If you’re looking forward to applying for law school, you’re most likely starting to focus on studying for the LSAT (hint: if you’re not, you should be!). The Law School Admissions Test is notoriously difficult, but it’s certainly possible to earn a great score if you’re well prepared. Here are specifics about the kinds of questions you’ll be facing when you sit down to take the LSAT.
The LSAT contains five sections of multiple choice questions. You’ll have 35 minutes to complete each section. Only four of the sections will contribute to your LSAT score—the fifth section is a “variable section,” which is used to test out new questions that may be used on future tests. The test contains two sections on Logical Reasoning, one section on Analytical Reasoning, one section on Reading Comprehension and the one Variable section.
The sections of the LSAT aren’t based on trivia and facts; instead, they are designed to test the types of skills you’ll need to succeed in law school and later, in the law profession.
Attorneys spend lots of time arguing one point or another; to do so, they must be able to use logic and reasoning in both their preparation of an argument and their delivery of such.
The two sections on Logical Reasoning contain questions to see if you can determine the most important point of an argument and if you can quickly analyze arguments and form your own opinions in a persuasive, intelligent manner.
You’ll have a total of 70 minutes to complete each Logical Reasoning section. Each section contains around 25 questions.
To succeed in the field of law, you’ll need to be able to analyze arguments and decisions. You’ll need to apply logic to situations that are abstract, complex and difficult.
The Analytical Reasoning section features 25 questions that will test your ability to apply logic in a number of situations.
Attorneys do a lot of reading and research. It’s critical to be able to read a complex document and accurately understand what it says.
The Reading Comprehension section is broken up into four sub-sections, with 27 questions total.
Three of the sub-sections have long passages; one sub-section contains a shorter passage. During each section, test participants read the passage, then answer 5-8 questions that challenge the participants’ comprehension.
You’ll have a total of 60 minutes to answer the questions in the Reading Comprehension section of the LSAT.
In addition to the five sections of multiple choice questions, you’ll devote 35 minutes to writing an essay that demonstrates your ability to form an argument about a specific topic, and write about it in a clear, concise manner.
The essay section isn’t scored and doesn’t contribute to your overall LSAT score. However, the admissions boards at the law schools to which you apply will have access to your LSAT essay and are likely to review it.