So, here we are, less than a week before the July exam, and let me guess? You’re thinking: should I withdraw?!
I’m here to give you an answer: No! Do not withdraw! For a synopsis of all the reasons why, check out the video by OG BP LSAT instructor Ross Rinehart up top. For a closer look—or if you’re not into video—keep reading.
In previous posts we’ve discussed that the July exam comes with incredible, never-before-offered perks: test takers can see their score, and if they aren’t happy with what they see, they can cancel that score and get a free retake. Even though law schools do not hold multiple LSAT scores against applicants, this is still a huge incentive to test takers.
It’s a huge boon to test takers because, when LSAC sends that long-awaited email with your score for the July exam, one of three scenarios can happen, all of which have their benefits:
1. You are pleasantly surprised and satisfied with your score, and you can be done with the LSAT forever!
2. You don’t hate your score, don’t love it, but you decide to keep it anyway. You can continue to study for a future exam you would have had to pay for anyway had you withdrawn the July exam. The perk here is that you have an official score on record that you don’t completely hate, and that will allows you to apply to law schools.
3. You absolutely hate your score, and don’t want any other human to ever see such a number. Great! LSAC has a solution for this! You can simply click a button, and your score will disappear forever. The best part? LSAC will give you a completely free retake, for any test from the October 2019 exam through the April 2020 exam.
None of those three scenarios would have been possible had you withdrawn from the July exam. The exam is essentially risk-free! These perks are almost too good to be true, and they are only offered this one administration.
Ok, you get it! The July test comes with perks that are so good, every registered test taker should go ahead and take it. Even with all of that in mind, you still may be thinking:
“I’m not prepared!”
“I’m just going to cancel anyway!”
“I could just take the test in the fall!”
“I’m going to do terribly!”
To give an answer to that, very common, first worry: it’s nearly impossible to feel 100% prepared for the LSAT. I’ll use myself as an example. Prior to taking the January 2019 LSAT, I had completed 86 released practice tests, read all written question explanations, and I consistently had practice test scores in a range where I would have been content. Before the test, I was still a complete wreck. I kept thinking there MUST be something else I could do to prepare that I had not yet done. (Looking back, that level of preparation may have been a bit of an overkill, but that goes to show that anyone can feel unprepared.)
If you really don’t feel prepared though, you could just take the test in the fall. Except, then you’d be missing out on the best parts of the July exam. Plus, the same do-not-withdraw advice applies to any LSAT administration. Rather than withdraw, you should treat the real exam like any other practice exam. Instead of taking it in a bedroom, you will have the experience of taking an official LSAT (since, after all, it technically is an official LSAT) and have LSAC grade your exam for you. You’ll also go through all the headaches of the actual test day once, so going through them on a future exam will be a little less stress-inducing. After taking the exam, you can continue to study until the next exam, while waiting for your score.
And there’s really no need to be concerned about having more than one score on your record. Generally, law schools do not hold multiple LSAT scores against applicants; they are incentivized to only care about an applicant’s highest score on record. In other words, an applicant with both a 130 and a 170 on record will generally be looked at more favorably than an applicant with a single 160 on record. If you’re still unsure about the pros and cons of canceling, Ross is hosting a free webinar about this on July 17th at 5:00 p.m. PST. Make sure you RSVP here.
So if you’re thinking about withdrawing from the July exam — don’t! Take advantage of this once in a lifetime deal. But even if you were thinking about withdrawing from another exam without all these added benefits, our advice is the same. It’ll still be good practice for the eventual real exam, without much downside.