LSAT Sections | A Complete Guide To What’s On The Test
Compared to all the other standardized tests available today, the LSAT is one of the few with the most straightforward format. One look at the LSAT sections and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what skills and knowledge are going to be tested.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can just glimpse at this test’s format and immediately know what’s on the LSAT. If you want to take on this test effectively, you might want to learn more about it in detail and get the best LSAT prep book, of course. This guide will help you do just that as we’ll discuss the LSAT structure and its different portions that will help you craft a solid study plan.
Mastering the LSAT Format: A Closer Look at the Sections of the LSAT
Before we go into detail about what is on the LSAT, let’s first look at the general format of this standardized test. Some of the most important details that you should know are the following:
The LSAT is primarily a multiple-choice test with a writing section at the end. The LSAT question types vary from one section to another, however.
The LSAT length is a bit longer than other standardized tests as it runs for 4 hours and 15 minutes.
The LSAT is transitioning from a pen-and-paper test to a digital one. This might affect a lot of test-takers that are just planning on registering for the test.
How many questions are on the LSAT? This test usually has 100 or 101 questions but the scores are scaled from 120 to 180.
There are five sections in the LSAT but one section is experimental, so it doesn’t add to your score. Like the writing section, this part is also sent out to schools so it’s still recommended that you answer it.
Now that we’ve got the basics down, we can already look into the different sections of the LSAT. By learning about these details, you’ll be able to prepare accordingly. So to help you direct your efforts in the right direction, apart from our LSAT tips, here are the areas that you should get ready for.
LSAT Logical Reasoning
The LSAT tends to start strongly as its first section would be the Logical Reasoning portion. This is divided into two parts and amounts to about 50% of your score. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, though, since logic is one of the most important skill lawyers should have.
This section is usually composed of 24 to 26 questions in each section. You’re also given 35 minutes to answer each section so this portion alone will already take a bit more than an hour to finish.
What are the LSAT logic questions like, you might be wondering? Generally, this portion of the test will gauge your ability to analyze, evaluate information, complete arguments, and apply logic to abstract concepts.
Because of this, expect that the questions in this section will require you to take apart the arguments in the provided passage and look for the fallacies contained within. There will also be some questions that might ask you to draw a conclusion from the provided arguments.
Either way, there will be a lot of analyzing and picking passages apart in this section. It’s considered as the trickiest by a lot of test-takers. It can also be very time consuming, so it’s crucial that you prepare well for it.
The biggest challenge in this section is how the text is presented. As it tests your logic, it can be quite confusing. The phrasing can be tricky so you have to read and comprehend the text carefully. It’s also common for the texts to have logical errors that fall into different categories, making it all the more challenging to spot them.
The best way to prepare for this portion is to practice reading sample passages and questions as well as learn the rules of logical reasoning thoroughly. These will help you fully understand what the questions are asking and identify the errors present in the text.
LSAT Analytical Reasoning
Also known as the ‘Logic Games’ section, the Analytical Reasoning portion of the LSAT is also a notorious part of this standardized test. A lot of test-takers find it very challenging although it’s also the very area where the most improvement is seen. According to experts, once students figure out the right strategies in approaching this section, they can easily answer the questions and get good scores.
This section is composed of 4 logic games that come with 4-7 multiple-choice questions each. That’s a total of 16-28 questions. You’re given 35 minutes to answer which makes it all the more challenging.
What exactly does this section test? The questions in this portion are designed to gauge your ability to understand the impact of rules on outcomes and choices as well as the structure of relationships involved in them. It will also test your analyzing skills and require you to draw inferences about the aforementioned relationships. Your ability to visualize scenarios is also tested here.
What makes this section tough is the conditions that come with the scenarios that you have to visualize. Most questions add a new condition that will only apply to the said item so things can get very confusing.
Because of this, it’s crucial to pay a lot more attention to this section when getting ready for the LSAT. It will be beneficial for you to look up several LSAT logic games examples that you can practice answering. There are different game types that can come out in the test and you need to be familiar with them in order to identify and solve them accordingly.
LSAT Reading Comprehension
If there’s one thing that you should know about law school, it should be the fact that it comes with a lot of reading. This explains why your reading comprehension skill is still going to be tested even at this point in your academic career.
This portion of the test comes with about 27 questions that you should answer within 35 minutes. It has 4 passages that are about 400 to 500 words long. Three of them are classified as single reading passages while one contains two shorter related texts. This falls under the sub-category of this section known as ‘Comparative Reading’.
The passages have different topics. Usually, their topics are focused on Law, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Humanities.
As you will notice, this section will be heavy on reading. With the time constraint, it can also be one of the most nerve-racking parts of the test.
It might seem tough but it’s also highly possible to train for this test section. In fact, there are lots of different strategies that you can try. Improving your reading endurance will help you go a long way, for starters. Others work on improving their reading speed.
You might also want to try practicing with actual passages from old LSAT test questions and sample passages. This will help you familiarize with the structure of the text and the kind of questions that come after. Doing daily reading comprehension questions can also help you get ready for this area.
LSAT Experimental Section
This section is a relatively unique component of the LSAT because it can take the form of any of the other sections in the test. This means that it can make you take any of the other four sections twice.
Why is there such a section? Well, as its name suggests, it’s an experimental area. This is where the LSAC inserts the LSAT questions that they are trying out for the next tests. This explains why this section doesn’t really contribute to your total score. However, as mentioned above, it’s still worth answering because its results are also sent to the schools you’re applying to.
LSAT Writing Section
Like in other standardized tests, the LSAT essay portion is also not scored. However, you can’t just opt to skip it because this section is also sent out to the law schools that you’re going to apply to.
This means that you still need to prepare for this portion of the test. To do that, you should practice writing compelling arguments based on the provided facts.
Your essay should demonstrate solid reasoning with the help of a good supporting evidence. You should also be able to express your idea clearly.
This part will prove to be challenging because you don’t know what the prompt is about. This is why it’s best to look for LSAT writing samples and examples of analytical essays in preparation for the test. These will clue you in on the topics that might come up in the test. You might even be able to come up with ready answers to certain topics.
Preparing for the LSAT
We won’t be surprised that even after reading our quick guide, you’ll still be worried about how to study for the LSAT. This is a complex and difficult test so it can really be intimidating. However, we are confident that the things we’ve mentioned above about the different LSAT sections will be helpful to your efforts. Make sure to keep them in mind when creating a study plan and they might just help boost your test preparations.