With the first sitting of the LSAT – India coming up on May 16, 2010, I thought I’d take a look at the differences between it and the original LSAT. These differences are based on a comparison of the sample LSAT-India practice exam and the June 2007 LSAT as well as other materials published by LSAC and by Pearson VUE (administrators of the LSAT-India)
Here is a summary of the differences and similarities uncovered:
Summary – The two tests are almost identical in the questions that they ask. The key differences are that the LSAT-India has been made easier in two ways. It does not include an experimental section and three of the four scored sections only have four answer choices (A to D) per question, rather than the LSATs five answer choices (A to E) per question. This will make these LSAT-India sections easier to complete in the 35 minute sections. Because the two tests cover identical concepts and question types students preparing for the LSAT-India can take advantage of existing LSAT Prep materials and resources.
Questions – The questions and question types are identical between the two tests. The key difference is that three of the four sections only have four answer choices per question. These sections are the Analytical Reasoning (Logic Games) Section, one of the two Logical Reasoning Sections, and the Reading Comprehension Section. The second Logical Reasoning Section has five answer choices per question as found on all sections of the original LSAT.
Concepts and Question Types – based on the released sample exams the concepts and question types used on the LSAT-India are identical to those used on the original LSAT.
Test Format – the LSAT – India has four sections. Two Logical Reasoning, One Reading Comprehension and One Analytical Reasoning (or Logic Games). This original LSAT has each of these sections plus one more experimental section and a writing sample. This is not actually that much of a difference as only four sections of the original LSAT are included in your score so the number and type of scored sections is identical between the two tests.
Length – the LSAT India is shorter with a total sitting time of 2 hours 35 minutes including a break of 15 minutes between the 2nd and 3rd sections. The original LSAT is 3 hours and 10 minutes including a break of 15 minutes between the 3rd and 4th sections. The original LSAT actually takes longer once the administrative details are included and the LSAT – India will likely be the same.
Law School Applications – the two tests are not transferable, takers of the LSAT – India cannot use it to apply to US, Canadian and Australian schools and original LSAT scores will not be useable for Indian law schools.
Score Reporting – The LSAT India scores are reported on a different scale than the original LSAT scores.
Duration of LSAT Score – the LSAT India scores are useable to apply to law schools only within the year in which the test is written, whereas, original LSAT scores from June 1, 2005 to present are all reported to law schools. Original LSAT scores dating back to June 1, 2001 can be sent upon request, however, they are accompanied by a cautionary note from LSAC.
LSAT Preparation – given that the actual content of the tests is essentially the same those preparing for the LSAT – India can use the same resources offered to those preparing for the original LSAT. The concepts, question types and strategies are the same. Here are some free LSAT prep resources.