When To Take the LSAT
Any individual who has studied for the LSAT knows that at some point, they need to commit to an administration of the test and receive their official score. This process can be nerve-wracking, but there are a few other things to consider when choosing your LSAT test date.
Our article gives you more information about when the LSAT is typically administered, how to choose your LSAT test date, and the best way to prepare for this important exam.
When Is the LSAT Administered?
The LSAT is administered several times a year to give individuals a chance to pick the testing date that works best for their timeline. There are approximately seven different testing dates in one total administration of the LSAT, ranging from around the middle of one year to the start of the following year. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) provides more detailed information about test dates and the process of registering for a specific test date.
Also on the LSAC’s website, you can find more information about the costs associated with taking the LSAT, score reporting information, test date changes, and the procedure for disability-related accommodations. All of these are important things to consider when scheduling your LSAT.
Choosing Your LSAT Test Date
Choosing your LSAT test date is a specific process unique to each student – the test date should be the best one for your situation, and everyone’s LSAT prep and test score goal is different. However, there are some things you can keep in mind when selecting your LSAT test date that helps you pick the best option.
1. Consider Your Study Time
Taking your studying timeline into account is one of the most important things when choosing your LSAT testing date. Before you start studying, you likely have an idea of when you would like to finish studying and take the exam; design your study plan with these goals in mind, and adjust it as you start studying.
After a few weeks or so of studying, you should be able to determine how much more preparation you need for the LSAT and can start looking into test dates provided by the LSAC to see which one fits your overall timeline.
2. Check Law School Application Deadlines
Another extremely important factor in choosing your test date is considering law school application deadlines. If you are trying to apply early decision, you want to enter law school right after undergraduate school without any gaps, or you know you want to take the LSAT a few times to ensure you get your highest score, you should check the deadlines of the law schools you are considering.
It helps to make a list of the law schools you are interested in, complete with application deadlines and any other information, such as if you are applying early decision. Then, once you review your options and compare them to your studying timeline or expected graduation date from an undergraduate college, you may better understand which LSAT test date to enroll in.
3. Prepare for Retakes
As you look into taking the LSAT, it’s a good idea to leave extra time in case you don’t receive the score you were hoping for, or you need a retake for another reason. While taking the LSAT last minute is stressful and can affect your score, it may also result in difficulties with law school applications if your score is not received in time.
Selecting an LSAT test date one or two test dates ahead of the one last one possible for you to take in a testing cycle (according to your application and studying timeline) is a good idea, as this allows you to retake the LSAT as needed. And, if you don’t need a retake, it gives you enough time to start preparing your law school applications and essays with dedicated attention.
How Long Is Your LSAT Score Good For?
Many students who take the LSAT wonder if they can wait until the next year to apply to law school. This is a common practice among prospective law students and allows them to destress after the LSAT and fully dedicate their time to crafting a desirable law school application. Fortunately, your LSAT score is valid for up to five years after you take the exam.
You should keep in mind, however, that a very old LSAT score might raise eyebrows among admissions committees at the law schools you are applying to, and you should expect to be asked about why you waited a longer-than-usual time before applying. Of course, this won’t happen in every case, but it is a possibility.
More information about LSAT scores and test-taking limits can be found here.
Preparing for the LSAT
Preparing for the LSAT is stressful for many individuals, especially when you have to take into account when to take the LSAT, studying timelines, and other important LSAT information. Because every test taker’s situation is unique and their LSAT goals are different, there is no general guidance for when to take this exam. However, as you think about selecting a testing date, you should consider your score goals, any retakes you might need, and the application deadlines for your desired law schools.
Additionally, cut the guesswork out of studying for the LSAT and enroll in a comprehensive LSAT prep course. A prep course will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses on the LSAT and point you in the right direction for raising your score to your desired range, increasing your chances of admission into your preferred law school.
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