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LSAT

The Law School Admission Test is a half-day standardized test used by most law schools as part of their admission criteria. Unlike the SAT or ACT, the LSAT does not test knowledge in a particular subject area. Rather, the LSAT uses common language and broad topics to measure the following skills:

  • Reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insights
  • Organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from what has been presented
  • Critical-thinking skills
  • Analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others

Dates and deadlines

Dates and deadlines

The LSAT is offered multiple times throughout the year. Test dates and deadlines are available for viewing. Not every test center administers the LSAT on all testing dates, so students should select a site that indicates “yes”. Many test sites fill up quickly, so early registration is recommended.

The LSAT is offered around the world, and test dates may differ from the U.S. test dates.

U.S. LSAT locations
International LSAT options

Students and alumni may meet with a prelaw advisor for assistance in considering the pros and cons of each available LSAT option.

LSAT structure

LSAT structure

The LSAT contains five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions plus a writing sample.

Four of the sections are calculated for the test taker’s score, relative to other test takers.

  • The remaining section is experimental.
  • The sections are randomly ordered, and the experimental section is not identified.

The writing sample is a proctored, on-demand writing exam administered online using secure proctoring software installed on the test taker’s own computer.

  • The writing sample is not scored.
  • Once a candidate has completed a writing sample, they will not need to complete another one should they choose to retake the LSAT.
  • LSAT Writing FAQs

The following comprise the five sections:

  • Reading comprehension — lengthy and complex passages to test reading and reasoning skills
  • Analytical reasoning (logic games) — measures the ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure
  • Logical reasoning (two scored sections) — assesses the ability to analyze, critically evaluate, and complete arguments as they occur in ordinary language
  • Variable/experimental — designed to prepare items for future tests
    • Because this section can be any section of the exam, students should practice taking five sections while preparing.
    • Students will receive an additional section of either reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, or logical reasoning as their variable section.

Scoring

Scoring

Test takers will receive a score between 120 and 180.

Retake policy

Test takers will be permitted to take the LSAT:

  • Three times in a single testing year (the testing year goes from June 1 to May 31).
  • Five times within the current and five past testing years
  • A total of seven times over a lifetime

A prelaw advisor can help students determine whether to retake the LSAT.

LSAT preparation

LSAT preparation

Deciding when to take the LSAT is a highly individual decision, but the best time is when the student feels fully prepared. Students should plan ahead to ensure adequate preparation time, generally considered to be four to six months of consistent preparation. This also allows students to take the test at an opportune time. Sufficient preparation is critical, because every LSAT score is reported to each law school to which an applicant applies.

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