So what should you do? Here is what to do if…

…You Killed It and Scored Right Around Your Practice Average

You got the score you want. Congrats, you have won the LSAT.

Even if later you later decide that you want to try for a higher score, scoring around your practice average is good cause for celebration. It shows that you don’t collapse under the pressure of test day.

Now, all that is left is to start figuring out what school you can get into with your new score. This can be a bit tricky for February retakers, who are often trying to get off waitlists. Below, watch our discussion of assessing your LSAT score.

…You Scored At Your Practice Average, But You Want To Do Better

Again, congratulations on hitting your practice average. That’s a good thing. However, maybe you still feel unsatisfied.

You think perhaps there is an even greater LSAT taker somewhere inside you.

You could be right. Many, many people do big things on an LSAT retake (I’ll be interviewing one of them tomorrow, so come back for that).

That said, retaking the LSAT involves a lot of time and success is far from guaranteed. If you are contemplating a retake, I want you to be able to point to reasons why you think you can do better. It doesn’t have to be a very specific reason— for example, if you were still showing steady improvement leading up to the exam, there is usually still more room to grow.

Again, tune into tonight’s webinar for a discussion of deciding to retake. We’ll delve into repeater data and talk about our experience with who is successful on a retake.

…You Scored Worse Than Your Practice Average

This is the true heartbreaker, but I want to caution you right now about getting to hard on yourself for underperforming. Bad performances happen all the time for a thousand different reasons! There is one thing that all of these things have in common: it is not very likely that any of them will happen to you again on the next test.

Your game plan is simple: identify what went wrong and think about how to fix it. Then, continue studying with an eye to a retake, this time with a faster, better, stronger you.

What you should not do is try to rationalize your way to accepting a score lower than you are capable of. You can and should get the score you were getting on practice tests. Take a few days off to forget the LSAT for a while, then come back and rise on the stepping stone of your former self to greater things.

The exact strategy for your retake might vary a lot so again.


University of Chicago, J.D., 2012 Ready to Kickstart your LSAT Prep? Join the LSAT Mastermind Study Group


  1. I took my first LSAT Dec. 2015 and scored 142. I did not study or prepare at all and know this score is not good, especially paired with my UGPA of 2.78. I just took the Dec. 2016 LSAT and think I did much better. My last practice test was a 152. I prepared and studied, but probably not as much as I could have. I am employed full time and only had the evenings to study. I feel more positive about this upcoming score, but I don’t think I’ll have the score back by the signup deadline for the Feb. 2017 LSAT.

    I am personally wanting to get into Indiana University Bloomington, or go to IUPUI (a sister school or IUB). Should I go ahead and sign up for the Feb. 2017 LSAT and do better with studying and preparing?

    Any advice will help!


  2. Evan,

    My GPA is a 3.4 due to health issues from the past year, and I got a 172 on my LSATs. What are my chances of getting into a top 10 law school, specifically Chicago, UT Austin, and Columbia? Should I mention this to explain my GPA? Should I take the LSAT again? What schools would you recommend I apply?


  3. Hello Even,

    I currently am on the wait list for Davis and Pepperdine and really want to attend one of these universities. I applied very late in the game around the end of January/ early February. I submitted a overall GPA of 3.9 from Ucla, with a LSAT of 150. If I don’t get in I am hoping that reapplying would numb me into the acceptance range for these schools. I guess my question is with my credentials do I have a good chance of being accepted to these schools by having everything submitted opening week?”. Also I will be working during the time to save up money for law school if I don’t get off the wait list.

    Thank you

  4. Hi Evan,
    As always thanks for this awesome site. I’m hoping for some straight up advice right now. I’ve taken the LSAT twice now: 159, 163. I’m devastated because my practice tests (under test conditions and all) were coming in at 169-170 before my second attempt. I have a 3.45 GPA. I really want to go to Georgetown, but I’m not confident I will get in (even at early binding decision) and I know I won’t be getting any scholarships even if I get in. I’m currently studying abroad right now and if it doesn’t make sense to, I’d prefer not to study for the LSAT while I’m here. However, I’m willing to do what it takes if getting a 169-170 on the official score will have a payoff worth the time. Say I pull a 170 and apply early regular to Georgetown, would that be enough for them to overlook my 2 previous scores and offer a scholarship? Or does it just look bad/pointless unless I’m pulling a 175+? basically, is it worth the retake for a 3rd time or should I just take the 163 and go with it?

