Prepping for the LSAT: An Insider’s Look

December 21, 2022

Preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is also preparing for your future career in law, because the test measures the skills necessary for success in law school and beyond. In this workshop, aimed at students planning to start law school in August 2023 or later, we present a comprehensive overview of the LSAT and LSAT Writing, examine the format of the test, dive into the different question types and how to approach them, and guide you on how to prepare and strengthen these core skills so you can be confident on test day.

Full Transcript

COLLIN: All right. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the LawHub PreLaw Success live event series. My name is Collin Takita, and I'm the Director of PreLaw Learning here at LSAC. In this live event, we're going to be talking about a very important topic probably top of mind for just about everyone here today, and that is the LSAT. Whether you've taken the LSAT already, or you're getting ready to take it for the first time, you're getting ready to take it again, you're still just thinking about whether you should take it, I'm sure you have a lot of questions circulating in that brain of yours and we're going to try to answer as many of those questions as possible today. So, how are we going to do that? Well, in a moment, you'll hear from Anna Topczewski, who is the Assistant Director for Assessment Sciences here at LSAC. And in my mind, there are very few people more knowledgeable than she is about the LSAT. And there are very few people who are better equipped than she is to answer your questions. So, Anna has a presentation prepared for you all, in which she'll walk through the LSAT, everything you need to know about going into test day and your preparation cycle, as well as some things you should think about as you prepare yourself mentally, for the preparation and for the actual taking of the test. Now I'll be with you throughout the program, I will be jumping in and doing a little bit of a demo of LawHub. So, stay tuned for that and I also encourage you to stick with us the whole time because after her presentation, Anna will be answering questions as part of a live Q&A. And I'll be with her as well and we can answer those questions for you. So, if there are questions that weren't answered during the course of the presentation, make sure you stick around, and we'll answer them for you by the end. So, with that, Anna, I'll ask you to turn on your camera and I'll hand things over to you to get us started.


ANNA: So, I wanted to start with our all-important mission. So, I know sometimes it's a little cliche to, to have, what is our mission as an organization, but I really feel it's important and I tried to do this for all my presentations to kind of go through what is LSAC’s mission and, and it is, I'm sorry, I'm going to read it. LSAC’s mission is to advance law and justice by encouraging diverse, talented individuals like you guys to study law, and by supporting their enrollment and learning journeys from prelaw, which I'm sure many of you are at right now, through practice. And so, it's really for me as an assessment’s person, it's that journey of how you get there. I also think it's very interesting as an assessment’s person, and as you know, if you think of the LSAC as an organization, we don't mention assessment in our mission. It's because it's really about that journeying and supporting your education, through assessments and in the assessment is just one part of it. So, I always like to give that plug a little bit of like, we are a mission driven organization, and we're really here to help support you.

So, one first thing I want to do to kind of start off our day, there's going to be a few polls and, and questions that's going to pop up. So, the first one is actually I want to get to know you guys a little bit more so, I can help tailor my presentation a bit. And so there should be a word cloud here that you can access by typing in the address and the voting code or scanning it with your phone. And the word cloud is asking what areas of law are you most interested in going into? In particular, I kind of want to see what you all were thinking in terms of what areas of law we're going to go into. I’ll show the results of that, that word cloud. Okay. Iit keeps changing. Corporate, immigration, international, civil rights. Really great. Family, intellectual property. Oh, my goodness, it keeps getting more and more and more diverse as more people keep adding into this. This is really great. Let's keep going on after that. So, wow, I knew there'd be a lot. I didn't realize there would be that many. So that's actually quite remarkable.

So, okay, a little bit about myself. I just got to know you guys a little bit. So, a little bit about me. So, I am the Assistant Director of Assessment Sciences. I have been a psychometrician/measurement scientist for coming up now on 10 years and have been with LSAC for a little over two years. I always like to say “Where did I start?” So, I actually started as a premed student. That's why I have my bachelor's degree in biology and psychology. But when you find out you faint at the sight of blood, maybe you should rethink your life choices and go into something different. And so, I had a heart to heart with my advisor and he said, you know, nobody likes statistics like you do. That's weird. Go into that. And, and so I looked at different programs and I said, hey, there's actually people that create assessments and do that as a job. That's really cool. Let me go to school for that. So that's a little bit about me, I always say too I was one decision away from being a teacher, so I actually tutored a lot in my past. So, in college, I tutored in grad school, I tutored and then once I became a professional in my job, I also volunteered at my local library where I tutored anything from kids who were learning how to add and subtract to calculus. So, I have, um, so kind of tying that back it really, again, a little bit about me, it's about that learning experience to me. And that's why I love doing these types of webinars, because I can give back to helping in your learning journey, because that's really where I'm coming from and how I tie to LSAC's mission. So okay, enough about me.

