The Law School Admission Test
The LSAT evaluates the applicants’ abilities in the following domains:
- Logical reasoning
- Reading comprehension
It is crucial to understand that 3/4 of the test evaluate the applicant logical skills. Accordingly, developping your analytical/logical skills should be a priority during college. it might be very helpful to take a course in Logic, such as PHL 233 -- Introduction to Logic: Deduction, offered every term through the Philosophy Department.It is also important to understand that the LSAT tests your discipline just as much as your skills. It tests whether you are capable of sitting down through long hours of tedious work to reach an important but long term goal -- which is what you should be capable of if you want to be successful in law school and as an attorney.
The test consists in:
- four scored 35 minute multiple choice sections (1 section of logic games, 2 logical reasoning sections, 1 reading comprehension section);
- one 35 minute unscored multiple choice section (with experimental questions);
- one 35 minute writing test, taken independently, up to one year after taking the test.
For some information on the LSAT-FLEX, administered by the LSAC during the COVID-19 pandemics, please see the LSAT-FLEX information page.
Several sessions are offered throughout each year: February, June, October and December. Which one should you pick?
The first answer is: when you are ready to get your best score.
This is because most law schools will average the scores of the applicants who have taken the exam multiple times.
Ideally you should plan to take the LSAT in June the year before you are intending to apply to law school.
The reason for this is that the application process is extremely time consuming, and so is the preparation for the LSAT. You should plan to get all your application material ready and apply during the Fall the year before you are planning to enter law school. So, if you are intending to go to law school right after college, you should plan on taking the LSAT in June at the end of your Junior year and apply during the Fall of your Senior year.
Practice, practice, and practice
Because the LSAT does not evaluate knowledge of a particular subject, but general abilities, the best way to prepare for the LSAT is to train on old exams, in order to get familiar with the test format, and to develop abilities to answer the questions not only correctly but also efficiently. Consistent focus and speed are crucial. These simply take a good amount of training under time constraints. You should consider taking a lighter course load for the semester during which you are intending to study for the LSAT.
Many students chose to self-study
Old tests are available at LSAC. They are indispensable resources for preparing for the test. LSAT test preparation books that include sample tests are also a good resource and are available at major bookstores. They are also great free resources online, such as the LSAT blog or the 7 sage logic game explanation videos.
LSAT preparation courses
There exist many private courses offering LSAT preparation. They are not necessary to succeed. They can be useful for applicants who benefit from having some structure to study or for students who are reaching a "plateau" score with which they are not satisfied. The Pre-Law Advising Committee cannot recommend any specific institutions for these courses.
The LSAC and Khan Academy have teamed up to offer a free, personalized, online Khan Academy Official LSAT Prep course.
LSAT Fee waiver
It is possible to get a Fee Waiver for the LSAT and related expenses for those who are really in need. Allow plenty of time if you are intending to apply for a Fee Waiver. You can apply online at LSAC.