Hey Contrabergin — You know yourself best and I’m happy to discuss further, but here are my thoughts —
I think you should absolutely take in December —
It’s completely natural for you to feel nervous (and for this to cause your scores to fluctuate a bit) — but for you the situation is even worse because a) at your score level, you have a much smaller margin for error and b) let’s face it–that’s a pretty amazing range that you are currently in — it’s life changing — and even though it’s a good thing, it’s scary —
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it — what’s far more important is that you’ve done an amazing job of putting yourself in position to do something great, and now you want to put yourself in the best position possible to take it to the test and show it everything you’ve got —
I think the fact that schools now only care about your top score has really changed how students should think about the exam — so many students go into the test with the mindset that it’s something where you can either a) feel you’ve survived or b) feel terrible — but, sorry for the sports analogy, the situation presented is much more like:
The game is tied, and you have a chance to win it with some free throws — if you miss them, it’s just overtime (you get another chance), but if you make them, you win the freakin championship. (And you know what, you are better at shooting free throws than just about everyone else in the world — it’s what you are awesome at). All you have to do is trust yourself.
In addition, it’s important to keep in mind that not every LSAT is exactly the same, and you can perform just as well on one and end up with a 172 and another and end up at 176 — so, with so much out of your hands, and with so much to gain and so little to lose, and with so much on your side,
Here’s what I think is perhaps what’s most important for you to hear —
You have all the tools to do something awesome and you need to go for it — the only thing that can hold you back is being worried that something might go wrong or being worried when you face a challenge — you are amazingly good at the LSAT — trust in your talents, be aggressive, and see where you end up — I think you are very likely to be very happy with your results.