The June LSAT and October LSAT administrations are by far the most popular, and with good reason. With optimal application dates in the late fall to early winter, those two test dates provide the best opportunity to get scores in hand and get applications in on schedule. Of course, there are reasons an applicant might choose to take either the December of February LSAT, but that’s another question for another day. The June LSAT is up next, and the question before most prospective law students is “June or October?”
Of course, the answer to that question depends on a number of factors, including other demands on your time and how prepared you feel as the June test date approaches. As a general rule, though, I recommend the June test. Here are a few of the reasons:
1. Unless you’re a standardized test geek, the LSAT can be stressful. Even if you’ve taken practice tests and have a good sense of how you’re scoring, you may be holding your breath as you wait for that official score to arrive. That’s not the state you want to be in while choosing your schools and working on your applications. Taking the June LSAT means that you’ll have your scores in hand by early July, allowing you to move forward with school selection and law school applications with confidence.
2. Occasionally, something goes wrong. Though taking the LSAT in June will generally allow you to breath a sigh of relief and move forward with your applications, it also offers a back-up plan. If the June LSAT doesn’t go well, you get sick or have a freak automobile accident on your way to the test, you still have an available test date that will allow you to submit your applications in November.
3. If you’re a current college student, you may find it advantageous to take the LSAT during the summer versus in the middle of a semester. Though it’s obviously possible to take the LSAT during the school year, the mindset that yields top LSAT performance is very different from the successful approach to most college courses–and the same thing is true with regard to preparation. It’s not a critical factor, but being able to focus in on LSAT strategies and study methods may make your preparation a bit less stressful and more productive.
If you miss the June test, don’t have time to prepare adequately or just don’t feel ready, the October test date still provides plenty of time to get your applications in during the optimal period. And, in a worst-case scenario (the car accident, for example), you could take the December test and still meet deadlines. But, all other things being equal, planning for June offers some definite advantages.