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I think I f***ed up and I want to cancel

J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
edited February 2016 in Sage Advice 13406 karma
You probably didn't.

But in case you're feeling this way, I want to say a couple of things before you cancel your score.

First of all, congratulations on completing the LSAT. What an exceedingly difficult challenge—but you did it! For what it's worth, I am proud of you for your hard work over the months and your accomplishment today. I wish I could shake your hand because I would do it earnestly until you said "J.Y. stop it."

Please get together with your poor friends whom you've been neglecting for the past x months and drink your collective faces off. On you of course. I mean that literally as in have your friends drink things off your body. And also in the sense that you should pay because you've been such a bad bad friend.

If that's not appealing, please get together with your friends and spend a lovely and sober evening together not nourishing budding alcoholism. But you should still pay for whatever it is.

Okay, on to business.

Your score will likely be a couple points lower. I'm sorry, but that is how it goes. It's completely normal to feel stressed out on test day and that's likely what causes the "test day penalty" that everyone talks about. Objectively, that just happens.

Subjectively, though, your stress might distort your impression of that fact. It might distort your impression of your performance by overemphasizing the negative. You fixate on things like how rushed you felt, how much you guessed, how you never guessed on PTs, that one LR question that you just couldn't figure out, etc. That's what contributes to that dreadful "I f***ed up" feeling. But don't let that get to you. All of that has already been taken into account under what we call the "test day penalty".

If nothing objectively terrible happened, like you had a seizure or heart attack during the test, your city suffered a major earthquake, the guy sitting next to you was so frustrated with the 3rd game that he stood up, ninja stared the proctor in the leg with his sharpened #2 pencil and yelled "F******** EVERYTHING!" and stormed out of the room, then mostly likely, you did just fine.

It has to be fine because the LSAT is a very consistent and reliable test. And that's a good thing. Why would PrepTest whatever be "special"? It can be "special" only in so far as any of the other PrepTests were "special" and you've already preptested those other "special" PTs.

So there it is. If you're thinking about canceling your score, I hope you'll read this a few times and think about it carefully.
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Comments

  • jbam16jbam16 Member
    2 karma
    Hi JY,
    This post really put my mind at ease...at least until I get my score!! I just want to say no matter how I did thank you so much for what you have created on this website and how much you have helped me. If I get in to law school a large part of it will be due to how much your videos have helped me so thank you thank you thank you.
    :)
  • J.Y. PingJ.Y. Ping Administrator Instructor
    13406 karma
    bump
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    You are right about tending to focus on the negative. I absolutely crushed a particular section type that shall not be named, which reflects a huge accomplishment on my part from my first PT.

    The way I see it, this was just dress rehearsal for Oct. The Oct test doesn't stand a chance.
  • amanda_kwamanda_kw Alum Member
    383 karma
    Thanks for this. How do you get inside our heads J.Y.?
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    Here's a story to make you guys feel better about yourselves (schadenfreude). I felt awesome during this test. Didn't feel particularly stuck on any questions, didn't have to 'guess' (most tests I 'guess' between 2 answers on 4 or 5 questions. I've been PTing in the 176 range, and I honestly felt like I could have 180ed. Until the end. I knew I had 25 questions in one section, and 27 in the following section, but somehow on my answer sheet I had 26 on both of the sections. I am afraid I put the first answer for the second section in the previous column, thus shifting all of my answers up one, pushing my potential 180 to a probable 160. Maybe it was the last question that I put in the wrong column, maybe instead of putting question 26 following the 2nd #25 I put it behind the first #25, but probably not.

    So long, 180.
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    That's a tough call to make, man. I guess you know better than anyone what happened.. Would you get held back from anything if you re-took in October?
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    Well, I'm a splitter planning on the T14, so I need to get my apps in early as possible. Not entirely sure what to do. This was also my second time taking (first was a 167 with virtually no practice last september, I feel stupid for that), so October would be it for me until the next October. If I comes down to it though, I would probably go through with the cycle using an October cycle and if I didn't like any of the options I would just take another year of gaining work exp. I literally vomited for hours after the test as what I had done settled in to my mind.
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    IDK how your schools go, but my target school (UT) will take the LSAT from October for early admission. I'm like you.. splitter.. GPA blows. Have an MA but it doesn't count for shit. From what I hear, people who have had disasters like that with bubbling tend to cancel. But again, only you know what happened.
  • Student76Student76 Alum Member
    324 karma
    You would probably remember to start a new section in a new column, right? You most likely just put 27 in the previous column's 26 space and you are going to kill it. Really, -1 can still be a 180. I'm rooting for you.
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    Yeah, I think most schools will take Oct. LSATs early on. Some of the people I work with (at a law school) seem to think I would be better off keeping the score so I can write an addendum and show the law schools what happened (so they could see for themselves I got them almost all right, but made a costly mistake). They seem to think that would look better than a cancelled score. IDK what to think at this point to be honest.

