How hard is the LSAT? We will take a deep dive into that question in our article below.
The LSAT is unlike other standardized tests. You will not be answering cut and dry questions. You will need to think critically in order to answer the questions correctly.
Summary: Find out what makes the LSAT so difficult below. Consider using LSAT test prep courses when preparing for the exam.
How Difficult is the LSAT?
The LSAT is very difficult. The exam is actually closer to an intelligence test than other standardized exams.
You cannot just memorize concepts or certain types of questions when preparing for the LSAT. This exam will test your intelligence and make you use critical thinking between multiple concepts when solving a problem.
On top of all of that, there is also a time constraint. With the LSAT being unlike other standardized exams, having to think critically on every question, and a time component make the LSAT a very challenging exam.
There are around 100 questions on the LSAT that are spread out throughout the various sections. The goal of the LSAT is to try to measure your proficiency in certain skill sets. You will not lose any points for incorrect answers – so guess away.
What Makes the LSAT So Hard?
There are a couple of factors that make the LSAT hard. 3 of the biggest factors include:
- Detailed Passages – The passages you encounter on this exam can be cumbersome to read. The passages can become confusing very quickly.
- Complex Logic Based Questions – The questions you encounter will not be cut and dry. You will need to use logic and reasoning to answer them correctly (and quickly).
- Large Amounts of Information – While the exam only contains around 100 questions, you will need to process a large amount of information across the questions. Make sure you have the mental endurance to do this before taking the actual exam.
What are the Hardest Sections?
There are 5 total sections on the LSAT. You will be given 35 minutes to complete each section. Those sections are:
- Logical Reasoning
- Analytical Reasoning
- Reading Comprehension
- Variable Section (Unscored)
- Writing Sample (Unscored)
You can learn more specifics of this exam by reading our LSAT test guide. We will discuss the difficulty of each section below.
How Hard is the LSAT Logical Reasoning?
This section consists of short passages with questions that follow. You will be asked to determine an arguments strengths or weaknesses as well as what causes the argument to be strong or weak.
There are 24-26 total questions which will be multiple-choice. You will be given 35 minutes to complete the section. Logical reasoning is also referred to as the arguments section.
Some skills you may be asked to perform on this section include:
- Recognizing various parts of an argument
- Drawing conclusions
- Reasoning by analogy
- Identifying and applying principles or rules
- Identifying flaws in arguments
- Identifying explanations
Some types of questions you may be asked include:
- Assumption Questions – you will 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.
- Parallel Reasoning Questions – requires you to read through many passages carefully and note any conditional reasoning you find.
- Inference Questions – requires you to read a passage and conclude its meaning based on only what you have read. Make sure you come to a conclusion based solely on the text you are given – do not use any preconceived experiences or information.
You will not need specialized knowledge of certain logical terms but you will be asked to understand and critique the reasoning contained in different arguments.
You will need to understand various concepts like argument, premise, assumption, and conclusion. You will need to use critical thinking to locate flaws, clues, and misstatements in the questions and answer choices.
You can use our LSAT questions to prepare for this section.
How Hard is the LSAT Analytical Reasoning?
This sections is often referred to as the logic games section. You will be asked to use deductive reasoning to answer the questions in this section.
There are 22-24 multiple-choice questions in this section. These questions are split between 4 logic games. You will have 35 minutes to complete this sections.
You may encounter the following types of logic games:
- Grouping games
- Ordering games
- Assignment games
Some deductive reasoning skills that may be tested include:
- Reasoning with “if-then” statements
- Figuring out what could or must be true from given facts
- Recognizing when two statements are logically equivalent
It is important to read and answer these questions very carefully. Try to take your time and understand what is being asked of you. It is important to not make assumptions – that is where they will get you on this section.
Only use the stated conditions or rules given to you in that specific passage. Nothing will carry over and you will not need any outside knowledge to answer these questions.
How Hard is the LSAT Reading Comprehension?
This section includes 26-28 multiple choice questions. There will be 3-4 sets of questions for 1 passage and then 2 shorter passages. You will have 35 minutes to complete this section.
Some skills that may be tested include:
- Identifying the main idea and details
- Drawing inferences
- Making extrapolations
- Identifying structure of a passage
- Analyze use of language
The passages in this section can include a wide range of subjects. It is important to note that you do not need any prior knowledge to answer these passage questions correctly – you will just be asked to analyze the passages.
How Hard is the LSAT Writing Sample?
This section is not scored, but it is sent to law schools and may be used in their admissions process. While this section is not scored, it can help you get into the law school of your choice.
This writing sample is you chance to showcase your writing and argument skills and could be the difference between influencing a law school admissions counselor or not.
You can practice for this section by writing essays and having someone familiar with the LSAT take a look at them.
Many students use LSAT courses to prepare for the LSAT writing sample section and other sections.
How Long Should You Study for the LSAT?
While this is not a “one-size fits all” question, it is generally recommended that you spend between 200 and 300 hours of total study time preparing.
This may sound overwhelming at first, but if you give yourself some time, it can easily be accomplished. 3 months is a good amount of time to give yourself. If you give yourself 3 months and are able to spend 20 hours per week studying, you will be at 240 total hours of studying.
It is important to have a feeling for how well you think you are prepared for the exam. If you are at 240 total hours of study time, but feel like you still need more work, you should keep studying.
A good way to find out if you are comfortable with the material is to take simulated exams. If you take a simulated exam towards the end of your studying, and score well, this is usually an indicator that you are close to being ready for the actual exam.
You can use our free LSAT questions to help get a better idea of how well you are prepared.
LSAT Difficulty FAQs
What if I don't think I did well on the LSAT?
If you take the LSAT and feel like you did not do your best, you can cancel your score beginning the day after your test. In most cases, you will then have only six calendar days to decide if you want to keep or cancel your score.
If you choose to keep your score or you do nothing within the six-day window, your score will automatically be added to your transcript and sent to your schools of choice for review.
How many times can I take the LSAT?
The LSAT can only be taken three times within a single testing year. The testing year for the LSAT runs from June 1st – May 31st. You also may not exceed five tests within five testing years.
Can the average person pass the LSAT?
Technically there is no passing score on the LSAT. With that being said, the average person can 100% do well on the LSAT.
In order to do well on this exam, you will need to spend an ample amount of time studying. It is generally recommended that you spend between 200 and 300 total hours preparing.
Is the LSAT harder than the SAT?
The LSAT is typically considered harder than the SAT. The questions on the LSAT are not as cut and dry as questions on the SAT.
On the LSAT, you will be asked to think critically for most questions. There may seem like there are multiple correct answers on some questions.
The LSAT is closer to an intelligence test than a typical standardized exam. This is what makes it harder than the SAT.