If you walk out of the LSAT shaking your head and wondering what went wrong, you’re not alone. Plenty of test-takers are asking the same questions. Should I cancel my score? Should I wait to see how I did? What if I’m disappointed with my score? Do I retake the test? How will schools view multiple test scores? What should I do differently next time?
We hear these questions over and over again so we gathered our panel of experts to get you some answers.
Our upcoming podcast features the following guests:
- William Hoye, Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs, Duke University School of Law
- Sarah Zearfoss, Senior Assistant Dean for Admissions, Financial Planning, and Career Planning, University of Michigan Law School
- Noah Teitelbaum, Executive Director of Academics, Manhattan Prep
- Jeff Thomas, Director of Prelaw Programs, Kaplan Test Prep
So, how do law schools view multiple test scores?
Well, schools may differ, but Duke’s Dean Hoye explains the nuances, “[i]t’s a complicated answer, in that two things are happening. One is that law schools are trying to use the LSAT in the way that it was intended, and to really understand the science behind the LSAT, and use it in a way that’s appropriate in making decisions for law school. And second, we also have obligations to our accrediting body – that’s the American bar Association – in that we report data after the end of each year about our entering class, and some of the data that are reported are LSAT medians for an entering class. And that’s important information; it’s consumer information; and so all schools, of course, cooperate with that. Many years ago, the American Bar Association asked law schools to report the average of multiple test scores. Yet, a few years ago a change was made, and the ABA now asks law schools to report the highest score that a candidate received if he has taken it more than once. But that’s a very different consideration than how we use the test and why we use it in the way that we do.
“So what’s important to understand is that the science behind the test shows that when an applicant has taken the test more than one time, in most cases the average score is going to be a better predictor for law school performance in the first year than the high score or any of the scores – and that’s on average. And so we know those data, and so that means that the average might be something that we consider. But I think, even more important than that, we’re trying to understand every element of the application file. So we’re looking at the average score, we’re looking at all the scores individually, and then we’re trying to put all of that into context with everything else we see in the application. Because for me, when I’m reading a file, the LSAT really doesn’t have a whole lot of meaning in and of itself, unless I put it into the context of one’s academic performance in college, and other kinds of abilities and preparation that we think are important for success in law school.”
So that’s some insight into what multiple scores tell law schools. But what if you still don’t know what your next move is – cancel, retake, leave your current score alone? We tackle those questions and more – stay tuned for the full show!