To Test or Not to Test – Should you take the June LSAT?

June 6, 2013
Adele Shapiro

LSAT JuneIt’s crunch time! The June administration of the LSAT is a mere 5 days away and many people thinking about test day are wondering: Should or shouldn’t I take the exam? How should the decision be made?

It is important to distinguish between real factors and totally subjective factors. It is not unusual to feel a bit of panic at this point. It is a common reaction of many prospective test-takers to key in on the one question, game or passage that did not go well and think that is indicative of test day performance. At this point, be sure to take a critical and objective view of your practice. If one test/section differs markedly from others, see what else might have been different – often, different results can occur if a practice test is taken too early or late in the day or on too little sleep.

Take an honest appraisal of strengths and weaknesses. It is possible to score very well and not answer every question and/or get some questions wrong. Logical reasoning accounts for about 50% of the LSAT score, and of those points, assumption family questions are half of the logical reasoning section, and about 25% overall of the LSAT score. Strong performance on assumption family questions – assumptions, strengthen, weaken and flaw questions – is critical for test day success. A high percentage of correct answers on inference questions is also critical.  While question types such as paradox and main point are useful for a high score, difficulty with these less common questions will not necessarily result in a poor score.

It is not uncommon to see score increases of up to 5 points in the last few days before test day as continue practice leads to increased proficiency.  While greater score increases can happen, it is rare. In addition, faced with the pressure of test day some students reported additional score increases. If you are close to your target score then it would make sense to take the LSAT as planned. Even if the score is somewhat off the mark it might still be a good option to take the official LSAT under test like conditions. It is hard to quantify the amount of stress that individual test takers experience on test day as well as the effect of the stress of other people in the room. Taking the exam would give you good experience that would undoubtedly translate into higher points the next time around.

Finally, with the October test a little more than 3 months away, taking the June test will provide fairly accurate information on strengths and weaknesses. If necessary, there is enough time to prep for the next LSAT without negatively impacting on applications for fall of 2014.

Remember that LSAC provides the opportunity to withdraw your LSAT registration. It is possible to withdraw without penalty, and without a refund, up until midnight, Eastern Time, Sunday night.

Adele Shapiro

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