Test dates, about the LSAT. So, I do have the test dates, and you're like, hey, some of these have passed already. Yes, they have. So, we're into the 2022-2023 testing year. I do have the past ones on there for 2023. January, registration has closed, but February is still open. And April and June, still register for. I know some questions that people likely have. And I've got questions for too is, “Are there going to be tests in the Fall of 2023?” Yes, of course, there will be. The dates have not yet been announced. But do stay tuned. The exact dates haven't been announced. But that's why I kept the 2022 dates up there. Because kind of, we typically have similar plans over the years. So again, nothing's finalized, but you could use 2022-2023 as kind of a ballpark reference for what we're probably going to do next year.

Okay, so actually, we have another poll that's going to pop up hopefully on the screen. So, it's actually going to ask a little bit more about you guys. “When are you planning on taking the LSAT?” Let's give a few seconds, oh people are people are responding, they're coming in. Okay, so it does look like a lot of people are actually planning on taking the test coming up here shortly. So, in the Spring 2023, Fall. Okay, so a lot of people, but actually still quite far out too, so that's really great. We kind of got a mix of people taking it shortly. But then got our well-prepared people to have taken it further out. So it just kind of goes to show you guys are very diverse in terms of what areas of law you're interested in and when you’re attending or planning on going to law school too.

Okay, so the test itself, so the LSAT. Fairness, validity, readiness. So, kind of a little history about the test. I think it's absolutely amazing that the LSAT was designed specifically for the purpose of meeting the needs of law schools. It's not a generalized test that's been applied to different areas. It's really a test that was specifically designed to test skills needed to do well in law school. So, it's really that in mind. So, and specifically, those skills are critical thinking skills. So also, it's interesting, I didn't want to peg you guys with too many questions. But another question I could have asked was, “What undergrad degrees? What backgrounds are you guys coming from?” I'm sure we would have gotten just a diverse group of answers as well. And that's why I think this admissions test is very different is that its background, kind of agnostic, of its testing, critical thinking skills that you can gain through a different variety of backgrounds. And so, it also is very predictive of how well people do in first years, your first year of law school. So, it's not just testing those critical thinking skills, but also, it's very predictive of how you're going to do in your first year of law school.

Okay, so a little bit more too about the results, are tested for validity. Now, I could get into like a two-hour presentation on that. So I won't, I won't. I'll give you the brief high level overview of that, but I can - trust me rest assured, I am a part of the team and run the team that looks at the results after every single admin so if you're ever wondering, “Hey, what's going on after I take the test before I get my, my scores?” A lot, my team and many others are doing a lot of work in that timeframe to make sure the questions are sound, we check them for fairness, we check them to see how they're performing. So, there is a lot of work that's happening to really make sure that the test and the scores that you get are 100%, valid, fair, and reliable.

So, I think another question, too is, sometimes is, “Are there any tricks or secrets to answering the test questions correctly?” Not really, like they're not meant to be tricky questions. They're really supposed to measure your critical thinking skills. And we'll get a little bit more into like, what each question type is, is really trying to get at later in the presentation. But it's really supposed to be a measure of your skills and not trying to be like, some kind of brain games of like, are they trying to trick me here? No, we're not. So, let's see.

Let's go actually on to the next test. So, the format of the test, so it has changed a bit over the years. But beginning in August 2021, it has been three multiple-choice sections, 35 sections, or 35 minutes each. Then with one unscored multiple-choice section could be that RC, LR, AR sections. It's kind of always a variety of them. And it can be in first, second, third or fourth position as well of taking the test and do note, with the kind of the change from going from three sections to four, we did add in that 10-minute break between the second and third sections as well.

And not to be forgotten. There is the unscored writing sample, that one has a flexible test day. So, when you sign up to take your LSAT on, on the admin date, you don't have to take writing that day, it's a different time frame that you sign up for that and take that. But I do want to just mention, don't forget to do that. Because if you don't have a writing sample on record, your score will not be released. So that's always that panic of, oh my gosh, I forgot to do the writing. “Am I going to get my score?” No, not if unless you have one on record. But luckily, you only have to take it once. If you have signed up for your retesting, and you already have writing on record, you're good. Yeah, you're all set for that.

Okay, so a little bit more too about just Well, if you're here on this webinar, you’ve probably have gotten to already. So just a little bit of extra things that in case you don't know, there is PreLaw LawHub live events series, one of these, and many other LawHub events. There's also great information just about real stories and kind of connecting with individuals and kind of having that group that you can belong to of propelling you. I always say in terms of this is a journey, and you need your support group. So having those real stories can really help that too.

There's also great information about which law schools fit you the best in your goals. As we saw on the word cloud, you all are going in and wanting to go into very different areas of law. Different law schools better support different areas. So really finding a law school that fits what you want to do is so important too for success. And then also on is the candidate referral service. There's the forums that you can attend as well. And then once you're getting ready to apply, don't forget LSAC has our CAS reports as well.

