Once you have a basic grasp of the LSAT, it's time to dig deeper. Read more about each LSAT section, discover which LSAT administration is right for you, and set the record straight about the notorious LSAT curve.
The LSAT is given four times a year: June, September or October, December, or February. Because the LSAT is the single most important piece of your law school application, the best time to take the test is when you have the most time to study for it and can get the best score. However, each test administration has additional pros and cons that you’ll want to take into consideration when planning the best time to take the exam.
The June LSAT is a good administration because it’s early in the application process. Law schools typically begin accepting applications in October, so you can take the test, receive your score, and still have plenty of time to get your law school application materials together. In addition, the June LSAT is the only test administered in the afternoon, making it a favorite of early risers. The disadvantage of the June LSAT is that students are in school in the months leading up to the exam, and it can be a challenge to study for the June LSAT while attending school at the same time.
The September or October LSAT (it’s given in either month, depending on the year) has the advantage of being early in the law school application process (you’ll receive your test score in early November at the latest, which is still early). Moreover, the bulk of study for the September or October LSAT occurs during the summer months, when school is not in session. For these reasons, the test is the most popular every year and more students take the September or October LSAT than any other single test administration each year.
The difficulty with the December LSAT is that your score will arrive later (the end of December or beginning of January) in the law school application process. Many schools receive the bulk of their applications at this time, so it can make it more difficult to stand out in a crowd. However, the slight advantage of applying early is more than made up for by a higher LSAT score. Accordingly, if December provides you with the most time to maximize your score, don’t feel shy about taking the December LSAT.
There are some schools that won’t take the February LSAT for admission in the same year. This means that the February LSAT is either very early in the law school application process (taking, for instance, the February LSAT in 2013 for the 2014/2015 application cycle) or very late. The advantage of the February LSAT is that much of the studying can occur over winter break, when schools are not in session. One oddity to keep in mind is that the February LSAT is non-disclosed, meaning you will receive your score, but not the actual test with the questions, as you might for the other test administrations. This shouldn’t affect your decision regarding whether or not to take this administration, but it is good to know beforehand.
In the end, your ability to study should dictate whether you take the June, September or October, December, or February LSAT more than anything else. However, additional considerations such as when your scores will arrive during the application process are important factors to keep in mind, as well.
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