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Should I cancel?

alexa723alexa723 Monthly Member
edited November 2021 in November 2021 LSAT 98 karma

I apologize for how long this is, but I wanna make sure I give enough details.

So I just took the November LSAT and it went veryyy bad. To start, my grandfather passed away yesterday, so I spent the whole day with my family, not thinking about the LSAT at all. Today, I really tried to refocus before my 2:40 test, and I was hoping that I’d be too distracted by the test to think about everything going on, which was somewhat the case.

However, my dogs were barking like maniacs the entire first half until the break when I was able to quiet them down. My first section (LR) was awful. I was so distracted by the nonstop barking that I couldn’t process a single question. I was so stressed out I wanted to cry. I did my best but honestly, I didn’t feel 100% about any of them and usually I feel at least pretty sure about 75% of the LR section, and will get about 4/5 wrong. My second section was RC which is usually my worst section but I actually felt like it went better than LR.

After the break, I was less distracted but still flustered because of how bad I started out. LG, which is usually my best, seemed like it went ok until the end when I got short on time and wasn’t 100% about the last couple. My last section was RC and was worse than the first RC. I ran out of time and had to guess on the last 3/4.

Overall I just don’t feel good about it. For my June test, I felt pretty good coming out of it and ended up with a 165. I stopped studying until the end of Sept. when I decided to take the November LSAT. My PTs during those 5ish weeks ranged from 160-171. Ultimately, I’m not sure if I should cancel or just hope that maybe it’ll only be a few points lower like 161/162 and maybe that won’t look awful?? I’m also nervous that if I do end up getting significantly lower then admissions officers will wonder why I didn’t cancel. I’m just not sure what to do. The schools that I’m hoping to get into have medians that are 165, 167, 169, which is why I was hoping to boost my score even just a point.

Cancel?
  1. Should I cancel?36 votes
    1. Yes
      47.22%
    2. No
      52.78%

Comments

  • ShaheerHShaheerH Alum Member
    38 karma

    I'm in a similar situation, my girlfriend of 3 years broke up with me earlier this week, the cops came to my neighbour's house today during my exam, and just due to emotional duress, I didn't do as well as I've been scoring, I decided I didn't do well enough and canceled my score.

    That being said this was a retake for the high 160s, I already have a 161 on record and I've decided I can live with that, I have no desire to kill myself retrying and whatever happens, I'll make it work.

    If this is your first test, or a retake and your other scores aren't that great/where you want, there's no harm in letting it come in, because you can at least still retake, or not have a decreased score. Though if you're adamant you did bad, and you needed an increased by a small margin, I'd cancel and sign up for that retake, or work as hard as you can on the rest of your application.

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Yearly Member Sage Tutor
    7363 karma

    There is little to no benefit in cancelling a score. What do you believe you'll be gaining by doing so?

    It's hard to gauge how you did. In 2020 when they resurrected cancelled scores, there was no shortage of people with high 160 to 170+ scores. These were people who thought they not only bombed the test, but did it so bad that they didnt even need to see the score. Just keep prepping, wait for the score, and if its too low, sign up for the next test.

  • alexa723alexa723 Monthly Member
    98 karma

    @canihazJD said:
    There is little to no benefit in cancelling a score. What do you believe you'll be gaining by doing so?

    It's hard to gauge how you did. In 2020 when they resurrected cancelled scores, there was no shortage of people with high 160 to 170+ scores. These were people who thought they not only bombed the test, but did it so bad that they didnt even need to see the score. Just keep prepping, wait for the score, and if its too low, sign up for the next test.

    Thank you for the insight! Basically my fear is that it will look bad/hurt my chances when admissions see the lower score, especially because it came after a higher score, not the other way around. I don’t want them to wonder which one is more representative of my abilities. I’m unable to retake because I’m submitting my apps this week. I know there’s always the slight chance that by some miracle I did better, but I think it’s highly unlikely.

  • andrew.rsnandrew.rsn Alum Member
    831 karma

    Alexa, instead of cancelling due to the possibility of receiving a lower score and how that would look to schools, I would recommend you keep the score, and if it is lower, write an lsat addendum explaining why it was a lower score, as you have very good reasons for why your focus was not there. Explaining the family tragedy - my condolences - would answer any questions they have as to why your score was lower. (I maybe wouldn't mention the dogs barking)

    I would also wait until your score comes in to submit your apps, because your apps won't be marked complete and won't be reviewed until they receive that 2nd score - this way you can submit that addendum if you need to.

