How to decide which LSAT to take

First, take a look at our previous post here, which carefully considers the details of each 2019 LSAT.

How can you determine which LSAT is right for you? Here are key questions to ask yourself.

When do you want to apply to law school? If you want to enter law school in 2020, then you will want to apply in the fall of 2019. Law schools use rolling admission–that means that the application opens in September and they will admit people until the class is full or until the hard deadline of April. Applying early–as a general rule, by Thanksgiving–is greatly beneficial both for admission and scholarships. So IF you plan to apply to law school to enter in 2020, ideally you should plan to be finished with the LSAT completely by Thanksgiving or (preferably) earlier. Find a list of all LSATs through April of 2020 here.

If you don’t plan to enter law school until 2021 or later, you have a lot more flexibility in which LSAT you choose because you have another year (at least) of LSAT options. In that case, you can choose which LSAT suits your schedule. Sometimes people wish to be done with the LSAT before entering the working world post-graduation.

Do you want to provide time for an LSAT retake? About half of Illini LSAT takers retake the exam. It makes many test takers less anxious to know that they have time for a backup rather than “one shot” at the exam. It is wise to build in time for an LSAT retake, even if you end up not needing it. Take a look at this blog post for advice about which 2019 exams offer adequate retake options.

Which LSAT will interfere less with school? OR, if you are a working professional: Which LSAT will interfere less with your professional obligations/work flow?  Whichever LSAT you choose, the general recommendation is to prep for about 4-6 months. Ideally you would choose an LSAT with the least amount of interference with your other obligations.

For 2019 takers only:

How important is it to you to take the paper version of this test? Some people are very anxious about taking the “known quantity” paper LSAT versus the new digital format. (Others feel just fine about the digital version and the new format does not stress them out given that the content of the test will remain the same.) If you decide that the paper format is important to you, then the March and June tests are your last options. Many people who were planning on taking the LSAT later in 2019 figure that they may as well move it up to summer in order to take a known format rather than an unknown (digital) one.