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When Should You Take The LSAT
Deciding on when to take the LSAT isn’t easy, especially given that this law school entrance exam is only offered a handful of times per year. When balancing work, school, and extracurriculars in the face of a fluid application cycle, strategy comes into play. If you are curious about when you need to take the LSAT, there are a few factors to consider.
- Determine Your Law School Application Deadline: It’s best to take the LSAT well before the deadline for your law school’s application materials. For example, if you need to apply by the fall semester, opt for the dates in spring and summer, at the latest. The goal is to make sure your score from the LSAT is readily available in time for you to submit law school applications, which is commonly during the fall semester, but varies by school.
- Give Yourself Time to Prepare: Timing is everything, especially when wondering “when can you take the LSAT?”. However, if you’re not prepared, don’t rush the experience. Spend plenty of time reviewing the content, taking practice tests and working with tutors who can help you with test-taking skills and the required content you should know.
- Know Your After-College Plans: For some students, they choose to take the LSAT while they are still in college right before they receive an undergraduate degree. However, if you plan to take a year or two off to work or prepare your application materials for law school, you may want to give yourself more time. If you do plan to take the LSAT while in college and then take a year or two off, know that your scores are good for five years.
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Taking The LSAT While In College
Determining the best time to take the LSAT for either the fall or spring semester not only depends upon the factors mentioned above, it also depends upon your personal and academic obligations.
For instance, if you opt for the June testing date, you may have time to retake the LSAT in October if admission materials are not due until the end of the fall semester.
However, taking the LSAT in October gives you extra time in the summer, when you’re not bogged down with school work and projects, to prepare and study. If you are applying for next year’s admission into law school or even spring semester entrance, the October test date allows you the opportunity to retake the LSAT in December if necessary.
Pros & Cons Of Numerous LSAT Attempts
Before you decide to take the LSAT multiple times, you’ll first need to investigate what different law schools require. For example, some law schools may not allow you to submit multiple LSAT scores while others may average all of your scores versus just taking the top LSAT score.
There are plenty of benefits in taking the LSAT more than once. Not only do you get the chance to improve your LSAT score while in college or during the fall semester before you apply for law school, but you also get a chance to learn more about the test-taking skills necessary to succeed.
Practice tests are essential when preparing for the LSAT, but there’s nothing that compares to the full experience of taking the LSAT.
On the downside, you have to also consider the time and cost involved with taking the LSAT more than once. You’ll need to plan ahead to schedule your test dates and pay the full fee each time you do take this law school entrance exam.
Ideally, you’ll want to study hard and get a high score on your LSAT the first time, avoiding the need to take it more than once (after all, who wants to do it again and again?). However, there is comfort is knowing that you are able to take it again if you need to.
Give Yourself Time To Prepare
As with any graduate admission test, you should allow for plenty of time to prepare. The LSAT’s level of difficulty is subjective, which is why it’s important to identify your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to test taking.
For many, it’s refreshing to take the LSAT because it does not include math concepts. Instead, the LSAT focuses more on logic games and critical thinking questions. You are expected to solve puzzles, apply logic and create rules to uncover the best course of action in hypothetical situations.
The LSAT is also a static test, which means, unlike the GRE, the questions do not get harder based on the previous questions you’ve answered.
The LSAT also includes a reading comprehension component and a writing portion where you’ll be asked to apply logical reasoning when answering essay prompts.
The best course of action is to begin taking practice tests so that you are not only familiar with the concepts and vocabulary, but also familiar with the wording of the questions that often cause confusion if you’re not careful.
When Can You Take The LSAT?
Once you’re confident in your abilities to master the test questions on the LSAT, it’s time to determine the best time for you to take this law school entrance exam. However, instead of asking yourself “when Can I take the LSAT?” think much more critically about “am I prepared to take the LSAT?”.
Your performance on this entrance exam for law school bears weight on your application materials.
Do not rush into the LSAT. Instead, feel confident about your abilities and preparation when scheduling the LSAT during the available test dates. When you’re finally ready, you can check for available test dates on the LSAC website here.