Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Pros and Cons of waiting until February to take the exam instead of December

Jaclyn123Jaclyn123 Member
in General 14 karma
Hi guys,
I'm debating on whether to take the December or February LSAT. I feel like I'm not going to be fully ready to get my maximum score but, I'm nervous to be applying too late because I would like to be enrolled in law school by Fall 2017.


  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    There are a few factors to consider.

    1) Will you be able to get your goal score in December.

    2) What type of school are you applying to? Most of the T-14s have deadlines before the LSAT will be released or their application deadlines (which some schools say could put you at a disadvantage.) A lot of T-25s have applications right around Feb score release and may not impact you.

    The general rule is the Feb is really late in the cycle and could put you at a disadvantage. However, I have seen far too many people from this group and others to get scholarships with a high Feb LSAT score to a T-14 school or even YHS (no $ but in) & (C/UC/B/NYU with $).

    So I think the answer really depends on your LSAT score and how high of a school you are aiming for. If its 170+ or higher Feb wont be too big of a an issue although it could potentially mean you get less $$.

    Now, if you are not a 170+, an average applicant and going for a T14 it could put you at a disadvantage.
  • Jaclyn123Jaclyn123 Member
    14 karma
    Thanks for the advice!
  • danielznelsondanielznelson Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4181 karma
    Are you planning on going to law school and not waiting out a year no matter what? If so, and if you're relatively close to where you would like to be, I'd recommend December. You may underperform, but if you're only willing to apply for next year, February is your only bet, and aside from the fact that many schools will close their application processes, counting on just one test day doesn't put you in the best situation.

    It all depends on how close you are to your desired range. If you're not even close to it, still aim for December to see if you can get there, and only take the December test if you would actually be happy with a score in the range you're at that point getting.
  • SprinklesSprinkles Alum Member
    edited September 2016 11542 karma
    @Mastrofive said:
    I would like to be enrolled in law school by Fall 2017.
    Don't be afraid to delay your application for the likelihood of a much better LSAT score. Remember: On one side of the application scale there's your PS, LORs, résumé, maybe a diversity statement and/or "why us" essay, and on the other side there's the LSAT score --- outweighing all of them. It's for sure easier said than done, but you're talking to someone whose been wanting to apply since 2015 and is now looking at the 2018 cycle haha. I'm not trippin, and this certainly is not because I'm an idiot who can't master the LSAT. I most certainly can (so can you) and will (so will you). Just this time I have the right tools needed to help me achieve that, thank God. I've taken the LSAT twice completely underprepared, Iv'e taken months and months off to avoid studying because of the state of depression my score led me in; but I always managed to come back to hit the books. Truly a love hate relationship I have with the LSAT. But Law School is my dream and if conquering the LSAT is the only way to achieve this dream, so be it. You just have to have this kind of mindset with the LSAT. Maybe I wrote way more than I had to but I guess my whole point for saying all this is to let you know you aren't alone if you have to delay and you will reap the benefits and will be so glad you did.

    Also, I'm not ruling out the possibility that you can attend law school in the 2017 cycle lol, but if that's not the case then don't fret! we got your back :)
  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    Less stress since you have more time to study
    If you put in the effort, your chance of getting a higher score increase
    More time to work out a better plan of attack if your current one isn't working

    Many schools won't accept the February scores for the Fall 2017 term (correct me if I'm wrong)
    Those that will, will have already accepted the bulk of their students - your chance of getting in will likely decrease, relative to someone who applied earlier
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @MrSamIam said:
    Many schools won't accept the February scores for the Fall 2017 term (correct me if I'm wrong)
    Not the case for the Fall 2017 cycle @MrSamIam
    Harvard takes it but warns applications not complete by Feb 1 are not guaranteed review.
    Yale Takes February.
    NYU and Columbia Take Feb but you have to email by Jan 1 to let them know
    University of Chicago takes Feb (and even June)
    Berkeley take Feb (but recommends Dec, "to optimize your admission review")
    Stanford takes Feb (Although it is not to an applicant's advantage to sit for the February 2017 LSAT administration, we understand)
    Northwestern, Georgetown, Penn Law all take the Feb LSAT this year.

    I didnt check all T-14s, but many have even moved their application deadlines this year back to March 1 from Feb 1 in previous years.

    Its a safe bet that Feb is ok this year, again could put you at a possible disadvantage, but it all depends on the score.

  • MrSamIamMrSamIam Inactive ⭐
    2086 karma
    @stepharizona That's a relief! At least I know I can retake in Feb, if I have to. However, I was operating under the assumption that the OP is probably going to be apply to plenty of non-T14s.
  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma
    @MrSamIam said:
    However, I was operating under the assumption that the OP is probably going to be apply to plenty of non-T14s.

    Almost all of those have deadlines after March 1 or later and all accept the Feb LSAT, few with warnings that it could impact decisions, many reassuring people it wont impact decisions at all.

    A few non t-14 schools even have EDs (binding) with March 1 that carry scholarships. Theyre binding, but if you apply March 1 and dead set on that school, could be a good deal.

    Usually the non T-14s fall inline with the precedent set by the T14s for each cycle. Its been interesting too see how the dates have changed over the past few years.

    I mean to know for sure OPs need to check the schools they are interested in, but I would be amazed if any school said they would not tale the Feb LSAT, especially when the other tp schools are. And if they do say no, often a phone call makes it a "yes, we will".
  • dennisgerrarddennisgerrard Member
    1644 karma

    I have same concern. @Mastrofive thanks for your post.

    I wonder if I took once in Dec 2015. Could I take LSAT in Dec? Will the 2-year limit end next year?
  • jennilynn89jennilynn89 Alum Member
    822 karma
    Same here, so glad to see this post! I am in the same dilemma. I'd like to reach my goal score by December, but am more than willing to retake in February, since I've already delayed a year and am ready/have to start next year.

    I think with applications still being low, February will be an ok bet if you end up having to take it. Most schools I've talked to (Tier 1 and 2) have let me know that they all accept February LSAT scores and that it will not negatively effect my application process.
  • Nicole HopkinsNicole Hopkins Alum Inactive Sage Inactive ⭐
    4344 karma
    I got into NU with a Feb score. Apply with your best score. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

    Seriously though--I know like <10 people with 170+ scores here at NU.
Sign In or Register to comment.