Should You Retake the LSAT in December?

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The following is a guest post by Greg Smith, an LSAT instructor at Alpha-Score.com. He has been teaching the LSAT since 2003 both in class and online.

Thinking of retaking the LSAT? Here’s a few things to consider:

Are you insane?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results – Rita Mae Brown.  If you didn’t do as well as you’d like this time around, what is going to change next time? You need a new plan of attack, something needs to change. This could be as simple as reducing your stress, studying harder, or not staying out until 4 am the night before the LSAT, but something needs to change. If you have a plan and you can make significant changes than retaking the LSAT may be in your best interest.

How did you prepare for the LSAT?
If you spent months poring over LSAT text books and reviewing practice exams in preparation for the exam, it is unlikely that a few more months of study will have a significant effect on your score. However, if you avoided LSAT questions in favor of nights out with Jagermeister or even spent your time studying for midterms and writing essays, then you might have some room for improvement. If you don’t think you studied hard enough the first time are you going to commit to a different study plan for a retake?

Did something go wrong?
I’ve heard terrible stories of what can happen on LSAT day. Everything from construction in the room next door to heat waves, panic attacks and illness. If your test day was a disaster you’ve got a great reason to retake. Also, if there were extenuating circumstances during your first LSAT you may want to notify any law schools you apply to of this fact, BUT only after you have proven you can score higher.

Check your score?
Check your LSAT score against your scores on your home practice tests. If there’s a significant difference then something went wrong. If it wasn’t a the testing conditions, illness floods or some other natural disaster then the most likely cause of your downfall is stress. It is possible to overcome this and even turn it to your advantage, some students perform better under stress. Check this guide on stress reduction for the LSAT.

Statistically speaking
LSAC provides substantial data on students who repeat the LSAT and the results they see. In summary, only about 30% of students retake the LSAT. The ones that do, are more likely to see their score increase than decrease. Approximately 67% of repeaters saw their score increase, 8% experienced no change, and 25% received a lower score.

Effect on Applications
You should also consider the delay of re-taking the LSAT on your applications to law school. Many schools admit students on a rolling basis so it is actually easier to get in if you apply earlier. One option is to apply with your lower score to take advantage of the rolling admissions and then if you get a higher score, alert the school and have another shot at admission. You may also get accepted to a school that is not your first choice based on your initial LSAT score. At this point you can take the LSAT again, stress free because you know you are already accepted to at least one school. Then, if your second score is higher, you might get into the school of your choice. Stress is a very significant factor in how students perform on the actual LSAT so whatever you can do to reduce or eliminate stress is a good thing!
Ann Levine can probably provide better input on how a second score affects your application with respect to rolling admissions.

Average or Highest LSAT Score?
Check with your target schools (usually on their websites) to see if they average your scores or take the highest one. Even schools that average scores can occasionally be persuaded to take your highest if there were special circumstances at the time of your lower scored LSAT. (note by Ann: since schools only have to report the highest of multiple scores to the ABA, they have incentive to rely on your highest score). Law schools are increasingly taking the highest reported LSAT score for applicants as it helps their law school rankings when they report the average LSAT of their admitted students.

Let your schools know!
If you do decide to retake the LSAT, make sure to let your school know about your new score. You need to make sure your new score gets to them. (note by Ann: schools make mistakes about this all the time, so take control of your process and be proactive about making sure schools have your new score.)

For more information about online LSAT prep courses

For more information about the likelihood of raising your score on a second try, see this law school expert post.Here is more about whether to retake the LSAT.

Here’s an application timeline for December LSAT takers.

For more about why Ann Levine considers the December LSAT the “LSAT of LAST RESORT” see The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert. (Also available on download from iTunes or in MP3 format.)

70 thoughts on “Should You Retake the LSAT in December?

  1. Rebecca on said:

    Hi Ann! I just got my October scores and am definitely going to retake in December, but I have two questions.

