Law School Discussion

Contemplating cancellation-- advice?

RocketBot

Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« on: December 05, 2004, 11:52:51 PM »
Okay so here's my LSAT story, hopefully it will give you some background to my dilemma.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I started studying in early August.  My first practice test was a 164.  I completely taught myself, other than using a few of the games strategies in the Princeton Review book (horribly written book, but a few good angles).  I have taken, to my knowledge, every single practice test ever published (all three actual/officials, new individual ones after that, tripleprep, feb '97 w/ explanations, oct '04).  Here were my monthly practice averages coming into the test:

August: 165
September: 167
October: 169
November: 171
December: 173

My most recent practice scores before the Dec '04 exam were
Dec 2003 prep: 174
June 2004 prep: 176
Oct 2004 prep: 171

On these most recent practice tests I got 3-4 wrong on RC, and 0-2 wrong on LG and LR.  However, I have gotten zero wrong on every section several times.  I am, of course, not gloating/bragging--  I studied my ass off and earned my way up into this (potential) range through sheer force.  But this is my dilemma.  Anytime I've gotten 170+ on preptests, I felt like I "kicked ass"-- but I didn't feel that on Saturday.

On Saturday, I got a fair amount of sleep.  I wasn't tired in the morning when I got to the test.  I was pretty nervous (as I'm sure many were), but it didn't really stay with me once the exam started.  However, I just didn't feel as... conscious... as I normally do when I take a practice test.  I think it was too early for my brain to start fully functioning-- I dunno.

This is getting dangerously long so I'll sum up the rest:
-I felt like I did poorly on section 1, but the hope that it was experimental kept me going.  Since it was the first section, however, it is next to impossible to remember actually how bad I did.  I finished on time, and I'm usually pretty good at arguments-- but it was clearly my worst section.  I could have anywhere from 2-7 wrong.
-I almost certainly aced the games-- 5 minutes to spare.  Although it seems like this was the case for many people.  0-2.
-Reading comprehension was hard, but I didn't feel like I put any stupid answers.  My guess is 0-4.
-Second graded arguments section didn't seem that bad.

I usually get really into taking practice tests, and feel like I'm taking the test on my terms.  It felt a bit switched around on Dec 4.  My issue is that afterward, I felt like I was way more intimidated than was warranted by the situation.  I feel like if I could take it again, now that all the knowledge is in my head, and the hype is behind me, I could be a bit more level-headed in my approach.

Then again, I certainly didn't do bad.  I wouldn't be surprised by a 171, nor a 166.  But I know I can get 171+ (and have consistently for awhile).  So yes, this is TLDR fodder-- I'm just looking for advice.  I'm leaning toward cancellation, but would like second opinions from those also considering cancellation, or who have considered or cancelled in the past.

Thanks!

foxnewssucks

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2004, 11:55:15 PM »
what school do you want to go to and are you willing to sit out a year?

RocketBot

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2004, 11:59:59 PM »
I am actually a junior, so I would not have to sit out a year.  Schools at the top of my list are:

-Columbia
-Chicago
-Harvard
-Michigan
-Virginia
-UCLA

foxnewssucks

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2004, 12:02:17 AM »
i think you are looking at a 168. I would just cancel and take in June if you want to go to Harvard, Chicago, etc.  You have plenty of time.

RocketBot

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2004, 12:10:13 AM »
I think you're right.  Thanks.

It is a bit of a dilemma that I have used almost all the practice material in existence.  I have done every official game published, to my knowledge.  I have a moderate amount of RC and LR content left from which to study, however.  Do you or anyone have recommendations in that area?  I have my strategies fairly fleshed out, and know how to approach any problem-- but I need to be able to keep fresh until the next exam.

This would also play into taking it in either Feb or June.

Feb:
-Potentially more fresh on practice material

June:
-12:00pm exam (could make a big difference)
-I have a very tough semester in the spring, but get out in April.  Would give me time to study for June.  But dearth of practice materials = ?

foxnewssucks

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2004, 12:15:02 AM »
i really wouldnt worry about the practice materials.. especially for the June test.. you won't remember it all.  Also, you already know the stuff, you just need to perform on test day.  I had the same problem on the Oct. test, and I only studied for a week before yesterdays and i crushed it.  All I did was take the Oct. test over again untimed and took the Dec. 2003 test ( i didnt previously do) timed, plus worked through a few random games and a couple hundred LR that week.  I was ready.

RocketBot

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2004, 12:30:20 AM »
Okay, that's now my plan.

One final question.  How big of a deal is a cancelled score?  LSAC tries to make it out as one, but I'm skeptical.  Obviously they notify the schools in the LSAT report, but most schools just use the single (or averaged) numbers to create the index.

foxnewssucks

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2004, 12:31:32 AM »
it isnt a big deal at all. the only thing to worry about is doing well on the next one since time is becoming more precious and you dont want two cancels.  good luck.

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2004, 08:03:46 AM »
The only thing about a canceled score is that it counts as one of your 3 tests that you are able to take over a 3-year period. Since you've only taken one, and you're pretty confident about your LSAT abilities, I wouldn't worry about it. Adcoms won't count a cancel against you, espcially one from fall of your junior year.

Do a little practice every week to keep your skills up between now and June, then give yourself 2-3 weeks of turbo-studying before the test. (FF just took the test in October, so one week was enough for him - you'll have several months between tests.)

Good luck!

Re: Contemplating cancellation-- advice?
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2004, 08:19:58 AM »
The only thing about a canceled score is that it counts as one of your 3 tests that you are able to take over a 3-year period. Since you've only taken one, and you're pretty confident about your LSAT abilities, I wouldn't worry about it. Adcoms won't count a cancel against you, espcially one from fall of your junior year.

Do a little practice every week to keep your skills up between now and June, then give yourself 2-3 weeks of turbo-studying before the test. (FF just took the test in October, so one week was enough for him - you'll have several months between tests.)

Good luck!

I wouldnt recommend the turbo studying.  I did that and maybe burnt myself out a bit.  This is not a memorization type test like the MCAT its more techniques.  I would recommend just doing a bit of studying the final week before the test.

You have plenty of time maybe a practice test every two weeks and you're good to go.