Okay, so getting started with LSAC LawHub. So, you're prepping for the test, you're kind of figuring out like, “What, what is this going to be like?” So, for free the LSAT Prep, you get four official LSAT Prep tests. What's really great about this is it's actually the LawHub interface. And I wanted to emphasize this so when you go into those prep tests when you go into Prep Plus, that is the LawHub interface, it is the same interface setup, navigation that you use for the actual test. So that is always something that if you're like, oh, “I kind of want to know what this is going to be like.” Go into LawHub, or LSAT Prep, go into LawHub, you're going to see that experience. If you are a person that loves to practice, I’m one of those, give me all the prep tests. You can get unlimited access to 70 full practice tests via LawHub Prep Plus, and also you can take them in practice mode, self-paced, simulated exam mode. So, if you're a person that says, “Oh gosh, that 35 minutes I get stressed about that,” you can go to LawHub Prep and take it under 35 minutes and really force yourself to sit through that and live through that and practice that too. Because prepping is like running a marathon, you don't get off the couch and run a marathon, you have to do it slowly and suddenly and build up the stamina to do it. And so, practicing for an exam is kind of no different.

Okay, so LawHub fee waiver. This is, again, why I love LSAC. We offer fee waivers to individuals based off of need, the approval, and your tier. So, there's actually two different tiers. I just have tier one highlighted here is based off of need. It does take up to six weeks, to kind of process everything, there's paperwork to make sure it's all processed correctly. So, you know, really, we say six weeks before the LSAT registration date. So, if you're going to register for June 2023, make sure you figure out what that registration date is back up at least six weeks in order to make sure everything is processed correctly, it does kind of put a hold on your account. So again, I always like to warn people, if you apply to fee waiver and you have a pending, you just took the LSAT and you have a pending score, it will be put on hold, it kind of locks down everything for a little bit. So, I just always want to mention that because it is a great program but do it ahead of time so that your kind of aren’t met with the “Oh shoot now, I can't register or oh, shoot, I can't see my exam results.”

Okay, so shifting gears a little bit. So, getting into the meat of what is our test like? What is the LSAT like? So, reading comprehension. This is a test where, or I shouldn't say, it's part of the test. But it's the section that you really read and go to understand lengthy passages. This is the dense kind of reading section. It is complex, it is 400 or 450 to 500 words in total. So, you know, it kind of will seem familiar make sense of like, oh, yeah, when you're a lawyer, you have to read through very dense material long material and comprehend it. That is what this section is getting at. “Can you do that?” So, it is complex tests with integrated arguments that you have to understand. So typically, it's either one complex passage, or two related passages that you read, with five to eight questions per passage. There is four of those kind of passages per section. And typically, it's kind of one of each of humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and law-related to that breadth, again, of what you might be experiencing as a lawyer. And it's really, really, really important to pay attention to the main point of the passage. And again, just want to emphasize, not meant to be tricky, although it's long and complex, they're not meant to be tricky. So hopefully, that helps you out on reading comprehension.

Okay, so logical reasoning. So, in every way where reading comprehension is long, logical reading is short, but also complex in a different kind of way. So, you really understand and analyze an argument you are reading or hearing. So, “What is an argument trying to establish? Is the argument valid? Is there a flaw in the logic of the argument?” Are there hidden assumptions to that argument? So, it's, although it's short, it's complex too. So, 20 to 100 words, there's one question about each passage. So short, little snippet, and then you answer one question for it. Typically, that section is about 25 questions long. And again, wide range of topics, so not kind of picking one it can be a wide range of topics. Also, wide range of formats too. I really love that it's different articles, editorials, letters, dialogues, advertisements. So kind of that real world speak sometimes where it isn't always necessary, clear, and the large, or the argument isn't always necessarily well formed. So, it's a lot to read there. So also, you should be familiar with the following terms like argument, inference, assumption, conclusion, and premise. So those are going to come up and those particular items and so knowing each of those and how to apply it to what you're reading is really important.

So, I actually have a sample question too. I love this question. So, I'll read it quick. But so “In jurisdictions where use of headlights is optional when visibility is good, drivers who use headlights at all times are less likely to be involved in a collision than drivers who use headlights when only visibility is poor. Yet, Highway Safety Department records show that making use of headlights mandatory at all times does not reduce the overall number of collisions. Which of the following, if true, helps resolve the apparent discrepancy and kind of that information in the first sentence versus the second sentence?” And I'll give folks just a few seconds before we highlight the answer here.

I will say this was actually a test or question we've had on the test. It's been retired, it’s a very difficult question, actually. And so, if you're like, “I don’t know.” Picked a difficult one, too. So, it's actually “C” so “Only very careful drivers use headlights when it's not legally required.” So, kind of thinking in that first sentence of okay, yes, if you always have your headlights on, you're a very careful driver. If you don't have your headlights on all the time, even when visibility is great, you're probably still a good-ish driver. So really, the law is not changing that behavior of being a good driver or a poor driver, it's still the same. So, changing that rule isn't really going to change people's behavior necessarily of their driving skills.

