If you were wondering how many times can you take LSAT, here’s the quick answer: you can take the LSAT up to five times in one year and up to seven times in a lifetime.. are scattered throughout the year starting in January and stretching to November. Since the LSAT is offered only a handful of times throughout the year, you have to plan ahead for when is the best time for you to take it. You should have an that takes into account application deadlines for your preferred law schools, which are usually in the fall and winter. But you should also take into account any possible retakes, as second-time test-takers, on average, score 2.8 points higher the second time around. How many times you should take the LSAT is another question entirely that we’ll cover here, along with , and how to strategize your time depending on what kind of applicant you are.
Starting with most recent LSAT administration, you are allowed to take the LSAT up to five times in a single testing period. You are also now only allowed to take the LSAT seven times in your life, although, for a time, you could take the LSAT an unlimited number of times. Five times in single testing period seems like a lot, especially since the general consensus on how many times you should take the LSAT argues that you should take the LSAT as few times as possible, ideally, only once. This is not to say that retaking the LSAT is rare – not at all! In fact, according to , about 25% of LSAT takers retake it for the second time, and about 4% take it three times.
Five is the maximum number of times you can take the LSAT in a single testing period, but the larger, and more controversial question, is how many times you should take the LSAT. It is such a controversial question because there are so many interests involved (the testing companies, law schools, companies, test preparation services) with you caught in the middle, so it makes it hard to know for certain what you should strive for.
While the general consensus says you should try to aim to take the LSAT only once, things don’t often pan out that way. Anything can happen on your test day or running up to your test that could affect your plans to take the test only once, which is why you are allowed to take the test up to five times. How many times you take the LSAT also depends on your background (traditional vs mature applicant), and whether you have the time or resources to hire a private or the resilience to go through a for a month, two months or three months.
Yet another thing to consider when thinking about how many times you should take the LSAT is whether it will come at the cost of other parts of your application. If you become too focused on meeting your ideal LSAT score, you can lose sight of how much more important and relevant other aspects of your application are to law school admissions committee, such as your , or . With the waning influence of standardized tests, in general, law schools are pivoting to other applicant factors such as these application materials that resonate and reveal more about your academic and personal potential to succeed in law school, rather than relying on standardized test scores.
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If the ideal is taking the LSAT only once, why does LSAC allow you to take the LSAT so many times? There are a lot of reasons. Similar to what many other standardized testing organizations, such as Electronic Testing Services, the Graduate Management Admission Council or the College Board (who administer the GRE, GMAT, and SAT, respectively) are doing, LSAC wants to make the LSAT easier to take and more accessible.
Even though these are all non-profit organizations, there is a lot of competition among them to stay relevant, especially since the list of , and keeps getting longer. They also do not want to end up like the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT), which will no longer be required for pharmacy school admissions, so LSAC and all these other testing companies are constantly looking for ways to remain integral to the admissions process.
In its desire to stay relevant, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) implements new policies regarding all aspects of the LSAT from changing by removing certain to . Changing how many times you can take LSAT is one of the ways they are trying to change with the times, but it is also a way to accommodate all types of test-takers, including people who want to take the LSAT again, or who are non-traditional applicants to law school. But now, staying alive, not just relevant, is the LSAT’s main problem.
New changes introduced by the American Bar Association (the ABA), such as accepting the GRE exam as a “valid and reliable” test for law school admissions means the LSAT is facing competition for the first time in its history. The ABA has even floated the idea of removing all testing from , or, at least giving the choice to go fully-optional, but as of this writing that .
However, ignoring all of these developments for a second, if you’re an undergraduate planning to go to law school in the next few years, these events shouldn’t figure into your plans for . You’ll still need to take the LSAT, or GRE depending on what law school you apply to, especially if you’re an undergraduate student in Canada, as a majority of still require the LSAT and show no signs of changing that requirement any time soon.
If you’re a non-traditional applicant in either the US or Canada, and are still thinking “ you should figure out since it is different for every person. But since preparing for the LSAT can be time-consuming, especially for non-traditional applicants, we’ll help you manage your application timeline, depending on what kind of law schools you want to get into, such as the elite or the , as your choice of law school figures heavily into what you should aim for.
