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Does it really matter how many times you test?

overthistestoverthistest Alum Member
in General 166 karma

I have always heard that admissions only looks at your highest score…how true is this? If not, how many times is ideal max to test?

Comments

  • sarahblairsarahblair Monthly Member
    604 karma

    I honestly don't know a ton about the subject. But, I know LSAC does denote a certain amount of times you are literally allowed to test- broken up by like how many times a year, how many consecutive years, and something else similar. I know that your highest score is what is referenced in regard to your performance, but they likely do look at other test scores as well. Personally, I would maybe try to test a max of 3/4 times? I've definitely heard of people testing 3 times, more commonly 2 though. It all depends on what your score reflects. If you're progressing downwards on your tests it is probably not a great sign to them... whereas the reverse where you trend upwards with scores shows good work ethic and determination. I've also heard where people score in likee the mid 170's and retake and admissions counselors see this as crazy. Obviously not sure how much truth there really is to that reality and it definitely varies depending on the school. All in all this is kind of random advice, but I think it's kind of open ended with a lot of factors that determine what's truly best on a more individualized basis rather than a clear-cut answer.

  • canihazJDcanihazJD Alum Member Sage
    edited June 2021 7907 karma

    All of your valid scores are reported (as well as the cancellations and no-shows), so schools "look" at everything. It is generally in their best interests to consider your highest score, as that is what gets reported, but that of course doesn't mean your scoring history has no effect on how your app is perceived.

    I'd say one and done is the ideal app, but here in the real world (cue Alan Jackson), its the number of takes that gets you to your highest score.

  • LegallyLSATLegallyLSAT Alum Member
    110 karma

    I heard typically 3-4 times is average for those who have difficulty with the test. However, there is a new policy.

    "Starting with the September 2019 test administration, test takers will be permitted to take the LSAT:

    Three times in a single testing year (the next testing cycle begins with the August 2021 test and goes through the June 2022 test).

    Five times within the current and five past testing years (the period in which LSAC reports scores to law schools).

    A total of seven times over a lifetime.

    Please note: With the introduction of the LSAT-Flex to provide a safe and effective mechanism for candidates to earn scores during the COVID-19 emergency, LSAC made the decision that the May, June, July, and August 2020 LSAT-Flex tests do not count toward these limits. Tests beginning with the October 2020 administration will count toward LSAT testing limits.

    This policy is forward-looking, not retroactive. Tests taken prior to September 2019 will not count against these numerical limits."

    Straight from LSAC

  • overthistestoverthistest Alum Member
    166 karma

    thanks for your answers! I just wanted to clarify I am aware of the amount of times you can test etc... what I am asking is how many times should you test. From what I have heard it either doesnt matter because admissions only looks at the highest score (not all of them therefore they would have no idea how many times you tested to get to that score) OR admissions does look at how many times you test and it does matter how many times you test (even if you do end up with a higher score at the end)

  • sarahblairsarahblair Monthly Member
    604 karma

    @Hannahbalas18 said:
    thanks for your answers! I just wanted to clarify I am aware of the amount of times you can test etc... what I am asking is how many times should you test. From what I have heard it either doesnt matter because admissions only looks at the highest score (not all of them therefore they would have no idea how many times you tested to get to that score) OR admissions does look at how many times you test and it does matter how many times you test (even if you do end up with a higher score at the end)

    Ultimately, the goal is to test as little times as possible. Thus, obviously the goal should be once but this is often not the case. I'd try to max out at three (it seems a ton of people take it 2 times). You won't be penalized as long as you follow the literal rules, but I think that admissions is looking for people to not have to keep taking the test over and over. Hope this helps!

  • overthistestoverthistest Alum Member
    166 karma

    @sarahblair said:

    @Hannahbalas18 said:
    thanks for your answers! I just wanted to clarify I am aware of the amount of times you can test etc... what I am asking is how many times should you test. From what I have heard it either doesnt matter because admissions only looks at the highest score (not all of them therefore they would have no idea how many times you tested to get to that score) OR admissions does look at how many times you test and it does matter how many times you test (even if you do end up with a higher score at the end)

    Ultimately, the goal is to test as little times as possible. Thus, obviously the goal should be once but this is often not the case. I'd try to max out at three (it seems a ton of people take it 2 times). You won't be penalized as long as you follow the literal rules, but I think that admissions is looking for people to not have to keep taking the test over and over. Hope this helps!

    thank you so much! :)

  • LunananaLunanana Monthly Member
    43 karma

    You should not take more than three times. The law school advisor at my school told me that even though your highest score matters most, admission officers would still look at your lower scores, thinking that maybe your real ability lies somewhere between. So ideally take only once and get the best score. But since that's so difficult, my advisor told me not to take more than three times. Maximum should be three. Hope this helps!

  • clear227clear227 Monthly Member
    edited June 2021 326 karma

    The ideal situation is one and done, but if you have taken it 4 times with a max score of 155 and you dream of Stanford Law, you are obviously going to want to take it again (after identifying and fixing the issues that made you underperform).

  • zoomzoomzoomzoom Alum Member
    462 karma

    I'm of the same belief that your highest score is what ultimately matters in the end, no matter how many times you take it.

    Sure, taking it 4 times over and getting a 150 each time would probably not be ideal and should be explained via addendum. But if you can boost that score up big time, it will still help you more than the number of takes will hurt you.

  • overthistestoverthistest Alum Member
    166 karma

    thank you for your responses! Do canceled scores factor into this at all...or is it only 3+ scores posted is frowned upon?

  • AryanSinghAryanSingh Alum Member
    325 karma

    @Hannahbalas18 said:
    thank you for your responses! Do canceled scores factor into this at all...or is it only 3+ scores posted is frowned upon?

    Yes cancelled score does. I called to verify a few weeks back.

  • T14_HopefulT14_Hopeful Alum Member
    edited June 2021 56 karma

    Generally speaking, you should not take it more than 5 times! Anything more than that will raise questions. Note that cancellation also counts as a take, but no-show and withdraw (before the test) will not count.

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