One of the most common questions we receive is about whether one should retake the LSAT. Students want to know if they should retake the test, and if so, how they should study for that retake. Here, we discuss who should retake the LSAT and why (and next time we'll discuss how to go about properly preparing for a retake).
Who Should Retake?
There are several groups of student who should almost automatically retake the exam:
- You took the LSAT and did worse than you had been practicing.
- You know you can prepare harder or better for the next exam.
- You have already posted a good score but want an even higher score to increase your admissions chances at top schools, or to increase your law school financial aid offers.
- Your score isn't high enough for your target schools.
Let's look at each situation in more detail.
1. You took the LSAT and did worse than you have been practicing.
This one is a no-brainer! If you've been practicing and receiving higher scores and then don't do as well on the real thing, definitely retake the LSAT. The LSAT is the single most important factor in your application, law schools only care about the highest score, and there is now no limitation on the number of times you can take the LSAT, so it is definitely worth your time to prepare again for the test.
2. You know you can prepare harder or better for the next exam.
Even if you did fairly well on the test, if you are certain you can do better, or if you know you could've prepared in a better or more comprehensive fashion, then retake the test. As mentioned above, the LSAT is the biggest single piece in your application and there's no penalty for a retake, so there's no harm in taking another shot but there is plenty of upside.
3. You have already posted a good score but want an even higher score to increase your admissions chances at top schools, or to increase your law school financial aid offers.
Most people know how a higher LSAT score increases your chances of admission, but not as many realize that a higher LSAT score can help obtain an even better financial aid offer. So, even if you've got a score that you think will get you in to a school, a higher score can help entice that school into giving you more money, which lowers your debt upon graduation. Unless you know you scores at your maximum, this factor alone makes it worth considering a retake.
4. Your score isn't high enough for your target schools.
This one is also easy: if you have your heart set on a certain school or group of schools, and you see your LSAT score is below the median at those schools, you have very little choice but to seriously consider a retake. Yes, you might be a reverse splitter, and some schools are more friendly to reverse splitters than not, but why put yourself automatically into a high-risk category?