getting another degree in something that actually leads to a job. You might get to law school and decide it's not for you. However, if there's a master's degree you could get by taking classes for a year while you prep for the LSAT, that might be a better route.

If you decide to get another degree, then I would suggest not taking the next LSAT in December but setting yourself up for February or June. A high LSAT score makes a huge difference in admissions and scholarship money. Law school is extremely expensive, especially if you go to a private school or go somewhere without in-state tuition.

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Re: I'm considering cancelling my score. Advice?

Postby TragicBronson » Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:35 pm

OP, don't listen to any of the negative nancies saying that you are too young. Grades trump all when it comes to hiring. As for having the maturity to handle law school, I think your point of view that doing it now before you are married/a mother is a very mature position to take, and the way you've handled the nancies in this thread is pretty mature as well. Plus, what better to demonstrate the maturity to handle school then a 3.85 gpa in undergrad (granted, law school is a little different than undergrad. But the way in which it's different has nothing to do with age).

As for your question, I don't think there's anything to lose by keeping it. Schools only care about the highest score, as it's what they report to usnews. Best case scenario, you scored better than you think.



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