It’s the Monday after an LSAT, so this is the question that’s filling the LSAT-universe. It’s not a pleasant discussion, but let’s get into it. Assuming that you just had a bad test day experience, here are a few considerations you should, well, consider:
1. Was this LSAT considerably different than your usual practice test experience? For example, did you only complete 3 games or RC passages when you usually complete 4? Or did you become violently ill?
2. Were you scoring comfortably within an acceptable score range on your last 2 – 3 practice tests?
3. What is the policy of the schools that interest you in terms of considering all scores, only your best, etc.
First things first: if YOU KNOW you bombed the LSAT, then you should cancel (unless all your goal schools are firmly committed to only considering your best score).
Now that we have that out of the way, you should start with #3. Let’s say that you have 8 schools in mind. If 6 of them will look at all your scores, then that should steer you towards canceling and re-taking.
If it turns out that most of the schools that interest you consider your top score primarily or only, then you can relax and find out your score.
If, as is more likely, you face a combination of policies – some law schools considering your best score, some considering all, some giving more weight to your best score though taking a look at the other ones – then you need to think more about questions #2 and #1.
Let’s continue our reverse order and think about question #2: If you were at the bottom of your goal score range – in other words, if you were scoring below your goal school’s median LSAT scores on your last 2-3 practice tests, then a slightly bad test day brings you already further below what you need. So, then we’re probably facing a cancel, unless your father happened to build the school library or something similar.
If you were actually hitting the top end of the range you needed, then a slightly bad test day should bring you to the median, which is a decent place to be.
Finally, let’s consider question #1: How bad a bad day was it? If you’ve had practice tests in which you have experienced a similar screw-up – such as dropping an entire game – and you were able to salvage a decent score, then that suggests this event was not an anomaly and you might want to see the score. However, if this – you swear -was the first time this has ever happened, then you’re looking at a cancel-me-now situation.
Go ahead and play around with the LSAT/GPA calculator that the LSAC helpfully provides. Take a deep breath, and consider this as rationally as you can.
This post is provided by Manhattan LSAT, a leading LSAT-exclusive test preparation provider. To hear more from Manhattan LSAT, listen to Law School Podcaster’s full shows, The LSAT: Everything You Need to Know About the Test and Conquering the LSAT: Tips for Tackling the Test.