December or February LSAT? 6 Tips for LSAT Test Day.
Here are the 4 most common questions that I’m hearing this week from people scheduled to take the December LSAT:
1. I have the flu. What do I do?
2. This is my first time taking the LSAT and I’m not ready. What do I do?
3. If I postpone until February, is that too late in the rolling admission process?
4. Why do law schools say they will accept February LSAT scores?
If December would be your first time taking the LSAT and you’re feeling unprepared or ill, then you have 2 options: (1) take the LSAT and see how you feel about it, keeping in mind you can cancel it if you really feel terrible during the exam, or (2) wait until the February LSAT.
If it’s not your first time, you have to decide how you feel about relying on your previous score(s). If you are ok with the options that score will leave you in terms of a schools list, then go ahead and submit your applications and see what happens. If you aren’t happy with your results, you can take the LSAT next June or October and apply early in the cycle for Fall 2010.
If you are someone who is scoring in the 140s on practice tests, please don’t take the exam when you’re sick. You’ll come back with a score that won’t get you serious consideration at any school, and this is especially true if your GPA is not strong. Plus, you’ll have to deal with the ego blow that will haunt you whenever you do retake the test, and you’ll have to write a pathetic “Boy, I sure do wish I’d done better on the LSAT” Addendum.
Waiting until February is not ideal, but if you get your applications submitted in the next few weeks you may be able to mitigate some of the disadvantage from applying so late in the cycle. Of course, it’s always a gamble to come up with a schools list without a final LSAT score. You can create a schools list based on the range of practice LSAT results you’ve gotten, erring on the side of your lower scores to be safe and to make up for applying late in the cycle.
Lastly, I know schools say they “accept” February LSAT scores. However, you need to understand what that means. The earliest your application will be reviewed is March, at which point most schools will already have dozens or hundreds of applicants on their waitlists. So, in order for you to be admitted you would need to have an LSAT score that makes them want to take you over the others already on the waitlist. When schools say they “accept” February LSATs, it means they hold out for those really competitive candidates.
6 TIPS FOR LSAT TEST DAY:
I hope those of you taking the LSAT this weekend are ready, healthy, and well rested.
1. Go in with the attitude of proving what you can do.
2. Don’t think about your final score.
3. Look at each question as a challenge that you welcome.
4. Don’t worry about the guy next to you.
5. Don’t talk to anyone during breaks (especially people who talk about already having a 172 but trying for a 179).
6. Do what works for you – eat the snacks that work for you, entertain your own superstitions, and try not to get distracted by rude proctors or clicking pencils. After all, those factors will be present in law school and during the bar exam – get used to them now.
Good luck everyone!