What is the “LSAT” and Why Is It so Important?
The LSAT is an exam required for admission at most law schools.
It is offered four times a year in June, October, December, and
February. Generally you need to register for the exam about a month
prior to the administration date for the regular fee, although you
can pay additional money to register “late,” viz., a few weeks
before the exam.
The LSAT consists of 101 multiple choice questions. Your questions
will be organized in one of three categories:
* Reading comprehension
* Logical reasoning
* Logic Games
You will answer questions in five 35 minute intervals in these
various categories; thus, you might have 1 section of reading
comprehension followed by 1 section of logical reasoning followed by
a section of logic games, logical reasoning, and reading
Your exam will always consist of two logical reasoning sections, one
reading comprehension, and one logic games section; the last section
which is “experimental” can be in any one of these categories. The
experimental section is not scored, but you generally can’t tell
which one it is, so you should take each section equally seriously.
Your score for the LSAT is based on the total number of questions
you answer correctly; incorrect answers are NOT penalized so you
MUST guess if you don’t know the answer to a question – you have
nothing to lose. Your final score will be between 120-180, and will
be accompanied by a percentile ranking which will indicate how your
score compares to others who took the same test.
2. What are the LSAT questions like?
Logical reasoning: since there are two sections of these problems,
this is probably the most important category to work on; each
section will have about 25 questions which will provide a short
argument or claim and then a few questions based on analyzing that
argument or claim
Logic games: usually this section consists of four “games” which
have 4-7 questions each; the game involves figuring out some
information or organization through applying a set of rules and
Reading comprehension: difficult readings of up to 450 words in
either law, humanities, natural science or social science; 5-8
questions per passage; usually 4 passages with about 27 total
Your exam will end with a 30 minute essay question.
For many schools this item is given the most weight in an
application package, and in any event it is usually taken very
seriously (although some schools do tend to discount its importance
in their admissions decisions).
Your best bet for the LSAT is to get very comfortable with the
format and the types of questions that are on it. Start studying at
least six weeks in advance. You should take as many prior LSAT
examinations as you can under actual timed test conditions before
taking the real thing. This way when you sit down in the actual exam
room it won’t seem so alien or anxiety provoking. Try to make the
process of getting ready for and taking the exam as routine as
3. Canceling and Retaking the LSAT
Only cancel your score or take the exam again if you really think
there was something that substantially hindered your prior
performance (horrendous test conditions, lack of preparation or
sleep, illness, etc.). You have five days after your exam to decide
whether to cancel your score; cancellations are reported to schools.
If you do take the test again, you will probably want to explain any
significant discrepancy between your test scores. Many but not all
schools will simply average your two scores if you take the exam
more than once.
You may only take the LSAT three times in a two-year period. That
should be plenty.
4. LSAT prep courses
They are expensive, but many folks swear by them. If you take into
account the expense of law school, it probably makes sense to take a
prep course unless you are very disciplined and can get ahold of
numerous practice tests which you will take and analyze