    Thanks for the help


  5. Got my score back, 173. On the one hand I’m relieved b/c I felt on test day that something had gone terribly wrong and came close to canceling my score, but on the other hand it was lower than my PT average (upper 170s, including a 180 and a 179), and I’m mulling over whether or not I should retake it. My gpa’s 4.0, and while I’m about to graduate this semester I’m not applying until next year’s cycle. My goals is to get into at least one T5 school, if possible. Any thoughts? Love the site, and thanks in advance!

    • Harp, actually that is literally exactly what happened to me. PT avg was probably about 176-177 with very few scores falling below 175 in my last month of prep. Got a 173. In the end I chalked up the lower score to test day nerves and was unsure I could reduce that next time, so I decided not to retake. BUT… I could see going the other way.

      Right now, however, there is probably not too too much incentive to retake since those numbers will get you in/get you big scholarships just about anywhere.

      If you do decide to retake let me know, however, and maybe we can try to beat our 173s together! I’ve been meaning to try for a 180 now that I’ve been teaching the LSAT for a while.

      Anyways, congratulations on your great score. Josh just informed me that that is good enough for the Triple 9 society. Kind of silly, but nice to know you are 1 in a 1000!

  6. I read your updated post and am so excited for JOSH! I love that LawSchooli is celebrating the arrival of Josh’s baby girl by giving pre-lawyers a 25% discount on the Mastermind Group. That’s awesome.

  7. Whats your email address. I have a couple of questions regarding your program for the next lsat I want to take, and my score I recently received from the feb lsat? I would appreciate it.

  8. Even,

    Thanks for your presentation. I’m really interested in this mastermind group. I bombed the Feb LSAT and I know I didn’t put much effort into it. I am disappointed in myself however, I am going to motivate myself to do a lot better and I want to get into a top law school. Do you think if I take the June 2015 lsat it’ll be too late for fall 2015 admission?

    • Hi Evan,

      I’m somewhat in a complicated situation and I could really use an experts advice. I took my LSAT last February of 2014, and I got a 148. I thought that was due to a lack of sufficient studying and test anxiety. I decided to take it a year later but I made the same mistake in terms of how much I studied although I most definitely did think I had improved to atleast a 153. ( I was get 153-155 on PTS) Unfortunately, I received my score back and got a 148 again. My goal was a 160 so I’m sure you can understand my disappointment although I knew coming out of the test that I did not do well at all due to a high level of anxiety.

      My goal is to get into a law school where I have to pay the minimum amount of money and I know with a 148 and a 3.2 GPA this really isn’t really going to happen. This is where I need your advice. I know I can hit a 160, I know it’s possible. I don’t complete all the sections due to time and I’m horrible at reading comprehension. I know taking the lsat a third time is also looked down upon. I also have been delaying applying for quite some time so I do just want to apply and move forward with life. Do you suggest that I apply, see where I get in, take the lsat in June ( if i see myself improving) and based on what I get see if I have room to negotiate with law schools? I know I’m really limited in how much I can do with my current score and I don’t know if its worth it for me to try for one last time. I would really, really appreciate your feedback as I am in a tough situation and don’t know what my next step should be.

      • Anonymous,

        I frankly do not suggest applying with your current numbers, as you are only looking at programs that offer very weak employment prospects, and you’ll be paying sticker to go.

        It’s definitely worth it to try again if you are still motivated to go to law school. Don’t think about taking it three times. That is not a big deal in this day and age. If you were to get a 160 score, that would essentially erase those lower scores.

        However, if you do this, you need to do things differently than last time. You can’t make the same mistakes and expect good results. Do not take the test again until you are consistently scoring where you want to score on practice tests!



    • Eric, generally speaking that is too late. Even if you can get in to a couple schools, you are usually much better off waiting until the following year and applying early to a wider number of schools. The reason is that this increases the likelihood of a good offer and gives you a better bargaining position.

      Particularly if a school is a reach for your numbers, it is important to apply early in the cycle.

      If you are serious about doing well on a retake, we’d love to have you! Stay in touch.


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