    1) What do you mean by this part of your post: “One option is to apply with your lower score to take advantage of the rolling admissions and then if you get a higher score, alert the school and have another shot at admission”? I’m pretty sure the schools don’t even look at your file if you’ve indicated you’re going to take the LSAT at a future date (i.e. December) so how do you get “another shot” at admission? Alternatively, if you apply early but don’t have a great score, aren’t they just going to toss you out before you can retake?

    2) Is it still possible to get into good schools (T14) if I retake in December and do well? It’s so late!–but I figure it’s much better to apply late with a competitive score than early with one that’s nowhere near the median. However, that “earlier is better” mantra makes me nervous.

  2. Hi Rebecca.
    1. Most schools hold your file if you say you’re retaking the LSAT, but not all. You need to tell the school if you want them to hold the application for a new score. You don’t get another shot – once a decision is made, it’s made.
    2. Yes, I had clients last year who retook the LSAT in December and still got into wonderful schools (including Harvard, Columbia, etc.)
    It’s not too late, but be ready to submit all applications in early January.

  3. I took the LSAT in October and received a 158. I bombed the logic games section. I am wondering if I should retake. I have been trying to study with a prep book, but I seem to struggle on the questions outside of the linear games.

    Secondly, many of the schools I would like have a low median of 161-163. I assume that a 158 will not register on their radars… Is this accurate.

    Thanks.

    • Chris, I don’t know enough about you to tell you whether you’re likely to improve your score by retaking the LSAT or get into schools with a low 160s median. I need a lot more facts about you to give you meaningful advice on these subjects. But we can help you with these things by consulting with you.

  4. To clarify… I am looking into entertainment law. So, I am looking at UCLA, Cardozo, Loyola Maramount. (Any others you would recommend?)

  5. Rebecca on said:

    Hi again, Ann. Thanks for all your help. This blog is a great way to ask questions and not get, well, attacked for asking them! haha Sorry if this is a silly question but – is hitting the ‘submit’ button on an application the same as “signing” it electronically? Some of my apps will actually let me type my name on the Signature line but others don’t do that. I went: wait, how do I sign this?!

  6. Rebecca – For most schools, submitting apps is the same as the signature but read the directions on a school’s website to be sure. Few schools require you to mail a real signature.

  7. Hi Ann,
    I took the LSAT in September. I go to the University of San Diego and will graduate with around a 3.7 GPA. The only preparation I did for the LSAT was look at a few questions on the internet. Pretty stupid of me, cause I ended up scoring a 146. I was wondering about using your consulting service. The fact is I’m in the dark here about the whole law school admissions process, and I think you might be able to help. For now I really need to know if I should consider taking a gap year after college. Do most people study for the LSAT, or is there no real way to prepare? I don’t think I’m that unintelligent (well not studying might disprove that!!!) as to get a 146. Ideally I would like to be in the high 160’s to 170’s. If I do retake it in the summer and get a score in the 160-170 range, do you think law schools might be willing to down play my first score? If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m completely out of my element and need help. Thanks, Theo

    • Theo, I’d be happy to talk to you. You can read through our website and then contact us.
      Most people prepare 2-4 months for the LSAT. IF you got a 146 taking it “cold” then you have great potential to improve. We’d explain the poor judgement (not in those terms of course) of taking the LSAT this way, but in the end it’s the highest of the scores that matters.

  8. Hi Ann,

    I have pretty mediocre numbers, but I’m confident in my LOR and am starting to formulate my PS. My LSAT is a 148 and my GPA is a 2.97. I’m hoping to get into Creighton or UMKC. My numbers are below both of the medians, but I’ve heard if you have exceptional softs they can still consider you. I’ve also heard lower tier schools don’t rely on your hard numbers as heavily as do top tier schools. Also, my cousin is an alumn from Creighton, and said that he knew of people who were there with a 149 and a 2.9. Is it still possible?

    • Hi Tasha, everything you’re saying makes sense to me. Schools at the lower end want assurance you’ll pass the bar, but they are less concerned with their exact ranking so they tend to make some exceptions. Good luck!

  9. Rebecca on said:

    Firstly, it’s such a relief to know retaking in December doesn’t preclude us from getting into our dream schools!

