Thinking about Re-taking the LSAT?

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Here’s a previous post entitled “I have my June LSAT Score: Now What?” that might be helpful to many of you today.

There is no shame in re-taking the LSAT. Two guidelines about studying for September:

1. If you did much better (consistently) on practice exams than on the real thing, you don’t need to sit through another prep course – just maintain the skills you already have and check out Knewton and TestSherpa and other inexpensive tutorial methods. Also, get working on your application materials – don’t wait for the new score to start your personal statement, resume, LORs, etc.

2. If you weren’t hitting practice exam scores much higher than your actual score, you need a new and improved way to prep for the September exam:Β  Try a different prep course, orΒ  if you didn’t take a prep course, trying one (even an online/inexpensive version) or a private tutor might make all the difference for you.

No matter what you decide, don’t let this first score haunt you. It doesn’t preclude you from enjoying a successful career – it’s just part of how you determine your strategy going forward.

81 thoughts on “Thinking about Re-taking the LSAT?

  1. Whitney on said:

    This is an upbeat post and a nice push to get back on course should someone be slightly discouraged after receiving their score. Thanks!

  2. Elisha on said:

    Hi. I am currently taking a prep course with Kaplan for the LSAT. I’m taking the test on September 26th, my question is which test is considered easier the Sept or the Dec. test? Which schools do you think will accept someone in the mid to upper 140’s?

    • Elisha, No test is “easier” or “harder” to everyone. I worry more about when you are ready for the test and how you can take advantage of the rolling admission process. For an idea regarding schools’ standards, see the ABA LSAC Official Guide to Law School. If you’re worried about a low LSAT score, there’s a chapter in my book about that and also about school selection. Good luck!

  3. Laney on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I graduated from college in May of 2008. I took the LSAT twice in the fall of 2007 and scored horribly. I received a 149 & a153. I was scoring 160-165 on my practice tests over that summer. However, that fall I had fallen into a deep depression due to some family problems that were going on and became suicidal. I was working fulltime and had to move in with my aunt as my father stopped supporting my schooling after I confronted him for sexually abusing me as a child.
    I remember that before the first test, I was so stressed out that I actually vomitted on the way to the test. I was certain I would be better by December, but by that point, I had given myself several ulcers and was in the hospital the same week as the Dec LSAT.
    It’s been quite some time now, & I’ve gone through therapy and I’m in a much better place. I know that I can score better on the LSAT. But I’m afraid because I don’t want to give a general or whiny excuse as to why I didn’t do well the first two times. I have such a strong desire to go into law and now I’m afraid that with my current scores, I won’t get into any school. I was an Honors student at my university with a GPA of 3.87. I know that I’m more than capable, but my scores don’t show that.
    I want to take the LSAT again in August, (my goal is to go to law school in 2010), but everything I read tells me otherwise. As it stands, though, I think the decision is already made for me, so to speak. With these scores, I doubt any school will accept me. Perhaps I am being a bit defeatist.
    This entire process has been quite discouraging for me. I suppose I just need some encouragement. I have several great recommendations from professors and from lawyers with whom I’ve worked. Can you give me any advice?

    Laney

    • Laney – you MUST retake the LSAT. You can explain the first two scores without being whiney, or you could wait a year and then no one will count those scores on your score report. But really, I don’t think you need to wait. Go kick the LSAT’s butt and put together a well reasoned (not sob story) explanation of why the first two scores aren’t good indicators of your ability. For more information about writing an addendum to explain a weakness, my book might be helpful to you. Good luck!

  4. Hi Ann,

    Can I just begin by thanking you for being such an incredible support!

    Here’s my dilemma: I took the June 2009 Lsat and score a 167 (percentile rank 95). My gpa at College is 3.94. What do you think are my chances at some of the top law schools? Should I retake the lsat and risk getting a lower score and also delaying my applications?

    Thanks and can’t wait to hear back!

    Nik

    • Hi Nick, The September LSAT wouldn’t delay your application but you should only take it if you’re confident in your ability to improve your score. If you prepared adequately/sufficiently for the June LSAT and your practice scores were consistently 164-166, then please don’t re-take the LSAT. If you were consistently scoring in the 170s then try taking the LSAT again. I don’t know enough about you (and couldn’t possibly) through the blog format to know your chances at top schools, but you’re certainly in the running! Thanks for reading the blog.

