With 2021 law school application season coming this fall, many prospective applicants may be wondering when they should take the LSAT.
Similar to last year, the exam will be offered remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. But when exactly should you take the exam if you’re planning to apply to law schools this fall? Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently wrote about LSAT timing including which test dates are best, when to start studying, and what comes after.
WHEN TO TAKE THE EXAM
Exam difficult doesn’t differ by date, but Kuris says the best way to choose a test date is to plan based on when you’re applying.
“Because the law school admissions process is rolling, applicants should apply by September or October for their best chance of admission,” Kuris writes. “To receive scores by then, applicants should take the LSAT by August or September.”
If you plan on taking the exam more than once, Kuris says, it’s even smarter to take it by June or July to ensure you have enough time to cancel or retake the exam.
When it comes to a study plan, it’s best to start early. Applicants should plan at least three to four months of study time.
“You will need this time to familiarize yourself with the test and learn the basic techniques used for each type of question, followed by repeated practice and review,” Kuris writes. “To benchmark progress and simulate the test experience, leave time to take at least five full practice tests.”
WHAT COMES AFTER
The LSAT is one of the major components of the law school application.
Getting the exam out of the way early will give you ample time to focus on other aspects of the application, such as your resume and transcripts. Kuris says applicants should plan accordingly on these other application materials.
“It can take at least a few weeks to put together your resume, personal statement and other written materials,” Kuris writes. “It can also take a few weeks to request and submit your transcripts through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service, the central clearinghouse of law school applications. Be sure to leave ample time for recommendation letters, as well. Think ahead to professors, employers or other supervisors who can provide letters of recommendation, and try to request letters a month in advance.”