In short, “LSAT” stands for “Law School Admission Test.” But simply knowing the words that follow the acronym isn’t quite enough to understand what the LSAT is. Below is some background information on the LSAT, why it’s important, and how it’s evolving.
As described by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the group that administers the LSAT, this test “is an integral part of law school admission in the United States, Canada, and a growing number of other countries.” The official LSAT website goes on to say “The test is designed specifically to assess key skills needed for success in law school, including reading comprehension, analytical reasoning, and logical reasoning.”
The LSAT is the only test accepted for admission purposes by all ABA-accredited law schools and Canadian common-law law schools.
The LSAT is comprised of five 35-minute sections, plus a writing sample, which may be completed within one year of the date of the test. Of the five sections administered on test day, four are scored, and one is an unscored, experimental section.
The four scored sections are as follows: Logical Reasoning (two sections), Analytical Reasoning (one section), and Reading Comprehension (one section). One additional section from one of these three section types serves as the unscored “experimental” section. LSAC has more information about each of the sections and also provides a practice LSAT.
The LSAT has always been a paper-and-pencil test, but beginning with the September 2019 LSAT, the test will be administered digitally only. There will be no more paper version of the test. For the July 2019 LSAT, half of the tests will be administered via paper and half digitally.
For the digital LSAT, scratch paper and pens will be available, and test-takers will be allowed to use their own pencils and erasers on the scratch paper. Each test-taker will be given a stylus, which can be used to highlight and underline on the tablet provided during test day.