how many times take the lsat

How Many Times Can I Take the LSAT?

If you’re taking the LSAT, odds are you’ve wondered how many chances you have to take the LSAT in order to get into the top law schools of your choice. So if you’re wondering, how many times can I take the LSAT?, you should know that the LSAC (who administers the LSAT) is reinstating limits on how many administrations you can sit for per year and in your lifetime.

Beginning with the September 2019 LSAT administration, the following limits will be instated:

  • You will only be able to take the LSAT three times in a single testing year.
    • Note: the LSAC considers the testing year to be June 1 to May 31
  • You will only be able to test a total of five times within the current and five past testing years (the timespan in which the LSAC reports your scores to law schools).
  • You will only be able to take the LSAT seven times over a lifetime.

The LSAC anticipates that these policy changes will affect a very small number of people—less than 1 percent of those who take the LSAT. It’s important to know that the policy is not retroactive, so exams you took before September 2019 won’t count. An appeal process is available for test-takers seeking an exception.

There’s an even easier answer to how many times you should take the LSAT: One time. One. 1. Uno. Here’s why:

It’s an unequivocal mistake—and an extremely common one—to plan to take an official proctored LSAT more than once, and students don’t often understand the reasons behind this misstep.

[ RELATED: What’s a good LSAT score? ]

We hear LSAT students describe it as “practice” or “a trial run.” These students reason, I’m going to take it just in case I get the score I need, and then I won’t have to keep preparing. There are numerous reasons why this is a terrible idea, but here are just a couple:

 

  • Practice LSAT exams are available everywhere. For free!

    Kaplan offers free practice tests year-round—and they are actual LSATs released by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). They are as every bit as real as the officially proctored LSAT exams; they just aren’t released to law schools. That is a truly massive benefit when you are not ready (or trying to figure out if you are ready) to take the proctored LSAT and get an official score.

  • If you’re thinking, but I can cancel my score if I don’t do well, think again. Sure, you can cancel, but is it a good idea? Those top law schools you’ve been targeting will want to know why you canceled your score, and law school admissions offices will be particularly curious if they see a pattern of canceled test scores. Also, you only have six calendar days after sitting for the LSAT to cancel your score. You won’t actually get to see your score—and neither will law schools. Generally, you should only cancel your test if didn’t feel well during the exam or are sure you under-performed, for example, if you left half a section incomplete. With many schools taking your highest LSAT score for purposes of admission, not cancelling your score so you can see where you went wrong before retaking can be much more advantageous.

How many LSAT Practice Tests should I take when studying?

At Kaplan, we recommend that students take at least a handful of practice LSAT exams–it’s extremely helpful to students in two ways:

  1. it forces students to take an LSAT under timed conditions with actual LSAT questions, and…
  2. it gives the students detailed feedback from question type to difficulty level so that they may identify their greatest areas of strength and greatest areas for potential score increases.

The key is that a student must practice the skills they will need to perform well on the day of the scored, actual LSAT. The LSAT has nothing to do with knowledge, it has everything to do with skill.

Thus when a student learns the approach to each individual question type, and then practices that approach/skill on a timed exam, they begin perfecting that skill – and, importantly, identify the skill areas that need continued refinement. We encourage students to begin taking additional practice tests as they are learning in order to begin working on efficiency, timing, endurance, and pressure reduction. Some of the tests are painful and tough for students at first, but that is an element of learning and progress.

Again though, as far as how many times you should expect to take the actual scored LSAT–once. Forget the stress, time and money involved in taking the test multiple times Some law schools still average multiple scores and why put any doubt whatsoever in the minds of admissions committees by submitting anything other than one, stellar LSAT score. After all, if you follow the advice of people that have accomplished what you are trying to do, then the actual test day should never, ever, ever be your first time taking the LSAT.

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