The Post-LSAT Blues

You've just taken the LSAT and doubts are now prevalent. Use these tips to clear your mind.

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You took the LSAT on Saturday—maybe for the first time or maybe for the third time. There's probably a lot on your mind, so I want to use today's column to answer the three most pressing questions:

Should you cancel your score?

You have six calendar days after the test to cancel your LSAT score. There is no reason to rush this and decide today. You should absolutely cancel if you now realize that:

— You failed to prepare adequately for the exam

— If an illness or recent personal event hindered your ability to perform

— If you suffered from extreme anxiety that caused you to mis-bubble a section of the test

— If you were unable to finish more than one section of the test

— If you are otherwise sure that something went terribly amiss during the exam

[Click here for additional considerations in whether to cancel an LSAT score.]

Should you plan to retake it in December?

If you cancel the October score or plan to retake the test because you are disappointed with your score, I assure you that December 2010 is a fine time to take the LSAT for Fall 2011 admission. However, use the next few weeks to put together your application materials and continue with your LSAT preparation. If your practice scores were strong and you just had a bad day on the October LSAT, then you simply need to maintain your proficiency on the test. You have time to work on other parts of your application. The goal with the December LSAT is to submit law school applications by mid-January. If you wait until the end of January, it really is too late in the rolling admission cycle to be competitive. By that time schools are going to their waiting lists. Schools will accept your application (and your application fee) but not usually accept you for admission.

[Get more advice from law school admissions officials.]

What do you do next?

Make sure you've registered for the Credential Assembly Service. Send in your transcripts and make sure your Letters of Recommendation are received by LSAC in the next 2-3 weeks. Work on your résumé and personal statement. You won't be able to draft an LSAT addendum until after you know your October LSAT score, but you can draft an addendum about any other weaknesses in your application (grades, academic probation, minor in possession tickets, etc.). If you have all of these items ready when your October score is released, you'll be on schedule to take advantage of rolling admissions and apply in mid-November.

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