If you’re a traditional prelaw student, still in your undergraduate, you have various options to think about when figuring out how many times can you take LSAT. First, you should decide whether you want to take the LSAT or the GRE, depending on the law school you’re keen on attending. The list of law schools that accept the GRE continues to expand, so you should investigate your school’s particular testing requirements before deciding on which test you want to take.
You can also take the GRE an unlimited number of times within each testing year, but you have to wait up to 21 days between tests. This kind of flexibility might be more appealing to you rather than having to schedule your life around a single test date, like with the LSAT. When exactly you take either the LSAT or the GRE is also important, since you can opt to take either test well before you start sending out applications to law schools.
Your LSAT and are valid for up to five years. So, you can take either test at the mid-way point of your undergraduate, and have your scores ready for when you apply to law school. Taking the LSAT or GRE halfway through college also gives you a lot of time to improve your scores, if you feel that is something you want to do and can do. But invariably, whether you want to improve your LSAT or GRE scores depends on the school you want to apply to.
You should keep in mind that your LSAT score does not only affect your chances of admission, but it can also be used as a requirement to get law school scholarships. There are many scholarships open to first-year law students that look at your LSAT score as part of the selection criteria, so this is something you should consider when debating whether to retake the LSAT or not.
There are myriad of factors that affect how many times you should take the LSAT if you’re a mature student. Have you ever taken the LSAT before, or any other standardized test, such as the GRE? Are your scores still valid? Do you have the time to invest in preparing for the LSAT? Are the other parts of your application, such as your and your GPA adequate enough or do you need to improve those as well? All these factors may affect how much time you can dedicate to the LSAT and how many times you decide to take it. For example, if you have already taken the LSAT, you can choose to work on your GPA instead by enrolling in community college classes while working full-time. This is just an example, but you see that depending on your situation, you may choose to take the LSAT only once and focus on the other aspects of the application instead.
While the LSAT or GRE are important parts of getting into law school, they are not the only parts of getting into law school, and, as a mature student, you can impress law school admission committees in other ways using your or .
But that does not mean you should ignore the LSAT or GRE completely. Similar to what we recommend to undergraduate students, if you’re thinking about going to law school as a mature student, getting the LSAT or GRE out of the way as soon as possible, as long as you are ready, will free you up to focus on the entirety of your law school application.
That is the big question. LSAC’s own data seems to suggest that you can improve your LSAT score by at least 2.3 points if you take it a second time within the same year. If you score the average LSAT score for first-time test-takers (150), despite all your preparation, taking the LSAT again may seem like a given. But, then again, 150 might be enough to get you into a mid-tier law school, or even an program, so the law school you want to get into is another factor you have to consider when thinking about how many times you should take the LSAT.
Many repeat test-takers do not always improve their scores. Some score lower on their second attempt leading to a repeat of the same cycle; spending time and energy on test prep to improve your scores, even though there is no guarantee that you will get a better score the second time. But if you scored low on your first try and want to get into a top-tier, Ivy League law school, then you will have to improve your LSAT scores, and take the test again.
1. Improve your Scores
The most obvious reason to retake the LSAT is to improve your scores, which in turn allows you to apply to more and better schools. But as we talked about, improving your scores is not always guaranteed. Some LSAC data seems to suggest that there is a direct correlation between your study hours and your LSAT performance, but is all that extra prep and study time, pressure and anxiety worth it for a three-point increase to your scores? Some people would say “yes”, and that is fine. But if you have an above-average score, say, between 165-170, retaking the LSAT seems like overkill at that point. But you have to ask yourself this question if you are thinking about retaking the LSAT: do you have the energy and fortitude to keep taking practice tests and reading over to see only small gains?
2. Demonstrate your Persistence and Commitment
Law school admission committees see all your LSAT attempts as part of your application, even the canceled attempts and canceled scores (they see you canceled your scores, but they don’t see the actual score). In the past, if you had more than one LSAT attempt, they would average your scores and use that as your LSAT score. But they don’t do that anymore; now most law schools only look at your highest score. If you show a consistent improvement throughout all your LSAT attempts, this demonstrates your commitment to self-improvement and fighting against adversity. But this only applies if you have low scores (150-160) and then show significant gains. If you start with low scores and continue to get low scores after multiple attempts, this will reflect poorly on you. It would be doubly strange if you have consistently high scores, and continue to retake the test without any significant change in your scores.
