Deciding when to take the LSAT can be pretty confusing and challenging. But hang on – timely planning and efficient strategies help!
How to Know if You Should take the LSAT Now or Later?
If you’re considering going to law school, one of the major confusions that may arise might be choosing the best date to take the LSAT. We understand how overwhelming and anxiety-inducing it can be to make the right decision.
Deciding on when to take the LSAT certainly isn’t a piece of cake, especially when there are a million other factors to consider. When doing so, it’s natural for your mind to feel all over the place. Yep, it’s nothing short of a Gordian knot, but it shouldn’t steer you away from the goal of landing into your dream law school, and perhaps be the next Lincoln Lawyer!
While you juggle between work and study in the face of a volatile application process, we think it’s fair to say that’s the point where you feel like giving up. But fear not! All it takes is the right action plan coupled with some dedication, and you’re good to go, champ!
In fact, a well-timed and well-prepared LSAT will skyrocket your chances of landing into your dream law school, all while still enabling you to schedule backup test dates in case things don’t go as planned.
Let’s face it – the LSAT exam is famous for its difficulty level, but you know the way out – effective strategizing and planning things beforehand.
Let’s walk you through different steps to choose the most suitable date for LSAT so you’ve ample time to prep and apply for your law school.
It’s about time you say goodbye to stress! So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.
1. When can I take the LSAT?
The law school entrance test is taken a couple of times a year (except for May and December).
The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) announces the dates a year before so you can choose the date accordingly and plan ahead, rather than panicking at the last minute.
In 2023, the LSAT will be conducted in January, February, April, June, August, September, October, and November. This should give you ample time to mind map and plan things out according to your schedule.
2. How do I Choose the LSAT Date?
While any time around the year might work well to sit for the test, some months are proven to have more advantages over others.
Preferably, the sooner you schedule your LSAT, the higher are the chances of you getting an admission earlier. That’s because you’ll already have the score with you when the first round of law school admissions opens, so you can apply immediately!
This means that you should ideally take the test before September so you can have your hands on your scorecard in time to apply by October. Summer months have more students enrolled for LSAT because those aiming for law school have more time to prep and ace the test!
After all, getting into a law school is, of course, a daunting process. Thus its recommended to apply immediately when the applications open in the early fall.
3. Should I take the LSAT in College or after graduation?
That’s another question that often arises for students to decide if they should wait until graduation or if they should give the exam during college.
A lot of students prefer to join law school immediately in the fall after graduation. On the flip side, other students wait for a year or two after graduation to take the LSAT.
Whichever option you choose for yourself, ensure your schedule allows you to have sufficient time to prepare for the exam. Your goal should be to attain the highest possible points on your test rather than just rushing into it. Many students take the LSAT exam multiple times to achieve the best possible score.
Previously, scores were averaged, but now the highest score is considered by law schools, so make sure that you give it your best shot!
Here’s some great news for you: your LSAT scores are valid for five years! So you don’t have to worry about them expiring anytime soon. Your entire focus should be on doing your best while you’re at it.
4. How do I Decide if I am Ready for the LSAT?
It’s very natural to find yourself drowning and questioning your skills, even after spending hours and hours practicing for the LSAT. You might just get cold feet and feel that you’re just not ready!
Thus, here’s another thing that you need to consider before deciding when you should give the LSAT. You’ll have to build up mental stamina while preparing yourself for the LSAT. We understand that anxiety and fear can skyrocket around this time and make you doubt your skills.
However, the best strategy to go about this is, analyzing your skills. Here’s what you can do that’d surely help you out:
- Sit with mentors and parents and have a discussion with them
- Plan a year or two ahead of the law school application, and make a roadmap of how you want to go along
- Carefully go through all the prerequisites needed for you to make it to your dream law school.
- Curate a strategy for LSAT that will allow you to meet your goals, so you don’t stay behind your competition.
Now, to make your job easier, we have discussed some necessary factors in detail that you should keep in mind before choosing your LSAT date. A lot of students tend to overlook some external aspects amidst the pressure. So, to make it easier for you, we’ve listed them down!
● Note Down your law school’s Application Deadline
It is recommended to take the LSAT well enough before the last date of your law school’s application cycle. Still trying to figure out why? Let’s discuss that first: For instance, if you are aiming to apply by the fall semester, the ideal case scenario is that you should take the test in the spring or by the end of the summer.
