When taking the LSAT, whether in practice or for the real deal, many students come away extremely discouraged with their results. This is completely understandable and common. Your LSAT score is the key to attending a great school, and a poor performance can hold you back more than any other factor. So how should you view low scores, and what can you do to get past them?
We’re sorry that your score doesn’t live up to your expectations. The test is rough for almost every single person that takes it. It’s one that humbles everyone who faces it, and while the degree of that may vary, struggling with something that’s profoundly difficult is completely normal and nothing to ever feel bad about.
Most commonly, two other questions pop up around the same time as receiving a less-than-stellar score.
- What happened? What can cause your score to be lower than the range you’ve been scoring in?
- Should you retake the test?
Let’s try to address both.
Reviewing Your LSAT
Consider the overall experience and compare it to recent practice tests. Try to perhaps gauge how you felt as you moved through the low-scoring LSAT vs recent PTs that were both successes and… not successes. We don’t want to say “failures” because that’s a foolish way to consider an experience you can learn a lot from. With that in mind, consider how it felt going section-by-section. Compare that to moving through the actual test.
- Was your level of confidence in the answers as high as it was when you were scoring higher?
- Did you find yourself moving at that pace while doing RC passages, or setting up and attacking games, or trying to finish LR sections?
- How about general anxiety? To what extent do you think nervousness might have played a role on the actual LSAT compared to one of many sample practice tests?
When considering a retake it’s important to predict, as best you can anyway, what sort of improvement is probable the next time around.
Considering a Retake
It’s difficult to predict admissions odds from scores and GPA alone. Every school is a little different in what it values more or less. There are also a lot of other factors that play into an admit decision. Personal statement, LORs, and more. It’s in your best interest to call the school(s) you are applying to and speak to someone in admissions. They can hhelp steer you down an “apply now” or “take it again” path.
We have a whole blog post on making the decision to retake here. We recommend you check it out for more in-depth advice on making that decision, but here are some things to think about.
- Are you eligible to retake the test? LSAC does have limitations on the number of times you can officially take the LSAT.
- Is retaking the LSAT worth it? How accurately does your score reflect your ability? How does it measure up to the expectations of law schools you’re applying to?
- Do you have enough time between now and the next (or another) LSAT?
A low score doesn’t always reflect how well you prepared. Read our blog on the LSAT Casino if you need additional insight on that subject. At the end of the day, a low score is a bummer, but it isn’t always the end of the world. Evaluate your options and move forward with focus. You got this!