  5. Charles on said:

    Ann-

    Like Laney above, I also graduated in May of 2008 and took the LSATs twice in Fall of 07, receiving scores of 152 and then 151. I applied to a few school (Dickinson, Richmond, Syracuse) to no avail. I’ve taken a year and a half off doing legislative and political work and will continue to do so until Fall of 10 when, hopefully, I will be attending law school. I am planning to take the LSATs again this year but had some questions regarding preparation. I generally score lower on the Logic Games section of the test than the rest and have bought book after book where I test high in this section and in the mid-160 range overall. With that said, when do you think I should retake the LSAT and what can I do to improve the LG score specifically?

    Also, my “combined” GPA is a 3.25 with a near 3.9 from my degree-granting institution. The 3.25 is mainly due to problems freshman year of college resulting in a low 2.25 GPA and a sophomore year transferal. Do most schools take this major situational and academic improvement into light themselves or should I elaborate on my application?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Hi Charles,
      1. Re-take the LSAT. You have the potential to significantly improve your score.
      2. In terms of prep, there are tons of options for every budget. Private tutor might be able to help you tackle problem areas. Also see emerging tutorial companies like Knewton.com, AtlasLSAT.com and testsherpa.com in addition to traditional options.
      3. You probably will want to explain your first year and transfer in an addendum. I have a lot of tips in my book on how to do this and I hope that points you in the right direction.
      4. While the score report reflects 5 years, most schools require an LSAT within three years of the application date. Only a handful of schools will really accept a 5-year old LSAT score so it usually isn’t calculated into your index. You can inquire as to each school’s policy in this regard.

      Good luck! And thanks for reading the blog!

  6. Charles on said:

    Also, you mentioned that the scores would fall off the report in another year. I thought they were on your report for at least five years and, if I take them again now, will those previous scores still be reported a year from now?

    • Charles, I edited my response to Laney because I see that the answer was confusing. I’ve corrected it, so be sure to take another look. “LSAC will automatically report the results of all LSATs in your file, including cancellations and absences, since June 1, 2004. The scores are averaged and also appear separately. If you wish to have older scores obtained between June 1, 2000, and June 1, 2004, placed on a current file, you may do so by sending a signed, dated request to LSAC.” http://www.lsac.org

  7. Hello again, Ann-

    I have been studying hard and averaging about 165-168. My goal was simply to get something in the 160+ range, so I have been more than happy with the results of my studying. I want to thank you for encouraging me to take the LSATs again. The work you do on this blog has helped so many anxious potential law students — including me. πŸ™‚

    take care,
    laney

  8. Laney, thanks so much for leaving this comment. I truly appreciate hearing from my readers and I’m glad things are going to so well. Good luck next weekend, and let me know how things go!

  9. Robert on said:

    Ann,
    I sat for the Sept LSAT and just received my score of 142. My practice scores were consistently around 150. It’s a given that I should retake in December, but my question is should I hold off submitting my applications until after receiving my December score or should I submit now and attach an addendum that I am sitting again in December as my first score does not represent my abilities? In the end the strength of my application for admission will be my work experience(8+ years working in tax law).

  10. Robert on said:

    Thanks Ann. Appreciate your advice. I ordered your most recent book yesterday and am eagerly awaiting its arrival for more insight.

  11. Lindsay on said:

    Hi Ann,
    Your site is very helpful, I am so glad I stumbled upon it! I am very discouraged by the whole law school process. I have taken the LSAT three times, once in December 2008 (161), once in September 2009 (163), and once in December 2009 (161). The first two times were warranted as I was not able to study adequately due to being a full time student and just starting a demanding first time job. I should not have taken the test then. However, for the December 2009 test, my practice tests were constantly 168-174, the last dozen of them, and because I had put so much pressure on myself, I think I got very nervous and underperformed. I can tell you that I got -10 on the logic games, and had been getting around -2 on the logic games for weeks before the test. Given that if I decide to take it again, it will be my fourth time, do you think I should retake in December 2010? Will law schools look very badly upon my fourth time taking the test? Thanks so much!

