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Author Topic: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?  (Read 1681 times)

LawSchoolDunce

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Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« on: December 06, 2009, 01:18:34 AM »
Due to some life crap that came out of nowhere these past few weeks, I've decided not to take the Monday administration of the Dec. 2009 LSAT.

Is it too late to get a refund, even a partial one? More importantly, what happens if I don't show up and get marked "absentee?" Is this bad to have on my record?

What's the best way to handle this? Should I show up to the test and fill out the cancellation form (that would be the 2nd cancellation on my record, the 1st one being almost 3 years back)?

I'm thinking I'll be putting off my application for an additional year, so I'm afraid an "absentee" or another "candidate cancel" might look bad on my record. What do I do so as not to hurt my future chances at getting into the school of my choice?

Jeffort

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Re: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 02:37:55 AM »
Due to some life crap that came out of nowhere these past few weeks, I've decided not to take the Monday administration of the Dec. 2009 LSAT.

Is it too late to get a refund, even a partial one? More importantly, what happens if I don't show up and get marked "absentee?" Is this bad to have on my record?

What's the best way to handle this? Should I show up to the test and fill out the cancellation form (that would be the 2nd cancellation on my record, the 1st one being almost 3 years back)?

I'm thinking I'll be putting off my application for an additional year, so I'm afraid an "absentee" or another "candidate cancel" might look bad on my record. What do I do so as not to hurt my future chances at getting into the school of my choice?

Showing up and canceling is better than not showing up and getting an 'I'm a flake' absentee mark on your score report.

It's past all the deadlines to postpone your test date or cancel the registration or get a partial refund. 

Since you are registered and pretty much boxed in with your available options, show up and take it knowing that you are most likely going to cancel the score.  It would allow you to get a trial run of the actual test day experience so that you are more conditioned and know what to expect next time.  That can help a lot in terms of you being able to be calm cool and collected and thinking straight next take and don't panic/freakout/have a brain freeze up/whatever due to the test day environment, pressure, stress and anxiety.  It would be good real practice in real circumstances for you and would prevent you from having the frowned upon absentee mark on your LSAC report that LS's use to evaluate you.

I can relate to unexpected life crap popping up and interfering with important things at the worst times.  The week before a June test I first registered to take crap suddenly hit the fan and I officially and completely broke up with and broke off my engagement with the girl I had been together with for 4 years. 
Needless to say, I was an emotional wreck during that week before the test administration and not anywhere close to being able to think and focus on the test in a pure logical way that is essential to achieve a good score.

I forced myself to go, took the test and canceled (a lot of the time while taking that June test I was thinking about my then Ex fiance instead of the test questions). Then I Re-took the following October test, was well prepared, calm as a cucumber, and knocked it out of the park with a near perfect score. 

For me, having taken a previous administration helped a lot with my state of mind when I re-took it in terms of handling and dealing with the pressure, anxiety and stress of test day to not let it rattle me and 'throw me off my game'.



toomuchcoffee

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Re: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 04:39:12 PM »
Hey I'll tell you something I wish someone told me

I would actually suggest you take the absentee and not show up and cancel. Remember you only have 3 chances to take it and that really isn't alot. Here's what happened with me. I signed up for June 2009, and that's when they suddenly decided to chance the deadline policy to three weeks before instead of like the day before you could still cancel. I knew about a month before that I wasn't ready for the test and had no intentions of taking it so I stopped studying and concentrated on my finals. I did not know they changed the deadline policy (dumb i know) and so I was stuck w/ not showing up or going and canceling.

I decided that I would show up, test the waters and take the cancel because I didn't want the absentee on my record, and I really regret doing this. when you know ahead of time that you're not ready and there's no way you'd take the lsat for real then you really shouldn't take it because it knocks off one of your chances. I told myself that this would never happen again and I would just study hard for september and that would be my final lsat,  so a cancel in june really wouldn't matter.

well september rolls around and the whole summer I got bogged down with 8 summer school courses and a bunch of other stuff, I never got a chancel to knock down 30+ prep tests the way other people did, but I did manage to squeeze in a reasonable amount of study time the last 6 weeks. SO I went in taking september hoping for the best even though I know I was not truly satisfied with my preparation and wish I could have had 10-12 weeks of solid study time. I took sept and on one of the LR got slowed down to the point where I didnít have time for the last five questions. I knew right away that blew my score along with probably a few mistakes in LG RC and the other LR section. So I ended up canceling sept because I knew I did not break 165.

