LSAT questions
January 23, 2007 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm taking the LSAT in feb but was planning on canceling my score no matter what. I feel I will be more ready for the June exam, but have already registered for Feb. Is there any negative repercussions for canceling? Do schools view it poorly? Can I take the test back to back (Feb and June)?
posted by milinar to Education (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't cancel. If you're taking the damn thing, take it once. Are you taking it just for experience? I'm not sure, but in my experience of fellow takers/teachers of the LSAT, I've heard schools can find out if you do cancel--through LSAC, maybe--and they do look negatively on it.

You can take the test back to back, but seriously; don't put yourself through that more than once unless you have to, especially if you'll never know how you did. Take the practice tests, score yourself, and take it when you know you're ready.
posted by atayah at 11:14 AM on January 23, 2007

Yeah, I was going to take it for the experience and the fact that I am signd up for it, but not ready enough. Thank you!
posted by milinar at 11:18 AM on January 23, 2007

Duuude. Why would you preemptively cancel your score? If you want a "practice" test, just buy a book full of them and take one! There are at least 3 different books full of tests on Amazon, I'm not even going to bother linking to one.

But I will link to The PowerScore Logic Games Bible just in case, as with most people, that is your weak section. By my count you have 2 1/2 weeks before the Feb. 10 LSAT; I won't say that's "plenty" of time, but you can get a lot done in that time and perhaps even bring yourself to a near-perfect score on the logic games section. Just get that book overnighted, order a sample test so you'll have *lots* of practice questions, and go to town for the next 2 weeks.

I'm not a PowerScore shill. I don't care if you buy that book new or used or just borrow it, but it's awesome if that's your trouble spot.
posted by rkent at 11:20 AM on January 23, 2007

They don't care if you cancel your score - they assume that you have the flu. If you do it a lot though, they care.

The test is changing in June, by the way, reading comp is changing completely. So if you're prepping, don't forget to take that into consideration.

You should never take a test that you don't feel ready for.

And PS, logic games are only 25% of the whole test, so it isn't that important. Focus on logical reasoning.

I teach for a test prep company.
posted by k8t at 11:31 AM on January 23, 2007

Of course logic games is only 25%, but it's the marginal section for a lot of people -- if everyone is getting 90-95% of the other questions right, then even getting an extra 5 logic games is a huge jump in score.

Anyway, of course if it's not your weakest section then don't focus on it. But for lots of people, it is.

k8t - at your company, do you have detailed info yet on what the June test will be like? How are you teaching for it, if at all?
posted by rkent at 11:47 AM on January 23, 2007

The hours you spend studying for the LSAT can be the most lucrative hours of your life. If you need to cancel once to get a good score do it, don't make a habit of it. The logic games bible is excellent, but you are better off spending the time you need to be at your best to get a good score than trying to cram for two weeks. You made a mistake signing up for the test before you were ready to take it, but that is in the past. Don't compound youir error.
posted by I Foody at 11:48 AM on January 23, 2007

For the changes in June, you can look here

You might want to consider taking it, not canceling your score, and then taking it again in June. That way you will know what you got. Otherwise you will never know. Most laws schools average your scores. If you are sure you are going to bomb the Feb test, then yeah, cancel.
posted by rmless at 11:54 AM on January 23, 2007

I'm a law student. From everything I've heard, there's nothing wrong with canceling once. Schools can find out if you've canceled, though, and if you cancel repeatedly, it will look bad.

That said, don't preemptively cancel, because if something goes horribly wrong in June, you will have already used your free cancel.

I know I probably don't need to tell you this, but take the LSAT very seriously. Your score will make or break your application.

It is a good idea to set a target score and drill on old LSATs until you're consistently scoring at or above your target. Many people score a little lower on the actual test than they do on their practice tests, since the actual test is taken under worse conditions.

Your target score is largely determined by your diagnostic score (the score you get on your first practice LSAT taken under realistic conditions). Don't expect to be able to to bring your score up much more than 5-8 points.

