On Tuesday, 5/8, LSAC updated their site to reflect open registration for the following domestic LSAT dates, along with deadlines and fees:
- September 8th, 2018 LSAT: Deadline is midnight EST on 7/23; new fee is $190.
- November 17th, 2018 LSAT: Deadline is midnight EST on 10/8; new fee is $190.
- January 26th, 2019 LSAT: Deadline is midnight EST on 12/17; new fee is $190.
In addition, registration deadlines have been announced for the next two 2019 tests, although registration has not yet begun for them:
- March 30th, 2019 LSAT: Deadline is midnight EST on 2/25; no word on cost or when registration will begin.
- June 3rd, 2019 LSAT: Deadline is midnight EST on 4/29; no word on cost or when registration will begin.
A few important notes about these upcoming tests:
- If you know you want to take one or more of those exams, register as soon as possible to ensure a spot at your desired test center! The September test
in particularis liable to see certain centers fill up, as it tends to be the most well-attended test of the year.
- LSAC has raised the price of the test by $10 (from $180 to $190), and the cost of CAS has risen $10 as well, from $185 to $195. No idea why, aside from the obvious money grab; with test taker numbers showing another year of steady growth and unlimited repeats now allowed, if anything LSAC should be able to keep the fees the same, if not lower them. So that's disappointing, and doubly so when you consider that LSAC is currently sitting on over $200M in assets (yes, that's TWO HUNDRED MILLION extra dollars in the bank; I've seen their 2016 revenue filings—they're jaw-dropping—and 2017's should be even more robust).
- In fact, nearly all LSAC fees were raised, with test center and test date changes now costing $125 (up from $100), nonpublished domestic and international test center requests now priced $10 higher at $295 and $390 (respectively), and individual law school reports a staggering $45 apiece rather than the previous $35. That last is less offensive as a single number, but when you consider that it's a nearly 30%
hike,and that most applicants apply to at least a half-dozen schools, it stings.
- To really drive home those last two bullets, it will now cost $120 more for a new applicant to take the LSAT and apply to ten law schools. That final bill? A smooth $835, just to apply! Here's hoping for generous fee waivers.
- Many of the future test dates are labeled as "not disclosed." This includes not only July 2018 and January
2019,but also the two other 2019 exams currently listed: March and June. That's subject to change, of course, but it appears we may not have another disclosed LSAT after this November until...well, who knows, but the second half of 2019 at the earliest, it seems.
- That all said, I still expect we'll see a 3/3 split in 2019, with three disclosed tests (as now) and three nondisclosed. What's odd is that it currently appears the first three are nondisclosed, meaning an 8-plus-month stretch (at best) from November 2018 to July 2019 with no new LSAT content, despite three exams administered in the interim. If LSAC's going to keep three of the six to themselves, why not stagger them? But, then, that would make sense...so perhaps I've answered my own question.
- Lastly, pay particular attention to the registration deadline for September 2018. LSAC has set the September cut off at midnight EST on Monday, 7/23, which just so happens to be the date of the July LSAT! So for those July test takers understandably reluctant to register for September before knowing how July goes—to register for the test and back out is a minimum $140 penalty, after all—your best case scenario is that you'll have but a few hours post-test to commit to September before the window closes. But believe it or not, it gets worse: LSAC strongly recommends (all but insists) that anyone registering on a deadline day should do so during LSAC's business hours, which end at 4:45 pm EST in July...so everyone in the country will still be taking the test when LSAC closes for the day. That's a level of inattention, if not outright trolling, that threatens to spin my head clean off and into orbit. (You should technically still be able to register online until 11:59 pm EST, but you'll have no one to help you if you encounter an issue, and LSAC holds firm to deadlines without exception, so be aware)
Score release dates for the five administrations listed above have also been announced, although just how well they satisfy LSAC's promise of a more expedient and aggressive scoring turnaround is a matter of some debate:
- September 8th, 2018 score release is set for 9/29, 21 days post-test. Scores for the September 2016 and 2017 exams were released 25 days after those tests, while the October 2015 LSAT saw scores released after just 19 days.
- November 17th, 2018 score release is set for 12/12, 25 days post-test. Again, the past two Septembers were exactly this speed, and December 2017 was quite a bit quicker at only 20 days post-test for scores to come out.
- January 26th, 2019 score release is set for 2/15, 20 days post-test. This is exactly on par with the December 2017 exam's release, albeit four days faster than the February 2017 release (24 days post-test).
- March 30th, 2019 score release remains mysteriously, and inexplicably, "TBD." Anybody's guess at this point.
- June 3rd, 2019 score release is set for 6/21, 18 days post-test.
Alright. Relative to the times above this is impressive. If LSAC can hit this target it will mark the fastest release since June 2010, which was also 18 days. Note, however, that even with over a year from this writing to perfect the release process, and every imaginable incentive to hustle (including their own repeated guarantees of haste), 18 days is still historically plodding: at least six tests have had releases as fast or faster in just the last 14 years.
So that's the latest news on the upcoming test dates, and I'll continue to update post as additional information becomes available! In the meantime, we'd love to hear your thoughts: comment below, reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give our offices a call at 800-545-1750!
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