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Anyone in America who wants to attend law school and work in a legal career must first take the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). In fact, the LSAT is increasingly being used in English speaking countries all over the world as an admissions test for law school. As of this writing, there is a fee of $139 to take the test in the United States. The test is given four times a year (February, June, September/October, and December). There are designated testing centers all over America, most of which are colleges and universities. The full list of hundreds of sites can be found on the official website of the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), which administers the exam.
The LSAT exam is not a typical admission test, which usually put a high premium on acquired knowledge. Of course, this isnít meant to imply that a person without a broad base of acquired knowledge can do well on the LSAT; he canít. However, the main focus of the LSAT is not to measure how much a person has learned, but to measure the abilities and skills that are needed to be successful in the study of law. Primarily, the three non-writing sections of the exam are Reading Comprehension, Analytical Reasoning, and Logical reasoning. Since virtually all of the legal education process is based on these three skills (as well as critical writing skills), the developers of the LSAT built a test that law schools can use to predict which test takers are likely to be successful in law school, based on these abilities, and their writing skills, measured by a required essay.
Scores range from 120 to 180, with the median score being 150. There is not cutoff which determines ďpassingĒ or ďfailingĒ scores, as each law school will determine its own range of acceptable LSAT scores. Most schools of law publish a lot of statistical information about their students; the average LSAT score of incoming first year law students can often be found on the schoolís website. Naturally, the more selective and prestigious the school, the higher LSAT score a person will need in order to be admitted. If a person doesnít do well on the exam, itís fine to take it again in an attempt to get a higher score, but the LSAC says itís best to think twice about doing so. If a person was seriously ill or upset, and this had a major impact on her test taking ability, the LSAC says it might be worthwhile to retake the test. However, if a person didnít have any sort of personal crisis going on, but just didnít do as well as sheíd hoped, the LSAC says retaking the test might not be a good idea. Thatís because a person could actually do worse than before, and as a result would then have two low scores reported to law schools. Also, if a person achieves a significantly higher score on a retake, it is likely the LSAC will investigate to rule out cheating. So itís best to be fully prepared on the first attempt at the LSAT.
LSAT test breakdown | Paying for Law School | LSATExamPracticeTests.com
by Enoch Morrison
Last Updated: 06/07/2013
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