There’s a brave new world of LSAT dates for those students planning to take the test in 2019 or early 2020. Not only are students choosing among more test dates than ever, but they also have the option of taking the exam multiple times and (potentially) in different formats. For an overview, here are the updated LSAT dates for 2019 and 2020:
January 26, 2019, 8:30 am (N)
March 30, 2019, 8:30 am (N)
June 3, 2019, 12:30 pm
July 15, 2019, 12:30 pm (N) (D)
September 21, 2019, 8:30 am (D)
October 28, 2019, 12:30 pm (N) (D)
November 25, 2019, 12:30 pm (D)
January, 13, 2020, 12:30 pm (N) (D)
February 22, 2020, 8:30 am (N) (D)
March 30, 2020, 12:30 pm (N) (D)
April 25, 2020, 8:30 am (N) (D)
(N = Nondisclosed; D = Digital)
If you’re feeling unsure (or overwhelmed, or apathetic) about the various LSAT date options, here’s the more detailed look at some of the benefits to each of the above test dates for the upcoming year:
January 26, 2019: It’s the first exam of the year, and the first AM exam. Unlike the February LSAT of years past, people taking January test can be less concerned that their scores will be submitted too late for serious consideration when they use their score as part of their applications for a fall 2019 law school start date. For people retaking the exam in January, it’s also nicer than the old February test, because they’ll have time to restudy over the holidays without having to keep their skills up for an unreasonable amount of time.
March 30, 2019: Speaking of an unreasonable amount of time, the March exam may just be too late for those trying to submit a first LSAT score to law schools for admission the following fall. However, for those waitlisted applicants or any others in the purgatory of waiting on the results of their law school applications, the March exam may be a strong opportunity to demonstrate improvement on the LSAT while you’re waiting to hear back from schools. It also may be your last chance to take the LSAT before getting swamped with undergrad final exams, depending on your school.
June 3, 2019: The perennial “gunner” exam month — the students taking the LSAT in June are most likely planning to take the LSAT and then use that score for applications in the upcoming fall. But since June is far from the last opportunity to take the exam in that application cycle, it can be a chance to take the LSAT, with the option to retake in the coming July, September, October, or November, if necessary. And apart from just the overachiever-types taking summer LSATs, it’s a great time for those who are less busy in the summer than they are during the school year, or of course, folks who just can’t get themselves to wake up before 11 am.
July 15, 2019: Like the June exam, July LSAT takers still have plenty of time, and it may allow students time to focus on the rest of their applications throughout the fall. You also start to see a couple new twists coming into the July exam. Half the test takers in the July test will be randomly selected to take the new digital exam while the other half will be assigned to the traditional pencil-and-paper exam. Also, July test takers will have the option to cancel their score after seeing it (a luxury beyond what any previous LSAT-takers could have conceived when they contemplated cancelling a score).
September 21, 2019: The LSAT’s gone digital! It’s time to embrace the future, because this and every subsequent LSAT is going to be administered on a tablet. This is still a fine time to take the LSAT for people submitting law school applications in the fall. It’s also an opportunity to take the LSAT after a solid summer of studying.
October 28, 2019: Maybe you didn’t feel ready for the September LSAT or it didn’t go as you planned, but the October exam is still here for you, and not necessarily too deep into undergrad semesters to overburden your studying. And for the last time in 2019, you can take the LSAT at 12:30 in the afternoon.
November 25, 2019: In 2019, Thanksgiving is Nov. 28, so taking the LSAT the Monday before could be to your benefit or detriment. Ideally, the timing gives you a break from school or work to rest up and make a final push through your LSAT studies right before the exam. Since 2019 has no December LSAT, this is the last option of the year, but anybody with final exams to worry about in December can happily say good riddance to the old schedule.
Deadline to register: October 15, 2019
January, 13, 2020: Unlike the January exam of 2019, this one is going to be on a Monday, will be administered on a tablet, and will start at the dignified afternoon hour of 12:30 pm. But like the January exam of 2019, signing up for this exam will allow you to use your winter break from school or work to study up. And even though you’ll be a little late in the application cycle, you’ll be able to apply to any law school with a January score and potentially start 1L in the fall.
Deadline to register: December 3, 2019
February 22, 2020: After taking 2019 off, the February test is coming back strong for 2020. It’s also the first Saturday exam of 2020. If you want to use this test to apply to start law school in fall 2020, you’ll probably be fine — though it never hurts to double check with the school! If, on the other hand, you’re willing to start law school in the fall of 2021, you’ll have plenty of time to get your application materials in order.
Deadline to register: January 7, 2020
March 30, 2020: Although some law schools will accept scores from this test administration, we don’t recommend taking the March 2020 LSAT to start law school in the fall of 2020. If — on the other, much more patient, hand — you’re OK with waiting until 2021 to start law school, this might be a good test. Many universities have their spring break the week before this exam, giving you a full week of distraction-free studying before the big test. And really, is there any cooler way to spend your spring break?
Deadline to register: February 11, 2020
April 25, 2020: It’s the first April LSAT, ever! And if April showers bring May flowers, on an April test you may score your best. College students taking this test will at least be able to knock the LSAT out before finals week kicks into high gear.
Deadline to register: March 10, 2020
If the above schedule tells you anything, it’s that test takers have a lot of options and opportunities. However, the benefit of any particular test date really comes in when you give yourself some time to plan out your whole law school application cycle and your LSAT prep study schedule. There’s no such thing as an “easier” LSAT; there are only tests you have time to adequately prep for and those where you don’t. Our LSAT classroom and Live Online courses have set schedules to help you prepare for a specific LSAT while, you know, living life. If you need a bit more flexibility you can try a self-paced online course or even private tutoring—it’s like having your own personal LSAT coach! So take a look at your choices as a 2019 or 2020 test taker and make the choice that’s right for you. If you need some extra help, schedule a free LSAT consultation with our Academic Managers! It’s time to bite the bullet and get on the journey to 180!
This article was originally published on November 9, 2018.