Last Updated: May 30, 2021
LSAT- The Law School Admission Test
What is the LSAT?
LSAT is a standardized test developed by the Law School Admission Council/ LSAC for the purpose of gaining admission into JD programs in the US, Canada and a few other countries. The test is conducted a total of 7 times in a year and takes around half a day in order to be completed. It contains sections like reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and even a writing section.
Though the American Bar Association has waived off the necessity for LSAT in colleges, the exam continues to be an integral part of getting admission in law schools in many countries. The exam focuses on analyzing the ability of the student to thrive in a law school set up and has been proven to outshine the results that GPAs portray since the variables associated with GPA’s are far too many when compared to that of LSAT.
Some colleges have eliminated the need for LSAT in cases where the student has received a constant score of 3.8 or above in their GPAs. This exam is administered in two parts where the former is graded and the latter is ungraded but included in the score report for the perusal of the admission council in colleges. The exam has been converted into an online, proctored one given the importance of the test and according to their official website, it will continue to be administered online until June 2022.
What is LSAT-Flex?
The online mode of examination provided by the LSAC due to the pandemic has been named LSAT-Flex and it lets students register and take their LSAT test online. They have been providing this mode of examination since May 2020 and it contains 3 sections in all which are the three sections in the multiple-choice part of the test. These parts are
- Reading Comprehension
- Analytical Reasoning
- Logical Reasoning
The second part of the LSAT which is LSAT Writing will be available to the student 8 days before the scheduled test date making it possible for the writing sample to be visible in the score report. The earlier the candidate takes this test, the sooner they will be able to receive their score report. The LSAT-Flex test takes a total of around 2 hours for standard test takers.
The registration for the LSAT-Flex can be done online through the online account candidates have created in the LSAC website. Students will require the following things in order to take the LSAT-Flex test-
- A private room to take the test in
- Laptop or Desktop Computer with Windows or Mac- a minimum of 1024 MB of RAM is required
- Webcam and Microphone
- Internet Connection
- Google Chrome/ Mozilla Firefox
Registering for LSAT
Eligibility Requirements for LSAT
Candidates who are planning to take the LSAT exam must have either completed their Bachelor’s degree in Law or can be in their final year of their Bachelor’s degree in another related subject. There are no other eligibility criteria for applying for the test though it is assumed that the candidate is proficient in the English language.
Students will be able to take the LSAT for 3 times in a single testing year and a maximum of 5 time within the current and 5 past testing years. Candidates will be able to take the test a maximum of only 7 times in their lifetime. The LSAT score is valid for a total of 5 years after the test has been taken.
Exam Fee for LSAT and CAS
The basic fee for LSAT including the fee for LSAT writing is $200
. This basic fee includes one free score report while additional score reports cost $45 per report. The CAS or Credential Assembly Service is a system created by the LSAC that assembles undergrad work, test results and writing samples into a report and sends it along with the score report of LSAT to different universities. They charge $195
for this service. Fees charged for other services are-
|Test Date Change||$125 (less than 14 days before LSAT-Flex Administration|
|Score Preview||$45 before first day of testing|
$75 after testing concludes
|Retaking LSAT||$200(same as registration fee) |
Test Dates and Schedule for LSAT
Candidates are expected to register for the LSAT approximately one month before the actual test date. The exam is conducted 7 times in a year during the months of January and February in winter; March and April in spring; or in the months of September, October and November during the fall.
It is recommended that candidates cross-check the requirements of the universities they are applying to prior to fixing a date for the LSAT. Students will also have to consider a date that will allow them to send applications to their universities of choice after the results have been declared giving them enough time to take a retest if they so require it.
Test Structure of LSAT
The LSAT exam consists mainly of 2 parts where the first part is in a multiple-choice
pattern and the second part is a written essay. The multiple-choice section of the test includes 3 subsections which are-
|Section||Number of Questions||Time Duration|
|Reading Comprehension||25-26 questions||35 minutes|
|Analytical Reasoning||27-28 questions||35 minutes|
|Logical Reasoning ||25-26 questions ||35 minutes|
This form of the test will be available only until June 2021 after which the section will contain another unscored subsection which will be placed to validate new test questions for possible future variations in the test.
The second part of the test is comprised of a writing section
where a decision problem will be provided and the candidate will have to take a stand and defend the choice they have made. The section has been designed to understand the persuasion skills of the candidate and the arguments they can create wither for or against the cause that has been mentioned. The qualities that are mentioned through this unscored writing section is their reasoning ability, language use, and writing skills including clarity and organizational skills. Though the writing section is not graded, it will be included as a part of the score report and sent to schools where they will be able to judge the candidate based on what they have written.
The score range for LSAT ranges between 120 and 180 where 120 is the lowest possible score attainable and 180 is the highest score. The scores candidates receive for each of the question they answer is called a raw score which will not be visible on the score report. The raw scores are converted into a LSAT scaled score which will be between 120 and 180.
A good score that can let the candidate enter into law schools would be around 160 but due to the competition surrounding the examination, most students aim for a score between 170-180 in order to be able to enter the college of their choice.
Preparing for the LSAT
The LSAC recommends devoting enough time for preparation, as test scores are seen to be directly proportional to prep time. It is important to give ones best for the test, as the LSAT score, along with the undergraduate GPA, is the most important deciding factor in the application. In general, most students spend around three to four months of time preparing for the test. LSAC has released prep material and practice tests to maintain a standard for LSAT prep. The pattern of the test remains consistent year after year and hence candidates can refer to previous tests for a general idea of the challenge. Attempting practice tests also helps to estimate how much time to spend on which section. Some prep companies have obtained licensed LSAC test questions. However, these are independent agencies and are not monitored by LSAC.
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