Analytical reasoning is our third section here. So, these are I like to think of this is, this is the rule section. Here are the rules. Here's the structure. How do you make sense of these rules? It makes sense, right? I should also say this is the section that's commonly called logic games as well. So, I know I've seen questions previously. What's the difference between AR and LG? Nothing, they're the same. They're the same section. It’s just different people call it different things. We at LSAC, called AR. And so, AR really gets at your ability to draw inferences within rules. So, makes sense, right? The legal system has many rules, especially in the US. And so, and procedures that you have to follow, that can dictate the outcomes of the case, based on precedent. And so, being able to understand the interactional rules and how they play out is key. And that's why we have the AR section. So, these, again, are passage based. So typically, up to 130 words that describes a scenario, a set of rules. And then there's five to seven questions that you have to answer kind of based off of that. And it's different types of relationships too, such as the above or next to, before or after, or group membership. And so, kind of different scenarios there of what types of relationships we try to get at. And then for AR there's four different sets per section as well. So, there's kind of four different scenarios that you read, answer questions on for that particular section.

And then the writing sample, I did touch on this one a little bit earlier. So, the writing sample common to call it LSAT Writing, it's really “Can you prepare, are you prepared to write clear and persuasive arguments based off of facts presented in the prompt?” And so, it's you’re kind of given a prompt and you're trying to decide between two courses of action given the criteria. This again, 35 minutes long, not the same day as your test unless that's what you want and sign up for both on the same day. It's not scored. So, your responses itself are just recorded and sent to law schools for their use in your application process. And again, it's a flexible date, time, location, all remote proctoring. I should have said that before about the LSAT as well, when we're talking about registration dates, all remote proctoring. I know a question we got in earlier was, where do I go to take the test? Anywhere you have internet connection that follows the rules in our FAQ. So, it's really up to you on where you test because it's all computer based remote proctoring.

Okay, so scoring overview, so based off the number of questions that you answer correctly, so the raw score. You know, there's no kind of formulaic scoring or something like that you add up the scores or the questions you got right, and that gets converted to your LSAT score. Now, you know, we build this, this different sections to be very similar to one another. Think of it as a house, we got the blueprint, we're building the blueprint. Most of the time, it matches really, really close. But sometimes there's little adjustments we need to make. So sometimes, you know, maybe your raw score of one point is just slightly different translates to a different score on the LSAT.

Also, no deductions are taken for incorrect answers. So, always the advice I like to give you know, if you have two minutes left, and you have five questions left in the section, go in and click something for all of those items and questions. Don't leave anything blank, if you have time then go back and start answering them. But always, I think the phrase and I'm a fan of the Office, and like you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Well, you miss 100% of the questions that you don't answer. So, make sure you go in and fill something out for each of those. And then also kind of a change they want to note too. So, score preview used to be available only to first time test takers, it's now available to all test takers. So, make sure if you're nervous about your score, sign up for score preview, because then you can look at it before it's released.

Okay, so actually, this is where we jump over to Collin to give us a demo of LawHub.


COLLIN: So, before I start sharing my screen, I'm actually going to ask our producer here to throw a poll up on the screen because we are about to talk about preparing for the LSAT. So, I'm curious which sections that Anna just spoke about are you thinking about studying for the most? Which one do you plan to spend the most time on when you study? We're very curious, all of them. Not surprisingly, is getting quite a few responses. That's probably a good idea. Analytical reasoning is in second, I'm not surprised there either. Yep, absolutely. We'll leave it open for another couple seconds here. While we are getting a lot of responses coming in. And not surprisingly, this is the breakdown we're seeing. So, stopping it right there. So, we got about 90% of the people, 80% of people answered, Looks like almost half of you are planning to spend the majority of your time studying all of the sections. I'm not a test expert like Anna, but I would imagine that's probably a pretty wise thing to do. Make sure you're nice and well rounded. Make sure you go into the test day prepared for anything that gets thrown at you. Analytical reasoning right behind it at 30%. Not surprising either. So that's great, that's really good to know where your mindset is at as we get ready to talk about preparing for the LSAT and how you can use LawHub to your advantage to make sure that happens.

So, before I share my screen, I'm going to walk through a little bit of what's here at a high level. First, what you're going to be doing is signing into your LawHub account. From there, what you can do with, well, one of the benefits of it, as Anna talked about early on was it gives you an opportunity to get familiar with not only the question types, but actually the interface, the true interface you'll be using on test day. You can take sections at your own pace, or you can time them and do it and simulate under conditions as close to the test as possible. And it's my recommendation to make sure you do that. Make sure you do simulate under environment, under an environment under situations which are as close as possible to test day because it's really a mindset. And I'll give you a little bit more information about that once I get into my demo here.

So let me pull up what LawHub looks like now. And we'll go through that. So, sharing my screen. I hope you all can see LawHub here. So, this is the main LawHub dashboard. In order to access this event, actually, you came to your LawHub dashboard and went down to this upcoming events thumbnail here. Instead of going there, I'm going to encourage you all to go to LSAT Prep. Now I'm signed into a free version of LawHub. So, this is just the standard prep account that everyone has access to once you sign up for an account with LawHub, as Anna said, with the Prep Plus account, you get access to 70 official tests, past tests in the free version, which we're looking at right now there are four. So, you see here, Prep Test 71, Prep Test 73, 90 plus, and 93 plus. You can see I've already started prep test 71. For the sake of this demo, I'm going to I'm going to walk into steps into test 73 here.

