Should You Take the LSAT a Third Time?

Law School Expert Blog

Should You Take the LSAT a Third Time? Is the third time the charm? Law School Expert blog reader Dru H. asked this question:


My first LSAT score last December was much lower than what I was expecting, so I took June’s exam. If after receiving my June LSAT score in a few weeks I am still apprehensive of the likelihood my target schools will accept me, what are your thoughts on taking the LSAT a third time?

Thanks, Ann

Here is my answer in 60-Seconds with Law School Expert.

Since this is a new project for me, I look forward to your feedback! If you have a question that you’d like to see featured in “60 Seconds with Law School Expert” ask it here in the comments section. Remember, it can’t be something too particular to your own situation or along the lines of where you have a chance of being admitted to law school.




17 Responses

  1. I would first like to say that this is the first time I took the test.
    On the last section of the test, I answered all the questions just in time to go back to question 11, which I had skipped earlier. I had sufficient time to find the answer that I am very confident was the correct one. I bubbled in my answer right before the proctor called time. I felt pretty good about my performance but before I closed the test booklet I realized I had only bubbled in 22 out of the 23 questions. I am not sure if I just forgot to bubble in question number 23 because I was so concerned about question 11 or if I accidentally mis-bubbled my test.
    This made me reflect on the rest of the test and a paranoia set in that makes me feel I might have mis-bubbled other sections of the test. I jumped around a lot in the other sections so if I potentially screwed up the last section– where I didn’t jump around, I could see myself messing up.
    As a whole, I was confident I did well. Like above 165 well. But, if my fears come true and I did mis-bubble the test, then I could do worse then a 150. Is this ground to cancel the test, or should I hope my paranoia is unfounded. I have to cancel by tomorrow but I am really struggling with myself.

    1. Chris, overall it sounds like you think you got above a 165 so keep your score. If it ends up being a disaster, you will write an addendum explaining the misbubbling and then you will retake in October and get your 165+. The important thing is not to panic.

  2. Hi Ann!
    I am in the process of applying to transfer schools. I completed my first year at an ABA law school that awards first year grades as either Proficient (PR) or Not Proficient (NP). The school’s website states that no more than 85% may receive a PR for a course, and that had letter grades been awarded, the student would have received a “C” or better.

    My question is this: the law school I am wanting to transfer to has two different, contradictory statements on their website. One says that transfer applicants will be reviewed on a case by case basis and if students received pass/fail credit their first year, the school will need confirmation that had letter grades been awarded, the student would have received a “C” or better. Another statement says, “generally, courses that were awarded non-letter grades (pass/fail, or p/np) are not transferrable.”

    I was wondering if you had any success stories of students transferring into schools with such policies and how likely it is that they will accept me & transfer my first year courses.

    I received PR grades for all my 1L courses, which are the same as every other ABA law school. Additionally, I attached an addendum to my application with my current institutions course descriptions, their weight, and how students are graded on the PR/NP system.

    Any advice or knowledge you could offer would be great!


    1. Amber, I believe the second statement is for those who have elected to take courses P/NP but you should inquire with the school and ask them directly.

  3. So I am currently trying to decide whether or not to take the LSAT for the third time in October. I got a 158 in February and a 156 in June. My scores on practice tests were always above 160 and averaged at about 168. I do actually have a reason for the drops in score, though not one that will make any difference in law school admissions. I graduated in 3 years with a double major and 3.6 gpa. I am now taking a year off to work, so I am hoping that without the excess stress of school (the Feb. and June LSATs were in the middle of midterms and finals week) and only a part-time job I can get closer to 165 at least. Is it worth it to take the LSAT a third time? I know that schools generally take the highest score, but they also see the others. I want to go to a school in the top 25, so my LSAT should definitely be better, but would breaking 160 really help in the shadow of a 156 and 158?

  4. If you honestly feel that you can DRAMATICALLY raise your score, than I strongly recommend people to take the test a third time. My scores were 159, 155 (felt hesitant about canceling, but of course in retrospect I should have), and 166. While I prepared the first time, I didn’t get the timing right… and like most testers, I froze for the first section and scored terribly. The second time I went into the test feeling under the weather, but still felt I could ease my way through it. I made the mistake of thinking: I took the test once, therefore I only need to study a little more to improve upon my score to get to where I want to be. That logic is WRONG. This test requires months of studying to do well. The third time, I did the process right. I studied solely from books and hired a private tutor to answer specific questions relevant to me. I took many practice tests in test-like environments and always aimed to have a few minutes to spare after each section. While the score turned out much better, I still feel like I could have/should have scored higher. But such is the case with the LSAT. It is a hard test and deserves your UTMOST attention. Studying hard will pay off, but don’t be deterred by taking the test a third time if you truly believe you can score better. Best of luck to all in conquering the test!

    1. 3rd time – I agree! There is a reason you are allowed to take the test three times. Whoever started the rumor that law school don’t like to see 3 LSATs deserves a medal for an Internet hoax to rob LSAC of money (I haven’t had my coffee yet… this metaphor probably doesn’t work). The most important thing is to get the best score for you. If you can improve your score, go for it!

  5. Hey Ann,

    First off, thank you for all of your help. Your answers to these questions have helped out tremendously.

    I was hoping to get a little help in regards to the situation I currently find myself in. I recently retook the lsat, and scored 4 points higher than the average score of my schools previous incoming class. I have already been accepted to this school, but was not offered any scholarships. I retook the lsat in hopes of improving my score and giving me a shot at a scholarship offer this late in the game. After finishing my last semester of undergrad, I now would be in the top 25% of my incoming class in terms of both gpa average and lsat score for this school. My question is this… How would you approach the subject, and what would you say in order to receive a scholarship, now that my numbers have improved so drastically.

  6. Hi,
    I have given the LSAT twice in India, without the coaching. I am a 5th year law student in India,
    My lsat score has been the same 148 twice. At this point I am not confident whether a third time will help imporve my score. My query is two pronged. One is whether keeping the current score I will get a university which will not hamper getting a job. two whether giving a third attempt could actually help me better and I should consider it. In relation to which I would like to know the pros and cons.

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