    2 more questions, Ann.
    1) How do I tell schools that I want them to hold my file if I’m retaking? Do I put it in an addendum or call the admissions office?
    2) On a related note and kind of with regard to my earlier post – I keep hearing people talk about submitting their apps to save a few weeks so that when the new LSAT score comes in, it’s the only thing that needs to be updated. I just want to make sure I understand this correctly. If I have everything else ready to go w/ my applications, I can “submit” them to LSAC which will then gather my materials–online app, LORs, my Oct test score etc. and send the whole thing off to the schools on my school list. THEN the schools will hold my app if I’ve asked them to?

  10. Ann,

    I took the LSAT in October and got a 158, which is below my practice range (160-163). I am considering retaking in December. Should I hold off on application submissions until I receive my December LSAT score? Or if I apply now, will retaking it have any affect on my admissions decision?
    For example, if I apply now and get waitlisted or rejected but my next LSAT score is higher, will the school then look at my application again?

    • Hi Evan,
      You didn’t hit that far below your range, so only retake if you are sure you’ll improve more than a point or two. See my response to Robert on this. If you get rejected with this LSAT, you won’t be reconsidered. IF you are on the WL, then a higher LSAT can help push you into the admit pile. Hope this helps.

  11. Hi Ann,

    I made a 148 on my oct LSAt, and my current gpa at my degree granting school is a 3.70, but my cumulative is a 2.99. I live in Georgia, and would like to go to GA State, UGA, or Mercer. Do I even have a chance, or should I study (which I didnt have much time to do this time around) and take the lsat again next summer?

    Thanks,
    Nicole

  12. Hi Ann,

    I am thinking of retaking the LSAT in December. I just received a 165, but had been constantly scoring low to mid 170s. 15 straight practice tests, I didn’t get below a 170. Every section, I did worse than I usually do.

    I know this is a good score, but am confident that I can do better, and at the very least, score the same.

    I am turning my applications in this week, but am wondering if taking it again will hurt my chances of getting into schools that are waiting for my december score. Would I be at a disadvantage because of waiting to report the december score when my october score is decent?

  13. Also,

    Can I just apply with this score and have the benefit of applying early? Then, if I get a good score in December, send it to the schools where my application is still pending?

    I’d rather not put my application on hold.

  14. Jonathan on said:

    Hi ann. i live in Ghana,West Africa. I took the lsat in oct and got a 138 after preparing somewhat for a month or so. I plan to take it again to get a higher score and a better chance of entering the top nyc law schools since, already being an African is challenging getting admissions there. Would intense preparation and a more relaxed mind improve my results in a month when i take the lsat in december again?

  15. Hi Ann.

    My situation is that I took the October test but cancelled because I know I didn’t give it my best effort (lack of focus-I know, really bad). Now, I’m registered for the December test but I’ve barely studied at all since the last test (I studied for roughly 1.5wks for the October test). I know I have the potential to do well (past prep tests’ scores had been around 150) if I just find the time to study more; however, I also feel the need to not waste another year (just graduated in June 2010).

    Ultimately, my question is if it is worth it in the end to forego another year but get into a good school (top 30) as opposed to taking the test now and getting into a so-so school (top 80-100)? I’m leaning towards the latter but I’m worried that I will just get an average score (as indicative of past prep tests performances) and not even get accepted to any so-so schools. Which is problematic because I would only have one more chance for the LSAT because of the 3 tests in 2 years rule.

    I know I dug myself a really deep hole, so any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Annie,
      You don’t give me a lot of information about yourself, so I’ll answer just based on the LSAT situation. If all you get is a 150 on Saturday, you will not be going to a top 100 school. Not prepping for the test is a big mistake. Better to take a year, really prepare, get a score that is right for your abilities, and apply to law school. I believe in doing things once and doing them right, and I feel you’re not set up to do things right this Saturday. However, take the test for the experience of it because you paid for it, then you can cancel your score. It does put a lot of pressure on your next exam, but a low score that you then have to make up for later isn’t going to help you either.
      Good luck!

