If you’re in the middle of that law school application season, and you still haven’t gotten the LSAT score you want, panic can set in. You can feel the sense of inertia, and being stuck. You may be asking yourself, “Should I wait until next cycle?” What to do?
There’s a lot of things to think about here but probably the best advice I can give you is this;
it’s better to have a great score later than a subpar score earlier.
I often talk to students who are pretty obsessed with getting in early in the rolling application season and certainly that’s an excellent idea if you’ve had the chance to get the score where you needed to be and your GPA is in good position relative to the medians that you’re looking at for law schools. If you’re registered for the next test if you’re considering November and even January there’s still time to get a strong score if you’ve prepared such that you feel that you’re close.
Keep in mind that if you’ve taken the test once or even twice it might take that second or that third time to translate. We often see students take the LSAT the first time and score several points below the average of their practice test scores. The stress of test day is real, and it’s a real challenge! So don’t give up if there still is time to get to where you want to get for this test prep season especially if your practice test scores show some evidence of that Target score that you’re looking for.
This season in particular in the odd year of Covid with the LSAT flex there are some unique opportunities. Certainly, the LSAT Flex is a positive since you only have 3 sections to cover. Probably, no one ever again is going to have this unusual opportunity to take a shorter LSAT from the comfort of their own home so consider that it may not be time to give up!
Having said all that, it’s important to put everything together for your application to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward. I’ve often talked to students who started off with a plan of applying in this particular season and ended up discovering that they may be unsure about this path of life. You still have some time to consider it. Then, if you’re 100% sure you want to go this route, then you can prepare for it in a season when you have time to start even in the spring, after the holidays in January or February.
With LSAT prep, to get the score you need by the summer, you have plenty of time to work on that application to make the personal statement as sterling as you would like it to be.
It’s not the end of the world to wait a year. Gap years after college can give you chances to do quite a few great things (like travel or get some work experience), as you consider applying to law school. By the time you are applying to law school you want to be sure that you’re committed and prepared mentally. When you have your heart kind of set on a particular timeline it can be hard to take a step back but it’s worth considering.
If you’re in the middle of the LSAT season go for it for a little bit longer. If you put in the prep, and you’re close to your target, don’t give up but consider that it might make sense to delay it a year. That way you can be sure to put all your best feet forward. We can help you talk more about this at Clayborne. Come talk to us about the test, about preparing for law school, and about making sure you’re ready. I’d love to talk with you – Clay.