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Should I take the Sept exam and cancel the score or pospone the date/get a refund?

time_to_gotime_to_go Alum Member
edited July 2016 in General 271 karma
Unfortunately, I have ALREADY registered for my Sept exam but I won't be able to get the score I want by Sept. Things didn't work out according to plan and I really don't know what to do.

My originally plan was to take about 20-30 PTs before my first actual exam, but as of now, I'm only able to drill by section to increase my speed. I miss about 5-6 questions in LR and have 6 minutes left before the last logic game. I'm not able to read all 4 RC passages and even the ones I do get to read, I get 1-3 wrongs per passage. RC is my worst nightmare and I don't know whether keep drilling it will increase my speed. But when I redo all of the above sections untimed during my BR, I get 85%-100% right. They are not really hard to solve and understand when I don't do them under timed conditions (except for the hardest RC passages) but I get stressed out, nervous, and rush through questions during timed conditions that I don't get to understand some sentences and overlook some key words. For instance, there is always at least one weirdly worded rule in logic games that makes me freeze and hurt my confidence to solve questions accurately. That disappointment and fear have psychological impact on my performance and makes me keep doubt whether I indeed translated the rest of the rules accurately. Overall, it frustrates me that there are many questions that are solvable but I just can't do them properly and accurately because I THINK I don't have enough time and I ACTUALLY don't have enough time. So I came to the conclusion that it's more practical of me to raise my LR and LG speed & score to compensate for my weak RC skills given the amount of time I got.

With these timing issues to overcome, I need to begin my PTing phase next week. I don't think doing about 15 PTs will be enough of practice before the actual test. Ideally, I want to take about 35-40 PTs, but realistically, it's unfeasible by Sept. I'm pretty sure I won't reach in the low 160s by Sept (especially due to this huge timing issue with RC) but I need at least high160s to apply to my dream schools. So I'm thinking of taking the Sept test to just get the experience of taking the exam with many people under stressful conditions and cancelling the score right after the test to not leave any record of unwanted score. I will keep on studying after the first exam, and hopefully by Dec, I will get enough practice with all of my 3 sections (especially RC) to reach my target score and take the Dec exam with no plan of cancelling the score. And by Jan/early Feb, I will be ready to send my applications to my dream schools. Even if I really screw up my Dec exam, I will be able to take one last exam in Feb. I also don't intend to apply for 2018 admission and take any more exams after Feb. I must apply for the fall 2017 admission.

So I'm not sure whether postponing the test date (by paying $90) is a good idea because that would mean losing money and the chance to experience what it's really like taking the exam at the test center. Similarly, if I get a refund, I only get $50 back and I lose the chance to practice under actual test conditions. In my country, I'm not able to even enter the classrooms where the test will be taken because I'm not one of the school's students, doors are closed, classes are being held, and etc. I won't have the opportunity to practice at the test center like some people can abroad. I actually went to the test center in June to check out and get some info on the test center and one of the people who are in charge of administering the exam explicitly told me that I can't enter any of the rooms to practice. She asked me why I'm being so sensitive about the exam. Um...ok. I may be a sensitive person but I mean isn't this supposed to be a serious exam? Haha.

Anyway, the only concern I have about cancelling the score is what if it in anyway hurts my application? If you were in my shoes, what would you do?



Comments

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma
    Cancel and don't look back!

    One of the best things that 7Sage has taught me wasn't in the core curriculum...
    And that is you should absolutely wait until you are 100% ready to do your best on this test. It is just too important. Besides, you're not applying for quite some time, so use that time to your advantage and do what you know you're capable of!
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    edited July 2016 11536 karma
    @"Alex Divine" said:
    And that is you should absolutely wait until you are 100% ready to do your best on this test
    This guy catches on quick! :D

    @Wonderwall , don't be so hard on yourself by setting yourself up for failure. At this rate, you are guaranteed to score poorly in Sept. due to your low self esteem for not taking enough PTs. Everyone is different and you never know, maybe 15 PTs is just what you need to score a 160+. If that's not the case then by all means postpone your exam date. What I strongly advise against is wasting a take. For some reason, many people (including myself once upon a time) have this notion of "It's ok if I'm not fully prepared for the exam, I will count this as my warmup take" UM WHAT. The only way any sane human should warm up for this LSAT is by mimicking test-day environment - take PTs 9AM on a Saturday in a library or something. So what you can't enter your test center prior to the exam - there's other alternatives I'm sure. Taking the LSAT more than once doesn't calm your nerves or make you feel more prepared, nothing will truly prepare you for what you will experience on game day. Besides, who spends nearly 200 bucks just to do a warmup LSAT? Come on, people. Anyway, see how well you do with the PTs and if you aren't scoring to what makes you happy, you shouldn't waste your time taking the LSAT - just postpone and get a partial refund. The money and time you save now will be well worth that super high LSAT score. Everyone has potential to do well on this shitty exam, it's only those who understand that taking time (possibly delaying) outweighs wasting takes by a huge margin that actually score well. Finally, very seldom will you find a LS that looks at all your LSAT scores, they will only look at and take the highest score into consideration (thank God) so even if you think you scored poorly, don't cancel because you lose the opportunity to see where you went wrong in the exam and how to improve for next time. Hope this helps and I wish you all the best!
  • SeriousbirdSeriousbird Alum Member
    1278 karma
    can't you withdraw with partial refund?
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25607 karma
    Yeah, I had this same dilemma before my first take. Definitely cancel, no question. There is absolutely nothing that happens on test day that you need to experience. Having taking it before does not lower stress or anxiety for the next one. It increases it. On your first take, you get to tell yourself you’ve got two shots left if things don’t work out. Knowing that can relieve a lot of pressure. Compared to a second or third attempt the first one really is as good as it gets. So definitely don’t waste it for the sake of experience. There just isn’t anything to experience.
  • Accounts PlayableAccounts Playable Alum Sage
    edited July 2016 3107 karma
    You have to consider the cost/benefits to you.

