With the change in LSAT administration dates this year, one of the most common questions has centered on whether taking the November LSAT is too late. The short and happy answer is no, November is not too late! But let's talk a bit more about why that is the case.
The concern over November comes from the use of rolling admissions in law school. In brief, rolling admissions means that schools consider applicants in batches as the completed applications arrive. At the beginning of the admissions period there are the greatest number of available spaces in the class (and fewest applicants) and therefore it is an advantage to apply as early possible. But does November push you too far back into the pool? Fortunately, no. A few years ago we used LSAC data to show roughly when applications arrived at schools, and applicants who applied after Christmas would still be in the first 40% of all applicants. Since the November LSAT score are released in the first week of December this year, a score from that LSAT would place an applicant well within in the first 25% of all applicants. In other words, if you take November you can still get in at the front of the admissions window.
There is another consideration as well, and that is the benefit of receiving a higher score on the November exam vs applying early. We did a study on available data and it convincingly showed that if you can take a later LSAT and raise your score, that is worth significantly more than applying early. So, if taking the November LSAT is best for your schedule or mindset, it will be worth it if you can raise your score even a point a two. Your LSAT score is the single biggest factor in your admissions folder, and anything you can do to raise that number typically pays for itself.
If you have any questions or comments, please post them below!
Photo credit: "A Crisp but Sunny Morning" by Steve Corey.