What is usually stressful is now becoming hysterical, and not in a good way. LSAT scores are out late, slated for November 1 thanks to Sandy the Storm. But please stop freaking out! Why? Here are 3 reasons:
1. Everyone is in the same boat, so your applications won’t be disadvantaged in the rolling admission cycle.
2. Applications are down overall so law schools are going to be flexible; applying before Thanksgiving is not as important as it was a few years ago (an amendment I’ll make to my book on the next go-around). Submitting in December is fine. Heck, taking the December 1 LSAT and applying in early January is fine. I promise!
3. Even early decision deadlines are fungible. My understanding is that Cornell Law School, for example, has moved theirs from the 1st to the 5th (but check it out yourself to be certain).
Hang in there – you will be put out of your misery shortly, and then you still have time to take care with your applications. Don’t rush them – you’ll regret it. Take the time they deserve and do it right so you don’t have any regrets later.
Hi. This is a pretty random question, but I am applying to law school with a 3.59 GPA. It bothers me to no end that it shows up on my transcript as a 3.59 and not a 3.6. Is it wrong to put 3.6 on my applications or LSAC information? I am worried that schools will only see 3.5 and not the full 3.59. I am wondering because some of the schools I am interested in have ranges including 3.6.
MS, With all due respect ; ) You’re being ridiculous. This is a number, not subjective. When law schools get your application, they compute an index number. There is no meaningful difference between a 3.59 and a 3.6. And law schools are (mostly) quite savvy… They will see that you are spinning the situation. It’s not worth it.
Thanks for the honesty! I needed to hear that. This whole process is the closest to torture I ever experienced. I am currently awaiting my second LSAT score, which basically makes or breaks whether I apply to a few schools on my list and as you can see I am nitpicking in my applications everything now!
Quick question: I wrote my personal statement about a story regarding my being an immigrant. I am now considering writing a diversity statement as well. But, is it redundant to write a diversity statement about the same topic? Thanks!
It does seem repetitive. Why not use your PS as the DS and write something totally different for the PS for those schools?
Hi, I’ve been agonizing over this question for several weeks. I applied last year to several T10 schools with a LSAT score of 166. I didn’t get accepted at the schools I really wanted to go to and knowing that I had a super busy schedule the prevented me from fully studying for the LSAT, I decided to reapply this cycle and took the October 2012 LSAT (second time). I know you’ve said that it is not wise to submit an addendum for multiple LSAT scores since the higher score speaks for itself but I was wondering if my case is different since I had a LSAT score that was unsatisfactory but applied anyway? Do I need to explain that I applied the first time because I had already prepared all my application materials (bad decision in retrospect) but decided to reapply after realizing that the LSAT score was probably not good enough for the top schools? And you also advised that we should have a short addendum anyway for the school that strongly encourage/require such addendums right? I would be grateful for any advice. Thank you!
If your LSAT improves more than 3 points, you should explain the reason for the increase. Don’t tell schools that you felt stupid for applying last year – it’s so silly. By trying again and improving your LSAT score, you are showing determination and focus. Don’t apologize for that.
I don’t know what you mean about “Short addendums for schools that strongly encourage.” Do you mean optional essays?
I was hoping you could help me out. Unfortunately, I scored terribly on the October LSAT. I was in the ER the Thursday before the test and was sick all week. I took the test anyways because I had been preparing for the past 3 months. Anyways, I walked out of the test in a blur and I didn’t really have a clue as to how I did. I couldn’t even recall a specific question. Ultimately, I decided not to cancel my score because I knew tho would be the final time taking the test, and since I already scored a 163, I didn’t think a bad score would reflect that poorly.
I ended up score a 153, a -11 deficit. How should I write the addendum explaining this drastic difference? And, should I write one to the schools I already applied to? I had already scored a 163, and since I was shooting for a 168, I thought the discomfort feeling I had immediately after taking the test was due to my failure of cracking 165. I had no idea that my lack of confidence was signaling a 152. If I did, I would have canceled my score. What should I do?
If you already submitted applications, you MUST write to them and tell them you’d been sick, absolutely, and that you weren’t exercising good judgment in keeping the score because of your illness, or something along those lines.
