Planning on Taking the LSAT in October or November (or even January)? REGISTER NOW!

Fall 2019 Test Takers: As we discussed in our August 14 PLAS blog post, the new format and schedule for the LSAT have significantly reduced the number of available slots for test takers.  Consequently, the stated registration deadlines of September 10 for the October LSAT and October 10 for the November LSAT are almost meaningless. In fact, as of today THERE ARE WAIT LISTS FOR SEVERAL TEST LOCATIONS FOR BOTH THE OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER EXAMS! If you plan to take the LSAT either in October or November (or possibly even January – see below), you need to register ASAP – do NOT wait until the registration deadline!!  Here is a link to the test center search portal to allow you to determine where there are still open spots for the exam. https://tcs.lsac.org/SearchCenter.aspx. Remember: the next LSAT administration here at UIUC isn’t until February so you need to consider the best time and location for you with that in mind.

July 2019 Test Takers: Scores were released last week.  You have until next Wednesday, September 4, to cancel your score.  After that, it remains in your LSAC/CAS account and all law schools to which you apply will see it. If you opt to cancel your score, you should be able to schedule your free retake through your LSAC/CAS account. As noted above, you should plan to register for your retake ASAP! Registration is now open for all administrations of the exam through April of 2020.   https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsat-dates-deadlines-score-release-dates. If you encounter any issues with scheduling the free retake, contact LSAC directly at (215) 968-1001.

Some final thoughts/reminders:

(1) Given what we are seeing with wait lists for fall registrations, those of you considering the January LSAT should also register as soon as possible to make sure you get a seat! Do not wait until the December 3 deadline!!

(2) Applicants who took the LSAT in either June or July (and all future test takers), do not forget to complete the writing portion of the LSAT.  Your law school applications cannot be processed until the writing section is submitted!

(3) For more information about the latest developments concerning the LSAT, go to the LSAC’s website.  You can also search our blog by using the search tool in the upper left corner of this page as we have covered these topics in several previous posts.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Register now for Oct & Nov LSATs

Important Fall LSAT Update: We are hearing that there are wait lists for many October and November LSAT locations already. If you plan to take either of those tests, then it is strongly suggested that you register ASAP to get a seat! Upcoming LSAT options are: Mon, Oct. 28, Mon, Nov. 25, and Mon, Jan. 13 (2020). You can search for available test sites near you for each upcoming LSAT here.

The LSAC is advising that you add yourself to a waitlist for your preferred location for the October or November exam, and they will try to place you at that location or nearby. (Note that wait lists do not guarantee that you will get a seat.)

Registration is open for all LSATs through April of 2020 on the LSAC website here. For a thorough discussion of all the pros and cons of each upcoming LSAT revisit our blog here–despite the title, that blog post is not just for July LSAT takers!

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

5 Things To Do After the July LSAT

The July LSAT is over!  Whether you’re applying to law school this fall or in future years, here are your next steps.

  1. Consider LSAT retake options. This is the only LSAT administration that will allow you to see your score, cancel it, and sign up for a free retake.  For a full consideration of ALL upcoming LSAT options–including timing for this fall’s applicants–revisit this post. Even though you don’t yet have results, now is a good time to consider your retake options so that you are ready to register as soon as scores are released.
  2. Get your letters of recommendation lined up. Have you already contacted your LOR writers and asked them to submit a letter for you? If not, do that now, because giving your writer all summer to write the letter is smart. Recent grads: Go ahead and approach your professors now, even if you don’t plan to apply for another year or two…having them submit their letter while they still remember you (and work here) is smart. Don’t wait until a super busy time for them–or come back to find that they’re retired, on medical leave, etc.–to ask. Here are some tips on getting great recommendations.
  3. Register for the Credential Assembly Service if you haven’t already. This is the account where your recommenders will send your letter–and they can’t write your letter until you set this up.  Click here for more information.
  4. Order your transcript(s) now if you aren’t taking summer classes. If you are taking summer classes, put a reminder on your calendar to order your transcript after August 12 (or Aug. 27 if you are a summer 2019 graduate). Note: You will need to order a transcript from every undergraduate institution where you took courses–even summer courses–so now is a good time to reach out to the registrar of any community colleges or schools from which you transferred. Here is where you order your UIUC transcript.
  5. Research law schools. The very first thing to consider is: What are your top 3 priorities in a legal education? (Location, employment, affordability, and admissibility are common priorities.) You’ll want to develop a list of 8-10 law schools that meet those priorities. You can find LSAT/GPA data, employment information, tuition, and more by using a resource like the American Bar Association’s Required Disclosure reports. On this website you will find these reports:
    1. 509 Required Disclosures = Previous year’s incoming class data such as GPA, LSAT, ethnicity, number of applicants + admits, etc., plus you can find tuition, number and amount of scholarships awarded, and transfer data.
    2. Employment Outcomes = Law schools are required to report the employment status of graduates 10 months after graduation. Here you will see how many of the law schools’s most recent grads are employed, and in what sectors.
    3. Bar Passage Outcomes = Law schools must report bar passage data about a year out. This report will show which state bar exam this school’s grads take, how many pass, and comparisons to the general state pass rate.

