Well, that was fun. The October 2011 LSAT is officially over. If all went according to plan, you’re hopefully still reveling in your success and waiting for that 180 to come to your inbox (give it about two and a half weeks). But things may not have gone according to plan, and maybe you’re thinking of cancelling.
If you’re thinking of doing this, there are a few things you need to know.
If you cancel, you’ll never know how it went. Which can suck. But law schools won’t know, either. Which can be good. It’ll be a secret that LSAC will take to the grave. Law schools will see, however, that you took and cancelled the test. If you decide to bail out on your October LSAT score, LSAC needs to receive the score cancellation form within six days of the test by way facsimile machine or the good old-fashioned post. So do it by Wednesday at the absolute latest. This leaves you some wiggle room if something were to go awry. Faxing in your cancellation form is the safest bet. Keep the fax verification form just in case they lose it or something. While you’re at it, call LSAC to make sure that they actually received it. You can’t be too careful with something like this.
But all of this brings up the most important question: should you cancel?
That’s a tricky question. If you cancelled you could still take the test in December. You wouldn’t be applying early anymore, but you wouldn’t necessarily be applying super late. If you feel certain that your score on the October LSAT will turn out to be unacceptable, then cancelling and retaking would be a good way to go. A major increase in your LSAT score would outweigh losing the edge that you get by applying early.
But did you get an unacceptable score? It’s hard to be sure. People often pull out based on a general feeling of impending doom, but that’s actually a fairly normal feeling. Honestly, if everyone who didn’t feel entirely confident in their LSAT performance cancelled their score, no one would ever get a law degree again. Cancellations should be based on concrete evidence. Did you only hammer out two reading comp passages when you normally do all four? Did you run to use the toilet during games, pissing away valuable time? Did you actually fall asleep? All of those would fall under the category of cancellable offense. But without such considerations, be careful. Check out Matt’s video about cancelling LSAT scores and then give it some real thought.
If you do cancel your score and shoot for December, you’re still going to have a cancellation on your file. Just one of these, though, isn’t much of a problem. More than one and it starts looking fishy, so if you do cancel your October test and shoot for December, make it count. Because more than one cancellation, and admission officers are going to be a bit wary of you.
Hopefully this is all moot for you, and you’ve already stopped reading. But if it is, and you do end up cancelling, it’s not the end of the world. This is just delaying, rather than stopping, your law school admissions.