The LSAT is offered four times – June, September/October, December and February. The timing of the LSAT plays a critical role in the admissions process. So, when should you take the LSAT?
Most experts advise taking the June LSAT. It helps you send in your applications in the beginning of the admission process. Since most law schools follow a rolling admissions process, sending in the applications early can be a competitive advantage. Another big advantage of taking the June LSAT is that it gives you enough time for a retake if you fare poorly in the exam. It also gives you more time to work on the various components of your application and craft a strong application. The only disadvantage of the June LSAT is the preparation time may coincide with your school exams.
Even LSAC recommends that you take the exam in June or September/October. Even this period gives you a head start in the admission process. If you take the LSAT in September/October, you will get your scores by November. Since the preparation time coincides with summer where you do not have to worry about your school commitments, it is a good time to take the exam. It is also the most popular time to take the LSAT. For that reason, make sure that you register early for the exam.
The December LSAT is typically the last exam considered for admission at many law schools. The only problem is that your scores arrive in end of December or January. This will put you at a slight disadvantage in the rolling admissions process. Take the December LSAT only if you have not been able to prepare well for the October LSAT. If you need more preparation time, December gives you a little extra time to do well in the exam.
February LSAT scores are not accepted by many law schools. Before taking this exam, check the admission requirements at your target law schools. Many students even take this exam to apply early for next year’s admission process.
If you are confused about when to take the LSAT, let your preparation levels guide you. There is no point rushing in for the October LSAT under-prepared. If taking the LSAT in December helps you increase your score, go for it. At the end of the day, a high score matters more than the timing of the LSAT.