Which LSAT Date Should You Choose?
- Feb 05, 2020
There has never been more choices when it comes to taking the LSAT. So, when do you take the LSAT? We still remember a time when there were only four LSAT dates every year. Now, you can take register for the LSAT almost every month. But as anyone who has spent hours scrolling through Netflix to find a new show (before settling on something they’ve seen before (and spending most of the watch time on their phone)) can attest, more choice doesn’t always make the choice easier. So today, to make your LSAT choice a little less difficult, we’ll go through each of LSAT dates through June 2022 and discuss some pros and cons of each administration to help you find the best LSAT date for you.
How do I choose the best LSAT date?
The most important factor, by far, is study time. Studying for the LSAT is, for most people, a two-to-six month, twenty-hours-per-week process. So when choosing an LSAT, think about the LSAT prep time leading up to your test date. Will you have the time during those months to dedicate about twenty hours of weekly study time? Blueprint has different LSAT prep options for any LSAT study schedule, but you should always be honest with yourself and your personal schedule.
The second most important factor should be whether the LSAT will allow you to apply early in the law school admissions cycle. Law schools use rolling admissions, which means the admissions committee starts offering acceptance letters as soon as they start receiving applications. Ideally, you want to get your applications submitted early in that cycle, before too many acceptance letters are sent out.
You should aim to have your applications submitted by November in the year before you’d start your first year at law school (so October or November if you plan on starting law school next fall). Obviously, taking an LSAT after November would prevent you from meeting this goal.
And you definitely shouldn’t try to game the system by choosing an LSAT you’ve been told is usually “easier” than other LSATs. First of all, no one — other than the malicious logicians who make this LSAT test — knows how hard or easy an exam’s questions will be ahead of time. Second, LSATs are curved, so test takers who take an LSAT with “easier” questions have to answer more questions correctly to earn the same score as test takers who took an LSAT with “harder” questions.
When do you take the LSAT?
No LSAT has been historically harder or easier than any other LSAT. Any LSAT will require at least a few months of hard work, which brings us back to the first point.
- • The Best LSAT Dates 2021-2022
- • June 2021 LSAT (the week of June 12, 2021)
- • Registration Deadline: April 30, 2021
The June LSAT is historically a popular date, and this year is no exception. The June 2021 LSAT will also be the final LSAT-Flex. After June, the LSAT will have the Experimental Section again and will be longer. If you’re determined to be part of history and take the 2.5-hour LSAT, then June is your only option this year.
The June LSAT is also great for non-trad LSAT students in the workforce. You’ll receive your test score back by July 1, giving you more than enough time to focus on the rest of your law school application. Alternatively, if you find yourself needing to retake the LSAT, you’ll have time to register for a new test date and work on the areas you need to.
However, the June LSAT may not be as coveted by college students. You’ll likely have to prep for the LSAT in the midst of midterms and finals. On the other hand, you’ll be able to get the LSAT out of the way and enjoy your summer. If you have a light spring semester, this might be the best LSAT date for you. Otherwise, shoot for a test later in the summer.
- • August 2021 LSAT (the week of August 14, 2021)
- • Registration Deadline: July 2, 2021
August LSAT dates are pretty great. Rather than sully the excitement of a new school year with your looming fall LSAT, you can take the LSAT during the dog days of summer and get your score back in time to apply early to law school. This test date is perfect for college students and working professionals alike. Prep by the pool, at the beach, or anywhere there’s Wifi with the self-paced Blueprint Self-Paced Course.
It’s also important to remember that there is no September LSAT this year. So you won’t be able to take the LSAT this fall until you are close to midterms or Thanksgiving break.
- • October 2021 LSAT (the week of October 9, 2021)
- • Registration Deadline: August 25, 2021
Remember when we said it’s better to apply as soon as you can to law school? You might be cutting it close, but only ever so slightly. It’s still a great option for students who wanted to prep during the summer and couldn’t take the August LSAT. You will get your score back by the end of the month and will be just in time to apply.
While you’re waiting for your score, or even during the summer, use your time wisely. Gather the rest of the materials you’ll need for your law school application including personal statement, letters of recommendation, and register for the CAS.
- • November 2021 LSAT (the week of November 13, 2021)
- • Registration Deadline: September 29, 2021
If you’ve been kicking around the idea of going to law school and taking the LSAT, now is the time to make the decision. Your law school application is not complete until you submit an LSAT score. You will receive your November LSAT score at the beginning of December, likely too late to apply early to law school, but just in time to make most school’s hard deadlines.
You can still apply to law school for admission next fall with the November LSAT, but you won’t want to waste any time. It’s also in-between midterms and Thanksgiving break, which could place undue pressure on you. Remember, the most important factor in determining the best LSAT date for you is adequate LSAT prep time. If the November LSAT will allow you the most time to prep, then definitely go for it!
