LSAT Test Date Change Deadline Reasons

LSAT Blog Test Date Change Deadline ReasonsUPDATE:

The below post is now outdated due to an LSAC policy change - please see New Option to Withdraw Your LSAT Registration From LSAC.


Back in Spring 2009, LSAC made the deadline to change your test date registration 3 weeks earlier than it'd previously been. (Cancel, Postpone, or Absence discusses how to deal with the change if you miss the deadline.)

At that time, I emailed LSAC asking their reasons for the change, but their "Candidate Communications Analyst" didn't tell me the reasons for their evil plan.

However, I recently came across an LSAC PowerPoint presentation, and parts of it give LSAC's reasons for the change.

Excerpts from LSAC's PowerPoint Presentation:

Test Date Change Policy
Security Issues
Unused tests
Less-than-optimal sites
New proctors
In effect June 2009

Provide good customer service to all stakeholders.
Provide high quality standardized test environment:
-Good location
-Conscientious, trained test center staff
-Appropriate physical space
-Secure environment

LSAT registrants permitted to request test date changes late in process: Monday after the test.
Fee to change is low: only $33.
Unlimited number of test date changes permitted.
Difficult to retain test centers and staff.

Inflated registration numbers
Requiring additional test center capacity
Hiring inexperienced staff
Using sub-optimal venues: location, rooms, desks, lighting,etc.
Additional expense
Renting hotels in urban areas
Paying for space and staff not needed on test day
Potentially impacting test security

25% of registrations request test date changes.
70% of test date changes occur within 10 days of testing, resulting in inflated registration numbers for centers.
Average of 25% (as high as 40%) attrition rate at centers.

Many legitimate test takers not able to get into first-choice testing locations.
Entire LSAT test-taking population shouldering added expense of service provided to those changing frequently.
Supervisors frustrated at preparing for numbers who regularly are “no shows.”

Move the test date change deadline from Monday after test to three weeks prior to test date. (This remains several days after the final registration deadline date.)
Increase the test date change fee to be 50% of the LSAT Registration fee.

Anticipated Results
Seats will free up earlier in the process, allowing LSAC to use open seats more effectively.
Test center supervisors will be better able to provide an enhanced test environment and utilize the most experienced staff.
Reduction in hotel space.
Strengthened test security as a result of the above.


Seems like LSAC's heart is in the right place. (That picture's a joke, LSAC! ;) )

However, something might happen to a test-taker in the 2-3 weeks before a test date that prevents them from taking it on the originally-scheduled date. The policy change doesn't do much for them.

Also, it doesn't consider that many test-takers aren't certain whether they'll ready to take the LSAT 3 weeks before the exam date.

Also see: Cancel, Postpone, or Absence? and Deciding to Take October vs. December LSAT | Pros and Cons

Photo by energeticspell
Photo by untitledprojects


  1. Steve,
    I checked out the PP Presentation from LSAC. LSAC is such a monopoly and they rip off students every year! I know that we have no choice (as potential law students) to go through them in the admissions process, but they go just a little too far. The 3 week rule I do not agree with, nor do I agree with their fees for changing test dates. They are so riduculous.

  2. No need for me to notify them that I will be absent?