…But you should probably let this deadline pass
If you’re registered for the July LSAT, today is the official deadline to change your LSAT test date. But before you hurry over to LSAC’s website, read on. Today’s deadline isn’t much of a deadline at all.
Here’s how it works. If you change your test date today, you’ll pay a $125 fee. You could also just register for the September LSAT without changing your test date. That’ll cost $190. So you save all of $65 if you change your test date rather than register for an additional test. That’s so generous, LSAC.
Furthermore, if you miss today’s deadline, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with the July LSAT on your score report. After today, you can still withdraw your LSAT registration. At least on the LSAT, withdrawal is 100% effective. If you withdraw, law schools won’t be able to see that you registered for the July LSAT. You can wait until the last minute to pull out; you have until 11:59 pm EDT the night before the test to withdraw.
The only downside of withdrawing rather than changing your test date is financial. If you withdraw, you don’t get any money back. Instead, you have to pay the full $190 to register for a subsequent LSAT. Again, that’s all of $65 more than changing your test date costs.
The July LSAT is more than a month away. You can make a lot of progress in that time. Whether you’re scoring what you want to score now isn’t really relevant to your decision. You shouldn’t expect to be peaking now. Often the biggest score increases come as students work on putting everything together and getting the timing down. You need to get the basics down before you can do that, so it’s normal that your score isn’t where you want it to be yet.
The question, therefore, isn’t whether you’re ready for the LSAT now. It’s whether you’re willing to risk $65 on the chance that you’ll be ready in five weeks. If you haven’t even started studying, then OK, maybe you want to change your test date. But for most people, changing your test date probably isn’t worth it.
Here’s something you might want to do, though, and it might assuage your worries about being ready in July: as we mentioned above, you can sign up for the September LSAT and it’ll only cost you $65 more than changing your test date would cost.
These days, law schools care much more about your highest LSAT score than about all your LSAT scores. Your highest LSAT score is the one that counts toward the rankings of the law school you end up attending. So if law schools don’t prioritize your highest LSAT score, they’re only hurting themselves. Law schools are smart enough not to hurt themselves.
What’s even better is that LSAC has announced they’ll refund your registration fee for September if you’re happy with your score in July. So it’s really no risk to sign up for September now. It only costs $65 more than changing your test date. You can take the LSAT in July anyway. If you’re happy with your score, you’ll get your money back. Even if you end up not feeling 100% ready in July, you might want to use it as a practice run. Keep in mind that since law schools care mainly about your highest score, there’s little downside. The number of LSATs you can take is no longer capped, so there’s really very little risk to just taking the test. Plus, if things go really poorly in July, you can always cancel your score.
So proceed with confidence. There’s no shame in taking the LSAT more than once, and in today’s law school admissions world, there isn’t much of any downside.