Frequently Asked Questions
About the LSAT Generally
What is the LSAT?
What is on the LSAT?
Do I need to take the LSAT to get into Law School?
How do I register for the LSAT?
What can I take with me to the LSAT?
What am I NOT allowed to bring to the LSAT?
When can I write the LSAT?
How to prepare for the LSAT
LSAT Test Questions
What are Analytical Reasoning Questions and how do you do them?
What are logic games and how do you do them?
What are Logical Reasoning Questions and how do you do them?
What are Reading Comprehension Questions and how do you do them?
What is the Experimental Section and do I need to write it?
What is the Writing Sample and do I need to complete it?
Should I skip questions on the LSAT?
After you have your LSAT Score
Law School Applications
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About the LSAT Generally
The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test required for admission to all ABA–approved law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many non–ABA–approved law schools. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants. More information on the LSAT can be found in our Introduction to the LSAT.
The LSAT consists of five sections:
- 2 Logical Reasoning Sections (Brief Arguments)
- 1 Reading Comprehension Section (4 half page reading passages)
- 1 Analytical Reasoning Section (4 logic games)
- 1 Experimental Section (a repeat of one of the above)
Each section includes 22-28 questions and you are given 35 minutes per section. All questions are multiple choice and there are a total of 98-102 questions on the LSAT.
In addition to the above five sections there is a written section however this is not included as part of your final LSAT score. You have 35 minutes for the writing section.
Most American and Canadian Law schools require that you write the LSAT before you can be admitted to the school. Check with the individual schools before applying
The LSAT is administered by LSAC (Law School Admission Council) you must contact LSAC to register.
Online: To register online you need to set up an account with LSAC. To get started click here.
By Phone: Call 215-968-1001 weekdays between 8:30 am and 7:00 pm ET, September-March, and between 8:30 am and 4:45 pm ET, April-August. LSAC’s busiest day is Monday, so you can avoid delays if you call later in the week.
By Mail: You can also register for the LSAT by mail. To receive a paper registration package contact LSAC at: LSACinfo@LSAC.org or call the number above.
- Your Admission Ticket – this is provided when you register and you can not write the LSAT without it
- Identification. You must take to the test center one current valid government-issued (not expired) photo ID bearing your signature. This is a change from previous years. The ID presented must contain a recent and recognizable photo and visible signature on the same original form of ID. Acceptable forms of ID include: passport or driver‘s license or other government-issued ID.The following items are not considered acceptable forms of ID for access to the test center: Social Security card, Social Insurance card, birth certificate, credit card (including those with photo), expired ID, photocopied ID, employee ID, or student ID.Note: Admission to the test center will be denied if your first and last name on the ID do not match exactly the first and last name on your LSAT Admission Ticket.
- Pencils. Bring to the test center three or four sharpened No. 2 or HB (for Canadian centers) pencils—with good erasers. Mechanical pencils are prohibited. All answers must be recorded on your LSAT answer sheet in pencil. Pencils must be used for the writing sample as well. Pencils or sharpeners will not be supplied at the test center. Pencils and highlighters may be used to underline passages in the test book. Ink or ballpoint pens are not permitted.
- A snack for the break
- A highlighter
- Pencils #2 or HB
- Pencil sharpener
- A drink in a plastic container or juice box (20 oz. or 591 ml max size)
- You can take only the following into the testing room: a clear plastic ziplock bag, maximum size one gallon (3.79 liter), which must be stored under the chair and may be accessed only during the break. The ziplock bag may contain only the following items: LSAT Admission Ticket stub; valid ID; wallet; keys; analog (non-digital) wristwatch; medical or hygiene products; #2 or HB wooden pencils, highlighter, erasers, pencil sharpener (no mechanical pencils); tissues; and beverage in plastic container or juice box (20 oz./591 ml maximum size) and snack for break only.
- The following are the only items allowed on your desktop: tissues, ID, wooden pencils, erasers, a pencil sharpener, highlighter, and analog (nondigital) wristwatch.
- Ink or ballpoint pens
- Mechanical pencils
- Ear plugs
- No electronic timing devices are permitted. No timers of any kind except analog (non-digital) wristwatches.
- papers of any kind (no scratch paper allowed)
- hats or hoods
- cellular phones
- recording or photographic devices
- pagers or beepers
- other electronic devices
Bringing prohibited items into the test room may result in the confiscation of such items by the test supervisor, a warning, dismissal from the test center, or cancellation of a test score by LSAC. Prohibited items may not be used during the break.
