Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is required for admission to all law schools that are members of the Law School Admission Council and is designed to provide a standard measure of reading and verbal reasoning skills that are essential to success in law school. The LSAC administers the LSAT four times per year, in June, September, December, and February.

The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions plus a thirty minute essay on a specified topic. This can be summarised as:

  1. One analytical reasoning section with around 24 questions.
  2. One reading comprehension section with around 26 questions.
  3. Two logical reasoning sections with around 26 questions.
  4. One experimental section, which can be any of the above.
  5. One 30 minute essay on a specified topic.
     

Only four of the five sections will contribute to your score as the fifth section is used to test new questions which may be used in future tests. The 30 minute essay is not scored but is sent with your application, this provides a sample of your reasoning and writing skills.

Analytical Reasoning
These questions are not designed to measure your facility with the English language. They are designed to test your ability to take a series of facts expressed in words and to understand and manipulate the information to solve a specific problem. These verbal reasoning questions provide an insight into whether you have the key intellectual skills that are the foundation for success in the legal profession.

These questions involves grouping, matching, and ordering of elements. For example:
Pedro goes either hunting or fishing every day. If it is snowing & windy then Pedro goes hunting. If it is sunny and not windy then Pedro goes fishing. Sometimes it can be snowing and sunny.
 

Which of the following statements must be true:

  1. If it is not sunny and it is snowing then Pedro goes hunting.
  2. If it is windy and Pedro does not go hunting then it is not snowing.
  3. If it is windy and not sunny then Pedro goes hunting.
  4. If it is windy and sunny then Pedro goes hunting.
  5. If it is snowing and sunny then Pedro goes hunting.

In obtaining the answer (B) you are demonstrating your ability to make logical decisions based on the information given.

Reading Comprehension
This section consists of three passages of 400-500 words with 5-8 questions per passage. The questions ask you to establish the author's main idea, to draw inferences from the text and describe the structure of the passage.

There is also a fourth part to this section where you are presented with two passages about 250-300 words in length with differing perspectives on a particular topic. You will then be asked a series of multiple choice question where you have to compare the passages. For example:

  1. Which of the following assumptions is common to both passages?
  2. Which of the following is mentioned by the author of Passage A, but not by the author of Passage B?
  3. The authors of the two passages would be most likely to disagree over which of the following?
  4. The author of Passage B would be most likely to make which of the following criticisms about the analysis contained in the last paragraph of Passage A?
  5. The relationship between Passage A and Passage B is most analogous to the relationship between the documents described in which of the following?
  6. Which of the following most accurately describes the relationship between the argument in Passage A and the argument in Passage B?

 

Logical Reasoning
The LSAT contains two logical reasoning sections. Each begins with a paragraph that presents an argument or set of facts. You are then asked to find the argument's assumption, an alternate conclusion, errors in the argument or to identify a statement that would either weaken or strengthen the argument.

Experimental Section
Each exam includes one experimental section, used to test new questions for future exams. Your performance on this section is not reported as part of the final score.

Essay Question
The essay question is given in the form of a problem and two criteria for making a decision. You are required to write an essay favouring one of two provided options over the other. This essay is not marked but is digitally imaged and sent to admission offices along with the LSAT score.

Scoring
The LSAT is scored on a scale from 120 to 180. While the average score is about 150, top law schools typically accept applicants with scores over 160. Contact law schools that you're interested in to learn about the average score of accepted students.

You may also be interested in reading background information on psychometric tests and aptitude tests.


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