The February LSAT is a bit of a mystery to many law school applicants. A lot of folks think that it’s harder or easier than other tests during the year (it’s not), that February scores come in too late to be sent to schools for the fall (not necessarily), or that if they haven’t started prepping by January they should just take it cold (not true!).
If you’re taking the February 2010 LSAT, here are a few answers to some common questions.
I’ve heard that schools frown upon February LSAT scores. Is it easier, or what?
No, it’s not an easier test. The LSAC works hard to keep difficulty consistent from test to test (and as we wrote earlier, they have ways to even out scores when there’s variation). The only drawback to taking the February LSAT is that it’s late in the admissions cycle for most schools — if a school has rolling admissions, you’ll be at the tail-end of the applicant pool for fall 2010.
So if I’m applying in the fall, is the February 2010 LSAT a no-go?
Not necessarily. The December LSAT is the latest test that many schools will accept (Harvard, Stanford, UT Austin), but others will let you send in your February scores as part of your application (Yale, UPenn, Washington University). Of course, the deadlines for a lot of these schools will fall before your scores come back — make sure you complete your application on time even if you’re sending scores later.
If you’re wondering if your schools will take a February score, ask them! The folks at Most Strongly Supported also have a handy list of schools that will say yes to the February LSAT, schools that will say no, and schools that will say “Yes, but…”
Are there any other differences between the February LSAT and other tests?
One difference won’t affect you on test day, but it’s pretty annoying: The February LSAT is the only regular administration that’s non-disclosed, meaning when you get your official score you won’t be able to see exactly what you missed. This isn’t ideal, because going over your strengths and weaknesses will help you improve if you decide to retake the test. If you rock the test the first time, though, no big deal.
OK, it’s now the end of January. Is it too late to get myself in shape for test day?
It’s not too late! Ideally, you’d give yourself over a month to prepare for the test; our LSAT prep course runs about 6 weeks, so students have plenty of time to master the concepts section by section.
But — you can do a lot to get yourself ready in two weeks. The main thing you have to do is get used to taking the test. Timing is a huge part of the LSAT, you need to know the pace and structure of each section. Run through as many practice tests as you can, then go over your answers and see what you need to work on.
For the next two weeks, we’re offering a last-minute deal for students cramming for February. It’s a 2-week prep program — you can brush up on concepts with archived lessons, dive into practice tests, and check out as many questions as you want with full explanations. You’re still two weeks out, so there’s definitely room to improve by February 6th.