Law School Expert Blog

Check your e-mail! LSAT scores have been released.

What to do now?
Should you re-take it in December? There are 2 things to consider:
(1) Did you score within 5-8 points of your consistent practice exam scores? For example, if you scored a 158 and you were hitting practice scores in the low 160s, then the 158 is probably the right score for you unless something strange happened to you during the exam. If not, and you scored 8-10+ points lower on the real thing, definitely consider re-taking it in December if you have the time to prepare adequately for it.
(2) Is it worth the set-back in the rolling admissions process? Perhaps. Would it bring you a significant/meaningful jump in the percentile ranking of your score? A 150-155 may not sound like much but on this LSAT it meant the difference between 44th percentile and 64th percentile. Would 5 points be more important than having your application reviewed in November? Probably not. But there are still things you can do to get your applications ready now – pick smart schools based on your current score and your presumed increse. Apply to them. Get your LORs submitted. That way, all the school will have to do is wait for your new score before reviewing your application. It can buy you a little time, as opposed to applying after receiving your new score.

I’m OK with my score. Now What?
1. Create a schools list. There’s a lot of chatter in the pre-law blogosphere about how to do this. My plentiful comments on this are available throughout the blog’s archives, but here’s a link to a posting about the importance of law school location.
2. Start applying! You don’t need your LORs finished – you can still go ahead and apply. (That’s a common question I get at this time of year.

I’m here for questions, comments, and -of course- law school admission consulting.
Hope your news is good news.

15 Responses

  1. Quick question:
    I have my Sept LSAT, but I’m considering a Dec retake. Is it possible to send in my applications now, but add a letter letting the schools know I’ll retake in Dec? Is that just the same as sending in the apps in Jan? What I’m asking is: Is there any advantage to be had from doing this?

  2. Hi. There is an advantage to sending in applications now. You don’t even have to send a letter about the future LSAT date because most applications ask that and your LSDAS report will show a December test registration. At least they can compile the pieces of your application and process it through the system, waiting only for your new score.
    The answer is yes – there is an advantage.

  3. I just got back my score: 168, including NINE wrong on logic games. I was eyeing some T14 schools, Northwestern in particular, but this score combined with my relatively lackluster 3.36 GPA means that I have only a 25% chance, according to LSAC’s calculator. I do, however, have 6 years of work experience as a non-profit lobbyist, including my current position of Director of Government Relations at one.

    Advice on re-taking in Dec? Thanks in advance.

  4. Hi, I wanted to know if I have any chance at applying to any of the Ivy League school with a 174 lsat and but a GPA of 3.25 for my last 2 years (3.1 cumulative), or if I shouldn’t bother.

  5. Hi, I wanted to know if I have any chance at applying to any of the Ivy League school with a 174 lsat and but a GPA of 3.25 for my last 2 years (3.1 cumulative), or if I shouldn’t bother.

  6. For “on the fence” – It sounds like you probably scored lower on the real thing than you were doing on consistent practice exams. A retake in December might not be a bad idea if you have time to continue the prep for it.
    I actually tell my clients that I LOVE a 25% chance; I have a great track record of clients getting into schools where they have less than that so I’m certainly not discouraged by what appears to be a small chance.
    Please let me know if I can be of help to you.

  7. To Anonymous with the 174 and 3.2… Of course you have a chance! Are you kidding me? But the chance is what you make of it. What is the 3.2 in? Where are you in college? What else have you done? How can we work to make the most of your experiences so the law schools want to pick YOU rather than the other person with the 174 and 3.2?
    Those are the kinds of things I can help you with in the law school admission process. But I promise you, I’ve seen my clients with lower LSATs get into schools you hope to attend – and I also know Harvard rejects people with 180s – it’s all in the application.

  8. I have not always been strong in standardized test which resulted in low LSAT score.
    I do not exactly remember my ACT score (somewhere around low 20s), should I put that on an addendum as I score low on my ACT and specifically saying a certain score? Would all the admissions committee check on my ACT score to see if the score exactly matches my addendum to the report?or should I just say low 20s to be safe?
    thank you for your help!

  9. The ACT is not as strong a statistical indicator as the SAT, but you can try to use your ACT score to demonstrate you perform better in a classroom environment than your standardized score would indicate. However, you can’t estimate your score. You are entering a profession where facts are very important and you must order your score report and send it along with your adddendum, otherwise your addendum is just a waste of space.
    Also, you didn’t mention your GPA but unless it’s good, this addendum doesn’t work.

  10. I am trying to attach addena regarding an experience that I went through and I was wondering if I need to double space the document and follow the format that is stated for personal statment or is it ok to just single space the addena?

  11. Hi,
    I’m considering writing an addendum for my applications because of a 157 LSAT. My undergrad GPA is a 3.75 and grad school GPA is a 3.9. I have also about 5 years experience working in the legal field. What would you suggest I focus on?

  12. Hi Shannon,
    There are a few ways to do an LSAT addendum, depending on the explanation. It’s hard to give this advice in a public forum (and I do help people with just addenda if you’d like – see ). It depends whether you’re a consistently low standardized test taker, or if something strange happened on test day, whether/why you did or did not retake the exam, how you were doing on practice exams…. The answer is different for each circumstance. However, if you simply wish you’d done better an addendum will probably fall flat….

  13. Iam a 28 year old single parent, Ronald E McNair research scholar, engaged in various community service and leadership activities throughhout my undergraduate and professionsl career. I received my February lSAT score of 135, with a 3.8 cumulative GPA and my affiliation with numerous honors societies. I opted not to retake the test due to university deadlines, I however had no preference in tier and am willing to accept conditional admissions and if i have to I will retake the test, complete review course (feel free to suggest one that has been known to boost sores through technique in dc/Md./Va.) compete my accelerated masters and retest and reapply in one year. Various stressors played a role in my inability to perform well,including my divorce proceedings and a major car accident that affected my spine However I make no excuses, and just want to know some options for school possibilities. I know the LSAT is a tool that measures aptitude and ability to succeed but my capibilites will not be hindered by a single test score. Please advise of likelihood and possible options for schools that rely less on LSAT scores. Thank you in advance for you response…

    1. Supergirl21. It does sound like the right name for you. Here are two DC area options that my clients have been very happy with: Strategy Prep and ManhattanLSAT. Give them both a call and tell them I sent you – they should be extra nice to you.
      I don’t suggest schools on the blog or I’d have to quit my day job. We provide that assistance through Law School Expert.
      I think you need to give yourself a chance to perform to the best of your abilities on the LSAT and apply for the Fall 2013 cycle this fall.

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