February Vs. June LSAT | Which Is Better?

LSAT Blog February June Which BetterLaw schools consider applications on a rolling admissions basis. The earlier you apply in the admissions cycle, the easier it is to gain acceptance. The cycle begins in September.

For top law schools, it's especially important to apply early in the cycle because admission to these schools is particularly competitive.

February is towards the end of the cycle. Many top law schools (such as Columbia, Harvard, NYU, and Stanford) don't even accept February LSAT scores for that cycle.

(This means you can't take the LSAT in February 2010 and apply to start at those law schools in the fall of 2010. However, you can take the February 2010 LSAT and use that score to apply to start at those law schools in Fall 2011.)

Even some law schools that aren't typically considered "top law schools" have application deadlines that are before February LSAT scores are released. This means, of course, those schools don't take February LSAT scores (for that cycle), either.

Given enough prep time (and the right kind of prep), most people are capable of scoring decently on the LSAT. However, a month or two generally isn't enough time to adequately prepare.

If you're not feeling ready for the LSAT now, you'll likely do better on the LSAT if you wait. Taking it in June or October will give you enough time to work through some version of my LSAT study schedules. You've probably started working through some of the materials mentioned there for February, but perhaps you haven't gotten past Logic Games - there's still Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension, and several recent full-length practice exams that you should complete before taking the exam. It simply can't all be done in a couple of weeks.

Some top law schools (such as Columbia and NYU) take the average of multiple scores, rather than only the highest. Fordham does not disclose whether it takes the average of multiple scores.

Even if the law schools you're considering explicitly state that they take the highest LSAT score (and most do only take the highest when computing your LSAT and GPA), they'll still see your other scores. Ideally, you'll only take the LSAT once and get it right the first time.Try not to take the LSAT until you're as certain as possible that you're fully prepared.

Bottom line: if you're not feeling ready to take it in February, I recommend you bite the bullet and wait a year, and take the LSAT in June rather than in February. A higher LSAT score means you'll get into better law schools and/or, potentially, more scholarship money. 1 year could be well worth the wait.

If you're only shooting for less competitive schools, it won't matter as much. However, there's some debate as to whether it's worth going to less competitive (i.e. 4th-tier) law schools at all. See Anna Ivey vs. Ann Levine on this issue.

Photo by lifeontheedge


  1. June and October are the most popular LSATs taken out of any year (I would dare to say June is more popular of the two). Would this increased pool of individuals who plan to take the June LSAT hurt one's chance of a generous curve?

  2. The Sept/Oct exam has always had the greatest number of test-takers, and the December exam has always had the second-greatest number of test-takers (at least, since 1987). Check out LSAC's Tests Administered Chart.

    I wouldn't think much about the "curve." It mainly depends upon the difficulty of the exam. Keep in mind that the questions have been pre-tested as experimentals.

    Besides, the number of test-takers does not affect the curve nearly as much as the performance of these test-takers.

    I would focus more on taking the LSAT at the optimal time for YOU, rather than the time at which you believe the lowest number of good test-takers will take the exam.

    (Also, keep in mind that LSAC can probably predict with a high level of accuracy when better test-takers will take the exam, and they may adjust the difficulty of the exam to control for that.)

  3. Hi, I just found your blog and I must say "God Bless You!!!". I just took a diagnostic exam and I am ready to hit the books. I want to take the June 2010 exam but will push to Oct if needed. Do you think 4 months is enough time to prepare?

  4. I'm opting for June '10 LSAT and going with the rolling admissions. I can't wait another year--can't afford to financially. I'm broke.

  5. Quoting SS: "keep in mind that LSAC can probably predict with a high level of accuracy when better test-takers will take the exam, and they may adjust the difficulty..."

    This doesn't make sense to me. If they were going to tweak the scoring to keep the distribution of scores similar, wouldn't they do this over the course of years? Why would they care if they got a slightly high or low distribution for just one test if those test-takers truly were superior?

    As long as the distribution is consistent in the long run, why does it matter if the average was a bit higher in February than in December?

  6. @Anonymous 1/29

    Glad you're enjoying the blog!

    4 months is generally enough time unless your work/school/life is insane.

    @Anonymous 2/2

    I agree 100% with you. I don't believe they actually do this. I was just stating that even if the first commenter's speculation were correct, LSAC would be able to control for that. This exam is incredibly standardized. Shifts and tweaks happen gradually.

  7. STEVE: Is 4 months long enough if you also have a 30/hr wk job?

  8. Hi Steve, I thinking about taking the October LSAT, and start applying for Law School in late December and early January, for the Fall 2011. Is this a good schedule?

    Law School would be my dream, but I am still very ignorant to many standards.

    Thank you!

  9. Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for those of us taking the LSAT in Washington, DC? History tells me if it snows more than 2 inches here, everything will close, roads will be impossible, etc - and we're supposed to get 12 to 20 inches on Friday night. What has LSAC done in the past if the test center closes? Would it be best to just wait or is there no disadvantage to taking their make up exam.


  10. Just curious, if prepping for the LSAT was a HUGE challenge, is that an awful indication of how law school will be?

    Took some undergrad law classes and loved them, did very well. Spent the last 3 months preparing for the LSAT and i'm only up to a 160 on a VERY good day. What are your thoughts on this?

  11. Hi Steve, great blog! I am planning on applying to law school for 2012, because I want to give myself PLENTY of time to prepare and also because I want my applications to be done and sent in essentially right when schools start taking applications. I am considering taking the LSAT in either Feb 2011 or June 2011 so that my applications can be complete by Sept 2011. Would you recommend studying more intensely now, and taking the LSAT in Feb to give myself a break between studying and applications. Or would you recommend taking longer to study and then intensely work on applications?