About the LSAT

(Taken from the Law School Admissions Web site:  http://www.lsac.org/LSAT/about-the-lsat.asp)


The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day, standardized test administered four times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. All American Bar Association-approved law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many other law schools require applicants to take the LSAT as part of their admission process.

A new development involves increasing numbers of law schools now accepting the GRE for admission. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) updates a list of law schools accepting the GRE; students are advised to discuss their testing plans with an advisor to determine what is best for them. Each law school seems to have its own manner of handling the GRE option.

Many law schools require that the LSAT be taken by January for admission the following fall. However, taking the test earlier—in June, July, September, or November—is optimal.

LSAT Registration and Fee Waiver

Applicants need to register  for the LSAT with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Registrations open 10-12 months prior to a test date. The test registration deadline is about 6 weeks prior to the test. There are ever-expanding ways to prepare for the LSAT. Explore your options and feel free to consult with Dean Clemence and others as you seek the right fit.

LSAC has a process for applicants to potentially qualify for a fee waiver for their services.

The Candidate Referral Service

At the time you register for the LSAT you will have an option to register for the free Candidate Referral Service (CRS). Participating in this service allows LSAC to share your LSAT score and other data with law schools that might reach out to you, possibly with fee waivers for their application fee.

LSAT Special Accommodations

If you receive special accommodations at Lafayette College through the Academic Resource Hub, you should consult with the coordinator of disability services, Ms. Rebecca Brenner, to discuss what accommodations you might request from LSAC. It is essential that you read and understand the LSAC process for requesting test accommodations. You might find answers to your questions here.

The National Association of Law Students with Disabilities has some helpful resources on its website for applicants including an LSAT Accommodations Guide.

Test Format

The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker’s score. The unscored section, commonly referred to as the variable section, typically is used to pretest new test questions or to preequate new test forms. The placement of this section will vary. A 35-minute writing sample is administered at the end of the test. LSAC does not score the writing sample, but copies of the writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply.

What the Test Measures

The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to think critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.

The three multiple-choice question types in the LSAT are:

Logical Reasoning Questions

These questions are designed to evaluate your ability to understand, analyze, criticize, and complete a variety of arguments. Each logical reasoning question requires you to read and comprehend a short passage, then answer a question about it. The questions test a variety of abilities involved in reasoning logically and thinking critically.

Reading Comprehension Questions

These questions measure your ability to read, with understanding and insight, examples of lengthy and complex materials similar to those commonly encountered in law school work. The reading comprehension section contains four sets of reading questions, each consisting of a selection of reading material, followed by five to eight questions that test reading and reasoning abilities.

Analytical Reasoning Questions

These questions are designed to measure your ability to understand a structure of relationships and to draw logical conclusions about that structure. You are asked to make deductions from a set of statements, rules, or conditions that describe relationships among entities such as persons, places, things, or events. They simulate the kinds of detailed analyses of relationships that a law student must perform in solving legal problems.