Not Prepared for the LSAT? Here Are Your Options
With the next LSAT coming up in June, many applicants may be wondering what their options are if they don’t feel prepared.
Daniel Waldman, a contributor at US News, recently discussed the difference between LSAT cancellations, withdrawals, and absences—and how law schools view each.
Withdrawing LSAT Registration
Waldman says withdrawing from an exam is useful if you don’t feel like you’ve made enough progress in your preparation.
“In some cases, something unexpected may have come up – like a relative’s wedding – that would preclude her from taking the exam,” Waldman writes. “Withdrawals are not reported to schools, and they will never know you were even registered for that exam, so there is no need to address them.”
It’s also important to note that you have until 11:59 p.m. (ET) the night before the test to withdraw your LSAT registration, according to LSAC.
Always Explain an Absence
Showing up for a commitment is something that law schools value in applicants.
If you’re unable to attend your exam for some reason, it’s important to explain to law schools why you’re absent.
“Schools understand that things happen – a car accident, a family emergency, etc. – that would have you miss the exam,” Waldman writes. “More than one absence, however, will give you the aura of someone who can’t follow through on his commitments. Nevertheless, it’s probably prudent to include an addendum with your application explaining the absence”
Canceling a Score
Similar to absences, cancellations have low impact on your application. However, Waldman says, it’s also important to be careful how many times you cancel a score.
“A classic example is canceling a score because a missed row when bubbling in answers threw the entire section’s responses out of whack,” Waldman writes. “While it’s a possibly the best reason to cancel your score, it also might make the school question your attention to detail. It’s best to let it go and make up for it when retaking the exam.”