The Law School Admissions Test, also known as the LSAT, predicts future lawyers’ success in law school.
A great LSAT score is one of the most valued markers in any law school application, so it’s important to fully understand the exam and how to prepare for it.
Summary: Review everything you need to know about the LSAT. If you want to begin studying, check out the best LSAT prep courses.
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT is a standardized test taken by anyone who wishes to apply to law school.
While some schools may accept other tests, the LSAT is the gold standard when it comes to law school applications, and anyone planning on going to law school should consider taking it.
How Many Questions are on the LSAT?
The LSAT is made up of four main sections, with a total number of questions between 99-102 multiple-choice questions.
The number of questions in each section varies between 22-28 questions (except for the writing portion, which is an argumentative response).
How Long is the LSAT?
Each of the sections on the LSAT is 35 minutes (plus 35 minutes to complete the writing sample), for a total time of just under 3 hours.
Here is a quick breakdown of how long each section will take:
|LSAT Section||Time Limit||# of Questions|
|Logical Reasoning||35 minutes||24-26|
|Logic Games||35 minutes||22-24|
|Reading Comprehension||35 minutes||26-28|
|Experimental (Unscored)||35 minutes||22-28|
|Writing Sample||35 minutes|
What is on the LSAT?
The sections on the LSAT will test your ability to perform certain tasks, solve complex problems, and draw conclusions.
Each section is also weighted separately, with some sections not scored at all.
Here’s what you can expect from each LSAT section:
|Logical Reasoning||33%||1 section|
|Analytical Reasoning (“Logic Games”)||31%||1 section - 4 “games”|
|Reading Comprehension||36%||1 section - 4 passages|
|Experimental (Unscored)||0%||Either: logic games, logical reasoning, or reading comprehension|
|Writing Sample||0%||1 argumentative essay|
Logical Reasoning Section Breakdown
The Logical Reasoning section of the LSAT tests your ability to quickly analyze and critique a given narrative.
You will be tasked with reading short passages and answering multiple-choice questions about each one.
Analytical Reasoning Section Breakdown
The Analytical Reasoning section, also known as “Logic Games,” will pose questions to you based on complex or ambiguous passages.
While this is often the most dreaded section amongst test-takers, it comes in a familiar multiple-choice format.
Reading Comprehension Section Breakdown
The Reading Comprehension portion of the exam consists of questions based around 4 passages:
- 3 passages with one author
- 1 combination of passages from different sources
You will be tasked with answering multiple-choice questions based on each passage. The questions will gauge your ability to draw inferences, determine main ideas, and understand difficult and scholarly language.
Variable Section Break
The Variable, or “Experimental” section of the LSAT is not scored, but you will not be aware which section is Experimental.
This may consist of an extra Argumentative, Games, or Reading Comprehension portion. This section is used by the LSAC for testing out new questions to see how they perform.
Writing Sample Section Breakdown
The Writing section of the LSAT is not scored per se, but it is still relevant to your law school application. You are not given a numerical score on your essay, but it will be submitted along with your other application materials and will be reviewed by an admissions team.
Test takers are allowed to complete the Writing portion of the exam separately, and can be submitted up to 8 days prior to your scheduled exam.
For more information on the exam, read through the FAQs on the official site.
How is the LSAT Scored?
There are three types of LSAT scores:
- A Raw Score, or the number of questions you answered correctly
- A Scaled Score, which is your “final score” and is some number between 120-180
- A Percentile Score, which compares your scaled score to other test takers
Generally, being admitted into a top law school will require you to score in the 97th percentile or higher. Let’s see how your scaled score translates into an approximate percentile:
|LSAT Scaled Score||Percentile|
We dove deeper into the ins and outs of LSAT scores in our complete guide.
Registering for the LSAT
The LSAT is administered throughout the year, 1-3 times each month. To register, you will need to create an LSAC account online and must be completed at least one month before your desired test date.
For a complete list of test dates, check out the latest info on LSAT test dates.
The flat fee for taking the LSAT is $200, but there are also several add-ons that you may want to consider, such as:
- Credential Assembly Service (CAS): $195
- Law School Report: $45
- Test Center Change: $125
- Test Date Change: $125
- Nonpublished Test Center: $295 (Domestic); $390 (International)
- Hand scoring: $100
Preparing for the LSAT
Because the LSAT is such an important exam, it can be very stressful. By familiarizing yourself with the exam format with the help of LSAT practice exams, you can boost your confidence while studying at the same time.
There are also a ton of in-depth LSAT prep courses out there that can provide you with more than just practice tests. Many of these courses offer personalized support and score guarantees.