  16. Hey Ms, Levine, I recently submitted my application materials to most of the law schools I plan to apply to, and included and addendum explaining why I didn’t perform up to par on the first LSAT I took, which was in October. I am still waiting for my December score to be posted, but the schools said they would prefer I submit my application material as soon as possible. Did I sabotage myself by including the addendum before I received the score? I just wanted them to know why I felt more confident on the second admistration and that there were extreme cirucumstances during the last time I took it. Thank you so much, and I hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Gabe, Thanks for your patience. I couldn’t log into my blog while I was on vacation. Sorry for the delay!
      As long as your new score shows the aptitude you were hoping for, what you’ve done isn’t a problem. If the December score comes back in the same range as the October score then the addendum you submitted will be worthless.
      Ann

  17. Hi Ann,

    I am currently a student at the University of Denver. Wont be applying to law school until 2013. However, I have taken the LSAT already, twice. I have a 3.98 cumulative GPA and my LSAT score was a 150 the first time and I 153 the second. I didnt study the first time, but studied quite hard the second.
    I need to attend school in Colorado, therefore I have to score between a 155 and 165 to get into either Sturm or University of Colorado Law. Sturm uses a holisitc approach and weighs scores, community service, GPA, etc. evenly. CU Law does not. I work for a law firm and am a volunteer child advocate. My question is, would I benefit from retaking the test closer to the admissions deadline? With such a small improvement from the last test? I have not score very high in logic games. That is the section that absolutely killed me on the DEC 2010 LSAT. Thanks for your input!!

  18. Hi Mona,
    I think it was way too early for you to take the LSAT, especially since many schools only want LSAT scores within a three year period. I love that you’re proactive, but I think this probably wasn’t the most wise use of your time.
    I’m very familiar with Sturm (I used to work there) … yes, you need to retake the LSAT in 2012. Until then, work on your grades, resume, life and work experience, and building solid letters of rec.

  19. Mathew M on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I took the LSAT in June. I started studying a year in advance but school got in the way and before I knew it I had gone 8 months without studying. I crammed for a month; all of my practice tests had a range between 161 and 166. My score in June was a 153. I was going through a difficult time, and I was extraordinarily stressed out. I am definitely retaking the test and I am studying the sections that I did poorly on (Reading comprehension score was nearly flawless, logic games was horrible, as were the reasoning sections, but I was overconfident in not studying for those and did worse than expected).

    I am planning on applying to schools like Berkley, UCLA, Michigan at Ann Arbor, Cornell, etc. So basically, schools that all need a score in the 160s at the least. My GPA is 3.85, and I have plenty of extracurricular, volunteer, and law office experience. However, I am getting nervous about taking the test with only two months to study. I have changed my study habits and my scores on the reasoning sections have improved drastically, but I don’t like taking chances. Do you think taking the test in December would be cutting it too close? All I know is that none of the schools I want take scores in the lower 150’s, and that was way out of my range when I practiced. I really don’t know what to do, but any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

    Matt

    • Mathew,
      First thing I want to tell you is to calm down. You need to take a deep breath or your anxiety is going to kill your chances of ever getting an LSAT score in the range of your practice tests. I you can get your anxiety under control for the October LSAT then take the test then. If you can’t, then you must wait until December. However, I have a feeling that waiting until December will make you even more nervous and you will find yourself even more distracted by the other endeavors going on in your life. Gear up for the October LSAT and have this mindset: “I’m going to prove what I can do on this thing!”

  20. Hi,

    I wonder if it’s too late to ask.

    But I just took the Oct LSAT 2011 practically cold. I spent so little time studying. I basically bombed it with so much guessing.
    And now, I’ve signed up for the Dec.2011 test.

    I’m really worried that I’ll never make it in time for Fall 2012 classes. I graduate in spring 2012.

    Is it too late or do I have time to apply and take the Dec test at the same time.

  21. Jenny Fredier on said:

    Hi Ms. Ann,

    I took the LSAT this past October and made a 146 🙁 I prepared by taking a Kaplan Course in which I did improve from my initial diagnostic. Realistically speaking, do I even have a chance at a ranked school with this numbers. I am a African American female with a 3.0 GPA if that counts for anything. I was planning on taking the LSAT again in December but I was wondering, is it even worth a try?

