THE LSAT IS OVER!!!!! What’s next?

Law School Expert Blog

If you just took today’s LSAT, congratulations on being done. For the next 24 hours make no major decisions and avoid reading any forums or talking to anyone who also took today’s test. You have 6 days to decide whether to cancel your LSAT score and there are no bonus points for rushing to cancel today. Take a deep breath and relax. I always talk to a lot of people who panic on LSAT day, only to feel just fine about their performance the next day. That rarely happens in reverse. However, definitely cancel your LSAT score if any of these things happened to you.

When you wake up tomorrow, decide to be productive. Here are 3 easy things to do this week to move your application process forward:

1. Get out your resume and resolve to polish it up. See this US News post I wrote last year and listen to Chapter 6 of the audio version of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like an Expert.

2. Make sure your Letters of Recommendation are in process – being sent to LSAC or already there.

3. Work on your personal statement. Here are some helpful posts about law school personal statement writing and this one about concluding your personal statement.

Lastly, if you end up being disappointed by your score, is it OK to take the December LSAT and apply in early January? YES. Absolutely. It’s ok.

Enjoy the rest of the weekend and, as always, I’m happy to answer your questions.

20 Responses

  1. Quick question: I have EVERYTHING ready in my applications, except the LSAT, which I took today. I want to apply this week (love to be first!) but I’m worried that if I don’t like my LSAT score, if I have already applied, law schools will consider the October score in their decision, even if I am registered for a December retake. Should I wait to get the October score before I apply? Can I apply now and will they “hold on” to my application?


    1. Carmen, No one will review your application without an LSAT score. Not sure why you are already registered for a retake, but if you are planning to retake, I don’t think you should send in your applications because schools make mistakes all the time about not holding apps for a pending LSAT score and then it’s hard to go back after a rejection and say, “But I have a new LSAT score!” Also, you’d have to send an addendum under separate cover and there is no guarantee (especially with the new online application system) that schools will be able to put later-added items in with your already-submitted application.

  2. I posted earlier but I think it was deleted. I was wondering if you could tell me your thoughts on the following: I want to apply early, but I am scared about what will happen if I don’t like my Oct. LSAT score, which if I apply now, will be automatically sent to the law schools I apply to. Can I still apply now and re-take in December, or will law school base their decisions on my October LSAT only without knowing that I will re-take?


  3. Hi Ann, I’m not registered for a retake yet. I’m just thinking I may have to retake, I was doing fine on prep tests until 2 weeks before the LSAT when my scores went down, for some reason. Possibly nerves. So I’m not registered to retake yet, but I may retake if I don’t like my October score. I will wait until I have the score. Thanks!

  4. Hi, I’m looking for some advice. I worked really hard studying for the test for months, I had been scoring 170’s on my practice tests. But yesterday in the test all my hard work flew out the window when I started the first section. It was logic games, usually a strength of mine, and I was halfway through the first acceptability question when the guy sitting next to me yelled at me that my pencil was too loud and I was distracting him. I got very thrown off and could not get it together for the rest of the section– I left at least 8 blank. The rest of the sections went well, but I still was so disappointed in myself that I had a full-blown anxiety attack after the test. Now that it’s a new day, I am trying to decide whether or not to cancel my score? What do you think? And, how can I overcome this anxiety to take the test again? It just snuck up on me out of nowhere.

    1. HI Samantha,
      The LSAT is definitely stressful and produces anxiety in a lot of people. IF you know you didn’t come close to how you should be doing on the test (by missing 8 questions when you usually get 170s) then cancel the score and keep your skills up and take the December exam. In the meantime, work on overcoming the nerves. It might make you more nervous to have only one more chance to take the test, but this score obviously isn’t going to be a good indication of your abilities according to your comments so I think that’s your only choice.

  5. Hi Ann,

    First off, your blog has been incredibly helpful! I am currently a senior at the University of Colorado – Boulder, and I’m also looking for advice regarding law school and the LSAT. I took the LSAT on Saturday, and I know it didn’t go nearly as well as I had hoped. I studied for about four months and was practicing in the 170s, but I cracked under pressure during the test. I’ve decided that I’m going to cancel my score. I was originally planning to start law school next year, but I now think I want to take a year off after undergrad. WIth that said, I don’t think I could handle studying until February or June, so my plan is to retake the test in December. Do you think that is a good, idea and do you have any recommendations for overcoming my nerves for the next test? Thank you so much!

