Taking the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is fun. Really fun. That's F-U-N fun! So fun, in fact, that you may want to skip that date with the hottie next door and take some practice LSATs instead. Seriously, it's better than Cats. You'll want to take it again and again and again

OK, we did our best to convince you otherwise, but the truth is that the LSAT is a royal pain. An evil combination of #2 pencils, ugly proctors, and silent stopwatches, to get into any accredited law school in the country, you are required to take the LSAT.

But there is good news: even though you have to take this standardized test, there are many methods to cracking the test and getting a much better score than you deserve. After all, a secret to those standardized tests is that the writers always write the same types of questions. So if you can just study the question types (and practice them a lot), you're virtually guaranteed to get a higher score and getting a respected law degree (or at least one that won't appear on Sally Struthers commercial alongside TV/VCR repair).

By the way, since you're obviously interested in going to law school (people do not take the LSAT for kicks), you may as well read our excellent SYW titled "SYW get into law school?" With these two SYWs, you'll be fully on your way to out-legalizing Ally McBeal. (While you're at it, please buy her some food.)


First thing's first: the LSAT is a test. Need more details? The LSAT is a tricky test that will make your brain hurt. The test basically poses many puzzles to you that you have to solve. The more puzzles that you solve correctly, the better legal mind you supposedly have and the higher score you'll receive.



  • The test lasts about 3 hours on a Saturday morning (there are alternate dates available if you can't attend for religious reasons).

  • The test consists of about 101 question.

  • There is NO PENALTY FOR GUESSING. This means that you absolutely must answer every single question, even if it's a complete guess. Don't argue with us over this one.

  • After your test is graded, your score will be converted into an LSAT score ranging from a low of 120 to a high of 180. Your score (and percentile) will roughly follow along a bell curve pattern: a 150 is completely average, and a 170 is the 99th percentile.

  • Here's what kinds of questions will be on the test:
Section TypeNumber of SectionsNumber of QuestionsTime Per Section Analytical Reasoning (Games) 1 24 35 minutes Logical Reasoning (Arguments) 2 24-26 35 minutes Reading Comprehension 1 26-28 35 minutes Writing Sample 1 1 essay 30 minutes Experimental (another Arguments, Games, or Reading Comprehension) 1 Depends which type it is 35 minutes

As you can see, there are three main types of questions on the LSAT: Analytical reasoning questions (which involve solving logic puzzles);logical reasoning questions (which involve finding the weak point of an argument); and reading comprehension questions (which involve reading boring passages and answering questions about them).

  • There will be one experimental section, which will be either a games, arguments, or reading section. You won't know which is the real section and which is the experimental one, so you should just try your best on every single section. The good news is that if at some point you have a bizarrely difficult section that makes no sense, there's a strong chance that it was the experimental section.

  • There is also a writing sample section. But before you begin to cry, realize that the writing sample does NOT count towards your score. The law schools to which you apply will receive a copy of your essay, so don't think writing your name and favorite ice cream flavor 100 times will suffice. However, this section has no right or wrong answers, and might not even be read.


The LSAT has a bunch of rules you have to follow. We're not going to bore you with them here, so when you do your practice tests, read all of the rules carefully. But because we don't want you to forget, here are the most important rules:

  • Choose the best answer for each problem. A question will often seem to have more than one possible answer (or no possible answer). Ignore those feelings: every question does have an answer, and one of them will be the best answer. If you encounter a question with two seemingly correct answers, read over the question again and decide which directly answers the question better (without you having to make strange logic leaps).

  • You can not jump around between sections. So if you're doing the reading comprehension section and finish early, you can't fill in those last bubbles for the analytical reasoning section.

  • Do not even attempt to cheat. Not only will you get in major trouble (that is, you can't take the LSAT again, meaning that you can't get into law school), but chances are that your neighbor is taking a different test (actually, the same test, but with the sections in a different order).

  • If after the test you feel like you did atrociously poorly and you don't any schools to see your score, you then have up to 5 business days to cancel your score (by faxing a signed letter). No one will ever know you took the test, and you won't know your score. So use this option with caution: only do it if you are absolutely POSITIVE you tanked and you have enough time to take the test again.

  • Speaking of taking the test again, it is allowed. However, keep in mind that most schools will not take the higher of your two scores; they'll take the average of your scores. Furthermore, a good portion of people actually get lower scores their second time around. The LSAT isn't like the SAT; people don't usually take it more than once. So only take the test again if you are positive that your score doesn't reflect your true ability and you know that you can do better.


It would really stink to show up at the test center and then not be able to take the LSAT. No, law schools wouldn't accept that excuse, crafty one! To make your life easier, the LSAC allows you to register online Have your credit card handy, because it's gonna cost you $90.

If you miss the deadline, you can also register up to the day before the test, as long as you pay the $54 late fee and you find a center that has room. Upcoming LSAT test dates are:

  • December 2, 2000
  • February 10, 2001

For more deadline information, go to this LSAT deadline discussion.