With less than a month to go before the October LSAT, I have noticed an increase in the number of students who call and ask for advice on which LSAT administration they should be setting their sights on. Many of these students are concerned about their readiness for the upcoming October exam, and are fearful about what postponing until the December exam will do to their admission prospects (timeline wise) for the Fall of 2012.
While there is something to be said for taking the June or October LSAT and applying earlier in the rolling admissions cycle that law schools use, I want to be very clear about my advice on this: it is far more important to maximize your potential on the LSAT than it is to apply early!
Ann Levine, President of LawSchoolExpert.com and author of The Law School Admission Game: Play Like An Expert has reiterated this point time and time again on her blog.
I can certainly understand the tendency of a prospective law school student to want to get the LSAT over and done with – and their applications in as early as possible – however rushing to take the test before you are truly prepared is an error in judgement that will ultimately hurt your application, since the LSAT is factored so heavily in to your admission decision. If you have been preparing for the October LSAT and are not yet where you think you can be score wise, then you should embrace (not fear!) the prospect of postponing your exam until December. Remember, LSAC has relaxed its policy on postponing registration for the exam, making it more convenient for students to choose a course of action that will benefit them the most in the bigger picture.
When it comes to the February LSAT, it is a different story entirely. Taking the February LSAT will not allow you to apply for law school admittance for the Fall of that same year. While there is nothing wrong with taking the February LSAT if you’re ahead of the game (scores are good for five years), all February LSAT takers should be aware that the February test is not released, meaning you will never have the opportunity to review which questions you got right or wrong, which can be a real bummer when you’ve put so much in to preparing for the exam.
If you’re one of the many students who has been preparing for the October LSAT but are not quite feeling like you are where you can be score wise, you should strongly consider setting your sights on the December exam. We still have a few online courses (and courses in select cities) yet to kick off that have schedules catering to December LSAT takers.