I still wanted to get my apps in this cycle so right after sept I started preparing for December and this time I felt much better. When I finally took the lsat in December I felt like this was the first time taking the LSAT where my PTs were hitting the scores I wanted and that I really actually prepared.

Well Dec was my last and third chance taking it and it doesnít matter how well or badly I did because I canít take it anymore. The point is, I wish I had one more chance to take it just in case I didnít do as well in DEC as I thought I did. If I made 160-165 in Dec, I wish I could have taken an absent in June and that would have allowed me to take it one more time where I would def break 165. 

My whole post is to advise you to not ruin one of your chances of taking the lsat because you donít know what the next time will bring, something out of the blue can come up the second time and you donít want to waste one of your chances when you only get three.

Whether an absent makes you look flaky is argumentative. With the new policy, its very likely that in a three weeks period, something totally comes up which disallows you to be in a certain place for 4 hours on a certain day. I say, donít sit down for the LSAT until you know youíre serious about taking the test and the only reason you would cancel is if you took the test and just know you didnít do well because of the questions.












Jeffort

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Re: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 07:51:12 PM »
Hey I'll tell you something I wish someone told me

I would actually suggest you take the absentee and not show up and cancel. Remember you only have 3 chances to take it and that really isn't alot. Here's what happened with me. I signed up for June 2009, and that's when they suddenly decided to chance the deadline policy to three weeks before instead of like the day before you could still cancel. I knew about a month before that I wasn't ready for the test and had no intentions of taking it so I stopped studying and concentrated on my finals. I did not know they changed the deadline policy (dumb i know) and so I was stuck w/ not showing up or going and canceling.

I decided that I would show up, test the waters and take the cancel because I didn't want the absentee on my record, and I really regret doing this. when you know ahead of time that you're not ready and there's no way you'd take the lsat for real then you really shouldn't take it because it knocks off one of your chances. I told myself that this would never happen again and I would just study hard for september and that would be my final lsat,  so a cancel in june really wouldn't matter.

well september rolls around and the whole summer I got bogged down with 8 summer school courses and a bunch of other stuff, I never got a chancel to knock down 30+ prep tests the way other people did, but I did manage to squeeze in a reasonable amount of study time the last 6 weeks. SO I went in taking september hoping for the best even though I know I was not truly satisfied with my preparation and wish I could have had 10-12 weeks of solid study time. I took sept and on one of the LR got slowed down to the point where I didnít have time for the last five questions. I knew right away that blew my score along with probably a few mistakes in LG RC and the other LR section. So I ended up canceling sept because I knew I did not break 165.

I still wanted to get my apps in this cycle so right after sept I started preparing for December and this time I felt much better. When I finally took the lsat in December I felt like this was the first time taking the LSAT where my PTs were hitting the scores I wanted and that I really actually prepared.

Well Dec was my last and third chance taking it and it doesnít matter how well or badly I did because I canít take it anymore. The point is, I wish I had one more chance to take it just in case I didnít do as well in DEC as I thought I did. If I made 160-165 in Dec, I wish I could have taken an absent in June and that would have allowed me to take it one more time where I would def break 165. 

My whole post is to advise you to not ruin one of your chances of taking the lsat because you donít know what the next time will bring, something out of the blue can come up the second time and you donít want to waste one of your chances when you only get three.

Whether an absent makes you look flaky is argumentative. With the new policy, its very likely that in a three weeks period, something totally comes up which disallows you to be in a certain place for 4 hours on a certain day. I say, donít sit down for the LSAT until you know youíre serious about taking the test and the only reason you would cancel is if you took the test and just know you didnít do well because of the questions.


I disagree.  Yes, you are correct that LSAC has a rule that limits each test taker to being allowed to take the exam a maximum of 3 times in any given 2 year time window.

However, there is an EASY workaround to get an exception from that policy if a student ends up in that situation. 

