September 2017 LSAT takers have one burning question in mind: When exactly will my score be released?
Per LSAC, September 2017 LSAT scores are slated to be released on Thursday, October 12th, 2017. However, past LSAC score-release trends indicate that scores are almost always released earlier than the official date (except when weather conditions have interfered with the original test dates, as was the case with the February 2013 LSAT, for instance). So for a typical administration even though you still have to wait to get your score, you usually don't have to wait until the score release date designated by the test makers.
So when will you have it?
We predict that September 2017 LSAT scores will come out on the official release date of October 12th, 2017*.
Let me explain the reasoning behind that.
The driving factor in this later-than-usual prediction is the huge number of delays and test center closures caused by Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida. LSAC was able to get most centers in and around Houston up and running in time for the official test date of September 16th, but as of this writing at least 24 sites in Florida are still closed and many students don't even have a make up date assigned yet. A similar situation arose in both October 2012 and February 2013, where inclement weather resulted in the closing of a number of test centers and the testing hold ups caused delays in the score releases, to a day late in the case of that October, and on the official release date for the following February.
So given the extent of testing issues at the moment we suspect we'll see delays here as well.
Again, this is merely a prediction, but there's a reasonably well-established precedent in place for situations like this, and releasing on the official date gives LSAC as much time as possible to process late scores without facing criticism of missing their official "deadline." So I think that stands as the most likely outcome at this stage. Note: this may change in the coming days/weeks as we learn more about LSAC's plans for test make ups, in which case I'll update this article accordingly!
However, three alternative possibilities are also worth considering, given below in what I believe to be a rough order of likelihood.
First, scores could be delayed past the official date. Again, this has happened before (in October 2012 when scores came out a day late), and the severity of issues in both Texas and (most especially) Florida are profound enough that despite LSAC's best efforts at meeting their release date there may simply be no way to get it done. Test security and scoring accuracy are higher priorities than the release deadline, so to meet the former they may miss the latter. If scores are extra-delayed you can still expect them within a day or two of the 12th.
Second, and in my mind slightly less probable, is the possibility that LSAC manages to get these delayed tests processed and scored quickly and thus releases results a day or two earlier than the 12th. Recent trends have tended towards releases that are only one or two days early—the last test to come out earlier than that was February 2016, so over 18 months ago—so even if LSAC is particularly on the ball don't get your hopes up for anything before the 10th. (For what it's worth this is the outcome I'm hoping for, as I know are you)
Third is the supremely unique possibility that we see a split release! The way that would theoretically work would be that LSAC pushes out scores as planned (sometime between the 10th and 12th) for those who tested as scheduled, and then a second release wave occurs for those whose tests were delayed into this week and beyond. When that second release occurs is anybody's guess, but it stands to reason that it would be a day or two after the 12th, since, while thousands were affected by the storms and closures, they're still a small percentage of September's attendees and their scores should be processed without a huge lag. To my knowledge this split-release scenario has never happened before (hence why I put it third out of three in likeliness)—when delays occur for some they occur for all, traditionally—but the scale and scope of disruption the past several weeks make this a legitimate possibility. Essentially if some test takers' scores can't be calculated for at least, say, 4-5+ days after the official release date then LSAC would be put in a particularly tough spot: stall scores for everyone to an unprecedented degree, or satisfy the masses by only holding back scores for the small minority of those who tested late. Given those two options I could see LSAC opting for the split.
A few things to keep in mind:
- No matter when the release occurs, scores are released in batches over hours and sometimes into the following day. So, your friend might get their score hours before you do. Don’t panic; you’ll still get it. You might just be in a later batch.
- Scores are not released in any sort of order (geographically, by test score, alphabetically by last or first name, etc.). So release "patterns" do not exist in any meaningful sense! Of course, if this release does see a split then geography will be the determining factor in who gets scores when.
- If you have an LSAC.org online account, you will get your score via email/online by the score release date. If you registered via snail-mail and/or do not have an LSAC.org account, you will get your scores mailed to you, which can take an additional 5-7 business days.
- LSAC cannot tell you your score over the phone, no matter how much you beg. Calling and asking for it won’t yield results, so don't bother.
Good luck to all and feel free to post any questions/comments below!
Yesterday (10/2) LSAC sent out a letter to all test takers who participated in the 9/16 LSAT administration at Savannah State University notifying them that their answer sheets and test-related documents have still not arrived at the Law School Admission Council. They are, for all intents and purposes, lost.
As a result LSAC noted, "to protect the integrity of the scores, we will not score these answer sheets even if they are found."
Affected test takers are being offered a full refund of their September LSAT registration fees, and have two makeup test options: they may take a custom makeup test at no additional charge at Savannah State on October 14th, or they can retake the LSAT at the regular December 2nd date, also at no charge.
While I don't anticipate this having any impact on the September score release date—my prediction above of a 10/12 release still stands—it's obviously a hugely devastating bit of news for those who took the test at Savannah State and felt good about their performances. So to any/all affected by this you have our sympathies.
Best of luck on your retakes, and keep us posted below on how it goes!
LSAT scores for those who took the test between 9/16 and 9/23 have been released! This is one day prior to the official date of 10/12/17.
No word yet on when test takers scheduled for the make-up on 10/14 will receive their results.