- • January 2022 LSAT (the week of January 15, 2021)
- • Registration Deadline: December 3, 2021
New year, new you, new career? No, taking the January LSAT won’t look like a gym at the beginning of any given year, but it is an interesting choice. It takes place after the holidays, which can be huge distractors for many of us—between family visits and Hallmark movies, who can get in the mood to solve logic games? Well, if you can, then you might want to register for this test date. College students could find the January LSAT particularly advantageous because they can prep over winter break.
Unfortunately, with a mid-January LSAT date, you can expect to receive your score in February, leaving you at a disadvantage in the admissions game. Some schools won’t accept applications past a certain date in January or early-February—always make sure to check your top schools to know if they have application deadlines. Regardless, by now many schools will have already started sending acceptances to applicants, leaving you a smaller window of opportunity.
- • February 2022 LSAT (the week of February 12, 2022)
- • Registration Deadline: December 29, 2021
Now we’re really late in the 2021-22 application cycle. Some law schools simply won’t accept the February LSAT for a Fall 2022 admission, but again, double-check with your schools. That said, you would be taking the LSAT in the middle of winter; what else do you have going on during this time? You could take the February LSAT and then cross that off your 2022-23 law school admissions cycle checklist super early.
- • March 2022 LSAT (the week of March 12, 2022)
- • Registration Deadline: January 26, 2022
Another great option if you’re applying for Fall 2023 admission and want to get the LSAT out of the way. Again, just make sure you can dedicate enough time to prepping for the LSAT during your spring semester.
Unfortunately, there are only a handful of schools willing to accept the March LSAT for admission this fall. Check with your school before choosing the March LSAT.
- • April 2022 LSAT (the week of April 30, 2022)
- • Registration Deadline: March 16, 2022
Who would want to take the April LSAT? Anyone who wants to apply to law school this upcoming cycle! Take it now to get your scores back in May—this way, you can decide if you need to retake the LSAT in the summer.
College students might not be too fond of the April LSAT. It’s scheduled around final exams, so you’ll have to juggle studying for those with prepping for the LSAT. Plus, there’s always the big question of whether you should or should not study during Spring Break.
- • June 2022 LSAT (the week of June 11, 2022)
- • Registration Deadline: April 27, 2022
Ah, and we come to June once more. Refer to the reasons why you should take the June LSAT above, though keep in mind this June LSAT will be the four-section LSAT with the Experimental Section. LSAC, turning test-takers into guinea pigs since the 1991.
- The Best LSAT Dates 2020-2021
- • March 30, 2020 (Monday, 12:30 pm)
- • Registration Deadline: February 11, 2020 (Tuesday)
This one’s fast approaching — as you can see, you have less than a week to sign up for it. Unless you’re already studying to prepare for this exam, or are just trying to boost your test score by a couple points, it’s probably too late in the game to choose this one. But if you decide it’s March or Die, check out our one-month and two-month study plans.
- • April 25, 2020 (Saturday, 8:30 am)
- • Registration Deadline: March 10, 2020 (Tuesday)
The April 2020 LSAT exists in a weird liminal space. It’s administered too late in the year for applicants who want to begin law school in fall 2020, but it’s really early for applicants who want to begin law school in 2021. It’s administered quite a bit after most university’s spring break, so that week off won’t provide a late study opportunity. But it’s also administered a little bit before most university’s finals weeks, so finals studying probably won’t conflict with LSAT studying. So if you’re a graduate, or a university student who doesn’t mind threading the needle between spring break and finals, and you want to begin law school in 2021, and you want a lot of runway before the 2020-21 application season to retake the LSAT or get your application materials together, we can recommend the April LSAT.
- • June 8, 2020 (Monday, 12:30 pm) (disclosed test)
- • Registration Deadline: TBD
The June LSAT is perennially great for working folk. You can take the June LSAT and get your score back by July, giving you several months to leisurely compile your application materials before sending them in early in the admissions cycle. Even with a busy work schedule, the June LSAT grants you enough time to prevent your stress level from hitting the red during application season.
The June LSAT is a little less kind to folks still in school, however. It’s held less than a month after finals for most students (or around the same time as finals for students on the quarter system), which will obviously eliminate the study time you can dedicate to the June exam. For these students, we recommend holding off ’til July or later.
- • July 13, 2020 (Monday, 12:30 pm)
- ª Registration Deadline: TBD
The July test can help out working folks nearly as much as the June LSAT. The scores will likely be released in mid-August, so those in the workforce will still have at least a month to build their application and submit them very early in the 2020-21 application cycle.
But the July LSAT helps out students and recent grads way more than the June LSAT. The July 2020 LSAT will be held a couple months after finals at most universities. We’d recommend starting the LSAT study process before you begin finals, pushing through finals weeks and the inevitable post-finals hangover, and then reigniting you LSAT studies in earnest, and carrying that momentum through July for test day.