Hi. So I took the LSAT in February(137) and then in October (138) and honestly, I have given up hope. I believe I can take it 3 times in 5 years? Right now, I am so tired of this… I live in NY, and I want to go to a school in NY (immediate area) but its just that I am very overwhelmed. Do you have any advice for me? I will be graduating this year… and at the moment i do not know how to react. I noticed this area here and wondered that if i can get some help from you. I feel like crying, but that will not get me anywhere. I want to concentrate on my semester, (and I have a good GPA 3.7) but I think I have to take this again.
I would appreciate any advice. I really do not know where else to look to help for..
I totally understand your frustration and disappointment. You can’t make any decisions tonight. You should only retake the LSAT if you prepare for a long time, use all the resources at your disposal, and start getting practice exam scores (timed!) in the high 140s. Since you only have one more chance to take the test in 2 years (not 5!) then you need to use it wisely. Don’t rush into the December exam – you need more time to prepare.
I wish you all the best.
Hi Ann, thank you for your response. I mean, I took an online course that I still have access to for the December test. And I just found out that the late fee for the December test is waived for October test takers. Now, the dilemma here is to take it either December or February? I thought I should start my CAS file with LSAC, and on the applications that I apply for law school, I think there is a section where they ask you whether you are taking another LSAT and if you want to take into consideration the new LSAT score when it comes in. I just do not want to get late with my applications and especially with financial aid. I have started with my personal statements. There is so much to do. I mean, do you think I should add an addendum to my personal essay? Honestly, I am shocked and ashamed with these scores, its like every door is closing for me. It’s not the true me. I wish I can prove it to them by taking a class. There is one school, St. Johns school of law (NY), where there is a summer institute where they might decide upon your performance to admit you. The time frame is so short, and on top of that I am currently taking 17 credits and the same next semester. This is actually my third year of college (I am trying to graduate a year earlier) and I am almost done.
I appreciate the fact that I can talk to you about this.
After scoring a 151 on the June LSAT, I decided to retake in October. I received a 154. Although I am relieved my score didn’t go down, or stay the same, I can’t help but be disappointed. I was really shooting for a 157/158. My dream school’s LSAT range is 157-163. However, I am on the much higher end of their GPA. It is a state university and I am in-state and have heard that they give some type of preference to state residents. Do I have a shot with a good personal statement?
Also, if I get on the waitlist, what can I do to improve my chances?
MNS, of course a strong personal statement will help – for ideas and for waitlist tips, you may want to check out The Law School Admission Game.
Was wondering if you could offer me some advice. I went to UCLA and graduated in 3 years with a GPA of 3.57. The LSAT wasn’t very kind to me, as I’m pretty sure my brain isn’t best suited for this test even though I spent countless hours studying and I did try my absolute hardest (which makes things even more frusterating!). I ended up with a 157 after taking it twice (first time I got a 155). I was wondering if you thought it would be best to include an addendum of some sort, or just let things go and see how well I fare? I really appreciate you taking the time to reply! 🙂
So here’s the thing – I never want to read an LSAT addendum that is basically a version of “I wish I’d gotten a higher LSAT score.” You did fine, and actually consistently fine, on the LSAT. Unless there is something law schools need to know about your standardized test performance, I think it’s more about choosing the right schools based on your existing numbers, and creating fabulous application materials that help law schools see beyond your numbers.
Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. I purchased your “The Law School Admissions Game” recently and have to say that it has helped me tremendously in the process of applying to law school.
My question is, I received my Oct LSAT score, a 164 and I was very disappointed because I had been scoring in the 168-173 range the weeks prior to the exam date. I’m signed up to retake the LSAT in three weeks, However, I didn’t realize that the December LSAT score won’t be released until Jan 4th, 2013. That means I won’t have my applications reviewed until January of next year if I were to include my December LSAT. I’m very worried that this timeline is gravely disadvantageous to my chances at some schools and I wonder if I should start submitting applications to some schools earlier in December (after I complete my second LSAT). Perhaps I should submit applications to those schools that would accept me with a 164? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much!
