The Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the company that administers the LSAT, is clear on how many times a student is allowed take the LSAT: three times in a two-year period. But, the question many of our students ask isn’t how many times can they take the LSAT; it’s how many times should they take it.
If you take the LSAT and are unhappy with the result, is it worth it to take the test again?
The answer is yes, provided you are willing to put in the time and discipline needed to raise your score.
But, the answer hasn’t always been yes.
For many years, the common advice for taking the LSAT was take it once, do your best, and be done with it. Why? It used to be the case that law schools were required by the American Bar Association to consider an applicant’s average LSAT scores, not an applicant’s highest LSAT score. Averaging your scores meant that the increase would have to be significant to make a substantial difference in your admissions chances. So, unless you absolutely bombed your first test, it was probably not worth sitting for the LSAT a second time.
But times have changed!
In 2006, the ABA revised its rules for LSAT scores and nearly all law schools now accept an applicant’s highest LSAT score.
So there is a much greater incentive to retake the LSAT if you think you can improve your score. However, many test takers who do not devise a solid study plan will not reap the potential benefits of retaking the the LSAT.
Retaking the LSAT only gives you the chance to be more competitive in the admissions process. But it’s not easy to raise your score. In fact, LSAC research shows that many test takers actually score lower in their second attempt.
If you do decide to retake the LSAT, the best approach to improving your score involves:
- Sticking to a disciplined study schedule
- Critically analyzing your weaknesses and taking concrete steps to improve them. (Some students are able to do this on their own, which is great! For the proactive, productive applicants out there, we will be publishing a list of our favorite independent study material in a future post.)
For applicants who benefit from a more hands-on approach, an LSAT tutor can provide the guidance and structure necessary to succeed. Our clients benefit from a unique LSAT study plan based on individual needs, hundreds of real LSAT practice questions, and an experienced tutor who can provide targeted practice on the most challenging concepts and questions.
Receiving a lower-than-expected LSAT score is never pleasant, but it can be the wake-up call needed to change study habits and achieve score goals. Charting out a comprehensive, smart study plan and sticking to it will help you make the most of your second time around.
Haven’t taken the LSAT at all, but planning to?
Be on the lookout for more LSAT blog posts in the coming months!
To schedule your free, 30-minute consult with a senior tutor and take that first step towards raising your LSAT score, fill out our Contact Form or email Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.