LSAT 101: Ten Basic Facts About The LSAT

In honor of all of you who took the February LSAT yesterday (as well as those who didn’t!), here are 10 basic facts about this challenging exam:

1. The LSAT is generally considered the single most important part of one’s law school application (for both admission and merit-based scholarships).  The two primary items that law school admission committees consider are one’s LSAT score and cumulative undergraduate gpa.

2.  The LSAT’s express purpose is to test the “legal reasoning skills” used in law school and the practice of law.

3.  The LSAT is offered four times a year:  February, June, late September (or early October) and December.  The most frequently taken LSAT is the September/October exam, and the least well attended is the February exam.

4.  The February, September/October, and December LSATs are offered on Saturday mornings, with a weekday alternative for those who have a religious conflict on Saturdays.  The June LSAT, is offered on a Monday afternoon.  So, if you are not an early bird, consider taking the June LSAT!

5.  Law schools typically focus on a student’s highest LSAT score and do not “average” LSAT scores (a few exceptions exist).  However, law schools will consider all of your LSAT scores (if you “cancel” your score, law schools will see that you cancelled it but will not see your score on that exam).

6.  Since law schools typically focus on one’s highest score, it makes sense to take the exam twice, if necessary.  However, try not to take the LSAT until you feel ready – all scores will be seen, and you are limited to taking the LSAT three times in any two-year period.

7.   It is not “easier” to get a better LSAT score on one exam vs. another (i.e., the February LSAT is not “easier” than the December LSAT, etc.).   Because of the equating system used by the LSAC (similar to a curve using three years of data), differences in difficulty between exams are eliminated when computing a student’s LSAT score.

8.  The LSAT has six sections, each having a 35-minute time limit:  two Logical Reasoning sections, one Analytical Reasoning section  (Logic Games), one Reading Comprehension section, one ungraded “experimental” section, and an ungraded Writing Sample.  The total length of time (including a 15-minute break) is 3 hours and 45 minutes.

9. All sections on the LSAT are multiple choice, except the ungraded Writing Sample.

10.  Law schools accept LSAT scores up to and including the February LSAT (so if one wants to begin law school in 2018, the last LSAT one can take is the February 2018 LSAT).  If one wants to apply for “early admission” for 2018, one should take the June 2017 and/or September 2017 LSATs.