Get answers to frequently asked questions and everything you need to know about the LSAT.
What is the LSAT?
The LSAT is a standardized, multiple-choice exam required for admission to all law schools approved by the American Bar Association. Many Canadian law schools also require applicants to submit an LSAT score. Starting in 2018, the LSAT testing schedule will be changing. For 2018, the LSAT will be administered in February, June, September, and November. For 2019, the test dates that have been announced so far will be in January, March, June, and July.
The test is designed to measure the types of analytical thinking skills necessary for success in law school: evaluating and constructing arguments, drawing reasonable inferences, and processing complex information in a short period of time. Success on the LSAT requires test-takers to be logical, efficient, and disciplined. There is a moderate statistical correlation between LSAT scores and first-year grades in law school.
How is the LSAT structured?
The LSAT consists of five multiple-choice sections, each 35 minutes in length. Four of these five sections are scored, and the remaining (unidentified) section is used to pretest questions for possible use on future LSAT exams. The four scored sections contain either 100 or 101 questions and break down as follows:
In addition to the five multiple-choice sections, there is also an unscored writing section at the end of the exam, also 35 minutes in length. Copies of each test-taker’s response on the writing section will be sent to all law schools to which the test-taker applies.
What's a good score on the LSAT?
The LSAT is scored on a scale of 120-180, with 150 being the overall median score. Most law schools place significant weight on the LSAT as part of the admissions process, often by combining the LSAT score with an applicant’s GPA to create an index score. Students admitted to the most selective law schools in the U.S. typically have an LSAT score above 168. The median score for those recently accepted to the University of Washington is 163, while the median score at Seattle University is a 157. The more competitive law schools around the country generally expect applicants to have LSAT scores in the mid 150s or better, but there are many quality law schools that accept students with scores in the 145-155 range.
When should I take the LSAT?
Most law schools have application deadlines in the period from December to March for admission to the term that begins in the following autumn. The more selective law schools typically have a cutoff date prior to the February LSAT, so we encourage you to schedule your first LSAT exam for the June or September/October test dates. This leaves you with an opportunity to re-take the exam if necessary. Preparation for the LSAT generally requires a commitment of two to three months of solid study, so we advise you to begin preparation with plenty of time to prepare for this critical test.
How do I register for the LSAT?
The easiest way to register for the LSAT is online at www.lsac.org. You should register early to ensure that you are able to take the exam at your preferred location. The fee to take the LSAT is $180, although waivers are available for low-income test-takers. This website also contains additional useful information about the LSAT and the law-school application process.