The LSAT is designed to help predict your success in law school by measuring skills necessary to succeed — reading comprehension, analytical thinking, logical reasoning, and writing. It is not a measure of how good of a lawyer you will be. Because the LSAT provides a standard score for everyone, law schools tend to weigh it a bit more than a GPA which can vary widely between schools and departments.
The writing sample is not scored, but a copy is sent to the schools to which you are applying.
The LSAT will consist of the following five multiple choice sections:
- Analytical Reasoning (l)
- Reading Comprehension (l)
- Logical Reasoning (2)
- Variable Section (l)
The order of these question type sections is varied with each test administration. There will be only two short breaks during the exam, l0-l5 min. after the third section, and 5 min. before the writing sample.
The score scale is 120-180. The main competitive range tends to be the high 150s to mid 160s. Scores in the high 160s or the 170s are very high scores. A score 150 or below could seriously limit the number of schools that will admit you.
The LSAT is offered 4 times per year, June, October, December, and February. Deadlines are generally one month in advance, but you should register well in advance in order secure a seat in your preferred testing location.
Always consult http://www.lsac.org to confirm dates. Test takers who observe the Saturday Sabbath may take the LSAT on Mondays following the regular Saturday administrations, see the website for details.
Plan to complete the LSAT no later than October of the year before you wish to enter law school. The June or October tests are recommended by most law schools. Some schools will accept a later test, but you will put yourself at a disadvantage by completing a later application.
Register for the LSAT online at: http://www.lsac.org
Repeating LSAT: You can repeat the LSAT, but you should be prepared to do well the first time. Even though many law schools now use the higher score when evaluating applicants, they still see all scores, and some schools do still average them. Repeaters usual do not improve their score significantly unless extenuating circumstances (illness, personal crisis, etc) was the cause of the low score. The average increase is a mere 3 points, so seriously consider your chances of scoring significantly higher before spending the time and money to retake it.
Allow at least 3-4 months for LSAT preparation and plan to familiarize yourself with the exam strategies, content and format.
Practice with timed sample exam segments--assess your strengths and weaknesses plus get a good feel for the thought organization and pacing involved. The more you practice the more confident you will be on the day of the exam. Before the real LSAT, take several full-length timed exams, simulating as much as possible actual test-taking conditions.
Students prepare either independently using published materials or with a preparation course. Select the method most suited to your needs.