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June or October: When is the Best Time to Take the LSAT?

file8521261280815The June administration of the LSAT is just under 3 months away and now is the right time to think about which test to take if you are considering applying for fall 2014.  Is the June test too early or are there are advantages to taking it now? Or is better to wait until October?

Of course as a lawyer, the answer will be “it depends”. But there are a number of factors that point to the advantages of preparing now and taking the LSAT in June. 

At Kaplan we do our best to help students prepare and be ready for the LSAT; the goal of course is to take the test once and be done. However, in the event that a student does not achieve the desired score, taking the test in June gives the student time to review his test and be ready to take it again in October. Most law school admissions cycles begin in September/October and this will enable students to get the applications in at the beginning of the cycle.  While waiting until December to apply does not mean it is unlikely to get admitted to the school of one’s choice, the rolling admissions of most law schools results in a greater chance of admission if the application is sent in early with lower than desired LSAT scores.  For the test taker who achieves her desired score on the June LSAT, the summer can be devoted to preparing the personal statement, and completing the tasks necessary for the application, including obtaining letters of recommendation.

Unlike the other administrations of the LSAT, the June exam is given on a Monday and begins at noon. This too can be advantageous for many test takers. Very often students of mine will complain about the need to be at the test center early on a Saturday morning – the June test allows for waking up later and being fully in test mode. While especially helpful for those with a “night owl” body clock, this can be a disadvantage for people who are used to getting tasks done early in the morning. The June test can go as late as 4:30, and even later if extra time accommodations have been granted. Because the June administration is less popular than the October and December dates, there are often a limited number of testing sites.  This may mean longer travel to unfamiliar areas. In addition, the Monday administration may mean the need to arrange for a day off from work which is not always necessary for the other test dates. For many taking the test, having to arrange a day off from work (or school) or needing to make child care arrangements can be a source of additional stress and should be considered.

A consideration in deciding which test to take should be the amount of time available for prep. The goal should be to be as ready as possible for the LSAT. If you are a student facing end of the semester projects and finals with only a limited time to prep now for the June test, then putting the test off to October is not a bad idea. But, with about 3 months to go, and if schedules allow it, this is a great time to get ready for the June test.

Be sure to take time to consider all the factors and then decide whether June or October is best for you.

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