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Unhappy with your February 2011 LSAT Score? What to Do.

Unhappy with your February 2011 LSAT Score? What to Do.

Hiya, kiddos. Did you take the February 2011 LSAT? You did? Did it go well? Oh, it didn’t. Well, then.

So, what is one to do if the February LSAT didn’t go as swimmingly as one may have hoped? Well, that sort of depends on when one wants to go to law school. If you were planning on applying now, to start school this fall in 2011, then you’ve got fewer options. February was sort of your last chance. The next LSAT administration will be in June, and very, very few schools will accept a June score for the following fall. Unless you want to be going to one of those schools, then you’re stuck with what you have.

The first thing to ask yourself is if you can live with your February score. Perhaps it’s lower than your practice test average, but still competitive. If you adjust your expectations, and change the schools in your target range, then you could go ahead and apply now. Whether or not you actually want to go down that road is largely a personal decision, and there’s no “right” answer. But you should at least consider waiting a year to apply. If you think you can get a significantly higher score this June or October, you’d have a lot more opportunities opened up for you, both in terms of which schools you can get into and how much financial aid they’ll be willing to offer you. Also, you’d be able to apply very early as opposed to pretty late. Admissions are done on a rolling basis, so if you apply now you have both a lower score and the timing factor working against you.

If you simply cannot take a year off for whatever reason, and are going to apply for Fall 2011, then do so immediately. It’s already late in the game, so you need to get your applications in as soon as humanly possible. Spots are being taken as you read this.

If you do decide to retake, and are now going to be planning on Fall 2012 admission, that’s awesome. But you have to do things differently. For whatever reason February didn’t work out. You can’t just take it again and hope for better luck. You have to study more, obviously. Raising your practice test average means that if you take another fall, you’ll be falling from a higher score. For many people scores drop because of testing anxiety. If that’s what happened to you, then you need to be dealing with that, as well (taking practice tests in realistic testing environments is usually a key component). The point is, you can’t just rinse and repeat. Something has to change.

Lastly, hopefully you learned your lesson about taking the LSAT towards the end of the admissions cycle. Don’t let it happen again. Shoot for June if at all possible. If for some reason you can’t take it then, or bomb the test, you can then do October and still be early. In law school admissions, there’s no such thing as being fashionably late.