Question about February LSAT retake

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Question about February LSAT retake

Postby samn » Sat Nov 10, 2012 2:27 pm

I'm applying to law school for Fall 2013. LSAT: 162. LSAC GPA: 3.9. Strong softs. I currently have acceptances with $$$$ at William and Mary (and the best fellowship they give, according to the dean; not a free ride but close-ish and a research position with a professor), U. Richmond, and Baylor. I expect to get into several other schools with money with my current stats.

I know that the conventional wisdom on TLS is to retake the LSAT. I'm open to that. But December registration is closed.

My question is, Will scoring a few extra points on the February LSAT help me get money and acceptances or is that too late? A lot of the schools I'm applying to strongly recommend not waiting 'til February to take the LSAT, but, then, they're talking about for the first time. Last time I took the LSAT, I studied for three months, took a class, did not have a baby yet, and the highest I made on a practice exam was 165. I took about ten practice tests and my mode (and floor, coincidentally) was 162. This morning I took another practice test and made a 167, but I think that's an outlier for me. I say all this to give you an idea of what I'm likely to do in February, not to imply that I won't study as hard as I can.

Please no "wait 'til next year." That's not really an option for me.

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Re: Question about February LSAT retake

Postby yuzu » Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:24 pm

It is definitely possible that a new score will help you get money and acceptances this year, depending on the score. It still counts toward schools' overall statistics for USNWR. I think it is worth doing given that you think you can score higher.

And once you have your new score, if it is a lot better (say, >166), I would (despite your admonishment) encourage you to consider reapplying next year. Is waiting until next year so unpalatable for you that you would rather graduate without a job than delay law school one year? A higher score (even 165) could open the door to schools with dramatically better employment outcomes. One year from now, when you're getting rejection letters from law firms, you might look at your second LSAT score and realize you could have been in a much better position.

(edited to add: I did this with a June LSAT, and while it didn't get me off waitlists that year, schools definitely seemed interested to hear the new score. I ended up reapplying two years later, and was accepted by almost all the schools that had rejected me before, with large scholarships at several. I was very thankful for this when OCI came around.)


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Re: Question about February LSAT retake

Postby hdivine » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:18 pm

The LSAT probably isn't worth retaking unless you can get a 3-point minimum increase. LSAT generally reports your score with a 3-point error band anyway, so if you don't escape that band, it tells law schools that you probably haven't really improved. If you do take the LSAT again, you need to do major studying. Ten practice tests just doesn't cut it, especially if you have some fundamental issues that need to be taken care of. Depending on your work situation, you may want to make studying for the February LSAT a full-time gig over Christmas break. My undergrad gave me four weeks off, and I logged 200 hours of study time during that. It helped, too. It boosted my score 18 points from my initial diagnostic to my final score.

If you don't want to retake, go ahead with William and Mary. It's a solid school, especially if you have money there already.

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