Watch Video: LSAC’s Associate Director for Item Development describes the test and gives tips on how to prepare.
The LSAT is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants
The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker’s score. These sections include one Reading Comprehension section, one Analytical Reasoning section, and two Logical Reasoning sections. The unscored section, commonly referred to as the variable section, typically is used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms. The placement of this section will vary. Identification of the unscored section is not available until you receive your score report.
A 35-minute, unscored writing sample is administered at the end of the test. Copies of your writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply.
What the Test Measures
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.
There are three multiple-choice question types in the LSAT:
- Reading comprehension questions measure the ability to read, with understanding and insight, examples of lengthy and complex materials similar to those commonly encountered in law school.
- Analytical reasoning questions measure the ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure.
- Logical reasoning questions assess the ability to analyze, critically evaluate, and complete arguments as they occur in ordinary language.