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The Law School Admission Test (“LSAT”) is a standardized test required for admission to all law schools. It is an important component of your law school application. Your LSAT score will be a determining factor in the schools you apply to and indicate the likelihood of acceptance. The LSAT is offered four times per year.
The test is an aptitude test; scored from 120 – 180 (with 180 being a perfect score). The LSAT has three main types of sections: reading comprehension, logical reasoning (a.k.a., arguments), and analytic reasoning (a.k.a., logic games). The actual test consists of five sections (each 35 minutes): one reading comprehension, two logical reasoning, and one analytic reasoning, plus one experimental section (which does not count toward your score). Additionally, there is a thirty minute writing portion which is sent to the law schools but does not factor into your LSAT score.
There are many different approaches for preparing for the LSAT but the one common piece of advice is that you identify three to six months of the year that you can devote to preparing for the exam. Too many people make the mistake of studying for the LSAT during a rigorous time on their lives and as a result the exam simply becomes another test among various obligations. The time and attention devoted to preparing for the LSAT will reap greater satisfaction with your score.
General advice is to take the LSAT in June of the year preceding the start of law school. For current students that generally means June of your junior year. It is recommended that your preparation for the LSAT begin in January whether you elect to self study, receive tutoring or take an LSAT prepatory class. The initial goal should be to take the exam only once and score the best you can. This recommended schedule allows you to receive your score in July and begin researching the law schools you will apply to in the upcoming fall. With the weight of the LSAT behind you, you can concentrate on organizing your application materials, such as drafting your personal statement and contacting persons you wish to have write letters of recommendation on your behalf.
The LSAT is not administered at every test center on all testing dates. In addition, there is limited center availability for each test administration. You should register as early as possible, as your chances of being assigned to your first-choice test center are greater. If you register online, you can check test center availability in real time. If you register by mail, and both of your test center selections are full or unavailable, LSAC will assign you to a center as close to those centers as possible; however, LSAC cannot guarantee that a center located within a reasonable distance from your preferred centers will be available. Your LSAT admission ticket will reflect the change in test center. Assignment to a test center not indicated in your LSAT registration and/or test date change request does not entitle you to a full refund or a free test center or test date change.
For further test center information, (including test center codes) please see the Law School Admissions Council's site.