LSAT

Law school entrance exams

The LSAT is a standardized test that's administered to college students by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) in the U.S. and Canada. It's intended to serve as a standard measure for the assessment of potential law school entrants.

All law schools in the United States and the majority of law schools in Canada require applicants to take the LSAT, and many have more consideration for that score than GPA or any other measure. Doing well on the test could be critical for success in the program, as there has been a strong correlation between test scores and first year student performance.

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The LSAT doesn't evaluate specific knowledge - instead, it evaluates your critical reading and analytical skills. No one does well without spending significant time in preparation, geared to the standard outline of the test.

Scheduling and Registration

The LSAT is administered four times per year, on the first Saturday in June, October, December and February. For those who observe the Sabbath, it can be administered on the closest Monday or Thursday, so long as you obtain a letter from a minister or rabbi confirming your religious affiliation.

Most law schools require you to take the LSAT by December for admission to law school in the following September. Really, it's beneficial to take the test as early as possible, such as in June or October.

Registration for the LSAT can be done by phone, online or by mail, for a fee of $115. If you register at least six weeks before the test is administered, you'll avoid the additional late fee of $58. When you call and register, you'll be given a choice of test centers that have openings. If you're more than 100 miles from an open testing center, you can request a non-published location.

Format

The LSAT is one of the most difficult and lengthy of all college and university entrance exams. The test is broken down five sections, each taking 35 minutes, as well as an additional 30 minute writing section. That's a total of three hours and 25 minutes. The test day lasts for an exhausting five hours, depending on break times and other scheduling considerations.

Here's a closer look at the breakdown of the LSAT:

Section # Questions Time (minutes)
Logical Reasoning 24 - 26 35
Reading Comprehension 26 - 28 35
Logic Games 23 - 24 35
Experimental 24 - 28 35
Writing Sample n/a 30

Scoring

The LSAT scores from 120 to a possible 180, and each score is then reflected as a percentile ranking to compare the entire pool of applicants. For most schools, a score between 150 and 160 is sufficient for admission into the program. (Of course, more prestigious law schools and universities require higher scores.) Some schools average LSAT scores from more than one test, while others only look at the highest score.

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