    The good news is that I still have only burned up like 20 PTs (none of which are after like PT65).

    The bad news is that RC is always the thorn in my side, and I felt unusually good about it today.

    I have read over on TLS that some people have had luck with requesting a hand grader. Supposedly if they notice an obvious pattern they will make an adjustment for you. That doesn't sound very LSAC like, though.
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    @ashley3460 said:
    You would probably remember to start a new section in a new column, right? You most likely just put 27 in the previous column's 26 space and you are going to kill it. Really, -1 can still be a 180. I'm rooting for you.
    Thanks. more than likely screwed up big time though. Did you take the test today?
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    That seems wildly optimistic about the LSAC accepting "patterns" but maybe I'm wrong.

    And lucky you for grasping this material so quickly.
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    That's the same thing I thought, but like I said, supposedly people have had them do it. Any suggestions for nailing down RC? The only thing I can think of is making sure I read more often. I will probably get a subscription to the New Yorker or something with a more difficult writing style. That and I guess I should keep practicing games. Oh, and above all, PRACTICE BUBBLING MY STUPID ANSWER SHEET. I feel like such a moron.

    Suddenly dreams of T14 with $ turn to nightmares of the moment I realized what I had done.
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    For me, RC was a breeze in practice when I just read the passage, light notating, and used my memory to map the passage and even answer some questions right off the bat. This proved to be an abysmal strategy on test day. I was just too hyped up to reach that contemplative state of mind where such a feat could occur. I know now that I need to write on the passage and be able to go back to it on the questions. I will just be too hyped on test day to use the method I use in practice. I don't know if this happened to you, but I'm just saying that this is how I will approach October.

    I think it really depends on your post-game analysis of what happened.. wherever you found yourself waffling is where you need to work.
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    RC is the only section I didn't find myself with at least a few minutes to spare. Looking back at my tests, my RC numbers seemed to have got worse over the course of my prep. So, uh, that's not good. I know that's what I need to work on though.

    If only I had a few mins to spare at the end of all of the sections. I could have corrected my terrible, terrible, mistake. (or at least looked at how bad I actually screwed up instead of having to wait a month)

    What were your overall thoughts? I thought it was a pretty easy test (especially LR). The last LG was a bit odd though, tbh. I can see myself having accidentally screwed something up there without realizing it.
  • Student76Student76 Alum Member
    324 karma
    I did,I would be very happy with your original score. I think I had a scantron error in feb, the beauty of feb is that I won't know if that is true for 10 years.
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    @ashley3460 said:
    I did,I would be very happy with your original score. I think I had a scantron error in feb, the beauty of feb is that I won't know if that is true for 10 years.
    Ouch. That does suck about Feb tests.

    Hopefully you killed it today. How did you feel?
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    Welp.. finishing on time has never really been an issue for me. I routinely have 5-6 minutes left in LR and LG and RC to go back check my answers. I usually have the most time left in LG practice. On this one, LG had me almost in tears when proctor called 5. To put that in perspective. From what I've been gleaning about popular perspective (which could be an unrepresentative talkative sample) the LR's and RC's were pitched normally, but the LG's had people wanting their mothers. I'm expecting LG to be the curvebreaker here.
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    edited June 2015 50 karma
    Yeah, I know what you mean. That last game was very, very weird. All of that being said, once I found out (I still could be wrong) what they meant, I felt much better. Hopefully that's not too much info, but enough that you know what the heck I am talking about, haha.
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    Actually, yeah I would delete that..
  • Student76Student76 Alum Member
    324 karma
    I didn't feel great leaving I circled like 4 questions on my first lr and that was a lot for me to have doubts about. I was hoping it was experimental, it's not. But I guess it doesn't mean that it went bad, I just wasn't as confident as I would have liked. RC was great for me (and it never is). The other lrs were good and lg was going great til 3 got me caught up for some reason. I looked at 4 with 5 minutes left, decided to finish the last 2 on 3 that I was struggling with and I kind of pushed through 4 eliminated some that I could immediately. However, with everyone terrorized by lg, I'm wondering if I missed something. Yeah 4 was different, but I only think it was hard because I didn't have the time. Surely the rest seemed standard. Same goes for RC, people who are estimating there own scores to be in the 175 range are discussing how difficult it was so I'm wondering why my memory is so different. So hindsight, I'm feeling good, but skeptical because I usually don't find it easy when others find it difficult. My last 10 pt average was 166, My last pt was 169 and I would love to be in that range. My feb 2015 LSAT was a 155 and my goal was to have my score investigated by the LSAC because it increased so much
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    @ashley.. I think it must be mentioned that people tend to exaggerate the LG. We're used to hitting perfect or near-perfect in practice, then on test day if one single game throws us, we think the world has ended. In all honesty, if you are confident on most of the games, even if you just bubbled a straight letter choice for one, you're probably looking at a -4 or -3.. but yeah I think there were very very few folks who have no worries about this games section.
  • formerlyjk2007formerlyjk2007 Legacy Member
    50 karma
    @ashley3460 said:
    My feb 2015 LSAT was a 155 and my goal was to have my score investigated by the LSAC because it increased so much
    LOL that would be awesome. Hopefully you knocked it out of the park. Meanwhile... I need another beer to drink away the sorrows.
  • seth.corleyseth.corley Alum Member
    29 karma
    Hey gals and guys. Call me O.J. Cuz' I murdered that test. I think you did too. You little Zodiac Killers ;)
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    ^ This.. I wish I could share in this optimism right now. Maybe like some kind of.. selective.. creative memory tactic. That would be nice
  • seth.corleyseth.corley Alum Member
    29 karma
    I really think that if everyone is have no this much trouble with it, they had to have taken that into account in setting the curve. I wouldn't worry too much. I feel like emotions are pretty unreliable indicators. They blow things up and blur your perception. You either knew it or you didn't. If you knew it, as was probably empirically shown by your PT's then you prolly did fine.
  • 227 karma
    Jeffrey: LSAT takers of the JUNE 2015 administration report having experienced a "tougher than regular" LG experience. Nonetheless, there is no reason for this commentary, considering that the only thing out of the ordinary was one out of the four games. At least two games need to be out of the ordinary to constitute such hype.

