How Many Times Should You Take the LSAT?

The decision on how many times to take the LSAT is an important one, since your highest LSAT score will be the single biggest factor affecting (1) the law schools to which you are accepted, and (2) merit-based scholarships that easily can exceed six figures of post-tax money.

How Many Times Can You Take The LSAT

To determine how many times you should take the LSAT, let’s begin by asking how many times can you take the LSAT. Starting in August 2023, a small change to LSAC policy was made. The limitations on the number of times you may take the LSAT are now as follows:

  • 5 times within the current reportable score period (which is five testing years), and
  • 7 times in a lifetime.
  • NOTE: The prior additional limitation of 3 times within one testing year is being eliminated.
  • NOTE: Exams taken prior to August 2023 and “cancelled” LSAT scores do count against these limitations (with the exceptions noted below).
  • There are exceptions to these limitations for students who took the LSAT-Flex between May-August 2020, and LSAC does permit students to file an appeal seeking a waiver of the above test-taking limitations. For full details, please see this LSAC blog.

Your Highest LSAT Score Matters Most

A key factor in the decision of how many times to take the LSAT is recognizing that law schools focus on your highest LSAT score, and generally do not “average” your LSAT scores. I tell my ScoreItUp students to prepare to take the LSAT twice (or possibly three times), and hope to take it only once (if you achieve the score you want the first time).

Law Schools Will Review ALL Your LSAT Scores

While law schools focus on your highest LSAT score, they will review and consider all your LSAT scores. That should not hinder you from retaking the exam if you feel you have a reasonable chance of improving your score. However, you should not take the official LSAT “just out of curiosity” before you have fully prepped for it.

Cancelled Scores Are Likely To Be Ignored By Law Schools

If you “cancel” your LSAT score, law schools will never see that LSAT score. Law schools will see that you sat for the LSAT on that occasion and cancelled your score, but they are unlikely to put much (if any) weight on that fact. NOTE: taking the LSAT and cancelling your score DOES count against the limitation on the total number of times you may take the exam.

Conclusion and Bottom Line

The LSAT is now offered nine times per year, and your highest LSAT score is what truly matters. Law schools routinely see applications with two LSAT scores, often see three LSAT scores and sometimes see more. Try to knock the exam out of the park on your first try, but do not hesitate to keep taking the LSAT if you believe you are reasonably likely to earn a higher LSAT score. Questions? Please contact me at mark@scoreitup.com.