The LSAT

About the LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, standardized test administered nine times each year at designated testing centers. It is the admission test accepted by and required by most American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools. (Some law schools will accept the GRE in lieu of the LSAT.) The test is designed to provide law schools with a common measure of applicants’ aptitude for legal study.

The LSAT consists of five, 35-minute multiple choice sections and a 35-minute (unscored) writing sample section. Four of the multiple choice sections contribute to the test taker’s score. The unscored (experimental) multiple choice section is used to pretest new test questions. The kind and placement of this section will vary. A 35-minute (unscored) writing sample section is taken separately from the multiple choice portion of the test. Copies of the writing sample are shared to the schools to which you apply. The score scale for the LSAT is 120 to 180, with a median score of roughly 150.

The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.

The three multiple-choice question types in the LSAT are:

1.) Reading Comprehension Questions
These questions measure your ability to read, with understanding and insight, examples of lengthy and complex materials similar to those commonly encountered in law school work. The reading comprehension section contains four sets of reading questions, each consisting of a selection of reading material (either a single complex passage or two shorter related passages), followed by five to eight questions that test reading and reasoning abilities.

2.) Analytical Reasoning Questions
These questions are designed to measure your ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure. You are asked to make deductions from a set of statements, rules, or conditions that describe relationships among entities such as persons, places, things, or events. They simulate the kinds of detailed analyses of relationships that a law student must perform in solving legal problems.

3.) Logical Reasoning Questions
These questions are designed to evaluate your ability to understand, analyze, criticize, and complete a variety of arguments. Each logical reasoning question requires you to read and comprehend a short passage, then answer a question about it. The questions test a variety of abilities involved in reasoning logically and thinking critically.

Registering for the LSAT

Detailed information—test dates, sites, fees, and registration deadlines—is available online through the Law School Admission Council website at www.lsac.org.