If you live in a major metropolitan area and signed up for the June LSAT recently, you may have had a nasty shock: Many test centers for the June LSAT are already full. Perhaps you had a sudden, strong urge to reach for your phone and call me, your good ol’ LSAT pal. Here’s what that conversation would look like:
“Laura, there are no test centers available in my area!! What do I do????”
Just kidding. Your first step should be to register for the LSAT anyway. If there is space available at a test center within 100 miles of you, you’re obligated by LSAC to sign up for that center; if there is no available center within 100 miles, you’ll be placed on a waitlist. However, being placed on the waitlist is not really a cause for concern in this case—you are virtually guaranteed to be eventually assigned to a test center. (My Boston-area students generally reported that this happened within a week of their registering for the test.)
The catch is that when you’re assigned to a test center, it could—again—be anywhere within 100 miles of you. You may, understandably, not want to trek to the farthest ends of the earth on the day of your test. Fear not: There is another option.
“Sounds great! Tell me more.”
Before May 9, if there is space available at a more convenient test center, you can transfer to that center. However, because LSAC is incredibly efficient when it comes to separating you from your hard-earned cash, it will run you a cool $90.
“But Laura, although I see the wisdom of your words and would like to switch to a different test center, there isn’t any room at the more convenient locations.”
My friend, this process will require some patience and persistence—spots will become available as potential LSATees withdraw or postpone to a later test date, but those spots will get quickly snapped up by other test-takers. That means that you’ll need to check the LSAC website regularly—ideally every day—to monitor whether there are any spots available. With any luck, you’ll be able to find a spot at a test center that doesn’t require you to round up your oxen and ford a river on the morning of your exam.
“What if I’m not able to switch to a more convenient location?”
If you’re stuck at that inconvenient test center, you have two options: You can suck it up and take the test at that location, or you can attempt to wait on the standby list for a location nearer to you. If you opt to wait standby, you should show up to your test center early and let the staff there know that you don’t have a reserved spot but would like to take the test; that way they’ll add you to the list. If all goes well, you will be able to sit for the test anyway, as was the case for our intrepid correspondent Colin Elzie back in ’09. However, it’s possible that there will be no space available, in which case you’d be out of luck until the fall.
If you don’t like those odds and would prefer a guaranteed spot, consider getting a hotel room near your test center; the more you can minimize your commute—and, therefore, your stress—the smoother your test-day experience will be.
“Thanks! You’re the best.”
I know, and you’re welcome.