    • Lindsay,
      I hear your frustration, but the frustration isn’t with the law school process – it’s with the LSAT and its importance in the process.
      You’ve taken the test 3 times in 2 years so you don’t get to take it again for a while (without special permission from a law school, which is a whole different blog post). You have what you have. Don’t try to explain the scores away – you have 3 scores in a consistent score band. Apply to law school, and SOON! Take advantage of rolling admissions and apply!!!!

  12. Ann,

    I’m a mother of 6 and teacher with Masters in Ed. I recently decided to look into law school and took the LSAT on a whim to see what it was like (HA!). I scored a 140. Yes, now I know that I need to do a little prep before the next test. I haven’t applied to any schools yet. Will this score affect my application process? And, do you think at 42 that it will still be financially worth the investment in changing careers? I will be borrowing alot of money and sending a few kids to college at the same time. Thanks. Happy New Year!

    • Denise, you took the word (HA!) right out of my mouth ; )
      The score will appear on your LSDAS report that each school receives. The good news is that most schools use the highest of multiple scores in their index calculations. But you’ll still need to explain that the 140 was cold turkey.
      My “plan” for you would be to invest a little money in a solid LSAT instruction program, take the test in June, kick butt on it, apply early in the year, and hopefully get a great scholarship to make the investment worthwhile for you!
      Happy new year!

  13. Ashlee on said:

    Hi, Ann,
    I recently took the June 10 LSAT and scored 150. I took it the first time while a senior in undergrad (Dec 06)and scored 145. I was hoping the 2nd score would better showcase my readiness for law school, but you can imagine how disheartened I was receiving only a +5 jump. I even took initiative in investing in a prep course. Since undergrad, I’ve received a Masters Degree, finishing with a 3.9 gpa, and now work for the state in the legislature. I understand that taking the LSAT 3 times in 2 years is frowned upon, but can I negotiate the time span of 4 years from the first and second time I took it? I am considering taking it a third time because I am not satisfied with my score. Any thoughts?

    • Ashlee, your 5 point jump is really good (statistically). Few people jump that much in percentiles.
      Besides, schools won’t see the 145 because it’s been more than 3 years. According to your dates, you can take the LSAT 2 more times. The rule is you can take it 3 times in two years. I think either you’re confused on your dates, or you haven’t really done your research on this.
      In terms of whether to retake, it’s not about whether you’re satisfied with your score. It’s about what your potential is on the test. If you were hitting mid-150s consistently on practice exams, then taking the test again would probably result in an increase.
      I hope this helps you make your decision.
      Ann

  14. Jonathan on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I have been reading your blog recently it has been very informative thank you.
    I am about to begin my senior year at ucla and plan on graduating with a 3.6/3.7 gpa i have received a 165 on this past June2010 LSAT (which hurts because 2 more questions right would have been a 167)

    I understand i will probably get $$ at pepperdine and loyola but i really want to go to usc and i know my numbers are right bellow there medians (especially the 165)
    My avg test scores ranged from 163-167 with 2 months of studying so i don’t know if i should take the LSAT again for fear of doing possibly worse.

    What do you recommend…I would love to go to USC.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Jonathan,
      USC is a great reach school for you. I don’t think you should retake the test since it came back right where it should’ve based on your practice exam scores. Stick with what you have, create fantastic applications, and go for it! Let me know if I can help.
      Ann

  15. Riya on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I have a 3.66 GPA and just received an LSAT score of 159 in the June 2010 exam. I was scoring around 161 in my practice tests, but I know I could have prepared for the test better.

    Do you think I should retake the exam in October.
    Also, I am Indian and am applying from India. Do you think that puts me at any disadvantage in the admissions process or at being accepted?

    Your blog is extremely informative. I’m sure its helping a lot of international students, like myself, who do not have direct personal access to the information you provide.

    Thank you in advance,
    Riya

    • Hi Riya,
      First, I’m glad the blog is helpful. Just so you know, I do work with international students who are applying to U.S. law schools.
      If you could have prepared better for the LSAT, then you can give it a shot to retake it. If your practice exam scores start hitting mid-160s then it’s likely you could raise your score a few points in October.
      I do not think applying from India puts you at a disadvantage. If your credentials are strong, law schools will appreciate the diverse perspective that you offer.
      Ann

  16. Thank you Ann.

    That’s a great idea. Will see if I begin to perform better on prep-tests before I sign up for the October exam.

