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LSAT Addendum or No Addendum?

shannon.gshannon.g Member
in General 32 karma

Warning: long post ahead.

I'm wondering what people's opinions are on submitting an LSAT addendum? I'm really embarrassed to say this and to list my scores, but I took the LSAT last Saturday for the fourth time. I have taken the test three others times: Sept. 2016 (142), June 2017 (145), and Sept. 2017 (145). I have very bad test anxiety, and during the September 2017 test I had a panic attack. After receiving my September score, which was lower than I thought I'd get, I went to my doctor and was prescribed beta-blockers. I was scoring in the 150s on every PT I took leading up to the exam, but a week before the test I had a meltdown, emailed my advisor and instructor, and both told me not to put the test off and just take it. I have always been someone who trusts their intuition, so I am mad at myself for not holding off.
Fast forward to last Saturday's test: leading up to the test my score jumped to a 158 on PTs and I was scoring consistently higher in each section. I was pretty calm for most of the week, but Saturday morning I was clearly anxious (my heart rate was ~115 beats/minute). I ended up taking a beta blocker before the test, but I still feel like I didn't score well again this time. I could be wrong (and honestly this could just be nerves), but I'm wondering how an LSAT addendum would be taken if the reason for low scores is due to test anxiety? I don't think I would have test anxiety in law school - I think the reason I get even more anxious taking the LSAT is that I feel like this test is the only thing stopping me from getting admitted. I also don't know if an admissions committee will look negatively at this, and question whether I'd get test anxiety in law school and when taking the Bar? I'm also concerned because I already have an addendum for my GPA. It's considered low; it's a 3.02. All honest opinions/advice welcome. Thank you!

Side note: I would get in to my state school and others I'm interested in with a score in the 150s - I don't have the GPA for a T-14. I do, however, have very strong softs!

Comments

  • OneFortyDotSixOneFortyDotSix Alum Member
    634 karma

    Hi Shan,

    I know you didn't specifically ask for advice re. anxiety, but Headspace guided meditations helped me tremendously. It's an app on ios and android

    Unfortunately I can't offer much insight on whether or not you should include an addendum, hopefully someone else on here can

    best of luck
    hari

  • shannon.gshannon.g Member
    32 karma

    @hiyer1 thanks, I do appreciate it! I actually have quite a few guided meditation apps on my phone - not Headspace though. I'm sure other people will recommend meditation too, so if anyone else sees this: I did meditation, yoga, mindfulness techniques, etc. leading up to the exam. I was actually really calm leading up to the test - just not so much the day of :\

  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    As far as the addendum, I'm not going to say it isn't worth writing one, but it won't replace actually getting the higher score.

    Usually addendums work best when they are explaining why schools should look at the highest of many scores. So if this score or your next one is a 158, I think an addendum saying you were suffering from anxiety and used a combination of beta blockers perscribed by a doctor and meditation to overcome it helps ensure they will look past the lower scores.

    As far as overcoming the anxiety, I don't know much. However it seems like there are a few broad strategies.

    There are literal medical things like the Beta blockers. I know little to nothing about these.

    There are calming things like meditation and breathing techniques. I think these are good to an extent. Taking long deep breaths can definitely help calm down quickly during the test.

    There is an overall mindset approach. You have taken it 4 times now. Obviously that could be a source of stress. But, you are probably better off interpreting it as a reason that doing bad on this one or your next one won't hurt you. Knowing you can take as many times as you want should lower the stress level for each take.

    Finally, you can get better at the test. A lot of the stress in the test is worrying about getting questions wrong, bot finishing sections, ect. If you get good enough these sources of stress melt away. I felt like getting better on the games section particularly helped me feel lesss stressed for the rest of the test. Additionally, if the anxiety dies cost you some points, it is better to start out doing even better.

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