    Stephanie: You have mistakenly defined aberrance; for something to be out of the ordinary, it has to cause quite a bit of stress. The JUNE 2015 administration definitely caused quite a bit of stress, which certainly implies aberrance, and furthermore, unfair expectations on LSAC's part.

    Stephanie's response to Jeffrey's criticism is most vulnerable on the grounds that her argument

    A) Regards a condition required to give rise to a phenomenon as something sufficient to give rise to a phenomenon.

    B) Completely neglects to address the evidence that Jeffrey cites.

    C) Relies on the assumption that something cannot be out of the ordinary without being properly titled aberrant.

    D) Assumes that, because Jeffrey smokes meth, Jeffrey must not have an accurate perception of the JUNE 2015 LSAT.

    E) Fuck this; I'm taking JY's advice and tossing back a brew.
  • Dr. YamataDr. Yamata Legacy Member Inactive ⭐
    578 karma
    LOL but.. just.. no.. reading A B C D E literally just made me nauseous.
  • 227 karma
    Haha
    Not the experience I wanted to induce
  • NYC12345NYC12345 Alum Inactive Sage
    1654 karma
    @ashley3460
    "my goal was to have my score investigated by the LSAC because it increased so much."
    ^Amen to that
  • mpits001mpits001 Alum Member
    edited June 2015 938 karma
    I think I did better than last time, considering I was put on major tilt by my testing conditions the first time around. This time I was bullet focused. Nothing broke my concentration! The only issue I had was a particular game (overall). Everything else played out exactly like my PTs did. If my family circumstances allowed me to take a year off, I would have, and not had even taken this exam, oh well. Here's hoping this one was a good one. I'm really eating myself away with the negatives that I remember. The whole test feels like a blur. Then again I'm also hung over. So most of yesterday is a total blur!

    The one thing that did surprise me though was a kid right before the exam started. He was called upon (as our proctor read our names allowed) to verify that we were there. He got up and said that he wasn't ready for it and that it wasn't time.
  • kennedybjkennedybj Alum Member
    697 karma
    People need to read this every LSAT...
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25288 karma
    Bump, obviously.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25288 karma
    @kennedybj said:
    People need to read this every LSAT...
    Indeed!
  • Tinyosi1Tinyosi1 Alum Member
    235 karma
    I hate to sound pandering, but this post and similar ones prove JY and crew are the absolute best when it comes to leaders for your LSAT prep. You guys always remind us to have fun and enjoy what we are doing.Whenever I get to talking with someone about the LSAT I inevitably tell them about JY's forum posts.