3. Improving Your Admission Chances and Choices
Depending on your career goals, the higher your LSAT the more likely you will be able to get into top-tier schools, if that is something that is important to you. The top law schools according to the most-up-to-date look for LSAT score ranges between 170-180, with 180 being a perfect score. But you should know that you have to invest a lot of time to see double-digit increases in your LSAT score. The standard amount of recommended study time is around three to four months, but getting a significant bump (more than the two or three points we mentioned) in your LSAT score requires at least six to seven months of dedicated study time, which can translate to up to 10 or 20 hours per week. If you’re comfortable with making that commitment, then you should.
1. You Don’t Improve your Scores
Many people retake the LSAT to improve their scores, but what if they don’t improve? What if you keep getting lower or the same scores? There could many reasons behind your lack of improvement. You may be studying the wrong way; you could be stressed, tired and overworked; you can be coming at the material in the wrong way and are not focused solely on improving your scores without improving your knowledge of the test or your own strengths and weaknesses. Whatever the case, after a second or third attempt without seeing any significant improvement, you should assess what you’re doing wrong by taking some practice or diagnostic tests to see where you lag behind, and whether you should focus on those areas exclusively, rather than trying to master every LSAT section. Remember, your law schools will be able to see all of your declared scores, so do not keep retaking the test without major readjustment of your prep strategies.
2. Unnecessary Stress and Anxiety
Trying to get into law school, as a whole, is a stressful experience. But letting individual components, such as repeatedly taking the LSAT can make it even more stressful, leading to exhaustion and burn-out. This is bad because it will impact your ability to focus on other aspects of your application that are just as important. If the entire law school application process hurts your head just thinking about it, then you should prioritize either completing the parts that you know you can do easily (personal statements, getting recommendation letters) first, so you have more time to do LSAT prep, or, vice-versa, take the LSAT well before your law school application deadline, so you have more time to focus on the other parts of your application.
Remember that every time before you retake the LSAT, you will have to restructure your LSAT prep strategies. This is a huge undertaking. You cannot expect to score higher if you do not adjust your preparations for the test. If you feel up to the arduous task of reworking your LSAT study schedule and improving your study techniques, then go for it! But be aware of this stressful and anxious step.
While there are lot of LSAT prep resources available for free, many premium services, such as private tutors and in-depth prep material are not. Some companies offer several tiers of LSAT prep services. They often start with things like personalized study schedules and 100 practice tests for the lower-tiers, but can go as high as daily classes with expert tutors, live study groups, and custom study plans. Depending on your budget and how much you need to study, you’re looking at spending up to $300 a month for premium services, which, over six or seven months, adds up to $2,100. Of course, you do not have to spend this much, and there are ways that you can save, but if you’re really struggling to get your score up, you should try to get as much help as possible.
1. Develop a Study Schedule
Give yourself a realistic timeline for preparing for the LSAT. As we mentioned already, 3-4 months is ideal. This approach will give you better chances of getting good initial scores, and improving your scores over time, if you choose to retake the LSAT. Keeping in mind when you have to submit your application should be your guiding light, but, as we talked about already, you can also choose to take the pressure off and remove the LSAT from the equation if you take the test early, a year or two before the application period starts, but at least within five years before you apply to law schools. Believe it or not, this is what many people do. Not only does doing the LSAT early on, during your undergraduate, give you plenty of time to take multiple tests and improve your scores, it also relieves you of the burden of worrying about it when you are ready to apply to law school.
When you create your study schedule, be honest. Plan for a realistic number of hours you can dedicate to LSAT prep. Do not put down 12 hours of LSAT prep per day – that is just nonsense. Consider your other commitments, like school, work, extracurriculars, time with friends and family, and so on. Your schedule will benefit if you remain honest and realistic about the time you can commit to LSAT prep each week. Readjust the schedule as you start your study but try to stick to it as much as possible.
