LSAT Overview

LSAT Overview

So, What Fresh Hell is This?

 

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First, let us offer you congratulations.

You’ve taken an important first step on your journey to becoming an advocate, and we’d like you to know that we’re here to help. You can be assured that this website contains the most complete, most cohesive, and most comprehensible system in the world for preparing to take the LSAT.

You will learn a clear, precise, correct approach for every section of the test, and you’ll benefit at every turn from our depth of experience with this material.

Before you dive into the content of your course of study, we thought you might enjoy a quick bit of LSAT introduction:

A Brief History

The LSAT was born in 1948 to a good-hearted father (Frank H. Bowles, then admissions director at Columbia Law School) and an evil mother (ETS, the same people who currently write the SAT).

The test was written by ETS and administered by the Law School Admissions Council (on a 200-800 point scale) until 1981, at which time LSAC took over authorship of the exam (and began scoring it on a 48-point scale).

The test took its current form (with the 120-180 scaling) in 1991, and with the exception of the addition of Comparative Reading in June 2007, hasn’t changed in format since that time.

A Quick Overview

Currently, there are 6 sections administered on every LSAT:

Logical Reasoning Icon One

1st Logical
Reasoning

  • Scored: Yes
  • Number of Questions: 25-26
  • Type: Multiple Choice
  • Time: 35 Minutes
Logical Reasoning Icon Two

2nd Logical
Reasoning

  • Scored: Yes
  • Number of Questions: 25-26
  • Type: Multiple Choice
  • Time: 35 Minutes
Games Icon

Analytical Reasoning (Games)

  • Scored: Yes
  • Number of Puzzles: 4
  • Number of Questions: 22-23
  • Type: Multiple Choice
  • Time: 35 Minutes
Reading Comprehension Icon

Reading Comprehension

  • Scored: Yes
  • Number of Passages: 4
  • Number of Questions: 27-28
  • Type: Multiple Choice
  • Time: 35 Minutes
Experimental Icon

Variable (Experimental)

  • Can be of any of the three subject types (LR, RC, or Games) and is used to pretest questions & "preequate new test forms".

  • Scored: No
  • Time: 35 Minutes
Writing Sample Icon

Writing Sample

  • Writing prompt that presents two alternatives and asks you to compoe an essay in which you argue for one alternative over the other.

  • Scored: No
  • Time: 35 Minutes

All sections are 35 minutes long, all (except the essay) are multiple choice, test-takers are given a 10-minute break after the third section, and that’s the test.

Of course, that’s only numbers and blankness and is sort of like describing an attack by a pack of feral dogs by recounting the number of teeth they had; it’s just not the whole story.

The LSAT heavily rewards a specific mode of thinking — what we might comfortably call analytic thought. For most of the test, you’ll be tested on your ability to break things down into their component parts, to see what they’re made of, and to see whether the pieces, put together, hold water.

This is an enormous part of the lawyer’s work, and it’s mainly for this reason that we can feel a bit of actual intellectual respect for the test — it isn’t a terribly reliable indicator of a student’s grades in law school, and it may not be a particularly strong indicator of a test-taker’s intelligence, but it is a pretty decent facsimile of the kind of thinking the top lawyers bring to bear on their jobs every day.

To succeed on the LSAT, then, you’ve got to start thinking like a lawyer.

You’ve picked a good place to start.

The LSAT and Law School Admissions

The LSAT and Law School

The LSAT is the gatekeeper to law school. At most schools, your score on the LSAT will be more important to the admission decision than your GPA, your Statement of Purpose, or your Letters of Recommendation. After all, your score on this test is a standardized number, and that fact alone makes it appealing to law schools as a means of assessing candidates. Plus, studies have indicated that LSAT scores serve as better prognosticators of student success than do undergraduate grades (LSAT scores are not very strong indicators of success in law school, but they are the strongest indicators out of a weak field).

Roughly speaking, expect your LSAT score to account for 60-70% of the admission decision made by most law schools to which you apply.

Approaching the LSAT

Look; we know you’re not here just because you feel like boning up on some symbolic logic. You’re not here because you have oodles of free time on your hands and can’t think of anything better to do with it, nor because you burn for the nonstop thrill ride that is the average LSAT Reading Comprehension section.

You’re here because you understand that conquering the LSAT is a necessary step along the road you’ve chosen. You’re here because you want to go to law school.

Right here at the beginning, then (if you have not already done this), let’s take a minute to do some math and set some concrete goals. On the LSAT, as with so much else in life, you’ll find it easier to get where you’re going when you know where you want to end up. Here are some questions that we think you should consider as you begin your quest for global domination:

01

What law school/s do you want to attend? Why that/those school/s?

02

What’s the median LSAT score at those schools? What’s the 75th%? The 25th%?

03

What’s your current LSAT score? (If you don’t know this, then put this book down right now and go take a real, previously administered LSAT (you can find one at lsac.org). Then come back. We’ll wait here for you).

04

How many more questions will you need to get right in order to have an LSAT score that’s competitive at the school/s you’re looking at? (The score conversion chart at the end of the PrepTest you just took can help provide you with the comparative data you need to answer this).

Now, you have a number. The size of this number goes a long way toward telling you how much work you have ahead of you; refer to it for motivation, to help track your progress, and to meter your success. Plus, if you’re feeling spunky, you could take it to Vegas and bet it heavy at the Roulette wheel.