    I have been going through all the wonderful success stories, giving myself hope and I’m sure working with you will raise my chances dramatically. However, I need to put the means together first. πŸ™

    If I manage to, I will definitely get in touch with you. But, for now, I will definitely get my hands on your book. πŸ™‚

    Thank you again.
    Riya

  17. Stephanie Coleman on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I have just stumbled onto this blog and am finding it helpful. I graduated in 2008 with a 3.26GPA. I am not a traditional student, and have had a successful career as an court advocate for the disadvantaged for many years. I took the LSAC 3 times, most recently in February 2011. My previous LSATs were June and October of 2010 where I scored poorly: 134 and 133 respectively. As I have not been able to invest in a prep course, I purchased several study guides and plunged head-on in preparation for this most recent exam. However, I fear my last score will also be low. I have not yet applied to any schools but was considering applying for Fall 2011 with my present scores and a really good resume, personal statement and addendum. I am determined to get into law school, graduate and practice law all withiin the next five years.. Do you thiink I should: 1) cancel my last score and retake the exam; or 2) apply using the existing scores? The latest scores have not been received, as yet but I am not optimistic. What are your thoughts with respect to improving my chances of getting into a Tier 1 school? And , how will schools look at my profile given these low scores? Thank you for this blog site!

    • Stephanie,
      I hate to be the person to burst this bubble, but you are not going to be able to get into law school with these scores. There’s no point in canceling the Feb. LSAT – it won’t enable you to have a third chance at taking it again and it really can’t be any worse than your current scores.I think that when/if you try to apply – whether for Fall 2011 or Fall 2012, you would find that you will not be successful. I think you’re going to need to take some time, save up for money to a prep course, and retake the LSAT in 2 years when you able to take the test again.

  18. Stephanie Coleman on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I have just stumbled onto this blog and am finding it helpful. I graduated in 2008 with a 3.26GPA. I am not a traditional student, and have had a successful career as an court advocate for the disadvantaged for many years. I took the LSAC 3 times, most recently in February 2011. My previous LSATs were June and October of 2010 where I scored poorly: 134 and 133 respectively. As I have not been able to invest in a prep course, I purchased several study guides and plunged head-on in preparation for this most recent exam. However, I fear my last score will also be low. I have not yet applied to any schools but was considering applying for Fall 2011 with my present scores and a really good resume, personal statement and addendum. I am determined to get into law school, graduate and practice law all withiin the next five years.. Do you thiink I should: 1) cancel my last score and retake the exam; or 2) apply using the existing scores? The latest scores have not been received, as yet but I am not optimistic. What are your thoughts with respect to improving my chances of getting into a Tier 1 school? And , how will schools look at my profile given these low scores? Do you think i have a chance? Thank you for this blog site!

  19. Michelle on said:

    Dear Ann,

    I really appreciate your blog, it s very helpful! I took LSAT twice in these two years (the score is very depressing with 150 &154). I have a undergrad GPA 3.4 & a MS GPA 3.9. I have been working in public school for about two years with two science research publications and other community service experiences. Could I have a modest chance to get in top 60- 70 law school?

  20. Jenna on said:

    Hi Ann,
    I stumbled upon your site during research and had a question for you.

    I’ve taken the LSAT twice: once in June 2009 when I got a 164. I studied voraciously for my June 2011 test and had been consistently scoring in the 172 range. On the actual test however, the testing room didn’t have a clock posted and I ran out of time, scoring a 166.

    I’m planning to apply for admission into Fall 2012 classes and graduated with a 3.22 GPA. I’m wondering if I should sign up to take the October LSAT and make sure I bring a working clock with me, or if it looks bad to schools if I take the test 3 times.

    Thanks for all of your help,
    -Jenna

  21. Sabra on said:

    Hi there,
    I’m considering re taking the lsat in October. I took a Kaplan prep course and improved 8 points from my diagnostic test, scoring a 155 on my actual lsat. I was aiming for a 160 as I want to go to a good tier 2 school like Georgia State, Richmond, Seattle, or LSU(though I am totally open to others of course). I studied a lot but I didn’t “study smart” outside of class until a month before the test. I still have all the materials and the ability to take the class again for free(though I realize study on your own is the most effective). Should I re take the test in the hope of achieving a higher score, or not risk getting a lower score and applying to schools with my 155? Also, is a 155 and a 3.3 for a good tier 2 school? Keep in mind I’m not a URM. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • Sabra,
      Keep practicing for the October test and if you don’t see the improvement you were hoping for then don’t take the test in October. If you do, then take the October exam.