I’m so happy the book has been helpful. (I always appreciate 5-star reviews if you are so inclined.)
It’s completely fine to send in applications in early January. Law schools aren’t reviewing applications over winter break – really. My clients last year who submitted applications in the first half of January got absolutely great results. About the second part of your post, see this article from over the weekend:Should I apply to law school now or wait for my December LSAT score? http://lawschoolexpert.com/multiple-scores-retaking/apply-to-law-school-now-or-wait-for-your-december-lsat-score/
Thanks for the work you do! I own both of your books and have recommended them to friends.
I would love some advice on my particular situation – I took the Oct. 6th test and scored a 155. Before the exam, I did a Kaplan course and studied on my own for three months. In that time period, I took eight full-length, timed practice tests, and was scoring in the mid to high 150’s (My highest was 159). I’m disappointed that I ultimately scored a 155, but my one piece of hope is my 3.9 GPA.
My dilemma is that I have always planned to go to UF or FSU law (I want to stay in Florida, can’t afford private school, etc), and both law schools now seem out of my league with my 155. For example, FSU has a 75th percentile LSAT score of 164 and a 25th percentile LSAT score of 161 (as of 2010), as I’m sure you know. I would like to avoid taking the LSAT again if possible, because of the stress and expense the entire experience entails, unless you advise me to.
My question for you – Should I accept my fate of a 155, and not apply to FSU and UF? I could look into alternatives to law school (politics is my passion), or could try my hand at FIU Law applications, as my stats seem competitive for FIU. Or, do you think I should take it again? If so, I would probably need more than a month to get myself past the 160 mark, and would take it in February, which would then mean I would be taking a year off post-grad.
Thanks again and I truly look forward to hearing from you!!
Melanie, Thanks so much for recommending the books to others. I’m so glad they are helpful.
It sounds like your score is in line with your practice tests (topping out only 4 points higher than one you did on test day).
FSU and UF aren’t necessarily out of your league. I think you’re being too hard on yourself. I don’t know anything about you other than your LSAT score but you absolutely need to try to apply to these schools.
You don’t sound like a good candidate to take the LSAT in December and be competitive, so why not apply to these schools now and if you aren’t happy with your results, try again next year with retaking the LSAT (when you’re not in school and distracted)?
Thank you so much for replying! I will definitely take your advice! Time to crack open the Law School Admission Game again 🙂
Injust got my December LSAT score it was 138. I am a 44 year old woman I truly didn’t study at all except the night before should I retake the last or am I too old to learn these new tricks?
You need to study. That’s all there is to it!
Thanks Ann this blog is inspiring I am going to take a powers core and study I was going to sign up for february test but I think I will wait til June that way I won’t be pushing my self it may put me off a semester but I think it will be worth it thank you
So as you know, December LSAT score is out. I received a 152, a small increase from the 148 I had gotten in June. Im kind of bummed out because I dedicated several months to studying nonstop for this test. I took a powerscore course before taking the December LSAT and I dont think that if I take it again my score will increase significantly. So Anne, Im freaking out. My GPA is a 3.7 and I REALLY REALLY want to get into your alma mater UM. Do you think I have a chance? I also have FIU in mind and Nova as a backup since I want to stay in Miami. I put my score on the LSAC website where it says to realistically assess your chances and it comes out as a 25% chance of admission. 🙁 I applied right after I received my score. How long does it usually take on average to hear back? Please help a nervous wreck like meee!
I took the LSAT for the first time in 2011 and came out with a score of 132. I took a prep class and it helped me raise it up to about 140 at the December 2012 test. I have been out of school for about 4 years working full time and I am deciding to go back to school now.
I cannot afford to retake the test but during the past four years I’ve worked for employers where I have exceled greatly and in return I have received some great letters of recommendations. Do you think this along with my PS would be able to get me in a ABA credited law school?
I think you’re in a tough spot. Not only will it be very hard for you to get into an ABA law school, but you said something that really scares me – you said you can’t afford to take the LSAT again. If you can’t afford it financially, I worry about the loans you would be taking out for the kind of school you could get into with that score. I hope you are thinking about these issues as you are applying.
