How Do Law Schools Handle Multiple LSAT Scores?

 

Sometimes you need to take the LSAT more than once. Don't sweat it. It happens a lot.

 

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Don't Panic. You're Going to Be OK.

 

Waaaay back in June of 2006, the American Bar Association changed its rule on score reporting for its accredited member schools. This bit of arcana is important to you because (if you’ve taken the LSAT more than once) it may have the effect of making you more attractive to law schools nowadays than you would have been before. Here’s how:

Prior to the ‘06 change in reporting, the ABA required its schools to report the average of the scores from any students or prospective students who had more than one active LSAT score on file with the Law School Data Assembly Service (notable, but not unique, among those agencies is the publication US News and World Report, which compiles, among other things, annual rankings of law schools based in part on the LSAT scores of applicants and admitted students).

In other words, if you took the LSAT in February of ‘03 and scored 155, then you took a class with us, took the test again in June of '03 and scored 165, the ABA required every law school to which you applied to report your score to any reporting agency as a 160.

This meant that even though you had scored 165 on the LSAT (roughly in the 93rd percentile of all test-takers) your score would have been published to all reporting agencies as 160 (roughly the 80th percentile). This reporting requirement made it more likely for schools to treat your application as though you’d scored just 160.

But, with the ABA’s decision to allow its schools the option of reporting the higher of an applicant’s scores, if you were to take both the February and June tests now, and achieve the same results as in the earlier example, you would most likely see your score reported as 165. You would then be correspondingly more likely to be treated by law schools as a 165-scorer.

So, that’s better, right?

Now, mind you - it’s still the best advice to take the test only once. It’s good to know that re-taking the test is now a much more viable option than in the past, but you want to do this: Study hard, work it out, and get your highest score the first time you take it. Then, you won’t have to worry about it ever again.

But if you do need to re-take, don't sweat it. It won't hurt you!

Here's What Some of the Top Law Schools in the US Have Said About Applicants with Multiple LSAT Scores

(Presented below in alphabetical order)