The LSAT (Law School Admission Test) is required for admission to most law. The top law schools will be looking for scores that are close to perfect (think 170 out of 180), so if you’re aiming high, you need a high score. The LSAT has four main sections: Logical Reasoning (also known as Arguments), Analytical Reasoning (also known as Games), Reading Comprehension and an essay.
When is the LSAT?
The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) administers the LSAT four times per year (June, September/October, December and February). The LSAC considers the June exam to be the beginning of the new “cycle” or year, as most June test-takers end up applying to law school for the following year. The regular registration (online, by mail, or by phone) deadline is a month before the LSAT test date. You may also register late, for an additional fee, up to roughly 3 weeks before the LSAT test date. See our chart and the LSAC website for more details.
The LSAT has four scored sections, made up entirely of multiple-choice questions. Each 35-minute section measures your skills in critical reading, verbal reasoning and analytical thinking.
This portion of the LSAT consists of four sets of Reading Comprehension passages (about 450 words total either in one longer piece or two shorter ones) and each set has 5-8 questions that test-takers must answer. The substance of the passages typically relates to humanities, natural science, social science and/or law.
This portion of the LSAT consists of two logical reasoning sections, each with about 25 questions. Basically, test-takers read a short, argumentative text of about 20-100 words in length and then answer 1 (sometimes 2) questions based on the passage. The passage topics and formats vary, and their substance ranges from business to government to economics to health to psychology to the environment, among others.
This portion of the LSAT consists of four sets of analytical reading passages, each with its own scenario of about 120 words in length and with its own set of rules that apply. The scenarios relate to different kinds of relationships: spatial (above/next to), temporal (before/after) and/or group membership. Test takers must answer 5-7 questions per scenario about what can or must be true.
This portion of the LSAT will either be a Reading Comprehension, a Logical Reasoning or a Logic Games section. You will not know when you take the LSAT which part of the LSAT was experimental – it will look and feel like all the scored sections, so there’s no point in trying to strategically guess on test day. The Experimental section does not count towards your LSAT score and you have 35 minutes to finish this section.