See page 28 of this document (page 26 of the doc but page 28 of the pdf).
http://www.lsac.org/pdfs/InformationBookweb.pdf

To be able to take it more than 3 times in the previous two year time frame, all one has to do is get a Law School to submit a short letter to LSAC with your identifying information that basically says "Dewey Cheatum and How Law School gives permission for candidate Homer Simpson to take the LSAT again.  We want a more recent score to use to evaluate this candidate."

Most Law School admissions offices have that very short boiler plate letter on hand in their computer.  One just has to show up in person in the admission/admin office of a LS (even if it is not your top choice school that you want to attend) looking good, tell them sincerely that you want to apply to their school and need to take the LSAT again and want their permission to allow you to do so. 

Then the secretary person pulls up the letter template, asks you for your identification info (your name and other basic stuff), fills it into the proper fields of their form letter, prints it out on their letter head and faxes or mails it to LSAC and suddenly you can take the LSAT again!

I've worked with numerous students that had to use that workaround due to a variety of weird life circumstances.  One girl ended up taking the test 5 or 6 times in two years and also had other previous reported scores.  She got accepted to and is attending a highly ranked school in Virginia.  She was certainly determined and turned the negatives of having many reported, not so good scores into a positive in the eyes of the admission committees.  It showed them that she was determined, a hard worker, a fighter, and somebody that would not give up or flake out on things.

toomuchcoffee

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Re: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 10:40:14 PM »
Hey Jeffort,

Thanks for that info, I really didn't know you could do that. I guess that means if I really bombed DEC when my scores come out and I absolutely cannot get into any school I would be happy to attend, then I can try a certain school and ask for a form to take the LSAT again. I think this is a great contingency plan, but if what you mentioned is true - that I have to personally show up in the office to show them that I really want the chance to take the LSAT again, then there's maybe two schools I could do that for, I don't have enough money to fly across the country to get permission from every one of the 10-15 of the top 20 schools I'd like to attend. Well the getting permission thing is a great alternate route for people like me who have taken the lsat 3 times and can't do it anymore, having that said -
would you really recommend the OP show up and cancel her score instead of taking a no show. you said you worked with students applying to law school, so I'm guessing your an advisor or admissions counselor of some sort? I think it would be really good if you can give us your opinion on how law schools view cancels vs absences, given the new deadline change policies.

mellowguy

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Re: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 11:34:45 PM »
Hey I'll tell you something I wish someone told me

I would actually suggest you take the absentee and not show up and cancel. Remember you only have 3 chances to take it and that really isn't alot. Here's what happened with me. I signed up for June 2009, and that's when they suddenly decided to chance the deadline policy to three weeks before instead of like the day before you could still cancel. I knew about a month before that I wasn't ready for the test and had no intentions of taking it so I stopped studying and concentrated on my finals. I did not know they changed the deadline policy (dumb i know) and so I was stuck w/ not showing up or going and canceling.

I decided that I would show up, test the waters and take the cancel because I didn't want the absentee on my record, and I really regret doing this. when you know ahead of time that you're not ready and there's no way you'd take the lsat for real then you really shouldn't take it because it knocks off one of your chances. I told myself that this would never happen again and I would just study hard for september and that would be my final lsat,  so a cancel in june really wouldn't matter.

well september rolls around and the whole summer I got bogged down with 8 summer school courses and a bunch of other stuff, I never got a chancel to knock down 30+ prep tests the way other people did, but I did manage to squeeze in a reasonable amount of study time the last 6 weeks. SO I went in taking september hoping for the best even though I know I was not truly satisfied with my preparation and wish I could have had 10-12 weeks of solid study time. I took sept and on one of the LR got slowed down to the point where I didnít have time for the last five questions. I knew right away that blew my score along with probably a few mistakes in LG RC and the other LR section. So I ended up canceling sept because I knew I did not break 165.

I still wanted to get my apps in this cycle so right after sept I started preparing for December and this time I felt much better. When I finally took the lsat in December I felt like this was the first time taking the LSAT where my PTs were hitting the scores I wanted and that I really actually prepared.

Well Dec was my last and third chance taking it and it doesnít matter how well or badly I did because I canít take it anymore. The point is, I wish I had one more chance to take it just in case I didnít do as well in DEC as I thought I did. If I made 160-165 in Dec, I wish I could have taken an absent in June and that would have allowed me to take it one more time where I would def break 165. 