2. Take Diagnostic and Timed Practice Tests
Usually, the first step to creating a study schedule is to take an initial diagnostic test to see how you would do on a real LSAT test without any preparation. Using this raw LSAT score can help you determine where you should focus your studying. If your scores for the individual sections are the same, you should focus on each section equally. But if you score is stronger in one of the sections, you can maybe not put so much time and effort into studying for that section. As you improve your scores or understanding of your weaker sections, do not forget about the sections you did well in originally. You do not want to completely ignore them during your prep either. Remember to keep up your practice in those sections as well so you do not become rusty.
As you improve your understanding of the test’s format and structure, you also want to take a combination of timed and untimed tests. You can take untimed tests at the beginning, but as your score improves, consider moving towards timed tests, as its important to practice in realistic conditions.. But you want to have as much practice as possible simulating real-world conditions, so switch to timed tests when you feel you know the material well and when you are getting the majority of questions right.
3. Get to Know the Material Well
The LSAT does not test knowledge, but your skill-set in various categories from Reading Comprehension to Logical Reasoning. As the test is not knowledge-based, you should spend more time deconstructing the question types and answers that go with them. Getting used to the question types and formats will significantly increase your chances of success, especially if you learn to identify and approach the questions in a quick and efficient manner. You should look at the question format and type of questions in each LSAT section and understand, not only what the question is attempting to ask, but also why the correct answer is the correct answer, to the exclusion of all others, so make sure to review LSAT practice questions frequently to get used to the different types of questions you need to know.
4. Consistency, Progress Tracking, and Celebration Victories
Consistency in this context means consistently setting aside study time, consistently attending an LSAT prep course or study groups organized by your fellow students, and consistently sticking to your study schedule. You must also consistently track your progress throughout your study time. You can start a spreadsheet of the different types of questions that appear on the LSAT and keep track of which questions you consistently get wrong, or consistently get right, so you can then adjust your studying tactics. After you’ve kept track of all your right and wrong answers, you can then take practice tests to see whether you’ve improved in the section you had trouble with before. Hopefully, your diligence will pay off and you should take the time to acknowledge your progress by giving yourself a bit of encouragement or even taking a short break before studying again.
1. How many times can you take LSAT?
You are allowed to take the LSAT up to five times in a single testing period or season. You can take the LSAT seven times in your life.
2. How many times should I take the LSAT?
This is a difficult and personal question to answer, which is why we recommend asking a professional or getting feedback from professors, or law school admissions advisors about how many times you should take the LSAT. If your scores are good enough to get into the school you want, then you shouldn’t focus on retaking and retaking the test multiple times. But if they’re not good enough, you can also try retaking it as much as possible within the allowed number of retakes to get them higher.
3. What is a good LSAT score?
A good LSAT score is the one that gets you into your preferred program, but there are levels for which LSAT score is average, good, and the best. The highest possible score is 180. An average score is between 150-160. An above average score is anywhere between 160 and 175.
4. What LSAT score do I need to get into law school?
Not many law schools have LSAT cut-offs or minimum LSAT scores, but you should look at the class profile of the law school you’re interested in to determine what your score should be.
5. Will my chances to get into law school be affected by multiple LSAT attempts?
It is hard to say, as every law school has its criteria for assessing multiple LSAT attempts. A lot depends on whether you’re consistently improving your scores, or whether your outcomes are uneven (lower after one attempt, higher after another). But generally, law schools only really care about your highest score.
6. Should I study for the LSAT with a particular score in mind?
No, you should focus on understanding the test and all its different sections rather than trying to focus solely on getting a high score. After all, knowing the LSAT inside and out is one of the best ways to ensure you do get a high score.
7. Should I take the LSAT or the GRE?
Whether you take the LSAT or GRE to get into law school depends on the type of applicant you are, and whether you’ve already started preparing for either. Preparing for the LSAT makes more sense if you want to get into any law school, as only 100 or so law schools in the US now accept the GRE, but all of them accept the LSAT. The GRE also focuses on math problems, and if you’re not comfortable with math as a test subject, then the LSAT may be better suited to you.
8. Why are my LSAT test scores not improving?
There could be various reasons why your test scores are not improving, from being too nervous during test day to not focusing on your weak spots and studying for the whole test instead. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a dedicated study schedule, stick to it, and have a lot of time before your deadline to improve your LSAT score. If you’re studying only a few hours a week, or don’t continually study every day or every week, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.