Thinking honestly about when and how you will be able to prepare yourself to do your best on the LSAT will help you determine which test date is right for you. Test dates may vary from year to year so be sure to review the dates listed on the LSAC website.
For undergraduates, an August date provides what may be a first best date to take the exam for admission the following year because it is scheduled far enough away from the end of the spring academic term that ends in early May. If students develop a preparation plan that begins promptly at the end of the spring term, August can be a very good opportunity.
For undergraduates, this test date affords opportunities to prepare for an extended time period. Most applicants report that their test-taking skills strengthen considerably only if they give themselves time to prepare and practice over period of time lasting 2 months or more; having a few more weeks to hone skills after a commercial prep course ends is also something individual test-takers typically value. If you select the autumn test, plan to have prepared fully by the time you begin fall semester classes. That way you will only focus on keeping your LSAT skills keen during the frenzy of a new semester on campus.
For most undergraduates, these test dates can be problematic; you are at a very intense time in the academic semester. Although applicants can take the LSAT for the first time in October or November, these test dates are utilized most often for a second LSAT score if a previous score did not approach the practice scores achieved during test preparation. Please consult with Maureen Walz if you are considering this option. If you do select October or November as your first testing date, make sure you have all other application materials completed so you can apply as soon as your LSAT score is made available.
The January test date is an option only under extraordinary circumstances for applicants hoping to begin law school the following year. For Lafayette students, it does occur after the interim session, which could (theoretically) provide a number of weeks to prepare. Students considering this test date as a first or second score are encouraged to consult with Maureen Walz.
For undergraduates, these test dates fall at a typically intense time during the academic term. Some times students have the drive and focus to prepare for the LSAT and manage their academic challenges, but these dates are not often ideal. The LSAT dates in August/September may remain the best opportunities for proper focus.
The June test is sometimes appropriate for undergraduates but the timing of this test comes almost immediately after students have been focusing on end-of-semester work and exams. Before deciding to take a June LSAT, it is important to carefully consider the amount of time and energy you will have available during a spring semester while taking a full course load. If you do establish a viable study plan, having your LSAT score before the summer enables you to develop your application strategy and send your law school applications in September, when they first become available. Applying a bit later in the fall term (October/November) after the September test is the choice made by most law school applicants from Lafayette.
Click here for LSAC information about future test dates and more details.