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Retaking the LSAT: Your Questions Answered

December 11, 2023


Reviewed by:

David Merson

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 01/16/23

If you’re beginning your LSAT studies, or have already written the exam and want to learn more about retaking the LSAT, read on.

With tricky logic games that sometimes feel like puzzles with missing pieces, and long reading comprehension passages with answers that seemingly all look the same, the LSAT exam is truly a one of a kind, challenging test.

As aspiring lawyers begin studying for this exam, the thought of doing poorly and rewriting the LSAT often looms largely over them. Many students wonder if they can retake the LSAT and, more importantly, if they should. 

This guide will go over everything you need to know about retaking the LSAT to hopefully ease all of your LSAT nerves!

Can You Retake the LSAT?

You can absolutely retake the LSAT if you are unsatisfied with your first score. In fact, a large majority of test-takers retake the LSAT. In particular, in 2022, only 51.4% of test-takers were first time writers. The other 48.6% were repeat test takers!

So, if you feel like you might need to write the LSAT a second time, know you are not alone! 

With that being said, you can and should retake the LSAT if your score is much lower than expected and will significantly reduce your chances of getting into your chosen law schools.

If your LSAT score still gives you a competitive chance of getting into the law school you’re interested in, it might be better not to go through the hassle of retaking the LSAT, as you risk getting a lower score.

The only students who cannot retake the LSAT are those who have already scored a 180 in the current and past five testing years, which is very rare!

How Many Times Can You Retake the LSAT?

While you can retake the LSAT if you need to, there are limits on how many times you can rewrite it.

You can only take the LSAT three times in a single testing year, five times within the current and past five testing years, and seven times in your lifetime!

While this may seem like a limiting amount of tries, the majority of students who retake the LSAT only do so once or twice before getting a satisfactory score

Things To Consider

Things to consider before retaking the LSAT

We’ve established that you can retake the LSAT, but should you? Before you register for the LSAT again, consider the following: 

1. Your Chances of Improvement

While you’ll be retaking your LSAT in hopes of getting a higher score, statistics show you shouldn’t expect to improve by a drastic amount on your second LSAT attempt.

According to LSAT retake scores, the majority of students only increase their score by two or three points

Beating this average will take more than simply continuing your previous test strategies. To maximize your chances of increasing your score as much as possible, change your test strategy or enhance it. One way to enhance it is to create customized practice exams that mainly contain the sections you felt you did the poorest on. 

Another excellent way to ensure you’re better prepared for your next LSAT is to trust professionals who know exactly how to get you to your target score. Juris tutors help students achieve a 12 point increase on average and can personalize your study schedule to rectify your weaknesses! 

2. Your Practice Test Scores

Your LSAT score only reflects the level of skill and aptitude you honed through your study sessions. Accordingly, you shouldn’t expect your actual LSAT score to be much higher than your practice scores. 

In fact, since most practice tests use previous exam questions that may not be used anymore, you can expect your actual LSAT score to be lower than your practice scores.

If you feel you want to retake the LSAT, you’ll have to reassess your study strategy and should only attempt to retake the LSAT if you can get your practice scores higher than you previously did. 

3. Your Flexibility With Attending Law School

Life always throws us curve balls that affect the timelines we set out for ourselves. However, you can prevent such an obstacle by deciding against retaking the LSAT. 

Since the LSAT is only offered a few times a year, if you take the last LSAT available for the year you’d like to enroll, you’ll have to wait another year to attend law school.

If you’re flexible with your timeline and are more focused on getting into your dream law school whenever you can, this shouldn’t be an issue for you. However, if you’d like to get into and over law school as soon as possible, retaking the LSAT may get in the way of this.

If you haven’t already written your first LSAT, to avoid such complications, ensure you write your LSAT several months before your application is due.

4. How Your School Weighs Your LSAT Score

Law schools will receive all of your reportable LSAT scores. However, the way law schools assess these scores varies. 

Some law schools take the average of all scores and use that to judge your candidacy; other schools just look at your highest score. If this is the case, you can rewrite the LSAT and hopefully improve your score; if you don’t, you’ll still have your first score to fall back on.