If you’re finished with the LSAT (not retaking it), then now is a good time to work on drafting a personal statement. We’ll post more about that in a future blog, or you can take a look at our Pre-Law Handbook (click on the Applying to Law School tab, then Personal Statements) for details.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

Free Digital Practice LSAT for Illini This Month!

Announcing…a great opportunity for pre-law Illini!

Taking the LSAT in the future? University of Illinois students and alumni have a unique opportunity to take a free digital tablet-based practice LSAT on campus on July 23!

Through a partnership between Pre-Law Advising Services and the Law School Admission Council, this digital practice LSAT will use the LSAC’s tablets on which the test is now given.

Details:

  • The LSAC’s tablet and stylus will be provided for test takers. No need to bring your own tablet.
  • The test will be administered in a realistic, proctored, timed campus environment.
  • Get a baseline score, or use it as practice for an upcoming LSAT.

Any interested Illinois student or alum may register.

  • Not currently LSAT prepping? Taking the practice LSAT cold will provide a baseline score.
  • Currently prepping for a fall (September, October, or November) LSAT? This realistic practice test on the LSAT tablet will be especially helpful.

Registration is required and seating is limited. Click this link for more details and to register. Location and other details will be provided to registrants prior to the exam.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

July LSAT Resource Extravaganza

The LSAC has released this handy one-page Friendly Reminders for July LSAT takers. Can’t view the picture above? Access the pdf here:

https://www.lsac.org/sites/default/files/media/LSAT-July_Test-Day_One-Pager.pdf

ICYMI: We’ve also posted these blogs below just for July LSAT takers.

5 Things To Know & Do for the July LSAT

July LSAT takers: A Guide to All of Your Free LSAT Retake Options

 

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

5 Things To Do After the June LSAT

June LSAT scores are out!  Whether you’re applying to law school this fall or in future years, here are your next steps.

  1. Make some LSAT retake decisions. The July LSAT registration is closed, so September is your next LSAT retake option and registration is already open here. October and November are also options, but these are on Mondays and are not offered on our campus (if that is important to you). For a full consideration of upcoming LSAT options–including timing for this fall’s applicants–revisit this post. You’ll also want to start re-prepping with digital LSAT resources like these, since every LSAT Sept and later will be on a tablet.
  2. Get your letters of recommendation lined up. Have you already contacted your LOR writers and asked them to submit a letter for you? If not, do that now, because giving your writer all summer to write the letter is smart. Recent grads: Go ahead and approach your professors now, even if you don’t plan to apply for another year or two…having them submit their letter while they still remember you (and work here) is smart. Don’t wait until a super busy time for them–or come back to find that they’re retired, on medical leave, etc.–to ask. Here are some tips on getting great recommendations.
  3. Register for the Credential Assembly Service if you haven’t already. This is the account where your recommenders will send your letter–and they can’t write your letter until you set this up.  Click here for more information.
  4. Order your transcript(s) now if you aren’t taking summer classes. If you are taking summer classes, put a reminder on your calendar to order your transcript after August 12 (or Aug. 27 if you are a summer 2019 graduate). Note: You will need to order a transcript from every undergraduate institution where you took courses–even summer courses–so now is a good time to reach out to the registrar of any community colleges or schools from which you transferred. Here is where you order your UIUC transcript.
  5. Research law schools. The very first thing to consider is: What are your top 3 priorities in a legal education? (Location, employment, affordability, and admissibility are common priorities.) You’ll want to develop a list of 8-10 law schools that meet those priorities. You can find LSAT/GPA data, employment information, tuition, and more by using a resource like the American Bar Association’s Required Disclosure reports. On this website you will find these reports:
    1. 509 Required Disclosures = Previous year’s incoming class data such as GPA, LSAT, ethnicity, number of applicants + admits, etc., plus you can find tuition, number and amount of scholarships awarded, and transfer data.
    2. Employment Outcomes = Law schools are required to report the employment status of graduates 10 months after graduation. Here you will see how many of the law schools’s most recent grads are employed, and in what sectors.
    3. Bar Passage Outcomes = Law schools must report bar passage data about a year out. This report will show which state bar exam this school’s grads take, how many pass, and comparisons to the general state pass rate.