The test is administered four times a year in February, June, September/October and December at hundreds of locations around the world.
Upcoming LSAT dates can be found here: http://www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/test-dates-deadlines
If you observe a Saturday Sabbath, you may take the LSAT on Mondays following the regular Saturday administrations. To request a Saturday Sabbath observers administration, you must obtain a letter on official stationery from your minister or rabbi confirming your religious affiliation.
How to prepare for the LSAT
Start by getting some actual LSATs. There are some Free Practice LSAT tests available, however, for sufficient practice you will likely need to purchase some. Try the actual LSATs under actual timed conditions (35 minutes per section) then determine your LSAT score. If you are happy with your LSAT score at this point you are ready to write the test and can save yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars on LSAT preparation. If you want to improve your LSAT score consider taking our online LSAT prep course. Combine this with the study advice provided throughout our tutorials and plenty of home study completing actual LSATs under the actual time requirements. If you still find yourself scoring less than you would like, classroom courses can be an excellent way to improve your score and also for those of us who are less focused or motivated to study they can be a good way to force you to devote the necessary time to the LSAT.
LSAT courses can be an excellent way to improve your score and many people have great success with them. We recommend that before you take a course you do some home study for two reasons: 1. It will give you an idea as to whether you need a course or not and 2. By doing some home preparation you will have a much better idea as to which parts of the LSAT you need the most help with, this will allow you to get much more out of the course. For home study start with trying some actual LSATs under the required time limits (35 minutes per section). Also try our free online LSAT course. If you find you are not scoring as high as you would like after home study, consider taking a classroom LSAT course.
LSAC (the Law School Admission Council) Provides free sample LSATs and free sample LSAT questions. Alpha-Score.com has tutorials and explanations for many of the questions in the Free Actual LSAT Practice Tests. For explanations try our Free online LSAT Course. Or check out our complete online LSAT course.
The Analytical Reasoning Section (also know as the logic games section) of the LSAT is 1 out of the 4 scored sections of the LSAT and includes 23-24 questions making up approximately 24% of your final LSAT score. Each analytical reasoning section contains 4 games. Each game includes an introductory paragraph, a set of rules and 5-7 multiple choice questions about the game. The introductory paragraph describes the game layout, gives you a list of entities and may even provide you with a rule or two about how the entities are to be placed. Next we have a list of rules about how the entities will fit into their positions within the game. For example your introductory paragraph may tell you that you have 3 fruit stands and that there are 4 types of fruit to distribute amongst the fruit stands (apples, oranges, mangoes and pears). Then you will have a list of rules that will include things like “Any fruit stand with oranges must also have pears.” and “The first fruit stand must have apples.” The key to success on the analytical reasoning section of the LSAT is being able to summarize the introductory paragraph and rules into a quick and easy to understand diagram and then applying this to the question types.
For more on how to approach the Analytical Reasoning section of the LSAT see our LSAT Logic Games tutorials.
See the question above. Logic Games are the same as the Analytical Section.
For more on how to approach the Logic Games section of the LSAT see our Analytical Reasoning tutorials.
The logical reasoning questions make up approximately 50% of your LSAT score. There are five sections on the test, only 4 of these are scored and 2 out of those 4 are logical reasoning. Each logical reasoning section has 24-26 questions. Each question consists of a short argument and a question about the argument. There are only a limited number of question types in this section such as the Parallel Reasoning questions: “Which of the following most closely parallels the argument?” or the Paradox questions “Which of the following explains the apparent paradox?”. The key to the Logical Reasoning section on the LSAT is learning how to approach and answer each of these question types and managing your time effectively.
For more on how to approach the Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT see our Logical Reasoning tutorials.
The Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT is 1 out of the 4 scored sections of the LSAT and includes 26-28 multiple choice questions making up approximately 27% of your final LSAT score. Each reading comprehension section includes 4 reading comprehension question sets. The reading selection in three of the four sets consists of a single reading passage of approximately 450 words in length. The other set contains two related shorter passages. Sets with two passages are a new variant of reading comprehension, called comparative reading, which were introduced into the reading comprehension section starting in June 2007. Each passage is followed by 7-8 questions such as “What was the main idea of the passage?” or “Which of the following statements would the author most likely agree with?” To succeed on the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT you not only need to be able to read quickly and closely but you need to understand the types of questions that will be asked and how to answer them efficiently in the time provided. The Alpha-Score LSAT course will provide you with a variety of strategies for success on the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT.
