You’re exhausted after today’s LSAT. I hope you’re taking the rest of the weekend to enjoy yourself. When you’re done doing that, you might be thinking about whether to cancel your LSAT score. (Click the link for information about how to decide whether to cancel). If you are keeping your LSAT score, then it’s time to get your personal statement, resume, letters of rec and any addenda in order.
If you decide to retake the LSAT in December using a different preparation method, my upcoming Blog Talk Radio show about How to Choose an LSAT Prep Course should be on your “listen” list.
For personal statement help, you may want to consult the chapter in “The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert” offering concrete tips, strategies, and “do’s and “don’ts” for the personal statement. (It’s now available on Kindle too!). The resume chapter also offers very direct instructions for how to present your experiences in a way that law schools will appreciate. The book also discusses good letters of rec and bad letters of rec – how to ask for a letter and how to know whether to use a letter of rec. This is the time when these chapters will be helpful to you.
Also, readers of the LawSchoolExpert blog are invited to register (FREE!) to MSU Law School’s upcoming webinar. I will be presenting: “Crafting Your Best Personal Statement and Other Winning Tips for Law School Admission” on Tuesday, October 13th at 7 p.m. EST/4 p.m. PST. RSVP here.
Good luck to everyone who is taking the LSAT this morning! I look forward to hearing from you.
I took the LSAT for the second time this morning and i am trying to decide if i should cancel my score. I am content with my first score but i thought that with some more preparation i could improve. I do not think this mornings difficult was any more difficult than a typical LSAT but i am very nervous that my score may have decreased. Also i may have misbubbled the last 5 questions on one section because i skipped a question but i cannot remember if i skipped that number on my answer sheet. If my score goes down will it hurt my application? Should i just cancel to hedge my risk since i am fine with my first score? Any advice would help! Thanks
If you are happy with the first score, cancel this one. IT sounds like you’re pretty sure the score won’t be better than the first one, and I don’t want you having to explain to schools that you mis-bubbled and that’s why your score went down.
I hope this helps!
Hi Ann, please advise….
I canceled my June LSAT Score and just took the September one, I know I did badly on Sept which for me is a 155-160 ( <—pretty sure what I got). So Now I have the dilemma of
1) should I cancel again and have TWO Cancel and hopefully ONE Decent score in December?
2) Have one canceled score, keep low September score, and have one more Decent/high score hopefully in December?
either way, I am very saddened by the fact that I will have taken the LSAT three times and am aiming at a top 20 school. Can you advise which option would be better in terms of admissions? ( I know theres no guarantee I will even get a high score in Dec, but lets just assume for the benefit of comparison)
Thanks for writing. I can never make the assumption that the score will be where you want it to be in December. Assuming that makes the decision too easy. If conditions in December are ideal, you cancel September’s score. However, you only have one more shot to take the test. I don’t know how you were doing on practice exams, and a 155-160 range is still solid score band. It might be beneficial to you to at least have a baseline from where to improve/move rather than put all of your eggs in the December basket. I hope that helps.
I took the LSAT in June after less than a month of preparation and scored a 165, which is right where my first practice test indicated I would be. I decided to forgo the September test in part because I didn’t feel as if the preparation was helping me substantially improve in my weakest area, LR, in part because I work full-time and I wanted to dedicate my free time to completing and polishing my applications, and in part because I believed that as a URM, my score was sufficient to ensure that I was a competitive candidate to be admitted to a T14 school. The long layoff as I prepare my applications and wrestle with my personal statement and all of the information regarding the volume of applications for the fall 2010 classes has made me uneasy, however. Would it be worth the risk of a similar score and the delay in submitting my applications to retake in December? Or should I use that time to focus on my applications?
Roger, Don’t worry about the competition. Worry about yourself. Stand by your decision to stick with an excellent LSAT score and create the best application materials possible. Please let me know if I can help in any way.
I took the september LSAT and I am considering cancelling my score. My mom was admitted to the hospital the morning of my test which was bad enough, but then I made a very stupid mistake during the first section by looking at my watch wrong and thinking I had way more time than I actually did. When 5 minutes was called I was very shocked and basically I didn’t finish the first section, which was readind and which is usually my strongest section. I felt so defeated that I messed up my best section that I had a very hard time concentrating throughout the next two sections–one of which was Logic Games so I didn’t finish it either. In timed practice tests I had no problem finishing anything except occassionally one or two logic games questions and I usually scored in the high 160’s or low 170’s. I had to guess on at least 6 or 7 questions in 2 different sections due to timing so I feel like I probably got in the high 150’s or low 160’s. I kind of want to take it again in December but I am concerned that it will hurt my chances of getting a spot due to rolling admissions. Should I keep the score and submit my applications early and just explain the mitigating circumstances? Please let me now what you think. Thanks for your help!
Jennifer, I think it might be reasonable to cancel, but even if you keep the score you should take the test in December. It’s better to apply with a December score in the low 170s than a score 10 points lower in September. Good luck- and please let me know if I can be of any help.
I started studying for the September LSAT in August because, prompted by a series of events, it was the first time I had ever considered attending law school. After taking the exam and entirely under performing (in part due to test anxiety and in part due to probably not being entirely ready), I canceled my score and am considering taking it again in December. Having read your book where you mention that the December exam is the “LSAT of Last Resort,” I’m concerned about the possibility of this being too late (especially considering the increase in applications this year) and therefore substantially decreasing my chances of admission. I am currently a senior at NYU -CAS with a 3.82 GPA, an array of extracurricular activities and an internship, and believe I can get an LSAT score in the upper 160s at least; do you think with a December score and these credentials it’s worth attempting to get into a top 14/20 school for fall 2010? Or should I take the exam in February and take a year off before applying? Does it hurt a student’s future prospects if she applies one year and then, if it winds up being too late in the admission process, applies again the following year? And also, do admissions committees frown on December scores because they think it demonstrates poor planning? I look forward to your thoughts and thank you for your time!
I had clients get into NYU, Columbia and Harvard with December scores last year. Does that help answer your question? It’s not too late – but February is.
I say it’s the LSAT of LAST resort because if people wait to take the LSAT for the first time in December, they won’t have the option to cancel because February is way too late. I hope that clears it up for you.
It looks like I’ll be speaking at NYU later this month. I will post plans on the blog, so perhaps we’ll get to meet in person!
I hope the book is helpful! If you’re so inclined, I’d love another amazon review:
Please let me know if I can help you in any other way!
Hi Ann, I’ve bought you’re book and it’s been a life saver for me. I’ve been getting ready to apply this year but I’ve been dreading the personal statement. I was wondering if you think a personal statement about how I decided to choose my major (philosophy) would seem too close to a “why I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer” Personal statement. I’m one of those students who was always math and science minded in highschool, but upon coming to undergrad I discovered a love for liberal arts classes which led me into philosophy. I’m worried a statement with this topic might seem too abstract or preachy, and was wondering if you’ve seen topics like this work for personal statements. Thanks for your help!
That doesn’t sound the world’s most riveting topic… but you could try something about your philosophy studies… that has worked successfully. But why you chose the major doesn’t get me excited.
Glad you liked the book! If you’re so inclined, I love collecting 5-star reviews on Amazon!
Is there some unspoken rule that you’re not supposed to use contractions on personal statements? Mine just flows better with them, and my tone is fairly conversational. Thanks!
Use contractions sparingly. Avoid them if you can, but if you can’t (no pun intended) just limit them.