What is the LSAT?

Becoming an attorney involves a lot of work and commitment, starting with the LSAT. This exam is required for any student interested in attending law school. How well a student does on this exam can play a big part in if the student gets admitted into the law school. It's an extremely important exam for the aspiring attorney. Here is an overview of the LSAT.

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What It Is

The LSAT is an entrance exam required by most law schools before a student can be accepted into the law program. While many law schools put as much emphasis on the student's undergraduate GPA, other schools place the importance of the LSAT scores very highly. Generally, the higher applicants score on this exam, the better their chances of being accepted to the school of their choice and the large number of options the individual will have in regards to attending law school. Although these are in the minority, there are some schools that accept GRE scores in place of Law School Admission Test scores.

What Is on the Exam

The LSAT consists of four main parts.

  • Logical Reasoning (Also called Arguments) – This consists of two parts, each of which have 24-26 multiple choice questions. A student has 35 minutes to finish each section.
  • Analytical Reasoning (Also called Logic Games) – This has one section, which consists of four logic games that each have 4-7 multiple-choice questions. The student has 35 minutes to complete this part.
  • Reading Comprehension – This has one section, which consists of 27 multiple-choice questions, must be completed in 35 minutes.
  • Unscored Writing Exam (Also called Essay) – This one section segment must be completed in 35 minutes.
  • Variable Section – This one experimental, unscored part of the exam must be completed in 35 minutes.

When It Should Be Taken

The LSAT cannot be taken any time the student desires. It's offered seven times a year. Students should schedule the exam early enough so that their scores will be available by the first application deadline for their chosen school. Because many schools accept students on a rolling basis, it would be beneficial for the student to submit the completed application as soon as possible. Some law schools require that the exam is taken by December for students wishing to be admitted the following fall. However, if the school will allow it, the student might consider taking it earlier, like maybe any month June through October. The reason for this is if the student needs to retake the exam, he or she has sufficient time.

How It's Scored

The Law School Admissions Test is scored on a scale of 120 points to 180 points. Many of the top law schools average out several exam scores. For this reason, they recommend the student adequately prepare for the exam so they do well and only have to take it once. Students should get at least 60 questions correct in order to fall within the average score of 152. There are many preparatory exams available for students who are intent on taking the LSAT or those who are trying to get over through an LSAT score plateau, according to the U.S. News & World Report.

While there are many things that are required for admission into law school, Princeton Review states that the LSAT scores are a major component of law school applications. Many law students feel that proper research, study, and preparation can make it easier to be successful at passing the LSAT.