A Guide to ALL of the 2019 LSAT Options

Thinking of taking the LSAT in 2019? This blog is a must-read to consider all of your LSAT options, along with the pros and cons of each. As you know, the LSAT is experiencing lots of changes in 2019, from the schedule to the digital transition, which may impact your choice(s).

January 26, 2019 LSAT–Paper exam
January LSAT takers have already been preparing, although registration is still open here until Dec. 17. This LSAT has some advantages: 1. It is right after winter break, allowing test takers who are still in school to maximize winter break study time. 2. This exam is one of the few remaining paper exams that allows a retake (in March or June) that is also in the paper format.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Saturday morning.

This LSAT is the last realistic option for those who plan to apply this cycle (to enter law school in the fall of 2019).

March 30, 2019 LSAT NOTE: SOME TEST SITES ARE ALREADY FULL–REGISTER SOON FOR THIS ONE
Timing-wise, this LSAT could be a great option for LSAT takers who are still in school but plan to apply to law school in the fall of 2019 (to enter law school in 2020), allowing you to use both winter break and spring break to crank up the LSAT prep. And this LSAT will be over long before spring finals, allowing students to focus completely on those exams. Registration is still open for this exam until February 20, although some test sites are already full.

This is also a good option for students graduating in May who plan to apply to law school in the fall of 2019 (to enter in 2020) or later–because it allows you to “bank” an LSAT score now (which remains good for 5 years) in order to avoid having to study for the LSAT while working full time after graduation. Alums tell us all the time how difficult LSAT prep is while working full time, so this one is really worth considering for May grads who are fairly certain that you’ll apply to law school in the next few years.

However, this LSAT is not a good option for those who wish to enter law school in the fall of 2019–many deadlines for law school applications will have already passed, and April is very, very late in a rolling admissions cycle that begins in September.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Saturday morning.

June 3, 2019 LSAT–The final paper option
This is the final paper and pencil LSAT, and many people are anxious about taking it in this tried-and-true format. As such, demand is high, and if this LSAT interests you then you’ll want to register ASAP when registration opens. UPDATE:  Registration opened January 10 here.

Timing-wise, the June LSAT is great for those applying in Fall 2019 because it allows retake options in September (July will be too soon), October, or even November while still applying by the preferred early law school application timeline of Thanksgiving. This LSAT is also early enough in the summer that afterward test takers can turn to other pursuits–internships, summer study abroad programs, or summer classes–without too much LSAT study interference.

For current students, studying for this LSAT will take place throughout spring semester, so it is helpful if you can lighten your academic load by taking slightly fewer credit hours or not taking five of your most challenging courses at the same time while you’re LSAT prepping.

The final piece of good news: This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive not only their score but also their answer sheet with correct and incorrect answers. That information can be very helpful to study from if you wish to prepare for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Monday afternoon, so you may need to take the day off of work or your internship.

July 15, 2019 LSAT–The “transition” LSAT
The format of this exam could be considered good or bad news, depending on your perspective. For this exam–and ONLY this exam–half of the registrants will be assigned to the paper LSAT and the other half will take the digital (tablet based) LSAT. Test takers will not know which format they are taking in advance. However, the LSAC–for this test only–will allow the July LSAT takers to view their score with the option of canceling it and retaking a future LSAT for free.

The “surprise” nature of this LSAT–not knowing which format you’ll have until test day–could be stressful for some, although note that the content of the two tests will be exactly the same.

Because many view this LSAT as a “freebie” (due to the option to cancel the score and retake for free), demand is high. Therefore, if you are interested in taking this LSAT then you will want to register ASAP when registration opens. UPDATE: Registration opened January 10th here.

Timing-wise, the July LSAT can be good for students because it provides nearly two full months after the spring semester ends to crank up the LSAT prep. However, it may also interfere with any summer plans such as study abroad or internships since it takes place in the middle of the summer. Taking this LSAT will also provide time to retake in October (September will likely be too soon to re-prep) or even November and still apply to law school in the fall of 2019.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake. This LSAT takes place on a Monday afternoon, so you may need to take the day off of work or your internship..

September 21, 2019 LSAT–The first “all digital” LSAT
This LSAT is the first one that will be administered entirely in the tablet format. It takes place on a Saturday morning.

Timing-wise, this LSAT can be good because it allows test takers to devote the entire summer to LSAT prep, and for current students it only overlaps one month with the fall semester. However, it may also interfere with any summer plans–especially study abroad or a time consuming internship–since test takers will need to be LSAT prepping all summer. Taking this LSAT will also provide time to retake in November (October will likely be too soon to re-prep) and still apply to law school in the fall of 2019. Takers of this exam can also turn to prepping other elements of their law school applications as soon as this exam is over, allowing plenty of time to finish applications by Thanksgiving.

This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive not only their score but also their answer sheet with correct and incorrect answers. That information can be very helpful to study from if you wish to prepare for a retake.

October 28, 2019
This LSAT–and every subsequent LSAT–will be administered entirely in the tablet format. It takes place on a Monday afternoon, so takers may need to miss work or class to take it.

Timing-wise, this LSAT allows test takers to devote the summer and first half of the fall semester to LSAT prep. It does require balancing school and LSAT prep for the first eight weeks of the fall semester, though. It may also interfere with any summer plans–especially study abroad or a very time consuming internship–since test takers will need to be LSAT prepping most of the summer. Takers of this exam can also turn to prepping other elements of their law school applications as soon as this exam is over, allowing adequate time to finish applications by Thanksgiving.

Taking this LSAT does not provide many opportunities to retake IF you want to apply in the fall of 2019.  The November LSAT will likely be too soon to provide ample time for re-prepping, and the next LSAT after November is mid-January, which is getting late in the application cycle.

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake.

November 25, 2019–The final LSAT of 2019
This digital LSAT will take place on a Monday afternoon, so takers may need to miss work or class to take it.

The timing of this LSAT is not ideal for most students…taking the September or October options would be a better choice. This LSAT will require a careful balance of classwork with LSAT prep for most of the fall semester. Test takers who plan to apply in the fall of 2019 would be wise to work on other elements of the application throughout the fall as well so that they can submit their law school applications as soon as November LSAT scores are released (likely in early December). Students who plan to take the November LSAT may want to lighten their academic load by taking fewer credit hours so that they can devote adequate time to LSAT prep.

This LSAT will not allow time for retaking the LSAT and still applying in the fall of 2019 because the next LSAT won’t take place until January 2020…and that is getting late in the law application cycle (which opens in September).

This LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will ONLY receive a score and not their answer sheet showing which questions were correct and incorrect. So those who wish to retake will not have that data to improve their study for a retake.

Those are all of the 2019 LSAT options. Take some time to really think about which one will work best for you, and make sure to read our next blog entry about How to Decide Which LSAT to Take.

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