The LSAT is offered 4 times a year: February, June, October and December. In determining which date to select, there are several factors to consider. The most critical factor is the application windows of all the schools to which you plan to apply. The application window is the period between the date that the law school will begin accepting applications and the last date it will accept applications. This window is critical, and more important than the application deadline, because law school admissions as well as financial aid awards are considered on a rolling basis. In other words, the applicant who gets his or her application in on the first day of the application window is more likely to be accepted and receive financial aid than the applicant who gets his or her application in on the last day of the application window.
If, for example, the application window is from December 1 to February 1, the June and October dates are more attractive than the December or February dates. As between June and October, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. For those who are still in college, taking the June LSAT would require preparation during the end of the spring semester, right around final exam study time. Whereas taking the October LSAT would require preparation over the summer and the beginning of the fall semester when there is likely more free time to prepare. On the other hand, taking the LSAT in June allows time for one “mess-up.” For example, if circumstances force you to miss the June LSAT, or if your performance on the June test causes you to cancel the test, you can take the test in October and still be able to have your completed application to law schools at the beginning of the application window.
If you end up taking the LSAT on a test date that will result in your scores getting to a law school after the application deadline, some schools will still consider your application. But admissions will have become more competitive as few spots will be available. Other schools will not consider applications that are not complete by the application deadline.
Once you have decided on the month you would like to take the LSAT, decide on a location. Visit the website of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), www.LSAC.org, for the exact test dates and locations. Then decide on a second choice in case your desired date and location combination is not available. It is best to register at least 6 weeks in advance to ensure availability of your desired test center. Before you begin the registration process, be prepared with a major credit card to pay the LSAT registration fee (currently $160.00). LSAT registration is available online at www.LSAC.org, by telephone or through the mail. The registration process is relatively quick and simple. You are required to provide basic biographical information, select a test date and center and pay the fee.
The registration deadline is approximately 4 weeks prior to the test date, followed by a 10-day late registration period. All registration deadlines are available at www.LSAC.org. To register online, visit www.LSAC.org to sign up for an online account. Then click on the link “Register for LSAT” and follow the steps to register for the test at the desired location and on the desired test date. To register through the mail, you must contact LSAC to request a paper application packet. To register via phone, call the LSAC at (215) 968-1001 and follow the phone prompts.