Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Questions about October versus December, and Retaking the LSAT

For those of you worried about the effect that retaking the LSAT this December on your law school application cycle, keep in mind that you need a solid system to address whatever held you back on the October LSAT.

Also, check out that above link for our analysis of which scores lend themselves to the best chance of significantly improving your chances of admission by retaking, as well as what the statistics say happen for LSAT retakers.

The following questions came from a current client who was deciding between the October and December LSAT dates, weighing the chance of score improvement versus submitting later in the law school application cycle.  

These answers will vary depending on where you apply, and I wrote the answers in regard to HYS coupled with option of money elsewhere.

1) Do you think it is likely that I can improve by 5+ points in the next few weeks?
While this is certainly possible, I would say it is improbable. A 5+ point increase can happen within that time frame, but if you've been working on the LSAT for many months, I hesitate to say it would definitely happen. If timing is till your largest issue, in my experience, that element of the LSAT takes the longest to correct, especially in reading comprehension.

If you need the extra 5+ points and would not be competitive at the schools you want to apply to with a lower score, definitely think about postponing.

If you would be competitive with your current score minus 2-3 points for the standard test-day-jitters, then stay with your current administration day.

2) Do you think, if I postpone until December, I could, by working with the Zen system, improve by 5+ points?

Yes. I have very little doubt that you could improve to that level based only on shaving time off.

3) Would getting the extra 5+ points, but applying in December, hurt me more than getting my current average score and applying in October?

This depends on the relative strength of the rest of your application. If you have lots of work experience, an excellent personal statement and glowing letters of recommendation, the difference between 5+ points will probably not make a difference in admission. If you have a weaker GPA and/or soft factors, the 5+ points will play a much larger role.

That said, if you're shooting for a school that offers merit-based aid, that 5+ score jump will increase your chances of scholarship money, so be sure to check the school by school resources and your chances of admission.