The Experimental Section of the LSAT is simply an additional section that will be one of the 3 types listed above. It will either be Logical Reasoning, Analytical Reasoning, or Reading Comprehension. The experimental section is not identified as such on the LSAT so you have no idea which one it is during the LSAT. The experimental section will not be included in your LSAT score but since there is no way to tell for sure which section is the experimental section you must complete it. The experimental section is used by the makers of the LSAT to test out new questions and new question types to determine how difficult they are for LSAT writers. It also serves to make the test longer and more challenging. The experimental section almost always occurs as one of the first 3 sections of the test.
The LSAT also includes a 35 minute writing sample section. This is not scored or included in your final LSAT score. It is sent to each law school to which your LSAT score is sent, however, law schools rarely make use of the writing sample in determining admissions. Admissions committees put limited weight on a messy handwritten writing sample written after a 3 hour exam when you are at your worst. Also, they have a much better sample of your ability to write in your personal statement, and finally they have your entire educational history as an evaluation of your writing abilities. For these reasons you should not be overly concerned with the writing sample, however, you should still take the time to do a couple of practice samples and to complete the question on the actual LSAT. The writing sample can be more of a factor for admissions in the case of ESL applicants. The writing sample serves as an additional sample of writing for fraud prevention. In the writing sample you will be presented with a decision and asked to choose from two options. Chose one and make an argument as to why it is the best choice. There is no right or wrong answer as there are arguments to be made for either option.
YES. Unless you are getting almost all the questions right and not running out of time you should be skipping questions. Remember that you get the same one point for each right answer regardless of how hard the question was or how long it took you. So, you should skip the hard ones and get more easy ones right. Many students struggle with this idea but try it and watch your LSAT score increase. Mark the skipped questions on your bubble sheet and in your test book and come back to them if you have time, if not don’t forget to fill in a guess answer. The best place to skip questions is in the logical reasoning sections of the test. This is because there is no catching up to do if you come back to the question as there is with the games and the reading comprehension where you have invested time into setting up a game or reading the passage. You should be more hesitant to skip in the reading comprehension and analytical reasoning sections but you must still skip questions if they are taking you too long. Many students find it useful to look back at practice tests they have written and identify which types of questions they struggle most with and then skip them on sight. This leaves you more time to complete the questions you are good at and if you have time you can come back to the hard ones. For example many people skip the parallel reasoning questions on sight as they are time consuming and are also easy to identify. Learn more about parallel reasoning on the LSAT here.
After you have your LSAT Score
Most good law schools have an average LSAT score for admitted students of between 155 and 166. However, a number of other factors can influence your admission to law school and students with much lower LSAT scores and a strong application outside of the LSAT are often admitted while students with strong LSAT scores and weak applications can be rejected. Also some schools place different weights on the value of the LSAT. See our Canadian Law School Guide for more information on admissions criteria.
The makers of the LSAT will tell you that the LSAT is a standardized test and studying should not improve your LSAT score. They publish statistics with each test showing that people who re-write rarely have great improvements in their LAST score. However, from their own statistics there are some people who improve dramatically. Our advice, apply with the LAST score you have and re-write. In the mean time study hard and do your best to improve on your re-write. Many people improve dramatically on a second or third attempt and with proper preparation you can too.
Law School Applications
Most law schools do not have an official deferral policy, however, most will let you defer your acceptance. We suggest you wait for your acceptance, then write them a letter informing them you will not be attending law school this year. Include your reasons in the letter e.g. Traveling and personal growth etc. Then tell them you plan to attend their law school the next year. Most schools will grant deferral. Schools want get the best students and it makes little difference to them whether you attend this year or next. Be warned though that some schools may ask you to sign something saying you will not accept at another school if they give you a deferral. This is to stop people from keeping their acceptance to one school on hold for a year while applying to others. Bottom line is that once they have decided they want you in their school it does not really matter to them if it is this year or next so as long as you are polite about it you can probably get your deferral. If you plan to defer let the school know as soon as possible as it gives them more time to fill your spot and will make them more sympathetic to your deferral request.