Should You Retake The LSAT

An important question facing prelaw students who took the LSAT, as well as students planning to take it for the first time, is whether to take the LSAT more than once. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Almost all law schools “focus on” your highest LSAT score. In other words, they will consider all of your LSAT scores, but their focus will be on your highest one. In many cases, as a practical matter, they will largely ignore all your LSAT scores other than your highest one.
  2. There currently are two limits on the number of times you can take the LSAT: (1) you can take it up to five times within any five-year testing period (i.e., within five years of your law school application), and (2) you can take the LSAT up to seven times in a lifetime.
  3. It is very common for law school admission officers to see two LSAT scores on a student’s application. My unofficial sense is that law schools largely don’t care if they see two or three LSAT scores. If they see four or more LSAT scores on your application, it may cause them to question your highest LSAT score to some extent, but they still will focus on it.
  4. There is a benefit to getting your law school application submitted early (i.e., on or before approximately November 1st for most law schools). However, it is far more important to have a strong law school application (i.e., a good LSAT score and undergraduate gpa) than to merely get your application turned in early. Or, as I tell my ScoreItUp students: “a good LSAT score is far more important than an early LSAT score.”
  5. The LSAT is the single most important part of your entire law school application.

So, the bottom line is that there are a series of significant potential advantages to taking the LSAT more than once. The most significant benefit is it gives you “two (or more) bites at the apple.” In most cases, there is a lot more to gain than lose from retaking the LSAT.

Of course, retaking the LSAT means you need to pay to take it a second (or third) time. You also need to put in the time and effort to prepare again. Some students may not be willing to incur the additional time and expense of retaking the LSAT, and that’s fine. But if your goal is to maximize the strength of your law school application, there often are very good reasons to consider retaking the LSAT. Questions? Please email me at mark@scoreitup.com!