    I know it would practically be impossible to raise my score to even a 160. I would love to attend University of Georgia or The University of Alabama School of Law, and I was wondering if you could give me some insight? Are the schools I have in mind even worth a try or should I try going for a school that could accept my numbers? Or should I simply retake the LSAT in December?

    Sorry this is long! I am just extremely stressed!

    Thank you so much!

    • Jenny, it’s not about getting a 160.. it’s about getting your very best score. December is not enough time to make significant progress in that regard. You should consider putting off law school for a year and taking the LSAT in June, giving yourself plenty of time to try a different method of preparation. You’re not ready to apply. I know you are stressed and I just don’t want you to rush into anything.

  22. Hey Ann,

    So i’ve gotten my score back, and it looks like my gut was correct, I received a 156 when my last PE was a 164. Since I am looking to get into top law schools, I feel i should retake it…but then at the same time want to apply now

    should I retake it? I was on an upward trend before the exam…but I did all the PE’s…thanks 🙂

  23. Ann,
    So I am feeling conflicted. I had an undergrad. GPA of 3.5, since then I have obtained a teaching credential and other grad classes for a gpa of 3.8 in my graduate school classes. I just received my lsat and was not stunned to find a terrible score of 142, since I spent only little time on prep. My life is entirely devoted to my federally recognized tribe. In the five years since I graduated I implemented an early ed program to restore our tribes langauge and am very active in government affairs. My husband is a tribal leader too. I desperately want to enroll in a law school in my state that has Native American law. The problem is that they are all top 10 law schools. What should I do? I plan to study hard and retest in December, but is it worth it?

    • Kim, I love what you plan to do but you need to spend some time on the LSAT. You have great potential to get into a big reach school because of your background and intent, but you need time to prepare, and you may need more than 5 weeks.

  24. Ashley on said:

    Hi, Ms. Levine,

    I took the October LSAT cold and got a 133. I feel as if I could have done much better had I gotten through each question. But, I ended up running out of time by question 14/15 on each section, leaving me to bubble in random answers once the 1 minute marker was called.

    Based on the stats of my top choice law school and what the admissions counselors have told me, I need at least a 145 to get in. An admission counselor told me that my packet was very strong considering my GPA and who my recommendations were from and the places I have worked and volunteered. Honestly, I’d love at least a 150. I know it may seem low, but I do not need such a high score as others may.

    I have began to study logic games and logic reasoning since I received my scores yesterday, and I already see where I can improve based on some of the methods I have learned.

    I want to get a tutor to help me jump at least 12 points. Is this possible in 6 weeks?

  25. Hi Ann,

    I just got my score and I received a 149. I was doing higher on practice tests, but i didn’t really study that much even though I took a prepcourse. I was kinda sick as well, the days before the test I was having a terrible cold, it somehow paused during the test and then it came back the Monday after my test. Also, I take medications that make me drowsy and my doctor had increased it that week. However, now I am no longer drowsy. I want to get into a tier 2 school, even though my gpa is a 2.2 from a top 10 university. My question is, should I retake the LSAT in December? I think my studying was all wrong and I should have taken more practice tests since I only did a total of 5.

  26. Hi Ann,
    Thank you for the wonderful blog. I just got back my score and it’s 160. I have been studying for a long time and consistently scored 170-175 on multiple practice tests. However, I panicked on the day of the test, there was a girl coughing next to me, and I could not concentrate. I was sure I did bad (although not that bad). I am quite positive I can score in the low 170s if I retake in December and avoid the stress.
    I believe the rest of my application is very strong and I am aiming at schools, such as Harvard and Columbia. Do you think I should wait until I receive my score in December and then apply (and lose the advantage of rolling admissions), or apply with this score and put a hold on my application? If I do that, do I have any advantage at all?
    Thank you for your answer in advantage!!

    • Hi Toni. I’m glad you love the blog. Take the test in December – better to have the higher LSAT score and apply in December – absolutely. Don’t apply now and have them hold it – bad idea for two reasons: waste of time since they won’t review it with a pending score, and you don’t want them to accidentally make a decision on your file (which happens all the time). Also, you don’t want to spend time on applications when you could be preparing for the LSAT.