If you’re finished with the LSAT (not retaking it), then now is a good time to work on drafting a personal statement. We’ll post more about that in a future blog, or you can take a look at our Pre-Law Handbook (click on the Applying to Law School tab, then Personal Statements) for details.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

July LSAT takers: A Guide to All of Your Free LSAT Retake Options

July test takers: As you know, this is the big “transition to digital” exam, and ONLY for this exam, takers will be able to see your score, cancel if you choose, and retake for free until April 2020. It’s smart to think through your retake options now, especially if you intend to apply to law school this cycle (to enter law school in Fall 2020).

Tip: Before reading this, you may want to read our earlier blog post on 5 Things to Know & Do For the July LSAT

Let’s talk about 2 important details for considering any LSAT retake options.

  1. July LSAT scores will be released on August 28, and takers will have until September 4 to cancel that score. Given that information, let’s consider all of your LSAT retake options.
  2. The July LSAT is nondisclosed, meaning that takers will not receive a full report of questions you got correct and incorrect. Takers will only receive a score, nothing more, to study from for a retake.

Let’s consider all of the free LSAT retake options for July takers. 

September 21, 2019 LSAT. Registration is currently open here and closes on August 1.

    • July scores will be released long after the September 2019 LSAT registration deadline (August 1), so this will not be a realistic free retake option. Also, takers would have less than 1 month after July score release to prep for a retake, and that’s not a realistic time frame to see improvement.
    • This LSAT is offered on our campus. It is also the last LSAT of 2019 to be offered on a Saturday.
    • IF you really want this option because pushing to a later LSAT won’t work, then you may want to go ahead and pay to register for the September LSAT prior to August 1. You won’t get the advantage of the FREE retake, but you will still have the advantage of cancelling your July score if you aren’t satisfied with it.
    • Those who take this route would be wise to keep up with the LSAT studying until your July score is released (so that you don’t lose ground if you decide to retake), knowing that if you like your July score, you can just cancel your Sept registration and be done.
    • This LSAT is disclosed, meaning that test takers will get a full report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

October 28, 2019 LSAT. Registration for this LSAT is currently open here and closes on September 10.

    • This is the most realistic next LSAT for July retakers. (Demand will probably be high for that reason.) July takers will have 2 full months after July scores roll to prepare for October, which is a more realistic time frame to see improvement.
    • Note that this exam is on a Monday, which may mean making arrangements to miss class or work.
    • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
    • IF you plan to apply Early Decision, then this may be the latest LSAT accepted. It depends on the law school. Check the application of the law school where you plan to apply Early Decision to see whether they will accept November scores…many will not.
    • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

November 25, 2019. Registration is currently open here for this LSAT and closes on October 10.

    • IF you are planning to apply to law school this cycle (to enter in Fall 2020), then this is the latest LSAT we advise taking. (Why? The next LSAT isn’t until January 2020, which is getting late in the cycle due to rolling admissions.) This LSAT may also be too late to apply Early Decision–see the note above.
    • This exam is on a Monday, but it’s also during our Fall Break, so current students won’t have to miss class. It may be necessary to miss work.
    • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
    • For current students–This exam is very close to finals, and LSAT prep will need to be carefully balanced with academic performance throughout the fall semester.
    • This exam is disclosed, meaning that test takers will receive a full report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

January 13, 2020 LSAT. Registration is currently open here for this LSAT and closes on December 3.

    • This exam is possible for those who want to enter law school in fall of 2020, but it is getting late. Remember that in a rolling admission cycle, law schools begin accepting people–and awarding their scholarships–in September.
    • LSAT takers who are applying to law school this cycle would be wise to complete all other elements of the application as soon as this exam is over in order to apply ASAP once scores are released.
    • This exam is on a Monday, but it falls during our Winter Break, so current students will not have to miss class. It may be necessary to miss work.
    • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
    • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

February 22, 2020 LSAT. Registration for this LSAT is currently open here and closes on January 7.