Also, night owls should be advised that this is the last afternoon LSAT in the 2020-21 year. So if you’d prefer not to take your test at the early hour of 8:30 am, consider July 2020.
And, nota bene, if you hear anything about being able to cancel your July LSAT score after receiving it, or getting a free retake if you cancel your July LSAT score, that applied only to the July 2019 LSAT. The July 2020 test offers no such deal.
- • August 29, 2020 (Saturday, 8:30 am) (disclosed)
- • Registration Deadline: TBD
This one’s super exciting for me. The fall LSAT has historically been held in mid-to-late September or early October. Before the July LSAT was introduced in 2018, students who wanted to use their summers to study for the LSAT were forced to take the September or October LSAT. However, the September or October LSAT would often conflict with midterms or papers for these students. So people would spend their entire summers getting ready for the LSAT, only for the LSAT to conflict with their Global Environment and World Politics class or something. For this reason, I’ve long advocated that the September/October LSAT should be moved to late July or August. So I’d love it if droves of you signed up to take this LSAT, just to prove me right.
But regardless of any selfish desires for validation, this is a pretty good date for any student who wants to use their summer for test preparation. It’s especially good for those who want to go straight from undergrad to law school. Those students can dedicate the summer between their junior and senior year to study for the August test, which shouldn’t conflict with their senior-year classes.
That said, if you want to apply early in the application cycle, you should also use your summer to start assembling your applications. That way, you’ll have your applications ready to go around the time you’ll receive your score in September, allowing you to apply early.
- • October 3, 2020 (Saturday, 8:30 am)
- • Registration Deadline: TBD
This is another exam for students who want to use their summers to study. I think it’ll be especially good for students on the quarter system. They get out of school in mid-June, which would make it difficult to get fully prepared for the July or even August 2020 exams. But they’ll have plenty of time to get ready for the October test. And the fact that fall quarter classes won’t begin until late September means this exam won’t rub up against midterms or papers or anything like that.
Of course, those who are taking the October exam should make sure they have all their application materials ready to go before they receive their October scores in late October or early November. Otherwise, they may have to apply later in the cycle than they’d prefer.
- • November 14, 2020 (Saturday, 8:30 am) (disclosed test)
- • Registration Deadline: TBD
Now we’re at the LSATs “late” in the admissions cycle. If you’re taking these tests in anticipation of starting law school in 2021, then you won’t be able to apply early in the admissions cycle. Now, if these “late” tests are the only exams you can dedicate adequate study time to, that’s totally fine. We’ll refer back to the very first point we made — study time is the most important factor to consider when choosing an LSAT. Just make sure you’re getting your application materials together as you study for this test, so you can submit your applications as soon as you get your score back in early December to meet the application deadline.
In the last few years, this winter LSAT has been the most taken exam in the LSAT calendar year. So for the November test, test centers can fill up quickly, and test takers frequently get placed on the waitlist and sometimes assigned to test centers as many as 100 miles from their homes. The demand for the for the November exam, plus the fact that the LSAT switched to a digital format in September 2019, led to the November 2019 LSAT being a veritable disaster.
However, we’re cautiously optimistic that the November 2020 LSAT (and the rest of the 2020-21 LSATs, it should be said) will go a lot more smoothly. The January 2020 LSAT didn’t go perfectly for all test takers (frankly, and unfortunately, no LSAT does), but it went a helluva lot better than the November 2019 exam. And we’re hopeful that the test administrators will spend the year following the November 2019 exam recruiting and training new proctors who can ensure the exams will be held without a major hitch.
- • January 16, 2021 (Saturday, 8:30 am)
- • Registration Deadline: TBD
Another “late” LSAT. This one, at least, will allow students and workers alike to dedicate their holiday vacations to study time. As with October and November, make sure to assemble your applications as you study for this exam.
- • February 20, 2021 (Saturday, 8:30 am)
- • Registration Deadline: TBD
Now we’re in the “super late” portion of the 2020-21 application cycle. Some law schools won’t accept the February 2021 LSAT for 2021 matriculants; if you’re planning on taking this exam to attend law school in fall 2021, make sure the law schools you’re applying to will accept this exam. Alternatively, this test is in the “super early” portion of the 2021-22 application cycle. And any study time you dedicate to the February 2021 test will be done during the thick of winter, so you won’t be sacrificing any balmy summer days or crisp fall afternoons to the LSAT.
- • April 10, 2021 (Saturday, 8:30 am)
- • Registration Deadline: TBD
And we’re back to April. In 2021, however, the April LSAT will be positioned a little bit closer to most universities’ spring breaks, which can provide a helpful week of studying and test preparation. It’s also a little bit further away from finals week, making those even less of a concern. Like the April 2020 exam, however, it’s too late in the year for those who want to begin law school in 2021 (although some law schools may still accept this exam — it never hurts to check).
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