2019 LSAT Policy: How Many Times Can I Take The Exam?
The LSAC changed its testing policy this fall and it’s critical that you’re aware of the changes. LSAC announced the changes in June and implemented them in September. However, the news seems to travel slow and we understand that not everyone is aware of the new policy. In this post, we break down the 2019 LSAT policy changes, dissect how they compare to the old rules, and lay out what this means for you!
2019 LSAT Policy: How Many Times Can I Take the Exam?
As of September 2019, LSAC now allows you to take the LSAT:
- three times per year,
- five times in the past five testing years, and
- seven times within a lifetime.
This is a major departure from past policy that now puts strict caps on the number of times a person can take the LSAT.
Under the “old LSAC rules” instituted in September 2017, students were able to take the LSAT as many times as they wanted.
Students had the flexibility to decide when to take the LSAT without the pressure of any sort of cap.
Students could sit for the exam, see how they did, and then take the LSAT again when they felt like it. This also allowed students to try repeatedly to increase their score, sometimes even after admission, for additional scholarship awards. This cap prevents applicants from doing this.
[Note: Prior to this, dating back to June 2011, LSAC only allowed students to take the exam three times in a two-year period. These are the old, old rules.]
How does this change affect me?
For most, this new rule should not change anything. Strive to take the LSAT as few times as possible. However, the rule change does require that you are now even more strategic about when you plan to take the LSAT.
Never take the LSAT to “try it out.” Though you may have got away with this under the old rules, the new rules won’t accommodate it. With each exam you take, you are limiting how many future exams are available to you.
Be thoroughly prepared before you sit for an exam. If you’d like to “get a feel” for the exam, go to a quiet room, silence your cell phone, and time yourself in 35-minute increments while you take a real exam. LSAC releases a free past exam on their website that you can use for this purpose. You can purchase past LSAT exams for practice. (If you’re in the metro-Detroit or Lansing area, JD Advising administer FREE mock LSAT exams at Wayne State Law and MSU Law throughout the year. This allows you to test under proctored conditions, with other students, and take a real past exam. Ask us for more details on our next exam!)
The new rules also mean that you might get “stuck” with your score. You might not have the chance to go back and retake the LSAT whenever you want (like you could before 9/2019). For many, this might mean choosing between going to a lower-ranking law school (with a score that’s lower than they hoped) or waiting until they are eligible to take the LSAT again.
Lastly, it should be noted that the LSAC changed its policy on how many times a person can take the exam multiple times in recent history. For that reason, be sure to check the LSAC website for the latest updates after 2019.