So, the idea is once you get into LawHub, you click on the test that you want to practice. And you can see when the test was administered, you can see a description of the test. I'm going to start a new test here. And you can see as I mentioned, you can simulate under a self-paced mode or you can go into exam mode, where there are restrictions on the time as well as whether or not you can paus, etc. So, I would always encourage, once you're feeling ready, to simulate under the exam mode conditions. Now, obviously not everyone can get right in here and start practicing as if it were test day. A lot of people require a lot of prep and a lot of practice before they're ready to do it. So as soon as you're feeling comfortable to practice, especially as the test is getting closer and closer and closer for so, so for those of you who are planning to take the test in the winter and the spring of this coming year, as it's getting closer to those test days, make sure that you're practicing under exam conditions.

So, I'm going to start the test here. And you can see this is the interface that you will see on test day. You can see we've got four sections, you click Begin. And there you are, you're thrown right into the test. So, you can see I have a timer going because I'm simulating under exam conditions. Already the clock has started. So, you're going to jump right into your questions. And there you go. Here is the past test that we are looking at, for the sake of prepping for the LSAT. Now I'm not going to go through and take the test in front of you, because I'm not good enough at taking tests to do that. But what I will say is, I participated in the AR field study, which was just conducted over the weekend. And it was my first time getting into this environment. And that experience taught me that I, if I were taking this for real, I 100% would have wanted to simulate under test conditions, because as soon as I got started, that timer started going and all of a sudden, I thought, “Oh my goodness, I've already lost time just by looking at the clock.” So, if I had known okay, clock starts, I got to start going, then I would have been better prepared. In addition, Anna’s advice is 100% on point, thinking about how much time you have left thinking about how the test is scored. I went through, and I had about six questions left with a minute and 30 seconds to go. I went through and I clicked answers to make sure I had answers in there. I went back, I was able to correct about two of them. But at least I had answers selected. So, what I'll say is this to conclude, make sure as you're preparing for the LSAT, do whatever you need to do to make sure you feel comfortable. But definitely get into LawHub, simulate with some of these practice tests, they're there for a reason, take advantage of them, whether you have the free Prep account, or the Prep Plus account, which gives you access to 70 plus tests, make sure you're simulating under test conditions as soon as you feel comfortable to do so because I really think it's going to make sure you're primed and ready to go on test day. So, with that, I'm going to stop my screen share, give things back over to Anna so you can continue with your excellent presentation today.


ANNA: Perfect. Okay, so kind of emphasizing a little bit what Collin said already. So, prepping for the LSAT. Really, yeah. So, it's about familiarizing yourself with the whole experience. You know, to begin with, if you're like, “Okay, I'm just starting this journey. What do I do?” It's really about that familiarization. It's about, “What is AR LR RC?. Which ones should you spend the most time on?” For me, it would be reading comprehension. Actually, I kind of love AR. I'm kind of a math-y person. So, they make more sense to me. And then also, as you're studying too, I always like to say it's, sometimes you're like, “I don't want to look back at the ones I got wrong.” That's actually where you should spend the most time, looking back at “Why did I answer what I did? What did I get wrong? What did I miss?” And try to see those common threads as you’re, you're answering the questions and across many of your prep tests.

So, kind of building your skills for test day itself. You know, maybe you're just not ready to take all three, four sections at once under timed conditions. Yes, there's three scored sections, but there's that one unscored section. So, as you go down to take your test, there will be four sections through which three scored, one unscored. And so, it's really of starting kind of that, that journey to the marathon of you go and run that one mile, go take one section under time, timed conditions, see which ones are the most difficult and then start kind of building up to take two, take three, take four until by the end when you're taking a fully disclosed test under kind of that simulated test day experience.

And really, it's to get you comfortable. People always ask, well, “What should I do? What should I do?” And it's really so when you sit down and take your test, you're like, “Yeah, I'm going to rock this, like, I got it. I studied. I feel good. I've done the things that I need to do to get prepared.” If it's, you know, actually going out and running five miles or if it's me I’m like, let me watch some Netflix on the couch with my dog that's going to keep me calm before my test. So, it's really trying to figure out what is your strategy too that works the best for test day. So, and really building that confidence, like got this, you're going to do great. And just knowing to your application that you submit, the LSAT is one component, you are more than just this one score. You have so much experience that you bring with you that you can highlight as well in your application. So, it's not just about this one score. It's about building your whole portfolio for your application process as well.