  27. Annabelle on said:

    Hi, Ann:

    I am the one being disappointed at my Oct score, 150. I spent roughly three months on it (with 2 summer courses), and I had been constantly scoring 160-170 for the last month. (I got one 170 for the last pretest I took).

    I felt I should retake it, but I also get terrified. What if I still got a bad score? What if schools don’t like to see multiple scores? What if….

    I have most part of my application done already, and should be able to send everything out by mid-Nov.

    Should I just spend my November crazily studying for it?

    I need some truth….

    Thanks,
    Annabelle

  28. Hi Anne!
    I love your blog and really appreciate that you take the time to offer advice. I took the Oct LSAT and scored a 155. On practice tests I averaged between 158-160. University of Pittsburgh and Villanova are my top picks. I’m also applying to Stetson and American. My GPA is 3.65. I know my LSAT isn’t stellar but I wonder if it is worth applying now for competition in early rolling admission cycle or take the LSAT in Dec and wait longer to apply. I did study quite a bit for the test and am really not sure if I’ll be able to increase my score enough to make a difference. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

  29. Cassie on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Im at a bit of a crossroads here, received my October LSAT score a few days ago and got a 158 on it. I took a prep course the year before, took a few months off, then started studying on my own with practice tests and the prep course books a couple of months before the test date. I feel like I could have studied a bit earlier and a bit more productively come test day. On my practice tests I was scoring in the high 160’s-to low 170’s. I went to a UC school where my undergrad GPA was a 3.0, however LSAC calculates it as a 2.9 :/ I am going to attach an addendum to my applications as I have a good reason as to why my undergrad grades werent consistent with what I believe my true abilities to be. Ideally I would like to turn in my applications this fall but if necessary I can wait another year. I have also just experinced a major hardship during the past week that might affect my apps/studying for the LSAT if I were to retake it. I wanted to ask if you think I should just send in my applications as is or if I should retake in December and aim for a higher LSAT score or wait another year and take it in February? Im aiming to apply early decision to USD so if you think I would fare better with a retake and a higher LSAT please let me know, I think they’re median is 158-163. Youre advice is much appreciated!

  30. Hi Ann,

    I just received my Oct 2011 score which is a 160. This is actually higher than what I was scoring on my practice tests, so I’m pretty happy, but my only issue is that I am hoping to get into Georgetown or NYU and both schools’ 25th percentile is 168-170.

    I know you’ve mentioned past clients in your blog that have scored well below the 25th percentile but have gotten into top-15 schools. My question is, how common is this kind of situation and should I assume that the chances are much more against me in getting into Georgetown or NYU with this LSAT score? (My GPA is a 3.64). I am co-president of a student organization, part of a fellowship, and have interned almost every summer since starting college. I know extracurriculars do matter but in general, the sense that I get from admissions representatives is that numbers ultimately are your biggest factor.

    Thanks Ann, I appreciate your help!

    Hannah

    • Chloe, it’s not easy to get into GT or (especially) NYU with a 160. It’s important to be more realistic. You can try these dream schools and maybe you’ll do so well at another school that you’d be able to transfer to GT or NYU, but don’t bank on acceptance to these schools. You did great on the LSAT given how you were doing on your practice tests, so please don’t retake the exam!

  31. Hi Ann,

    I took the October LSAT and got a 152. My UGPA is a 3.1, and I have a B.S.

    I’m an 26 year old African-American male with somewhat of a diverse undergraduate background. I have a B.S. in Music.

    What are my chances of being accepted into Howard University Law School?

  32. Jessica on said:

    Ann,

    I am a Ph.D. Candidate (aos: political philosophy); my dissertation centers public international law–peace and security issues and human rights law, and I now have a strong interest in attending law school (starting in the fall). The schools I am interested in include Case Western Reserve, U Pittsburgh, Washington and Lee, and American. My undergrad and grad GPAs are both 4.0, but my lsat score from oct. is 162. Because of my undergrad debt, I need some sort of scholarship offer for a school to be a live option. Is it wise to retake the lsat in dec.? I should be able to improve the score, although I think something like a 170 or above may simply be out of my range. To what extent might sending applications later decrease my chances of getting in AND receiving some money from a school? Basically, I do not want to forfeit any advantages of early application unless my aim of getting some money from a school is unrealistic given my present numbers.

