Should I Retake the LSAT? | Summit Prep

Should I Retake the LSAT?

The LSAC administered the August 2021 LSAT between Saturday, August 14th and Tuesday, August 17th.  If you took that test, congratulations on that accomplishment!  Preparing for and taking the LSAT is no easy task, and you should be proud of yourself for even getting this far.  

Now that the dust has somewhat settled from the August 2021 LSAT, test takers often wrestle with several questions as they navigate through the test taking and law school application processes.  We will provide our views on next steps as you inch further and further down the road to the coveted dream law school acceptance letter.

Should I wait to see how I did on the August 2021 LSAT to sign up for the October or November LSATs and begin studying again?

August LSAT scores will not be released until September 10, 2021.  The registration deadline for the October 2021 LSAT is on August 25, 2021.  As a result, if you wait until you receive your August LSAT score, you won’t be able to sign up for the October LSAT, which may delay your applications or unnecessarily increase pressure on you for the November LSAT.  Your best bet is to sign up for the October 2021 LSAT as soon as possible because the deadline is fast approaching.  

Now that you’ve taken the August test, you’ll definitely want to spend a bit of time taking a break, resting, and recovering from an intense few months of studying.  However, you do not want to delay studying again for the next test for more than a couple of weeks.  As we have discussed here, the LSAT is a skills-based test, rather than a test that depends on outside knowledge.  Skills tend to get rusty quickly if not used on a consistent basis.  

If you wait until scores are released on September 10th, you’re essentially forfeiting a huge amount of time – both simply time lost in not practicing for nearly a month and the additional few weeks that you’ll need to get back up to speed for that time lost.  Restarting your prep after a short break will help ensure you’re where you need to be for the next time you take the LSAT. 

Should I register for the October 2021 or the November 2021 LSAT?

Many students will begin their LSAT prep in May after they finish their Junior year of college, making the August LSAT the first real LSAT they take.  If you’re in that group, or you feel like you’d benefit from taking the test again, you may be wondering which of the upcoming tests to take next.  

Generally speaking, law school applications open between August and October, with many application submission deadlines falling between February and March the following year.  Law schools consider applications on a rolling basis, meaning that the number of seats for enrollment in Fall 2022 and scholarship money decrease over time.  As a result, waiting until those deadlines will hurt your chances of being accepted.  As a result, submitting your applications in late November or early December will increase your chances of being accepted.  

Because you’ll want to submit your applications by early December at the latest, we recommend signing up for both the October 2021 and the November 2021 LSATs.  To best ensure that you achieve a competitive LSAT score, it is better to take the October LSAT and end up not needing to take the November LSAT than to wait until the November LSAT and find out you could have used another test to reach your score goal.  Plus, it will relieve a huge amount of pressure off of you to know that you have another shot at the LSAT waiting.

How do I manage my college workload or my work schedule and my LSAT prep?

A big challenge students will face as they head back to campus for the fall semester is how to juggle their academic coursework and their LSAT prep.  During the summer, students are usually able to focus solely on the LSAT and face the daunting prospects of taking classes and prepping for the LSAT.  There are a few keys to help ensure that you achieve your LSAT goal score while keeping your GPA as high as possible.  Some of these keys are also beneficial for LSAT test takers who have graduated from college and are managing their LSAT prep and work and family obligations.  

First, if you’re still in college or another graduate program, try to reduce your course load if possible.  If there is a tough class that you’re able to push off until the spring semester, it would be best for you to do so.  It would also be beneficial to move some extra classes to the spring semester, even if they are not so difficult, in order to free up some time.  With college classes requiring more immediate deadlines for papers, tests, and exams, your LSAT prep runs the risk of being pushed to the back burner in order to attend to more pressing demands.  Accordingly, reducing the number of pressing demands will help to free up prep time.

Second, meet with a tutor to help keep you on track with your study schedule.  Our tutors will work with you to develop a study plan that will work best with your schedule and will hold you accountable to keep that schedule.  Additionally, working with a tutor will allow you to quickly identify and target weaknesses to make the prep time you do have much more efficient.  

Third, plan out each week in advance, taking into account your other obligations and mental and physical energy.  As discussed above, LSAT prep can be easy to push off on a day to day basis with other demands vying for your attention.  A way to avoid this is being intentional about when you will study for the LSAT each week.  Full-length mock tests should be done on weekends when you’ll be better able to carve out several hours to take the test in 1 sitting.  Working on individual sections or other targeted practice can be done during the week, but should be scheduled each day to ensure that prep will actually happen.  For example, planning to do all your LSAT studying after a full, long day of classes may not be the best idea.

Fourth, be sure to take very good care of yourself.  LSAT prep requires a lot of energy, and you can’t expect yourself to operate at peak performance if you’re not getting enough sleep, healthy food, water, and physical activity.  Even if you have very healthy habits normally, the increased stress from LSAT prep can make those habits go by the wayside.  Just as you have to be intentional about managing your schedule, you have to be intentional about managing your health and wellbeing too.

Conclusion

Now that you have taken the August 2021 LSAT, it’s time to plan out your next steps.  Celebrate your achievement, but do not rest on your laurels, as you could be inadvertently harming your chances for a better LSAT score and by extension your law school applications this fall.  Keeping up the momentum you built over the summer and carefully planning your schedule this fall will pay off tremendously as you near the finish line of your LSAT prep.

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