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About the LSAT
The Law School Administration Test (LSAT) is administered four times a year at designated centers worldwide. The LSAT is a 3½ hour standardized test designed to measure some of the thinking skills considered essential for success in law school. It is required for admission to all 194 law schools that comprise the membership of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). LSAC develops and administers the LSAT with the assistance of the American College Testing (ACT).
LSAT scores range from 120 to 180.
Many law schools will weigh your LSAT score more than your GPA. Some schools weigh your LSAT score 70% versus 30% for your GPA, meaning that this 3 1/2 hour test is worth more than 4 years undergraduate work! Research the law schools you are applying to for this information because the value of the LSAT varies tremendously from school to school.
- 50th Percentile: 151
- 75th Percentile: 157
- 90th Percentile: 164
- 95th Percentile: 167
- 99th Percentile: 172–190
The LSAT consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple choice questions and one 30-minute writing sample. Only four of the five sections are scored. The fifth section is experimental where new items are tested. The writing sample is not scored but copies of the sample are sent to all law schools to which a candidate applies.
In keeping with its predictability, every LSAT consists of the same basic elements. There are six of these basic elements to every LSAT- sections, directions, statements, questions, answers, and time.
While they are commonly referred to as test sections, these elements, are in fact, separate tests. It is important to understand that each LSAT consists of five of these tests, as well as a writing sample. Although there is only one LSAT score, there are five different tests on every LSAT.
Each section comes with directions. The directions tell you what you are expected to do on that section. Directions are important.
A statement precedes most question and answer-choice sets. The statement provides certain information, some of which is relevant to the questions and answer choices that follow the statement. It is easy to confuse statements and questions.
You will get a set of 5-8 questions and a passage that is 400-500 words long. You will get four passages per section. The questions will be similar to the SAT Reading Comprehension questions, but more difficult. The passages are not arranged in any order of difficulty.
Logical Reasoning (Arguments)
Logical Reasoning questions constitute about half of the total LSAT questions. You will encounter at least two Logical Reasoning sections (three if the experimental is Logical Reasoning). Logical Reasoning questions test your ability to take apart an argument (a skill useful to lawyers).
Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games)
These questions are designed to measure your ability to understand a system of relationships and to draw appropriate deductive conclusions about those relationships. You have to draw complex diagrams that lay out the parts of the question in a spatial relationship. The Analytical Reasoning (Games) section has about 24 questions broken into four "games" that are each five to eight questions long.
This section is not scored. It is used to test questions for use on future editions of the LSAT. It consists of the same types of questions as are included in one of the scored sections.
The writing sample is provided to law schools along with your test score, but is not scored.
- 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