    If you take in Sept, you're out $50 and one of your 3 takes in 2 years. The benefit is you get to "feel" what test day is like, but I'm not sure how useful that is with the mindset that you will cancel regardless. Half the battle is the psychology/mindset you have on test day, and it doesn't sound like taking in Sept will replicate your mindset when you would be ready to take it.

    Or, you cancel now, get your $50, don't waste a take, and study until you're ready. Yeah, it sucks to study for a few extra months, but in the long run, 3 months of study isn't a material amount of time with respect to the substantial cost of law school and larger career goals.

    Also, cancels don't hurt your app.



  • time_to_gotime_to_go Alum Member
    271 karma
    @"Cant Get Right" said:
    Definitely cancel, no question.
    You mean cancel the registration now and get a partial refund?



  • time_to_gotime_to_go Alum Member
    271 karma
    Thank you everyone for responding to my question! :) I will think about it and make my decision...I can't wait till this whole LSAT phase is over and done with!
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @Wonderwall said:
    You mean cancel the registration now and get a partial refund?
    The cancel is only a $50 refund so If you're positive you'll be ready for Dec or Feb, do a date change instead and pay the $90 fee. You either will lose $125 (get the $50 refund) and then pay $175 for a future test (so total cost of $300) or Pay the $90 Change fee (total cost $265). If you know you want change your date in the future change your date.

    If you think you will need more time(change date again), or will test next cycle, take the cancel refund.
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25607 karma
    @Wonderwall said:
    You mean cancel the registration now and get a partial refund?
    Wow, I worded that so poorly, lol. Do not take the test if you are not ready!
  • time_to_gotime_to_go Alum Member
    271 karma
    I changed the test date to Dec. Gosh I feel so sad and stupid for not being able to take it in Sept. I didn't see this coming and this test is way harder than I ever imagined it to be. Hopefully I will give you guys good news next year. Thank you all! (tears)
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25607 karma
    I wouldn’t see this as a bad thing. I actually just told someone else on another thread that realizing this test is way harder than you think is kind of a right of passage. Actually, I tell people that all the time, lol. This is a part of the process. The LSAT is designed not just to test your knowledge of logic, but also your strength and endurance. There are emotional highs and lows in preparing for this test, and how you manage the lows is a very real part of the test. The LSAT doesn’t really happen on test day, it happens in the months and years leading up to it. So you’re being tested right now, and how you respond to this really will be reflected in your score. Schools don’t want to build classes of all geniuses. I’ve been studying for this thing for almost a year and a half now. I may not posses the intellect to 180 this thing after 3 months of studying, but what I do have is the tenacity and dedication to never give up and to do whatever it takes. And I’ll take that over genius any day. So when the LSAT knocks you on your ass, get back up and keep fighting. You’re a long way from done with this test knocking you down!
  • time_to_gotime_to_go Alum Member
    271 karma

    @"Cant Get Right" said:
    The LSAT is designed not just to test your knowledge of logic, but also your strength and endurance. There are emotional highs and lows in preparing for this test, and how you manage the lows is a very real part of the test. The LSAT doesn’t really happen on test day, it happens in the months and years leading up to it. So you’re being tested right now, and how you respond to this really will be reflected in your score.
    Oh wow. I completely agree with you. I am sooooo being tested right now! How I manage the lows is a very real part of the test. I think I will print what you wrote above to put it up on my wall and read it before I study for this freakin test. Haha. Thank you, thank you : )
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25607 karma
    No problem @Wonderwall ! I’ve been there. I was there yesterday actually. I ate a whole thing of brownie-filled chips ahoy. Definitely a low moment in my life, lol. But after that, I redid the game I bombed and came in -0 and under time! That’s the process, haha.
  • time_to_gotime_to_go Alum Member
    271 karma
    @"Cant Get Right" said:
    I ate a whole thing of brownie-filled chips ahoy.
    Chocolate never disappoints! I miss chips ahoy :) Since I'm so burnt out (with muscle pain and whatnot) I'm going on a two week vacation to forget about this test for a while. Do you think I should still do some logic games and look at some LR questions during my precioussss vacation or completely ignore doing anything LSAT-related and come back with fresh mind? I have never taken a really long break from this exam so I would like some mentorly advice!
  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly Member Sage 🍌
    25607 karma
    Do you enjoy LG at all? I look at it like a crossword puzzle at this point. If you do, then it probably wouldn't be too bad to bring some repeats that you've already fool proofed and work them casually. Don't drill them or anything, you're on a break! Treat them just like a puzzle you'd do for fun. Do them in the morning while you're drinking your coffee or something. Main thing is to relax and recharge though, so if you don't like games at all, having them around creates a study obligation and it'll hang over the break. If that's the case, I wouldn't even worry about it.

    Have a good break and see you back in a couple weeks!
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