What is the LSAT?
The Law School Admission Test. This standardized test is required for admission to any American Bar Association approved law school. According to Law Services, the producers of the test, the LSAT is designed “to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complete texts with accuracy and insight; the organization and management of information and the ability to draw reasonable inferences from it; the ability to reason critically; and the analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and argument of others.” The LSAT consists of the following five sections:
• 2 Sections of Logical Reasoning (short arguments, 24-26 total questions)
• 1 Section of Reading Comprehension (3 long reading passages, plus one set of short Comparative Reading passages)
• 1 Section of Analytical Reasoning (4 logic games, 22-24 total questions)
• 1 Experimental Section of one of the above three section types
You are given 35 minutes to complete each section. The experimental section is unscored and is not returned to the test taker. A break of 10 to 15 minutes is given between the 3rd and 4th sections.
The five-section test is followed by a 35 minute writing sample. Students are assigned a Decision Prompt Writing Sample Topic, which follows the following scenario: a choice between two options is introduced, two criteria to be considered in making the decision are stated, and then the two possible courses of action are detailed. The writing sample is not scored, but a copy is sent to all the law schools to which a student applies.
How is the LSAT scored?
On a scale of 120 to 180, with 120 being the lowest score and 180 the highest score. The median score is approximately 151. Only about 2% of all test takers receive a score in the 170’s, and almost 70% of all test takers fall into the 140 to 160 score range.
What does it cost to take the LSAT and what is the registration deadline?
The current fee to register for the LSAT is $123. Typically, mailed registration forms must be received about one month prior to a given LSAT test date. The same deadline is given for telephone and on-line registration. Late registration usually closes about three weeks prior to the LSAT. The late registration fee is an additional $62.
What is LSDAS?
The Law School Data Assembly Service. LSDAS prepares and provides a standardized report that is given to each law school to which you apply. The report contains some of the information law schools will need to make a decision on your application, such as the school you attended for your undergraduate degree, your transcript, your LSAT scores, and copies of letters of recommendation processed by Law Services. To apply to an ABA-approved law school you must sign up for LSDAS, which costs $113. Each LSDAS subscription lasts for 12 months. There is a $10 fee for each law school report you request with your initial subscription, and a $12 fee for each law school report you request at a later date.
How do I sign up for the LSAT and LSDAS?
All registration must be done through Law Services. The most efficient way to register is online at www.lsac.org. By registering online, you will be able to print out your LSAT ticket instead of waiting for it to be mailed. You will also be able to get your LSAT score early via email and can keep track of your entire file in your online account. If you are not able to apply online, you may also register via the telephone at 215-968-1001, or by mail. Either way, we recommend that you order or download the “LSAT and LSDAS Registration and Information Book,” which is provided free of charge. The handbook can be ordered by phone at (215) 968-1001 or on the web at www.lsac.org. The handbook contains general information on both the LSAT and LSDAS, lists all available test centers, and outlines relevant Law Services testing policies and fees. The handbook also contains a complete copy of a previous LSAT.