    • This exam is very late in the cycle for those who are applying to law school to enter in Fall 2020. Applicants may even miss some law school application deadlines by the time February scores are released; check the deadlines of law schools you’re applying to if considering this option.
    • This may be a great option for those who aren’t applying to law school this cycle. Current students will have all of winter break to focus on LSAT prep. And, you’d be done with the LSAT before midterms–always a plus. You can spend the rest of the semester focused on your classwork.
    • This exam is on a Saturday, so current students don’t need to miss class. Alumni may not need to miss work, either.
    • This exam IS offered on our campus. Current students and local alumni can avoid travel costs and logistics.
    • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

March 30, 2020 LSAT. Registration for this LSAT is currently open here and closes on February 11.

  • This exam is not a realistic option for those who are applying to law school to enter in Fall 2020. Applicants will miss many law school  application deadlines, and many scholarships will already be awarded.
  • This may be a great option for those who aren’t applying to law school this cycle. Current students will have all of winter break AND spring break to study. And, you’d be done with the LSAT before finals. However, balancing of LSAT prep and classwork would be necessary throughout most of spring semester.
  • This exam is on a Monday (and does NOT fall during our spring break), so current students would need to miss class, and alumni may need to miss work.
  • This LSAT is not offered on our campus, so takers should plan to travel elsewhere. Registering as early as possible will help secure a seat at a strategic location near campus or near home, if you want to avoid hotel expenses.
  • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.

April 25, 2020. This is the final FREE LSAT retake option for July 2019 LSAT takers. Registration is currently open here and closes on March 10.

  • This exam is not an option for those who are applying to law school to enter in Fall 2020. It is well past most law school application deadlines.
  • This may be a great option for those who aren’t applying to law school this cycle. Current students will have all of winter break AND spring break to study. However, this LSAT is so late in the spring that it requires balancing LSAT prep and classwork essentially the entire semester. And it’s close to finals, which is not ideal.
  • This exam is on a Saturday, so current students don’t need to miss class. Alumni may not need to miss work, either.
  • This LSAT IS offered on our campus. Current students and local alumni can avoid travel costs and logistics.
  • This exam is nondisclosed, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and will not receive a report of questions answered correctly and incorrectly.
Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

5 Things To Know & Do for the July LSAT

July LSAT takers, this post is for you. And there are a lot of you…the LSAC reports record demand for this administration.

5 Things to Know & Do for the July LSAT

  1. All July LSAT takers should take digital practice LSATs in case you are assigned that format. The LSAC has been adding to its digital LSAT prep, which now includes a familiarization tool and 3 full length digital LSATs–Prep Tests 71, 73, and 74–here. Tip: Avoid taking Prep Tests 71, 73, and 74 in their paper format before taking the digital version so that you get a realistic performance in a digital environment. The free Khan Academy LSAT Prep site also provides opportunities to practice LSAT questions in a digital environment.
  2. In addition to taking practice digital tests, review the digital LSAT FAQs here Know all of the details of the digital setup so that you can avoid spending precious time and brain energy figuring out this new format during the test.
  3. Remember to bring these items even though you may be taking the digital exam: Number 2 pencils (no mechanical pencils are allowed), eraser, and highlighter. Even those who are taking the digital format will receive scratch paper, so you will still need those items. You’ll also need your ID, admission ticket, snack, and other allowed items in a clear ziplock bag. Review this complete list of what is–and isn’t–allowed in the test room.
  4. Don’t forget to also take the separate LSAT Writing Sample after the test. You won’t be taking it during the test–instead, after the test you will log in to a secure website at home to write your sample and submit it. If you plan to apply to law school this year, then we suggest taking the writing part within 1 week of the LSAT so that you are completely done. Law school applications will NOT be complete without a writing sample submission. Tip: Put a reminder in your calendar to take the separate writing sample.
  5. Put these dates into your calendar: July LSAT scores will be released on August 28, and you’ll have until September 4 to cancel the score.  Note that Labor Day weekend is also during that time span, so if you will be on vacation, make sure you put multiple reminders in your calendar about the deadline to cancel. These dates also have important implications for LSAT retakes, which we will cover in the next blog posting…stay tuned!
Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

New LSAT Test Taking Limits

Breaking news…the LSAC has just announced new LSAT test taking limits. The LSAC indicates that more details will be announced soon but for now this information is not yet posted on the LSAC website.

