Because the LSAT is a skill test, you can reasonably expect that dedicated preparation and training will have a positive effect on your score. Although many law schools will take a significantly higher score, you want preparation for your first official LSAT to be thorough so you will not have to take it a second time. The time to work on your skills and take timed tests is during your preparation; the official test should not be seen as a practice test. There are more and more ways for you to commit to your LSAT training; no one system works for everyone. You need to think about yourself, how you learn, and what you might need to follow through on your plan to be ready to take the test on a date when your skills with peak. This is a link to a full list of LSAC test dates. Here is specific information about how test dates coincide with typical planning for students at Lafayette College.
You are encouraged to take the LSAT as early in the application cycle as possible but the most important factor in setting your test date is when and how you will follow a coherent test preparation schedule. You will know you are ready when your aim is to produce a score that you have already achieved several times in your practice tests.
Some students feel confident that they have sufficient commitment and self-discipline to make and follow their own LSAT preparation plan.
If you decide that you would benefit from an organized test preparation program, a broad range of formats (i.e. in-class, live online, individual tutoring) is available. Spend time carefully considering your particular needs and what program might meet those needs. Before choosing any particular method of LSAT preparation, feel free to consult with Maureen Walz.