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It’s October LSAT Deadline Day. What Should You Do?

Today is the last day to register (on time, at least) for the October LSAT, which means that if you’ve been waiting for the deadline, get to it. It also means that, if you’ve been waiting for the deadline, you might want to book your travel arrangements to the testing center that you’d least enjoy. All of the good ones will be taken, and you could end up in, say, West Chester, Pa., like yours truly. I had an aunt in the area who knew where to get good Cajun food, though, so it worked out okay for me.

After today, the next important deadline for the October LSAT is the postponement date: September 11. While you can still withdraw on Sept. 30 without facing any penalties, you’ll lose your registration fee, and who wants to just toss $100?

The first question some will ask is, “Should I postpone from the October LSAT to the December LSAT?” That’s a complicated question. We’re still several weeks away from the October LSAT, which means that there’s plenty of room for improvement. Most of our students won’t hit their score range for the exam until the last few weeks of the course. That makes it hard to give a solid rule of thumb for whether or not to postpone your October LSAT registration. If you’re understanding the material and doing well on the homework, I’d put off a postponement decision until later; at the very least, wait until Sept. 11. If you’re hopelessly lost in the flood of information (or Irene waters), you might want to think about December.

How will that impact applications? Well, it’s definitely better to apply with an October LSAT score. As law schools admit students on a rolling basis, earlier applications tend to do better in the process. A December score will see you applying late in the game, which is a strike against you.

However, if your October LSAT score will be significantly lower than your December score (say, by more than 4 points), then it’s better to have the higher score. It’s hard to gauge this change exactly, but take into consideration where you’re at, how much you’ve improved, and how much time you’ll have to dedicate to studying between the October LSAT and the December one.

Now, for those of you who are all-in for the October LSAT, how do you spend this last month? Why, that’s easy. Study!

If you’ve been prepping correctly, there’s no need to increase the frequency or intensity of your study. Keep doing what you’re doing and work on finishing the new material and reviewing the old material, and you’ll be ready for the October LSAT when it rolls around. It’s also time to focus on timing and stamina. You know all those old practice tests you have lying around? Start working on them under actual conditions (timed, in the morning, in a quiet area with an uncomfortable chair and a few mouth breathers around).

And, most importantly, review the questions that you got wrong. If you want to be ready for the October LSAT, you need to figure out why you picked the wrong answers. Spend more time on what went wrong in your head that led you to the wrong answer so you avoid those mistakes in the future.

And good luck on the October LSAT (if that’s the one you take)!