Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Aspiring Lawyers Support Recently Announced LSAT® Changes…But They May Not Understand All Their Admissions Implications

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New York, NY (June 26, 2017) — A new Kaplan Test Prep survey of over 500 aspiring law school students shows strong support for two significant changes to the way the LSAT will be administered*. The first change incorporates more test dates into the calendar: over the next two testing years, the Law School Admission Council will be transitioning to six annual administrations of the LSAT rather than just four, offering a new testing calendar that includes tests in July, September, November, January, March, and June. (To date, the LSAT has only been administered in February, June, September/October and December.) Among those polled, 83 percent support this change. The results also found this change could have significant impact on future LSAT takers, with 66 percent saying that had this change already been in effect, their own personal prep regimen would have been different, including the date they chose to take  the exam.

The other big change lifts the cap on the number of times test takers can take the LSAT over a two-year period. Previously, would-be lawyers were limited to sitting for the test three times in any two-year period. Among those surveyed, two-thirds (67 percent) support eliminating the cap. Just 11 percent oppose the change, with another 22 percent deadlocking. But on this issue, there’s a bit of a hung jury on how beneficial this change might be. Exactly half say it would not have had affected their own study plan, while 34 percent said it would have, with the remaining 16 percent unsure.

“These two changes are student-friendly and could go a long way in de-stressing the admissions process by giving test takers more flexibility. This would seem to fit the approach of LSAC’s new President and CEO Kellye Testy, who has indicated her desire to evolve the organization,” said Jeff Thomas, executive director of pre-law programs, Kaplan Test Prep. “LSAC is also understandably concerned about losing law school applicants to the GRE®, now that Harvard Law School allows applicants to submit scores from that exam instead, with other law schools waiting in the wings to follow suit.”

Thomas notes that while some students may try to make an end run around the LSAT in favor of the GRE because it may be perceived as the easier test, there may not be much of an advantage in the long run — law schools may see all LSAT scores taken over the past five years, even if you apply using your GRE score. That means strong performance on the GRE won’t mask previous poor performance on the LSAT.

“As far as the removal of limits on the number of times one can take the LSAT, it’s not a good LSAT strategy to use your first testing experience to establish a baseline score, so we strongly advise against students retaking the exam numerous times. Law schools see every score, and taking it too many times in a condensed time frame may raise a serious red flag.  Our advice is to prep comprehensively for the LSAT, get a great score once and leave no doubt in the minds of admissions committees as to your candidacy for law school. Of course, if you need to retest, you can and now LSAC is providing more flexibility to do so. But, that should be your Plan B, not Plan A,” added Thomas.

*Based on the results of a Kaplan Test Prep e-survey of 520 of its LSAT students in June 2017.

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About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep (www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses.  Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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