December LSAT scores should come out in late December or very early January. Here are some thoughts for how to interpret those scores once released.
For those students who were happy with their scores, congratulations! Hopefully you’ve been perfecting your personal statement and other application material so your LSAT score is the last piece to fall into place.
For others, there are some tough decisions to make. The challenge for December test-takers is that the application schedule becomes a challenge. Waiting for Februrary test scores can really put a damper on your admissions chances. So, there are four choices:
- Apply with your disappointing score and hope for the best
- Apply with your current score but plan to re-take the test in February
- Wait to apply until February scores come back
- Wait until next year
Option 1: Apply with your lower-than-expected LSAT Score
This is a personal call. You’ve reviewed the numbers at your target schools, right? If your LSAT score doesn’t stack up, you simply can’t expect to be admitted there unless there’s something fabulous in your application. It may be time to re-evaluate your list of schools. Would you be happy going to schools one tier lower than you’d expected?
Option 2: Apply with your current score but plan to re-take
This involves submitting your application, but informing admissions offices that they should expect an updated score your application until they receive the updated score. The challenge here is that you’ll still be towards the bottom of the pile. However, if you’re applying to a school that simply wouldn’t admit you with your current score, this is likely the only strategy for being admitted this year.
One aspect that students often miss is considering how much they can expect to improve in the scant month or so between December scores coming out and the February LSAT date. If you feel that your performance was due to a particularly poor showing, illness, or the like, you likely can improve significantly with a retake. However, if you were simply not prepared in December, a month is likely not enough to help you reach your maximum score.
Option 3: Wait to apply until February
This one is a challenge. You’re really pushing deadlines and putting yourself in contention for very few available seats. The move here is to call admissions offices and ask how they interpret February scores. Chances are they’ll say they accept them but prefer earlier scores. You should take that advice seriously.
Option 4: Wait until next Year
If you really think there’s still room to improve on the LSAT, it’s very likely worth your time to step back and re-evaluate. If you wait, you’ll have the chance to prepare completely for the June test and apply early in the application season.
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