Here are details from the bulletin we received from the LSAC:

Starting with the September 2019 test administration, test takers will be permitted to take the LSAT:

  • Three times in a single testing year (the testing year goes from June 1 to May 31).
  • Five times within the current and five past testing years (the period in which LSAC reports scores to law schools).
  • A total of seven times over a lifetime.
  • This policy is forward-looking, not retroactive. Tests taken prior to September 2019 will not count against these numerical limits.

In addition, test takers will not be permitted to retake the LSAT if they have already scored a 180 (perfect score) within the current and five past testing years, the period in which LSAC reports scores to law schools. This policy will be applied retroactively.

There will be an appeals process for test takers who have special circumstances and want to request an exception to this policy.

To summarize:

Starting in Sept 2019, LSAT maximums are: Three times within one year; five times within the current year + past five; seven total times in a lifetime.

–Those who score a 180 (or those who scored a 180 in the current or past five testing years) cannot retake.

The LSAC will be announcing more details and adding this information to their website in the weeks ahead.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email

What June LSAT Takers Should Know

Taking the LSAT next week? This blog is for you.

The June 2019 LSAT is just a few days away, and it’s the last paper and pencil exam, which made it extra sought after for some test takers. Here are a few things to know going into the test.

First, it’s important to acknowledge that some anxiety is normal. The LSAT is a difficult test, and it’s perfectly natural to feel some anxiety about performing well on it. Understanding all of your options can help you feel more in control of the situation.

Know that you have options as you head into the June LSAT. Let’s take a look at each.

Option 1: Withdraw from the June LSAT through June 2. You can withdraw from the June LSAT as late as the day before the test (June 2). Withdrawals are not seen by law schools–you will only lose your test registration fee. In the long run, this is a small price to pay to avoid having a low LSAT score. This might be a good option if you know you weren’t able to spend enough time on your LSAT prep this spring. This option can take the pressure off, allowing you to refocus your game plan for July or September.

  • If you’re considering July: Many test sites will be full, but registration is still open through June 4. Advice for those who make this choice: Keep in mind that this LSAT is 6 weeks away, so you’ll need to realistically assess whether that is enough time to be fully prepared. You’ll also want to make sure that you use the Digital LSAT resources here to familiarize yourself with that format, since you won’t get to choose digital or paper format for the July exam. Because you may not be able to snag a seat at a nearby test site, you may also need to make travel arrangements such as a hotel, train, or parking, and you’ll want to take care of all of those logistics ASAP.
  • If you’re considering September: You can withdraw and register for the September LSAT now (click here to do so). Advice for those who make this choice: DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Once the pressure of the June LSAT is off, you will be very tempted to put your LSAT materials away all summer. DO NOT DO THIS. Use this summer wisely, and take the time you need to be fully prepared for September.

Option 2: You can cancel your LSAT score within six days after the exam. This option is more appealing to those students who have serious test anxiety or whose LSAT prep shows inconsistent results–some days you do great, others are deeply disappointing. How will you feel on test day? It’s very hard to say. Keep in mind that if test day does not go well, you have six days to cancel your score. You won’t know what score you received, which means you’ll need to retake, but there is some benefit in taking an actual LSAT to make you feel more confident the next time around. Advice to those who choose this option: Follow the LSAC instructions carefully, as you only have 6 calendar days to cancel. (Click here for instructions.) Since you know you will be retaking, get back to your LSAT study prep right away–use your summer wisely if you’re planning to retake in September.

Option 3: Keep June scores and possibly retake. Most LSAT takers will continue LSAT prep diligently, take the June LSAT, see what happens, and let this dictate whether you retake. Advice for those who choose this option: June LSAT scores are projected to be released June 27. Given that the September exam is Sept. 21, if you want to retake, you’ll need to use the rest of the summer well.  Don’t waste weeks bouncing around the idea of retaking once your score is released. You should consider under what circumstance you’ll want to retake before your score even comes out. This way you can be prepared to make a quick decision when your score is released, and you can maximize your remaining study time.

Consider all of your options and be prepared to make a decision about cancellations and retakes quickly after test day so that you can get back to prepping if you need to do so.

Overall: Keep the big picture in mind. Do your absolute best to prepare and perform on this test. But don’t get sucked into tunnel vision about the LSAT and what it means. What the LSAT does is predict first-year law school performance. The LSAT does not measure intelligence or how successful you’ll be as a lawyer. A high LSAT score doesn’t mean you’ll be the best lawyer in the courtroom, just as a low LSAT score doesn’t exclude you from becoming a very effective and successful lawyer. Keeping some perspective can be helpful.

Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Posterous Email