Understanding the LSAT

April 16, 2012 Category: College Tips

Have you always pictured yourself making a difference in the world of Law? Earning a degree in this field can lead to a challenging, yet rewarding career where you can help people seek justice. But we all have to start somewhere. Just as future doctors have to get accepted into medical school, future lawyers must gain acceptance into law school. A part of this application process includes successfully passing the Law School Admissions Test–more commonly known as the LSAT.

What is the LSAT For?

Trying to choose which students get accepted into law school isn’t easy. This is why admissions offices rely heavily on factors like certain test scores. An individual’s LSAT score, in particular, provides admissions officials as to whether they will be prepared to tackle challenging law school courses. The higher the score, the more confident the school is that the student will be successful in their studies.

What Does the LSAT Contain?

Preparing for the LSATThe LSAT takes about half a day to complete and covers five sections. Each section contains multiple-choice questions, with each section being broken up into 35-minute chunks. The question types appear in three forms: Logical Reasoning, Reading Comprehension and Analytical Reasoning. These three question types pertain to the main abilities necessary for students to go on to become effective and successful lawyers.

Out of the five sections, only four count towards a student’s overall score. The unscored portion is simply used to pretest new test questions and test forms for future use. There is a writing portion, which is given at the end of the test. While the writing sample is not scored, copies will be made and sent to all the law schools a student has applied to.

The LSAT is scored on a scale ranging from 120 (low) to 180 (high).

When to Take the LSAT?

The LSAT is given four times a year at designated testing centers. For the best results, it is recommended to register for the LSAT by December in order to apply law school in the fall of the coming year. It is possible to retake the test as an individual sees fit, however, it is prohibited for anyone to take the LSAT more than three times with a two-year period. Those wanting to retake the test should plan on registering for the first test earlier in the year–around June or October. Doing so gives students a wide enough time frame to receive their first test score and make the decision as to whether or not a retake is necessary.

How to Prepare for the LSAT?

Unlike other important admissions exams, the LSAT doesn’t state the specific subjects/topics covered on the test. This makes it difficult to try and memorize facts, figures or other information. But this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to properly study for the LSAT. The most effective methods include taking sample tests in order to become familiar with the types of questions and instructions. LSAT prep materials are also available for purchase online.

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