I saw that you recommended an applicant explain a 3+ increase in their LSAT score. Is that really necessary?
I took the October 2012 LSAT and scored a 151, took the December 2012 LSAT and scored a 157. I was scoring around 156/157 on my practice exams before the October score and I really don’t have a reason why I scored so low in comparison. Maybe it was text anxiety? Who knows. Anyway, is it okay to skip explanations since I really don’t have one? Or would that be a red flag? (I have a very low GPA (2.5) so I am trying to walk a fine line of not sounding like I am full of excuses while also trying to not look like a horrible potential student.)
Susan, just explain that you did not score in line with your practice exam scores the first time so you retook it. Easy!
Hi Ann!!! I read your book and that led me to your website. I took the october LSAT, pnicked and never got to half both the lLR’S, I wound up with a 143, I retook it in December and came out with a 152, however, I was in the ER all night with my roommate who was seriusly ill and wound getting home at 5am the night before the exam, I was extremely tired during the exam and had a hard time focusing but did get to all my questions this time. I have a 3.63 GPA and finishied my twoo degrees early. I really want to got to UCLA or Boston University nd I’ve applied. Are these realistic? Also I am an international student and applying for this fall is my best option for my current situation. Thank you for your reply!
Abi, so happy you came to the site! However, without evaluating all of your credentials and materials, it’s impossible for me to comment on whether you can realistically be admitted to these schools. All I can do right now is wish you luck, and tell you that if you end up applying for the following cycle, I’m here and happy to help.
I took the LSATs 3 times (158 / cancel/ 160), and wondering if I should include an addendum explaining the circumstances. I consistently tested between 168 – 170 on my practice tests. I also have narcolepsy, which means I have a sleep attack every couple hours. With medication it just means my attention wanders a bit until the sleep attack passes. So I requested and was assigned to test centers very close to my home. However 2 days before the first LSAT, I was moved to a test center 1 hour from my home. The traveling time plus the 2 hours of administrative stuff before the test started meant I began the test fatigued. Incredibly, the exact same thing happened with the third test. (The second LSAT was in the afternoon in June and the room was very warm and I couldn’t concentrate; afraid of a lower score, I canceled). And the LSAT is just so unforgiving of any lapse in attention.
I didn’t ask for accommodations because scores from tests taken with accommodations are marked differently. I thought this would undermine my applications. But now I have 2 LSAT scores that are not indicative of my ability. On the other hand, maybe I shouldn’t draw attention to the fact that perhaps I should have petitioned for accommodations for the third test?
Any advice as to whether or not I should include an explanation like this in my applications would greatly appreciated!
PS I sent your book as a holiday present to a couple friends!
Cass, so glad you love the book and that you’re sharing it with friends – thank you! I always appreciate 5-star reviews on Amazon if you are so inclined.
I think I would have you stand on these scores since they are consistent with each other. I don’t know if you want to open up the can of worms and have law schools worry about it impacting you in school…. some of this depends on other factors and where you are applying – my answer might change if I knew more – but the blog format doesn’t really allow me an in depth view. My gut says, stand on these (consistent) scores.
Thank you for having this website, as I am very frustrated and disappointed with my LSAT score. and didn’t know who to ask for advice. I took the test in February 2013 and scored a 151. I scored somewhat higher in my practice tests. I graduated from an Ivy league school with a GPA of 3.2 and also earned a BA from another college at the same time with a GPA of 3.4. I am currently working at a top Law firm as an AP1. Is it best to retake the LSAT in June or October? What are my chances, If I were to apply now to a top Law School? Do schools just look at GPA’s or does which undergrad school you graduated from weigh in on their decision?
The school you graduated from does matter, but your grades there matter too, and just having a piece of paper from a great school isn’t enough to carry a mediocre GPA and lower LSAT score. If your GPA were very high, I could be more encouraging about your changes at a “top” law school. The clients I have now who have 150-151 scores and are getting into top 30 schools have great personal stories but also have 3.9 GPAs from good schools (and great experiences and Letters of Rec).
If you were scoring higher on your practice tests, then keep going and working on it and take the June LSAT.
