Law School Admission Test (LSAT): The Basics

Find out about this required test for your JD degree.

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Interested in going back to graduate school and getting a law degree? All law schools approved by the American Bar Association require law school students to take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).

Most law schools give strong consideration to the LSAT score of each college student applying for a law degree at their school, along with the student’s grades in their bachelors degree, when determining admissions into their law school programs. In other words, a good score on the LSAT can be critical to getting into the school of your choice.

What can you do if you bomb? You can cancel your scores during your test by filling out the score cancellation section of your LSAT answer sheet.

If you’re interested in pursuing law at a graduate school and receiving your JD degree, scoring well on the LSAT can broaden your education options for admissions at top colleges and universities. Learn more about the LSAT below.

What Is the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)?

This standardized test assesses your logical and verbal reasoning skills and tests your ability to analyze arguments.

What Does the LSAT Measure?

The LSAT is composed of five sections, one of which is experimental and used to test potential questions for future LSATs.

In the logical reasoning section, you will be asked multiple-choice questions that require you to be able to analyze given arguments. In the analytical reasoning section, also known as the games section, you are given logic puzzles and asked to understand the relationships between the concepts and make predictions based on the information given.

The reading comprehension question gives the college student a series of passages, following by a set of questions about each one. These are meant to test your ability to find the main ideas and understand complex written material. The essay section, which is not graded, is sent to law schools along with your LSAT score for their evaluation. In the essay, you should focus on creating and supporting your argument and making sure your writing is clear, concise and grammatically correct.

Raw scores on the LSAT are converted into a composite score. This score ranges from 120 to 180, with a median of around 151. If you retake the test, most schools will average your scores together.

What Does the LSAT Cost?

The LSAT currently costs $132 in US; fees in other countries will vary. For most law schools, you are also required to subscribe to the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS), which costs $121. Your subscription includes one free LSAT score report.

When and Where Do People Take the LSAT?

The LSAT is administered in the United States as well as internationally. It’s offered four times a year, in June, September/October, December and February.

You can take the LSAT up to three times in a two-year period. The scores you receive on the tests you take are maintained for five years, after which time they’re erased.

LSAT Tips & Tactics

  • Register for the LSAT on the LSAC website.
  • If you’re not sure of the answers, guess! The LSAT does not deduct points for incorrect answers, so you’re better off taking a wild guess than leaving an answer blank.
  • What can you do if you bomb? You can cancel your scores during your test by filling out the score cancellation section of your LSAT answer sheet. Or, send a written cancellation request to the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) within 6 days of taking the test. A college or university looking at your score reports will see that you chose to cancel your scores, but the actual scores will not appear.
  • Need additional help preparing to take the GMAT test? These services can help:
    • Kaplan LSAT test prep
    • The Princeton Review LSAT test prep

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