So, the all feared “Should I retake the test? What should I do? I just took it eh, I don't feel like my score really reflected my ability. But Should I retake it?” Yes, if you have the chance to please do, it is an opportunity to improve your score. I think of life history in my past, I went to take the ACT back when I was in high school, I was so sick my first time, deathly sick. And so, I did not get a great score. And so, I was like, “Yeah, I need to retake this because it does not reflect how I did.” And so, I retook it. And I was like, yeah, this, this is much better, it's good. I also do encourage, if you're thinking about, you know, “When should I sign up for the test, should I retake or not?” Give yourself time to prepare between it too, if you're like, “Okay, I want to kind of practice, figure this out, take the test once.” make sure you're prepared between the exams as well, that's really important. Also, do check our website for the registration deadlines versus score release, we have done our best to try to give you at least a day or two in some spots to see your score, and then register for the next test where we can. So, do check out those dates, plan ahead. It is really important to do so. And just remember, sometimes life happens. And so, you do have score preview there, where you can say, nope, you try again, want to have another shot at this.

So, we actually have another word cloud, last of the day. Sorry. We won’t keep polling you, but the question for the word cloud we have is and let me get my sheet so I read it correctly. Enter three words about how LSAC can support you in your journey to, during, and after law school. So again, we are mission driven organizations. So, what can we do to help you. Okay. Guidance, information, study. I love that information is in there just guidance and preparation. Tips.


COLLIN: I'm seeing a lot of great words come in here as well.


ANNA: It is amazing.


COLLIN: Resources is a great one. Because LSAC is rich in resources, LawHub in particular. You can get so much information via the test prep, the learning content that's on there, these live events. It's really great. So, I'm glad to see that as an expectation of LSAC. I hope to, hope to uphold that expectation as well. A lot of guidance too coming in as well. Any thoughts on guidance and LSAC's guidance?


ANNA: Well, I think it's a guidance not just on the test, but it's the whole process, right? I mean, as somebody who, my parents didn't go to grad school, and so I didn't know the process. And so, I think law school, in a lot of ways is the same way. Where, you're in college, you're like, “I want to be a lawyer. How do I do that? Like what is step one? What is step 27? In this process?” So, I think it's also having that guidance of like, what is my journey? How do I do this? To actually get to law school. So, I think that's really great. And that's why I do I like LSAC in that we have that guidance available to test takers.


COLLIN: Thanks. I think you're absolutely right. And one funny thing that I'll say I'll point out before I sign off here, again, I sell free stuff, free materials, and those, and that's pretty big, meaning that a lot of people put that in so yeah, luckily for you, there are free things that LSAC gives away as well. So, we do offer that support. Alright, so Anna, back to you.


ANNA: Okay. That's just one slide left. So, our lovely Kellye, our CEO, our president of LSAC. So, she is a key reason why LSAC has the mission that we do. Anytime I talk to her, I know I'm just inspired by her passion for the law profession, for the future of justice and her just undying support of just wanting people to succeed in anything that they do. So, again, I think it's right of like you are, you're the future of justice, and just saying congratulations. And thank you for just being interested in going into this profession and wanting to change the world. So, I will actually end there. And so, we have, I know a lot of questions. And so, we can start.


COLLIN: Yeah, I’ll get us started here with the Q&A. It's, you are absolutely right, Anna, so many questions have come in and we did our best to answer the vast majority of them that have come in, maybe not, maybe not vast majority, but the majority of the ones that have come in we tried our best to answer throughout the presentation. We will do our best to answer them now. However, if we don't have a chance to answer your question, just because of time, please make sure that you send your questions over to us at and we'll do our best to get back to you very, very quickly so whether we'll answer it right away or escalate it to Anna, we’ll make sure that you get answers to your question so please make sure if you don't get an answer, you send it in. And as I say that I think the questions have, like, almost tripled. So, let's get started with some of these questions here. So, the first question, I'll read them as they came in, if I plan to go to school in Fall of 2024, when should I take the test at the earliest?


ANNA: I think that depends a lot on the school, you want to go to. Different schools have different admission deadlines, when they have them. So really, I think the key part is what schools do you want to go to? When is their admissions deadlines? And then when is the test and then don't forget to check to on our tests when the score release as well, because you need that score released in order to submit your application. So, I'm going to say the all famous and dreaded: it depends. But I think it depends on what school and when their deadlines are.


COLLIN: I could not agree more, it depends it will come up quite a bit, but it's always good to keep in mind your own personal situation, the schools that you plan to attend to what their deadlines are, and what available dates are even left, and you know how you're feeling and during your preparation cycle, because that'll dictate as well when you're ready to test. Next question, from Nina here. Will the LSAT format change in the next two years?


ANNA: Um, well, I can say that we are certainly doing research as Collin said he participated in our AR field study. And so, we are constantly doing research. We don't know yet if the test is going to change, but I can guarantee if it does change, we're going to give people ample heads up. We do understand that this group, this test is something that people prepare for, for quite a bit of time in advance. As we saw you guys are all here. And some of you are not going to be taking the test for many, many months. And so, we understand that there's a large prep time built for this test and people want for this test. And so, you know if there is a change, we will be taking that into consideration and try to give you guys as much of a heads up as possible.


COLLIN: Next question here. What does unscored mean and that, that question was asked at the same time as you were presenting about the one unscored section as well as the unscored writing sample. So, if you can answer both of those, please.


