What is the LSAT and how is it structured?
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a 101-question, multiple-choice test for applicants to law schools. The test is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC).
The LSAT is composed of five 35-minute multiple-choice sections and one 30-minute essay. Two of the five multiple-choice sections will be Arguments (Logical Reasoning), one will be Games (Analytical Reasoning), and one will be Reading Comprehension. The fifth section will be an experimental section which doesn’t count towards your score. The experimental section can be Arguments, Games, or Reading Comprehension.
|Section||Number(s) of sections||Number(s) of questions||Length|
|Logical Reasoning (Arguments)||2||24-26||35 min|
|Analytical Reasoning (Games)||1||24||35 min|
|Reading Comprehension||1||26-28||35 min|
|Experimental Section||1||Depends on section||35 min|
|Writing Sample||1||1||30 min|
How is the LSAT scored?
The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120 to 180, with an average score of 150. Along with your LSAT score, you will receive a percentile ranking. This ranking compares your performance with that of everyone else who has taken the LSAT in the previous three years.
Can I cancel my scores?
Yes. You can cancel your LSAT scores at the test center by completing the score cancellation section on the LSAT answer sheet. You can also cancel your scores by sending a written cancellation request to LSAC within five days of the test. Score reports will reflect that your score was cancelled at your request.
When Can You Take The LSAT?
The LSAT is available to be taken four times a year. In general there will be a test in early October, early December, early February and mid June. Every administration except for the June administration is on Saturday mornings. The June administration is on a Monday afternoon. For Saturday Sabbath observers the October, December and February test dates are the Monday following the Saturday of the regular test date. Special arrangements can also be made for the physically challenged. See the Law Services Information Book for full details.
The form to register for the LSAT may be found in the Law Services Information Book. This book may be obtained free of charge from your local law school, career counseling center or from Law Services directly. You may write to Law Services and request one at:
Law School Admission Services
Newtown, PA 18940-0963
They do not have a toll-free telephone line.
You must register to take the LSAT and there is a fee. To see how to register you should refer to the Law Services Information Book. At the present time there are three ways to register for the LSAT.
1. Regular Registration by Mail, Telephone or Online – approximately five weeks before the test date.
2. Late Registration by Mail – a “window period” that extends for approximately one week after the deadline for regular registration expires.
3. Late Registration by Telephone and Online – a “window period” that
extends for approximately eleven days after the deadline for regular registration expires.
The most inexpensive way to take the LSAT is through “Regular Registration.”
You will find that the LSAT is administered at most universities in the United States and Canada. It is up you to select the location at which you wish to take the test.
Warning!! It is very common for certain test centers to fill up.
Hence, it is to your benefit to register as early as possible!
There are both Canadian and U.S. editions of the Law Services Information Book. Both have basic information about the LSAT. The Canadian edition also includes information on each of Canada’s common law schools. Information on U.S. schools may be obtained in the Official Guide To U.S. Law Schools which is available from Law Services.
How Is The LSAT Used?
The LSAT score which is based on the number of questions you answer correctly is reported on a scale of 120 – 180. There is no penalty for guessing or putting the wrong answer. The LSAT is not a pass or fail exam. Your score is simply a reflection of how you perform relative to everybody else taking the test. Each school is free to decide how to use the LSAT and to decide what score will satisfy its admissions requirements.
How Many Times Can You Take The LSAT?
You may not take the LSAT more than three times in any two year period. You should, however, be aware that some schools will take the average of your LSAT scores and some will take the highest. Clearly, the LSAT should never be taken for practice!
What Does The Score Mean And What Is A Good Score?
Your scaled score from 120 – 180 is a reflection of how you performed relative to all test takers. You need not get all the questions right to get a score of 180. It is possible to get three or four questions wrong and still get a score of 180.
Your score report will also give the percentile ranking that your scaled score (120 – 180) is equivalent to. For example a score of 180 would mean that you scored better than 99.9% of all test takers.
When And How Do Law Schools Receive Your LSAT Score(s)?
Until you apply to a law school your LSAT score will be known only to you. After you submit your application to a law school, the school will request your score from Law Services. In the case of multiple LSAT scores, Law Services will report multiple scores. The policy on the number of scores reported, changes from year to year.
May I Take The LSAT and Not Receive the Score?
It is important for you to know that, at the present time, it is possible to take the LSAT and choose to not have the test scored. The information for when and how to cancel your score may be found in the Law Services Information Book. Please note that if you cancel your score, you will still have used one of your three attempts at the LSAT.
When to Take The LSAT?
You should take the LSAT as early in the year as possible. By taking the LSAT earlier you will be leaving yourself an opportunity to take the test again (should that option be desirable). By doing the test in June or October you will be doing the test:
At a time when you will have the least pressure from other academic commitments.
Many schools require that the LSAT be taken no later than December. It is important that you check the requirements for every school that you are applying to! Even if it is an option don’t leave your first LSAT attempt until the February administration. The first problem you will face is that your application will not be complete until the February LSAT scores are released. This will be sometime in March. The second reason for not doing the LSAT for the first time in February is emotional. While you are actually taking the LSAT it is important for you to know that you have another attempt at the test. If you take the LSAT in February it should be a “follow up attempt.”