- Wed Dec 30, 2020 10:25 am
A major factor in this decision is whether or not you're trying to apply in the current cycle or if you are waiting to apply next fall. Assuming you are applying this cycle, I would probably go ahead and take the January test but plan for the February test as well. As you observed, taking the January test can get you experience with the actual test which can help get rid of some nerves because it gives you a better sense of what to expect from the kind of strange LSAT Flex experience. And it gives you a score which is always a good thing to have this late in the cycle so you're not putting all of your eggs in that February basket!
I wouldn't worry too much about using up your score preview--law schools already only care about your highest score so even if you end up taking this test multiple times and have to have a lower than desirable score on your score report, it's only your highest score that's really going to matter.
Dings to your confidence can definitely hurt. But you have to go into this test knowing that it is a shifty beast that humbles us all. One bad test doesn't mean that you can't do better. People end up with lower scores than they're capable of all the time for various reasons. It's all a part of the LSAT journey. So prepare yourself to get back on that horse no matter what happens! Go ahead and write out a pep talk to yourself before the test that you can read in the event that it doesn't go as well as you hope. Hopefully, you won't need that pep talk. But if you do, it will help to have that reminder from a more optimistic version of yourself that you are someone who persists, who welcomes challenges, who can do hard things, and who can definitely kick the LSAT's butt.
Hope this helps! Good luck!