  22. I have taken the LSAT twice. The first time I got a 137 and the second test I received a 144. Should I take the LSAT again? or should I work on getting into another graduate program.

  23. Hi Ann,
    I am registered for the October 1 LSAT. Over the past 6 weeks I have relied on self-study methods (No prep courses), and I am consistently scoring around 150. I know that I am capable of doing better than that.. I had a 3.95 undergrad GPA in Accounting. I decided to take a prep course and I will take the LSAT in December (hopefully this will help raise my score by prepping properly for 2.5 months). I guess my question is: do you recommend taking the October LSAT (since it is too late for me to obtain a refund/change the date), or should I withdraw from the October test and focus on getting the score I want in December?

  24. Hi Ann,
    I am registered for the October 1 LSAT. Over the past 6 weeks I have relied on self-study methods (No prep courses), and I am consistently scoring around 150. I know that I am capable of doing better than that.. I had a 3.95 undergrad GPA in Accounting. I decided to take a prep course and I will take the LSAT in December (hopefully this will help raise my score by prepping properly for 2.5 months). I guess my question is: do you recommend taking the October LSAT (since it is too late for me to obtain a refund/change the date), or should I withdraw from the October test and focus on getting the score I want in December?

    • Tyler, if you feel you have more work to do, then withdraw from October and take December. Just know that everything is riding on December because if you miss it or aren’t ready, February is too late for this application cycle.

  25. Ann Smith on said:

    Hello,
    I took the LSAT last October (2010) and scored a 137. I retook it again in February (2011) and scored a 145. I’m not thinking of taking the LSAT for the last time in December, hoping to increase my score by at least 10 points. Should I re-take the LSAT?

    Please help!!
    Thanks.

  26. Heather Martin on said:

    Hello, stumbled upon this blog after my son called tonight with his LSAT scores. He scored 160 and will graduate with above 3.89 UGPA. He majored in Philosophy, minored in History. He is a 2 year captain of his Division One Swim Team and holds many academic and athletic accolades. He has worked as a swim coach and is on a full academic scholarship as a National Merit finalist.

    He self studied what he says was about 30 hours total for the October test, but didn’t have a lot of time to do more. After much discussion tonight, he thinks he should wait to retake the LSAT next October after he graduates and has Olympic Trials behind him in late June. He thought he could spend the year working for a law firm? (He will need to support himself after scholarship money ends).

    Does this sound like a good plan if he hopes to attend a top 20 law school and he thinks with a prep course he can improve his scores? Or should he go ahead and apply now?

  27. Heather Martin on said:

    Thanks, Ann! I’m also going to lead him to your site and books. I’ve enjoyed reading the support you’ve provided! We will be back for more!

  28. Hello Ann! I just took the LSAT in December (without studying for various reasons) and received a 146… I have a 3.5 UG GPA and have a private law school in mind. Should I take a chance and apply? Or do you recommend I retake the LSAT? I have time to study now and I know I can get a better score. I am unsure because I know that my UG experience, letters of Rec etc. are really strong. any suggestions?! Thanks again your advice is great!

  29. Hi Ann,

    I’m so glad I found your blog! Although I read your book, I didn’t know this existed.

    I’ve been having such a hard time after receiving my score for the December exam. I actually took the October one, cancelled my score because I felt sick during the exam (left the exam site right after the second section), and then I took the December one but got a 166. I used to get around 174+ on my practice exams, so it came as a shock to me that I received about 8-10 points lower than what I usually get.

    I’m planning on taking the June test again, but would it be frowned upon to take the exam 3 times (even though I cancelled the first one)? I know that I can do better, and my goal is to get to one of the top 10 schools. But I’m confused now about what to do after hearing from people that taking the test multiple times is not so great.

    Thanks in advance!

