How Hard is the LSAT?
Reviewed By: Morgan Galloway Daly, J.D.
Many students are curious about the difficulty of the LSAT. They are curious if the LSAT is actually hard or if other students are exaggerating.
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.
The LSAT is actually closer to an intelligence test than other standardized exams. We will look into what makes the LSAT so challenging below.
Summary: How hard is the LSAT? We will be answering that question below. Consider a best LSAT prep course to help you get a top score.
How Difficult is the LSAT?
The short answer to this question is yes. You cannot just memorize concepts or certain types of questions when preparing for the LSAT. The LSAT 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 5 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.
LSAT Pass Rate
There is technically no LSAT pass rate. Every school has different requirements and criteria used for admissions.
The LSAT is scored on a scale from 120-180. According to the Law School Admissions Council, the average LSAT score is 152. You will also receive a percentile score which tells you where you stand when compared to other test takers.
If you score a 150, you will be in the 44th percentile of LSAT scorers. If you score a 155, you will be in the 64th percentile of LSAT scorers. You can learn more about percentiles in our LSAT scores guide.
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.
What are the Hardest Sections on the LSAT?
There are 5 total sections on the LSAT. You will be given 35 minutes to complete each section. Those sections are:
- Logical Reasoning 1
- Logical Reasoning 2
- Analytical Reasoning
- Reading Comprehension
- Writing Sample
We will discuss each section below and help you learn more about which sections are most difficult.
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 2 of these sections with each one containing 24-26 total questions which will be multiple-choice. You will be given 35 minutes to complete each 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.
These 2 sections will equal about half of your overall score, so it is important to become comfortable with these types of questions. 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 prep 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 practice test to help get a better idea of how well you are prepared.
LSAT Difficulty FAQs
When will I receive my LSAT score?
What if I don't think I did well on the LSAT?
Does the LSAT allow for testing accommodations?
How many times can I take the LSAT?
Can the average person pass 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?
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.