What Is the LSAT Test?
The Law School Admission Test, which is given four times a year, is a standardized paper-based test you’ll need to take and pass to get yourself into most law schools. It is currently only offered as a paper-based test, but the Law School Admission Council is researching viable methods of moving it to a computer-based or computer-adaptive test. You can take the LSAT by December for law school admission the next fall, but the LSAC recommends you take it earlier (like June or October) to guarantee your spot.
LSAT Test Stats:
Because you’re going to be reading a lot of complex case material (read dry, convoluted) during law school, the LSAT is heavy on reading comprehension and logic. If you can’t wade through the muck they throw at you on the LSAT, you’ll surely sink in law school.
- 5 multiple-choice sections, 4 that are scored
- 35 minutes per section
- 1 30-minute writing section at the end
- Approx. 3 hours and 25 minutes, not including breaks and distribution of materials
- LSAT Logical Reasoning (Arguments): These two sections basically ask the test-taker to evaluate arguments. What is the conclusion? Where is the faulty logic? What assumption is incorrect?
Sample Logical Reasoning Quiz
- LSAT Analytical Reasoning (Games): In this section, you'll play reasoning games like where to place guests at a table if Susie can’t sit next to Tom or Jack, and Jack must be placed by his third cousin. You know, fun games like that.
Sample Analytical Reasoning Quiz
- LSAT Reading Comprehension: Can you read complex text without falling asleep? Can you analyze, evaluate, and synthesize material? Can you answer multiple-choice questions based on the dreary stuff you just read? Let’s hope so!
Sample LSAT Reading Comprehension Questions
How Is the LSAT Test Scored?
Good question. The LSAT’s scores range from a 120 (low) to a 180 (killer). Even though the average score is a 150, you’ll need to score a 160 or even higher if you want to get into one of the top twenty-five law schools in the country. Yale requires a 171.
Facts about the score you should know:
- Only four of the multiple-choice sections count
- The writing section isn’t scored
- No points are deducted for blank or wrong answers
- Most of the top law schools will average your LSAT scores if you make multiple attempts
How Can You Prepare for the LSAT Test?
The LSAC offers a free practice LSAT, but there are a number of ways you can prepare for this test and get the score you’d like!
- Private tutors: Many different organizations offer private tutoring – Kaplan, Sylvan, TutorNation, and more. The caveat? They can cost you upwards of $1,000. The bonus? Guarantees. If you don’t score well, you get your money back.
- Books: Sworn off of the old-fashioned paper-and-pencil? Don’t be too hasty! Those books have helpful practice questions and tips. Plus, they walk you through each question and solution.
- Online Courses: If you’re self-motivated, and let’s face it – you probably are if you’re thinking about law school, taking an online course may be the best prep method for you. You can pace yourself between online seminars, practice questions, study groups and practice tests. Plus, you don’t have to pay the hefty fees of a private tutor.
Good luck getting the score you want on the LSAT, and getting into your top choice of law schools!