Students occasionally find themselves in the position of wanting to know where they can or should retake the LSAT for various reasons. Perhaps you simply had a horrible test day, or perhaps you simply don’t like your grade and believe you can perform better. Whatever the situation, be aware that you have the option to retake the exam. Below, we go into the specifics of how many times can you take the LSAT and whether you should.
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How many Times can you Take the LSAT?
You are permitted to take the LSAT up to three times in one testing year, with a new testing year starting each August, according to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Up to seven attempts at the LSAT are permitted in a lifetime.
You should only take the LSAT once, and when you do, you should give it your all. Students who believe they will have another chance if they fail the first test tend to score worse than those who believe this is the only test that matters, in addition to the retake factors stated below. (This assertion is supported only by anecdotal evidence and common sense; no statistics can be found to support it.)
If you take the test just once and it doesn’t go nearly as well as you’d hoped, should you retake it? It’s critical to first accurately evaluate what transpired during the initial test administration before you can answer the question of whether you should retake the exam:
- Given all the other time restrictions, did you study as hard as you could have — memorizing every word on the test, rehearsing each part, taking a number of full-length practice exams? Or have you slacked off or neglected your preparation over the past few weeks? Can you reasonably anticipate that your preparation will alter significantly in the months or weeks before the next test?
- Did anything happen in the weeks leading up to the exam that might have had a negative impact on your performance—a breakup, a sickness, a family emergency, a severe lack of sleep, or a major hangover?
- Did you feel unusually high levels of test anxiety that were unlike anything you had ever felt before? Shaking hands, difficulty concentrating, or crippling anxiety?
You are unlikely to improve your score by more than the 2-3 points that represent the LSAC average for retakers in the absence of plainly insufficient preparation, an unforeseen catastrophe, or unexpectedly severe test anxiety. It’s even more alarming to note that historically, 25–30% of test-takers who retook the exam after scoring 140–159 on the first try ended up with the same or a lower score.
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You should also consider any additional obligations you may have in the weeks leading up to the next exam date. Can you realistically maintain your test preparation focus despite everything else that may be going on at that time?
Do Multiple LSAT scores “look bad”? Will Law Schools View all of your LSAT Results?
Yes, every law school you apply to will be able to view every LSAT you’ve taken when you apply. This implies that they can see both whether you’ve canceled your scores and every score you’ve previously kept.
But no, it won’t “look bad” to the schools you’ve applied to if you submit several scores. It will be good for you if your score report shows that you have improved since your last exam. It demonstrates your dedication to getting better and hard effort. However, if there is a significant jump in your reported LSAT results (say, by 10 points or more), you can decide to explain it in an addendum for your law school applications.
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Why should you Purchase Score Preview?
LSAT test takers can get Score Preview but you can only use it once. You can view your LSAT score using Score Preview before deciding whether to keep or discard it. You’ll receive your LSAT results along with everyone else, and you’ll have a limited amount of time to decide whether to save or throw away that result.
Score Preview is available for $45 until the day before your LSAT. You will be required to pay $75 if you wait until after you’ve taken the test. You can obtain Score Preview for nothing if you have an LSAC LSAT Fee Waiver.
We strongly advise purchasing Score Preview if you’re in a position to pay the $45 price or if you’re eligible for a fee waiver. You might think of it as an insurance policy: even if you decide not to cancel your score, knowing that you have the choice will give you some comfort on test day.
Should you Cancel your Score if you are Unhappy with it?
The sole possible response to this query is it depends. You should cancel if you’re positive you can raise your score and you have no intention of letting law schools see your first score on your record. Though it might not be exactly what you expected, if you are relatively satisfied with your score, you might choose to keep it. Cancelling might not be the best option for you if there’s a chance that you’ll want the colleges you apply to to see that score. You are not required to use Score Preview just because you paid for it.
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How can Canceled Scores Appear on Transcript for Law Schools?
All of the law schools to which you apply will be able to see that you took the LSAT and that you canceled your score, but they won’t know when or why. They won’t be aware of whether you canceled utilizing Score Preview or if you did so prior to receiving your score. People frequently postpone or cancel tests because of system issues, test-day anxiety, or other issues. Schools won’t know when or why you cancelled, and you won’t be required to provide them a justification.
When should I Retake the LSAT and should I?
Once more, only you may respond to the question. But a lot of this choice comes down to some elementary calculus: Effort Outcome. This essentially implies that the time and effort you invest in retaking the LSAT exam should be balanced by the improvement you anticipate in your average LSAT score, for those of you who shudder at equations. Therefore, it can be worthwhile if you believe that a little more studying will only result in a small rise in your test score.
It might also be effective if you believe that studying again would require a lot of time and effort but that your test score would significantly improve. Everything depends on how you feel and what you think you can accomplish with your additional study time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good LSAT result?
The median test score is 150, and around half of test takers achieve that mark. However, to get into their top-choice colleges, competitive applicants frequently require a higher score in the 160s or 170s. Scores for the LSAT range from 120 to 180.
Are LSAT results permanent?
If you haven't purchased LSAT Score Preview, you won't be able to change your score once it has been disclosed because it will then be a permanent part of your record.
Can you pass the LSAT without doing any prep work?
The LSAT is a highly difficult test. To be sure, there are numerous confirmed instances of people who have scored above 165 on the test without studying over the past ten years, but those cases are rare and far between.
Is the LSAT entirely multiple-choice?
The LSAT consists of a 30-minute writing sample after a five-section, multiple-choice "aptitude" test with standard scores.
When you take the LSAT again depends on your schedule if you wish to do so. You already know that preparing for the LSAT is time-consuming, so you must set aside time for it, especially if you work a full-time job.
To raise your LSAT score, decide to retake at a time that works best for your employment and/or school schedule. Also keep in mind that you will probably need more review when you start studying again the greater the gap between tests. This is not a terrible thing, but you should take it into account while planning your schedule.
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