After a looong wait, February LSAT scores have finally been released. Although we hope you were thrilled and delighted by your score, odds are that at least some readers are pondering whether to retake the LSAT and, if so, when to do it. We’ve written extensively about how to figure out whether a retake is worthwhile and how to prepare for a second (or third!) round – for instance, this article discusses questions you should ask yourself before committing to a retake, and this article provides a general outline of a study plan for a June retake. Both articles are well worth your time if you think you might want to take the LSAT again.
That said, the February LSAT is rather an unusual beast, so there are a few additional items to consider.
Will you still be able to apply for this fall’s entering class?
For one thing, there’s the question of admissions cycles. Some (though not all) schools will allow February 2015 LSAT scores for people entering law school this fall. There are a limited number of schools that will accept June 2015 LSAT scores for this fall’s entering class, but those schools are relatively rare. If you don’t think your February score will get you into your top-choice schools, it’s worth looking into whether those schools accept June scores. However, you’ll most likely need to sit out this admissions cycle, take one of the upcoming LSAT administrations (preferably June or October), and then apply for the entering class of Fall 2016.
If you think your February LSAT score will get you into your top-choice schools but are considering re-taking the LSAT to get more scholarship money, you’re looking at better news. It could be more difficult to get scholarship money with a June score, since some of the available money will already have been claimed, but most schools will at least take a peek at June scores and decide whether to offer you additional aid. If you know (or strongly suspect) that you’d get more scholarship money if you attained a higher LSAT score, and if you think you can really score better on the June LSAT, it’s worth a shot.
How can you figure out what went wrong in February?
For any other administration of the LSAT, you’d be able to take a look at the actual test to see what questions you got wrong. In February, that’s not the case, since the February LSAT test is never released. This can make it more difficult to determine what went wrong, which throws a wrench into figuring out what you can do to improve your LSAT score next time.
You may not know which section was your worst, but you might have some idea about things that went less smoothly than usual. Maybe the first few Logic Games took you an unusually long time, or maybe you were really stumped by an early Logical Reasoning question and got flustered. Take some time to see if you can remember any moments during the test when you were thinking, “This doesn’t feel right.”
If you have no clue what went wrong, you’re going to have to fly blind, which is a bummer but is not insurmountable. Going forward, you’ll have to rely on practice tests to figure out which areas are your weakest – everyone should already be thinking about their practice tests in this way, so it won’t be much of a change for you. Additionally, you should have at least some idea of whether nerves played a factor in your test day performance; if test-day anxiety was an issue, try to take more practice tests in strictly test-like conditions, and take comfort in the fact that people generally feel more comfortable during retakes because they know exactly what to expect.
Taking multiple administrations of the LSAT is no one’s idea of a good time (with the possible exception of LSAT instructors), but it can absolutely be worthwhile if a retake might get you into your dream school or drastically reduce the amount of your law school bill. With these tips in mind, you’ll be in good shape for crushing your next LSAT and never having to look at an LSAT question again.