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What is the LSAT?

The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is required for admission to most law schools and is offered four times each year.

The LSAT is comprised of 6 sections (Five 35-minute multiple choice sections and a 35-minute writing sample). Testing time is approximately 3.5 hours long, but with breaks you'll be in the room for 4+ hours.   

LSAT Scoring Information

The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180 points. Because most top law schools average multiple LSAT scores, it's best to prepare as thoroughly as possible and only take the test once. The LSAT is offered 4 times per year.

What's on the LSAT

Logical Reasoning (Arguments) LSAT Section

The Logical Reasoning LSAT Section has multiple-choice questions that ask test takers to analyze and evaluate arguments. For example, test takers might have to select the answer choice that strengthens or weakens an argument, or identify the conclusion.

Logical Reasoning LSAT Section at a Glance

  • 2 sections
  • About 25 questions each
  • 35 minutes each

Skills Tested

  • Ability to determine main points of arguments
  • Ability to apply logic to abstract concepts
  • Ability to find relevant information within a text
  • Ability to analyze and evaluate arguments

Analytical Reasoning (Games) LSAT Section

The Analytical Reasoning LSAT Section presents test takers with logic "games" (for example, arranging tea cups on a shelf or dinner guests at a party) and asks them to draw conclusions, make deductions, or make predictions based on a predetermined set of rules.

Analytical Reasoning LSAT Section at a Glance

  • About 25 questions
  • 35 minutes

Skills Tested

  • Ability to understand effects of rules on decisions and outcomes
  • Ability to determine relationships between concepts
  • Ability to analyze situations and draw conclusions based on set guidelines
  • Ability to apply logic to ambiguous or complex situations

Reading Comprehension LSAT Section

The Reading Comprehension LSAT Section has 4 sections, 3 of which include passages between 400 and 500 words long, and 1 of which has two shorter passages, each 200 to 300 words long. Each passage is followed by a list of questions.

There have been changes to the Reading Comprehension LSAT Section which began with the June 2007 exam. Here's LSAC's description: "Starting with the June 2007 administration, LSAC is introducing a new variant of reading comprehension, called comparative reading, as one of the four sets in the LSAT reading comprehension section. In general, comparative reading questions are similar to traditional reading comprehension questions, except that comparative reading questions are based on two shorter passages instead of one longer passage. The two passages together are of roughly the same length as one reading comprehension passage, so the total amount of reading in the reading comprehension section will remain essentially the same. A few of the questions that follow a comparative reading passage pair might concern only one of the two passages, but most will be about both passages and how they relate to each other."

Reading Comprehension LSAT Section at a Glance

  • About 27 questions
  • 35 minutes

Skills Tested

  • Ability to draw inferences based on text
  • Ability to determine main ideas of passages
  • Ability to find relevant information within a text
  • Ability to understand a dense, scholarly text

Essay LSAT Section

The Essay LSAT Section is not graded, but it is sent to law schools with your LSAT score. It's sometimes used as a "tie breaker" when 2 candidates seem to be equal in other measures.

The Decision Prompt

Students are presented with a hypothetical scenario and given a choice between 2 different actions. Students then must choose which action is better and support their decisions with reasons why.

Essay LSAT Section at a Glance

  • 35 minutes

Skills Tested

  • Ability to form an argument based on given facts
  • Ability to support an argument
  • Ability to use written English to express an idea

Experimental LSAT Section

The Experimental LSAT Section is used to test potential questions for future LSATs. It's presented as an extra logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, or reading comprehension section. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell which part of your test is experimental, so be sure to give equal effort to each LSAT section.

Experimental LSAT Section at a Glance

  • 35 minutes
  • About 25 questions

LSAT Scoring

The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180 points. Yale is looking for somewhere around a 171. Cornell wants a 165 and the University of San Diego wants a 162.

LSAT Scoring Breakdown

  • 4 of the 5 multiple-choice sections count toward your final LSAT score
  • 1 of the 5 sections is experimental, used only to test questions for future exams
  • Correct responses count equally, and no points are deducted for incorrect or blank responses
  • The essay is not scored, and is rarely used by admissions officers to evaluate your candidacy
  • Most top schools average multiple LSAT Scores

LSAT Test Dates

The LSAT is offered 4 times a year. LSAT registration deadlines are typically one month before the LSAT test date; late registration deadlines are typically three weeks before the test.

Upcoming LSAT test dates:

  • Monday, February 9, 2009*
  • Monday, June 8, 2009
  • Saturday, September 26, 2009
  • Tuesday, September 29, 2009*
  • Saturday, December 5, 2009
  • Monday, December 7, 2009*
  • Saturday, February 6, 2010
  • Monday, February 8, 2010*

*This test is for Saturday Sabbath observers only. 

How do I pick an LSAT test date?

First find out the application deadlines for the law schools to which you are applying. Then work backwards from your earliest deadline. Build some extra time in to your planning process for unexpected delays. You can register online at http://www.lsac.org/.

What fees are associated with the LSAT?

It costs $127 to take the LSAT and receive one free score report. The late LSAT registration fee is $64. In addition, subscription to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) is required for application for most law schools. This subscription costs $117 and includes one free score report. Additional score reports cost $12. Waiver forms for the LSAT and LSDAS fees are available through LSAC and can be downloaded from the LSAC website at http://www.lsac.org/.

Where can I get more information about the LSAT?

You can contact the LSAC at: 215-968-1001 or http://www.lsac.org/.

LSAT FAQs

How important are my LSAT scores?

Law schools use your percentile ranking to determine where your score places you in comparison to your competition. More than 50 percent of test takers receive scores between 145 and 159, although this range represents less than one-quarter of the possible scaled scores. A score of 160 or above would put you in an elite group. You may take the LSAT no more than three times in any two-year period, and the scores remain on your record for five years. Most top law schools average multiple LSAT scores.

Can I cancel my scores?

Yes. You can cancel your LSAT scores at the test center by completing the score cancellation section on the LSAT answer sheet. You can also cancel your scores by sending a written cancellation request to LSAC within six calendar days of the test. Score reports will reflect that your score was cancelled at your request.

Where can I get more information about the LSAT?

You can contact us here at The Princeton Review by calling 800-2Review (800-273-8439). Or you can contact the LSAC at 215-968-1001 or http://www.lsac.org/.

 
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