February 2011 LSAT vs. June 2011 LSAT

LSAT Blog February 2011 LSAT June 2011 LSATLaw 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 February 2011 LSAT and apply to start at those law schools in the fall of 2011. However, you can take the February 2011 LSAT and use that score to apply to start at those law schools in Fall 2012.)

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 to begin law school, 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, for most people, it's not worth going to less competitive (i.e. 4th-tier) law schools at all.

Photo by lifeontheedge


  1. Haha, I think this is an excellent picture for the topic.

  2. Hey Steve, since we last emailed I started a job, and through a chain of interesting events, got promoted to manager, meaning I'm working full time now (trying to save money for a new car and hopefully save some for school), but still studying everyday for a drastically reduced time. I plan on taking the June LSAT, but I'm just past halfway with Logical Reasoning, not to reading comp yet. Is this still a good track to be on for when I plan to take it?

    P.S. I've been steadily writing an LSAT diary for you, I'll be finishing it soon when I get through LR.

  3. February sounds nice because you just began the semester and theres nothing heavy going on.

  4. Hi David,

    It sounds like you're progressing nicely. You have plenty of time to get ready for June.

    Looking forward to your LSAT diary.

  5. Do you know if other top law schools, like Harvard, Stanford and Yale, take averages of multiple LSAT scores? Thanks!