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Withdraw September LSAT registration tonight, or sit LSAT tomorrow as "practice run"?

almodovar_loveralmodovar_lover Alum Member
edited September 2018 in General 16 karma

Kindly advise !!

In summary: I am registered for the September and November LSAT test dates. Since June, my plan has been to sit the September exam. I am currently underperforming, and not reaching target score for schools I seek to apply to. I have until 11:59PM ET to withdraw my LSAT registration for tomorrow's exam. Should I withdraw, or sit tomorrow as a "practice" run?

For context: I have not taken a full PT in over 9 days. Work-related international travel has made it difficult to study the past 4-6 weeks, and I have been planning to withdraw my registration, and simply not take tomorrow's LSAT for the past two weeks. Nonetheless, earlier today, numerous people have suggested that I sit tomorrow as a "practice" or "test run" in order to get an idea of the test day atmosphere. I had not considered doing this until earlier today.

What should I do? I am not in the zone. I do believe that sitting the exam in a proctored environment may be illustrative, but am worried that knowing that I will not do well will traumatize me or fuck me up. I do not experience test taking-related anxiety; the anxiety you may note in this post is largely due to the last-minute nature of this situation.

I will cancel my score either way. Should I cancel now, take a deep breath, and go back to studying? Or should I take tomorrow's exam, and cancel immediately afterwards?

Admin note: Edited title

Should I take the LSAT tomorrow as a practice run?
  1. Should I take LSAT tomm as a practice run, knowing with 100% certainty that I will cancel my score?37 votes
    1. No. Cancel your registration now. Take it in November.
    2. Yes. Take the exam tomorrow. You will cancel anyways, and it could be useful prep for Nov.


  • almodovar_loveralmodovar_lover Alum Member
    16 karma

    I appreciate all the votes/responses to the poll, but does anyone know the implications of cancelling before/after taking an exam? What looks worse? I would imagine that an AdCom might see a pre-test cancellation as indication that one didn't take the exam seriously, and didn't prepare enough?

  • JaejaebinxJaejaebinx Alum Member
    edited September 2018 104 karma

    Hi @eak2165! I'm in the same position as you. I was registered for September but cancelled today because I wasn't performing as well as I want to. For me, my decision drivers were that I didn't want a bad grade on my record, and that I didn't want to bomb the test and hurt my confidence. Some people say that taking it would be useful to simulate test-day conditions, but other people say that test-day conditions can be simulated anyway without doing the actual sitting, and without possibly hurting your acceptance chances. Although most schools only take the highest score, they can still see all scores.

    That said, you can "withdraw" pre-test until tonight without anything being noted on your record. Schools won't see that you registered and didn't take. If you cancel after taking the test, schools will see that you cancelled. I've seen some people say that it's not so bad to cancel one, but that you might have to explain that in your addendum.

  • almodovar_loveralmodovar_lover Alum Member
    16 karma

    @Jaejaebinx Thanks. I apologize for my redundancy, but to confirm: if I cancel before 11:59PM ET tonight, schools won't even see that I registered? It's as if I never registered at all? Then, when I take the November LSAT (and hopefully do well), they will see that as my only score?

  • Leah M BLeah M B Alum Member
    8392 karma

    @eak2165 That's correct - if you withdraw your registration before test day, schools will not know. (I withdrew twice before sitting for an exam myself). They would indeed only see your November score.

    As long as you plan on canceling your score either way, you could go for it. But, I don't think it's all that necessary. And if you're nervous and not in a good head space, I say just sit it out. If you cancel your score, you'll never know what you got. So that will at least alleviate the negative of having a low score or even knowing if you truly bombed it. But honestly, I don't think it's all that necessary to go in and take it. If you feel like it would be helpful, you could take it and cancel your score. If you're not feeling like you want to do that, withdraw tonight.

    There's no real need to go on a practice run. I took most of my PTs sitting in a public library, which I think was a good representation of noise level. I made sure to be well-rested and mentally prepared, and ended up with a score that was right in my normal PT range. I do think it helped to try to simulate test day in advance, but that is doable without actually going to a real test.

  • BamboosproutBamboosprout Alum Member
    1694 karma

    Lol, sorry I made the votes into a tie. I hope someone breaks the tie. My perspective is that it depends.
    Personally, I have never canceled a standardized score in my life... maybe stupid, but it's almost like a part of my personal belief, to live with all the consequences.
    For you, I think it really depends on how much you're under performing, and what your target score is, and where your average is, and how well you know yourself. So let me try to break it down.
    1. If you're underperforming by a lot, and you know that you've lost your touch, or you know that you won't even get close to getting your target score, then of course, cancel. But if it was just an outlier or an abnormally difficult test, then embrace that variability, and go for it anyway. At a certain point, you know your weaknesses and strengths, and if you feel like a weakness is showing (for example, on my last PT, I got 2/3 hard NA wrong, and had to do an intensive on it), then maybe wait and fix your glaring weakness first.
    2. If your target score is really high, and even one or two errors can take you away from it, then maybe you should wait for your best condition, but many sages have talked about how they got their best scores on days when they felt sick or terrible. If you're average isn't even close to your target score (if it's more than 2 or 3 points away), then there's no point trying to hope that a miracle will happen on test day. Just skip it.
    3. Do you know how disciplined you are? Do you know how well you can trick yourself to feel stress? These things are hard to do. The only times I've heard people overcome their stress is in two circumstances: one, by taking the test 3 or more times; two, by doing so much practice that they know they can't do any more, and thus stopped worrying. Do you think you will be able to reach such states of "I don't give a shit anymore" without experiencing a real test? If you can't take the stress now, what makes you think you can take it later? These are not rhetorical questions meant to criticize you; they're real questions that you should ask yourself. And also, how disciplined are you to be able to do two more months of grueling work and practice? Make sure you steel yourself for the next few months, if you decide to cancel, and try to use any negative emotions you get from canceling or not doing well to motivate yourself.
    Best of luck~

  • 1000001910000019 Alum Member
    3279 karma

    If you're 100% going to cancel if you sit for the exam, then don't bother going. If you want to get [practice in a testing environment, there are test centers with proctoring services.

    I would consider taking the test without cancelling. You might feel confident coming out of the test.

  • LCMama2017LCMama2017 Alum Member
    2134 karma

    It'll fuck you up. Don't do it. You have an hour to cancel. No one will know.

  • Adam HawksAdam Hawks Alum Member
    990 karma

    Take the test and let the score stand. If the score is not up to your standards, that's ok. If you retake and do better, and if you have to write an addendum, just write this: "I knew I could do better."

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