The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is a standardized admissions test. It is required as part of the application by all American Bar Association (ABA)-accredited law schools, as well as by other many other law schools.
About the Test
The test requires a half of a day to complete. It consists of five 35-minute multiple-choice questions and one 35-minute writing sample. The multiple-choice questions are designed to objectively measure studentsí skills in reading comprehension, and analytical and logical reasoning.
The LSAT score is comprised of four out of the five of the multiple-choice sections. One of the five sections is not scored. The section that is not scored is used to evaluate potential questions for new tests. The writing section is also not scored. Copies of the writing sample are sent to the law schools with the LSAT score.
Preparing for the Test
It is helpful for students to familiarize themselves with the format of the test and the types of questions on it. It is also helpful to the practice taking the test. There are many commercially available preparation books and classes to help students prepare for the LSAT. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the LSAT administrator, provides free and commercial preparation resources on their website (http://www.lsac.org).
What to Take to the Testing Center
It is important to only bring the materials allowed in the testing room. Purses and book bags are not allowed into the testing room. Authorized items can be carried in a plastic Ziplock-type bag up to one gallon.
- Admissions ticket
- Wooden pencils
- Non-digital wristwatch
- Medical or hygiene products
- Beverage (No aluminum cans)
Repeating the Test
If students are unhappy with their LSAT score, they can retake it. However, students cannot take the LSAT more than three times within two years. The exception to this is when the law school you are applying to requires a more recent test score than you have. This requires special approval.
Students who are considering retaking the LSAT should keep in mind that in most cases retaking it does not substantially improve scores. There is also a chance the studentís retest score may be lower than the original scoring. However, in cases with extenuating circumstances, such as illness during the first exam sitting, then retaking the LSAT might improve a studentís score.
In many cases law schools will average applicantsí LSAT scores taken from multiple tests. Therefore, if there were extenuating circumstances to explain why a studentís second sitting of the LSAT produced substantially higher scores, the student should inform the law school admissions department.