How Hard is the LSAT?
- Academically reviewed by Morgan Galloway Daly, J.D. - LSAT Expert
One of the most common questions for students applying to law school is, "how hard is the LSAT?" Determining the difficulty of the LSAT will help you figure out how much preparation you will need as well as the steps that need to be taken to do well on the exam.
We will dive into the LSAT and help you figure out how difficult the LSAT is. Go into the LSAT feeling confident and prepared.
Summary: Find out how hard the LSAT is and figure out the best steps to take to pass.
Is the LSAT hard to pass?
While the LSAT's difficulty depends on the test taker's level of preparation, there are specific data points we can look at to assess just how hard the LSAT is. One of these statistics is the number of perfect scores each year.
There are, on average, 100,000 LSAT exams given each year. Of those hundred thousand people, only 30 people on average get a perfect score.
Given this perspective, it is safe to assume that the LSAT is a relatively tough exam. But don't be discouraged. There are a few things to remember.
- You do not need to get a perfect score of 180 to get into law school. Most students aim for a score between 160 - 170.
- Because there are sample questions on the exam, you can technically miss 2-3 questions and still receive a perfect score.
- Admittance to law school is competitive. Try and see the difficulty of the LSAT as a way for you to study hard, score high, and set yourself apart from other applicants.
- The LSAT is a standardized test, which means that it has a consistent and learnable structure.
While the LSAT may be challenging, taking the time to properly prepare ahead of time will highly increase your chances of success.
What are the hardest sections on the LSAT?
While every test taker has different strengths, most agree that the LSAT's logical reasoning section is the most difficult. This section is generally problematic because the question types and structure require you to think differently and analyze various situations.
There are three types of logical reasoning questions you should prepare for.
These questions require you to read a passage containing evidence and a specific conclusion made from that evidence. You will then decide what the gap or flaw is in that conclusion.
You may be asked what information you could add to strengthen the conclusion. You may also be asked what damaging information you could take away to strengthen the argument.
Parallel Reasoning Questions
These types of questions are often the most time consuming on the LSAT. It takes the most time because it requires you to read through many passages carefully and note any conditional reasoning you find. Like other multiple choice tests, you have to take what you have read and compare it to all five answer choices to determine which answer is correct.
These questions, while still challenging, are considered the easiest of the logical reasoning section. This is because this type of question is most closely related to other standardized tests.
You will be asked to read a passage carefully and conclude its meaning based on only what you have read. The most challenging part of inference questions is making sure you come to a conclusion based solely on the text you are given and not using any preconceived experiences or information.
The other section most test-takers find difficult on the LSAT is reading comprehension.
At first glance, the LSAT reading comprehension portion looks familiar, therefore somewhat easier than the other sections. However, after a few scored practice tests, many students find that the sheer number of detailed passages makes this section exceedingly difficult.
Some of the most common mistakes in the reading comprehension section of the LSAT include:
Ordering the passages in the wrong way
This can slow you down, but it can also affect your test score. This section of the test assesses your ability to read and comprehend a passage, but it is also testing your ability to manage your time and make choices based on the information you are given.
Not saving enough time to complete all the passages
The LSAT is unarguably an incredibly challenging exam. Still, one significant advantage is that you do not lose any extra points for guessing, which means you should never leave any answer blank. Even if you leave just a few minutes at the end to guess, that is far better than not answering at all.
Confusing the details of different passages
As stated above, the reading comprehension section of the LSAT consists of many incredibly detailed passages. This makes it easy to start mixing up details and confusing what information comes from which section of text. Making this mistake can significantly affect your answers and your score.
Many students find it hard to keep their focus on the test with so many passages to read the entire time.
While these sections of the test are what most test-takers report as the most challenging, everyone is different. That means it is crucial to your success and admission into law school that you spend time properly preparing for the LSAT.
How is the LSAT scored?
Your LSAT score is based on how many questions you answered correctly. Every question is worth the same number of points, so all questions should be read and answered carefully.
There are no additional points deducted for guessing, so try not to leave any answers blank. After your test has been scored, the number of questions you got right is converted into a number on the LSAT scale. These scores range from 120 – 180.
What is a good LSAT score?
LSAT scores range from 120 – 180, with the average score falling around 150. Because law school admissions are so competitive most students aim for a score between 160 and 170.
How do I prepare for the LSAT?
While there is no easy answer to, "How hard is the LSAT?" it is safe to say it is a challenging exam. Both the length and the complexity of the questions make it difficult to complete and score well without proper preparations.
While the LSAT is tough, it is a very learnable test. With the right materials and enough time, you can master the concepts and test-taking skills required to perform well.
One of the best places to start your preparation is an LSAT prep course.
We recommend a comprehensive resource like our review of the best LSAT prep courses. Here you will find a complete comparison of the courses available and what they have to offer.
Since studying for the LSAT can be a significant investment, it is important that you get the right program for you. It is also essential to make sure that the prep course you choose includes study materials, sample questions, and practice tests.
After choosing the best prep course for your needs, you should take the time to create a LSAT study plan. This plan should include how much time you will devote to preparations and what you plan to study.
It is also important to utilize practice tests when studying for the LSAT. These will help you save time while studying.
Practice tests can be a precious resource in your LSAT preparation because they will allow you to assess what you got wrong, why it was incorrect, and what the right answer should be for next time. Taking note of these simple things while studying can make all the difference in getting your desired score.
As you can see, the LSAT can be an extremely challenging test to complete and score well on. Many people ask, "how hard is the LSAT" - the important thing to take away is that the resources and time you choose to invest in preparing for the LSAT will help you achieve the score you need to get accepted into your law school of choice.
To prepare for the LSAT, check out these resources:
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