Planning to take the LSAT in 2018? You need to read this.

If you are planning to take the LSAT in 2018 then you likely already know that we’ve seen some MAJOR changes recently! Here come some more. Here’s what you should know if you are planning on taking the LSAT in 2018.

  1. Your LSAT options have changed. The LSAC is moving from a 4x/year LSAT schedule to 6x/year starting this year. The 2018 LSAT options are:
  • February (which already took place)
  • Monday, June 11
  • Monday, July 23 (JUST ADDED)
  • Saturday, September 8
  • Saturday, November 17

2. June or July? The LSAC very recently decided to add the July exam to the schedule and currently both the June and July registrations are open. So if you are planning to take the LSAT this summer, theoretically you now have the option of July instead of June. Note: the July LSAT is NONDISCLOSED, meaning that test takers will only receive a score and not a full score report showing answers. Although July test locations have not yet been posted to their website, we have received confirmation from the LSAC that there WILL be a July LSAT on our campus.

3. June AND July? Probably not. If you are considering taking the LSAT twice, June and July are not going to be easy to accomplish. Why? 1) You will not get your June LSAT score until after the July registration deadline has passed; 2) June LSAT takers will not have enough time after getting their June LSAT score (typically around the 4th of July) to re-prepare and be fully ready for the July exam. For a better strategy, see #5 below.

4. June and/or July LSAT takersIt’s time to register and start studying! Registration is open for both exams here, and we encourage you to register early. Typically the June exam fills by spring break, and with the increase in LSAT takers we expect this one to fill even sooner. July is brand new so we don’t know when it will fill, as locations have not yet been announced. When should you start studying? NOW. We recommend 4-6 months to fully prepare for the LSAT, so now is the time! Most LSAT prep courses for the June exam will begin in early March, so research your options and sign up for the class that suits you best. Not sure which LSAT prep course to take? We recently hosted the LSAT Prep Fair for this, and you can find links to participating LSAT prep companies here as well as a list of LSAT prep options and resources over on our Compass page in the LSAT Preparation folder.

5. Plan ahead for retake options. Basically the new LSAT schedule offers an LSAT every other month. These LSATs are not designed to be taken back-to-back, and it is unlikely that any LSAT taker would have enough time to prep for a retake by taking the very next LSAT. (For example: June and July, or July and September). Remember that every LSAT score gets sent to every law school you apply to, so it’s important that you are very prepared for each LSAT sitting. If you are considering retake options, it’s best to plan for two nonconsecutive tests: For example, June and September, or July and November.

6. What’s the latest LSAT you should take? Note that November is the latest LSAT we suggest if you plan to apply to law school in the Fall of 2018 (for entrance the fall of 2019) because your score will be released in December, which is the earliest you’ll be able to apply with that score. Law schools use rolling admission so they will begin accepting applicants in September and keep accepting people until the class is full. So you want to be in the early applicant pool.

7. If you are planning to apply to any law school this fall Early Decision, then the latest LSAT you should plan to take is September. Your November score will not be released early enough for some law schools’ Early Decision deadlines.



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Taking the LSAT “Cold” – Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Some students believe that they should take the LSAT “cold” or without preparing for the exam, because students can take the LSAT multiple times. So is it a good idea to take an actual LSAT (not a practice one) without prepping just to get the experience?

At Pre-Law Advising Services, we do not encourage this decision. In short, it is not a good idea to take the LSAT “cold.”

Reasons Why You Should Always Prepare for the LSAT Before You Take the Test:

  1. You should take the LSAT seriously.

    1. The LSAT is a crucial element of your law school application. Your LSAT and your GPA are two of the most important parts of your application. Take this part seriously.
    2. A good LSAT score can increase your odds at getting into a school with a higher ranking, a school in your preferred location, more scholarship money, and give you better options when you make your final decision.
  2. Every LSAT score is sent to the schools you apply to.

    1. Even though you can take the LSAT multiple times, every score is sent to every law school to which you apply. You cannot hide a low LSAT score from any law school.
    2. Most schools want for you to explain if your score increases by more than 5 points. Most people that take the LSAT cold and then seriously study for the exam oftentimes have to explain large score increases or discrepancies. It is difficult to do so without indicating that you were unprepared for the exam.
  3. A “cold” LSAT score can show that you were not prepared.

    1. If you have two or three extremely different LSAT scores because you took the LSAT cold, it will show that you were not prepared for the tests.
    2. Law schools may read into the fact you took an LSAT cold – you may come across as an unprepared or unorganized applicant.
  4. Schools may average your LSAT scores.

    1. Because you can now take the LSAT as many times as you want, law schools may use different systems when looking at multiple LSAT scores.
    2. It is possible schools may average your scores, look to the middle test score, or consider your multiple LSAT scores in a different way than you may have planned for.

