Important info for Sept 2016 LSAT takers & Deciding whether to retake

The Sept LSAT scores are coming out this week! If you took the September LSAT, please take a moment to review this very important information on December registration. Then, this blog entry will go on to discuss how to decide whether to retake.

December LSAT registration.  As you know, the LSAC indicated that scores would be released on Oct. 20, but the registration deadline for the December LSAT is Oct. 18. IF you took the September LSAT and you decide you want to retake in December, the LSAC will refund your late registration fee. BUT you must register by Oct. 25 and request the refund by Oct. 29. Mark your calendars!

Here are instructions, straight from the LSAC websiteLSAC will honor requests for refunds of the additional late registration fee ($90) from candidates who choose not to register by the regular registration deadline for the December LSAT because they needed time to consider their options after receiving their scores from the September test. Candidates who take the September 2016 test and have a valid score will have until October 25, 2016, to register for the December 2016 test. Unfortunately, we are unable to waive the late fee at the time of registration; therefore, eligible candidates must submit a written request for a refund of the late fee within 4 days after the October 25 late registration deadline. Refunds will not be issued to those who were absent, cancelled their score, or were dismissed from the test. Requests should be emailed to LSACrefunds@LSAC.org and should include “Late Fee Refund” in the subject line.

Whether to retake the LSAT. The bigger question for many of you will be: Should I retake the LSAT? This consideration is even more important due to the timing of the next LSAT (in December).

How do Illini perform on an LSAT retake? As a general guideline, most retakers score within 2.5 points of where they scored on the last LSAT. We did a study of University of Illinois LSAT takers from 2012-2015 and found these results:

  • 44% of Illini took the LSAT more than once
  • The average Illini LSAT retaker scored 2.45 points higher on the second exam
  • Of all Illini LSAT retakers:
  • 51% of Illini retakers scored better on a subsequent LSAT
  • 15% of Illini retakers scored worse on a subsequent LSAT
  • 6% of Illini retakers scored the same on a subsequent LSAT
  • 33% of Illini register to retake and then are absent for the subsequent exam

Some questions to ask yourself about whether to retake:

  • Was your actual score consistent with your practice exams?
  • Do you have the time and willingness to continue your LSAT preparation consistently until December?
  • How will you continue LSAT prep without your academics suffering? (Consider final papers and exams.)
  • What can you do differently so that this exam performance is better?
  • How close is your score to the medians of your top choice law schools? Is it likely that you could achieve the medians by retaking?

If you decide to retake in December, here are some suggested next steps:

  • Register ASAP; you may not get your preferred test site and that will mean making other arrangements such as a hotel
  • It is VERY important that you return to studying for the LSAT now! Don’t wait.
  • Clear your upcoming schedule as much as possible to allow you to balance prepping for the LSAT and prepping for final exams/papers/projects.
  • Consider doing something different in your LSAT prep–exploring a different book, class, website, using a different study plan, etc. (For some suggested resources visit our Compass page and click on the LSAT folder.)
  • Revamp your application timeline. Your goal should be to apply by mid-January, when the December LSAT scores will be released.

You may find it helpful to speak with a Pre-Law Advisor about next steps. Call 333-9669 to make an appointment!

 

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