I need to know if with my 137 score any law schools will accept my application. Super stressed. I am a fairly smart individual i get things very quick but this exam made me feel so stupid. Single mom stressed. Please help
you won’t get into law school with this score. You’re going to have to prepare differently and try again.
Ann, thank you for having this site. I finally feel like I am not alone in this crazy LSAT world.
I took the LSAT for the first time this February. I was scoring 148-149 in my practice tests and ended up with a 145 final score for the test (I’m fairly certain this was due to me being a failure at logic games, but I digress). I graduated from Florida International University with a 3.2 GPA, and I want to apply to FIU Law. I feel like my scores are average, but I have been working in the legal field for over 4 years and feel like my letters of recommendation might help my chances.
My questions to you are: Do you think I have a chance to get into FIU with my current scores? I’m afraid that if I re-take the test and use all my same letters of recommendation to apply to FIU it will hurt my chances of getting in. Does it look bad to re-apply to the same school with all the same materials?
Thank you so much for your help. I have a full-time job, an 8 month old baby, and getting married in July. I would like to avoid re-taking the test if I don’t have to. Thanks!
You are definitely not alone. You can re-apply to the same school – absolutely – but it’s good to revamp your essay a bit. It doesn’t sound like your 145 will put you in range at FIU so you should probably consider taking a year off and then re-attacking it.
Dear Ms. Levine:
I have a 154 LSAT score and a GPA over 3.9 from the University of California, Riverside. My major is Psychology. Furthermore, I am a Latina. I have been accepted at two Law Schools, one even offered me a $90,000 scholarship over three years. My first choice schools like Colombia, Hastings and UCLA, have wait listed me. My question is: How do I find out where I stand in their respective waiting list? With the information I have provided, what is your guess regarding my chances at getting into one of my top choice? Secondly, if one of the schools that have me on their waiting like decide to offer me a seat, should I expect a reasonable scholarship offer? or no scholarship at all? Since I imagine, the original admits will get the best offers. Finally, If the scholarship offers are less than what I have already been offered from a Top 50 Law School, should I just accept the offer rather then take an offer from a Top 20 School, which will offer me less? Your thoughts and recommendations will be greatly appreciated.
Hi Sam,You cannot guess chances on a waiting list or find out your standing. What you can do is campaign!!!! You may want to download this free podcast on law school waiting lists.
You can’t expect a scholarship from Columbia, but some law schools have been offering scholarships to people admitted from the waiting list.
Hi Ann, I just took the October 2013 sitting of the LSAT. I took one in February of 2012 just to test the waters and try out the test, I ended up with a 152. This is all fine and dandy but my UGPA was 2.55. Saddening I know. I felt pretty good about this recent LSAT but that still gives me tribulation about when it comes time to apply. I’d love to get a 160, but I’d be just as happy to see a 155-160. I was an athlete at a Big Ten Uni and had a great deal of leadership positions (History organization President my Sophomore year and Vice President my Junior and Senior years, Vice President of the Business Careers in Entertainment club Senior year). I’m also spending a year off from school as part of the staff at a local high school coaching varsity football and substitute teaching. This all said, would a 2.55 UGPA and 155-160 LSAT still make me a long shot for some of the lower ranked T100 schools (Pittsburgh, Mich St, DePaul, Rutgers)? Sorry for the long question, thanks for any response! P.S. thanks so much for giving the world of stressed out potential law students the hope we need!
I think you might have left a post elsewhere on the site that I responded to (sorry I was running behind on my response time!).
I just received my October 2013 LSAT score, and it is 6 points lower than my June 2013 LSAT (160 and 166, respectively). The only reason I decided to retake the test was because there was an issue with my June test site (construction that was not supposed to be scheduled; LSAC offered to write a letter to accompany our applications explaining the situation). I was quite pleased with a 166, since it was close to my practice test scores (166-168). I took a preparation course for the first test and used some of the class materials (i.e. practice tests, books) to study for the second test. I was consistently scoring between 168 and 172 (mostly 170 and 172) in the weeks prior to the October test. I have no idea what happened on test day to make me score not only 6 points lower than my previous score, but also 12 points lower than my practice tests. I already submitted an early decision application for Northwestern, which takes the highest score, but am worried that this drop will cause NW and other schools to question my first LSAT score. My UGPA is 3.68, I double-majored in History and Hispanic Studies (and minored in Chemistry) with honors in History from Lewis & Clark Studies; I have great recommendations and a solid personal statement. I feel confident in my application except for the second LSAT score. What do you suggest I do about it? Is it worth taking a December test? Should I apply to schools with lower median LSATs? Even if the schools I am applying to take the highest score? Should I submit an addendum to Northwestern? Thank you!
