By Senna Austin, JD
Fulltime Faculty, Legal Studies Program at American Public University
The LSAT, or Law School Admission Test, is a standardized test that is required for admission to most law schools in the United States and in several other countries as well. It is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) and is given four times a year at testing centers.
There are three kinds of multiple-choice questions on the LSAT:
- Reading comprehension
- Analytical reasoning
- Logical reasoning
Analytical reasoning questions are the stereotypical “If a train leaves Union Station at 10am and another train is leaving Grand Central Station at 11am…” These questions may involve the kind of reasoning you would expect from a complex math word problem. Logical reasoning questions test your reasoning ability, for example your ability to complete or ascertain arguments, and many of them require you to read a short paragraph prior to answering the question.
You can take the test up to three times in a two-year period. However, even if you retake the test and improve your score, law schools can still view your previous scores.
Law schools look at items other than your LSAT when reviewing your application. Things like your undergraduate GPA, graduate degrees, work experience, and community activities, among others, all play a role in the application process.
Many people take review courses prior to taking the LSAT. In fact, some colleges and law schools offer these courses themselves. However, there are no guarantees that a class will raise your score. What will most likely raise your score is practice! Get a book of test questions and do them. Research ways to approach the questions, especially the reasoning questions, and practice sample questions until you are comfortable. Then practice more.
For more information on the LSAT and the law school admission process, visit the LSAC website.
About the Author:
Senna Austin received her B.A. in Philosophy from the College of William and Mary and her Juris Doctor from George Mason University School of Law. She is admitted to practice law in the Commonwealth of Virginia. She has worked in the high-tech world and for the government and does extensive pro bono work in her community.