Our best advice for LSAT prep: allow yourself about 4-6 months to prepare for the LSAT; prepare a realistic study plan, stick to the plan to study consistently, and be honest with yourself and your studying.

A few other thoughts about the LSAT:

  • The LSAT is NOT the same as the ACT or SAT because the LSAT tests your critical thinking rather than your knowledge of any particular subject. Your SAT or ACT score is not necessarily a good predictor of your LSAT score for this reason.
  • The LSAT does NOT test the same material as the ACT, SAT, GRE, or GMAT. The topics and approach to the LSAT should be unique to the LSAT.
  • To prepare properly for the LSAT, as a general rule four to six months of consistent studying is encouraged. The LSAT is not a test that comes easily to many students. It is important to give yourself enough time to study and feel prepared for the test.

The next LSAT is Monday June 11, 2018. For more information about the upcoming LSAT, click here. The registration deadline is Tuesday May 1, 2018. If you are planning on taking the June LSAT, you should register early to get your preferred testing site. Some testing sites fill up quickly, so you should register early!


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LSAT Prep Fair 2018

When is the LSAT Prep Fair?

On Tuesday February 6, 2018, Pre-Law Advising Services will be hosting our annual LSAT Prep Fair. The event will be in the Illini Union Bookstore Building, Room 514 and will run from 4PM to 6PM. This is a great event that is only offered once a year! The event is open to the public.

What companies will be there?

Currently, we have four companies that will be attending the LSAT Prep Fair.*

Next Step Test Prep

Test Masters

Princeton Review


Who should attend?

Freshmen and Sophomores: Find out what’s on the LSAT and how to prepare for it! Join us for mini-workshops by experts about LSAT content. Have some snacks and talk to different LSAT prep companies about how you can plan ahead to maximize your LSAT performance!

Juniors, Seniors, and Alumni: Learn about the LSAT and figure out which LSAT prep option is best for you! Online? Classroom? One-on-one tutoring? Do you want to take a three month class? Six months? One weekend? Talk to different LSAT prep companies about their most effective class formats for you. All participants will receive LSAT prep class discounts! We will also raffle off some scholarships and other great prizes.

Why should YOU attend the LSAT Prep Fair?

Planning ahead for the LSAT is very important. Prep courses are often expensive and time consuming. You want to make sure you choose a LSAT Prep company and course that is the best fit for you. The LSAT Prep Fair’s attending companies will be providing more information about their courses, practice materials, possible discounts for their courses, and there will be the opportunity to win a free prep course!


Taking the June 2018 LSAT? Do you need a study group to hold yourself accountable while you study and meet other students studying, too? Consider signing up for a LSAT study group. Use this link to sign up by Thursday February 1:


*Pre-Law Advising Services does not endorse any specific LSAT prep company.

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The 2017 Internship Newsletter is Live on Compass!

The 2017 Internship Newsletter is now available on Pre-Law Advising Service’s Compass page. Please visit our Compass page to begin combing through the newsletter for summer opportunities that interest you.  If you are a designated pre-law student, simply log in with your credentials to access the page. If you are not a designated pre-law student but would like to access the newsletter, please follow the instructions here. Positions are available throughout Illinois, Washington D.C., St. Louis, Indianapolis, and other cities across the country. Many positions have due dates over break and in early January, so we encourage you to begin working on applications as soon as possible.

There are internship listings for criminal law, environmental law, labor and employment law, intellectual property law, state and federal government work, and full time job opportunities for December and May graduates.

Make use of your long winter break to begin planning for summer: update your resume, create cover letters, and make sure to pay attention to the job postings’ deadlines. The time to apply is now! The internship newsletter also has opportunities posted for December 2017 and May 2018 graduating seniors. December 2017 graduates – make sure you visit our blog post from last week about current job openings for you.

For anyone who has not applied to their prospective schools yet and wishes to start in fall 2018, FINISH YOUR APPLICATIONS! The time to submit is now!

For those of you who plan on applying to law school in Fall 2019, winter break is a great time to begin preparing for the LSAT. Over winter break, try to take a practice LSAT to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. We’ve posted one over on our Compass page too. You can never start studying too early!  Additionally, this will provide you with some perspective that will help you gauge which LSAT prep company is the best for you at the 2018 LSAT Prep Fair on Tuesday February 6, from 4:00-6:00 pm in Illini Union Rooms B & C.

Save the Date for these Spring Semester events!

Monday January 29 – Pre-Law 101

4:00-5:00PM in 514 of the Illini Union Bookstore

Friday February 16 – Practice LSAT

8:00AM -12:00PM Illini Union Bookstore Building Room 514

This full length practice LSAT will be given in actual test conditions.

