First, congratulations on completing the LSAT! Even living through that test once is something to be proud of. The LSAT is always a big time ordeal! Now, about your score: everyone is going to second guess whether they did well on the LSAT in the next few weeks. That’s normal. However, if you really think you screwed up, you might be well-advised to cancel your LSAT score. You only have 6 days to cancel (we have a post on how to cancel your LSAT score here). So should you cancel or let it ride? Here’s some advice on making this decision.
But first, breathe deep and stop stressing out. Canceling once or even twice will not significantly affect your chances of getting in to law school. If you decide not to cancel and get a somewhat low score, that’s fine too. Only a couple schools (Harvard and Yale) put really significant weight on lower scores if you have to take the LSAT multiple times. There really isn’t a whole lot on the line here, but it’s better to cancel than to have a really low score on your report. Here’s how to decide:
If you know for sure that the performance you just turned in on the LSAT doesn’t represent what you are capable of, then you should probably cancel.
If, on the other hand, you can’t point to any specific area of the test where you had significant problems, you should almost always take your score. Anxiety and self doubt are normal after the test. It’s just as likely as not that you actually did better than usual.
Let’s look at some examples:
- Say you missed a rule and totally bombed a whole game. This happens to you only rarely in practice. Cancel your score in this case. It’s not likely to happen again on a retake.
- You are able to complete significantly fewer problems than you normally complete on practice tests. Say you normally complete sections and on test day you had a section where you had to guess on five questions and another where you had to guess on three. I would cancel in this situation.
- You were sick and though you muscled through and completed all the sections, you think maybe it wasn’t your top-notch performance. This is a bit harder. Unless you know for sure you were getting a lot these problems wrong, it’s probably best to take your chances and wait for your score.
- You did perfectly on all sections except one, where you had to rush a little and guess on two questions. This is a totally normal test day scenario. I say don’t cancel here.
If you only struggled on one section, always try to determine if it was the experimental section before you make any decision about cancelling your LSAT score. Here’s how to figure that out.
If you decide to cancel your score, you must send a signed, written cancellation request to LSAC within six calendar days of the test. To be on the safe side, it best to cancel both by fax and by overnight mail. You will get a confirmation by E-mail from LSAC within 24 hours of your cancellation. If not, call LSAC to make sure that your cancellation request has been received.
If you are deciding whether canceling is the best option, we are happy to listen to your individual situation and provide advice. Comments can be anonymous if you like so feel free to ask away!