I am so sorry – these stories break my heart a little…. You should move forward with your applications and choose schools by your highest score. An addendum is difficult in this case because we don’t know why your score was lower, and I hate when people write addenda that are little more than “I wish I would have gotten a higher score.”
After reading alot of the comments, it seems like you have really great knowledge and advice about LSAT scores. I took the LSATs 3 times: October 2012 with a 153; December 2013 with a 152; October 2013 with a 157.
After taking it in October last year I wasn’t satisfied with my score as I was scoring 156-159 on my last few PTs prior to the exam. So I decided to retake it. Unfortunately, I didn’t take factor in the fact that I would be studying for midterms, writing papers etc. concurrently (as I was still a college student). So that explains the slight drop.
However, after I graduated in August (summer school), I began studying and got the chance to fit in 2 months prior to the October exam, and boosted my score to a 157.
Is it necessary to write an addendum for this?
Christine, I would write a very simple (and brief!) addendum explaining that the increase was due to additional time to prepare because of all you had going on during the two October exams.
I just stumbled across your website and have found it extremely helpful! I took the recent October LSAT and scored a 157. My current GPA is a 3.8 and I have 2 years of legal work experience. Would you recommend I retake the LSAT in December? The highest I scored on practice exams were from 159-161. Would these few extra points make a large enough difference to make it worth it to delay my application until January? Some top schools on my list are Iowa, Wisconsin, and Michigan. I know other components of my application are strong, but would like to know your insight on what impact my current LSAT score has on my application.
Cassandra, I don’t think you sound like someone who will absolutely do better by retaking the exam because your highest practice scores are not a great indication of how you can score on test day. If your average scores were in the high 150s, I’d keep what you have and move forward with your application.
Hi Ann. I am preparing to retake the LSAT in December. I scored 145 on my first test and lately I have been scoring 152-156 on practice exams with still a lot of room for improvement. I really want to stay in KS for law school either at KU or Washburn. So I have been looking at their websites quite a bit and something that I am confused about is the LSAT median score. For KU it is 156 and Washburn is just 155. If I score lets say a 152 on the test, does this make is difficult to get accepted to the school? I have a feeling that if you have below the median LSAT score that your GPA must be exceptional, which in my case is only a 3.2. Granted I am finishing a masters overseas and I feel like my application shows I am a very well rounded student. I know I shouldnt be worrying about this now before the test, but nevertheless, I am.
Look at the 25th percentile LSAT for each school – that’s what shows whether you will be competitive, not the median.
I am currently very conflicted with my LSAT scores. I took the lsat in October and got a 156, about 4 points lower than my practice scores. I decided to retake the test in December but I’m worried that my score may have dropped as I was sick and not able to fully focus. My first score is around the median of the two schools I’m looking at, 155 and 158 respectively. And my GPA is a 3.35, with a double major in History and English, which is also around the median gpa of these schools. I am pretty sure my personal statement and letters of rec are good, so my chances look good. However I’m concerned about a drop in the second score and what that will do for my chances. I am waiting to send out my applications until my last eat score is back but should I include a notregardung circumstances around the low sacked if it indeed is lower then the original 156?
Hi Katelyn,I think we’ve been playing email tag and I just sent you one to set up a phone call. If your illness played a role in your LSAT score and the illness will not impact your performance in law school, you should write an addendum that you submit with your applications. IF you really think that this LSAT is lower, however, you should cancel it before it’s too late.
I read in one of your comments that 2 years is long enough to wait to retake the LSAT if you’ve done it 3 times already. Is that true – or is it 5 years?
Louise, the rule is you can take it 3 times in any 2 year period.