When to Cancel Your LSAT Score
Many students come out of the LSAT thinking that they did terrible, but this doesn’t mean it’s true. Cancelling the LSAT is irreversible. If you are considering a cancellation of a completed test, do not do it on the day of the test—you have six days to do so, and you should use that time to weigh your options carefully and rationally. Explain your situation to a trusted advisor for his or her opinion. If you had a lot of trouble with one section, remember that it could have been the experimental section—you can determine which section was experimental by visiting LSAT discussion boards after the test. Also, remember that law schools are going to be notified that your score was cancelled at your request, which means you are going to have to explain yourself, although generally, a school won’t penalize you for one cancellation, especially if your subsequent score is strong.
But re-taking the test may affect your application timing, which may affect your chances of admission. For example, if cancelling means you will be re-taking the LSAT in December, that will probably hurt your chances because your file won’t be complete in time. Sometimes it’s worth it, still, but this will be a factor for you to balance based on your own, unique situation. Law schools will expect an explanation for repeated cancellations.
Keep in mind too that the American Bar Association (ABA) recently changed the requirements for LSAT reporting from member law schools. While the ABA used to request score averages of accepted students for the purpose of ranking law schools, they now only require the highest scores. For that reason, you shouldn't be overly hasty about cancelling a score, given that retake scores have much more weight than in the past.
Finally, in 2020 LSAC introduced a new option for first-time test takers: Score Preview. Prior to the test, first-time test takers can pay $45 to preview their score before deciding to cancel it, an option previously unavailable. If it is within your budget, you should consider the Score Preview option. This allows you to cancel a test score if it is below your expectations and you know you can do better.