Ideally, before you take the real test, you'll be practicing in the 170+ range. If you're practicing much below 165, though, after you've done all you can do, I would caution you to take a good, hard look at the schools you'll be able to get admission to, the career prospects of graduates of those schools, your personal goals, and your personal financial situation.

The legal job market can be very competitive and status-oriented, and many "top" jobs draw disproportionately from a handful of "top" schools. Lower tier schools are notorious for being incredibly competitive and leaving many graduates with huge debts to pay off but few job prospects.

All this is to say, a few points difference on your LSAT score can mean a difference of thousands and thousands of dollars in earning power and merit-based aid, so practice, practice, practice.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:58 AM on January 23, 2007

I am writing all of this assuming that you don't want to make it into the Fall 2007 entering class at a law school. You're thinking 2008, right?

As to what Mr. Pres said, it is totally worth it to take test prep and to take it seriously. It is worth throwing down a few grand to get a better score. The company I work for has a money back guarantee if you aren't happy with your score increase as well.

Games are VERY teachable. I can get someone from 40% right to 85% right in a few hours. This isn't how my company teaches it, but under extreme tutoring situations this is typically what happens.

Logical reasoning is the most important section and it has really changed over the past 4 years. It focuses much more on certain question types than it used to. Memorizing certain patterns can pay off big time.

But the area that is the "toughest" right now is reading comp. They have made the reading comp section progressively harder since 2003. What we used to consider "hard" is now "medium."

The only drawback to June, OP, is that you won't have the year's cycle to look at. For example, June, October and December 2006 all had the exact same type of science reading comp passage, same type of humanities reading comp passage, and used 3 of the 4 same game types. This makes the February test great if you've really studied June, October and December.

With June being the start of the LSAT cycle, you don't have anything to go off of.

But don't take February if you're not scoring where you want to be scoring by Monday February 5. That's the date I'm giving my current students. The ones that aren't where they want to be, I encourage them to not go ahead.
posted by k8t at 12:09 PM on January 23, 2007

Of course logic games is only 25%, but it's the marginal section for a lot of people -- if everyone is getting 90-95% of the other questions right, then even getting an extra 5 logic games is a huge jump in score.

it's also the only section where there is no subjective interpretation. If you learn how to ace the logic games section, you will ace it on the test. if you learn how to do well in Logical Reasoning or Reading Comprehension, you could still get hit with a run of questions that kill your score.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:36 PM on January 23, 2007

I cancelled once, to zero apparent negative effect (got into all 6 schools to which I applied, including some upper-tier ones). The cancel was in June 1999, took the test for real in fall 1999, applied in winter 2001-02.
posted by ibmcginty at 1:21 PM on January 23, 2007

Actually, solid-one-love, there's no subjective interpretation for any of them. Even though the prompt might say, "which of the following best blah, blah, blah" -- there is only ever one right answer, it is absolutely right, and the other four are absolutely wrong in more or less obvious ways.

Logic Games is special though, because it's the easiest section in which to make big gains through practice. The first practice LSAT I ever wrote, I scored 11/24 on the games section. On the real thing I scored 25/25.

Get the Powerscore Logic Games bible, and practice, practice, practice.
posted by ewiar at 5:22 PM on January 23, 2007

Were the questions all perfect, that would be the case, ewiar, but they are not. There have been many such questions that can be parsed multiple ways, sometimes in ways where the 'correct' answer is absolutely wrong. Since LSAC has in the past agreed with appeals on this basis, I must disagree.
posted by solid-one-love at 5:31 PM on January 23, 2007

Ok, but you have to treat the questions as perfect. If LSAC screws up, as you say, they'll fix it. But you shouldn't be trying to second-guess the testmakers. Treat the test as though there is one right answer, and four wrong ones.
posted by ewiar at 7:23 PM on January 25, 2007

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