LSAT: The Law School Admission Test


The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is designed to evaluate the analytical and critical thinking skills of aspiring first- year law school students. It is a standardized, skills-based test which provides prospective law school students with opportunities to demonstrate the skills needed to succeed in law school.  Read more to get details on LSAT practice test, LSAT prep, LSAT sample questions, LSAT scores and LSAT test dates.

All American Bar Association (ABA) approved law schools rely heavily on an applicant’s LSAT score along with other factors, such as undergraduate grade point average, recommendation letters and the law school statement of purpose to determine whether to admit a student. The Law School Admissions Council (LSAC) oversees the eligibility requirements to sit for the examination and processes the academic credentials of all candidates to determine whether the individual is eligible to take the LSAT.

All prospective LSAT applicants worldwide must apply to take the LSAT at one of the various testing centers and meet all of the eligibility requirements. All applicants must obtain a bachelor’s degree before applying for law school. However, undergraduate college students may take the LSAT prior to receiving their bachelor’s degree, especially if they plan to attend graduate school immediately after completing their undergraduate studies.

Why Take LSAT?

For individuals who aspire to become a lawyer, most academic advisors recommend that they attend an undergraduate school which offers a pre-law program. Applicants need to take and pass the LSAT exam for being accepted into a law school.  Essentially, the LSAT is a standardized exam that helps law schools determine whether students have the skills needed to become a lawyer.

Test Structure

The LSAT is administered four times a year at local testing centers in each jurisdiction. The LSAT exam consists of five multiple choice sections and a writing sample section. Each applicant is allotted 35 minutes to complete each section. There is usually a 10-15 minute break between the third and fourth sections. The writing sample is usually the last section of the exam. The entire LSAT exam takes about 3 ˝ to 4 hours to complete, including the break times.

Focus Areas Coverage Questions Time Duration
Logical  Reasoning Analyzing and evaluating arguments
24-26 Questions 35 Minutes
Logical Reasoning Logic Games;
Ability to make logical connections and conclusions
24-26 Questions 35 Minutes
Reading Comprehension Understanding given passages taken from social sciences, humanties, philosophy and others 26-28 Questions 35 Minutes
Experimental Arguments;
Logic Games;
Reading Comprehension
(Scores in this section is not counted in final score.)
23-28 Questions 35 Minutes
Writing Writing and presentation skills;
Ability to argue a position and
take a stand on an issue.
One Topic 35 Minutes

Focus Areas Overview

Reading Comprehension: determines whether test-takers can read and understand long and complex documents that are regularly used in law school.

Analytical Reasoning: focuses on relationships between people, events or things and asks test-takers to draw conclusions about the relational structure. This is designed to help students in legal problem solving.

Logical Reasoning: this section tests the critical thinking skills by asking test-takers to analyze situations, apply certain rules and draw conclusions.

Writing: at the end of the exam, a writing test is given. The writing sample is not scored. This section focuses in testing an applicant's ability to take a stand on an issue and coherently write presenting supporting points and arguments.

Tips to Prepare for LSAT


The number of questions that an applicant answers correctly is multiplied by a scoring formula, which determines the scaled score for each candidate. The score ranges between 120 and 180 depending on the entire percentile of scores from all test takers. Applicants may fall into the highest, middle or lowest percentile of candidates who took the examination. The approximate scaled score varies from test to test.

If applicants sign up for an account on LSAC.org, their LSAT scores will be emailed to them for free within three weeks after taking the test. It takes about a week longer to receive scores if an applicant has requested  snail mail service for their reports. In case applicants are not satisfied with their score, LSAC allows them to re-take the exam. Applicants can take the test up to three times within two years.


U.S. Fees to Take the LSAT: The LSAT registration fees are categorized based upon basic fees, auxiliary fees and test center fees. The basic fees cover the LSAT ($160) and the CAS ($155). The cost for domestic test centers is $255. The fee for international test centers is $339. The auxiliary fees are as follows:

• Late Registration: $69
• Test Center Change: $35
• Test Date Change: $80
• Handscoring: $43
• Former Registrant Score Report: $43
• Law School Reports: $21
• Returned Check Charges: $35


Applicants may register with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC.org) and complete the registration materials online or submit the application by postal mail. The LSAT registration booklet is also available at many undergraduate colleges and law schools. Applicants must choose a test date, either in June, October, December or February and select their first and second choice of testing centers. Applicants who register online can print the LSAT admissions ticket immediately after completing the registration materials. Individuals who register by mail will receive their LSAT admissions ticket via mail. On the date of the examination, all applicants must provide the testing administration with a valid photo ID and the LSAT admission ticket.

International Students

International students and individuals who received their bachelor’s degree from an institution outside the United States must also register with LSAC and forward their academic transcripts to the Credential Assembly Service (CAS) for authentication and evaluation. International applicants who want to take the LSAT should check with their individual schools to determine the process for taking the exam in their area. In addition, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) has a section on its website that provides international students with specific directions and details on taking the test.

Test Dates & Location

LSAT exam is given four times a year. Applicants must choose a test date, either in June, October, December or February and select their first and second choice of testing centers. Some law schools require students to take the LSAT by December if they plan to be admitted  in the following fall semester. This way, students who fail the exam can retake the LSAT in June. Applicants who are currently attending a pre-law undergraduate program should seek their advisors help to get  direction on how to register for the program. If applicants are not attending school, the LSAC provides information on its website at LSAC.org on how to register for the exam and details different testing centers and locations globally.

 LSAT test dates for the 2015–2016 testing year. These dates are for testing centers in the U.S. and Canada:

Test Date
October 03, 2015
December 05, 2015
February 06, 2016
June 13, 2016
September 24, 2016
December 03, 2016