It's almost May. By now, you've probably started a test prep course, bought the Bible Trilogy, and/or invested a considerable amount of money purchasing PrepTests. You may have even started working with a tutor. If you are seeing an uptick in your practice test scores, that's awesome. Chances are, however, that you aren't anywhere near where you hope to be in June.
Soon you will start debating whether to put it all off until September (if you haven't already). It's easy to rationalize such a decision: if you're still in school, you can focus on your finals without the added aggravation of yet another test, arguably more important than any of them. Plus, you'll have the whole summer to study, and besides - what else are you going to do on the beach?
The September LSAT date is looking better and better. So, why not postpone until then?
Don't do it! Not yet. Although you have ways to go, it would be premature to postpone your test date with almost two months to go. If those practice test scores are cramping your style, don't worry (yet). Wait to see what your scores will be in June, and decide then! While we would never, ever advise you to take the test before you feel ready to kill it, many students improve tremendously in the final weeks before the test: you never know when it will "click." Others improve gradually over time, and you still have enough time to reach your goals. By all means, you're prepping for June. If you still aren't ready by the beginning of June, go ahead and register for September. It will cost you some money to withdraw and register again, but nobody will ever know you did it. However, if you postpone today, you'll have no impetus to study until later in the summer. And if you're currently enrolled in a course, it is highly unlikely that you'll continue taking full advantage of the resources available to you. You will also struggle to regain your momentum later on.
And this is the least of it. There are other compelling reasons why you want to take the LSAT in June:
- The fact that everyone and their mother takes the September test is bad news for you. Test centers book quickly, and tend to be much more crowded than at any other time of the year. If you let other people's stress get to you, you'll feel that in September more than you will in June.
- By taking the test in June, you give yourself a second chance: should you decide to cancel your score, or aren't especially thrilled about the score you got, you can re-take in September without throwing off the timeline for submitting your applications. You don't have the same luxury if you postpone until September: sure, you can re-take in December, but you'll miss many Early Decision deadlines, and you'll end up submitting your applications at the tail end of the rolling admissions cycle. Not ideal.
- The June test is the only one being administered in the afternoon. You don't need to get up at 7 AM to get to your test center. And you don't need to train for months by taking your practice tests early in the morning (which is something you may have to do if you sign up for September, December, or February). Simply put, being able to take the test in the afternoon is a luxury. You want that.
You also want to have a nice summer. You can chill on the beach, hit the slopes in New Zealand, or do both while crafting a Pulitzer-worthy personal statement. Come September, all you'll have to do is click "Submit" - that would be a good thing.
Remember: if you wait too long, the decision to take the LSAT in September will not be yours to make.
Photo "Seashell at the beach" used under license from Shutterstock.com.