  • alexa723alexa723 Monthly Member
    98 karma

    @"andrew.rsn" said:
    Alexa, instead of cancelling due to the possibility of receiving a lower score and how that would look to schools, I would recommend you keep the score, and if it is lower, write an lsat addendum explaining why it was a lower score, as you have very good reasons for why your focus was not there. Explaining the family tragedy - my condolences - would answer any questions they have as to why your score was lower. (I maybe wouldn't mention the dogs barking)

    I would also wait until your score comes in to submit your apps, because your apps won't be marked complete and won't be reviewed until they receive that 2nd score - this way you can submit that addendum if you need to.

    Thank you Andrew! I want to get my apps in as soon as possible because I know the earlier the better. Because I don’t think this score will be better than my 165, I feel like I already have the strongest possible application so I don’t want to wait. Instead of an addendum, would I just be able to send an email to schools once my score comes in saying that my score was just released and explain my circumstances?

  • andrew.rsnandrew.rsn Alum Member
    831 karma

    I think it would be okay to submit your addendum after the fact, if when your score comes out you feel it's necessary - still write it out professionally in a document and email the document to the admissions departments, though I don't know for certain.

    However - I only think the explanation would be necessary if your score is like below a 160 and outside your PT-range. When the school looks at your CAS report, they see not just your score but also your score band which has a -4 and +4 fluctuation. so your score band would be 161 - 169 or something like that. what that says to the admissions committee is that this person scored a 165, but they could have scored anything in this range. I hope that makes you feel a bit better!

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Yearly Member Sage Tutor
    7363 karma

    @alexa723 said:
    Thank you for the insight! Basically my fear is that it will look bad/hurt my chances when admissions see the lower score, especially because it came after a higher score, not the other way around. I don’t want them to wonder which one is more representative of my abilities. I’m unable to retake because I’m submitting my apps this week. I know there’s always the slight chance that by some miracle I did better, but I think it’s highly unlikely.

    I guess my response to that is whats stopping them from seeing a cancel and assuming it would have been a low score anyway? it is in an admissions officer's best interests generally to see you as your highest score. Very rough analysis, but if I as an adcom reject people who would help me hit target medians simply because they have a lower score on file, I think I'd end up losing my job.

    I suppose if you KNOW you did worse there's no harm... but you are outright precluding your chances of posting a higher score.

  • alexa723alexa723 Monthly Member
    98 karma

    @"andrew.rsn" said:
    I think it would be okay to submit your addendum after the fact, if when your score comes out you feel it's necessary - still write it out professionally in a document and email the document to the admissions departments, though I don't know for certain.

    However - I only think the explanation would be necessary if your score is like below a 160 and outside your PT-range. When the school looks at your CAS report, they see not just your score but also your score band which has a -4 and +4 fluctuation. so your score band would be 161 - 169 or something like that. what that says to the admissions committee is that this person scored a 165, but they could have scored anything in this range. I hope that makes you feel a bit better!

    Ok, I definitely do feel a little better! Thank you!

  • alexa723alexa723 Monthly Member
    98 karma

    @canihazJD said:

    @alexa723 said:
    Thank you for the insight! Basically my fear is that it will look bad/hurt my chances when admissions see the lower score, especially because it came after a higher score, not the other way around. I don’t want them to wonder which one is more representative of my abilities. I’m unable to retake because I’m submitting my apps this week. I know there’s always the slight chance that by some miracle I did better, but I think it’s highly unlikely.

    I guess my response to that is whats stopping them from seeing a cancel and assuming it would have been a low score anyway? it is in an admissions officer's best interests generally to see you as your highest score. Very rough analysis, but if I as an adcom reject people who would help me hit target medians simply because they have a lower score on file, I think I'd end up losing my job.

    I suppose if you KNOW you did worse there's no harm... but you are outright precluding your chances of posting a higher score.

    Ok I think I am leaning towards not cancelling, thanks so much!

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