Monday February 26 – Negotiating Scholarships Workshop

5:00-6:15PM Location: 1090 Lincoln Hall

Featuring: Dean of Admissions Rebecca Ray from the University of Illinois College of Law, Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions Amanda Noascono from DePaul University College of Law, and Assistant Dean for Admissions Nicole Vilches from Chicago-Kent College of Law

Enjoy your break and Happy Holidays!

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GRE Update

As we have previously mentioned, several law schools have begun accepting either the GRE or the LSAT from law school applicants. This week, two more law schools, Brooklyn Law School and George Washington University Law School, announced that they, too, would accept the GRE, bringing the number to 15 law schools that will begin accepting the GRE now or next year.  Educational Testing Service (ETS), the entity that administers the GRE, has posted the current list on its website.

It is important to remember that the LSAT is still the most widely-accepted standardized test by U.S. law schools.  We strongly encourage you to visit each law school’s website to understand the requirements for selecting the GRE in lieu of the LSAT. Note: This situation is in a state of flux.  The American Bar Association, the entity that oversees the accreditation of law schools in the United States, is currently reviewing whether the GRE is an appropriate evaluation tool for law school applicants. This means things could change. Stay tuned!

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5 Things to Do After the December LSAT

December is here and the LSAT is over, which means it is time to focus on the remaining elements of your application so that you can get those applications out as soon as your LSAT score is available in the first week of JanuaryWhat should you be doing now?

Check on your letters of recommendation…NOW!! Your recommendations should already be in your LSAC account. Check your account and follow up with your recommenders ASAP if they aren’t, so that you know when they will be in. Remember that your application is not complete and will not be considered without them.  This should be your top priority because the closer we get to break, the busier professors get (or they begin to travel and be unreachable).

Draft your personal statement. It’s time to take that energy and time you were focusing on the LSAT and devote it to your personal statement. Although our personal statement workshops are over, we have some tips and suggestions for the personal statement on our website and a helpful video and handout on our Compass page.  You can also get help through the Writer’s Workshop, which is a great place to start. Spend some time thinking about your values, your career goals, and what makes you stand out from the crowd. Then write a draft, set it aside for a few days, and revisit it. Don’t worry if you don’t love the first draft–no one does. Start now so that you can spend at least a few weeks thinking, writing, and editing.

Schedule an appointment now. When you are ready for some feedback, you can make an appointment for a Pre-Law Advisor to review your personal statement and discuss it with you in addition to answering any questions about the application process.

  • December appointments: Both Pre-Law Advisors will be available for appointments through December 22, and we expect to be very busy with appointments during this time given that applications are up this year. It is a good idea to schedule your appointment now by calling 333-9669. Please email us your statement and resume two business days prior to your appointment so that we have time to review them.
  • Winter break appointments: The office will be closed Dec. 25 through January 1. Appointments will be available again starting January 2. If you are not in the Champaign-Urbana area, you can make a phone appointment–just let the receptionist know when you schedule that it will be a phone appointment.

Order your transcripts. You’ll need to order a transcript from each undergraduate institution you attended. At Illinois, you can check the “hold for fall grades” box to have your Fall 2017 grades included. Visit the LSAC here,, for more information on the transcript ordering process. You can order your Illinois transcript through the Registrar’s website here.

Schedule law school visits.  Many law schools offer open houses. Check your top 3-5 law schools’ websites and social media. Individual law school visits are a good alternative. Call the law school and ask for a tour and to sit it on a class. Visiting a law school is very important to your overall law school choice, and is a MUST for schools that you are seriously considering. Plus, law schools will note your visit and you may even get to meet the person reading your application, so be sure to make a good impression.

Take a look at our earlier post called “The Application Process: LSAC Tips” for even more application details.

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LSAT Prep Guidance for December & February

There are different strategies for LSAT Prep. If December is the first time you will be taking the LSAT, here are a few common sense pieces of advice to help you prepare.

A quick reminder on the LSAT’s format:

The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker’s score. These sections include one Reading Comprehension section, one Analytical Reasoning section, and two Logical Reasoning sections. The unscored section, commonly referred to as the variable section, typically is used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms. The placement of this section will vary. Identification of the unscored section is not available until you receive your score report.

A 35-minute, unscored writing sample is administered at the end of the test. Copies of your writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply.

Common Sense Advice for LSAT Prep:

1. Take a FULL LENGTH PRACTICE LSAT. Ideally, take multiple full length practice LSATs.

  • The LSAT will take often 4 to 5 hours depending on breaks. Whether it is through a prep class or studying on your own, take practice tests in a timed and distraction-free setting. One of the most difficult parts of the LSAT is endurance and sitting through the entire test. Full length practice tests will help prepare you.
  • The LSAC offers a free sample test (June 2007 exam). Click here to access the free practice test.
  • When you do a practice exam, do the writing portion! It’s easy to ignore this portion of the exam during your preparation, but it is a part of the test you have to do on test day. Click here to see the LSAC’s example writing topics.

