A Basic LSAT Breakdown

LSAT is an acronym for the Law School Admissions Test.

Flickr user Dan Hancock

LSAT is an acronym for the Law School Admissions Test. All law students must take and pass this standardized test as a prerequisite to applying law school (although some schools are now accepting the GRE as an alternative).

As with any graduate-level exam, preparation and practice are the key elements to your success. Before you start studying, understanding how the sections break down helps you know what you need to do to prepare for each one.

Timing and the LSAT

If you Google “how long is the LSAT?” you’ll find many different answers. You’ll see timing that ranges from 3 to 5 hours. Typically, there five sections take about 35 minutes each to complete. 

The LSAT only scores the four multiple-choice sections. There is also a writing portion, which is administered at the end of the exam. The LSAT doesn’t score the written section. Instead, it sends it to all the law schools you applied to for them to review. 

Format of the LSAT

The four multiple-choice sections include the following:

  • Reading Comprehension Section: These questions measure your ability to read lengthy and complex passages. You will be asked to recall and analyze specific passages of the readings provided.
  • Analytical Reasoning Section: These questions measure your ability to analyze structural arguments and draw conclusions and make decisions based on this information.
  • 2 Logical Reasoning Sections: There are 2 logical reasoning sections. These questions assess how well you analyze, evaluate, and complete arguments as they occur in ordinary language.

The last section, the writing sample, judges how well you can craft a compelling argument based on the facts provided to you.

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