More about Retaking the LSAT in December

Law School Expert Blog

One of my former clients who writes the pithy postings about her 1L year has a funny scenario that is very typical law school classroom fare so definitely check it out. She also read my posting yesterday about people who improved their LSATs in December and reminded me of the following:

“P.S. Regarding LSAT score retaking, don’t forget me – 160 in June to 173 in December!

P.P.S. I still think that going through the Admissions process was harder than actual law school.

Have a good weekend everyone!

13 Responses

  1. Hi Ann, A quick question- I got a 164 in October, and think I can do better. However, that score is in range for the schools I want to apply to, and I want to get my application in early. I registered to retake the LSAT in December, but I was wondering if schools will consider me based on my current score, or if my application will be considered incomplete pending score #2. Can I reapply later in the year if I raise my score more than 3 points?

  2. Janna, if you’re in range for the schools you want to apply to, then why retake? Are you barely in range? Is your GPA low for those schools?

    If you take the December LSAT, you mark that on your applications and they hold your application for the second score. You can’t reapply later in the year. If you have specific questions about how schools do this, contact the admission offices of each school.
    Good luck!

  3. Ann, I’m wondering what your experience has been with asking the LSAC to review scores by hand.

    the background: i got a somewhat-disappointing 165 in October. I was consistently scoring better than that in my practice tests, though not by your stated rule of thumb (to evaluate re-taking, that is) of 5-8 points. i had been hoping to set my sights on some of the top tier schools, but my lsat makes that somewhat unrealistic and i am still mulling whether to re-take it.

    i just reviewed my answer sheet, and it turns out i had 12 (!) wrong on reading comp and 3 wrong on the other 3 sections combined. Definitely an outlier for me.

    i know it’s odd to ask someone’s opinion on something that’s not generalizable, so i guess what i’m asking is whether your experience has shown you anything in terms of the reliability of lsat machine-scoring? is it worth my 40 bucks just to make sure there was no error?

    I don’t see any pattern or clear reason in my answer sheer why the machine score might be unreliable, thus my skepticism of asking them to hand-score. but it sure is frustrating to see that disparity in my test results.

    Thanks for your time.

  4. Hi Dave,
    You’re really paying the $40 to just know, and you’ll feel better knowing. In the scheme of things, it doesn’t seem like such a big outlay of money, especially if it saves you the expense of retaking the LSAT. If you mis-bubbled, hand scoring won’t tell you anything though….

  5. Hi Ann,
    I went down from a range of 173-176 to 163 in October, this after an LSAT course and months of intense practice. (I’ve since ceased sobbing.) I immediately signed up to take it again — my liberal arts GPA is low, and although grades are generally deflated at my college I really needed that score. I’ve been out of school for six years, a practicing journalist with a masters (and, actually, a very high GPA there — not that it would matter to law schools, from what I understand!)
    In any case, now I’m thinking it might be wiser to submit my application in November and be done with the LSAT, hoping I can make the thrust of my package my career experience. I’d been hoping to apply to Georgetown, Fordham, BC, BU, Brooklyn, Berkeley. What do you think? Will my career experiences somehow compensate for the low LSAT score, and is it better to take advantage of having the app in by Nov. 20? Or is it so low that I should hit the books immediately and take the test again in a few weeks?
    Thank you so much — your blog is great!

  6. Kathleen,
    Spend the next few weeks hitting the books and accepting the LSAT as a challenge – show what you can really do with this test.Work on your applications and get them out while waiting for your score and make sure everything is top notch!
    November 20 or December 20 is not a big delay and it’s much better to have the higher LSAT score and a higher quality application. Good luck, and let me know if I can help in any way.

  7. Hi Ann, yes I’ve seen those. I meant from the Fall 2008 applicants. How many clients do you have so far? Any space left?

  8. Ann,

    Hi, I have a question about canceling scores. During my practice tests, I scored in a range from 164 at the beginning of my studying to 179 at the end, a few days before the test. Most of my scores fell between 167-176.
    I felt really confident during the test and was doing well, but I realized on the last section just before time was called that I had misbubbled the section, by at least a few questions. I panicked and started erasing and attempting to fix it, but I ran out of time, and I’m not sure if I only messed up a few questions or the entire section (I have no idea where I went wrong).
    My first thought was to cancel and retake the test in February as I am not applying until next fall for consideration for 2010.
    I have seen, though, that many schools take your top score and do not hold a low first score against you.
    Would it be wiser to cancel or to see how I do on the offchance that I messed up only a few questions and not the whole section?
    Either way, I want to take the test in February because I know that I can nail this.
    Also, will a cancellation be held against me at all? Basically, which is worse – a very low score on the first test or a cancellation?
    Thank you so much for your help. I am going crazy with everyone saying different things.


  9. Hi Lisa,
    Since you’re applying for Fall 2010 admission, I’d cancel the score. I don’t want you to have to write an addendum about mis-bubbling and test anxiety. Kick the test’s butt in February and/or June and the cancel will never hurt you.
    Good luck!

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