What to do When You Didn't do as Well on the LSAT as You Wanted

I meant to post this last night, but when I got home, my WiFi was down, and it just came on this morning. So it's only late because I didn't have internet last night, but now I do!

So you took the LSAT, got your score back, and you didn't do as well as you hoped. So what do you do next? Can you retake the LSAT? Will you still get into law school? The answer to both questions is yes, but here is what to do if you did not get the score you wanted.

First, figure out what went wrong. For some people, it will be easy to pinpoint what didn't go right. Maybe you just didn't study. For others, it may not be so easy to figure out what went wrong. Some common issues are not studying enough, studying the wrong way for you, you may have been sick, you didn't get enough sleep, etc. A huge issue I had is that the first time I took the LSAT, I did not study with timed practice sections or exams. During the real thing, I was crunched for time and super stressed about it. Therefore, the next time I was preparing to take it, I made sure to practice with timed sections and take a timed full exam. Maybe you used a prep book to study, but you learn better in person and a class would help you study better. Once you figure out what went wrong, you can figure out how to make sure it goes right the second time around.

If you took the LSAT early, you're definitely ok! The LSAT is offered multiple times a year and you can retake it as much as you want now. You have time to study and get your score to where you want it to be for your admission cycle.

If you are applying in the current cycle, you may feel like you are out of time and options. However, that is not true. There is still time to sign up and take the LSAT for this application cycle. You can also submit your application to law schools with your current score, but inform them that you are taking the LSAT again and that you will have a new score with the November test (for example). This way, they have your application, and you can just focus on studying for the LSAT. This is especially true if you are trying to get a higher score for scholarships. Just let the admissions office know that you are retaking it, and will have a new score in a few months. You also have the option of waiting to apply once you get your new score. If you choose to do this, just make sure you get your application in before each school's deadline.

If you are taking the LSAT for the first time late in the application cycle, you may consider taking a year off to study for the LSAT and to get work experience. Work experience looks great on a law school application, and you can also spend a significant amount of your time preparing for the LSAT. Another benefit to taking a gap year is that you can save some money for the next three years.

Since everyone's situation differs, the best thing you can do is talk to your pre-law advisor. They can give you excellent advice (and calm your fears) about if and when to retake the LSAT, how to better prepare for it, and when the best time to submit your applications is. If you do not have a pre-law advisor, see if your school has some or other resources to help students get into graduate programs. More than likely, your college will have something or someone to help.

Even if you did not do as well as you hoped or expected on the LSAT, you will be okay. You will still go to law school, and you will be a lawyer one day. Trust me!


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