First test- better to wait or re-take?

AquaGreenBean
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:47 pm

First test- better to wait or re-take?

Postby AquaGreenBean » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:08 pm

I do not feel ready for the October 2011 test at all. I have not had much time to study and the next couple of months don't look great for dedicated study time.

Is it better to take the October test and retake in December, or just take it once in December? I worry that if I wait until December that it will be too late and selections will already be made. I worry if I take it in October I will totally bomb it and then won't get in anyways. I really want to start in Fall 2012, but would consider putting off starting until Fall 2013 if December is a bad time to take the test (if I do that I would take the test June 2012). Advice? Suggestions?
Last edited by AquaGreenBean on Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Moomoo2u
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Re: First test- better to wait or re-take?

Postby Moomoo2u » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:57 pm

Take the test when you are ready, law school will always be there. Law schools will look more favorably upon a single 170+ test vs a low-mid 160 and low-mid 170. You don't want to bomb a test in October because you really wanted to go to law school. Two more months isnt gonna change much especially if, as you said you don't have time to study. And you definitely don't want two bad LSAT's on your transcript.

Also take the time to work on your statements and get some interesting work experience (preferably in law so you know what you're getting into)

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Jeffort
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Re: First test- better to wait or re-take?

Postby Jeffort » Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:01 pm

If you do not have a good amount of time to dedicate to LSAT prep between now and the October test (~ 10 weeks), don't take it then.

Sounds like your schedule and plans are flexible in terms of which cycle to apply in. Best answer is don't take the test until you are prepared and ready to do your best on the first shot. Even though most schools now focus on the higher score when applicants have multiple reported LSAT scores, it's much better to have one great score rather than one mediocre score, then a better one and an addendum with an excuse/explanation that will not impress the admission committees.

Since you are not set on which cycle to apply in, keep in mind that if you score well on the LSAT, your chances of getting admitted and possibly getting scholarship $$ are much better when you apply early in the cycle (late September - December). December scores are reported after the deadlines to submit completed applications for EA/ED for that same cycle.

If your schedule changes and you manage to work in a good amount of LSAT prep time over the next ~10 weeks and are scoring in your goal range leading up to October 1st, take it and get it over with. You can even play that by ear with nothing much to lose other than the LSAT registration fee and a bit of your sanity. You can withdraw your registration to take the test up to midnight ET the night before the test and nothing will show up on the reports LS's you apply to receive. You can call it the 'chicken exit' like they have at the head of the line to ride roller coasters.

AquaGreenBean
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:47 pm

Re: First test- better to wait or re-take?

Postby AquaGreenBean » Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:54 pm

Thanks for the responses. The only urgency is that a promotion I have been urged to apply for (when it becomes available) would strongly depend on me already being accepted to law school. Waiting until Fall 2013 might be too late if the person decides to retire in July 2012.

I think I will shoot for the December test, but register for the October one just in case I feel ready. Thanks for the advice.

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Jeffort
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Re: First test- better to wait or re-take?

Postby Jeffort » Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:18 pm

AquaGreenBean wrote:Thanks for the responses. The only urgency is that a promotion I have been urged to apply for (when it becomes available) would strongly depend on me already being accepted to law school. Waiting until Fall 2013 might be too late if the person decides to retire in July 2012.

I think I will shoot for the December test, but register for the October one just in case I feel ready. Thanks for the advice.


Not knowing anything about what type of job you have and what the potential promotion is, I feel I must caution you about deciding when to take the LSAT and when to apply based on a speculative possible promotion.

A couple of basics that are really important to factor in. If you get accepted to a full time J.D. program at an ABA approved school, you are not allowed to have a job/work (and will not have the time for one even if you tried) during first year. You are allowed to work during 2nd and 3rd year but it's pretty much impossible to have a full time job while also being a full time law student. The jobs/work students do over the three years are mostly short bits (frequently unpaid intern/externships to get legal experience and good stuff to put on a resume) during the summer when classes are not in session.

If you go for a part-time J.D. program it will take 4 years to get the degree and the options of well ranked law schools is very limited. Not to mention the fact that if you try to do LS part time while working full time, you may end up wanting to jump off a building or something. If you have a wife/husband and/or children and friends, you will need to say "bye bye for a few years, hopefully when I get back it wont be in a straight jacket with a big bag of psychiatric medications". If you are the main bread winner for a household you are going to run into some serious problems unless you have a LOT of $$$ saved up.

Not trying to be harsh or Mr. buzzkill, just pointing out the unavoidable reality of it.

AquaGreenBean
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:47 pm

Re: First test- better to wait or re-take?

Postby AquaGreenBean » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:22 pm

Jeffort wrote:
AquaGreenBean wrote:Thanks for the responses. The only urgency is that a promotion I have been urged to apply for (when it becomes available) would strongly depend on me already being accepted to law school. Waiting until Fall 2013 might be too late if the person decides to retire in July 2012.

I think I will shoot for the December test, but register for the October one just in case I feel ready. Thanks for the advice.


Not knowing anything about what type of job you have and what the potential promotion is, I feel I must caution you about deciding when to take the LSAT and when to apply based on a speculative possible promotion.

A couple of basics that are really important to factor in. If you get accepted to a full time J.D. program at an ABA approved school, you are not allowed to have a job/work (and will not have the time for one even if you tried) during first year. You are allowed to work during 2nd and 3rd year but it's pretty much impossible to have a full time job while also being a full time law student. The jobs/work students do over the three years are mostly short bits (frequently unpaid intern/externships to get legal experience and good stuff to put on a resume) during the summer when classes are not in session.

If you go for a part-time J.D. program it will take 4 years to get the degree and the options of well ranked law schools is very limited. Not to mention the fact that if you try to do LS part time while working full time, you may end up wanting to jump off a building or something. If you have a wife/husband and/or children and friends, you will need to say "bye bye for a few years, hopefully when I get back it wont be in a straight jacket with a big bag of psychiatric medications". If you are the main bread winner for a household you are going to run into some serious problems unless you have a LOT of $$$ saved up.

Not trying to be harsh or Mr. buzzkill, just pointing out the unavoidable reality of it.


Not a buzzkill at all and I appreciate the honest advice. I work for a large public school system in the investigations, accommodations and compliance office. I plan on doing a part-time evening program at a lower tier school that is cheap and in-state but has a clinical program in the area I want to specialize in (disability law). I thought about applying to a bigger and better school, but really I have no desire to do firm type work (at least not at this point in time). I probably will never be a "real" practicing lawyer. I just want, and need, knowledge of the law and the degree to back it up.

The promotion that would come with being accepted to law school would be for a position that would be a life-long career and one that I would stay in for the next 30 years until I can retire. And if for some reason I didn't get the position (which is unlikely because I was identified in the succession plan and have been training for the past year, but you never know), I would have the degree to fall back on and could probably get a job in non-profit, which is my passion.

But you are right, the things you mentioned are things that keep me up at night wondering if even taking the LSAT and applying is the right decision.

anela00
Posts: 188
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Re: First test- better to wait or re-take?

Postby anela00 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:06 pm

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