7 important things you should know about the LSAT exam
Last Updated on September 14, 2021 by iSchoolConnect
Do you see yourself helping someone fight for their truth and raise your voice? If the answer is yes, then you should definitely consider being a lawyer. However, to get through the top law schools, you need to crack the LSAT exam. In this article, you will learn everything about it!
What makes the LSAT exam different from other standardized tests? First, it doesn’t simply test what you already know. In fact, LSAT is designed in a way that measures and projects your ability to excel in law school. Its unique test pattern requires you to understand the format, the questions, and the sections clearly.
Let’s learn all about the LSAT exam and read till the end for some bonus tips!
What is the LSAT exam?
The LSAT exam, or the Law School Admissions Test, was created by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). It is a standardized exam that’s required for almost every law school abroad, including the United States and Canada.
The exam is administered in two parts-
- The first part of the exam comprises a multiple-choice portion that includes analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and reading comprehension questions.
- The second part of the exam is a written essay called LSAT Writing.
There is also an unscored section that will appear in any order among the four sections. You will get a 10-minute break during the exam. It will be between the second and third sections of the new LSAT starting from August 2021.
Why should I appear for the LSAT exam?
Appearing for an LSAT is essential if you’re an aspiring lawyer. This exam tests the skills first-year law school students require to succeed in the field. These skills include reading, reasoning, comprehension, and writing.
The exam has proven to be reliable and valid. In addition, since this exam tests the candidate’s skills, it gives an advantage to those who come from less privileged backgrounds as well.
LSAT exam pattern
The LSAT exam comprises 4 sections. Out of these, 3 are scored, including logical reasoning, analytical reasoning, and reading comprehension.
Here’s some vital information about each of these sections in more detail-
1. Logical reasoning
The LSAT exam consists of 2 scored logical reasoning sections, each lasting for 35 minutes. In these sections, you’ll read short argumentative passages and answer 1 question about each passage. There are 24-26 questions in this section.
You will get about 25 such questions in each section and a total of approximately 50 per exam. Logical reasoning also makes up half of the LSAT exam.
The questions in this section are based on short arguments drawn from a wide variety of sources that not only include newspapers but also scholarly publications, past affairs, and more.
Each question revolves around a few basic skills, including the ability to-
- Identify the underlying assumptions in arguments.
- Make deductions depending on the facts provided.
- Accurately analyze the structure of an argument.
2. Analytical reasoning
In this section, you will read passages of 130 words or less. Each passage will also describe a scenario, and there will be a set of rules that apply to it. You will then be asked 5 to 7 questions about the scenario.
The scenarios will involve different relationships among a group of objects, concepts, or individuals. This section will always have 4 sets of passages. There will be a total of approximately 23 questions.
The questions are designed to test your understanding of a group of facts and rules. The usual pattern of questions goes from easy to difficult by the end of the section.
It’s unlike any other section of other standardized tests. However, it is not the most difficult section, rather a learnable one where you can make the largest score gains. This section will also last for 35 minutes.
3. Reading comprehension
They will be a total of 27 questions divided into 4 sets of questions about different reading passages.
You will be presented with a single passage of approximately 460 words, and questions related to it. However, occasionally you will get a pair of passages that will be labeled as ‘Passage A’ and Passage B.’ You will answer a series of questions about both passages. They will always be related to one another and they will be shorter.
There would be a list of 5 to 8 questions about each passage or pair of passages. Again, this section is 35 minutes long.
Reading comprehension questions involve comparison, analysis, synthesis, and application. You have to draw the right inferences and apply ideas and arguments to the context.
4. Writing sample
This is also a 35-minute section where you will have to write a sample essay. This section isn’t scored. However, the copies will be sent to the universities you apply to.
This section will provide you with a problem and you have to choose between two options. You will be given criteria and facts and you must base your decision on that. There is no right and wrong option here. The analysis will be made based on the defense of your choice.
|Exam pattern||Sections||Scored/ Unscored||Duration||Questions||Skill being tested|
|Logical reasoning||2||Scored||35 minutes per section||24–26 multiple-choice questions||How you determine the points of arguments, apply logic to concepts, and find relevant information|
|Analytical reasoning||1||Scored||35 minutes||5 to 7 multiple-choice questions||How you understand the rules on decisions and outcomes, determine relationships between concepts, and analyze situations along with drawing conclusions|
|Reading comprehension||1||Scored||35 minutes||27 multiple-choice questions in 4 sets||How you draw the right inferences and apply ideas and arguments to the context|
|Writing sample||1||Unscored||36 minutes||Choose between two options.||How you use written English to express ideas|
What are the LSAT exam scoring rules?
Your raw LSAT score is defined based on the number of questions you answer correctly. Since all the questions are weighted equally, the total number of questions you get right will improve your score.
Then, the administrator converts your raw score according to the LSAT scale. This will be the scare you receive in the report.
- The scale ranges from 120 to 180. Here, 120 is the lowest score and 180 is the highest score.
- Top law schools usually accept scores in the high 160s and 170s.
- If you score below 143, it is considered to be below average (the average score of LSAT is 150).
What is the registration process?
Registering for an LSAT abroad needs you to follow 3 simple steps-
1. Create your account
If you want to appear for the LSAT examination, the first thing you need to do is to create an account. For this-
- You need a valid email address along with a mobile number.
- Your photograph.
- Means for paying the registration fees.
2. Fill in the required details
Once you create an account, you will be redirected to a form to complete the online registration process. After you have filled in the necessary details, you can review them and submit the form for registration. The last step is to pay the fee.
3. Submit your application
This is the final step of the process, where you have to pay the application fees. The application fees are between $60 and $100.
There are no specific eligibility criteria to appear for LSAT examinations. However, candidates must confirm the eligibility criteria of the university that they wish to apply for before registering for the LSAT exam.
5 must-know LSAT exam preparation tips
It’s important to score well on the LSAT exam. But it’s also so important to be consistent with your preparation.
Here are a few tips that can help you score better-
1. Practice more to get accustomed to the format
Not only is it important to practice but also to get familiar with the pattern. The more you practice, the more intuitive your responses will be. This will also help you connect the dots within the material faster.
2. Sharpen your critical thinking skills
LSAT comprises sections from comprehension to analytical reasoning, all of which require strong critical thinking skills. So reading more books, novels, and trying to understand and analyze sentences better will help you improve your verbal chops and critical thinking skills.
3. Find the easier questions first
Go through all the sections and find the questions that are easier and attempt them first. This will come after practicing ample LSAT mock tests.
4. Devise a preparation strategy
After you are familiar with the exam pattern, you need to fish out your strengths and weaknesses. Understand which sections you’re good at and which need more time. This will also help you with effective time management.
5. Practice mock tests and revise
Just going through the study material will not suffice. You will also need to give as many mock tests as you can before appearing for the final exam. Besides this, keep a note of the sections/types of questions that have turned out to be high-scoring for you.
Top universities that accept LSAT scores
Here is a list of the top law colleges accepting LSAT scores for their law programs-
- Yale University
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Columbia University
- University of Chicago
- McGill University
- University of Toronto
- University of Windsor
- Osgoode Hall Law School
More on the LSAT exam
We hope you’ve gained enough insight about the LSAT exam and are ready to give it your all! Besides, if you have more doubts, feel free to reach out to us or head on to the comment section and we will get back to you.
Best wishes for your endeavors!