An Insight Regarding LSAT Cancellations, Withdrawals and Absences

The conceptual differences, overall impact on evaluation by the schools and ideal methods to address them in your applications

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) can be the most difficult qualifying exams that the aspiring lawyers need to appear for. It is possible to hide your considerably bad performance in your usual scheduled examinations in your college, due to the results in flying colors in various other tests after your secondary schooling.

However, the qualifying exam to seek admission to the reputed law schools requires prolonged hours of study. The aspiring students can appear for these tests in several attempts and their repetition would not bear any adverse impact.

Lsat exam hall

Eventually, the result of every attempt of the LSAT, would be conveyed to the law schools. Now, how this statistic is analyzed and utilized for evaluation of the subsequent students would be the individual lookout of these institutions. However, the admission counselor would possess the data regarding the attempts made by the particular student, and the events when the score wasn’t attained.

The reasons for not getting the scores can be the decisions such as withdrawal, cancellation or absence. – It would be important to analyze the difference between these facilitations, and the way the law schools use this data to evaluate the students seeking admission, and why these factors need to be emphasized?


Plenty of aspiring LSAT candidates would not know about this recently added facility, but your registration for the LSAT can be voluntarily withdrawn by you till the midnight on the previous day of the announced exam date. If you withdraw earlier to this emergency situation, you can even avail partial refund of your exam fees.

There might be plenty of reasons behind the decision of the student to withdraw from LSAT exam. The students that are not confident regarding their preparation and overall progress in the studies, may think of using this option.

Again, some students might have some abrupt ad unavoidable consequences, forcing them to withdraw as well; such as if a loved one would be supposed to get wedded on the same day – this may be the important cause of withdrawal. Eventually, the details of withdrawals would never be conveyed to the schools.

So, the schools cannot even trace the details regarding whether a particular student had registered for the subsequent attempt of the LSAT; and thus, the withdrawals would not be addressed by the institutions.


Absence is as you register yourself for the LSAT, don’t even withdraw till the allowed time frame for withdrawal, and don’t even appear for the exam. Though the absence of the candidate might be conveyed to the schools, usually the absence in a single attempt for LSAT may hardly bear any adverse impact while evaluating the candidate.

The law schools would consider the emergencies such as a sudden car collision or an emergency situation for the family and so on – that might have led to your absence for the LSAT exam. However, if the absence phenomenon repeats, it can create an impression that the candidate is unable to keep the commitments. It can be better to state the reason behind your absence along with the application to avoid that conclusion.

It can be better to be honest and prompt regarding stating the reasons for your absence well in advance to avoid the message that makes the schools feel that you were not confident. Therefore, it is recommended for you to enclose an addendum stating the reasons for your absences, especially when you remain absent for several instances.


You can cancel the exam even after a week of appearing for the test. Whatever might be the reason behind this action of cancelling; but the most likely reason considered by the schools can be lack of confidence based on how bad the test was for the particular student.

The schools would also show sympathy for a single cancellation, as it is quite possible that the performance in the test might not be up to the expectations. So, there would not be any penalties enforced for cancelling the test in the first instance. However, if the action is repeated, it would imply your inability to retain confidence in the crucial situations. Though the reason for your cancellation might be better and you might have the evidences to prove; it may be tedious and unprofessional to advocate your excuses even on a single incident.

One of the extremely practical reasons for cancellation might be jumbling in ticking the answers following the precise serial numbers; and the entire sheet would be missed out due to a single mistake in between. This may be a good reason to cancel, however, the schools can question your overall attention. Therefore, it would be better to leave it and prepare for the next attempt promptly.

You must aim at registering for the LSAT and preparing to get the best scores in the single attempt honestly. It is commonly seen that the candidates interested to be the lawyers over-think, including while preparing for LSAT as well. Even the applicants that get the scores around 170, react as if the exam was excellent. Again, discussing the questions with the fellow candidates would lead to great confusion.

The best policy can be to work hard for the LSAT exam, have faith in the way you might have prepared promptly, keep yourself away from the discussions as the exam would be over and keep the fingers crossed.

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  1. I’m planning on taking the June LSAT, and also considering signing up for the July LSAT in case things don’t go as planned the first time around. If I get a score I’m happy with on the June test, though, I’d probably want to withdraw and not sit for July. Is there any drawback to withdrawing? Would a withdrawal be reported to schools?

    • You don’t get refunded for withdrawing (I think). So that could be one. I don’t think schools will care though

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