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Should you retake the LSAT? (10 questions to ask yourself)

Taking the LSAT can be a challenging and nerve-wracking experience, and it’s natural to question whether you should retake the exam if you don’t get the score you were hoping for. To help you decide if you should retake the exam, I compiled a list of 10 questions that you can ask yourself to evaluate it is should ultimately be a “yes” or “no” answer. In thes blog post we will explore those questions and answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding retaking the LSAT.
Should I retake the LSAT?

10 Questions to Ask Yourself When Retaking the LSAT

1. How did your exam compare to your practice tests?

If you took multiple practice exams and scored a 165, 168, and 164, but then took the actual exam and received a 155, then this is a sign to retake the exam. Practice test are typically a bit inflated due to taking the exam without the test-taking anxiety, but notice how the actually exam is so far from the practice test. This shows that this student is capable of receiving a higher score and might just need another attempt.

2. How did you feel on test day?

Asking yourself how you felt on test day is super important considering there can be so many outside factors that can hinder your ability to do well on test day. Did your neighbors keep you up all night and you were exhausted while taking the test? Did you develop a cold the day before the test and were blowing your nose the entire exam? Did you fight with your significant other the morning of the exam and couldn’t concentrate? I the answer is “yes” to any of these questions or there were any other factors that could have impacted your score, it could be worth while retaking the test and hoping for better conditions.

3. Could you be more diligent in your preparation?

If you didn’t prepare adequately for the LSAT, then retaking the exam may be a good idea. Consider whether you need to improve your study habits, such as dedicating more time to studying, or seeking out additional resources, such as a tutor or prep course. Prep for Success Tutors has some great LSAT free resources that could help you study for the LSAT. Also, all of their LSAT tutors have scored in the 99th percentile and would love to teach your their tips and tricks as well as make a customized study plan for you to keep you accountable!

4. When are you applications due?

If you are under time pressure to apply to law school, then retaking the LSAT may not be an option. Consider your timeline and make sure you have enough time to study, take the exam, and receive your scores before the application deadline. Keep in mind that once you take the exam, you still need to wait a few weeks to get your scores back and submit them to the law school.

5. How many times have you already taken the LSAT?

You can only take the LSAT 5 times in a testing year and 7 times in a lifetime; therefore, if you have already hit that limit, you might not be able to take the exam again. Also, take note of how many times you have taken the LSAT and if you have improved within those attempts as this could impact your chances of being accepted into Law School. We will chat more about this later in this blog post.

6. How does your score compare to the average?

Take a close look at your LSAT score and consider where it falls in relation to your target score and the scores of other applicants to the law schools you are interested in. If your score is significantly below the average score of admitted students, then retaking the LSAT may be a good option.

7. Can you strengthen your candidacy in other ways?

Let’s say you didn’t do well on the LSAT and you know you won’t be able to improve your score or obtain your goal score by the deadline for you application, you can ask yourself if there are other ways to improve your candidacy. Can you apply for work experience or an internship? Can you work on raising your GPA? can you perfect your personal statement? Can you apply for early admissions? Can you take a different exam rather than the LSAT? There are so many possibilities to enhance your chances to get accepted into the Law School program that you wish.

8. Can you afford to take the exam again?

Retaking the LSAT can be expensive, so consider your budget and whether you can afford to pay for the exam, prep materials, and any additional resources. The registration fee for the LSAT is now $222. However, if you qualify, it would be worth looking into a a fee waver.

9. Does you university average your LSAT scores?

Most law schools just accept your highest score; therefore, taking the exam again and scoring lower isn’t a horrible scenario. However, some schools take the average of all your scores; therefore, you need to weigh if taking the exam a second time is truly worth it and if you actually think you will do better during the next attempt.

10. Do you have time to study?

Unless you just had an “off” day the first time you took the exam, you likely will not improve your score during the next attempt if you don’t study in between. Therefore, you need to ask yourself if you have time to dedicate to studying for the exam.

FAQs about Retaking the LSAT

Do law schools care if you take the LSAT multiple times?

In short, no. Law Schools do not care how many times you take the LSAT; however, it is more about the improvement or lack-of improvement between the exams. Meaning, if you took the exam 4 times and received a 143, 152, 155, and then 161 then this looks amazing to the law schools and taking the exam 4 times is fine. However, if you take the exam 4 times and your score is 148, 156, 152, 149, then Law Schools will not look highly of you taking the exam multiple times. Notice the difference is that within the first scenario the student improved with every attempt, but the second scenario the student hovered around the same score and did not show improvement. These score trajectories tell a story within each applicant: student 1 shows dedication and drive, while student 2 shows lack of studying and lack of ability to improve.

What if I retake the LSAT and get a lower score?

As mentioned, most schools take the highest LSAT score that you have received; therefore, taking the exam and getting a lower score won’t matter. However, some schools do take the average of all your scores, which a lower second exam can then impact your overall average score. Additionally, as mentioned, law schools do care if you have taken the exam multiple times and do not show any progress or improvement. Therefore, a lower testing attempt could hinder your application. Therefore, only take the exam again if you truly think you have a chance yo higher your score.

How soon can I retake the LSAT?

The LSAT is only 8 times per year, so you will need to plan in advance to take the next exam. Additionally, even if the LSAT is offered tomorrow, you will not be able to sign up for it because there are registration deadlines, which are typically a month or two before the exam date. Therefore, it is important to stay up-to-date with the LSAT test dates and registration deadlines. Also, keep in mind that the deadline for registration is often times before the previous exam. Therefore, lets say you took the January exam and then wanted to sign up for the February exam, you would not be able to since the deadline would have already passed. Therefore, you need to plan ahead and anticipate that you will take the exam again.

Is there another test I can take if I didn't do well on the LSAT?

You are in luck! In the past, the LSAT was the only exam that could be used for your Law School Application. However, many Law Schools are now accepting the GRE exam as well. Therefore, if you are struggling with the material on the LSAT, you can give the GRE a try! The GRE is encompassed of Math, Reading Comprehension, Logical Reasoning, and an Essay. Therefore, both exams have the reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and essay; however, the Logic Games section is swapped for a standard math section.

How to best prepare for the next LSAT attempt?

The best way to prepare for your next LSAT attempt is to set up a structured game plan. Figure out what you did study-wise for the first attempt and asses how you can make this attempt better. The two most important factors is having the right resources and having the right study plan. Some of the best resources I included below, but if you need any additional assistance in making a customized study plan or learning the tips and tricks, you can reach out to a tutor!

So, is retaking the LSAT worth it?

In conclusion, deciding whether to retake the LSAT is a personal decision that should be based on your individual circumstances and goals. Consider your score, study habits, application strategy, timeline, and finances, and weigh the potential benefits and costs of retaking the exam. Good luck!

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Prep For Success has a team of amazing LSAT tutors, who have all scored in the 99th percentile. Additionally, all of them have been rigorously trained on all of our tips, tricks, and strategies to obtain a high score! Each tutor takes the time to understand your specific strengths and weaknesses so you don’t waste time in your studies and have the most effective study plan! Feel free to reach out to get assistance on the LSAT or Law School Admissions.

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