    Thank you.

    • Jessica,
      For scholarship consideration, you’re going to need to look at schools where your 162 is at or above the 75th percentile. While your schools list is reasonable for admission, you may want to add some schools where you would be offered a full scholarship. Only retake in December if you are confident you would raise your score by more than 2 points.

  33. Ann,

    The plan was always either medical school (hence the B.S.) or law school. I only majored in music because of scholarship money. Tuition and room and board at my Alma Mater was right at $26,000 per year back in 2003. But I completely understand what you’re saying. Thanks!

  34. Ann,
    Thanks for your very useful blog.. My nephew is an URM from an Ivy League college with a 3.1 GPA. His GPA from junior and senior years showed upward trend averaging 3.5. His freshman and senior years were not good due to various personal issues. His LSAT score from the October test is 159. He is dissappointed and wants to retake in Dec as he is convinced that he will never get into a T20 with his current numbers. Before the test he averaged 165 on the practice exams. Do you think re-taking is a good move on his part or should he apply early with the current numbers.

  35. Hi Rose. I think your nephew has a lot of potential. He may still get into Top 20s with a strong application but if he is capable of increasing his score in time for the December LSAT, he should retake it.

  36. Hi Ann,
    I took the Oct. LSAT and just received my score of a 151. I took a kaplan course over the summer as well as exam crackers and 15 fully timed practice lsac purchased tests prior totally around 6 months of preparation scoring in the 150-155 range each time. I am 19, a female, graduating in May from UMKC undergrad in the advanced 90+ law program. I have a 3.65 cumulative GPA. UMKC’s avg LSAT is a 155 with an avg GPA of 3.5(ish) I plan on attended UMKC Law, I am confident that i will rock my interview as well. Should i retake the test in dec in hopes to possibly increase my score by a few points or bank on them seeing me as an asset in many other ways?

    Thanks!! – Great forum

    Blake

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Blake, I think you should talk to the director of the program and get an indication as to their requirements given your unique situation being in the advanced program. If you really feel you could score closer to the 155 mark, it may be worth trying in December.

  37. Alice Wang on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I took the LSAT in October and scored a 169. I had been averaging 173 on my practice tests so I know that I am capable of scoring better but seem to have trouble performing optimally under pressure. I want to apply to the top schools and my score still puts me within range of most of them, but I am considering retaking the test in December. My GPA is 3.74 and I have strong softs and recommendations. Do you think that I should hold off to take another shot at the test in December before applying to schools like NYU and Columbia? Should I even bother to apply to HYS with a 169? Will 2-3 point boost be worth submitting my application later? I realize that you have answered many components of this question in your post and comments but I would appreciate your opinion for my particular case. To clarify, based on my past performance on practice tests, I do feel like I should be able to score in the 170s, but I am a thesis writing senior and will not be able to put academics on hold to study intensively this month.

    Thanks for your help,
    Alice

  38. Alice Wang on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I took the LSAT in October and scored a 169. I had been averaging 173 on my practice tests so I know that I am capable of scoring better but seem to have trouble performing optimally under pressure. I want to apply to the top schools and my score still puts me within range of most of them, but I am considering retaking the test in December. My GPA is 3.74 and I have strong softs and recommendations. Do you think that I should hold off to take another shot at the test in December before applying to schools like NYU and Columbia? Should I even bother to apply to HYS with a 169? Will 2-3 point boost be worth submitting my application later? I realize that you have answered many components of this question in your post and comments but I would appreciate your opinion for my particular case. To clarify, based on my past performance on practice tests, I do feel like I should be able to score in the 170s, but I am a thesis writing senior and will not be able to put academics on hold to study intensively this month.

    Thanks for your help,
    Alice

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