  30. Aditi on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Great blog! You advice has greatly helped and encouraged a lot of us. I am in a sticky situation right now. I took my first LSAT in Oct 2010, but cancelled my score out of fear of getting a bad score. I then look the test in December 2011 and February 2012 with 154 and 153 respectively. Not trying to dodge the blame for bad scores, but my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and I was extremely exhausted mentally and also physically due to working 50 hr weeks and could only take 1 week off from work both times. I did apply to law schools for this year, and am admitted to American as a part-timer. I am not too keen of American or the PT program and have my eyes set on a better school. Do you think I should decline the offer and re-take LSAT’s for the 4th time? (I will take a prep course and will work less hrs, fam situation still the same). How would that be perceived? Or should I just go to American? Would I be able to transfer to another school’s FT program? Please Advise! Your help is greatly appreciated

    • Hi Aditi,
      I’m so happy the blog has been helpful.
      If you really could improve your LSAT score and you don’t want American, then take the year and try the LSAT again. You can’t transfer from one school’s PT program to another’s FT. You wouldn’t have enough credits without taking summer school.

  31. Aditi on said:

    Hi Ann,

    Great blog! You advice has greatly helped and encouraged a lot of us. I am in a sticky situation right now. I took my first LSAT in Oct 2010, but cancelled my score out of fear of getting a bad score. I then look the test in December 2011 and February 2012 with 154 and 153 respectively. Not trying to dodge the blame for bad scores, but my dad was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and I was extremely exhausted mentally and also physically due to working 50 hr weeks and could only take 1 week off from work both times. I did apply to law schools for this year, and am admitted to American as a part-timer. I am not too keen on American or the PT program and have my eyes set on a better school. Do you think I should decline the offer and re-take LSAT’s for the 4th time? (I will take a prep course and will work less hrs, fam situation still the same). How would that be perceived? Or should I just go to American? Would I be able to transfer to another school’s FT program? Please Advise! Your help is greatly appreciated

  32. Susan on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I’m thinking of retaking the test in October. I got a 145, 3.4 GPA with my masters in health care law. I have a BS in Nursing, AA female. I did do as much prep as I could with having two jobs, single with three kids. I’m not happy with my score at all but i think with some additional prep I should be able to get it up. Any advice would be appreciated. I have only one option to go to school part time here in the twin cities area so its not as if I’m looking to go to Harvard here. Thanks

    • Susan, you have a lot on your plate. I’m worried about how you’re going to make it through law school with two jobs and three kids. Improving your LSAT score is an important investment for your future, but also a good gauge of whether law school is a good investment for you. There are so many great online study options – you should check those out. They don’t have to be expensive. We are doing a blog talk radio show next week on this very topic: Strategies for Taking the LSAT…Again!

  33. Ashley on said:

    Dear Ann,

    Thank you for all of your advice on your blog, website, and book! I’ve been starting the admissions process and am mildly alarmed that although LSAT scores ‘last’ for 5 years, I keep seeing you post that schools only accept scores that are 3 years old or more recent. This is rather alarming, because I planned to apply for the 2013 admissions cycle and I took the LSAT June 2009.(I’ve been in Teach For America for the past 2 years after graduation) I got a 164 and was relatively pleased with the score. Do I have to take it again to have a more recent score or will law schools accept the score I already have?

    Thank you so much!
    Ashley

  34. Ashley on said:

    Dear Ann,

    Thank you for all of your advice on your blog, website, and book! I’ve been starting the admissions process and am mildly alarmed that although LSAT scores ‘last’ for 5 years, I keep seeing you post that schools only accept scores that are 3 years old or more recent. This is rather alarming, because I planned to apply for the 2013 admissions cycle and I took the LSAT June 2009.(I’ve been in Teach For America for the past 2 years after graduation) I got a 164 and was relatively pleased with the score. Do I have to take it again to have a more recent score or will law schools accept the score I already have?
    Thank you!
    Ashley

    • Hi Ashley,
      So happy you are taking advantage of these resources.
      Many schools will accept an LSAT that is more than 3 (and less than 5) years old, but check with each school’s policy in this regard.

  35. Hello,

    So I just finished reading the Kaplan LSAT book, I took a practice test (timed, but on different days and laying in bed) I scored a 136. I know that this is not a decent score, but I went over the exam and realized I made ALOT of careless errors. I am officially going to be starting my “Where I stand” practice Test tomorrow (At a Desk, Timed, Actually Thinking & Applying myself). I have my LSAT Test on October 6. My question is, should I take the LSAT without any help from courses and do what I can or Cancel and forfeit the $160.00 and take the test with a course in December?