ANNA: Perfect. So, I’ll take the writing sample first. So, the writing sample, it's unscored in the sense that LSAC does not grade them or provide a score. We provide that sample to law schools for them to use and for them to kind of judge the merits of. The other aspect, I’d refer to the unscored section for the LSAT test itself. So again, the test you go down, you sit down and take is four sections, AR, LR, RC, and then it's going to be what I call the unscored section. It's going to be one of those three. You don't know which one when you start and you don't necessarily, if you get two LRs, you don't know which one was scored either. So, why do we have this unscored section? It's actually to help support our test. So, the unscored section is the way that we test out untested items and questions. So, we can see how do they perform? Are they fair? Are they valid? Are they reliable? Before they go on to the scored section. So, it's really a way for, people are like,”Well, why do you need that section?” It's like, well, it's so we can ensure that you guys have the best quality exam possible, because that's our testing sample and our spot for where we're trying out the questions for the test.


COLLIN: Next question, I heard that LSAC is changing this section, this section referring to I believe, AR. Is it true? Are we seeing any changes next year?


ANNA: So, I'll kind of answer that before like I did. So that's the AR section. We are doing research on different ways to test skills related to analytical reasoning. So, like I said too if we do, we're still in the research phase. And so, we have, decisions have not been made. But if we do make any changes, like I said, we'll give people ample time and heads up so that they can prepare.


COLLIN: This is an easy one. Is it true that the LSAT now only has three sections?


ANNA: Well, like I said, three scored sections, and then you do have that fourth unscored section. So, the kind of, again the format of the test, you take two sections, you get a 10-minute break and then you take another two sections. So, three scored, one of each of the different areas. And then you get your, your random fourth section mixed in there.


COLLIN: This next question I think I'll take an answer at here. It says, is two weeks before an exam enough time to start using exam mode to prep for the 2023 exam. Much like Anna's previous answer it is, it depends. It depends a lot on you, and how prepared you feel going into preparation. And as you get closer to February, if you feel like you are ready to go in December and January, then you can start simulating under the exam mode conditions, or you could be not ready until the day before or not even going into test day. That's okay. It depends on how you are feeling and how your preparation is going leading up to that exam. Anna, I don't know if there's anything you want to add to that. But I really do believe it is a it depends type of answer.


ANNA: It depends. Yeah, it's, it's me, I want like six months of testing under simulated test conditions, because that's me, I get very nervous. I have test anxiety. But most people probably don't need that much time. So, yeah, it again depends on your level of preparedness. And if you feel like you're at a point where you're like, “I'm good, I'm going to rock this,” then you're set.


COLLIN: Another question came in about scheduling the writing sample. I'll just say quickly on scheduling the writing sample, that's included in your LSAT registration. By registering for the LSAT, you'll automatically be eligible to complete the writing section as of eight days before the multiple choice LSAT. So, just keep that in mind. And more information about registering for the test and registering for the LSAT is available on as well. So, next question here is, boy, there are a lot I'm trying to sift through some of the ones that just say thank you. Let's see. You answered a question similar to this already. Do you know when the analytical reasoning section will be changing, and what we can do to prepare for it? I've been prepping for the current version, and I'm concerned that it will change before I take the test.


ANNA: Yeah, and like I said, we're going to give you ample heads up if we do change it. And so, you know, if, well I can say for certainty, we're not changing it in the 2022-2023 testing here. So, if you're registered through June, we are not changing the AR section. And we'll give you plenty of heads up if you're kind of preparing. I know that's kind of in our survey, that was a bulk of all people were kind of taking the test during that time frame. So, if you're one of those, it is not changing anytime soon. So yeah, we'll give you plenty of heads up for it.


COLLIN: This question is an interesting one, are you able to just pick sections to take under timed conditions in LawHub? If you only want to practice analytical reasoning, is that an option? I haven't seen that as an option, just full-length tests. It's my understanding that you can only time the test at like a macro level like you can time the whole thing. And each section within the test, as is the case on test day. It's not labeled as this is the analytical reasoning section, right. So you can start to recognize when the analytical reasoning section comes up, and you can skip ahead to that one, perhaps if you want to simulate under those conditions, however, you aren't able to just say “I only want to time this section,” because in part that would require that the system tell you which section is analytical reasoning, which you don't have as part of the test day environment. So again, thinking about simulating as close to test as possible, you won't know which section has analytical reasoning. So, if you're simulating the test, you similarly won't know, during your practice, if it's analytical reasoning. But if you get used to the question formats, by all means, skip ahead. Take that section. And time it. Any other thoughts on that one?


ANNA: No, I think you said it very well.


COLLIN: Great. If you take the LSAT twice, and you'd like your first score better, do you have the choice over which score is on your application?


