Many students over the years have asked whether they should take the June or September (this year, October) LSAT. My suggestion is that generally June is better, but it’s worthwhile going into detail as there are some exceptions. This is assuming that the student wants to apply in 2011 for 2012 admissions.
June LSAT Pros
- Maximum flexibility. This is the big one. Students who take the June test have the option of re-taking the text in October if need be, and still having applications in early in the admissions cycle. Students who first take the test in October and must re-take in December are behind in the admissions cycle.
- Afternoon exam. The June test begins in the afternoon, the only test to do so. If you are legitimately not a morning person, this can be a great advantage.
June LSAT Cons
- Other obligations. A pre-law adviser at a top-10 university told me that she doesn’t recommend that her students take the June LSAT because it’s administered in the middle of their exam period (they are on the quarters system). If you are taking a demanding class load, it may make sense to wait and do prep over the summer. (The caveat to this — some people are just “always busy.” If you’re one of these people, it’s still better to take it early all else being equal.)
- Do or die. A student told me that her pre-law adviser always recommends that students take the September test. He believes that students who take the June test don’t put forth maximum effort because they can “always retake in September.” I think this is bad advice. The reason students should take the June test is exactly that. A lot of things can go wrong on an LSAT other than students’ being too lazy to study. If you plan to take the October test and your car breaks down, you get the flu, a relative falls ill, etc you can really hurt your admissions chances for that year.
So, unless you have an incredibly demanding schedule the next 3 months, the June test is the way to go.
Of course, either option is better than taking the December test — here’s a post on why.
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