Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

Definition

The term Law School Admission Test refers to an examination used by university law schools as part of their admissions decision making process.  The LSAT tests the student's abilities in the areas of reading comprehension, logical and analytical reasoning, with scores that range from 120 to 180.

Explanation

The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is used by the admissions departments of university law schools to identify prospective students.  The test is administered four times a year (February, June, September, and December) on a Saturday except in June (Monday).  Results are available for online viewing in as little as three weeks; reports are delivered by mail four weeks following the test.  Schools typically require students to take the LSAT by December to be admitted to a program the following fall.

The test consists of six sections in three areas, plus a 35 minute essay.  Students have approximately three hours and 30 minutes to complete the entire examination.  Multiple choice questions apply to the following:

  • Reading Comprehension:  consists of reading complex materials followed by five to eight questions that measure the student's ability to gain insights.
  • Analytical Reasoning:  a series of statements or rules describing the relationship between events, individuals, or objects, measuring the student's ability to solve problems.
  • Logical Reasoning:  after reading a short passage, students are asked a series of questions to assess their ability to think critically and identify flaws in arguments.

Scores can range from a low of 120 to a high of 180.  The national average score of all students taking the test would be close to 150, while a score of 170 is required to gain entry into a top tier law school (generally).  While the test includes a written essay, it does not factor into the student's score.

Students can take the test three times in any two-year period.   If a student chooses to take the LSAT more than once, then all scores are averaged.

Related Terms

associate's degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, doctoral degree, Latin honors, dissertationSAT ACT, MCAT, GMAT, GREMAT, DAT, PCAT