ANNA: Well, sort of. So, if you did Score Choice, you can cancel that second score. So, if you took it first time and you're like, “Oh, yes, I did great. Well, let me just see if I can get a little bit better.” And you're like, “No, make that one go away.” You can do Score Choice or score preview and sorry, score preview and kind of cancel that score. And I do see another question too. Do schools see which ones are canceled? Yes, they do see it was canceled, but they don't see the score that was canceled. So, you know, if you do retake it, and you’re like “I don’t really like that second score,” you can use score preview. And now because it's available for any test, not just your first test, you can do that as much as you want. Or I should say as many as you want, because we do have limits on how many. I know that was another question I was seeing so I'm going to keep answering a few of them. How many times can you retake the LSAT? Do refer to our website, the rules are a little intricate. it’s three times within a single testing year, I think five times within a five-year kind of application cycle, and seven times overall, unless you're one of those people that got a 180. And then we don't want you to take the test again. But if you got to 180, congratulations.


COLLIN: That's right. Take the win, take the win.


ANNA: Yes, take the win and run. You did great. Do your victory lap.


COLLIN: This is a question asking for clarification. So, you said that there were three multiple choice options, but the sample question I had up on screen actually had five answer choices. Could you please explain. So, I believe that maybe it was a, if you could just, I think you got?


ANNA: Yep, I think I might have said I think I said three multiple choice sections. So, each they’re AR, LR, RC, they're all multiple-choice questions. And then within each question itself, there's five different answer choices. And that's the same for every single question on the test. There's always five that you have to choose from.


COLLIN: Thank you for clarifying that. Because yeah, they can certainly be tricky, especially when we're talking about going to four sections, one of which is unscored. And then..


ANNA: There's a lot of numbers.


COLLIN: A lot of numbers, numbers, a lot of abbreviations. So let me see here. So, a lot of questions that I'm skipping past here had to do with analytical reasoning, which you've, you've already answered, so I'm not blowing off people's questions. I'm just, they've been answered already. Let's see.


ANNA: I will make a plug. I think we still do have the analytical reasoning field study page available on So it does have some information on there too of FAQs and information. So, if you do have questions, that's another great resource available on, just to know a little bit more about it.


COLLIN: Here is the next question I found that's not about the analytical reasoning section. And, you did address this, but I think it's a good opportunity to call it out explicitly. And that is, what is the point of the unscored section of the LSAT. So, in case anyone missed this answer before, Anna go ahead and explain why we have that in there.


ANNA: Yeah. And it's not just because we're mean, it's actually to help. So, it, the unscored section is questions that have never been tried out before. So, we don't know their difficulty. We don't know how well they work. And so, we have that unscored section to be able to try out them. And then again, that's part of our, my team's process on the back end of looking at all those data and seeing which ones are easy questions, which ones are hard, which ones are medium, so that when we build those sections that are scored, we're building them to those blueprints and specifications to make sure that they're valid, reliable, and they're fair to everybody. So, it's really a way so that when you're taking your test and getting your score, we've tried out those questions before, we know they work as we wanted them to. And they're measuring those critical thinking skills.


COLLIN: Thank you, Anna. So, we're running up on time here. So, I want to give you one last opportunity. If you have any last words of wisdom for the people who are still with us today, what would they be?


ANNA: I think it would be you know, it's the journey. I think this may be the webinar where I've said it depends the fewest times, but I'll kind of close with that of if you're trying to think of well, “What's best, what should I do?” It is going to depend on what you want as your journey. Where are the schools you want to go to, what is the scores that your goal is to get to your school of choice. And so, I think it's always just be kind to yourself, this is a difficult process. And so, I've loved the phrase, what’s difficult is never easy. So, if you're like, oh, “Why isn't this easier?” This process is difficult. So, if you're like feeling like it's difficult, it's because it is and so I think it's the take a moment to reflect and just see how far you've gotten and keep going because you got this and you're going to do great.


COLLIN: Well, thank you very much, Anna Topczewski, Assistant Director for Assessment Sciences here at LSAC. She's fantastic. She knows the LSAT inside and out and you could not have had a better person with you for the last hour to talk through the LSAT and prepping for the LSAT. So, thank you, Anna. And thank you everyone who stayed with us this whole time. There are lots of questions which we didn't get a chance to answer just because we got flooded with them because there's so much great information to cover and I appreciate all of you. If you still have a question that you'd like to have answered, please make sure that you send it over to And someone from LSAC, whether it's Anna, myself or one of our other amazing representatives, will answer those questions for you. So, before I sign off today, I want to remind everyone that this session is recorded and will be made available on the LawHub, on the LSAC, excuse me PreLaw Success live event page on Make sure you check that out, it should be available within the next few days. And in addition to that, I want to encourage all of you to consider joining us at the turn of the calendar in January for two more fantastic LawHub Success PreLaw events. We're going to be taking a look at the year ahead. So, regardless of where you are in your journey, there are specific things that you need to keep in mind as you get ready to either apply or start law school, and how LSAC and LawHub are here to help you through that process. So, make sure you join us in January and after January as well, we continue to have these PreLaw Success live events. So, make sure you take advantage of them. Make sure you're also considering the forums, both live and digital forums, make sure you go there and, or I'm sorry, in person, they all have live elements. The in-person forums as well as the digital forums because there's a lot of tremendous resources there and opportunities to connect with law school representatives as well. So, with that, I'll conclude for today. Thank you all. I look forward to seeing you all again soon.

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