Shiny New Withdrawal Policy for the LSAT

Shiny New Withdrawal Policy for the LSAT
For all of you who have been drawing fat red X’s on your unicorn-themed calendars, crying deep, silent sobs into your throw pillows, and worrying, always worrying that you won’t be ready for the LSAT on D-Day…good news! At some point in the last couple of weeks, LSAC changed its withdrawal policy for the LSAT, meaning that you can now wait until the day before the LSAT to decide whether or not to take the test.

The big thing about this policy is that if you choose to withdraw up to the day before the LSAT, nothing will show up on your record. Law schools won’t know that you signed up for the LSAT and then decided to withdraw. It doesn’t count toward the three tests in two years that students are allotted. All you lose in the exchange is the $100+ for signing up, since there are no refunds if you wait til the day before the test.

This is actually a nice thing LSAC is doing. Before, you had three options if you weren’t ready.

1. You could make the call three weeks before to get a partial refund of $48.
2. You could not show up for the test, getting marked down for an absence.
3. You could take the test and then cancel the score within six days.

None of these were great options. The first option sounds nice, but MANY students see their biggest improvements in the last three weeks of studying. A lot of students who make the decision that early are doing themselves a disservice.

The second option wasn’t bad (because there are a lot of good reasons to be absent), but it still wasn’t great because the absence was noted on your record, so law schools could see that you signed up for, and didn’t take, seven consecutive LSAT administrations (that’s a lot of flat tires).

The third option was the worst of the three, because canceling a score basically indicates that a) you really didn’t do well or b) you’re really neurotic. And more than one cancellation indicated the same, only more so.

Now you can wait all the way until the day before the LSAT to make a decision about your readiness, which is ideal. So buckle down, study, and stop worrying about whether or not you’ll be ready. You have about a month before that becomes a real concern.

May 9, 2011 - 4:15 pm - By Contributing Writer
Photo By Photo by Wayne's World 7. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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5 Responses to Shiny New Withdrawal Policy for the LSAT

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  2. Rosemary says:

    so if we take the exam 3 times in less than two years and still aren’t satisfied w/ any of your scores, then you can’t retake the exam for another two years!!?!!?! Entering freak-out mode! The June exam will be my 3rd attempt for a better score. I’ve seen improvement, but not as much as I’d like. GEEZ, guess I better decide whether I’m really ready…

    • Dave Woods says:

      Hey Rosemary,

      That’s the official policy, but there is a way to circumvent the 3 tests in 2 years. You can actually request a waiver from any law school to which you’re thinking of applying to take the LSAT again. I wouldn’t recommend it, of course, because you’d ideally like to take the LSAT as few times as possible, but don’t get tremendously freaked out if you need to take the test again- there is a very good chance you’d be able to take it a fourth time.

      -Dave Woods

  3. Pingback: New LSAT Withdrawal Policy | B-School Admissions Formula

  4. Michelle says:

    if we are applying to law school this year, when is the last LSAT exam that we can take? is it the October or December exam?

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