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Advice: Should I Retake

Burt ReynoldsBurt Reynolds Alum Member Sage
edited February 2021 in January 2021 LSAT 952 karma

In March of 2019 I took the test after 2ish months of studying and received a 161. I wasn't ready. I picked up studying again in June of 2020. I had to cancel my November Flex because of technical issues. I just got my January FLEX back and it was a 166. I'm honestly dead inside -- my last 5 PTs averaged a 173 and my overall average is a 169.

I genuinely don't know what to do at this point. I'm considering walking away because:
(1) my transcript would now read 161, CANCEL, 166. I'm worried about how taking the test 4 times would be viewed.
(2) I'm working full-time now and this test is mentally exhausting.
(3) I don't know how I could prepare differently -- I felt ready for January.

On the other hand, I don't want to sell myself short. I have PTs left and I'm not planning to apply for at least 2 more cycles.

I'm targeting T20 schools. Should I retake? Let it be? Wait to see if the 5 section test comes back? Lmk your thoughts.


  • VerdantZephyrVerdantZephyr Alum Member
    2054 karma

    It sounds like you are not sold on applying this cycle. If you aren't really planning on applying this cycle, definitely keep studying and retake. While your scores aren't what you would like, they do show consistent improvement. It isn't like you are retaking over and over and getting the same score but hoping to get lucky. Also, this next LSAT will only be your third one. I don't think the cancel will hurt you. Three isn't out of the ordinary. You've got this, good luck!

  • Burt ReynoldsBurt Reynolds Alum Member Sage
    952 karma

    thanks for the advice @VerdantZephyr -- a quick question for you: do you think there's a # of tests where admissions starts looking at my situation differently? I'm confident that I can score higher but I'm also nervous about the volatility associated with FLEX scores.

  • TheMommaBearTheMommaBear Alum Member
    348 karma

    I honestly think they care more about your highest score, than about retake numbers or number of cancellations. Schools know that a good score is the result of many hours of prep. If you achieve a 170+ on your 5th take I see no reason why that would show poorly. It shows that you're teachable. More importantly, it shows that you have determination and are willing to work hard to succeed. If anything, I would view it as a positive. Despite stumbling, you got back up, brushed yourself off, and kept at it.

  • kilgoretroutkilgoretrout Alum Member
    795 karma

    lots of people cancel and retake the test several times, i wouldn't worry about it at all.

  • Burt ReynoldsBurt Reynolds Alum Member Sage
    952 karma

    Thanks @TheMommaBear (great name btw) and @kilgoretrout - I know that law schools, in theory, should only care about your top score. For some reason, I can't shake the feeling that multiple takes will somehow reflect on me poorly but I know ya'll are right.

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