It’ll ensure that your LSAT scores are readily available in time to submit your law school applications before the deadline.
Planning ahead is always better and will save you from undue stress, last-minute anxieties, and of course, the regrets of not planning efficiently.
● Give yourself time for preparation
So here’s the rule: timing is the key!! It’s the most important factor when you ask yourself, “when should I take the LSAT?”
Start your prep for the LSAT at least three or four months before the test date. Use that time to get accustomed to the test format and content. Make sure that you don’t rush through the exam!
- Review the materials and course content.
- Take practice tests; the more you practice, the better you’ll do on the test.
- Take risks, and then learn from your mistakes.
- Sharpen your technique using proven procedures.
- Get in touch LSAT tutors and mentors who will guide you with test-taking skills and the crucial content you should be aware of.
Do everything in your capacity to ace your exam and make yourself and your parents proud.
● Analyze the outcomes of taking the LSAT during college
If you want to take your LSAT during college, critically evaluate what time of the year is most suitable for you according to your preferences.
If your target is to apply to law school directly after graduation, then it’d be ideal for you to take the LSAT in your junior year.
A quick reminder: no need to worry about LSAT in your freshman or sophomore year: focus on attending school and achieving high grades in your courses.
If you go for the test in the summer during your college, know that you’ll have a couple of other duties at your end by mid-May, like finals, graduation, moving out, etc., and they may overlap with your test prep!
On the contrary, if you plan the test in the early fall, you may have to compensate for the end of your preparation with the start of the semester.
However, some students prefer fall dates so that their minds are more inclined to adapt to academic and intellectual content, they are fresher and less tired as compared to the end of the semester, and they are also less distracted by summer’s work.
Keeping all these aspects in mind, you need to assess what time is best for you based on your schedule and capabilities. You also need to take into account your test-taking abilities and your work routines.
If you take our word for it, we advise you not to wait until the winter of your senior year to take the LSAT. Most universities have rolling admission cycles that enable them to enroll students as soon as they receive their complete application materials.
If you delay your test, your chance to submit your application will also be delayed resulting in fewer seats available for law school for which you can compete. Some universities do not approve February or later test records for that fall’s admission – so these are some factors that we really don’t want you to miss out on while planning when to give your LSAT!
● Think about your after-college goals
Take out some time to think about your after-graduation plans. A good cup of vanilla latte might help you get the creative juices flowin’ and make it easier for you to think through!
After all, this is a highly bittersweet time of your life, where you’d definitely feel a roller coaster of emotions, sad and excited at the same time. Sad that your college is ending and excited that a new chapter is unfolding before you (yeah, that’s honestly just how fast the night changes).
But the uncertainty of the future can be overwhelming and hard to deal with. Right?
That is why you should decide carefully about your future.
Ask yourself: “What direction do I want to take in my life?”
Get the advice of your mentors, parents, and career counselors and come to a timely conclusion.
Decide if you want to take the LSAT before you receive your undergrad degree or if you’re going to wait for a year or two to take your LSAT so you can work, prepare yourself, and give yourself more time for law school.
● Keep an alternate plan and a second test date
There is always a possibility of things not going according to how you planned, and bamm!!, it can be super stressful if things go south.
Worst case scenario: you couldn’t pass your LSAT on the first attempt or are unsatisfied with your score. Now, here comes your strategy into play!
You should plan your LSAT date in a way that if the worst-case scenario happens, you still have ample time to retake the LSAT and submit your law school application materials before the deadline.
You should not “plan” to take the LSAT again but always reserve the date in your schedule as an alternate plan (after all, who wants to go through it again and again?).
For this purpose, build on your backup!
You must apply early. Work backward. Plan a year before.
PRO TIP: The admissions cycle is the most crucial factor to examine when it comes to determining the best date to take the LSAT.
The deadline to register for LSAT is six weeks before the test date. Apply early if you want to secure your desired test seat
5. Bottom Line
We hope this helps you clear out the doubts regarding when is a good time to take the LSAT. Just be vigilant and proactive and plan things ahead!
Lastly, take the test when you are fully ready and confident about your capabilities.
We’re rooting for you!