Questions about the application?
An applicant has taken the LSAT and, unhappy with their score, decides to retake the exam. The student submits their application contingent on the score received for the LSAT yet to be taken, and yet to be scored. Can/do law schools view applications prior to receiving the applicant's desired LSAT score? For instance, an applicant may be upset about scoring in the 150s on their first attempt and decides to retake the exam. They continue to fill-out and submit their application, however indicating that they wish to have the ensuing LSAT score to be the score evaluated for their application. Will law schools look at the application prior to the applicant taking the second test, or do they wait for the second test scores to be submitted. If they do review the application, is it possible that they may accept a student with their first score although the student may still be awaiting their second score? How does this work?
Absolutely. The whole admissions process is an organic, human endeavor - there are real people reading full applications and making decisions on their basis. Keeping that in mind goes a long way toward answering many natural questions about the application process.
If you take the LSAT in October, say, and then submit an application, get your core, and decide to retake in December (or February, or whenever), then the process has two major avenues: Many schools will begin a review of your application, then make a decision from three choices:
1. Admit you with your current score.
2. Wait for your second score to make a decision (this happens if their evaluation concludes that you'd be a good candidate if you only had a higher LSAT score).
3. Deny you presumptively (in this instance, the school may not issue the denial before the second score, but the team believes you'd need more than just a higher LSAT to be a good candidate).
Some schools will simply hold your entire application until they've received your second score, then make a decision about you based on your complete application.
Hope that helps!
Thank you. The application also provides the option of writing a test-score supplement. This is the applicant's letter to the Admissions Board describing their test scores and why the second, or better, score should be included in the Board's analysis for admission. Aside from the obvious ("I did terrible, knew I had greater potential, and retook it") story, what should be included in that letter, if anything? Presumably, the score will speak for itself if there is large disparity between test scores. In my case, unfortunately, the application will be submitted before the second test score is released, and all of this is thus speculative.
As with all addenda, this supplement offers you the opportunity to present facts that aren't already available to the admissions committee, and that may be pertinent to an assessment of your application.
So, if there's some event or fact that the committee should know, tell it to them here. If it's just a case of your doing better the second time around, there's probably little need for you to include a score supplement (or, if you do, make it a brief and clear-eyed evaluation of the difference between your scores. Think "I've always met challenges head-on and exceeded expectations. With my first LSAT score, I did not meet my own high expectations, so...").
Hope this helps,