You studied your buns off for months. Maybe you took an LSAT course, maybe you didn't. Regardless of how you prepped, the October LSAT came and went. If you're like the rest of us, you probably thought that actually taking the LSAT would be the most stressful part of the law school application process. But now that the LSAT is over, you have no choice but to sit by and wait for the results of your professional fate…and that can be even more stressful that the exam itself. (BTW, the official score release date per the LSAC for the October 2011 LSAT is 10/26, but rumor has it that results will be released and emailed to LSAT takers today.) The good news is that the excruciating wait will soon be over, but why not sooth some of your subconscious fears by confidently settling on a game plan ahead of time instead of falling into the cruel, but welcoming, arms of fear and anxiety. What do you mean by "game plan?" While I'm not trying to minimize the gravity of your decision, at this point in time you really only have three options: Accept your LSAT score as it is, regardless of what it is, and adjust your application strategy accordingly; Re-take the LSAT if your score isn't as high as you had hoped it would be and stay the course with your current application strategy; or Bow out of the law school application process gracefully and pursue other options if your score doesn't cut it. I'm assuming that if you're reading this post, you probably aren't about to give up on your life long dream of obtaining a J.D. without a fight, so option 3 is probably not a realistic choice for you. As for option 2, I'll say this: If you prepped sufficiently, were reasonably calm while taking the LSAT, were not suffering from an extreme case of the flu (or similar illness), and nothing particularly tragic occurred immediately prior to or during the exam, then…. I hate to say it, but re-taking the LSAT might not be the best decision for you. I'm not saying that it is impossible to improve, but more often than not, test takers do not emerge from their second round of LSAT testing with a higher score. This is problematic for a number of reasons: studying for the LSAT is time consuming, test prep materials and LSAT courses are expensive, many law school average your LSAT scores instead of using the highest score, getting a lower score the second time around could leave you in a worse position than you were in originally. The Silver Lining If, however, you feel like you were unprepared going in AND you have unequivocally decided that law school is the best choice for you, then do whatcha' gotta do. Take or re-take a commercial LSAT course. Hire a private LSAT tutor to help you discover your weak areas and then attack that son-of-a-bitch exam. Same goes for illnesses, tragic personal events and extreme irregularities at the test site. If your boyfriend of five years broke up with you the night before the LSAT because he learned that he fathered a child with a stripper that he slept with at his cousin's bachelor party three months ago, then you might want to consider re-grouping and knocking it out of the park the second time around. The point is, only you know how well you prepared for the LSAT and what was going through your head (or afflicting your body) on the day of the test. No one wants to admit defeat, and you shouldn't have to. There is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing your score (whatever it may be) to determine your fate. If, after analyzing your circumstances, you come to the conclusion that you did the very best you could have done," then option 1 is probably perfect for you. Make your decision and stand behind it with confidence. Allow your mind to be at peace knowing that you made the best possible decision you could have made under the circumstances. In short…chill out, take a deep breath, and let life take you where it may. Fill out my Wufoo form! Which option is best for you? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think.
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