The Law School Admission Test is a half-day standardized test that is required for admission to all ABA-approved law schools. It consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions. Four of the five sections contribute to the test taker's score. These sections include one reading comprehension section, one analytical reasoning (logic games) section and two logical reasoning sections.
The fifth section is used to pretest new test items and to standardize new test forms. A 35-minute writing sample is taken at the end of the test. The writing sample is not scored; however, copies of the writing sample are sent to all law schools to which the candidate applies. The score scale for the LSAT is 120 to 180, with 120 being the lowest possible score and 180 the highest possible score. The mean score is 151.
The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: the reading and comprehension of complex 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 arguments of others.
Law school candidates can learn about the LSAT from the LSAT/LSDAS Registration and Information Book. This book contains all of the material needed to register for the test and to subscribe to the Data Assembly Service. It includes complete information on test dates, testing centers and LSAT registration procedures. These books are available outside the office of the Director of Prelaw Advisement. The same information is available at the LSAC web site.
For the latest information on upcoming test dates and registration deadlines, click here.
LSAT Preparation Materials
LSAC sells a package of preparation materials under the title LSAT: The Official Triple Prep Plus. This packet contains three previously administered LSATs, an answer key and a conversion table that helps candidates compute their score. There is also a detailed explanation of a few selected questions. Students can use this material to simulate actual test conditions. This material is highly recommended.
Students who have worked through test sections from both a commercial test booklet and from the Official LSAT Preparation material have reported that the actual exams are more difficult than some of the commercial guides. However, the commercial guides contain much more extensive instruction and suggestions relating to how students should approach the exam.
Below are links to some commercial LSAT prep courses, should you decide to pursue this route. Kaplan offers a prep course on campus each fall and spring. Go to the Kaplan site to find the class schedule.
Among books that you might want to consult are:
- LSAT: Law School Admission Test, 5th edition by Thomas H. Martinson, J.D.
- GRE-LSAT Logic Workbook: Intensive Practice in Analytical Reasoning to Boost Your GRE or LSAT Score, by Mark Alan Stewart.
- Inside the LSAT, by Thomas O. White (Princeton, N.J.: Peterson's Guides) 1991.
- Master the LSAT, by Jeff Colby (Los Angeles, CA: Nova Press) 1994.