Law School Admission Test
The current LSAT consists of four 35-minute sections of multiple choice questions, plus a writing sample. The test takes approximately 3 hours and the components are as follows:
- Reading comprehension: measures your ability to read with understanding and insight.
- Analytical reasoning: measures your ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw conclusions about the structure.
- Logical reasoning : evaluates your ability to understand, analyze, criticize and complete a variety of arguments.
- Variable section: an experimental section that takes the form of one of the 3 aforementioned test sections that is used to help formulate new LSAT questions. This section will not count toward your LSAT score. You will not be told which section is the variable one.
- Writing Sample on a prescribed topic. The 35-minute writing sample is not scored, but is sent to law schools to which you apply. Some law schools compare the writing sample to your personal statement to measure consistency in your writing ability.
Take it Early: The LSAT is currently offered about eight times a year. While many people take the early fall test, the June test has real advantages in that the scores are available in plenty of time to plan out an application strategy and/or take the early fall test, if necessary. With the importance placed on the LSAT, it is hard to choose schools effectively without the score.
Preparing for the Exam
Since the LSAT is a very important factor in admissions decisions, preparing in advance for it is crucial. Most students start preparing for the LSAT 3-6 months prior to their test date. People prepare in different ways, depending on the manner in which they learn best, their financial situation, etc.
There is extensive study material provided through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), including suggested approaches to questions, explanations, and LSAT Prep Tests. You can also access free test prep through LSAC’s partnership with Khan Academy.
Retaking the Exam
Before you decide to retake the exam, ask yourself:
When you took the LSAT…
- were you sick?
- were you going through something emotionally stressful?
- were you not able to give your LSAT preparation 100%?
- knowing what you went through (and all the things you still have to do), do you want to do it again?
A positive response to one/any/all above special circumstances may mean you should retake the test. But, keep in mind that most people who retake the LSAT fail to score substantially higher on it the second time around. Some even score lower. Also, keep in mind that most law schools average multiple test scores, so you would have to score significantly higher the second time around. Finally, keep in mind the timing of your application. Is the next LSAT administration too close to application deadlines?
Accommodations for the LSAT are available for students who have documented disabilities. To find out more about these types of accommodations, please see the Accommodated Testing section of the LSAC website or contact the Law Services Testing Accommodations Section at firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 966-6625.
Information about fee waivers and downloadable forms are available on the LSAC website.