Return to Blog Homepage

The Rules and Regulations for Retaking the LSAT

  • by Matt Shinners
  • Apr 01, 2011
  • LSAT

The Rules and Regulations for Retaking the LSAT

It’s a sad truth, but you’ll find that there are many more people dissatisfied with their LSAT scores than satisfied (though less so for former Blueprint students, of course). While whiskey is certainly one solution to this problem, many students find retaking the LSAT (as horrible as that sounds) to be their only acceptable course of action. You know there are retake rules, but what are they? And why would you go to the LSAC website when you can just read this quick summary?

The biggest retake rule is that you can only sit for three exams in two years. That goes by month, not date, so don’t try to wiggle in a fourth LSAT (your fourth in a row…) in October because it’s at a later date than the previous year. It also includes cancellations: if you show up and cancel before the exam starts, after it begins, or sobbing and drunk after you feel you failed it, that counts as one of your three. An absence, however, will not count, something to consider when you wake up, hung over the day of the LSAT, the smell of bad decisions all around. It probably is best to just stay in bed.

Here’s where it gets weird, however: you can get a prospective law school to write you a letter allowing you to take the exam an additional time. For the official word, let’s go to the LSAC’s website:

“[Y]ou may retake the LSAT if a law school to which you are applying requires a more recent score than any you have on record or approves your retaking the test, and the school provides LSAC with written proof of its requirements or approval no later than the last day of registration for the test. ”

(Is it just me, or does this sounds a little like the disclaimer before a football game?)

It seems that the people who write the LR questions also write these web pages, so let’s get a little diagramming practice in:

(Requires More Recent or Approves) + (Written Notice) + (Notice Before Deadline) -> Retake Possible

What this all boils down to is a need to get something written by the law school clearing you to take the test again.

How do you go about getting written notice? It’s as simple as asking for it. Just send a note to the Office of Admissions of a law school to which you plan to apply asking them to write a waiver for you; almost every one will do it without question.

However, we’d be remiss in our duties if we didn’t coach you on how to make the most of this situation.

While you’ve got their ear, why don’t you take this time to discuss the reason for your retake? A little about your growth as a person in between the last test and this one? Some of the reasons that this is your number one school, and you would jump at the chance to attend if only your LSAT score was high enough for consideration (because flattery will get you everywhere)? Instead of just getting another shot at the LSAT, you might end up with a fee waiver or, better yet, a cheerleader in the admissions office.

That should cover all of the LSAC’s rules concerning retakes. Now, whether you should retake the LSAT is a topic for another day (or many other days).

Article by Matt Shinners, Blueprint LSAT instructor in Philadelphia and application consultant.

Submit a Comment