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for your post. You need to change your test date. You haven’t done what needs to be done to succeed on the LSAT. Wait, take the December LSAT, and reach out to a great LSAT prep program. Do the LSAT once and do it right so you don’t have to explain a very low LSAT and face the embarrassment of telling law schools you failed to prepare adequately (aka, exercising poor judgment).

  36. Oh, and I have A 3.659 GPA with 5 Honor Societies & 2 Professor Recommendations. I just need some incite on the LSAT part. I am looking at Brooklyn Law, Fordham Law, and Cardozo Law! – Thank You.

  37. Volha Salavei on said:

    Hello Ann:
    I am graduated lawyer from Belarus, had been practicing criminal law (as an assistant of the prosecutor in Belarus) for 4 years. I won a Green card and moved to NYC in 2011. I took lsat twice, got “modest” scores 146 and 151. My GPA is 3.8. Currently I am working as a legal assistant, planning to apply to Law school this year. Is it possible to get with such LSAT scores to CUNY, Hofstra or Cardozo?
    I really want to apply these year, dont want to wait any longer…
    Thank you!

  38. Stewart on said:

    Hi, Anne. I had a question about taking the LSAT a fourth time and whether you would recommend it. My average LSAT is a 164 (highest 168). I have been accepted to two T10 schools with a modest amount of scholarship money (less than half tuition) and another lower T14, so far without financial aid. Before my third LSAT I was averaging 171-176 (average was right around 173). I received bad news the evening before I took the third LSAT in December of last year, which shook my confidence in scoring well on the LSAT.

    My goal is Harvard, though I know my LSAT puts me out of the range of most accepted students. GPA is near or slightly above median at both schools. My two-year LSAT anniversary is this October. What would you recommend me to do? I’m sure if I increased my LSAT I would get even more scholarship money from the schools to which I’ve already been accepted. Thanks so much for your advice.

  39. Ann:

    My question, like Stewart’s, is about taking the LSAT for a fourth time.

    I would like to preface my question by giving some background information. I did poorly as an undergrad my first time around. It took a severance for me to get my act together, but I returned to school determined to redeem myself. Upon my reinstatement, I averaged a 3.7 in my final 48 credits and made President’s list twice. In the latter period, I retook 5 F’s and 2 D’s, earning As in all. Although retaking those classes and doing well in the others boosted the GPA credited to me by my school to a 3.36, my UGPA, according to LSAC, is a 2.36.

    The aforementioned UGPA makes the LSAT a critical determining factor in whether or not a school will take a chance on me. The first time I took the LSAT was in October ’11. I got a 147. Knowing that I could do much better, I retook the exam and got a 153 in June ’12. Still unsatisfied, I got a 156 in Dec ’12.

    I didn’t apply for fall ’13 because I thought applying early for fall ’14 would be much more advantageous than applying late for fall ’13. That being the plan, I have the opportunity to take the LSAT a fourth time this October. I am adamant that if I retook the exam, I would get at least a 158 and would likely exceed that mark.

    First, is it accurate to say I am eligible to take the LSAT for a fourth time in October? And second, would achieving my estimated score of 158 or better put me in the running for a tier 2 or a solid tier 3 school despite my less than stellar UGPA?

    Thanks

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Rob,
      You did everything right – I love your stellar return to school and your steady LSAT increase. You need to check with LSAC to see if you are eligible to take the October 2013 exam because I am not sure when the first score from October 2011 drops off in their calculations. Try to register for it and see what happens.
      A difference of two points isn’t so big that it changes your entire schools list, but it makes schools less of reach and would put you more in the running, and if you are motivated then it’s absolutely worth a try.
      I am mostly very happy that you did not apply for Fall 2013 and that you are taking your time to do this right.
      Ann

  40. Rebecca on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I hope you can help me–I just received my June 2014 LSAT score of 157 (this is my third attempt at the LSAT) and I am trying to decide whether I should retake the LSAT for a 4th time this September. My prior two LSATs were back in October 2010 and December 2010 and I received a 150 and 149 respectively. My dream schools are top 10 and top 20 schools and I know my 157 LSAT is nowhere near what I need to be considered for those schools. I have a respectable GPA of 3.64. I am not sure how schools will receive my taking the LSAT for a 4th time, however my situation is slightly unique because of the large time gap in between my first and second attempts and my most recent third attempt. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • Ann Levine on said:

      Hi Rebecca, please forgive my delay in responding. I had some technical difficulties with the blog. I’m glad you brought up your score. You can take the test again, and should if you were scoring in the low to mid 160s on practice tests. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

  41. Hi Ann,
    I hope to get your advice on this. I have taken lsat 3 times since Oct 2013, which includes one cancel. Despite PTing at 170+ I underperformed and got a around 10 points below my average. I want to appeal to LSAC for giving me a 4th take, something that they don’t usually grant.
    I will have a very hard time taking lsat late next year due to my work commitments. Is that strong reason for approval? What can I do to get the 4th take as I need to apply in this cycle? Thanks.

    • Ann Levine on said:

      App,
      I would be shocked if LSAC gave you a fourth attempt, unfortunately. I think you will find that you need to apply and just put your energy into creating the strongest possible applications and see where you get in.

  42. Jackie on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I have the same question on taking the 4th test. Hope I can hear your voice.

    I had a hard time on LSAT during my early preparation period. I think the reason was mostly psychological. I put a lot of pressure on myself when I encountered far more struggles than I thought on the preparation. I don’t know why I was so fragile and so easily got frustrated on it. I’ve done well on a number of tests (my UGPA is 3.83), but I didn’t know why I lost control easily on this test. My friend once advised me to seek some professional psychological helps because of seeing my struggles.

    This problem only got worse on my first October test in which I cancelled the score. I naturally woke up on the October test day because I dreamed about the struggle on the incoming test! After the first devastating experience, I still didn’t know how to handle this psychological monster and was so afraid it would happen on the next one. Same things happened within expectation on the following December test. I only got 151.

    But then things got better. I gradually learned to regain the control on my psychological thoughts. When I enhanced my ability to cope with those chaos and learned to put them aside, my performance improved. I got 164 on the third attempt even though I still felt so stressed that I lost a lot of points on LG. I realized that I wasn’t hopeless when I continued practicing and analyzing incorrect answers in great patience and calm. I only prepared one month before the third test, which made me think that maybe I could get a higher score if given more time.

    According to LSAC policy, I can only take the December test this year. But I want to take a shot. I don’t know it’s worthy or not for application. And whether schools may dislike my four scores including one cancelled and thus easily rule me out from their considerations.

    I am sorry for this long reply. Hope it won’t take you too much time. Thank you!

    • Hi Jackie,
      Sorry for the delay in responding.Congratulations on your third score – I think you did great. With your GPA you’ll be in great shape with this score, and applying early in the cycle – sounds great to me. “Maybe” you could get a higher score isn’t super convincing to me. It’s just as likely your score would go down as go up, especially since you’ve struggled with tests in the past.

      • Jackie on said:

        Thanks a lot for your reply, Ann!
        Do you think there is any chance I can get into the lower T 14?

        Thank you again!

  43. Colleen on said:

    Hi,
    So having just recently receiving my June LSAT score I am trying to decide if I should retake the test. I scored a 149 and this is my first time taking the test. I know the score is low, especially to my GPA which is a 3.97. However, the schools I am applying to only have a median LSAT of 148 and 152. I’m just trying to decide if the LSAT is worth another go around in October especially when my practice test scores weren’t much better.

    • Hi Colleen,
      You are in range for the schools you’re applying to, and unless your practice scores are in the mid-150s, you’re unlikely to see an improvement by retaking. Your grades are great – create a strong application and you’ll be in good shape!
      Ann

  44. Ashley Rutini on said:

    Hi Ann,

    I’ve taken the LSAT three times now in the last 2 years. The first time I was not as prepared as I could have been, the second time I was well prepared but I suffer from major test anxiety and scores 5-6 points below where I was scoring on practice tests. I’ve just taken it for the third time on June 1. I’m preparing myself for the worst case scenario that I under-performed although I’m hoping this isn’t the case. If it is however, I wanted to know if you advise against taking the LSAT 4 times. I graduated from university in May 2016 so I would have 2 years of work experience at a law office by the fall of 2018 which is when I’d hope to start.

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