    To all of my fellow December takers: take a deep breath. Just like with the prep leading up, we're all in this together!
  • freemanbrycefreemanbryce Legacy Member
    4 karma
    Does this advice still hold if the test was a re-take? It seems very unlikely to me that yesterday's test will give me a higher score than my September LSAT, so I'm afraid that I will end up making my schools put my application on hold for a month just to get a score that was the same or worse.
  • bjphillips5bjphillips5 Alum Member
    1137 karma
    @freemanbryce I don't think there's a big swing in advantage from 1 month to the next honestly. And my Sept score, I could not have possibly thought I did as well as I ended up doing. I thought about cancelling because I figured if that luck couldn't save me from a really bad score. But it did. Some of the questions I guessed on, I got correct and some of the hard ones I also got correct. You never know and you probably isn't do as poorly as you think. If there is a chance (any chance) that you might have done better than Sept, I don't think you should cancel.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25288 karma
  • BenjaminSFBenjaminSF Alum Member Inactive ⭐
    457 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" Thanks for bumping this. I flipped a rule in LG1, and it was eating me up yesterday. Caught it when I went back to finish a skipped question, even though I swear I double checked the rules the first time. This is a habit I worked to break, and I got caught up in the test-day excitement. At worst this means I bunked all 5, but I got the chance to switch a couple with an educated guess after amending the rule. Time ran out before I could check the rest, but it is possible that these had nothing to do with the rule I flipped.

    @"J.Y. Ping" This helped me to solidify my decision not to cancel. This was my first take, and the rest of the test went really well. Hopefully it is just a few points (or less... I can dream) lost, and I still get an acceptable score on my exam! Based on my confidence in the other sections, I think I'll know the reason why my score lands where it does, even though Feb is undisclosed.

    Thanks to 7Sage for all the great help in prepping for a stressful but awesome day!

  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    11536 karma

    @BenjaminSF said:
    @"Cant Get Right" Thanks for bumping this. I flipped a rule in LG1, and it was eating me up yesterday. Caught it when I went back to finish a skipped question, even though I swear I double checked the rules the first time. This is a habit I worked to break, and I got caught up in the test-day excitement. At worst this means I bunked all 5, but I got the chance to switch a couple with an educated guess after amending the rule. Time ran out before I could check the rest, but it is possible that these had nothing to do with the rule I flipped.

    @"J.Y. Ping" This helped me to solidify my decision not to cancel. This was my first take, and the rest of the test went really well. Hopefully it is just a few points (or less... I can dream) lost, and I still get an acceptable score on my exam! Based on my confidence in the other sections, I think I'll know the reason why my score lands where it does, even though Feb is undisclosed.

    Thanks to 7Sage for all the great help in prepping for a stressful but awesome day!

    https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ac/82/34/ac823467fcdce199ae6651b632eaee56.gif

  • inactiveinactive Alum Member
    12637 karma

    Bumping again!

  • sillllyxosillllyxo Legacy Member
    708 karma

    bump! very helpful.

  • SamiSami Yearly Member Sage 7Sage Tutor
    10700 karma

    Bump. For everyone <3

  • teamteamvicsterteamteamvicster Alum Member
    774 karma

    Wow. I really needed to read this. I had a really shitty day/post-LSAT weekend and was just talking about possibly not going to law school and returning to teaching. How terrible is that? If I don't get into law school, I have to go back to middle school kids! Yikes! Im just going to take a few breaths, let it go and start fresh again tomorrow

  • extramediumextramedium Alum Member
    419 karma

    is it important to consider how a low score might hurt your LSAT average? i know most schools take the top score, but the average seems to be important as well. only reason i ask is because this was my third time taking the test, and i'm relatively certain i did worse than on my second pass, which ended up being10 points higher than my first. i'm somewhat comfortable with that score now.

  • jack.igoejack.igoe Legacy Member
    544 karma

    @extramedium said:
    is it important to consider how a low score might hurt your LSAT average? i know most schools take the top score, but the average seems to be important as well. only reason i ask is because this was my third time taking the test, and i'm relatively certain i did worse than on my second pass, which ended up being10 points higher than my first. i'm somewhat comfortable with that score now.

    It's my understanding that while law schools will see all of your scores, the only one that actually averages them is Yale. With that being the case, I would sit it out and see how you did!

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    Bump

    It always feels like you did awful and you should cancel. Don’t let the nerves get to you! There’s very little down side to just letting your score be what it is.

  • kshutes13kshutes13 Legacy Member
    634 karma

    @"Leah M B" said:
    Bump

    It always feels like you did awful and you should cancel. Don’t let the nerves get to you! There’s very little down side to just letting your score be what it is.

    What if the nerves got to me during the exam and I guessed like 3/4 LG? :|

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    @kshutes13 said:
    What if the nerves got to me during the exam and I guessed like 3/4 LG? :|

    I took the December exam. I choked on the LG section. The entire 4th game I guessed, and for a handful of the questions from game 1+2 I wasn't entirely confident. I thought I went double digits in LG, but I ended up with a -8. Not good at all, but my performance in LR+RC was consistent. I ended up with a score that was within my anticipated range.

    I wouldn't cancel over a handful of questions wrong in LG.

  • hawaiihihawaiihi Member
    973 karma

    @"Leah M B" said:
    Bump

    It always feels like you did awful and you should cancel. Don’t let the nerves get to you! There’s very little down side to just letting your score be what it is.

    I needed this! Thank you!

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