5. If You Can Strengthen Your Candidacy in Other Ways

If your LSAT score is within the same percentile rank as your target score, you likely still have a good chance of getting into your dream law school if you can strengthen your application in other ways. 

While your LSAT score is considered to be one of the most important parts of your application, it isn’t the only part that matters. If it was, law school committees would find it impossible to choose between so many applicants with the same scores!

Instead of spending several more hours studying for the LSAT and going through the nerve-wracking process of retaking the LSAT, try putting some of that effort into your personal statement and resume!

If written properly, a personal statement can make or break your application; it can be the winning part of your application that overshadows your lower LSAT score.

You can also prove your academic potential through your resume, by listing any noteworthy accomplishments you had during your undergrad. 

If your score is in a percentile rank lower than your desired score, you may also consider writing an addendum to provide legitimate reasoning to explain why. 

Only choose this option if you faced a significant barrier that prevented you from achieving your score. Not giving yourself enough time to study or being in school when you wrote the LSAT are not sufficient reasons to write an addendum.

6. The Cost

Each time you take the LSAT will cost $200, so you shouldn’t take rewrites lightly. They aren’t meant to be your safety blanket that you can keep relying on if you get an unsatisfactory mark. 

If your mark isn’t far off from your target, you should save your money instead of retaking the LSAT. Law school itself will already cost a fortune, so it’s best to save where you can!

FAQs: Retake the LSAT

If you have any remaining questions about retaking the LSAT, we may have the answers below!

1. Is It Worth Taking the LSAT Twice?

If your score is much lower than your target and you are willing to put effort into adjusting and reassessing your study tactics, then it is absolutely worth it to take the LSAT twice. The LSAT is an essential component of your application, so getting a good score will maximize your chances of acceptance.

2. Do Law Schools Care If You Retake the LSAT?

No, law schools don’t really care if you retake the LSAT. However, if you have multiple LSAT scores (four or more) it may raise a few eyebrows and make the admissions committees question your time management, dedication, and academic potential a little more.

Additionally, if you take multiple tests with little to no improvement, this can also have a negative impact on your application.

3. What If I Retake the LSAT and Get a Lower Score?

Retaking the LSAT and getting a lower score isn’t necessarily the end of the world, especially if your law school is amongst the majority that only consider your highest score. However, a lower score can decrease your chances of admission if you’re applying to a school that uses the average of all of your scores as your final score.

If the latter is the case, it may be the wiser choice to forfeit taking the LSAT a third time and to focus your attention on strengthening your application in other ways and/or writing an addendum.

4. How Soon Can You Retake the LSAT?

You can usually take the test that falls immediately after your first one if you choose to retake the LSAT. However, if you choose a January test you won’t be able to write the February one because the registration deadline would have already passed. To ensure you can retake your test as early as possible, keep an eye on the test and registration dates.

5. When Should I Not Retake the LSAT?

You shouldn’t redo the LSAT if you’ve already gotten a score within a competitive range of your desired school’s LSAT requirements. Doing so can weaken your application if you receive a lower mark or show no improvement. 

6. Do I Have To Write the LSAT?

In the past, getting into law school without writing the LSAT was simply just wishful thinking. However, in recent years, many law schools have decided to accept the GRE instead of the LSAT.

So, if you feel like the LSAT would inaccurately assess your skills but the GRE would accurately assess them, you may never have to write the LSAT in your entire legal career!

So, Is Retaking the LSAT Worth It?

If after considering the factors above you still think retaking the LSAT is in your best interests and admission chances, then it is worth it to rewrite the LSAT! Doing so doesn’t make you a less attractive candidate, but can make you a more competitive one! 

Ensure you reassess your study plan and methods, get any additional support and resources you require, and take a deep breath! You’ve already done this once, the second time will fly by with much more ease.

Improve Your LSAT Score By Attempting 5 Original Questions Here

Improve Your LSAT Score By Attempting 5 Original Questions Here


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