September LSAT Wrap Up: To Cancel or Not To Cancel

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So you took the LSAT on Saturday. It wasn’t the dreamlike experience you hoped it would be. Now you’re wondering, “Should I cancel my score?” We’re here to help.

First, let’s go over what it means to cancel your LSAT score, and how to do it. LSAC has to receive your cancellation request within six days of the LSAT. You can send your request by fax or overnight mail; there’s no way to cancel your LSAT score online. LSAC tells you exactly what to send to cancel your LSAT score.

If you cancel your September LSAT, law schools will see that you took the test, but they won’t ever know what you would have scored. And neither will you; your September LSAT score will be forever a mystery. It will, however, count toward your limit of three LSAT administrations within two years even if you cancel.

Now, how to decide whether or not to cancel your LSAT score. It’s perfectly normal to walk out of the test center feeling uneasy. The LSAT is a hard test, and it generally feels especially hard when you take it in an official test center and you know it counts. That’s not a good enough reason to cancel.

Law schools mostly look at your highest LSAT score these days, rather than all your scores. After all, that’s the score that factors into a certain magazine’s law school rankings. Therefore, a disappointing LSAT score isn’t the scary prospect that it was back in the day, when we had to walk five miles to school every day, in the snow, uphill both ways. If you get a bad score on the LSAT, the solution is simple: retake it and do better.

You should only cancel your September LSAT if you have a really, really good reason to think that you did worse than would be acceptable to you…

Did you spend half the Reading Comp section showing the toilet exactly how the LSAT makes you feel? Maybe you should cancel your score.

Did you get more tears than pencil lead on the Logic Games? Maybe you should cancel your score.

Did you fantasize about your proctor instead of, uh, reasoning logically? Maybe you should cancel your score.

It also might be worth cancelling your September LSAT score if your practice results never approached a number you’d be OK with. Or if you worked way slower than usual, and got to considerably fewer questions on multiple sections. You get the deal. Any decision to cancel should be based on something concrete, not on the general feeling of unease that almost everyone has when they walk out of the test center.

Finally, a word about Logic Games. Seemingly every administration, there is a Game that seems to freak out a lot of people. In fact, some of you might be considering cancelling your September LSAT score because of one specific game. If you are, some questions for you: how many questions were on the game? Even if you couldn’t really figure out what was going on, is there a chance you got some of them right, anyway? What is your normal accuracy on the hardest game of a section, and realistically, just how much worse do you think this one was? It’s frustrating to have a game get in your head, but three or four missed questions might not amount to a good reason to cancel.

And one more thing: Before you make up your mind, check out this video for a good way to do a question-by-question analysis as you make up your mind about whether to cancel your September LSAT score.

Note: A version of this article was originally posted on June 11th.

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