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Should I Retake the LSAT?

Each time a new round of LSAT scores is released, some students will inevitably have to ask themselves whether they should retake the LSAT. Of course, no one wants to go this route – after all, it costs both time and money to take the LSAT, and both students and law schools want to see the test done right the first time. When deciding whether you should retake the LSAT, consider the following questions.

Does your score reflect your practice test scores?

Your practice test scores leading up to test day should provide you with a sense of your performance on the real LSAT. If there’s a large mismatch in scores, you might have had an off day. In this case, it could be worth retaking the LSAT. If, however, your real LSAT score was just 1-3 points off from your practice test scores, the aberration might not be sufficient to warrant a retake.

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Does your score reflect your ability?

Some students’ practice test scores don’t tell the whole story – that is, perhaps you weren’t able to commit as much time to studying as you wanted for this LSAT administration. And in that case, your practice test scores might have been just mediocre. If you know that a couple more months of studying could really boost your score to reflect your true abilities, it’s time for a retake.

What did you think as you took the test?

Some of you will know, even during the test itself, that your LSAT score will not be a great one. Maybe a timing error led you to leave an entire logic game blank – when you’ve always scored perfectly on that section. Or maybe you were sick with the flu on test day and just weren’t feeling up to par. Or perhaps a major distraction at the test center tanked your concentration. Assess what you were thinking as you took the test and as you walked out of the testing center. If you felt like things outside of your control just didn’t go your way that day, a retake might be in order.

How far will your score get you?

If your score is below the 25th percentile of the set of schools you’re looking at, you should consider retaking the LSAT. Your LSAT score is the most important piece of your application, so you don’t want it to be your weakest link. Measure your current score against schools’ medians and averages to find out whether it will give you a realistic chance of acceptance.
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