Alright, I'll admit, the title above is a bit overly-absolute, if not intentionally hyperbolic. Obviously there are scenarios where cancelling* your LSAT score is a reasonable, even necessary, decision: a markedly significant departure from your typical test performance, a clear failure to come anywhere near your target score, a belatedly-noticed bubbling error...all of these lend a lot of weight to a cancellation. My point is that June, of all tests, is the one to let anything close to questionable slide. This is easily the best time to roll the dice, and I'll explain exactly why.
My colleague Nikki has already outlined why June is the test to take if you're currently preparing (and if you're a stickler for consistency fear not), and frankly I couldn't agree more. I've been singing its praises for years! In short, it's offered at the most accessible time of day, it's extremely early in the application cycle, and it's typically the third most popular of the year so centers are less crowded. June rocks.
But I'm not writing to push you towards June. We've covered that. I'm writing to encourage you to keep your June score.
First, if things go well, even through some measure of good fortune, the benefits are ENORMOUS. You're so far ahead of the application curve that you now have months to focus on the other pieces. With the LSAT behind you your time can be devoted to crafting the perfect personal statement, ensuring your recommendations (and recommendors) are in order, and even visiting candidate schools for tours and interviews. Simply put, the mere possibility that the LSAT could be behind you at this stage is worth some (calculated) risk.
Second, were things to go a bit worse than expected--or possibly as expected if you're anticipating a slightly-less-than-optimal outcome--and necessitate a retake, two truths, both of value to you, apply:
1. Schools don't care. Seriously! Law schools really aren't concerned with multiple test attempts, whether they consist of cancel/high or low/high(er) score splits. The ABA requires, and USNWR considers, only the highest score of each accepted applicant, so that's all that schools care about. Presuming an October or December improvement, to quote our friends at Spivey Consulting, "For the vast majority of scenarios, to retake for a higher score presents all opportunity with no downside." So don't let fear of a potentially disappointing score and subsequent retake sway you to cancel what could, again even against some odds, be the end of your LSAT road.
2. You'll have an objective measure of your performance. If June turns out to be little more than a practice run, it's tremendously beneficial to know exactly how it went. If you cancel you lose that information: you'll get a copy of the test, but not your answer sheet or end result. A lot of people fail to realize that it's not just schools that don't see a cancelled score; test takers don't see it either. So if you're intending to learn all that you can from this experience--and clearly you should be if a critical retake is looming--you need your score report, and that's only available to those who don't cancel.
So for anyone wavering on June, go for it! And for anyone post-test considering a cancellation...I'd strongly encourage you get in touch with us before making that decision.
Photo "A Little Luck" courtesy of JD Hancock.
*given the number of "cancelled," "cancelling," and "cancellation" instances above I felt I should acknowledge the one "l" (canceled) vs. two "ll" (cancelled) debate and note that I remain compelled as a traditionalist of sorts to stick with two, despite recent, exclusively American, trends. But then I very wel coulld be wrong.