- February 2017 up 5.4% over 2016 (to 21,400 tester takers)
- June 2017 up 19.8% over 2016 (to 27,606 tester takers)
- September 2017 up 10.7% over 2016 (to 37,146 tester takers)
- December 2017 up a whopping 27.9% over 2016 (to 40,096 tester takers)
- February 2018 up 10.8% over 2017 (to 32,026 test takers; this is a tentative figure and will be finalized post-test)
December is in bold up there as that 27.9% growth year-over-year is the largest test taker percentage increase in recorded history (back to 1987)!
It also represents the first time since 1989 that a December test has been better attended than the preceding September/October administration, so the popularity of that particular LSAT has proven both dramatic and historic!
What this tells me is two things:
1. People are becoming more and more aware of the applicant depression we've seen since around 2012-2013, and recognizing that this is a very favorable time to go to law school. Several years of record-low matriculant volume has led to a lot of legal opportunities that simply weren't present in the boom years of 2004-2011—from scholarships to tuition negotiations/flexibility to lucrative job prospects—and as word of these opportunities has gotten out applicants have (cautiously) flocked back to this pursuit. And of course with LSAC dropping the repeat limit and adding more tests to the calendar (a new one just got added for July 23rd, 2018, in fact!) has only served to drive this upswing.
2. The GRE's impact on admissions is still negligible. I expect a year or so from now we'll start to see a lot more law school applicants taking the GRE (either instead of the LSAT or in addition to it), but for now LSAT is king. And climbing.
The takeaway of greater competition is straightforward: it's more important than ever that you score as well as possible on the LSAT. The more people that want your seat, your scholarship, and ultimately your job, the more crucial it is that your credentials shine!
Questions or comments on these test taker trends? Let us know below, or get in touch by email or phone at firstname.lastname@example.org and 800-545-1750!
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