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Taking the LSAT

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school: reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and writing. It is one of the most important aspects of you law school application and factors heavily in law school admissions decisions.

The Basics

 ♦ The LSAT is administered four or five times a year, usually in June, October, December, and February.  Students tend to do best on the LSAT when they take it the June after their junior year.

♦ The test is comprised of five sections of multiple choice questions. Each section lasts for 35 minutes. Four of the five sections count towards the test taker’s score; the fifth section is a variable section which is typically used to “pretest” new questions and test formats. At the end of the test a 35 minute writing sample is administered. The writing sample is not scored, but copies of the writing sample are sent to all of the law schools to which you apply. To learn more about what the test measures, see here.

♦ Your LSAT score is based on the number of questions that you answer correctly. There is no penalty for incorrect answers and questions are weighted equally. The lowest possible score is a 120; the highest possible score is a 180. The average highest LSAT score for all law school applicants in 2016 was 153 (152.9).

♦ You may not take the LSAT more than three times in any two year period, regardless of whether you cancel your score or your score is not otherwise reported. Wondering whether to retake the test? See here for more information.

♦ The LSAT is something you can and should study for. Test takers should be familiar with the instructions and question types before they enter the testing center, so that they will not be delayed or distracted from actually answering a question. At the same time, the LSAT is not an achievement test—it is designed to test how you think more than any specific knowledge content—and thus there are limits to what any form of preparation can do for your final score.

♦ The administration fee for taking the LSAT in 2017 is $185.00. You may be eligible for a fee waiver; see here for details.