This is a question that prospective law school students might ask before being accepted into law school. They know that a good Law School Admissions Test score practically guarantees them admission at a top school, but they don’t know how long their scores remain valid. Learning how long your score remains valid is especially important if you want to take some time off after college or you decide to apply to law school later.

What is the LSAT?

Certain jobs require more education than others. If you want to work as a lawyer in the future, you need to attend and finish law school. Law schools look at a number of factors when determining who to admit into the program, including your undergraduate GPA, your extracurricular activities and your score on the LSAT. The LSAT is a test that consists of five sections each with 35 different multiple choice questions. The lowest score possible is 120, while the highest score is 180, and those with a higher score have a better chance of getting into law school.

Preparing for the Test

When you take a college test, you typically know the material from your coursework. You can look through your books, meet with a study group and go over your notes from class. Preparing for the LSAT takes a little more work. You’ll find a number of test prep books that include sample questions from the test and practice tests that let you see where your strengths and weaknesses are and which areas you need to study. If you struggle with some of the questions, consider taking a test prep class.

Getting Your Scores

According to the Law School Admission Council, you will receive your score within three to four weeks after you take the test. If you have an account and register a valid email address with that account, you will receive your score within three weeks, but if the testing center mails you the results, it can take up to four weeks. You have the option of sending your scores directly to the law schools where you apply when you take the test, or you can request that the center sends your score after you receive confirmation and check your score yourself.

Related Resource: Choosing the Right Graduate Degree

How Long are LSAT Scores Valid?

Like most tests of its kind, the LSAT only remains valid for a certain period of time. The LSAC will keep your scores on file for five years after you take the test. If you take the test multiple times, it will keep track of each score and give you an average score and a list of each score you received. The LSAC will remove some of your older scores after five years passes. For example, if you take the test in April and December of 2012, your scores are only valid until April and December of 2017.

A good score on the LSAT can outweigh any problems or issues on your application, including a poor letter of recommendation or a slightly lower GPA.