How Law Schools Evaluate Multiple LSAT Scores

Manhattan Prep LSAT Blog - How Law Schools Evaluate Multiple LSAT Scores by Stratus Admissions Counseling

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You’ve just received your LSAT scores. Perhaps you’re happy with your results after having taken the test multiple times, or you are not thrilled with your initial score and are considering a retake. How law schools assess multiple LSAT scores varies. Here are three things to consider when contemplating a retake.

1. Multiple LSAT Scores

  • You cannot choose which scores are shared. Law schools will see every single one of your LSAT scores, which means you won’t be able to completely hide a poor first-time score behind subsequent, better scores.
  • Timing matters. A four-year-old low score is typically perceived as less indicative of an applicant’s ability than a very recent score.

2. Canceled Scores

  • There are no free passes. Canceling an LSAT score will prevent a law school admissions committee (AdCom) from seeing that specific score. However, it won’t hide the fact that the applicant canceled the score, which could factor in an AdCom’s evaluation of the candidate.
  • The fewer scores, the better. AdCom members understand that we all have bad days, so most are unlikely to let one canceled score impact their view of an applicant. Nevertheless, multiple canceled scores may indicate that that you cannot handle the pressure of the LSAT, law school, the Bar exam, or life as an attorney.

3. Retaking the LSAT

  • Don’t automatically retake the LSAT. However, if your lowest score is well below your ability, and your second score is significantly higher: 
    • Another high score will bump your average score and show schools that use a holistic approach that the high score is a better reflection of your abilities, but…
    • Marginal increases of a point or two are rarely worth the time and effort.
    • Applying early has its advantages, so there are drawbacks in delaying your application until the next exam results come in.
  • Include an addendum. Most law schools allow candidates to include addenda in their applications, in which they can explain any part of their submission. This is your opportunity to explain why there is a discrepancy between multiple LSAT scores or why you’ve canceled your score on several occasions.
  • Do your research! Research the LSAT evaluation policies of the law schools to which you are thinking of applying. Knowing how a school approaches multiple LSAT scores might change the tone of your personal statement and/or addendum, or whether you believe that school remains a viable option.

There are many moving parts to your LSAT score and how it comes into play on your application. The good news is that a bad score is not the end of the world, and some schools will only partially consider it (or ignore it altogether). Are you unsure how your scores will impact your application and how to address them if the need arises? We’re here to help! ?

Want to get into a top law school program? Start by visiting the free Stratus Admissions Counseling How to Center, featuring important law school application insights and tips from our expert law school admissions counselors.

stratus-logoStratus Admissions Counseling is a full-service admissions counseling firm distinguished by its team-based, multi-step process ensuring each application is crafted for optimum impact. Stratus’ unique approach has helped students gain admission into all top law schools, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Columbia and NYU, and dozens of others. Each law admissions team member has graduated from a top-14 law school and our collaborative team provides the depth and breadth of legal experience to maximize your chances of admission to your top choice law school. Stratus counselors regularly contribute articles on the law school admissions process to U.S. News & World Report, the leading law-school ranking publication. To learn more about Stratus and to schedule your free consultation, follow this link.

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