2. It is highly discouraged to take the LSAT “cold” or without any studying.

  • All of your LSAT scores are sent to law schools. Law schools care if you prepared for the exam and that you put in your best effort for the exam. The LSAT is not an exam that you can walk into with minimal to no preparation.

3. Remember, the suggested amount of time to prepare for the LSAT is 4 to 6 months of regular studying.

  • The LSAT measures critical thinking skills, and while these skills CAN be learned, they usually take a lot longer to learn than fact-based knowledge. Four to six months of consistent studying for 10-15 hours a week is highly recommended in order to be fully prepared for this exam.

4. If you are not prepared for the exam, seriously consider whether or not you should take it or delay the test.

Here is the LSAC’s information about changing test centers, test dates and refunds for the December 2017 exam. Although the test center, test date change, and registration refund deadlines have already passed for the December 2017 exam, you can still withdraw from the exam until the day before. It may be better to withdraw than to go through with the test and achieve a low score.

Registration Refund (partial only) November 7, 2017
Registration Withdrawal (no refund) Regular administration: December 1, 2017
Spanish LSAT administration: November 17, 2017
Saturday Sabbath Observers administration: December 3, 2017

The next LSAT is Saturday February 10, 2018.

Regular Registration December 27, 2017
Regular Registration Accommodation Request December 27, 2017
Nonpublished Test Center Registration(additional fees apply) December 13, 2017
Late Registration—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply) January 3, 2018
Late Registration Accommodation Request—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply) January 3, 2018

Not taking the LSAT until next year?

Plan on attending the LSAT Prep Fair on February 6, 2018 to learn more about your test prep company options!

Taking the February 2018 LSAT? The test is only a few months away.

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the February 2018 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Thursday November 9th at 12PM. Study groups will be assigned next week. Please click the link here to sign up:

In our next blog post we will share LSAT Prep Resources, so stay tuned.

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February 2018 LSAT Study Groups

February 2018 LSAT Study Groups

Taking the February 2018 LSAT? The test is only a few months away.

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the February 2018 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Thursday November 9th at 12PM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up:

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Timelines for 2018 LSAT Takers

2018 LSAT Takers: it’s time to pick a test date and plan your schedules for 2018! You have four LSAT options to choose from next year: February, June, September, and November.

The first LSAT in 2018 is in February. For more information, visit the LSAC’s website here

FEBRUARY 10th, 2018 TEST DEADLINES (you should sign up soon!):

Regular Registration: December 27, 2017
Regular Registration Accommodation Request: December 27, 2017
Nonpublished Test Center Registration (additional fees apply): December 13, 2017
Late Registration—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply): January 3, 2018
Late Registration Accommodation Request—Published Test Centers only (additional fees apply): January 3, 2018



Saturday, February 10, 2018 8:30 AM
Monday, February 12, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

Monday, June 11, 2018 12:30 PM

Saturday, September 8, 2018 8:30 AM
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM

Saturday, November 17, 2018 8:30 AM
Monday, November 19, 2018 (Saturday Sabbath Observers) 8:30 AM


Basic Fees
LSAT $180
Credential Assembly Service (CAS) $185
Auxiliary Fees
Late Registration $100
Test Center Change $100
Test Date Change $100
Nonpublished Test Center Domestic: $285
International: $380

Other Important Things to Consider for the 2018 LSAT: (1) Spring Schedules and (2) Study Abroad

(1) Now that the courses for Spring 2018 are available, try to plan your spring schedule so you give yourself enough time to study for your respective exam. If you can take a lighter load of classes and free up your schedule to study for the LSAT, it is highly recommended.

(2) Studying Abroad in 2018? Think ahead for which test you want to take!  A note about the LSAT and Study Abroad: Many students choose to study abroad in the
spring of their Junior year. This can impact your planning and preparation for the LSAT,
especially if you plan to take the exam in June. You should factor in your study abroad timing when deciding which LSAT to take. The LSAT is offered in many other countries (which you can investigate at, but you should carefully consider whether you will have the time and focus necessary for preparing for the exam while abroad.

See our handbook for more information about the application process.

Also, keep an eye out for updates about our 2018 LSAT Prep Fair that will be on February 6, 2018! If you are thinking about attending law school, come and learn what the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is all about, find the perfect prep course, and learn more about how to prepare for the LSAT.

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December 2017 LSAT Study Groups

Taking the December 2017 LSAT? The test is only 5 weeks away!

Pre-Law Advising Services is helping to organizing LSAT study groups for the December 2017 LSAT. We will organize groups based on the availability you specify in the google form. Sign-ups for the LSAT study groups will close by Wednesday October 25th at 9AM. Study groups will be assigned next week.

Please click the link here to sign up:


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