    1. John, I am so happy the blog is helpful! You can take the December LSAT and start law school in Fall 2012, and since you are already doing very well on practice tests all you need to do from now until then is keep up your skills and work on test anxiety/working under pressure issues. I think this plan totally works. Everyone gets nervous on test day, and I’m not sure how much your nerves impacted your performance – if you still think you got in the high 160s, consider keeping this score so that you at least have something to take some of the pressure off your performance in December.

  6. Hi Ann,

    Thanks for putting together this blog and for being very responsive, it’s great!

    I took the LSAT last Saturday as well and stumbled upon a section (games) that is normally my strong point (having to guess on 5 questions on actually game day). Everything else went fairly well, but I am still not sure to cancel. I feel that my score will probably hover around 160, which is not good if I am aiming for schools like Berkeley Law…

    My current strategy is to see how my score comes back (maybe my guesses turned out correct!) and send in my application. If my score is poor, I’d take it again in December. Is their an advantage to applying early with a less than stellar score and but then to take the LSAT again in December. That way law schools would at least be able to have my application early. Thanks!!

    1. Oski,
      Remember that the LSAT is graded on a curve and a lot of people struggled with the games on this LSAT. I’d rather you wait and have the higher score – no one will review your application with a pending LSAT in December, nor should you want them to.

  7. Thanks Ann, I just want to make sure I understand you correctly – it’s better to not cancel and wait for the score or do you mean to cancel and wait to take it again in December? I believe you meant the former but I just want to double check.

    If I do end up with a poor score and submit my application early – will schools take into account that I will be retaking it in December (since I would let them know via addendum) or would they just judge my application right there and then? Thanks again.

  8. Oski, don’t submit applications with a pending LSAT score even if the law schools tell you to do so. I’ve seen too many mistakes where they review the applications early and reject people, then later you have a higher LSAT score and it’s too late because there is already an admission decision. There is no reason to submit your application and just have it sitting there (in the event that they do what you hope and hold it for the second score), and then you have to hope that any addendum you send later about multiple scores is magically added to your file (which is harder now that applications are all done electronically).

  9. Dear Ann, thanks very much for putting together such a useful place to look for advices to our problems! I took Oct LSAT too and it is my third time to take it over the past 3 years. I slept only 3 hours the night before because of the nerves and I forced myself to stay focused during the test. I have to guess 8 questions when the number is usually 4. I am so worried that the score will turn out horrible, but on the other hand, I am still hoping some of the guesses are luckily right. Should I cancel the score? Also, I am thinking about retaking, so I want to register the Dec LSAT before it is too late to get my preferred center. But if it is not necessary to take another LSAT, I will request a refund and withdraw. Is this a good practice? Thank you very much!

  10. My previous two LSAT tests were 156 in 2007 and 160 last winter. Before this LSAT I scored between 165 and 170 in dozens of preptests till two weeks before the actual test but dropped to 160 and 163 one week before the actual test. I am aiming to get 165 this time, which is the median LSAT score of the school I really want to go. I am not confident though…

  11. Hi Ann-

    I don’t think I did too well on the October LSAT (had a lot of stuff going on and didn’t get much sleep) and plan on trying again in December. I pretty much know I didn’t do too well when I couldn’t concentrate on the Reading Comprehension part and that is my strong section (practice test only miss a couple, the most was four in my 3rd to last practice test). But, my question is-If I go ahead and apply and to some schools will they take into consideration my December LSAT score whenever I re-take it, or are they just going to look at the October score?

  12. Oh yeah, I’m aiming for Texas Tech, LSU, or W. Virginia. With fall back of South Texas. I also don’t have the best GPA (about 2.5, but my last couple of semesters in college I jacked up the GPA because it was much lower, like getting nothing but A’s and B’s )

  13. Hello:

    I know this is not related to the LSAT (though I did take it on October 1st!), but I’m not positive where to put it.
    During my undergraduate, I took one course away at another school. On my undergraduate transcript, it is simply listed as a passing credit (rather than the grade). I assume I need to have this other school send my transcript to LSAC, but I was not certain about it based on LSAC’s website.

    Thank you!

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