When To Cancel Your LSAT Score
Wondering whether to cancel your LSAT score? Canceling your score after taking the test is a tempting option for a lot of test-takers. For most, it’s not the right decision but for others, it might be the best thing to do in specific situations.
When To Cancel Your LSAT Score
The LSAC currently allows test takers to cancel their score six days after the exam. (It must be done by 11:59 PM ET on the sixth day.)
Why You Shouldn’t Cancel Your LSAT Score
No applicant wants his or her LSAT score to drop upon taking the exam for a second or third time. It’s expected from admissions officers that you fine-tune your study habits and increase your score with each subsequent test. That doesn’t always happen, and that’s okay, but the anxiety around that expectation is universal and normal. It is not, however, a reason to cancel your LSAT score.
If you seriously studied and committed to preparing for the exam in the months leading up to it, then you should be in a good position to keep the score. Even if you didn’t get a 180, it’s likely that this score reflects your aptitude and abilities. If there’s no specific thing you can point to as your reason for wanting to cancel (see below), then your anxiety is probably just normal post-test nerves and not a legitimate reason to cancel your LSAT score.
When You Should Cancel Your LSAT Score
If you can point to a specific interference during the lead up to the exam or the exam itself, then you might have reason to cancel your LSAT score.
Here are some good reasons for canceling your score:
- You were sick and battling the flu or other illness during the exam.
- You had serious distractions that prevented you from committing to studying the way you planned to study. (This is not the same as simply wanting more time. However, if something took you away from being able to study for weeks before the exam such as a death, a breakup, or another major life event then you might be right to cancel your LSAT score.)
- You didn’t finish multiple sections that you normally finish in practice exams.
- You messed up your answer sheet and your answers don’t match the questions.
These are all good reasons that you can consider canceling your LSAT score.
How Canceled LSAT Scores Look To Admissions Offices
Keep in mind that when you cancel your LSAT score, it will show up on your CAS report as such. The exam date and a “C” for canceled will be listed on your CAS report next to all of your other LSAT scores. While a single cancellation is not a big deal and doesn’t draw attention to most admissions officers, if you start to cancel your scores two or three times, it will be noticed.
As discussed above, there are a number of reasons why you might need to cancel your score. But after multiple cancellations, it will appear to admissions officers that you simply don’t take the exam seriously. Or worse, they may think you just can’t handle the pressures of the test.
Though the application review process looks at much more than how you performed on the LSAT, remember that the LSAT still serves a purpose and is intended to predict 1L success. Furthermore, law school is filled with high-pressure exams that won’t allow you the chance to cancel your grade on for any reason. Additionally, you’ll also have to take the bar exam (which multiplies the pressure on test takers when compared to the LSAT). Part of the admissions process is determining whether applicants have the aptitude to succeed in a program. If you can’t handle the pressures or discipline required on the LSAT, then admissions officers might (rightfully) conclude that law school is not the best fit for you.
July 2019 Exam
The July 2019 exam is an exception to all of this. One very unique thing about this exam is that LSAC will allow you to see your score before deciding if you want to cancel it (within five days of taking the exam). This is a special exception to the normal rule of canceling without knowing your score. This is because LSAC is transitioning to a digital format and test takers won’t know if they’ll take a paper or digital test until they show up for the exam. The ability to cancel a score in July 2019 after its release will provide additional assurances to test takers not to worry about which exam they take.
Ultimately, there’s no way of knowing how you actually performed and whether you should definitively cancel your LSAT score. Essentially, if you studied hard for the exam and nothing major went awry during the test, then it’s likely just nerves and anxiety tempting you to cancel your LSAT score and not a real justification for doing so!