The Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The LSAT is a half-day, standardized test administered four times each year at designated testing centers throughout the world. The test is an integral part of the law school admission process in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries. It provides a standard measure of acquired reading and verbal reasoning skills that law schools can use as one of several factors in assessing applicants.

The LSAT is designed to measure skills that are considered essential for success in law school, including:

  • reading and comprehension of complex texts with accuracy and insight;
  • organization and management of information;
  • ability to draw reasonable inferences from texts;
  • ability to think critically; and
  • analysis and evaluation of the reasoning and arguments of others.

The test consists of five 35-minute sections of multiple-choice questions and a 35-minute unscored writing sample, which is administered at the end of the test. Copies of the writing sample are sent to all law schools to which you apply.

For most law schools, the LSAT is an important, but not the only, criteria in evaluating applicants.

About the LSAT

A member of LSAC’s test development staff, James Lorié, provides a brief overview of the LSAT, including how to approach the different question types and how to best prepare for the test.

When should I take the LSAT?

Students typically take the LSAT soon after their junior year in college. You should prepare to take the LSAT early to ensure that your law school applications are submitted on time. Your admission file will not be complete until the law school receives your application materials, including your LSAT score.

Another important reason to start preparing early: most scholarships and grants are awarded early in the process. For specific dates and times that the LSAT is given and for more detailed information about registering for the test, visit LSAC.org.

How should I prepare for the LSAT?

You don’t have to invest a lot of money for preparation courses, but you do have to invest your time and energy to prepare. The effort is well worth it—having a law degree can open doors in your future!

To help you prepare, affordable test preparation books and software are available at LSAC.org and other sites online, as well as in bookstores. For several months or weeks before you plan to take the test, you should:

  • read through the test questions and answers;
  • decide your strategy for answering each type of question; and
  • take entire sample tests under simulated, timed conditions.

Continue taking preparation tests until you feel confident about the time it takes you to get through the sections and your ability to answer the questions correctly.

If you feel you need the discipline of a test preparation course or workshop, your prelaw advisor may be able to suggest some low-cost options.

Join Now for LSAT Practice

Since DiscoverLaw.org was created by LSAC, the administrators of the LSAT, DiscoverLaw.org registrants have access to helpful LSAT preparation materials, like

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First- and second-year college students: Get the skills you need to succeed in law school by attending a four-week summer prelaw program. There’s no cost to attend, and participants receive a small stipend.

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