The Deadline to Reschedule Your March or April LSAT Is Tonight
- Mar 31, 2020
[Update, April 2: While the deadline for March LSAT registrants to change their test date or location has passed, LSAC has extended the deadline for April registrants. If you’re signed up for the April 2020 LSAT, you can request a change to your test date or location by filling out the April 2020 LSAT Test Date Change Request form on LSAC’s website by Monday, April 13, 11:59 pm Eastern.]
After canceling the March 2020 LSAT, LSAC automatically enrolled all March registrants into the next available LSAT registered in the “community” in which they were signed up to take the March LSAT.
But if you’re were signed up to take the March 2020, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll take the LSAT on April 25, for a bunch of a different reasons. For one, there may not be an April LSAT scheduled in the “community” you signed up to take the March LSAT in. Also, and more importantly, the chances of the April LSAT actually being administered for anyone right now is pretty low. If even the president can be talked out of forcing things back to normal by April, it seems like LSAC will soon follow. (LSAC will make an announcement regarding the April LSAT by April 10 at the latest.)
If you were signed up for the March or April 2020 LSAT, you might not want your LSAT rescheduled for you once again. So for those of you signed up for the March or April exam and want to wrest a little control over when you’ll take LSAT back from a novel strain of the coronavirus, you have some options. Last week, LSAC launched the March 2020 LSAT Rescheduling online form, which allows March LSAT registrants to request to change their test center location, to reschedule their test date (to April, June, or July 2020), or to receive a refund on their registration fee, in full. There’s also the April 2020 Rescheduling online form, which offers April registrants the chance to change the date or location of their exam (there’s no refund option on this form, however). But the deadline to fill out either form is Tuesday, March 31st, at 11:59 pm Eastern. And just in case being confined to your home has blurred all your days and weeks and sense of a diurnal cycle into a single, continuous, monolithic day (as it maybe has for yours truly), let’s be clear: that deadline is today. You have to make a decision by 11:59 pm Eastern, 8:59 pm Pacific. (Central and Mountain Times, you’ll have to do the math yourself, my coastal bias has always prevented me from remembering our time differences. Apologies.)
So, if you were originally signed up for the March or April 2020 LSAT, you don’t have as much time to make a decision on how to reschedule. Luckily, we’ve run down some options for you. What can you do before the deadline passes tonight?
The old wait-and-see approach has its merits, especially during the “wait” part. For now, you won’t have to worry about doing anything, which is nice. It’s the “see” part that I’d be a little more worried about. If you were originally signed up for the March test, your study plan was already disrupted once, when the March LSAT was canceled. We think the April LSAT will probably be canceled as well, so that’ll be a second sudden change to your study plans. If the June LSAT gets canceled — well, that’ll be yet another time your study plan is upended.
If you don’t request a change now, you’re just waiting for the next available LSAT, but you won’t know when that’ll be. The goal line might be moved one, two, three, four more times. If you try to keep your study plans ongoing until we return to normalcy and can take the LSAT again, you may burnout. If you decide to take a break under the assumption that the next LSAT won’t be held, and that LSAT is actually held, you may be underprepared for the exam. LSAC is also toying with the idea of scheduling an exam in May, or may decide to start holding remotely proctored, at-home exams, so the time or format of your exam may catch you unawares.
And that brings us to the thesis of this post: Having a firm date when you’ll take the LSAT is essential to your study plan. You need to have a pretty solid idea of when you’ll take the LSAT to know whether or when you’ll take an LSAT course, how you’ll schedule your review of the LSAT concepts, when you’ll take practice exams, and more. Obviously, SARS-CoV-2 has made knowing when you’ll take the LSAT pretty difficult. But by choosing to do nothing now, you’ll just prolong this uncertainty into April, and probably May and June as well. We don’t recommend doing nothing.
2. Reschedule to April
We also don’t recommend rescheduling to the April LSAT, if you were originally signed up for the March test. We think April LSAT will soon be canceled, so this seems kind of pointless to us. But people have bet on the longshot and won before, so if you really want to take the test in April, and are willing to risk probable disappointment, knock yourself out.
3. Reschedule to June or July
We think this is a better plan. As opposed to the April LSAT, it seems a bit more likely the June and July LSATs will be held (especially the July exam). It’s hard to know what things will look like in June and July — especially now, when two weeks ago feels like it may as well have been two decades ago — but it stands to reason that these LSATs have a much better shot at being held than the April test, at the very least. Even if we’re still doing the social distancing in June or July, LSAC will have had some time to figure out how to make test centers safe for test takers and proctors or how to administer the test as a remotely proctored, at-home test.
Our point is that rescheduling to June or July gives you the option of putting a more concrete test date in place. And with the more concrete test date, you can make better plans for how you’ll study. You can take a break and recharge right now, if you feel like you need one (and I’m pretty sure we all feel like we could use some relief). You can sign up for an LSAT course, or you can take some time to review the materials from a course you’ve already taken. You can schedule out when you’ll take practice exams and, crucially, when you’ll review them. And then, when the time comes to take the exam, you can take it (we hope).
If you’re trying to apply during this 2019-2020 admissions cycle to begin law school in fall 2020, there’s a (fairly obvious) drawback to this option. While LSAC is working with law schools to extend their application deadlines (which some schools have already promised to extend!) it’s not terribly likely that many schools will accept the June or July LSATs. Especially the July exam — since scores for that one won’t be released until early August, the same month law schools should begin their fall classes. So be aware that choosing this option might mean you have a very limited number of law schools you can apply to in this admissions cycle, or that you may be punting your applications to the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
4. Request the refund, plan on taking the LSAT in August or later
Option number four also has its merits. Especially when you consider that LSAC basically never gives test takers the opportunity to request a full refund. Once you sign up for the LSAT, you part with that $200 (and the most you could hope to get back is $50, if you withdraw by the partial refund deadline). So the option to get all $200 back is a rare opportunity. It can also give you more options for when you’ll take the LSAT.
If you request the refund, you can use the money you’re getting back to plan on signing up for the August, October, or November LSATs when registration opens for those. Those are even more likely to be held than the June or July LSATs. And you’ll have at least five months (before the August LSAT is held) to get a study plan in place. You’ll obviously be giving up the chance to apply during the 2019-2020 admissions cycle, but taking the exam in August would at least give you a shot at applying early in the 2020-2021 cycle. And, who knows, with LSAT administrations thrown into disarray this year, that cycle may end up being far less competitive than the 2019-2020 cycle.
You can also take a bit of a wait-and-see approach with this option. If you feel ready to take the LSAT before August, and LSAC administers an extra exam in May, or later, or opens registration for at-home tests at some point, you can elect to take the LSAT then. So this option can also afford you some flexibility with respect to when you’ll take the LSAT, if you want that.
(Although this refund option is not available on the April LSAT Rescheduling form, we imagine that’s only because the April test hasn’t been officially canceled — yet. Perhaps this option will be offered to April registrants if and when that test is canceled.)
5. Change your test location
It’s a little confusing on how this works, but LSAC is also giving March 2020 registrants the option to change their test location, if they’re requesting a rescheduling to April, June, or July. It’s usually $125 to try to change your test center, so the free option is quite the deal. When you reschedule, make sure to include the zip code for where you actually want to take the test under “Preferred zip code for testing.” Do a little research — check out our review of test centers, and see if there’s a suitable test location in your preferred area.
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