Before preparing for the test, it is important to have a bird’s-eye view of it. We have prepared this list of frequently asked questions (LSAT FAQs) to help you maximize your knowledge of all things pertinent to the LSAT.
What is the LSAT?
It is a standardized test that is required for admission to all American Bar Association-approved law schools, most Canadian law schools, and many other law schools. Since September 2019, it has been given digitally; prior to that, it was a pencil and paper test.
When is the LSAT administered?
It is administered a number of times each year, the first being in January and the last in November. The September and November administrations are disclosed, meaning that they are released to the test takers after scoring and subsequently released as Official LSAT PrepTests for purchase. Upcoming LSAT test dates include the following:
|Test Date||Time||Registration Deadline|
|Thursday January 2nd, 2020||12:30 PM||Wednesday December 4th, 2019|
|Saturday February 22nd, 2020||8:30 AM||Tuesday January 7th, 2020|
|Monday March 30th, 2020||12:30 PM||Tuesday February 11th, 2020|
|Saturday April 25th, 2020||8:30 AM||Tuesday March 10th, 2020|
How can I register for the test?
Create an account at www.lsac.org and follow the menus to register for the test.
How much does it cost to take the LSAT?
Regular registration for the 2019–2020 cycle costs $200.00. There are a number of other fees associated with changing your registration, taking the test in a nonpublished test center (either domestically or abroad), etc. Visit LSAC’s fees page for the full list.
Where can I take the LSAT?
LSAC has a search tool for finding your nearest test center.
If you are located over 100 miles (160 km) from an open, published center and you are not able to travel to a published/listed test center, you may request that LSAC establish a nonpublished test center.
Will law schools accept my highest score, or will they average my scores?
The answer to this question varies from school to school. Although each law school is only required to report the highest LSAT score for admitted students to US News and World Report, some may still average scores. To determine the policy of a particular school, consult the list of schools that average multiple LSAT scores.
What is the format of the test?
It is a half-day, six-section test comprised of four scored sections, an unscored experimental section, and a writing sample. The writing sample is completed separately through an online portal.
What kinds of questions are on the test?
The test features questions of three main varieties. Logical Reasoning tests your ability to critically dissect arguments and fact sets. Logic Games (officially referred to as Analytical Reasoning) tests your ability to take a number of conditions, constraints, and relationships and determine what can be, must be, and cannot be true under various hypothetical scenarios. Reading Comprehension tests your ability to quickly and accurately comprehend passages written in a dense, academic style.
What is the breakdown of the sections and their respective numbers of questions?
The following table illustrates the breakdown.
|Logical Reasoning||35 minutes||Yes||24-26|
|Logical Reasoning||35 minutes||Yes||24-26|
|Logic Games (Analytical Reasoning)||35 minutes||Yes||22-24|
|Reading Comprehension||35 minutes||Yes||26-28|
|Experimental (one of the above types)||35 minutes||No||22-28|
The first three sections are given back-to-back, followed by a ten to fifteen minute break. Traditionally, the experimental section has fallen within the first three sections. However, some test takers for the October 2011 administration have confirmed experimental placement within the last two multiple-choice sections. The five multiple-choice sections can be given in any order. Test forms between test takers are purposely varied, so that the section order of one person’s test differs from that of the test taker next to him or her. The Writing Sample is administered separately via a secure online application.
How is the LSAT scored?
It is scored on a scale of 120–180, 180 being the highest possible score. Each question is worth one raw point, and guesses are not penalized. To see how raw scores convert to scaled scores for different PrepTests, visit the LSAT score conversion page. The test is equated to account for variations in difficulty, and each scaled score corresponds to a particular percentile (calculated over a three-year range). Typically, the 50th percentile corresponds to a score that is above and close to 150.
The answer to this question is widely debated. LSAC uses unscored experimental sections (referred to as variable sections) and equating procedures to pre-determine the curve for each test. This process ensures that a particular scaled score has the same significance for every test. LSAC may make adjustments to the curve between the date of administration and the date on which scores are released for that particular test. In terms of percentile, test takers are stacked up against all other test takers within a three-year period.
When and how will I receive my score?
Scores are typically e-mailed to test takers around three weeks following the test. Visit our score release dates page for specific historical data. With the exception of the February test, test takers have access to an electronic copy of the questions and answers for six months.
For how long is my LSAT score valid?
LSAT scores from within the last five years will be reported when you apply to law schools. You can request score reports older than five years by contacting LSAC directly.
What is the best way to prepare for the LSAT?
This is a multi-faceted question, and the answer will vary from person to person. As every individual has a unique learning style, he or she must first make a determination of whether or not to take a prep course. Within this realm, there are traditional classroom courses and online courses. Potential benefits of prep courses include exposure to large quantities of real LSAT questions, often organized by type, structured homework to promote mastery of concepts, and the dynamic that accompanies group learning. Potential drawbacks include the cost involved and time spent in class. With so many resources currently available for LSAT prep, many opt to self prep using guides and actual LSAT questions/PrepTests.
Where can I find out about misconduct and irregularities?
If I decide to take a course, which company should I select?
There are many different options when it comes to LSAT prep courses. In evaluating the various company offerings, make sure of two things:
- The course uses real LSAT questions taken from actual PrepTests (previously administered tests).
- You are able to attend a free trial session to gauge the quality of instruction.
We recommend Manhattan Prep. In addition to meeting the above requirements, Manhattan Prep employs teachers of the highest caliber and pays them one of the most competitive wages in the industry. Scoring in the 99th percentile is not sufficient to teach for Manhattan Prep, but it is necessary. Potential candidates must successfully navigate a challenging hiring process, and must undergo intensive training prior to teaching their first Manhattan Prep class. Manhattan Prep offers classes both online and in-person, including full-length and Logic Games intensive review courses. Use the coupon code CAMBRIDGELSAT100 to receive $100 off any of their courses!