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February LSAT Deadline Weekend

Some important LSAT deadlines are coming up: the deadline to change your test center or test date is this Sunday, by midnight Eastern Time. That’s if you do it online. If you’re stuck in the 90’s and need to do it by mail, phone, or facsimile, then LSAC needs to receive your request by today. Also, if you’re stuck in the 90’s, maybe it’s time to donate that flannel shirt. Somewhere there’s a hipster in need.

Let’s start with the test center change deadline. If nothing good was available when you registered for the LSAT, take a look. Maybe something better has opened up in the mean time. You’ll have to pay a $37 fee to change ($36 in Canada), but that’s well worth it if it saves you a bunch of stress on test day.

Now for the test date change deadline. With the LSAT fast approaching, you may not feel too confident that you’ll be ready. It’s normal to wonder whether it might be better to pull out and wait for June. Unlike some other deadlines to pull out, this Sunday’s deadline isn’t terribly firm. If you stay in past the deadline, there’s always plan B: you can withdraw your LSAT registration up until the night before the test. Like some other plan Bs, it’s more expensive: you’ll have to pay the full $170 to register again, instead of a mere $85 to change your test date.

Here’s what you need to consider in making your decision: if you put off the LSAT past this February, you have no choice but to apply to law schools in the 2015/2016 cycle. If you’re hanging onto the hope that you can get your applications in at the last second and go to law school this fall, that goes out the window. Also consider that you still have time to make improvements to your LSAT score. It’s normal for our students’ biggest score gains to happen toward the end of the course, as they put all the concepts together.

The decision you need to make isn’t whether you’re ready to take the LSAT right now. It’s whether you’re willing to bet on being ready to take the LSAT in three weeks. Here’s what’s at stake: if it goes well, you’ll be done with the LSAT. And you’ll be able to apply this cycle. If, in the end, you’re just not ready, then you can withdraw closer to test day, and the only difference is that it’ll cost you $85 more than if you did it this weekend. If you’re in doubt, stay registered.

That said, if you’ve barely even started studying, it probably makes sense to kick the LSAT can down the line until June. You just can’t cram for the LSAT. And if you’re nowhere near a score you’d be happy with, you’re better off applying to law school next cycle. It’s much better to wait a year and go to a law school with good job prospects than to rush things and put your future career at stake.