My whole post is to advise you to not ruin one of your chances of taking the lsat because you donít know what the next time will bring, something out of the blue can come up the second time and you donít want to waste one of your chances when you only get three.

Whether an absent makes you look flaky is argumentative. With the new policy, its very likely that in a three weeks period, something totally comes up which disallows you to be in a certain place for 4 hours on a certain day. I say, donít sit down for the LSAT until you know youíre serious about taking the test and the only reason you would cancel is if you took the test and just know you didnít do well because of the questions.

As someone who has both been absent and canceled, I spent the two days before the test thinking this over. I have no proof to back up this claim, so take it for what it's worth, but I suspect that unless you did stuff like this a ridiculously high number of times, you could smooth this over relatively well with a simple explanation. If you end up getting the score you need, and the rest of the application is okay, is it really the worst thing in the world to write a letter saying that you signed up but, for various reasons, weren't ready but eventually got there and now have a good score to show for it? If they want you and they can use your score in a way that helps them, in the end, why would they care?

toomuchcoffee

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Re: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2009, 12:56:19 AM »
like I mentioned earlier, the point of me sharing my process was to advise the OP why I would chose to take an absence over the show up and cancel, I'm really not soliciting advice on my own application process or asking anyone what else can I do if I already took the LSAT 3 times, for me I'm still waiting for my DEC score to tell me if everything is fine or if I need to widen my school search.

Jeffort

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Re: Is it too late to cancel for the Monday Dec. 2009 LSAT?
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009, 04:06:58 AM »
Hey Jeffort,

Thanks for that info, I really didn't know you could do that. I guess that means if I really bombed DEC when my scores come out and I absolutely cannot get into any school I would be happy to attend, then I can try a certain school and ask for a form to take the LSAT again. I think this is a great contingency plan, but if what you mentioned is true - that I have to personally show up in the office to show them that I really want the chance to take the LSAT again, then there's maybe two schools I could do that for, I don't have enough money to fly across the country to get permission from every one of the 10-15 of the top 20 schools I'd like to attend. Well the getting permission thing is a great alternate route for people like me who have taken the lsat 3 times and can't do it anymore, having that said -
would you really recommend the OP show up and cancel her score instead of taking a no show. you said you worked with students applying to law school, so I'm guessing your an advisor or admissions counselor of some sort? I think it would be really good if you can give us your opinion on how law schools view cancels vs absences, given the new deadline change policies.

I suggested showing up looking good in person to get it done with certainty if you need to take that route.  It is much more convincing/persuasive when one takes the time to show up as a live human being showing your face to demonstrate sincere interest instead of being one of the countless annoying impersonal people that keep calling and lazily emailing the admissions office making their phones ring off the hook and plugging up their email in-boxes hassling them about nonsense that wastes their time.  They get plenty of that and it is simply annoying. 

You can try requesting it over the phone but to get it done quickly and have the best chance at getting it done if need be, I'm all for the personal approach.  It seriously doesn't matter if it is a school you would attend if accepted to.  As long as one LS faxes in the letter on your behalf, problem solved. 

Yes, I'm a teacher/tutor and adviser for the LSAT as well as for LS admissions.  I've been doing it for approximately 9 years.

Regarding the difference of how LS admission committees view absentee vs. cancellations on an applicants candidate report, that is a difficult question that has no definitive/concrete answer since the changed LSAC policies about deadlines to postpone radically changed just recently.  Time will tell and it's up to the LS's to to judge you however they want based on your application materials and they typically are slow to change their ways.

Absentee mark(s) on an LSAC candidate report have pretty much always been viewed and interpreted in roughly the past two decades as "This person is a FLAKE that cannot take the pressure" while a cancellation typically has been interpreted as "I had a bad day" or something like that.

In my mind it boils down to common sense.  If a person that voluntarily enrolled in advance to take a test that has an enormous impact on their future school and career prospects, why would they not prepare for, show up and take it if it is really something important to them aside from a serious life disaster/circumstances?  In UG classes you don't typically have the option of significantly postponing the dates of your tests/finals/assignments and you certainly don't have that option in Law School, and much more importantly, if you become a practicing lawyer you don't have that option to put off important litigation matters at will because you are not ready (for the most part).