LSAT, or the Law School Admission Test conducted by the Law School Admission Council headquartered in Pennsylvania, is one of the most vital law entrance examinations. Candidates across the globe appear for this exam to secure a seat at the best law schools.
It is a vital exam and is difficult to ace. LSAT needs ample preparation and a dedicated study strategy. One prominent question law aspirants face is – when should I take the LSAT? Let us discuss the best time to appear for the LSAT exam and how it can benefit the candidates.
Before everything else, an important disclaimer – None of the law colleges will wait till the deadline to make an admission decision. The sooner you apply, the better it is because the best law schools are always in demand, and delaying the process can make you lose your seats. The law schools will require a completed LSAT review application to consider the candidate for admission. This will also include the LSAT test scores.
When to Take the LSAT? The Right Time
LSAT is conducted four times every year in February, June, October, and December. Unless otherwise, these dates only undergo a few changes in the October dates and can be prepared at a time to late September. Recently, three more dates of exams have also been added to the calendar. So, now the LSAT can opt out 7 times every year.
If a candidate wants to apply for law school admission during the regular fall semester, they must opt for the test in either June or September of the previous year. Those who want to join the law school later can opt for the December or February test schedules. Opting for the December or February tests can be risky because, by that time, most seats will have been filled by the early fall session candidates.
In recent years, the LSAT exam has been conducted digitally over computer tablets in the designated Proctored test sites across the globe. When discussing difficulty, none of the dates are more accessible than the others. Most students opt for the June and September dates of the exam. But this is not necessarily because the exam is more accessible on these dates. Instead, it is because the academic calendar relives the students during these times.
If you want to decide which test time will be the best for you, carry a simple back calculation considering when you want to start the law school degree and also consider your current academic schedule, family gatherings, personal quests, and everything else. You will need some solid study hours before the exam, so keep that in mind.
Most students usually take a year or two off from regular studies or work to prepare for the LSAT exam. Your undergraduate score (GPA) will also matter during admission. So, it is recommended that you finish your college degree with a high GPA and then take some time off for the LSAT preparation. This is a usual course and is high yielding because you get enough time to prepare for the test. How much time you need to prepare for the LSAT exam will depend on your current preparation levels and your expected time for the rest of the preparation. Also, consider that you must appear for multiple mock tests before the actual exam to test your preparation levels and improve them. Review the exam content and the past year’s questions, and only then can you decide how much time would be sufficient for the best preparation.
Which LSAT Test Dates are Better?
LSAT scores are valid for 5 years. So, you can use them for a long time. There are several test schedules for the LSAT, each with a particular set of pros and cons. Let us discuss some of them:
|Pros||1. June is the only time you can get afternoon test schedules. Rest are morning schedules|
2. You will have ample opportunity to retake the test if you are not satisfied with the score of the first attempt
|1. If you are in full-time classes, this is the best time to opt for the exam because you will get enough amount of time for preparation – the entire summer months|
2. If you are not satisfied with the marks, you can still opt for the December test, but it can be risky at times because that probably will be the last attempt for a few candidates
|Cons||1. To appear for the June test, you need to start studying during the spring semester of the previous year. If the spring semester is hectic, this test timing can go wrong.||1. Fewer seats will be available because most of them will be preoccupied with the candidates of the fall season|
If you are still in the dilemma of when to take the LSAT – start solving some past year papers. You will get a fair idea of your current preparation levels and how much more time you will need. You will need ample time to submit your applications, research the best law schools and their requirements, and schedule your study. Considering all these, you have to decode the dates. If you are plagued by how long to study for LSAT, you can start with 5 to 6 hours daily. For better exam understanding, look at the LSAT raw score conversion techniques.